Bandwidth Frittering and Shutterbuggery by Jay Lee
Category Archives: Photography
Comicpalooza 2015

Annual pilgrimage to Comicpalooza. Seeing Mayor Annise Parker in the Mach 5 was especially satisfying.

Mayor Annise Parker and The Mach 5

Mayor Annise Parker and The Mach 5

Comicpalooza

Uncanny Xmen

Comicpalooza

Avoiding Copyright Infringement

As someone who has had his photos stolen too many times to count, I have heard all the excuses you can imagine. With that in mind, I created this helpful infographic.

photo

Kaufmann’s Posographe exposure calculator from the 1920’s

Kaufmann’s Posographe is an analog mechanical computer for calculating six-variable photographic functions to determine exposure time for taking indoor or outdoor photographs, depending on which side you use.

From the History Of Computing site:

poso1At first glance this is just a small rectangular plate, about 13 x 8 cm, covered with dense scribbles, with seven pointers fixed to its frame. Then you realize that the pointers are not fixed, but can slide on the frame… and then you note that they are somehow interconnected — moving any of the small ones will move the larger one this way or that. Strange. But when you see the diagram of the inner mechanism you realize what this is, and it can take your breath away. Kaufmann’s Posographe is nothing less than an analog mechanical computer for calculating six-variable functions. Specifically, it computes the exposure time (Temps de Pose) for taking photographs indoors or out (depending on which side you use). The input variables are set up on the six small pointers; the large pointer then gives you the correct time. The variables are very detailed, yet endearingly colloquial. For outdoors, they include the setting — with values like “Snowy scene”, “Greenery with expanse of water”, or “Very narrow old street”; the state of the sky — including “Cloudy and somber”, “Blue with white clouds”, or “Purest blue”; The month of the year and hour of the day; the illumination of the subject; and of course the aperture (f-number). For indoor photos, we have the colors of the walls and floor; the location of the subject relative to the windows (depending also on the number of windows, and indicated by the little diagrams); the extent of sky in the window, as seen from the location of the subject (again illustrated in little pictures); the sunlight level outside, and how much of it, if any, enters the room; and the aperture. The output indicator actually has four points, designed to show the respective exposure times for different emulsion types.

The first one I came across was the French version which seems to be the most common version. I found it at a shop in Paris, via their Web site. I was able to have a friend in Amsterdam contact his friend in Paris to go to the shop and purchase it for me. His friend delivered it to him and he brought to me in Texas when he came for a visit. It has its own carrying case and it is quite ornate.

Le Posographe Case

Le Posographe - Exterior Photography Side

Le Posographe - Interior Photography Side

Le Posographe Detail - 6

Later, I came to find out that the device was made not only in French, but German, Spanish and English. After a bit of searching, I found the English version

Le Posographe - English Version

Le Posographe - English Version

Le Posographe - Detail 1

Le Posographe - Detail 3

The Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes

Awhile back a good friend loaned me a kaleidoscope that was fitted to be attached to the end of a camera lens. I attached it to my 50mm Sony lens and went to Discovery Green to shoot some stylized photos of The Fab 40, a Beatles tribute band headed up by David Blassingame. Apparently there’s a name for this artistic style that I applied to my photography. It’s called “Vorticism” which started out as a short-lived modernist movement in British art and poetry of the early 20th century and was partly inspired by Cubism.

These are my “vortographs”

Fab 40 @ Discovery Green 10-4-2014

Fab 40 @ Discovery Green 10-4-2014

Fab 40 @ Discovery Green 10-4-2014

London – Day 14

We took today to go to the National Portrait Gallery as Cynthia wanted to see the Tudor and Elizabethan portraits. You see these paintings all the time in various context but seeing them in person is quite remarkable.

From there we decided to go to Fortnam and Mason to have high tea. When we got there it was still closed and they would not open till noon. We did notice that there were barricades up for the New Years Day parade so we decided to watch part of that as it was only about an hour away.

Interestingly enough, most of the marching bands were from Texas.

London New Years Parade

There were bands from Austin and Dallas as well.

There were also some London specific entries to the parade

London New Years Parade

London New Years Parade

London New Years Parade

London New Years Parade

We stayed and watched the parade for about an hour before deciding it was too cold and headed inside of Fortnam and Mason to experience high tea.

Fortnam and Mason Staircase

We enjoyed a nice tea and a tray of finger sandwiches and made our way back to the hotel to pack. Tonight we had our going away dinner and are preparing to come home.

cynrthiafortnam

It has been a wonderful trip to London.

London – Day 13

Up Periscope

Today our plan was to go see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. We got there early and staked out a great spot for watching the ceremony.

