Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Fujifilm Reconsiders Discontinuance of Neopan Acros 100

Back in April, I posted on Fujifilm's decision to discontinue one of the few remaining medium speed black & white films.  Though I've never used Neopan Acros 100 myself, it's well liked among portrait photographers for its fine grain.  Now, according to a report in Japan's ITmedia, Fujifilm is apparently reconsidering that decision after having received feedback from disappointed photographers.  Whether it will continue in production has not yet been decided and one can only hope for the best.  As of today's date, it's still marked "discontinued" on B&H's website.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Reflections in Moving Water




One can get beautiful effects photographing scenes in the slow moving water of the Central Park lake if one takes the time to look carefully.



Abstract Reflections


Using a fast shutter speed when photographing the rapidly moving water in a Central Park stream can create interesting abstract patterns.


 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Creating Drama with Nik Filters in Photoshop


I photographed a rose at midday in Central Park (see original photo below) but wanted to give it more drama than was possible with the available light.  To get the photo shown above, I first applied the Low Key filter from Nik Color Efex Pro 4.  I then went to Apply Image in Photoshop and, using the same photo as both source and target, chose the blend mode Multiply at 100%.  I thought the result was aesthetically more pleasing than the original photo.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Selling Poems in Central Park


I photographed this man near the promenade in Central Park last spring.  I wish him well, but there didn't seem much interest in his poems on the day I saw him.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Thoughts on My Novel "The Dark Veil"


Last week I posted here the final chapter of my novel The Dark Veil that I'd been serializing, one chapter each Wednesday, over the past six months. It was my first attempt at authoring a noir novel, and I found after I'd finished writing it several shortcomings that I tried to fix in my next novel The Blue Hours.  As far as I was concerned, the three principal problems were these:

  • Setting of Story - The problem with setting a noir novel in present day New York City is that the town has lost all the grit that made it so intriguing a place to live.  Now it's nothing more than an upscale shopping mall controlled by real estate interests who have no sense of the city's history and who have deliberately scrubbed it drained it of its vitality in hopes of luring foreign condo buyers.
  • Weak Ending - The problem with having in the first chapter a penniless old man as a murder victim only became clear as I neared the end of the book and had to devise a plausible motive for the crime.  In real life, no one in Manhattan would trouble to end such a character's life.  In fact, no one in New York City would want anything at all to do with such an individual, assuming anyone would trouble themselves to notice a destitute senior citizen in the first place.
  • Characterization of Protagonist - This was really the novel's major problem.  In writing the novel, I naively created a protagonist who is fairly normal and a likeable enough person and yet who resorts to extreme violence at the drop of a hat.  That led to an inconsistency that I was unable to resolve.  I tried hard to remedy the dilemma in my next novel by introducing a completely different type, a drug addicted anti-hero, as the lead character from whose point of view the story was told.

Looking back at The Dark Veil, I can't see it as a great success, much as I'd like to, but rather as an interesting experiment that taught me a great deal about writing fiction.  For that alone it was worth the time I spent writing it.

I enjoyed serializing The Dark Veil and hope those of you who stayed the course enjoyed reading it just as much. In September I'll begin serializing here another of my novels, Lucid, a fantasy that explores the phenomenon of lucid dreaming.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Central Park's Conservatory Garden


One of the  most beautiful places to visit in New York City in springtime is the Conservatory Garden located on Fifth Avenue near 106th Street.  I shot these photos in April.