No Sooner Are We Home Then We’re Gone!

Here are a few of the early shots. These are reprocessed panoramas.

Central Park South pano from Central Park.jpg

times square stairs pano.jpg

“You realize we only left yesterday?” was Helaine’s question as we left New Haven’s Union Station headed for the ‘overflow’ garage across the way. Yeah–I get it. We packed a lot into 36 hours: two Broadway shows, David Letterman, a little city walking and a few meals.

Still, tomorrow we’re leaving before noon for another adventure. First stop is Colin McEnroe’s show on Connecticut Public Radio. Colin is one of those crazily smart people you only hope to keep up with. He’s doing the dinner and late show at the same time!

The show is heard at 1:00 PM on the multiple frequencies of WNPR plus Internet streaming on

My biggest post-trip chore will be to work on my photos–around 550.

I have been working with a new, faster ‘walkaround’ lens, a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. It’s image stabilized which is causing trouble.

The problem isn’t the lens–it’s me! Right now it’s more than I can handle! This lens allows critical mistakes never possible before. It’s going to take some time to figure out how to handle them.

Here’s an example. Because I had slower lenses without any stabilization my nighttime shots were always underexposed. Now they can be properly exposed which should be good, right?

Unfortunately the incredible contrast between bare light points and background elements now becomes a problem. Points of light are heavily overexposed because the rest of the photo is properly exposed! Sometimes they’re too hot to be handled by Photoshop.

I also haven’t figured out how much of the stabilization I can get away with. Some shots are blurry because I tried to let the camera find a proper shutter speed–much too slow.

I’ll figure it out. Until then I’m wasting frames which is frustrating.

This entry has a few quick panoramas. As always, click the photo for a larger more detailed view.


NBC Almost Gets It

As I type this, I am watching NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. It’s the Internet version, though I’m not sure what’s different between this and the newscast that aired earlier tonight over-the-air&#185.

As a Firefox browser user, MSNBC sites have given me problems in the past. Everything loaded perfectly tonight – painlessly. Maybe MSNBC has mended their ways.

Nightly News is streaming using the Windows Media protocol at 300 kbps. The video looks to be about 320×240 and is relatively sharp with a few glitches associated with motion. Brian Williams looks crisper on TV with more vivid colors… but not by much. I’m actually impressed with the quality.

Here’s where NBC has it wrong – and I’m afraid this shows they don’t totally understand how Internet streaming will be used. You can only watch this broadcast beginning to end, in real time. There is no ability to jump forward or back.

If you miss something, there’s no way to repeat without repeating everything you’ve already seen. Same if you want to skip ahead past a story you’re not interested in. Tough luck.

There is code on the webpage which turns off the Windows Media Player timeline and any of the standard ‘right click’ functions. There are probably ways to work around these shortcomings, but for most users, it is what it is.

This is the way I watched TV 20 years ago. I am used to more control. My DVR is more powerful. Certainly, the Internet and Windows Media Player allow more versatility, if that’s NBC’s desire.

I should be allowed to move forward and backward thought the timeline. In fact, the site should be set up with the ability to random access stories, probably at the click of a button.

At some point television networks and stations will have to come to grips with the difference between Internet viewing and over-the-air viewing. We will probably see shorter programs, but possibly longer individual stories. Once we can ‘request’ stories that interest us, more time and depth in reporting are a logical next step.

Maybe the idea of a program (at least for news) will disappear as you cherry pick what you want to see.

It’s funny, in this age when HDTV and huge sets seem to be the big thing, the tiny on-screen viewing window works just fine.

&#185 – Now that it’s over, I can report the commercials have been replaced by promos and the 30 minute newscast ran around 22 minutes.