Category Archives: Photos

Oil Drip Bullseye

An Instagram photo of mine from 2011, which had remained at the start of my iPhone’s photo roll through 2 different iPhone upgrades. Originally taken with an iPhone 4. Lived for 2 years on an iPhone 5, untouched. Now deleted off an iPhone 6.

Oil Spot

A Week around the Olympic Peninsula

Finally, here’s the re-cap of the Olympic Peninsula trip I took with my parents in the first week of September. Words don’t do the sights a lot of justice, so I’ll keep this brief and point you back to all the photos I’ve been posting in the past few weeks (which I’m sure most of you have seen). I’ve also finally gotten through sorting all my pocket camera shots, and added them to this Olympic Peninsula photo set.

The first day, we set out from Seattle and caught the Bainbridge Island ferry across the water, and then drove North to Port Angeles in the morning. From there, we spent the afternoon up Hurricane Ridge taking in the spectacular mountain views.

A night in Port Angeles, then the next morning off to the shore near La Push, where we enjoyed our first taste of the Pacific beaches.

Black and White Sea Stacks

We knew we were heading to more beaches, so we headed inland to the Hoh Rainforest for the afternoon. The bright sun and beautiful weather surprised everyone including the Park Rangers. After our necks got sore from all the looking up at the trees, we headed back out to the shore and a little ways South to Kalaloch.

We spent two nights and days enjoying endless beach walking and photo ops at Kalaloch. It made for a nice break after a couple days of driving.

The final two-night stop on the trip was inland again to Lake Quinalt, and it’s accompanying rainforests, and old lodge (FDR visited there and was so impressed with the surroundings, he helped found the Olympic National Park).

I did my best to plot my photos using Flickr’s map here. You should be able to scroll through the photos by recency to see where everything was taken. If you want to see the full driving route we followed, here’s the route on Google Maps.

Enjoying Photo Overload

Since starting at the big daddy of photography, I’ve certainly been surrounded by imagery. Given that photography was a hobby of mine before then, I was a little worried that the interest would wane after being around photos all day long. Thankfully not.

Surveillance Cameras Surveillance Camera Duo

Some of the photo stuff I’m enjoying:

  • Linked before, The Big Picture blog puts together some great galleries on current world events.
  • Go install the Cooliris (formerly Piclens) plugin now! Exploring their selections, or browsing Flickr photostreams is so very cool-looking, and more practical than clicking “Next” page after page. (When the plugin doesn’t mess up, of course)
  • Browse the Getty Images Olympics coverage (also Piclens/Cooliris enabled!) for some great stuff.
  • My new lens, and my first Canon “L series” lens. Expensive, but totally worth it. I still need to shoot a side by side comparison with my first kit lens (similar wide angle) to show the quality difference.
  • I’m still posting some to my other Flickr photostream, but that’s getting to be a bit much with the iPhone and pocket camera (plus video mode) all contributing to the photo backlog.
  • Weird Olympics photos from the Guardian.
  • I keep hearing great things about the new version of Adobe Lightroom and will have to check it out, but I’m loving my Aperture workflow. Good organization tools, auto-tagging with the FlickrExport plugin, and all the adjustments I ever used from Photoshop.

Last September, I wrote this summary of three years with Flickr, and reaching the 1,000 photo-upload mark. Less than a year later, I’ve broken the mark of 2,000 photos on Flickr (somewhere in the midst of my bulk dodgeball photo upload). And in last year’s post, I claimed 32,000 views of my photos, but I think that was actually the view count for my photostream. Total views of my photos has now just topped the 150,000 mark, which I think is pretty crazy. Who are these people?

I guess I’ll keep taking photos as long as there’s stuff to be seen, and people keep looking.

Flickr and Getty are Dating

To borrow Heather Champ‘s language from the discussion thread:

This is just the announcement of our relationship (like, we’ve just started dating).

Here’s the official announcement on the Flickr blog, and the basic FAQ that’s started.

Congrats to all involved! Being an avid Flickr-ite and a recent employee of the big G, I can’t wait to see it come together from both angles. I expect the usual mix of confusion and backlash from the announcement, but I have no doubt it’ll all work out in the end.

Artopia 2008

This past Saturday I ventured down to the Georgetown neighborhood to check out Artopia. It was an exciting mish-mash of galleries, installations, performances, and people generally expressing themselves in interesting ways. Where else can you find power tool races, opera singers in an old brewery, and graffiti artists tasked with covering a delivery truck all mixed together. I shot more than 400 photos while I was there, and whittled the best down to 60 or so, which I’ve posted here.

