Steep as can be!
Frank chose the phrase "back catalogue"1 for the weekly photo challenge. Frank, thank you for this!! Until my eye-sight returns to normal, I can’t drive, which means my photographic opportunities are limited to my home or to wherever I can safely walk. I submitted nothing for the last two challenges. My Adobe Lightroom Classic catalogue has two decades worth of digital photographs. I was sure I could find a picture to share “as is” or to re-interpret. The challenge with this challenge was deciding how far back in the catalogue to go, what to choose, and why?
After thirty minutes of skimming my catalogue, I chose this image of the Statue of Liberty from 15th August 2012. Bhavna, the kids and I took a day off in the middle of the week to visit Ellis Island. We had hoped to avoid the tourist crowds. We need not have feared, though, as it started to drizzle when we got to Liberty State Park, New Jersey. We were undeterred and toured Ellis Island, enjoying the indoor exhibits. We thought that maybe the rain would let up by the time we finished touring the facility so that we could visit the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, New Jersey.
But as we excited, it was still raining, and since none of us wanted to walk around in the rain, we waited for the return ferry to Liberty State Park. As our boat crossed the water, the sun attempted to force itself through the rain clouds. I pulled out my Nikon D40 and snapped this shot.
I used Google Colour EFX Pro to add some "grunge".
The second image is from a June 2013 field trip to Grand Central Terminal on Park Avenue at 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York. My friend and instructor, the Princeton based photographer Alan Kesselhaut , organised the field trip, obtaining tripod permits for the well-trodden Main Concourse so that we would not be chased away by transit police. At the time of our visit, Grand Central Terminal was celebrating 100 years of continuous operation, making this field trip significant. The window was darkened in certain spots to create the number "100".
Interesting side note, there is an Apple Store in the space at the top of the staircase just below the large window.
The image was originally a colour HDR photography. For this version of the picture, I applied one of the B&W presets from DxO Silver Efex Pro 2.
The third image is from the Spring of 2013. I was recently released from my employer of ten years and was a week away from starting as a consultant for a client in Trenton. I was bored at home, so I grabbed my camera and tripod and took a drive into Princeton on what was a fresh, crisp sunny day. I walked around Princeton University noticing that most of the co-eds had gone home for the summer break, but the campus still had some signs of life. It was late Spring, and many of the trees on campus were green with fresh young leaves. The ivy was crawling everywhere. The trees and the Ivy and the bicycles in front of John Haines Hall were full of bright colour.
I took several shots and combine then in Photomatix Pro for an HDR effect. I may have pushed things a bit too far with the saturation and vibrancy settings. I'm not sure what happened, but I can't find the original images from which I made the HDR.
- I have corrected Frank's spelling of the word catalogue. ↩
Frank’s challenge this week is
While I have recovered from the physical trauma of orbital decompression eye surgery, I have a new complication for my vision. I have double vision.
At my post-surgery follow-up, the doctors performed some tests confirming that I have double. The good news is that this is temporary. The bad news is we don’t know the meaning of
temporary. Is it two months or six months? Will I do better with corrective lenses, or will I require more surgery? We don’t know. I have another followup with the ophthalmologists in Philadelphia in the last weeks of November. I’ll know more then.
I would be lying if I said I am not frustrated and feeling dispirited by this news and the challenges before me.
I alternate between wearing an eye patch on each eye. Several years ago, I had cataract surgery in the left eye and laser surgery in the other eye. My left eye is used for distance vision, e.g., driving, and my right eye is used for reading and using the computer. Together my eyes gave me a full range of view. With the double vision, this is broken.
Walking is challenging since I need both eyes to measure depth. I will not be driving. My spouse, although she has done much for me during this time, can only help so much, and I do not want to overwhelm her. She has her health challenges. She will not be able to drive me to work each day, or to the early morning, photography workshops and photo walks, that I usually do at this time of year.
I am a freelance consultant. I have no vacation days and no paid time off. On Monday I will have a big ask of my client. Will they allow me to work remotely until my eyesight improves? It’s not a technical issue. Until my eye surgery, I worked remotely two days a week1. The client has systems and technology to support this. It’s more of asking for a policy exception.
I know what I can’t do. I can’t drive or go on photo walks. I can work, but I need frequent breaks to rest my eyes. As I mentioned, I alternate between putting an eye patch over the left eye and then the right eye but even with that, by the end of the day, my eyes hurt from trying to focus on the text on the screen. I have been using Siri dictation to send emails and text messages. It's not an ideal solution.
After work, I spend a lot of time on the couch with my eyes closed. I registered for an online self-paced course, but I found watching the content to be exhausting, especially after a day of work. I cancelled all of my outdoor photography workshops.
To remain positive, I am focusing on what I can do. If/when she leaves the house to do errands, I go with my wife, and I photograph whatever I can see. I have mostly used my iPhone 7 for this as the Fujifilm X-T2 is too large to take on errands. If you see a man staring straight ahead while holding on tightly to his wife's arm, that is me. I'm paranoid that I'll bump into people and objects.
I have included a few photos that were captured using the double exposure feature of my Fujifilm X-T2. I think these images give some idea of what it feels like with my vision. The double exposure feature is easy to use. I select the double exposure feature on the command dial, shoot the first image, and accept the result on the LCD when the camera prompts to do so. The camera then overlays the first image on the live viewfinder so that I can see how the double exposure will look. Pressing the shutter then captures the second image overlaid on the first.
The images are all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs.
- Initially, it was just one day a week, but last summer, staff were quitting from the US ad UK teams citing the unbearable commute at the reason. The manager allowed another day to stem the losses. ↩