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.
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.”
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!
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.
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 uploaded the first version of Ted Marcus’ Virtual Light Table to the Web seventeen 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 overhauled my Travel Photo Essay on the Courthouse in Santa Barbara, California, touted as “the most beautiful government building in the United States.” While I haven’t visited enough government buildings to assess the validity of that claim, it is definitely distinctive and beautiful enough to be a reason for a visit to Santa Barbara. I made new versions of all the pictures, replacing the ones I had prepared soon after my visits in 2001 and 2003. (This page illustrates why that matters.) Along with the improved pictures, I’ve completely rewritten the text and added five new pictures.
I’ve also given the Catalina Island page a makeover with new text and layout, and “remastered” all the pictures. I had made 4000 dpi scans of the original negatives in 2006 and 2007 for the previous version. I fortunately saved preliminary versions of those scanned files that included all the preparation, but not the color correction and other “artistic” work that makes a picture. (Preparation of film scans includes cropping, straightening, grain reduction, and the painstaking chore of cleaning up the little dust spots and scratches that inevitably end up on film scans even with automatic infrared cleaning. Images from a digital camera require much less preparatory scut work.) Using these “prepared” files let me make much better new versions that take advantage of my current “artistic” tools and techniques without the tedious effort of making and preparing new scans. I also added one picture I hadn’t included in the previous edition.
As seven of the Catalina pictures were from a visit to Avalon on a cruise in 2007, I decided to “remaster” the other pictures illustrating my story of that trip (“Ted Tries a Cruise”). I also updated the page with the subsequent history and current status of the ship— formerly Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas— so that readers seeking information about either the ship or the cruise won’t be confused.
Ted Marcus’ Virtual Light Table made its Web debut on 18 April 1999.