I spotted this scene late at night in New Orleans:
I’ve taken to paying attention to what ceiling light fixtures look like from below — it’s not how they’re intended to be viewed, and you’ll often see an interesting geometry as a result. This one just made me laugh — it started as a nice symmetric six-sided thing, but has lost any pretense of regularity (as seems to be typical of New Orleans). Meanwhile, over on the left, where two bulb holders are a bit spread apart from where they originally were, an alarm bell sits between them and balances the composition.
So, crooked but still balanced. The sepia tone, by the way, was naturally there — about all I did to this shot was correct a little pincushion from the close perspective.
In spite of fitful weather, we headed downtown yesterday for the 2012 Denver Chalk Art Festival. This was one of our favorites (reminds me of our kiddo’s response to a camera):
Normally the weather’s pretty cooperative by this time of year — it’s generally hot, but dry. This year, for some reason, we’ve had alternating hot & dry / cool & wet weather for the past few weeks. Saturday night, we got nailed by some fast-moving thunderstorms.
So most of the chalk artists lost Saturday’s work (in full or in part), and had to do major repairs on Sunday. Pretty impressive for a day’s work, I’d say…
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a fun place to skulk around in, should you ever be in town. Aside from all the great natural history material on display, the building itself has been added on to more times than I can count — leading to some interesting interior architecture.
I made this image in one of the building’s atriums (atria?), that once was a courtyard but since has been closed in and covered with a glass roof. Polished metallic wall tiles lead to interesting reflections and intersecting geometries.
I saw this on my most-recent trip to New Orleans, and just had to capture the scene:
This is one of the horses employed in pulling tourists around the French Quarter in carriages. I took this shot early (for NOLA) in the morning, which seems to be the best time of day for non-crowded street photography there. The sidewalks and streets have been washed, most visitors are sleeping off the previous night’s revelries, traffic hasn’t really started — a great time for a stroll.
At any rate, I still can’t decide if this is the horse’s “world weary” look, if he’s pondering the upcoming day’s work, or if he’s just lost in horsey daydreams of grassy fields and running free. In any event, a fitting subject for an environmental portrait…
It’s tough coming up with a “different” way of photographing a landmark like the Golden Gate Bridge. Making life more challenging for me was the fact that on our recent trip to the bay area, it was overcast and wet most of the time.
But as luck would have it, we were headed north from San Francisco during one brief window of time in which we had actual blue skies and sunshine. I’d found some roads on the north end of the bridge via Google Earth, so wound up at an old artillery site called “Battery Spencer” in the Marin headlands. It was windy as can be, but I managed to hold my gear still for long enough to get off a few good shots like this one.
There are other spots further west along the road that will give you good views of the bridge, but Battery Spencer is the best one I could find to capture both the bridge and the city in one frame.
You may not realize it, but this is a particularly odd structure in the Mayan world:
It’s a pyramid called Xaibe at the ancient ruins of Cobá in Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula. The name comes from a Maya term for a crossroads, since it’s at the junction of four Maya roads — and it’s nearly unique in being a Maya pyramid with an elliptical (vs. rectangular) footprint. It *may* have been used as a lookout tower, but I’ve never seen anything resembling an authoritative statement on that.
The old Maya ruins of Becán in México have quite a few things to recommend them. A number of structures have been restored, and are open to public viewing; several structures are both climbable and riddled with passageways (so many places to explore).
But really, the marquis attraction is this stucco figure of the Maya sun god Kinichná:
Since the stucco needs to be protected from the hot and humid environment (as well as from vandals), it’s in a purpose-built enclosure with a glass front. But the lighting’s tricky (no artificial light in the enclosure), and the glass is both dirty and scratched (take wet wipes and a paper towel) — so you have to work to get a decent shot of this bit of artwork…