Monday, January 30, 2012

Living Large and Crashing Hard

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Casting a Long Shadow

Darby Retreating to the House after a Late Afternoon Outdoors :: iPhone 4

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fultondale and the Tornado of January 23

Fultondale was largely spared by the EF3 tornado that swept across the Birmingham area early on the Morning of January 23, 2012...

...but it still bears the scars and open wounds of the EF5 that traversed much of the state on April 27, 2011. Many homes remain largely in the irreparable state which they have been in for nine months. Businesses bear promises of return that remain unfulfilled. The courses of lives forever altered.

In an attempt to help in some small part, I am donating to the Alabama Red Cross the proceeds from any prints from my website, ordered by the end of January. The Alabama Red Cross played a huge role in helping storm victims recover in April and the ensuing months, and has begun to do so again.

Primpin' Ain't Easy

North Birmingham, Alabama :: Canon Rebel T2i, Tokina AT-X 12-24mm f/4 @ 12mm, 1/320s @ f/4, ISO 400

Thursday, January 26, 2012


In the Spring of 2005, I moved into a small studio apartment in Birmingham's Southside. I stayed there until mid-2008, at which point it had become the residence in which I had lived the longest since I was eleven years old; and for another few months, that will remain true of that place. The apartment was only a couple hundred square feet; it was on the fifth floor, with no elevator; and the hundred-year-old building stank of a century of humanity. But it was an important time and place for me. I did a lot of writing, and growing, and becoming the person I am (for better or worse) while living there. This is that building's basement.

Canon A-1, FD 20mm f/2.8

Monday, January 23, 2012

Raising Funds for Tornado Relief in Alabama

For the second time in the last nine months, Alabama has been stricken by widespread severe weather. The destruction of the storms of January 23, 2012, is in no way comparable in scale to that suffered on April 27, 2011, but those affected are no less in need. Within the Birmingham area, the communities of Clay, Trussville, and Oak Grove were hit particularly hard. In an effort to help in some small part, I would like to do the following: the proceeds from any prints ordered using the code "Red Cross" on my website between now and the end of January will be donated to the Alabama Red Cross for their efforts in relieving those affected by the tornadoes of January 23, 2012.

Destruction  in Tuscaloosa, Alabama from the April 27, 2011 Tornado

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Capturing Antiquity :: Culling Young Minds

Many moons ago I picked up a 1912 copy of Arnold and Beatrice Gesell's book The Normal Child and Primary Education. I wasn't particularly interested in the content (though it did contain this gem: "Mumps disfigures a child's behavior long before it does his face.") so much as I found the cover very striking. On it was a rendering of a work by Lucy Fitch Perkins, entitled Strengthen the Little Hands That Must Carry on the World, but it looked much creepier than the title would indicate.

Canon Rebel T2i, Tokina AT-X 35mm f/2.8 Macro

Friday, January 20, 2012

Darby's Ice Capades

So here's how we amuse ourselves on slow afternoons...

...and this is how we entertain Darby in the evening when she's getting very sleepy, but it's not yet bedtime.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Capturing Antiquity :: Extraordinarily Old Literature from Copenhagen

I spent a few days alone in Copenhagen, Denmark, in July of 2004. And here are the sprinklings of memory that I have of that delightful city: a sculpture of Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid; writing my first ever short story, "Children the Grass Grew," while sitting in a park beside an inlet from the river (below, from which the bikes had just been salvaged-ish); writing my second short story, "Jolene," the following day in the same park [BRIEF ASIDE: I deliberated a great deal on whether or not to include the stories, as they are assuredly no great literary works, but eventually settled on doing so. Why not? If you care to read them, just click on the hyperlinks above; they will open PDF's containing the stories. And please, do not set your expectation bar too high. And one more foreword: the stories are a bit dark.]...

Canon A-1, FD 20mm f/2.8, Fuji Provia 100F

visiting the star-shaped fort Kastellet, where they were having live field exercises; walking through the very colorful Nyhavn Harbor and taking the requisite tourist photo (below); touring traveling solely by foot...

