The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Two nations, one tiny island

When I last visited St. Martin five years ago, I struggled a bit to get through the heavily-defended border between the French and Dutch sides. I am happy to report that the two countries have made significant improvements to the border since then. For starters, they've put up a brand-new sign:

Unfortunately, it appears that an aggressor nation has taken over part of the French side:

All right, I'm wasting time writing a blog post when I could do it with something else. If only this Internet connection were faster, I could be offline a lot faster.

Better photo of the JSA

I posted a photo of the Korean Joint Security Area the night after visiting it, while still in Seoul. Finally, today, one of my colleagues had time to assemble a high-dynamic-range image from a set I took for that purpose. I think it's a much better photograph:

Not only did I get the colors closer to reality (always hard to do with a laptop), but combining three different exposures into this one HDRI brings out the details in the shadowy foreground as well as on the DPRK building we were facing.

Thanks, Matt.

How to photograph a sunset in Chicago

It helps if you can get a few hundred meters off shore:

That was Thursday Night, on the Sarah's Inn Cruise for a Cause. We got excessively lucky with the weather, so I brought my real camera with me.

This morning I did some more publicity stills for Comedy of Errors; I'll post some of those as soon as I have approval from the cast.

Now I'm off to Wrigley. The Cubs won last night, but so did the Brewers, so we're still tied for fourth.

Spectralia publicity photos

On Sunday the Spectralia Theater Company had me shoot their publicity stills for this summer's Comedy of Errors production. The play goes up this summer at several Chicago Park District parks as part of the Bard in the Parks program.

Doctor Pinch (Don Johnson) and Antipholous of Ephesus (Peter Ash):

The Courtezan of Ephesus (Mary-Kate Arnold):

The play opens June 29th at Ravenswood Manor Park in Chicago.

Why shoot raw instead of JPEG?

At last night's performance, the venue used dim, magenta lighting on the stage that made poor Lauren O'Connell look like a pink ghost. Here's one image exactly as it came out of my camera:

Fortunately, I shoot raw photos, which take up lots of room (about 22 MB each) but with the benefit of lots of uncompressed image information. It's therefore relatively easy, using Adobe Lightroom, to correct for it. Magenta lights are pretty grim, though; the only reasonable correction was to make it black and white:

Had I shot these as JPEGs, the correction would have been almost impossible. The raw format stores light in four layers, much like physical film does. JPEG compression "develops" it all together.

Plus, I have my camera set to interpolate a black frame under an exposed frame when shooting above ISO 1600. (This photo was shot at ISO 12,800.) That gives the processing software even more information to help produce a usable image from horrible conditions.