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The Bookshelf

Doug's bookshelf: read

AntwerpWarsaw BikiniIcelandHow the Soldier Repairs the GramophoneThe Original of LauraBrief Interviews with Hideous Men

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Time Since Reboot

  • 1011 days, 19 hours, 32 minutes, 40 seconds ago

Fayette County, Alabama

Fayette, AL Depot - Mamiya C330f | Kodak Tri-X 400

Fayette, AL Depot – Mamiya C330f | Kodak Tri-X 400

 

Fayette Mall 1 - Mamiya C330f | Kodak Tri-X 400

Fayette Mall 1 – Mamiya C330f | Kodak Tri-X 400

 

Caboose - Mamiya C330f | Kodak Tri-X 400

Caboose – Mamiya C330f | Kodak Tri-X 400

 

Berry, AL Public Library - Mamiya C330f | Kodak Tri-X 400

Berry, AL Public Library – Mamiya C330f | Kodak Tri-X 400

 

Fayette Mall 2 - Mamiya C330f | Kodak Tri-X 400

Fayette Mall 2 – Mamiya C330f | Kodak Tri-X 400

 

Sometimes we just pick a road we’ve never been down and start driving.

My Winter Apocalypse Has A First Name...

… it’s Leon, apparently.  (Naming winter storms is not a thing.  Please stop doing that.)

As a citizen of Birmingham, my Snowmageddon story is rather benign.  There were people who spent the night in their cars, wrecked, stalled or ran out of fuel.  There were sick and elderly people who went missing.  A precious few people lost their lives.  I left work around 11 AM and didn’t make it home until 3:45 PM – normally this is a 20-minute drive.

At first I was marveling and cursing at the gridlock.  Yes, there was plenty of snow on the ground when I pulled out of the parking lot, but I wasn’t sliding around or anything (and I don’t drive a car that you would call equipped for navigating slushy, slick and icy roadways).  It still seems that a lot of the early problems could have been avoided if drivers had just slowed down and driven cautiously.  As more and more cars churned up the snow on the more well-traveled surfaces, though, turning it first to an icy sludge and then a thick film of solid ice, the roadways – especially the hills (lots of people don’t know… Birmingham is hilly) – became nearly impossible for ordinary passenger cars to manage.  If not for the help of two gentlemen who came to my aid at the 21st Ave / Red Mtn Expressway on-ramp, I wouldn’t have made it up and over and into downtown.

Once I got to my neighborhood, the gentle foothills beyond the train tracks at 6th Ave were as far as I could go.  I got halfway up the last block to my house and promptly slid back down to the bottom – ultimately drifting backwards against the curb in front of a neighbor’s home.  I was somehow able to inch the front of the car to the side, secure it, and walk the remaining block and a half.

That’s a relatively happy tale, full of annoyances but far from the terror of being stranded, cold and hungry, separated from loved ones.  I know friends and coworkers who have been stuck in their offices; family members who are living out of hotel rooms unable to make it the final few miles to their homes.  As I write this – over 24 hours since the ordeal began – the roads are still treacherous.

I’m going to link to some commentary here – most of which will tell the story better than I can, and from a better perspective.  The one thing I haven’t seen mentioned is that – and I’m not the only one who is saying this – in the entire 4-plus hour commute past people stuck, walking, bewildered and unsure of what to do… I did not see any sign of the police, fire department, emergency management or highway personnel.  None.  The helping was being done by churches, businesses, and ordinary citizens.  We deserve better than we got from city/county officials.  I have yet to see or hear a good explanation for that.

Some of the more startling images.

Why the South Fell Apart in the Snow (Gizmodo)

Birmingham weather guru James Spann’s post-event evaluation.

The latest from AL.com.

Much applause for everyone helping, working to restore order, braving the elements for your fellow human beings.

Y’all MF’ers Need Jesus

ISO 100, 1/250 sec @ f/8.0, 24mm 
Nikon D800  |  
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED
AL Hwy 63 – Tallapoosa Co., Alabama USA
December 27, 2013  2:51 PM
© DRS 2014, (cc) by-nc-nd

PVP#6: Remainders

Thank you for your attention.  Much more to come.

Lamp Softly

ISO 800, 1/60 sec @ f/4.0, 50mm
Nikon D90  |  AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D
53rd Street South – Birmingham, Alabama USA 
November 2, 2009  11:35 PM 
© DRS 2013,
(CC) by-nc-nd

Staring

ISO 400, 1/1600 sec @ f/5.6, 150mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 
Destin Harbor – Destin, Florida USA 
February 7, 2010  11:54 AM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Triptych

ISO 800, 1/500 sec @ f/5.6, 200mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 
The Fly – New Orleans, Louisiana USA 
January 8, 2012  5:16 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Caribbean

ISO 200, 1/200 sec @ f/14, 18mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 
Seven Mile Beach – Negril, Jamaica 
June 12, 2012  9:00 AM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Blsm2

ISO 100, 1/2000 sec @ f/2.8, 105mm
Nikon D800  |  Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8 
University of South Carolina – Columbia, South Carolina USA
March 14, 2013  12:40 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Wx Delay

