Just a little experiment I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I’ve wanted to shoot the tunnel between stations because it’s something most subway riders never see or pay attention to. There’s some interesting architecture in the tunnels, and they’re not the black voids we tend to think of them as.
Here’s the same concept but in standard frame rate.
To celebrate an Instagram milestone, I’m offering a print sale.
Pick any one (or multiple) images from the grid above. You’ll get a signed, numbered limited edition archival pigment print, six by six inches on 8×10 inch paper. Each edition is limited to ten prints. $99 each, plus shipping. This sale runs through the end of October, or until the edition is sold out, whichever happens first, so act quickly. Makes a perfect gift for yourself or a loved one!
Email me through the blog: Scott at Dcphotoartist dot com and include “9for99” in the subject. Indicate which image(s) you want, #1 is top left, #9 is bottom right. Include your address to calculate shipping.
I took the Vermeer 6×17 pinhole out for a spin today after work. I tried to do some pre-visualization of what I'm going to get by swinging my iPhone in panorama mode. I'm posting examples of what I anticipate, plus views of the scene with the camera in action. I think I've mentioned this before, but in any case, the Vermeer 6×17 pinhole has a hemispheric film plane, which means no vignetting (light falloff toward the corners), and you can have a physically smaller camera given your frame size. But it does introduce curvilinear distortion- thus swinging the iPhone to mimic the effect.
I was a bit nervous taking the steps shot, as I was standing on private property for TWELVE MINUTES. It really felt like trespassing. Fortunately no residents of either house came in or out during that twelve minutes.
I don't have an "action" shot for this one, as I was in a hurry to wrap up this exposure to try and get over to P Street while the setting sun was still above the tree and roof line. It was casting some beautiful warm sunset light that I just HAD to photograph (I posted a shot to my Instagram feed (@DCPhotoArtist if you're interested in my instagramming. It's very much one end of the spectrum of the work I do- 99% iPhone photography, spur of the moment kind of stuff).
The iPhone has had a major impact on personal photography. While it’s nowhere near as capable as my Fuji X-T1, it is both an exceptionally capable and flexible photographic implement, and the camera you always have with you. One of the very cool built-in features is the panorama function. On my way home from work today I was having fun playing with it, and testing out the low-light quality simultaneously.
As you can see, you achieve a panoramic image by swinging the camera from left to right (or in some cases top to bottom- This can also be reversed and swung the other way). You can do an up to 360-degree image. Because of the rotation of the camera, you get linear distortion.
When used carefully, This can make for some interesting images. The curves really highlight the shapes and the light in the scene. Used poorly, it can drag your eye (and hold it) in an ugly and/or uninteresting part of the image.
Another effect is if you have subjects moving through the scene, they can get stretched or compressed, depending on their speed of motion and direction, relative to the camera’s rotation. You can see that very clearly in this image.
Nighttime exposures present some challenges to image quality, especially when combined with the swinging of the camera to stitch together the exposure.
A turtle grabbing some lunch in one of the ponds at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington DC. I know I don’t shoot or post much video, but this was a nice, short clip I shot this afternoon that I wanted to share. Shot on my iPhone 6.
Another pairing of iPhone vs. Rollei in the battle of “the best camera is the camera you have”:
I was lucky that I got back around with the Rollei to take this shot because within a week of my return with the Rollei, construction crews had started work on the building and Mother Mary of the Takeout Passthru, the not-so-baby Jesus and the One-Eyed Wonder beneath them had been removed and replaced by a fresh sheet of plywood. Gone was the shrine to the blessed deli, replaced by the altar of rapid gentrification.
A while back I posted an item about sometimes the best camera is the camera you have with you at the time you need to take a picture. Certainly, there may be other cameras that are better suited to the task at hand, but they don’t do you any good if you don’t have them with you. To whit, the first image. I came upon this bit of graffiti in an alley between two buildings. It’s almost as if it were an art installation in itself, the way it’s situated. When I first saw it, the camera I had on hand was my iPhone. It certainly did a good job of capturing the scene.
