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10 May 2017

After I made minor updates to the Waikiki and Oahu Beyond Waikiki Travel Photo Essays last month, I discovered that most of the pictures were prepared in 2002. It was time for a full overhaul. (This page illustrates why.) As I always do when I’m overhauling Travel Photo Essays, I first reviewed the Carousel slide tray containing the “keeper” pictures I winnowed after my trips to Oahu in 1997 and 1998. The pictures I prepared in 2002 came from that slide tray. Then I looked through the boxes of “reject” slides from those trips.

I chose ten new pictures to complement the new and more colorful versions of the old ones. One of them is the 2,000th picture on this Web site. I also updated the higher-resolution wallpaper download of Makapuu Beach. The new version of this picture is available in 1680 x 1050 and 1440 x 900 sizes.

Most of the new pictures are from the Carousel tray, but I could not make satisfactory digital versions of them in 2002. The pictures of the flag and sky at the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor and mountain clouds are two examples. Nearly all the slides in the “reject” boxes indeed belong there. But I did find a handful of nice pictures I rejected because of some flaw now easily fixed in Photoshop. For example, this detail of the Byodo-In Temple just needed straightening and cropping. I also discovered one slide that I can’t figure out why I had rejected.

With one notable exception, I actually took all the Oahu pictures on Fuji Superia 400 color negative film. But I had it processed at a lab that made slides from the negatives, printing them on Kodak film intended for making the movie reels (formerly) projected at cinemas. I used that service for nearly all my photography before I switched to a digital camera in 2005. In the pre-digital era, negatives made better enlargements than slides; and it later turned out that negatives are easier to scan with a desktop scanner. Slides gave the sheer visual impact that, even now, only a projected transparency can provide. The slide projector also let me share my pictures before I could even imagine anything like a Web site. Slides made from negative film are among the many photographic technologies made extinct by digital imaging. No lab currently offers that service.

That “one notable exception” is a Kodachrome slide of the “Samoan village” at the Polynesian Cultural Center. I took it in 1982, on my first trip to Hawaii, with a Pocket Instamatic 60 camera. For me, this “tourist” picture recalls the now-extinct vacation slide show. At least in the United States, those slides projected for (and too often inflicted upon) friends and neighbors were most often on Kodachrome film, which became extinct in 2009. I reproduced the original transparency’s “classic Kodachrome look” as faithfully as possible.

18 April 2017

I uploaded the first version of Ted Marcus’ Virtual Light Table to the Web 18 years ago today. It’s exciting to look through the Web site’s log summaries each week and see so many visitors from all over the world. It’s even more exciting when those visitors order prints or image licenses!

I’ve updated the Travel Photo Essays on the RMS Queen Mary and Griffith Park in Greater Los Angeles; New San Diego and Balboa Park in San Diego; and Waikiki and Oahu Beyond Waikiki in Hawaii. I’ve also updated the bestiary of image file formats and the article on legacy technology, and made minor updates to several other pages. It’s amazing how quickly external links change or disappear.

1 March 2017

I’ve updated the Travel Photo Essay on Victorian Landmarks in Downtown Los Angeles to reflect today’s announcement of an agreement to refurbish and reopen Angels Flight, a funicular railway closed since an accident in 2013. There’s also a new version of Courtyard Through the Arch at Mission San Luis Rey.

15 February 2017

I’ve added two new pictures to the Rancho Palos Verdes Photo Travel Essay page. They are nice views from the Vanderlip Park Trail along the cliffs east of Long Point and Terranea that I visited in December. This has been an unusually wet winter in Southern California; but on the days between winter storms there is often very nice light during the early morning and late afternoon “golden hours.”

10 January 2017

Happy New Year! I’ve updated some technical articles on Scanning 110-Format Film (and Kodachrome), Raw Demystified, Legacy Technology, and the review of the OpticFilm 7600i and 8200i film scanners.

29 December 2016

I’ve added (lucky) 13 new pictures, thanks in large part to the beautiful light often seen in the early morning after a winter storm here in Southern California. First, there are four new pictures I took at the Terranea resort on Long Point in Rancho Palos Verdes.

The other nine, on the two Fine Art galleries, are more “artsy” or abstract, demonstrating that the right light (combined with looking and thinking, as always) can make interesting photographic subjects out of seemingly mundane or ordinary things. First, sunrise light can give the wood frame of a house under construction or bricks in a garden a golden glow. It can also reveal the textures of a paperbark tree trunk, the rough concrete of a cinder-block fence, or the criscross pattern of a furrowed driveway. The low angle of the sun near the Winter Solstice can cast interesting shadows on walls and on an asphalt street. It also enhances the details of two xeriscaped gardens that, here in drought-plagued Southern California, are increasingly replacing the traditional front lawn with a combination of rocks, wood, and drought-tolerant plantings.

Finally, as one of the many people who, for so many reasons, are glad to see 2016 recede into the rear-view mirror, let me wish you and yours a very happy 2017!

28 October 2016

Yes, I’m still around. But I’ve been focusing on self-publishing my music for concert band on the Sheet Music Plus “SMP Press” platform, and making recordings of the music available on Soundcloud. Arranging music for band is something I’ve been doing for almost as long as photography, though most of it was not suitable for publication.

I’ve accordingly updated the biographical sketch on the main commentary page, and also made miscellaneous small improvements, updates, and fixes to a number of other pages.

21 July 2016

A batch of updates to catch up with some recent news. In Downtown Los Angeles, the Travel Photo Essay on L.A. Live reflects the recently-completed renaming of the former Nokia-branded facilities. The section of Downtown Superlatives about the Library Tower includes the recently-opened “OUE Skyspace LA” observation deck. The Travel Photo Essay on Bergamot Station and the Water Garden reflects the opening of the long-delayed Metro Rail Expo Line extension to Santa Monica.

I’ve also updated technical articles on Scanning 110-Format Film (and Kodachrome), the Bestiary of File Formats, DNG, and Legacy Technology.

Archives of Older Entries

Ted Marcus’ Virtual Light Table made its Web debut on 18 April 1999.