Changing Of The Guard At Buckingham Palace

Changing Of The Guard At Buckingham Palace

Changing Of The Guard At Buckingham Palace

Changing Of The Guard At Buckingham Palace

One of the reasons we had a good spot for viewing the ceremony is due to the fact that we met a remarkable man who was also there to see the changing of the guard. His name is Michael and he is 80 years old and was one of the children evacuated during the blitz in WWII.

Our new friend, Michael

He was a wealth of information about the war, the crown and London in general. After the ceremony he invited us to a pub to have a drink and then proceeded to walk with us all around Westminster. He showed us many things and told us many stories as we walked and talked for hours.

Westminster Abbey

After we finished our specially guided mini-tour with this amazing man we found our way back to the hotel to freshen up, get some dinner and prepare for the evening’s festivities.

Good friends and good times for NYE 2015 in London

Though we are not usually the type of people who go out on new years eve, we had managed to secure tickets to attend the The Mayor of London’s NYE 2014 Fireworks which takes place on the Thames River. Since they had limited ticket sales to 100,000 we felt that it might not be TOO crowded to go down and ring in the new year with a mass of London revellers. It really turned out quite well. It felt safe and the people were so fun and friendly. We met up with our friends Michael and Katrina and rang in the new year in amazing style. The fireworks display was one of the best I have ever seen in my life. Words can’t even describe what it was like to stand there and have the London Eye erupt right before your eyes.

New Years Eve - London

New Years Eve - London

Fortunately our hotel is not too far from the site where the celebration was held so we were able to walk home after the event rather than have to try and crowd into the subway or find a cab.

What a fantastic day! Tomorrow is our last full day and we will likely take it easy as we get ready to come home.

London – Day 12

Things are truly winding down now. We’re taking it easy in hopes that if we save our energy we might be able to stay up tomorrow night and join in the new years eve celebrations which include a huge fireworks display at midnight over the London Eye.

We spent the morning just trundling around along the North Bank. Nothing much to report for today’s adventures so here’s some photos of Cynthia and me wearing the London Eye like a sombrero.

St. Cynthia

Lonon Eye

London – Day 11

cynstpauls

Another great day of sunshine. Cynthia had said she wanted to climb to the top of St. Paul’s while in London so we made our way to the cathedral after breakfast. We explored the cathedral (no photography allowed inside} and, knowing I could never make the climb, Cynthia headed up the 528 steps to the very top while I took the opportunity to do some photography down by the river.

St. Paul's

St. Paul's From Millennium Bridge

St. Paul's From Millennium Bridge

We had arranged to meet up on the Millennium Bridge once Cynthia had finished her climb so we could go exploring some more of London.

We made our way to see St. Bride’s Church

St Bride's Church

St Bride's Church

We also walked down Fleet Street to see the art deco buildings. I wanted to see the street that was the home of British national newspapers until the 1980s

spaceinvaders

It was an interesting walk that took us to the house where Dr. Samuel Johnson lived and where were told we could find the statue to his beloved cat, Hodge.

Hodge The Cat

After walking around all day I wanted to get a photo of Battersea Station, the power station many of us know from the cover of the Pink Floyd “Animals” album. Unfortunately, the building is undergoing major restoration as it is being turned into a living and shopping space.

Battersea Station

All in all, though, a good day.

London – Day 10

London Eye

Another bright, beautiful day in London. Temps are in the upper 30’s so it’s quite brisk. We had intended to go to St. Paul’s today, but it’s only open for services on Sunday so perhaps tomorrow.

London Eye

Today we took advantage of the weather and took a spin on The London Eye. It’s a bit pricey for a 30 minute ride, but the views are spectacular.

London Eye - Big Ben and Parliment

London Eye

From there we made our way to The British Library via King’s Cross Station.

King's Cross

King's Cross

No photography allowed at The British Library, sadly, as there are some very cool exhibits there including a Gutenberg Bible and some original hand-written Beatles song lyrics. We even got to see an inverted Jenny in the philately exhibit.

After that we just enjoyed some more walking about and taking in the sites before heading back to the hotel.

I should note that subway travel has been complicated as the Central and District lines are not running while they undergo maintenance.

St. Pancras London

London – Day 6

Horseguards

We’re feeling the effects of our extensive hiking about London. This morning we walked to Buckingham Palace and then on to the Royal Horseguards to watch the changing of the Horseguard.

Horseguards

I think this one horse knew I has dined on his cousin in Iceland

Horseguards

Horseguards

We did have some more sunshine so we walked about in the early part of the day taking in the sites.

Big Ben - 12 Noon

Westminster Cathedral

Being tired and it being Christmas Eve we went back to the hotel. And though it was not our intention, we ended up taking a nice nap before heading out to The Grazing Goat where we had dinner reservations. From there we made our way back to the hotel and are wrapping it up for the day.

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