In my last post (click here) I recounted the details of my most recent wheelchair trip to the Conservatory Gardens in Central Park, when the progression of my disease crept up and bit me on the ass, making my "new normal" abundantly clear. I had gone to The Gardens to do some photography, and despite the day not going quite as I had planned, I did manage to take some photos of the springtime glory that was my reason for setting out for that spot in the first place. About half of the below photos were taken on that day. I think some of them turned out pretty well, so I'm happy to share them with you here, and also have them represent a big "fuck you" to Multiple Sclerosis (or Solitary Sclerosis (click here) or whatever it is the hell I have). All of the photos of flowers and cherry blossoms were taken at The Gardens, but so too was the image of the chained iron fence, so I guess a bit of symbolism could be extracted from this collection, for those inclined to look for such things. Beauty and the beast, so to speak…
The remainder of the photos were all taken with my handy dandy iPhone camera on the streets of NYC and along the Hudson River. I purchased a neato clip on lens thingy for the iPhone, called an Olloclip (click here). The Olloclip slides right onto the iPhone, and includes three lenses in one gadget: a wide-angle lens, a macro lens (for taking close-ups), and a fisheye lens. The fisheye lens takes extreme wide-angle shots, covering an almost 180° field of view, making for some very interesting visuals. Fisheye lenses generally cost many hundreds of dollars, and the Olloclip was well under 100 bucks, so the quality of the lens has some "personality" that is lacking (hopefully) in its much more expensive cousins. Still, it's a hell of a lot of fun to play with, and the images it produces are, I think, quite passable. You'll be able to identify the fisheye shots immediately, as they're the ones featuring circular frames and wildly distorted objects. If you have an iPhone 4 or 4S, and want to have some fun with the surprisingly high-quality camera included in the gizmo (which is why I got mine), I give the Olloclip a big thumbs-up. I would give it two thumbs up, but MS has staked a claim on one of my thumbs, along with the other fingers on that hand. I still have one functional middle finger with which to salute the disease, though, so here's looking at you, kid……
As always, your critiques and comments are not only welcomed but desired. No need to hold back or be polite, if you think some of these are pure crap just let loose and say so. Conversely, if any of them truly tickle your fancy, well, flattery will get you everywhere. Click on the thumbnail to view a larger image…
Your phone camera takes remarkably good pictures; I mean to say YOU take good pictures with your iPhone. That said, I like Serenity, and gnarled limbs (like my legs), and who doesn't like a horse's smile?ReplyDelete
Anyway, I am commenting just to tell you about a site called Fuck You Multiple Sclerosis - a sentiment we share.
She sells orange bracelets for $5 and I wear mine proudly. She may branch out into tee shirts one day, who knows.
The iPhone does have a very good camera built-in, which takes eight megapixel photos, allowing for cropping just in case you don't get the composition quite right on the first go ;-) (Egads, I just use an emoticon. Is this a new symptom of the disease? What's next, a unicorn logo for the site?) They're also lots of cool photo apps, from specialized cameras to effects packages, so lots of stuff to keep a shutterbug busy…Delete
Thanks for your input, sorry that the gnarled limbs remind you of your legs, but I'm right there with you.
I like the Fuck You Multiple Sclerosis site. No beating around the bush there, pretty much says it all…
WK---AMAZING PICS! I esp like the one of the colorful tree's in bloom & then the knarled limbs also. So sorry to hear of your "slowing down" notation, but I'll take whatever you post. KIMReplyDelete
Thanks, Kim. I was sorry to post the "slowing down" note, but dealing with MS is all about adapting to the changes it brings, and, unfortunately, the time had come. I'll still try to answer as many notes as I reasonably can, though. I just won't put pressure on myself to answer each and every e-mail. Hopefully, the people who don't get responses will understand.Delete
Hudson-Sunset-BW-2.jpg - AWWWWESOME. Tons of atmosphere and feeling. I'm not a fisheye fan, so I don't think I can properly comment. But this one? Loved.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your honesty regarding the fisheye photos. To tell you the truth, I've never been a big fan of fisheye photography myself, it's too gimmicky, but since I now have a cheap way to play with a fisheye lens, I figured I'd give it a go. Playing with it is kind of fun, but fisheye photos certainly won't become my specialty…Delete
The twisting tree limbs are my favorite. Great pictures all around. You have an eye for beauty.ReplyDelete
The twisted tree limbs are one of my favorites, also, but I'm kind of surprised so many other people like that shot. I guess we MSers can relate to those gnarled limbs, huh?Delete
I like the texture of the tree limbs and the bricks, and made sure to really try to emphasize the details in post-processing.