ISO 720, 1/60 sec @ f/5.6, 112mm
Nikon D800  |  Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED 
BHM Shuttlesworth Int’l Airport – Birmingham, Alabama USA
July 21, 2013  5:49 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

South Southwest

ISO 100, 1/500 sec @ f/5.6, 200mm
Nikon D800  |  Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED 
BHM Shuttlesworth Int’l Airport – Birmingham, Alabama USA
July 25, 2013  9:30 AM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

PVP#5: Nice Pairs

New York:

Walk

ISO 6400, 1/200 sec @ f/5.6, 200mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 
Times Square – New York, New York USA 
July 4, 2009  11:24 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Across the River to the Jersey Side

ISO 200, 1/400 sec @ f/10, 50mm
Nikon D90  |  AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D
Top of the Rock – New York, New York USA 
May 30, 2010  4:31 PM 
© DRS 2013,
(CC) by-nc-nd

From Florida:

Black Creek Interior

ISO 800, 1/30 sec @ f/3.5, 18mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 
Boathouse – Black Creek, Florida USA
August 15, 2009  5:56 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Black Creek Exterior

ISO 280, 1/125 sec @ f/5.6, 18mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 
Black Creek Lodge – Black Creek, Florida USA 
August 15, 2009  6:24 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

From Birmingham:

Underpass

ISO 400, 1/100 sec @ f/5.0, 18mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 
20th Street – Birmingham, Alabama USA 
September 12, 2009  11:35 AM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

3rd Avenue North

ISO 1600, 1/20 sec @ f/3.5, 18mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 
3rd Ave. N. – Birmingham, Alabama USA 
September 26, 2009  9:54 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

From Albuquerque:

Liftoff

ISO 200, 1/250 sec @ f/8.0, 18mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 
Balloon Fiesta Park – Albuquerque, New Mexico USA 
October 1, 2011  6:59 AM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Punctuation

ISO 400, 1/400 sec @ f/5.0, 62mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 
Balloon Fiesta Park – Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
October 1, 2011  6:35 AM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

PVP#4: A Tale Of Two Lenses

Some samples from a couple of my desert-island lenses. 

These first four shots were taken with what is probably the most expensive glass I own – the remarkable AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF.  Incredible low-light performance and perfect bokeh with its wide aperture, this is considered by many photographers to be the ultimate portrait lens.  It’s hard to disagree.  This one is responsible for many of my personal favorite photos.  The lens itself is a beast – large and heavy.  It was superseded in 2010 by the newer f/1.4G model, but I somehow found a brand new one so they’re still out there to be had if you dislike the pre-loved route. 

Green Glass

ISO 200, 1/60 sec @ f/1.4, 85mm
Nikon D800  |  AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF  
Peachtree Street NE – Atlanta, Georgia USA
January 12, 2013  7:00 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Mosaic

ISO 110, 1/30 sec @ f/1.4, 85mm
Nikon D800  |  AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF  
The Wynn – Las Vegas, Nevada USA
February 8, 2013  5:10 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

The Rio and The Palms

ISO 280, 1/30 sec @ f/1.4, 85mm
Nikon D800  |  AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF  
W. Flamingo Road – Las Vegas, Nevada USA
February 8, 2013  5:53 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Half Gilliand

ISO 1600, 1/50 sec @ f/1.4, 85mm
Nikon D800  |  AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF 
Blu and Ella (or Emma?) Gilliand 
Cypress Point – Lake Martin, Alabama USA
July 6, 2013  8:09 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

These next four were taken with the sublime Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8.  Introduced in 1983, Nikon still makes this manual-focus macro lens today.  Unlike with the 85mm, I opted to take my chances on eBay and buy this one used.  The glass is flawless.  The numbers on the sturdy barrel are a little worn off, but other than that you’d never know it was a previously-used item.  The focus ring on it is gigantic, and contrary to my apprehensions the transition from autofocus to manual was not at all challenging.  I actually enjoy having more control over the image.  Not just for close-ups (though it is a capable macro machine), I find this lens to be a fun portrait and even street-photography lens.  Binding myself to a single telephoto length makes me think more about the shot itself. 

Closing Time

ISO 160, 1/30 sec @ f/8.0, 105mm
Nikon D800  |  Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8 
Tiffany & Co., The Bellagio – Las Vegas, Nevada USA
February 9, 2013  11:43 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Fake Firecrackers

ISO 1600, 1/30 sec @ f/2.8, 105mm
Nikon D800  |  Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8 
Caesar’s Palace – Las Vegas, Nevada USA
February 9, 2013  2:38 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Indecline

ISO 100, 1/1600 sec @ f/2.8, 105mm
Nikon D800  |  Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8 
W. Flamingo Road – Las Vegas, Nevada USA
February 9, 2013  2:53 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Blsm

ISO 100, 1/2500 sec @ f/2.8, 105mm
Nikon D800  |  Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8 
University of South Carolina – Columbia, South Carolina USA
March 14, 2013  12:41 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

So there you have that.  There are other lenses I’ll take with me besides these two (my little manual-focus 28mm comes to mind), but I can’t think of a lens I would chose OVER these two.  For previous purges see here, here and here.