Artopia Graffiti Wall

I ran into a few friends of mine while there, all of whom recommended I check out the Gallagher impersonator (artist Christopher Pfeifle) later in the afternoon. At about 5:15, I found the alley where he was just about to start. Almost half of the photos I shot from the day were from his performance. It was hilarious and spot-on. I remember watching that comedy special as a kid and just marveling at the absurdity. As an adult, the hot afternoon alley-way sideshow performance was even better. Check out the action shots, fake moustache, and flying fruit

Gallagher at Artopia Gallagher at Artopia

Utility Fixture Binge

While out driving for various errands, I took it as an excuse to explore some new neighborhood back-alleys for utility fixtures and see what I could find. The results are in… I uploaded a batch of 26 brand new photos to my growing collection of utility fixtures which now tops 150 images.

Utility Fixture

Followed by plenty more photos from my wanderings. Neighborhoods represented include Greenwood, Ballard, and Fremont.

PicLens Abstract Digital Glitch Art

Yesterday I fired up the slick PicLens plugin to play more extensively after only ever seeing videos or over-the-shoulder pieces of it. It really is an awesome plugin and smoothly panned through my various Flickr and Facebook photo feeds and searches. While browsing through some of my historical Flickr stream, I ran across this awesome bug/glitch/computer-expressing-itself-through-art feature:



The top one was the first I saw on my screen and I loved it. I went straight for the screenshot keys a couple times and then gingerly closed the window, hoping it wouldn’t be lost. To my relief, I was able to reproduce the glitch on some more photos. I started browsing my photostream for bunches of photos that might look good all mashed up together. Whatever the bug was, it didn’t really follow predictable rules, so many of my rational creative attempts were in vain.

The bug was also very intermittent. I’d scroll through a few screens of photos with nothing, and then finally get another surprise. But still, this process went on for longer than I’d like to admit. As you can see, there was an occasional continuity or pattern in the images, but not all. I like the glimpses of eyes, faces, or occasional landmarks sneak into focus in some panels.

What a beautiful bug! Some people pay hundreds of dollars for filters or plugins like this! Thank you. (not sarcasm, it really is fun)

PS – PicLens: If this is your bug, I was not able to reproduce this when looking at Facebook albums, only my Flickr stream so far. Browser: Firefox 3.0 Beta, Mac. It happened on clicking for a larger view of an image in the default view. When the higher-res photo finished loading, it would display as the glitchy image. They sometimes show the background window contents appearing in places. Following the link to the original image site, the photos always appeared OK.

PPS – Mozilla Firefox 3.0: If this is your bug, I’m using 3.0 on a fully patched Mac OS X 10.3. I think I had Bloglines and another Flickr page open in other tabs.

PPPS – Apple OS X/iMac: If this is your bug with system, drivers, or graphics card, well, see above if that helps. I don’t want to go buying another computer right now. :)

Smith Garage Door Accident

Friday evening I was on my way to meet a friend at the bar Smith in our neighborhood and upon rounding the corner I saw a firetruck, ambulance and a large crowd of people gathered outside. As I got closer I noticed there was something not-quite-right about the garage door that usually covers the front. There were large blood spots on the sidewalk in front and a guy lying down on the side holding a wound somewhere on his head/face.

Smith Garage Door Accident

The Stranger’s blog had more info from Friday night (with commenters joking that the Stranger is always first to report news at bars), and details confirming the victim will be OK. And Smith was open for business the next day with a few jury-rigged windows. Just beware of the vicious garage door attacks!

New York City Visit and Photos

I finally caught up on all the photos I took while visiting New York City last week. Here’s the main batch with the usual assortment of street art, buildings and urban scenes. I also put together a small set of New York City standpipes in the tradition of my ongoing obsession with utility fixtures.

Green and Red Standpipes

And here’s another whole set of photos from my pocket camera (also the only wide-angle I had with me), which includes more snapshots around the city.

The highlight of the trip was also the main reason I was there, the NYU Medical School graduation. It’s still hard to believe that my sister is now a doctor! The graduation ceremony itself was quite good, with some inspiring speeches, and the celebration afterward continued late into the night with a lot of happy new M.Ds.

And with any trip to New York, there was plenty of delicious and varied food (and drink) every day. I also made it to the Whitney Museum to catch the Whitney Biennial on a rainy afternoon. The amount of new art packed into the space was overwhelming, especially for someone like me who enjoys reading the full descriptions of nearly every piece (with contemporary art it’s almost a requirement in order to understand what’s going on). There was also a collection of early Maplethorpe polaroids. It was fun seeing a new photographer’s experiments in the instant-photo medium of the day, much like we all play with digital these days.

Until my next visit, thanks for the continued good times, New York!

Internationally Published Photographer? Dubai?

About a month ago I got a message on Flickr from a Japanese publishing company, CONEX Asia Network, requesting to use a photo of mine in a business magazine of theirs. Even more surprising was that they wanted to use it for Dubai Business Today which, “focuses on informing Japanese businessmen the various aspects of Dubai and the United Arab of Emirates in general.” The photo they asked about was this shot I took of the Las Vegas construction. Apparently, Dubai World is investing in the new MGM Mirage City Center project. I agreed to the request and asked for a credit on the photo, as well as a copy of the magazine, if possible. I didn’t expect to hear another word.