Serenity and Bike and Roll for me! Serenity is an inviting stroll in a beautiful environment which reminds me to stop and look around every so often. And Bike and Roll? Love the line up of an adventure about to unroll! Thanks!ReplyDelete
Thanks for your input. Serenity is what I love so much about the Conservatory Gardens, they are filled with all kinds of landscaping features that highlight the natural beauty of the place, just begging the visitor to slow down and take it all in. Hentral Park is a work of art, the 19th century designers were geniuses, and the 21st-century conservators have revived the Park in ways that most New Yorkers didn't think possible.Delete
I spent 17 years in Montana so I really love horses and have known a couple with the personality shown by your fisheye lens, and that one is getting my vote as favorite this time.ReplyDelete
One of those people who can pick up and send thought messages to animals once wrote "if horses had hands they could run rings around monkeys." That's pretty much the sentiment of Montanans -- everyone there seems to know and love horses, though often it is with an almost sibling-like contempt for their sometimes quirky ways.
Man, your artists eye just never disappoints. Thanks for the terrific new photos!
I like the horse photo, too, but I must say that I'm very conflicted about the carriage horses themselves. They can't be happy in the urban environment, and you can just feel the depression coming off of some of them.Delete
There's a growing movement to ban the carriage horses in NYC, which I think will eventually be successful. The carriage owners claim that the horses are extremely well treated, but I can't imagine that any horse could be "happy" living in the city.
If and when the horses are banished, I'll miss the sound of their clip clopping down the pavement, but I think we've evolved enough to know that it's the right thing to do.
My niece, Kathleen, who also has MS, sent me your blog so that I could see your photos. As a former manager of the award-winning nature calendar Inner Reflections, a photo contest judge, and owner of the Jaynes Gallery, I'm qualified to say that you have a creative and artistic eye for what makes an attractive and interesting image. Please do send me your future posts.
Here's a corny joke that might being you a pained yuk: Who's the world's longest-living kamikaze pilot? Anawer: Chicken Chow Mein.
Thanks for your very kind words, they are high praise indeed. Don't know if you checked out the photos in the gallery in the left-hand column of the blog, the vast majority of which were taken from a camera attached to a tripod mounted on the arm of my wheelchair.Delete
If you'd like to feature any of my images in your gallery, I'm pretty sure it could be arranged :-)
Holy smoke, I just used another emoticon. Stop me before I start posting cartoon rainbows all over the place…
I really like your use of your wide angle lens.ReplyDelete
Thats just a perfect shot of the horses teeth! =)
Glad you like that shot, but the horse really needs to get to an orthodontist…Delete
All of these are stunning, but I am particularly fond of the depth and texture in Subway Fisheye and Hudson Sunset. Of course, you are the artist and the iPhone is only the tool, but you may have convinced me to upgrade to the 4S. Can the camera be operated using Siri? As my hands and arms weaken, I find that I am particularly enamored of items that can be controlled with my voice. I am pretty sure you can relate to this.ReplyDelete
Hi prof, glad you enjoyed the photos.Delete
Unfortunately, the camera can't be operated using Siri. I do manage to use it with only one slightly wonky hand, though. I do have trouble using all of the camera's features, but so far, so good.
Voice controlled things are very good. If only my right arm and leg could be voice controlled. I guess I'd be a bit of a chatterbox, but who cares.
Let me give it a try. I'm using voice recognition software, so everything that shows up on the screen is something I've said out loud. Here goes: "right arm and hand, I command you to flash a middle finger to the universe!"
Crap! No luck. Was definitely worth a try, though…
LOL! I'm glad you gave that a shot. I was hoping Siri would solve all of my problems. Now I know better.ReplyDelete
Wow, Marc! These pix are amazing. I especially like the ones of the cherry blossoms at the park. Great color!ReplyDelete
I like the horse photo, too.ReplyDelete
I love the cherry blossoms with the lamp and the gnarled branches. Beautiful shots!ReplyDelete
I am so glad that you are still taking pics. You have such a great eye for it.
Sending you healing vibes x