Sunday, August 30, 2009

Waiting For The Shot

That dark blob in right-center-field is the shadow of a blimp that was being used to help televise the Yankees-White Sox game. I'd been waiting for it to pass over the field and cast its giant shadow, but it was hard to know exactly when that would happen. By the time I reacted to the flyover, the shadow was smaller and nearly out of the picture. Notice the photo on the video board - it's Derek Jeter ...

... Who is the guy these birds seem to be watching as they sit perched on a guide wire running from the press box to the field. It took many days for the birds to sit at the right spot on the wire to line up with the players on the field (Jeter is about 300 feet away -the zoom lens makes them appear closer). So when this pair alighted at the perfect spot, I jumped up (after announcing the latest White Sox batter) grabbed my camera and hoped they would eventually face Jeter. So when you think ahead about a shot, you just have to have the patience for it to happen.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Yankees Win

It was a scene that has been played out at Yankee Stadium 12 times this season. The Yanks find a way to win a game in what's referred to as a "walk-off" manner.
Robinson Cano rounds third on his way to a home plate celebration he's been a part of many times. He hit a homer to sink the White Sox and his teammates are ready to give him a happy pounding when he touches home.

Cano is in the middle of that crowd of players - many of whom, Jorge Posada (at the top), Melky Cabrera (holding the helmet), Eric Hinke (14) and Mark Teixeira (left) have been in the same spot when they had their game-ending hits at The Stadium this season.

While Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez (right) celebrate behind him, Cano exchanges high fives with a teammate.

And Cano gets the hero's treatment from the pie-master, pitcher A. J. Burnett who has tossed all 12 celebratory whip cream pies this season. TV and radio interviewers have to be ready to step aside when the pie hits its intended target.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Not Around For Long

While washing up before the start of a new day, I put the bar of soap down on the edge of the basin and this perfect bubble formed itself. I stood there for a few seconds before I thought to take a picture of it. I quickly got my camera and was actually able to make several shots before it disappeared. I never know when and where the next photo will come from so I'll keep the camera at the ready for fresh inspiration.

Sunday Favorites

It was a busy Sunday. And lots of variety on the photographic front. Here are Gabriel Navarro (white t-shirt) and Dylan Knox on their skateboards in front of a drug store on Water St. getting some air while dodging customers along with skating pal, Jeff Austin who not pictured here but will be on Facebook.

I was using my trusty Panasonic point and shoot camera which means I get one shot to capture peak action. My timing got better the more I shot this group. My pro camera shoots 8 frames per second by comparison.

It rained again - a big downpour - and the group with the orange tarp waited for drier conditions at Red Hook Park. The guy on the downtown Brooklyn courthouse steps was just hanging out against the blue light.

While waiting for the rain to stop, I shot this water drop/plop and got my timing right. Again, I took one shot at a time and got lucky.

Before, the rain, I shot some soccer action at Red Hook Park. I used to shoot a lot of UCLA soccer and the one shot limitation with these guys moving so quickly really provided a test to get something good.

And this shot is from the Smith St and 9th subway station in Brooklyn which is the highest subway stop in the whole of New York City which you can see in the background.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Subway Painting

I left one subway F train to catch another while heading to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, to meet some friends in from Florida for dinner. This is the train I departed during sunset - after a rain shower - and the light was just right to illuminate several people who joined me in waiting for the next train across the platform. The light produced a water color like reflection on the side of the train and the fluorescent light inside the car shows one die-hard passenger who can't bring herself to leave just yet. Click the pic for a bigger version.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Passing The Time

I was walking near the South Street Seaport in an area where people stroll and sit to take in the views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, and I saw this guy who seemed to be interested in turning himself into a human bicycle. With his real bike parked, he struck this pose with no support between the iron circles. I tried this same maneuver and found that once you get balanced, it's pretty easy to do this - not all that comfortable - but possible.

Later on my way home, I made another attempt at a slow-shutter speed panning shot of a passing subway train. I took several shots and this one turned out (most of the other shots didn't have any people in them).
I call this "Mirror Men"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Posing Pigeon And Another Look At The Lady

While visiting the top of the Empire State Building with my former Valley College classmate Kristen who was in town for the day from Washington D.C. to cancel her bank account which was established in Los Angeles (don't ask ... ), we found this lone pigeon who was very comfortable with tourists snapping its picture and offering it whatever snacks available. We're 86 floors up and this was the only bird in sight and high-flyer has figured out how to command the attention of visitors from all over the world.

(Click on pictures for larger versions)

And here's another attempt to show a familiar subject in a different way. It was about 4:30 p.m. when I took this shot of the Statue of Liberty while on the one-hour tour in the waters off of lower Manhattan. The brightness of the sky - and the white, puffy clouds helped - easily overpowered the landmark and made it possible to render her in silhouette.

Timeless Image

I've rarely posted black and white images because I really like color. But after looking at the color version of this picture, I decided I liked the black and white image better. (Click on photo for larger version) Maybe I was influenced by a phone conversion I had earlier about old movies shot in the 50's in New York that were done in black and white. This could be a still from one of those films. The Brooklyn Bridge is leading into Manhattan with the FDR drive - next to the East River - filled with cars.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New York Night Brush Strokes

You can recognize one of the buildings without much trouble, but the other one might give you pause. The one with the blue light is ... well, I don't know. I shot this the other night while walking near NYU and I have no idea what it is. But I like anything with the color blue in it and the slow shutter speed gave the shot a painterly quality. I did the same thing with the Statue of Liberty while taking the water taxi from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Les Paul - RIP

I once had the great pleasure of sitting and talking with guitar legend Les Paul who has died at the age of 94.
This photo was take in 2004 after his usual Monday night performance at New York's Iridium Jazz Club. I was deeply into guitar playing back and a trip to see guitar pioneer Les Paul was a must-do. In addition to be a hit-maker with his wife, Mary Ford, in the 40's and 50's, Paul also invented many of the recording techniques that are still used to this day. And his solid-body name sake guitar is still used by major rock guitarists today. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin helped popularize the Les Paul model ax.

