Quiet Time


    It is an interesting week in our house.  Most of the normal home life continues.  Dance, Robotics, and letting the kids play outside....normal life.  After a few months being under so many guns it was nice to also have friends over and see a movie with them...and eleven kids had a pizza night!  Then there was the opportunity to just for a few minutes enjoy John Paul getting to settle down on my chest for a nap...after a few minutes of ear piercing complaining!

   Life is still crazy, but it needs living and sound of worship to abound for it to have meaning. 


Making Music with a Lens and a rant


     While I am out and about I sometimes see an image immediately drawing me home. This was one of those moments.  Walking down the sidewalk I saw an unmistakable symbol of music, and my thoughts turned homeward bound.  Over the last two years the ability to bring music back into the house, and into the lives of the children, through the Joyful Noise Homeschooling music program enlivened the family.  Initial cat gut screatches became music I can recognize.  Scales firmed up with practice.  Now both older children can teach me theory I never knew.  The little guy sung the Gloria at church with his two best buds with gusto this Sunday..  All very cool!

     So this image made music in my lens... 

     I also wanted to point out something about street photography as I see it.  While I was out walking a college age couple were shooting the streets.  Sitting on the side walk was a mentally ill man.  He was dishevelled, talking to himself incoherently, but otherwise not bothering anyone.  The lady in the couple thought he made a good subject.  So she switched to live view and took some hip shots of the poor soul.  

     Being in a public area means a photographer needs no consent to photography you.  However a photographer should exercise some level of respect for the man.  If the photo will be provided to people looking for him great..otherwise I worry that this is exploitation of personnel morbid curiosity.   In many people's ciricles today this is just a chance to get a little self promotion on Twitter and Instangram.  It is an opportunity to exploit for themselves, not elevate humanity.  There are plenty of people on the street (such as street performers) who are interesting subjects, and more than willing to pose for a small tip.   

    If I photograph a person I have either their consent or they are doing something themselves to gain attention of passerbys.  For instance in Miami I photographed a skateboarder doing flashy tricks in a highly visible area on purpose.  A chef I photographed nodded yes when I asked to photograph him.  

    I know someone out there will say they are doing a social justice peace.  I just don't buy it.  If you are doing social justice work you'd also be taking him to dinner. 

     With all that said...have a great night and PRAISE God!


PS For you techies this is the Fujifilm X-E1 with 23mm at 1/210, F8 ISO 800.   I used the film simulation of Velvia and applied a slight crop, small sharpening effect and vingette blur in Nik Snapseed.  My 23mm F1.4 is my current favorite Fuji lens...and it really wants a 56mm in the stable next to it!


The Three Block Alternate Universe


     This building on the Bay in Downtorn is massive, modern and very interesting.  Yet just three blocks away is historic downtown Miami...are buldings just as interesting in different way! 


I've never seen a perfume store this large before!  Of course I probably could have used this store to hide my sweaty self!

There were also other veteran buildings to enjoy....


Classic architecture!  Love it...I just hope the electrcal gets updated to keep up with modern technology Walgreens will want to cram into that store!


     You'll also find neat little eateries tucked in like this cafeteria right across from resturants I could not afford to eat at!


     And four blocks south of the cafeteria is this across the canal...modern wow factor.

     Miami is an amazing city in many, many ways! 


Miami, Florida



    I'm off on another adventure to Miami, Florida.  Attending a work convention in downtown.  So far this downtown is different than most towns I've visited in this country, and I'm doing my best to explore the unique flavor of this city.  One minute you're looking at a Little Havanna or Latin America area, turn around 90 degrees and view the avant garde billion dollar condo sykscrapers.

     So I'll endeavor to bring you a few good photos from the city while avoiding the fun any city can offer.  For instance today I saw three teens rescue their bicycles from a theft right in front of me.  It was very interesting...guy riding down the street on two similar bikes, then a bike rams the guy perpendiculary to knock him down.  He got in protest only to face the two girls whose bike he stole, and the teenage young man who was with them.  The perp said someone sold him the bikes... and gave them up without a fight.  As this resolved itself a guy decided to try and run a red light right through my body about 30 seconds later in the cross walk.  Just a minute after those two episodes I watched fancy boats (worth three of my homes) float on down the waterfront in a leisurely manner, and families enjoying life in the park.

      This war memorial is from 1942 and right down the street in Bayfront Park.  The lighting was not particlarly wonderful today, so I resorted to B&W on few photos to get something interesting from my travels.  The photo below is the reflection of my hotel in the hotel across the street.  


City Flowers Blooming for Sunday

20140202-133405.jpg I like to surprise my wife with a flower or two on occasion...and seeing these flowers reasonably priced for sale by florist made me a bit homesick. It was fun to poke my head under he plastic shroud protecting the 25 foot long booth of flowers...and find the smell of flowers could still overwhelm the dozens of cars, garbage cans, and multiple restaurants outside just a few feet away.

If I could have brought them on the plane I certainly would have!

It was a nice moment to feel the power of a flower in both vision and smell to remind me of what really matters in life...the love of my family and the little ways we need to share it.

-ehw P.S. This is the old X-E1 with the 35mm at night walking the street on the way to the hotel from church. The effects were done in Nik Snapseed.

Some Contrasts in NYC

I just wanted to share two photos taken minutes apart in NYC, not even a block apart from the other.


The first photo is a Saturday night picture of traffic at about 6:15PM...It shows the towers of steel, the light, the motion of the city. People were hustling through Hell's Kitchen to grab dinner, or go see a show down the street a fe blocks in the Theater District. A few blocks to the east thousands of people streamed into Times Square using the warm weather to enjoy Super Bowl Boulevard on its last night.

Then there was this I took a few minutes earlier after the Saturday Vigil Mass at St. Micheal the Archangel...


The noise in the church was minimal, the congregation small (like 20 max in a church for 600-800 people) and the priest busy with four people talking about getting more involved at the parish....

Over my stay here this was what was so hard for me to comprehend, but easy to appreciate. On one floor you find a party, on the next a serenity, in one building complex business activities, and the adjoining one an abandoned hulk of glory long past.

There is so much crammed into this little piece of real estate! I would need to cross counties for in Georgia to experience some of these juxtapositions you get inside a city block here in New York City. It is not totally bad, it is not totally good...it is what is. It is something one must be constantly aware of in this city...as you should in any major city I've visited (like Tokyo, Seoul, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Berlin...I guess I've been a few places in my life).

By being aware of these many different possibilities in such a tiny area, one can both begin to appreciate what they have before them AND properly shift mindsets to handle the environment to your best advantage. And that was my lesson to self for the day I can take anywhere at anytime.


PS Fujifilm X-E1 with 35mm for the street photo, and the 14mm for the altar photo. Came out alright on both accounts I think.