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to my personal photography blog. I specialize in making unique and highly detailed photographs. Notice I said making and not taking. Yes I take photos but a lot of time and work is involved in pushing and punishing the pixels in my images to achieve the look I like.

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Can't we all just get along?

Entries in Architecture (15)


The View From Here

This is the Great Hall inside the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, Washington DC. It's a pretty impressive space. Kathy and I visited it on a whim, walking over from the US Capitol Building after taking the tour there. As you can see it was packed with tourists. Next time I want to be there when they open. No tripods allowed so this was taken by balancing the camera on the marble railing that surrounds the perimeter of the hall. Built in 1890, this building is one of the most beautiful places I've seen in DC.


Is This Room Stretching?

This is the Los Angeles Natural History Museum's Rotunda built in 1913. The statue in the center, "The Three Muses" was the museum's first exhibit. For those who are wondering, this was taken hand held, and consists of 3 vertically stitched shots, each being a HDR image derived from 3 additional exposures. This location has been used in films and TV shows quite a bit.

Heavenly Light (and Timing)

I was sitting in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero, San Francisco when the sun's diurnal track across the sky allowed it to quite suddenly shine directly into the vast, towering space, illuminating it beautifully. While very long, the roof skylight isn't very wide so the effect only lasted about 10 minutes but it was cool! I was fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time with a camera and tripod.



I saw a photo of this atrium on a Washington DC tour book. I showed it to Kathy and she said "I know where that is, National Portrait Gallery." We were staying not too far away so we visited. The evening was really nice, with cool temperatures and the undulating atrium roof was spectacular. The locals seem to hang out here, buying coffee and pastries and chatting one another up. Kathy is sitting on a planter on the left patiently waiting for me to finish shooting some photos and video. The "no tripods" rule is in full force here so to get this shot, I had to hold my camera over my head and press it firmly against a wall while shooting 3 frames for this HDR composite. I was able to hold it perfectly still and it worked just fine. After walking around the nearly empty galleries, we walked to a local restaurant in the fading light and had dinner.

Self Evident Truths

Thomas Jefferson was only 33 years old when he became the principal author of the declaration of independence. That along with being the third president of the United States makes for a pretty impressive resume. Pictured here is the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. Beautifully situated at the edge the tidal basin and surrounded by cherry blossom trees which bloom to life each April, this memorial which is housed in a pantheon like domed structure is not a sight to be missed. The walls contain excerpts of Jefferson's most notable writings including an one from the declaration of independence.


Gotham City Blues

Gotham City Blues, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

This is the First Church of Christ - Scientist in Boston again. This shot was taken during the blue hour just before darkness fell. Rain was falling intermittently, the security guards were keeping a close eye on me. They were just out of the shot on the left during this sequence. Two different guards asked me what I was doing there. I told them I was enjoying the fine Boston weather and waiting for the bat signal to appear in the forboding clouds above.


Reign On Me

Reign On Me, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

I had just bailed out of a session at the "HOW Design Live" conference because the instructor began spouting his liberal political views. Not just the odd comment either. He started preaching his particular view of how things should be and seemingly forgot the topic of the class. This actually happened to me twice during HOW.

Anyway, upon entering the hallway at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, I immediately noticed that the lighting outside looked baleful. As I approached the floor to ceiling windows in front of me, I could see more and more of a huge storm cloud that was advancing on the building I was in. I could clearly see it was dumping rain in the area of Fenway Park about 3/4 of a mile away. I saw several bolts of lightning flash from somewhere within this towering and churning mass. I began shooting hand held HDR sequences when a brilliant flash momentarily blinded me followed just a second later with the loudest thunderclap I had ever heard. A split-second later It seemed that every car alarm in the area was wailing in unison. The streets were suddenly flooded with water and convention center security began moving everyone away from the windows. Less than 10 minutes later, the worst of this storm had moved on leaving the buildings, trees, and streets completely drenched and full of reflections. It was time for dinner and I was ready to walk around and make a few more images.


Will you call my name?

Will you call my name?, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

This is Boston again. I was told this is the largest Apple store in the U.S. I guess Apple has found it neccessary to post a night guard because the store was already closed. I wonder if he stands out there all night?

A couple of funny things happened while I was trying to make this image. First, the girl you see standing with the night guard kept asking him "Why don't you ever call me?" and he kept saying "I've been pretty busy." Then she said "Let me give you my phone number again, we should go out and do something, give me a call." He took her number and said in a very non-committal manner that he would try. For any women who read this, here's some advice. If a man doesn't call you after you've given him your number several times and made it clear you're interested, he's never going to call. Furthermore, you probably don't want this guy in your life. Move on to someone else.

Second funny thing: I was about half way through a 30 second exposure when this strange guy walks up to my camera which was mounted on my tripod, and put his head directly in front of the lens, looked into it from about 6" away and asked "Whatcha doin', taking pictures?"



Don't you forget about me

I had spotted this cool old fire house from the windows of the Hynes Convention Center during my first day in Boston. Later that evening my work colleague Mike and I walked over so I could make a few HDR sequences of it. It turned out we were just in time for the end of the blue hour. Fifteen minutes later I was taking photographs of the Apple Store down the street and all color had left the sky. The firehouse was massive and once housed a police station. It was opened on February 20, 1888. If this had been built in Los Angeles, the city council would have long since declared it an eye sore, had it torn down and replaced with a parking lot.


Think of the tender things that we were working on

I was in Boston last week for the HOW Design conference. The weather was often humid, stormy and rainy. In other words perfect for HDR photography. Boston is in no way lacking in wonderful architecture, so when I could, I tried to make some images. This is the first church of Christ - Scientist which was built in 1894 and expanded in 1906. I really loved this huge reflecting pond located in the Plaza. I wish it had been more glassy but the wind was blowing and rain was intermittently falling. The clouds were very dramatic and in fact not long after taking this sequence it rained really hard. The church asks that photographs taken from the plaza (as this image was) not be sold or used commercially. So no sales of this image. Sorry.