The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

The Fortune Teller

I first visited New York in July 1984, stopping by the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the 25th. I took a photograph of Georges de La Tour's "The Fortune Teller," painted sometime between 1620 and 1639:

Last month I visited again, on the 23rd—just two days shy of 33 years later:

Using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, I have tried to get the photos to look as similar as possible. But my LG G6 phone and its 13 Megapixel camera just provides so much more data than the 4 Megapixel scan of the Kodachrome 64 slide, which itself has such constrained dynamic range, that the modern photo can't help but be clearer.

In fact, the narrow dynamic range of Kodachrome was one of its selling points. The trade-off was its deep, rich colors and detail—none of which a quick 4 MP scan can read.

If I have the opportunity, I'll re-scan the original slide and try again. For now, I leave the diptych above as a demonstration of how far photography has come since I was a kid.

For comparison, here's the reference image from the Met's website:

Port Ellen

Today, after a 6 km walk through squelchy bogs from Ardbeg up to Solam, and a drive to Bowmore, we had dinner in Port Ellen just before sunset. This was the scene after dinner:

I've got 759 photos to get through when we get back to the US in a couple of days. Meanwhile, my phone camera seems to be doing an adequate job, as the shot above shows. I think my SLR will yield better results overall, but for holiday snaps, the phone doesn't suck. I like living in the future.

Yesterday and today

At the Bristol Renaissance Faire yesterday I caught my friend Megan trying on earrings:

Today, though, I'm getting on this gorgeous machine and flying to the Ancestral Homeland:

I'm also operating on about 4 hours of sleep, since my plan to wake up at 10:30am British Summer Time (4:30am Central Daylight Time) worked a lot better than my plan to go to sleep around 3am BST (9pm CDT). For that I thank the squad of Irish bros across the alley who had one of the louder parties I've ever witnessed until...well, there were still stragglers on the porch when I took out my trash at 5am.

I did get upgraded today, however, so at some point over the next couple of days I'll have a photo or two of Amercian's B787-8 business class.

Long day...

The last two days, I've been in meetings more than 7 hours each. I'm a little fried. Meanwhile, the following have popped up for me to read over the weekend:

I'm now off to the opera. Thence, perhaps, to sleep.

Time passes

Here's a fun comparison. This is the building adjacent to the north side of the northbound platform at the Northbrook Metra station. First, October 1985:

Here's the same wall almost exactly 31 years later:

The pharmacy long ago disappeared. The building now contains an Italian restaurant and a hair salon.

How's the view?

Pretty good, from space. Benjamin Grant, who runs the Daily Overview feed, has put together a "greatest hits" collection in book form, which will be available October 25th:

The best images appear inOverview: A New Perspective of Earth. The book reveals the many ways humans shape the world. Groves of bright green olive trees stand ready for harvest. Deep blue and purple caverns cut into the earth at a uranium mine. Iron tailings turn a pond bright pink. Grant uses juxtaposition to underscore the point, placing, say, a deforested rain forest alongside a paper mill. “You’re able to make comparisons within the chapters, in a way that you can’t if it’s one image per day on the Instagram feed,” he says. The last chapter celebrates remote places, like the reptilian ridges of Rub’ al Khali, the world’s largest contiguous sand desert.

Many of the images are aesthetically beautiful in the abstract, but troubling in context: the aligned grids on a rust-red landscape of the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya, or the yellow stripe and black ridges of a coal shipping terminal in Qinhuangdao, China. Grant hopes to show that tension. “You have an overwhelming sense of the time that would be required to create these staggering landscapes—erosion, build up of mountains—compared to what we’ve developed in the past 100 years,” says Grant.

I pre-ordered the book as soon as Grant posted he was publishing it.