I promised to come back with my Rolleiflex to photograph it again, to see how different the two cameras’ visions were, and how they rendered the scene differently.
It’s not really a fair comparison, given that the sensor for the iPhone is the size of a Q-tip, if that, and the film in my Rolleiflex is 2 1/4 inches square, or about 300 times the size. Also, the lens has a different field of view- the iPhone is somewhere between a 28mm and 35mm lens’ field of view (moderately wide-angle), translated into 35mm equivalent, whereas the lens on my Rollei is a “normal” (50mm equivalent). The two cameras give very different renderings of the scene – the iPhone gives you much more of a sense of the space, whereas the Rollei makes the graffiti the star of the show.
Here is the locked gateway to the space where the graffiti is. Now you can get a sense of the drama of it – it’s hidden behind a locked gate, guarded like some treasure on display at more than an arm’s distance.
Some more transportation photos. In France, they have the national rail network, which has two grades of TGV-class trains: the long-distance, high speed trains (the one that goes from Paris to Marseilles in 3 hours) and the not-so-fast trains that stop more places. They also have regional trains that connect the smaller cities and larger towns, and then around Paris there are the RER trains that run on a separate set of tracks from the Metro, but it interfaces with and extends the Metro network.
You’ve already seen my TGV photos. Here is one of the regional trains at the station in Chalon, on the Burgundy province network.
Wouldn’t it be cool to commute on a train like that every day?
Here’s another view of that train, from the platform at Chalon. You can see the name of the station on the sign under the awning over the platform.
Although not specifically depicting trains, I had to include this shot here, as it was in plain view from the platform of the Dijon rail station. If you watched tv in the US between the 1970s to 1990s, this will probably tickle your funny bone.
Finally, two more transportation images that have nothing whatsoever to do with trains, but instead are bicycle related. France is bike-infatuated, after all it is the home of the Tour De France. Will this be the new look on next year’s Tour?
Some would say cycling shorts can’t go away fast enough as a fashion piece; I think they should stay, as they prevent both chafing and blindness.
A very different take on bike-based transportation is this, spotted at the plaza in front of Notre Dame:
A very different, less aerodynamic sense of fashion dominates this cyclists ensemble. Equal risk of putting out someone’s eye, but from a totally different cause.
Whenever you travel, of course it involves transportation. I suppose I could call this post “trains, planes and automobiles”, although cars were the least feature of this trip for me. Starting off with planes, the return flight from Paris was on an Air France Airbus A380. I had wanted to see what one was like since they were announced back in the late 1990s. Thanks to my dad splurging on our plane tickets, we had seats in the premium economy section, which put us on the upper deck of the plane. Perhaps because of its size, the A380 was the smoothest riding plane I can recall flying in.
Here it is at the gate at Charles De Gaulle airport.
One other neat feature of the plane is that in the entertainment console in the headrest, one option is to view the tail cam. They have a camera somewhere near the top of the tail rudder that has a view of the aircraft and the landscape below it. Here it is, on the approach to Dulles International Airport:
Most of my travels within France were train based. I took the Metro within Paris, a commuter train to Versailles, and a TGV to Chalon. The TGV to Chalon was not the famous super-fast train that goes to Marseilles in 3 hours, but nonetheless, it’s a fast, smooth, quiet train that pivots as it goes around curves.
Paris Metro scenes:
The Monnaie station (the Mint) had these large ceramic replica coins flowing up the wall, over the ceiling and on to the wall of the opposite platform. The platform also had this giant antique coin press on display:
I wish they would do things like that here in the Washington DC metro.
Here’s a take on the same station in black-and-white.
And another view of the Metro in motion:
I took a TGV from Paris to Chalon-sur-Saone to go visit the home of Nicephore Niepce, the original inventor of photography. To say that my train trip was an adventure would be fairly accurate – my first train, which was supposed to take me directly to Chalon, instead took me to Besancon, which is a scant 60km from the Swiss border. I had to take three more trains to end up in Chalon, two and a half hours after I was supposed to arrive there.
It all worked out ok in the end, and the return trip was far less adventurous. Here is the Gare D’ Lyon, my starting (and ending) point in Paris: