Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Here's one of the tributaries to the creek itself. Like a lot of places this year, there's been a lot of precipitation causing plenty of runoff. The good part of that is it feeds the green; the bad part is it made the trail really muddy and slippery in spots.
This last one may seem kind of plain, but I find it very relaxing for some reason, the image of the narrow trunks snaking up through the leaves.
Monday, May 30, 2011
They have several tigers at the zoo, and they were one of my favorite attractions. Working with a zoom though, I didn't get many good pictures, as they were constantly moving. This is about the best, and on a quick glance, I guess you might mistake the setting for some African savannah (though I think these were actually Indian tigers).
The penguins all marched down to check out the visitors hanging out around their habitat. They seemed like some down-to-earth guys, despite the formal wear.
Unlike the tigers, this guy was standing completely stock still the whole time we watched him. I was hoping he'd turn his head and give us a smile, but no such luck.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Spade & Archer is a really fine attempt to recapture the air and voice of Hammett's best known work, The Maltese Falcon. Gores has been down this road before-- back in the seventies, I read his novel imagining Hammett's own transition from Pinkerton operative to author, just titled Hammett. Wim Wenders later turned that into a pretty decent film (and I still hope he someday undertakes a movie version of Hammett's Red Harvest, set in rough and rowdy Butte, America in the years after World War I). Anyway, Gores recent effort is actually a prequel to The Maltese Falcon, providing a back story for its protagonist Sam Spade (I find it difficult not to picture him as a dead ringer for Humphrey Bogart, who played the character in the 1940 John Huston-directed film). It's no insult to say that Gores is no Hammett, but he's a good story-teller with a great skill for setting the scene, in this case San Francisco in the 1920s. One difference between him and Hammett, from my perspective, is that while Hammett wrote detective stories, Gores writes mysteries. The difference is in the emphasis-- whether one focuses more on character or plot development. Because it's less likely to be constrained by genre conventions, I'm inclined to find the former more interesting, and that's where Hammett excelled. Gores is better in the latter area, so the story is compelling, but occasionally seems like little more than the sprinkling of clues (I guessed the bad guy at the start of the last part of the novel) with characters doing things not because of who they are but because of what needed to be done at that moment. It helps of course, when you are dealing with characters (or, at least the main character) whose persona is already pretty well known to the reader. Again, I don't want to say this is a major fault-- no one working the in the hard-boiled tradition should bristle at falling short in a comparison with Hammett. This book doesn't make me want to go out and find everything else that Gores has written, but I was genuinely entertained throughout, and am glad I read it.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Some boats on Elliott Bay, including the big ferry chugging into view at the left.
Is it safe to call Mt. Rainier the most famous landmark of Seattle? Personally, I find it much more impressive than the Space Needle, even though in this shot looking southeast from West Seattle, the mountain was about sixty or seventy miles away!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
I don't actually know what any of these flowers are called, but I enjoyed playing around with getting some sharp images by closing in on my subjects. I also like how the background is rendered quite fuzzy.
As is often the case as I discover more ways to play with my camera, I hope to keep experimenting on these close-ups, and I'll likely post more examples of what I come up with here.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Last week, I asked you to identify some eyes, and Lizzie recognized that they belonged to Gerik (she also finally got the previous week's quiz answer, identifying Eileen as the person sitting next to Maria and Natalie on the hayride). Good luck this week!
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
The goal was to capture what it looked like with just the stage lights illuminating the performers, and that meant longer exposures which lent an impressionistic tone to the images (as in the top picture and the one below).
Another alternative was to use software to adjust the exposure, but while that brought out a bit more detail (in its initial state, you couldn't make out the smile on the singer's face below), it really makes for some odd coloring. Maybe a little more work will get that part right. I consider all of these to be works-in-progress. The last set I posted from this event were enhanced (I think) by converting them to black and white, but I wanted to see if I couldn't make the color work too.