Lo and behold, yesterday in my mail was a large envelope from Japan, via airmail from Hong Kong. Inside was a copy of the October issue of Dubai Business Today, entirely in Japanese. And sure enough, in the middle of the magazine, as part of an inset article was my photo and name. It’s too bad that the caption and credit take up a lot of space at the bottom of the photo, but it’s still pretty cool (click the thumbnail at right for a larger view of the article). Does anyone read Japanese and want to tell me what it all says? So far, I’ve figured out the parts that are “MGM”.

I guess now I can officially call myself an “Internationally Published Photographer” or something. What a strange small world where I can visit Vegas for the first time… post a photo on the internet… and 6 months later it’s stumbled-upon and then published in a Japanese magazine about Dubai.

3 Years of Flickr and 1000 Photos

Sunset in Jordan, first photo posted to Flickr Somewhere in the midst of uploading bunches of photos from my New York trip, I surpassed 1000 uploaded photos on Flickr. This really isn’t a lot considering I’ve got tens of thousands more that I’ve taken, and many Flickr accounts have a few thousand photos here and there. From the start, I decided to be a little more selective with what I shared (everything is public by default, afterall), and see what else was out there. Just over 1000 photos now, 3 years later, equates to about 1 photo every day. They came in fits and starts, but if I can keep that up for another 3 or 10 years, I’ll be happy.

When I first started using Flickr in 2004, I was immediately hooked by many aspects of the site, but by far the most exciting for me wasn’t their fancy Flash (remember it used to be Flash back then?) Organizer, it was the idea of “community involvement by default” (public photos). This seemed scary at first (not to mention different from most other photo sharing sites at the time), but was completely engaging and kept me coming back. People were commenting, adding favorites, inviting to groups and generally connecting over each other’s photos. I immediately wanted to come back and post more to see what else I might discover.

And now for a little more trivia…

Thoughts on the Olympic Sculpture Park

I finally made it down to the Olympic Sculpture Park this past weekend. It was still quite crowded 3 weeks after opening, but not nearly the mess it was on opening weekend. The setting is quite impressive for what it is. There’s plenty of well-landscaped space, and you hardly notice the busy Elliott Ave running right underneath you.

On the downside, the only real view from the park is looking West and a bit South, and while it’s a really great view of the sound and the Olympic Mountains, every other direction is a massive block of trendy new condominiums. That’s just what you get in Belltown. The Space Needle is visible in a few places, but is mostly obscured by the buildings. On the Western-most side of the park, you can look South all the way along the train tracks to Pioneer Square, which is pretty cool.

The sculpture itself was presented really well, except for the flourescent blue signage that was everywhere, asking people not to touch anything. The signs were a more common conversation topic than some of the art. And people were still touching everything. I’m a big fan of Alexander Calder, so his Eagle was a favorite, along with Richard Serra’s Wake. I do miss having the Calder right in my neighborhood in Volunteer Park, but the new location is a bit more fitting.

I look forward to heading back on a sunnier day, and catching some sunsets from the park. And for now I’ve got a small set of photos that most everyone gets from walking around the park:

Olympic Sculpture Park

FILE Magazine Project: Utility Fixtures

Utility Fixture I’m happy to share that my Utility Fixtures photos have been featured as a project on FILE Magazine. You can enter the gallery from the project intro page here. The project gallery is just a subset (with most of my favorites) of my growing collection of 70+ fixtures. There’s also a new Flickr pool for Gas Meters that’s growing quickly. I even recognize a familiar one.

And a Little More Halloween

I finished up this year’s Halloween season with one more party last night. There were some Katamari Damacy characters, some creepy cross-dressing, the Dude from Big Lebowski, and a Jack in the Box “Jack” with papier mache head (there was one at our company party too). And of course there were a fair number of sexy costumes.

When I was starting to visit the costume and thrift stores to figure out my costume this year, what I found most amusing were the “instant” kits for various costumes. You can see a few instant costume kits here. “Instant Hippie” is a headband, peace sign necklace and Lennon sunglasses. “Instant Rapper” (yes, I purchased one) is a $ sign ring, #1 bling necklace and fake gold teeth. Who knew it was so easy to become a rapper! And of course there were the various Instant Pirate Kits that included assorted combinations of hats, hooks, eyepatches, and bandanas. The definitions of “cliche” are, “the idea expressed by a trite phrase or expression” or, “something that has become overly familiar or commonplace”. I find it amazing that we can boil down a character idea, or an entire genre into 3 simple accessories. Maybe that’s the new definition of cliche. If you can create an “Instant ___ Kit” for it, with 3 over-priced “Made in China” accessories, than your idea has truly become “overly familiar or commonplace.”

And lastly, I leave you with one more photo from our company Halloween party. I bet you didn’t know Flavor Flav was teaming up with U2…

Flavor Flav with Bono and the Edge