Category Archives: Photography

Image of the Day: A glowing bubble in space


From NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day, a look at a spectacular vision far, far away [click on the image to enlarge]:

NGC 7635: The Bubble Nebula

Blown by the wind from a massive star, this interstellar apparition has a surprisingly familiar shape. Cataloged as NGC 7635, it is also known simply as The Bubble Nebula. Although it looks delicate, the 7 light-year diameter bubble offers evidence of violent processes at work. Above and left of the Bubble’s center is a hot, O-type star, several hundred thousand times more luminous and some 45 times more massive than the Sun. A fierce stellar wind and intense radiation from that star has blasted out the structure of glowing gas against denser material in a surrounding molecular cloud. The intriguing Bubble Nebula and associated cloud complex lie a mere 7,100 light-years away toward the boastful constellation Cassiopeia. This sharp, tantalizing view of the cosmic bubble is a composite of Hubble Space Telescope image data from 2016, reprocessed to present the nebula’s intense narrowband emission in an approximate true color scheme.

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Image of the day: Adding celestial perspective


Dire as things may seem here on Planet Earth, an occasional reminder of our place in the scheme of things seems in order.

From the NASA Image Archive comes a composite view of the Crab nebula, an iconic supernova remnant in our Milky Way galaxy, as viewed by the Herschel Space Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope:

Scenes from a walk in downtown Los Angeles


Thursday was a family day as esnl [behind the lens], daughter Jackie [left] her spouse Krys [right[, his mom, and granddaughter Sadie Rose [melting our heart with s a smile] hit the bricks for a day on the town, starting with a visit to the Broad Museum:

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 1250, 4.3 mm, 1/250 sec, f3.3

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 1250, 4.3 mm, 1/250 sec, f3.3

Right across the street from the Broad is downtown LA’s most striking architectural feature, architect Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall.

We were fortunate in that all traffic to the area had been blocked off because high school students were enjoying a day with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, giving us the rare opportunity to shoot with any traffic:

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 160, 4.4 mm, 1/640 sec, f4

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 160, 4.4 mm, 1/640 sec, f4

Another shot, taken from the entrance of the Broad looking across Second Street:

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 100, 4.3 mm, 1/2000 sec, f4

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 100, 4.3 mm, 1/2000 sec, f4

Inside the Broad, we toured Creature, an exhibit of the monstrous captured by artists in both it florid and it’s more mundane forms. Sadie Rose found herself smitten with an Andy Warhol take on Bella Lugosi’s Dracula [she’s in her “I love monsters” phase].

We were drawn to a couple of Jeff Koons sculptures. the first, a delightful rendition of America’s greatest comedian of silent screen era, Buster Keaton:

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 250, 4.3 mm, 1/60 sec, f3.3

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 250, 4.3 mm, 1/60 sec, f3.3

And there’s this rendition of the ambiguous Michael Jackson and his pet chimp, Bubbles:

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 320, 4.3 mm, 1/125 sec, f3.3

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 320, 4.3 mm, 1/125 sec, f3.3

After lunch we took a stroll, giving us the opportunity of shooting two murals adorning walls adjacent to downtown parking lots.

First, a work entitled Who Will Guard the Guards Themselves?, a translation of that famous line from the Roman poet Juvenal, “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”:

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 100, 4.3 mm, 1/200 sec, f4

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 100, 4.3 mm, 1/200 sec, f4

Another mural offers a more optimistic perspective:

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 100, 4.3 mm, 1/500 sec, f4

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 100, 4.3 mm, 1/500 sec, f4

For our last two shots, we with to black and white, a perspective that allows us to capture the basic form of architectural features, as in this image of architecture detail atop a seven-story building:

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 100, 11.7 mm, 1/500 sec, f4.9

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 100, 11.7 mm, 1/500 sec, f4.9

And finally this image of a century old medallion adorning the top of the six-story Homer Laughlin Building, home of the city’s famous Grand Central Market:

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 200, 86 mm, 1/500 sec, f6.4

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 17 February 2017, ISO 200, 86 mm, 1/500 sec, f6.4

Alt-reality: Paper is Trumped by Alec Baldwin


blog-trump-1

Sometimes, when a story seems too good to be true, it really is true.