Les Paul kept his autograph simple, "To Paul ... Howdy, Les."
What I'm not showing is another part of the autograph in which he included his home phone number. I told him I was a broadcaster (for Tampa Bay at the time) and that I was in town to call the games against the Yankees. Then Yankees manger Joe Torre was a pal of his, but he'd lost his phone number. So Les asked me to give Torre his number so Joe could call him. I gladly passed along the request.

This is part of the program from the Iridium Jazz Club promoting the Monday night performances by Les Paul. He was there most Monday's for two shows and he'd choose one or two guitarists from the audience to play as well. He played this club for 12 years - into his 90's. I did notice in the last couple of months several guest guitarists sitting him for him while he was ill. Former Yankees' center-fielder Bernie Williams - now retired after a great career in NY - recently played the Monday night gig in Paul's absence.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Art At Ikea

The search for inspiration led me to the Ikea store in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The store opened earlier this year and since I had to move my car for 90 minutes for the weekly street cleaning, me and my friend Rhonda went to Ikea. I needed window blinds to block the hot sun since I have a lot of big windows and Rhonda was looking for candle sticks. The reflection in a candle stick produces some nice results.

The photo of the father and son sitting at the picture window is one of my favorites. Before the store opens you can eat breakfast in the Ikea restaurant. But the eggs are way to salty and the turkey sausage was made from mystery meat. So eat before you arrive to shop.

Outside the store I found stone balls near the pier and rope needed to tie down the water taxis that ferry people from Brooklyn to lower Manhattan. Ikea started charging $5 for the trip since people were using the service without shopping in the store first,

The area around the Ikea store is dotted with these giant cranes which help to off-load the tons of stuff you'll find at Ikea. Don't these things look like those machines that wreaked havoc in the Star Wars movies?

Here's me taking my own picture in the home furnishing department with all the mirrors. I have my yellow shopping bag to collect stuff for checkout, but Ikea doesn't give you free bags to take your purchases to the parking lot. So bring your own bag or be ready to buy shopping bags from the store.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

In Good Company

I've been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Not the baseball shrine in Cooperstown, NY, but the famous Hall of Fame at Foley's NY Irish Pub and Restaurant.

I'm standing with Shaun Clancy who oversees Foley's and has - along with his dad and others - collected autographs of famous and notable people on hundreds of baseballs that are displayed at the west 33rd street location. We're holding the ball I just signed.

And here's what I wrote! I can never think of anything real clever to say when I sign a ball. I guess, since I don't often sign baseballs, I'm not into the autograph rhythm many athletes and actors are when he comes to signing things.

I'm in a good place - between famed pitcher and later, esteemed pitching coach, Johnny Sain and the umpiring crew from the recent perfect game pitched in Chicago by the White Sox' Mark Buerle. And below me are two notable New York baseball players; Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees and David Wright of the Mets. Tim Redding is a journeyman pitcher who's been employed by both the Yankees and Mets.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Show In The Sky

The sun already seemed bigger than normal as it set in the west up the street from my NY home. I went for my camera with the long zoom lens to give the appearance of an even larger orb as I stood in the middle of the street to get this shot through some trees. The sun is obscured by thin clouds as well.
While flying over Florida earlier in the day, this big wall of puffy clouds caught my eye from my window seat. This is a typical stack of thunder shower producing clouds for this time of year in Florida and other parts of the east at 33,000 feet. It's great to fly right next to a stack like this to see the cloud up close. But sometimes, those clouds produce lighting and better to keep ones distance just in case.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Serious Look

My pal, Ripley, is really happy. It's hard to tell from this gaze from atop his perch above the kitchen cabinets. In fact, Ripley is very happy because - after a recent health scare - he's in good shape once again and ready to resume his life of leisure in south Florida. Getting animals to pose is not easy. I didn't use flash - to avoid closed eyes - and I wielded a kitchen utensil to get his attention and direct him into this cold, businesslike look.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

By Popular Demand

Props to the folks at for the fast turn around on the photo many of you said you really liked from Wednesday's shoot of the Manhattan Bridge. I uploaded the picture Thursday morning at about 5 a.m. (don't ask) and even without having to pay extra for fast mail delivery, I received this blown-up version of the picture on lightweight form board on Saturday morning. Remember recently I was willing to pay $200 for a NY-themed painting in LA - but because I didn't want to pay the shipping, I didn't get it. Now, I've decided to put original photos - like this one - on the walls of my Brooklyn apartment. Mpix charged a little over $100 for the enlargement.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bringing Back The Light

I grabbed my small tripod and headed for the park to get some night shots of the Manhattan Bridge. This bridge is in the news for the way it moves when cars and subways travel on it. Seeking something different I used various long shutter exposures. This shot - taken at about 9:30 p.m. - at 30 seconds - made it look like early evening. The passing clouds add a painterly touch.

Speaking of paintings, this 2 1/2 second exposure and me forgetting to set the timer when I pressed the shutter button - causing camera shake - produced this abstract of the Empire State Building. That's a happy accident.

The guy in the lower right corner rode up on his bike and sat down for several minutes. Again, it was pretty dark when I took the shot. But a 10 second exposure brought in plenty of light to show him and the Manhattan Bridge.

Earlier in the evening, at about 8 o'clock, long exposures aren't needed. I took this shot while standing on the Brooklyn Bridge. One of the towers of the Manhattan Bridge and the Empire State Building are made to look pretty close to each other because I used a zoom lens to compress the distance between the two structures.