Diamonds and Rubies

A look down Paris’ Champs Elysées at night:

Diamonds and rubies

This is just one frame out of many in a time lapse video I’m putting together — just as soon as a replacement for my now-defunct main computer arrives (!?!).  If you were curious, there are little sheltered “islands” for pedestrians at the center of crosswalks on this street — perfect locations for a little night photography.


So it just now occurred to me that I took a huge number of photos on a trip to Chicago a few years back, and somehow neglected to get more than a handful out on the internet to date.

That being said, here’s a shot I took of a Chicago sunrise, partially reflected in the Cloud Gate sculpture (a.k.a. “the bean”) in Millennium Park:


For those interested in visiting, I’ll be writing up a post in the next week or so with tips on photography of and with Cloud Gate; as public sculpture goes, it’s a particularly fun object to work with photographically.

Unselective color

When we traveled to Iceland a few weeks back, we were primarily hoping to see the colors of the northern lights.  We inadvertently saw some more urban colors as well — this time, in Reykjavik:

Unselective color

Many of the more-traditional buildings in Reykjavik tend to be painted in fairly muted tones.  One swath of buildings near the harbor is dressed in a more modern fashion, with saturated solid colors.  This one apparently got a bit of help from some of the younger locals — its sky blue front was augmented at some point with a variety of colorful graffiti.  When we passed by, the interior appeared to be in the process of being rebuilt — into a shop, or restaurant, or whatever — hard to say.  Regardless, it was a welcome splash of semi-chaotic color on an otherwise drab day.

Denver’s Union Station, architecture, and how not to treat a nice lens

Denver’s in the process of reworking the core of its mass transit system, and since part of the new work had a grand opening last weekend, my daughter and I hopped on a light rail train to check things out.  The core of all the work will soon be Denver’s Union Station — rebuilt in 1914, and currently in the process of renovation into a high-end hotel.

But the light rail stop that used to sit directly behind (to the Northwest of) Union Station got relocated about a quarter mile further west.  So what to do with the space between?

Walking the Concourse

Why, build an underground bus station, naturally.  The idea was to make a bus station that looks more like an airport concourse than a stereotypical bus station — and if you ask me, they were fully successful in that.  I’m not sure, but suspect that the yellow tile trimming the walls is a hat-tip to the similarly-colored tile used in the original Union Station train tunnels (check out the cover of The Fray’s self-titled second album for a historical peek at them).

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Doorway to the future

Until recently, this was our neighborhood grocery store. It’s in the process of demolition (as you can see), to be replaced by a new, much nicer grocery store by the end of the year.

Doorway to the future

This building is one of those old ones that was added on to multiple times, given some cosmetic touch-ups here and there, but still couldn’t avoid looking a bit dumpy. So we’ll be happy to see its replacement, but it still feels odd to watch a local fixture get ripped down after decades of service.

BTW, as an experiment I made this photo with an Olympus 8mm “body cap” fisheye.  As soon as the weather improves, I’ll do a photowalk with it and its 4/3-mount predecessor for comparison’s sake (short version: not as good optically as the old lens, but far cheaper and more portable).