Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Photo of the Day 176

Cloud-Shrouded Skyline, Chicago, 1978 Photograph by Steve Raymer A blanket of clouds shrouds the Chicago skyline in the metropolis that poet Carl Sandburg dubbed "the city of the big shoulders." The "stormy, husky, brawling" Chicago of Sandburg doubled and tripled in population after 1850. It saw the first skyscraper rise in 1885 and the tallest in 1974. Once known for its meatpacking industry, the city today runs on finance, shipping, and iron and steelworks. (Photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Chicago!" April 1978, National Geographic magazine)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Latest Toy - The Singapore Flyer

There had been a lot of buzz in Singapore recently, upcoming events, new buildings on the way up, new attractions. One of the latest addition to Singapore's attractions is our Singapore Flyer. It was opened earlier for corporate entities before officially opening to the public not too long ago. The giant flyer stands out in Singapore's CBD and Marina Bay landscape, especially in the night, when it lights up the dark sky. Moreover, it would be a great photo spot/location/background for the upcoming Formula 1 coming to Singapore in September 26 - 28.
I was inspired to go walk down and take a look at our new giant toy and I was blown away just by standing beneath it. It's really huge and I look foward to be up at the top of the world, enjoying a moving experience, enjoying a bird's eye view of Singapore and taking lots of photos.
Ready for a ride ? Hope you folks enjoy the ride and share your photos and experiences !

"Fantasy In Lights"

"Fantasy In Lights" © David A. Ziser
Here is another image from this past weekend. The country club had these "twinkle lights" throughout the trees and they looked really beautiful in our pre-Spring setting in Cincy. I used my "Zoom Flash" described later in today's post to isolate the bride and groom within the "twinkle lights" without over powering or compromising the surrounds. My assistant was behind the couple with the Quantum flash at 1/4 power. I thought the image turned out really well. Camera specs; Canon 40D fitted with 10-22mm lens at 10mm, F5.6 @ 1/8 second hand held at ISO 800.
Enjoy! -David

Ami Vitale: NGM: Kolkata Rickshaws

Photograph © Ami Vitale-All Rights Reserved
"The strategy of drivers in Kolkata—drivers of private cars and taxis and buses and the enclosed three-wheel scooters used as jitneys and even pedicabs—is simple: Forge ahead while honking. There are no stop signs to speak of." And so starts Calivn Trilin's essay on Kolkata's rickshaws in the April issue of National Geographic. I thumbed through my fresh-off-the-press National Geographic magazine, and stopped slack-jawed at pages 92-93...a double spread of Ami Vitale's magnificent photograph of a rickshaw puller, S. K. Bikari, who regularly pulls a pair of girls to school in Kolkata, yet rarely sees his own five children back home in the state of Bihar...one of the poorest states in India. Although this photograph may be partially posed, I frankly don't care. I just find all its elements to be just right....yes, even the woman intruding on the scene from the right. The two schoolgirls, in their pristine uniforms, look bored (or uncomfortable) while Bikari is on the verge of overtaking some obstacle on the left. Ami Vitale's is a wonderful photographer, and the rest of her photographs live up to her reputation...but it's this one that I prefer. Naturally it looks better in print form. I had already posted on TTP on Kolkata's rickshaws, and it seems from the National Geographic article that the city hasn't yet been able to ban them from its streets. Again, the great performance of Om Puri as the rickshaw puller in City of Joy comes to mind whenever I come across such photographs. The National Geographic did a great job with this subject...however I must say that the video with Ami's narration could be improved upon. Ami Vitale's Kolkata Rickshaws Photography

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tender Kisses

"Tender Kisses" © David A. Ziser
I love this soft portrait of the mother with her 4 week old baby. The mother's lips against the baby's cheek elicits such a warm, gentle emotional response from the baby. This is one of several images I made during the session of the mother and child - this was my favorite. The lighting accents on the baby's face were fine tuned in Photoshop. Camera specs; Canon 20D fitted with 17-85mm IS lens at 85mm, F 5.6 @ 1/200 second, at ISO 800. Enjoy! --David

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Transporting Rabbits

Asian markets fill my head with questions. Take these bunnies on a bike, for example. The first thing that comes to mind is where are they going to be taken on that bike? Are they going to be people's pets?
After thinking about the above niceties, It comes to my mind that they are going to end up in some rabbit stew. Now I don't want anyone to think I'm cruel, I mean by talking about killing and then eating rabbit. But it's done all the time. Back in 1990, the New York Times published an article that contained the recipe for rabbit stew. As my train of thought moves to the next level, I recall when I ate rabbit. It wasn't in a rabbit stew, though. It was braised like a chicken. It looked like a chicken. It even tasted like chicken. But the bones, they were weird. It's like they were smaller than chicken bones--more brittle. The thought gives me goose bumps (or should I say rabbit bumps). To this day, my pals tease me with the line, "you ate da bunny."

Kloie Picot: Hidden In Plain Sight Benefit

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT: A Benefit for Iraqi and Palestinian Refugees is put together by Kloie Picot, and is a worthwhile benefit for Iraqi and Palestinian refugees, one that she hopes will raise awareness of their plight. All proceeds will go to CROSSING LINES, a non-profit Ms. Picot is establishing to provide language, job training and other skills to refugees. The important worthwhile event opens March 15 at the River Bar and Restaurant in Chung Li, Taiwan and will feature an exhibition and silent auction of photographs donated by several well-known photographers. For further information: War Shooter (Hidden In Plain Sight) Bravo Kloie!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

American Barn

About two hours east of Minneapolis just inside the Wisconsin border, there's a town called Luck. It's charming, but even more charming are the barns around it. Now I know barns have been overdone in photography, but there just so stately when empty and left to the elements, you can't help but get out of the car and trudge thorough the snow to talk to them with your camera. They fill a frame so nicely. And when you take a peek inside the light through planks of wood illuminates right down to the small knots inside. http://digitalartphotographyfordummies.blogspot.com/

Thursday, March 6, 2008

World Film Photography Day

March 20th will be the first World Film Photography Day and I intend to participate. Although I have a Pentax DSLR, I still use my Pentax SLR as often for black and white photos with an Ilford FP4+ or HP5+ film. I applaud initiatives like the WFPD even though I don't think (or hope!) that film will disappear completely. Surely, the family and vacation snapshot has moved over to digital almost completely but some die-hards using film for black and white and cross-processing will hopefully keep film alive and gradually bring it back when people start to realize the differences between film and digital. A World Film Photography Day is a good start for this.

A drawback of the collapse of film is that it is almost impossible to buy black and white film in the shops or get it developed. I use to develop the films myself, but got lazy and nowadays use DSCL which will get me the negatives back within two days while High street photo shops like Jessops take two weeks and return the negatives with fingerprints and calcium deposits :-(

See also: http://www.foreignlight.com/blog/?p=32

Camera: Pentax MZ-3, lens: Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG MACRO + Ilford FP4+

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