Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category


Dr. Mel: Birthday Boy – Party Pictures

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Today’s Dr. Mel’s 65th birthday. There was an even more important occasion for the party he and his wife Arlene threw. It’s 165 months since Mel was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

The disease develops in 1–4 per 100,000 people per year. It is more common in men, and is twice as common in blacks as it is in whites. With conventional treatment, the prognosis is 3–4 years, which may be extended to 5–7 years with advanced treatments – Wikipedia

If there’s a single reason Mel’s still alive it’s because of the relentless advocacy he and Arlene have shown. The Goldstein’s have made sure his treatment has been thorough. There is no slacking off with a very educated patient.

The party was a great celebration held in Mel and Arlene’s beautiful house on-the-water in East Haven and attended by many of my co-workers and friends.

Though Dr. Mel often claims we’re in prediction and not production it’s tough to believe he didn’t have some hand in this beautiful day.

Fall Photos Come Easy

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

This time of year is made for picture taking. That’s why about 45 seconds after I left my driveway I stopped to take this photo. It’s a small mill pond surrounded by old trees. If I’ve taken one shot I’ve taken a thousand shots from this vantage at the side of the road.

This photo was taken by my iPhone camera. I’m sure there’s some advantage of using my Canon DSLR but today I could see none.

The New York Subway System: 660 Miles, 468 Stations, 106 Years

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

I got hooked on the New York City subway system as a kid. Not sure why. Still strangely attracted to it. It is my favored mode of transport while in the city.

This week to mark the 106th anniversary (some parts of the subway look every bit that old) the New York Times has published two photo essays under the heading “660 Miles, 468 Stations, 106 Years.” One is a contemporary view of the system, the other a timeline from day one.

I love this stuff.

A Few Old Family Photos

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Without the Internet I’d probably be out of touch with my Cousin Barry. He is a few years older than me. I always looked up to him when I was a kid. If he’s reading this it’s probably the first time he’s heard that. We all sometimes forget to say the important stuff, but it’s true.

I got an email from him last week.

I recently had reason to look through some old pictures of me that one of my childhood friends requested and came across some old pictures of your parents and grandparents.

I’m not going to post them all here–just two. The first has a family I recognize, but whose name I forget plus my grandmother, mother, sister and two aunts. I love the picture because of the high pouffy hair! It’s like they all went to the same hairdresser who did it all on an assembly line. Only my sister made it out unscathed!

The second shot features my folks and my grandmother. It was taken on the balcony of my grandparents apartment twenty three stories up in Trump Village in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Back then, before additional buildings went up, they had a view out to the Atlantic (plus the two elevated subway lines which ran near the building).

My mother saw the photo and commented she was good looking back then. She still is. My dad too.

Sleeping Giant In The Clouds

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

I pulled off the road this afternoon on my way in to work. It’s a grey, rainy day in Connecticut. Low clouds obscured the peak of Sleeping Giant Mountain.

This shot was taken with my iPhone using HDR Pro to allow the dark and light to co-exist. In a perfect world I’d Photoshop away the power lines.

No–actually in a perfect world the lines would be underground.

I’ve driven past Sleeping Giant every day for twenty years. I am still in awe of its beauty.

Photos From Our Quick Trip To Manhattan

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Sometimes it must seem like I have friends in the witness protection program! Helaine and I headed to New York City for breakfast and a stroll with some of those “shhhhh – don’t tell” friends this morning. That’s all I’m allowed to say.

Of course “Clicky” came along. Here’s a look of a little of what we say on this early fall day in Manhattan.

What To Do This Weekend?

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Before she left for California Helaine made a prediction. “You’re going to spend the weekend on the sofa.”

Really? That makes me seem so boring.

I had loose plans to visit with a fellow photographer in New York City. He can’t do it Saturday. The weather doesn’t look camera friendly Sunday.

I’m not sure what to do. These things have a way of working themselves out… on the sofa.

I hope not.

New, Free And Easy Vacation Slideshow Maker

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

I woke up to find an email from Helaine with nothing more than a link. True husband/wife communications in action!

The link led me to TripAdvisor a site we’ve used in the past to help research vacation plans. They’ve gone into competition with Animoto and other online slideshow producers with a service that produces an iMovie type vacation presentation nearly instantly and totally effortlessly.

The included photos have been on this site before, but the chance to show you the concept makes posting this worthwhile.

Geoff And Helaine And The Phillies Slideshow: Geoff Fox’s trip from Hamden to New York City was created by TripAdvisor. See another New York City slideshow. Create your own stunning free slideshow from your travel photos.

The Vacation Poster I Made

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Here I am with around 1,500 shots from our Canada cruise. At some point they will move to a backup drive and disappear. There’s got to be a better way to use them?

“Make a poster,” Helaine said.

I’ve done this before. Using nine or ten of my best shots and a little Photoshop magic I can fashion a 16″ x 24″ poster. The finished product looks like something you’d buy in a store, except it’s our photos!

The process takes a little forethought, but not a whole lot of skill. It’s a series of repetitive steps to get each image the correct size with border effects and drop shadow then properly place it on a grid. It took under an hour start-to-finish.

This is a reduced resolution version to squeeze onto the Internet. The real poster file is 7200 by 4800 pixels or 34.56 Megapixels!

They’d Fire Me For What I’m Doing!

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

A photographer working in news, whether a still or video photographer, is limited in what he can do to his photo. The finished product should be a documentary representation of what was in front of the lens. The use of Photoshop and its pretenders is limited.

National Geographic got caught moving the pyramids closer together a few years ago. Obviously a no-no.

Other guidelines aren’t quite as easy because cameras and humans see differently! Your eyes can catch the detail in brighter whites and darker darks simultaneously than your digital camera can.

Some day that will surely change. Not yet.

As a practical matter a properly exposed skyline will often have a blown out sky–whiter than its actual color and devoid of detail. If you take outdoor snapshots you’ve probably experienced the same thing where a sunny day is captured as bright gray.

Darks suffer a similar fate. Stands of trees or the detailed steelwork of the Verazzano-Narrows Bridge are lost in a blob of black.

A newspaper shooter is stuck. I am not! I take advantage of science and readily admit my finished photos often look better than real life and always look better than what came directly from the camera.

The Verazzano-Narrows shot (above) is a perfect example. I shot this bridge a bunch of times as our ship approached. No single image exposed everything properly. On top of that, I was on a moving ship so my perspective was constantly changing. I couldn’t use multiple shots differently exposed because each shot would ‘see’ differently.

I needed everything the camera’s sensors saw and got just that by using RAW files. Instead of compressing my image to a jpg (as most cameras do) my RAW file was saved just as it was sensed on the camera’s chip. The file was much larger, but it retained lots of detail–even if that detail couldn’t always be seen.

I brought the file into Photoshop and began selecting sections. I isolated certain shades of blue. I isolated areas where the luminance (brightness) was low. Now I could manipulate those sections without affecting the rest of the shot.

I brought up the bridge’s levels until the intricacy of the girders could be seen. Then I went back and deepened the sky color making it richer and giving the whole picture more contrast.

None of this would ever be done by a news photographer. It’s ethical poison. For my non-news artsy shots it doesn’t matter… at least it doesn’t matter to me!

It does make a difference in the final result. I think the finished shot is more pleasing and more like what I saw as we sailed under the bridge.

If I tried to pass this off in a newspaper or magazine they’d fire me.