Consider the case of the hapless newspaper editors who were fooled by their own mistake, an alt-reality, as it were.

From BBC News:

Actor Alec Baldwin’s impression on Saturday Night Live of Donald Trump tricked a national newspaper into thinking he was the real thing.

El Nacional in the Dominican Republic has now apologised for accidentally publishing a still of Alec Baldwin, captioned as the US president, next to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

The image accompanied an article about Israeli settlements.

The paper has said sorry to readers and “anyone affected”.

The picture was sent to the newspaper along with information about Saturday Night Live, the long-running US satirical programme.

No-one spotted the mistake, says El Nacional.

The correction proved to be a masterpiece, the result of a frantic image search that almost makes for a bulletproof alibi,as well as a testament to Baldwin’s impersonation chops:

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Trump’s self-presentation: Two Twitter images


Donald J. Trump is, as well all know, a Twitter addict, now running two accounts.

The older account, created in March 2009, features Trump at his most bloviating, featuring sneering slurs and cretinous carping about people who have the cojones to criticize his pusillanimous prevarications.

Call it the Channel of the Id:

Here’s the photo he chose to accompany his tweets:

blog-trump-2

The content of his newer account, the official Twitter channel for the presidency, is slightly less outre that the first thoiugh its still relentlessly self-promoting, full of boasts and exaggeration, but largely lacking the more outrageous slurs and slams.

Call it the channel of the Ego.

Here’s the presidential portrait he chose for those tweets;

blog-trump-pic
In both images, he scowls.

In neither image is their the faintest sense of compassion.

We’ll leave the rest of the analysis to you, gentle reader.

Welcome Deanna: esnl becomes a grandpa again


Tiny Deanna smiles from her incubator.

Tiny Deanna smiles from her incubator.

And so eager to join the world that granddaughter Deanna arrived early.

Yep, as our son Derald writes on the birth of his firstborn:

As you know at the beginning of the month Anna was hospitalized when she had a rupture when her water broke. She has been there since and appeared to be staple with her water level returning to normal. The doctors had planned to keep her there until after Presidents Day when they planned to induce labor.

Well last night Anna went into labor unexpectedly and gave birth within about 20 minutes. Deanna is healthy and looks to be fine. She was born much earlier than anticipated (due date was beginning of April). Birthweight of 3lb, 10oz.

She will stay in the NICU for 4-6 weeks, but by all appearances is healthy.She is in an incubator but is doing well and even cries, but I’ve found that my voice has a soothing effect on her. The staff and facilities at the hospital seem top notch which is comforting.

They told me they are going to discharge Anna tomorrow so I have to get cleaning the condo!!

Here’s mommy and daughter, lit by the germ-killing ultraviolets of the incubator:

blog-deanna-mom

And daddy Derald and daughter Deanna:

blog-deanna-dad

And, finally, Derald, after a night that was a lot harder on mommyy:

blof-deanna-sleeping-dad

Images of the sunny morning sky in Gardena


Two shots captured off our second-floor balcony this morning.

First, a look at a sunlit cloud in an otherwise clear and brilliant sky, cleansed by days of rain that ended yesterday:

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 13 January 2017, ISO 160, 7.9 mm, 1/500 sec, f4.0

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 13 January 2017, ISO 160, 7.9 mm, 1/500 sec, f4.0

A minute later we were drawn by a sound we’d nearly forgotten from our years in California, thumping out a few hundred feet overhead:

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 13 January 2017, ISO 400, 86 mm, 1/500 sec, f6.4

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 13 January 2017, ISO 400, 86 mm, 1/500 sec, f6.4

Back 40 years ago we lived in Hollywood, then in its seedier years.

Because of the high crime rate in the area, our apartment was frequently overflown by police and news helicopters in search of moscreants.

So ubiquitous were the whirlybirds that the first word other than ma-ma and da-da uttered by toddler son Derald was heli-heli, ususally accompanied by an upthrust right hand, pointing at the aircraft.

UPDATE: Another shot, taken from the same vantage point as the first, depicting this evening’s sunset:

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 13 January 2017, ISO 160, 4.3 mm, 1/125 sec, f3.3

Panasonic DMC-ZS19, 13 January 2017, ISO 160, 4.3 mm, 1/125 sec, f3.3