Canon A-1, FD 50mm f/1.4, Fuji Provia 100F

and attending open-air book sale at a church. This last even was the inspiration for this post. I picked up two things while there: a copy of the Bible printed in 1874 and wearing its age fairly well...

Canon Rebel T2i, Tokina AT-X 35mm f/2.8 Macro

and Jean Jacques Rousseau's Les Confessions printed by the Library of Paris sometime around the 1830s. The photograph below comes from its binding.

Canon Rebel T2i, Tokina AT-X 35mm f/2.8 Macro

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Capturing Antiquity :: Locomotion

Recently, I went through some of the old things that I have acquired or have been passed down to me over time. One of the more prized of my possessions of this nature is a pocket watch that I inherited. So this will be the first in a short series in which I have photographed a number of my very old things.

Canon Rebel T2i, Tokina AT-X 35mm f/2.8 Macro

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Fultondale Sky, a Time Lapse Video with Hero GoPro2

On January 6, 2012, I tested my GoPro Hero2 for its time lapse capabilities. I pre-set the camera to take 1 photo/sec at 5Mb for a bit more than three hours, resulting in about 9700 photos. Nothing spectacular here, but it is a nice exhibition of the camera's capabilities.

Another post featuring a brilliant sky in Fultondale can be found here, a sunrise I witnessed when out running a few months ago.

The GoPro Hero2 can be purchased at Amazon: GoPro HD HERO2.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Portrait Time

Yesterday, we decided to have portrait time with Darby and Anna. I think this occurred for a couple of reasons: a) we never take pictures of ourselves (In fact, Anna's statement on the matter was: 'You take pictures of bottles of olive oil, but not me.' True story, and inexplicable on my account); and b) I reckon the mood just struck us. So here are a couple of the more and less successful results. And doesn't our fence make a lovely backdrop?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Time Lapse on the GoPro Hero2

The other day I set up my GoPro Hero2 to do about a three-hour time lapse series from 2:15pm to 5:15pm. There were a lot of clouds, so it was going to be nice and dramatic around sunset. The camera performed flawlessly taking one 5Mp photo-per-second, for the duration. Then I started working on it and unrecoverably crashed my software with the 9000 photos I wanted it to process. Unfortunately, I didn't compose the shot cleanly enough, as you'll see a good bit of fence within the frame; that 170-degree field of view covers a lot of real estate. Nevertheless, here's what I have to show for my efforts so far; this is only about an hour's worth of photos.

UPDATE: The finished version of the video can now be found here: A Fultondale Sky.

The GoPro Hero2 can be purchased at Amazon: GoPro HD HERO2.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, Birmingham Mountain Radio

Last night we went to Workplay in Birmingham for the First Anniversary Party of Birmingham Mountain Radio, which purports itself to be "Birmingham's Alternative [to] Radio." Among the performers were Jesse Payne and my favorite local Matthew Mayfield.

I had neither heard nor heard of Jesse Payne before, but he was pretty good. I definitely plan to buy his EP Buffalo that dropped back in October.

Now Matthew Mayfield on the other hand. I am quite familiar with his work. He has numerous EPs and a full album that released earlier this year. My favorite of his albums came from his work with The Blue Cut Robbery, though its a bit of a limited offering.

Much thanks to Birmingham Mountain Radio, who has provided for the past year what has been so difficult to sustain in Birmingham...a viable alternative music station.

And as a special little nugget, I took the video below of Matthew Mayfield (opening for Needtobreathe) at Sloss Furnaces. The song "Still Alive" recounts Birmingham's infamous racial struggles of the past.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pine Grove at Black Creek Park

I have been to Black Creek Park in Fultondale on a number of occasions, mostly passing through during a run. But yesterday's visit was more slowly paced, as I was taking Darby on our longest walk yet. There are two copses of pine trees at the park, and I really like how the sun comes through them at various times of the day, but I have yet to photograph it, successfully representing its loveliness. A previous attempt from a few months ago can be found, here. And below is yesterday's effort.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Coming Early, Staying Late

As we march deeper into what passes for Winter down here in the South, ole' Jack Frost has been coming earlier and staying later with each new day.