Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bad Year

You don't see the Goodyear Blimp hovering over town every day, but in Pasadena it's not unusual to see it every few weeks. If you don't have a great telephoto lens it's not easy to get a great shot of it so you might have to trust me.

Yesterday from what I understand, below the blimp UCLA was getting trounced by Arizona at the Rose Bowl Stadium. But frankly I'm unclear on that because I don't speak sportese.

28 comments:

frazgo said...

I could see the blimp. I liked you working in B&W. Back in the day I used to use red filters on with the silver based media. You got very dramatic dark skies and vegetation. Clouds. flower and people just popped. If you have the option of programming your camera to filters with the BW go for it.

I often set the camera to record full spectrum in RAW and then let the nominal compression jpeg be saved as a B&W with Red filter.

Benjamin Madison said...

I love this kind of nothing happening shot - the tiny blimp going one way, the relaxed walker striding loosely the opposite way, the tree, the nearly featureless wall and security fence - to keep people out? or in? Reminds me of some of USElaine's gems.

I don't speak sportese either but at least you know the names of the hockey teams that were playing that day.

Petrea said...

I'll see if I can figure out how to do that, Frazgo. I can shoot RAW but I don't know about the rest of it. Back to the manual.

Benjamin, comparing this to one of usElaine's gems is high praise, thank you. I love her stark, quiet, stuff. Did I really link to a hockey article? I googled "UCLA football rose bowl" and that's what I got. I'll go looking again.

Benjamin Madison said...

Hockey/football - what's the difference? It's all about getting a ball through a hoop.

Laurie said...

OH Petrea, this is my kind of shot! I love the choice of monochrome. I think this turned out great and I love your composition. It's minimal and balanced and just beautiful. You know I have a soft spot for black and white photography and this image really called out for it.

My little daughter just about had a fit over seeing the blimp yesterday. It was so cute to see her get that excited about it -- I remember feeling like that. (What happens to us when we get old?!?)

Petrea said...

Haha, Benjamin. You and me both.

Laurie, I saw the blimp from over at Hastings Ranch. I hopped in the car and got onto Orange Grove and went east as fast as I could, radio on, camera on, trying not to run into things. Police barriers finally turned me around by the Gamble House (no Rose Bowl parking there!) with nine minutes left in the game. How long does that take in football? Would the blimp leave before I got a shot? I headed up Fair Oaks, parked behind a grocery store and there it was.

Nope. I did not get excited.

Bernie K. said...

This is the strongest photo you've ever offered here. I could write paragraphs about the composition, but sometimes mood is more important than analysis. You're using the camera to cut confident, non-narrative slices from the world. This is bleak, radiant seeing.

Webradio said...

Hello Petrea !
The blimp is very small, but I see it ! B&W is more beautiful...
Sea You later !

Michael said...

Oh how that is something I remember from my childhood. In South Florida, I lived not far from a small private airport where they used to dock a few blimps. You could always hear it coming over the house, so as a child I'd run out of the house (usually at dinner time!) to see it. Now I haven't thought of that in years and your post brought back a nice memory.

Thanks!

Sharon said...

You made me laugh out loud. I'm another who is sadly lacking in the sportese language.
We get to see the blimp every now and then, usually in the winter. Goodyear has a plant here, but I'm not sure if they keep a blimp here.

USelaine said...

*blush* Benjamin is way too kind. Thanks, Brother.

I really like this one as well, and as Bernie suggests, largely because of the visual poetry sending us to our Right Brain senses.

I confess, I'm in love with color. Where some photographers make their choices based on whether there is a reason to include the color of a shot, I take the opposite approach. To me, B&W is one of the many special effects available in digital photography, and I might just as easily apply one of the paintbrush filters available in PS Elements. In recent years, I've come to realize how many people live with compromised color perception, so the full spectrum of a scene isn't available to them anyway, as can be simulated on Vischeck. Certainly for them, a sight awash with mustard yellows and a few blues would be relieved by removing color altogether.

Having blabbed all that, I really, really like this in B&W. I felt the same about Benjamin's recent untitled post. But if you had presented this in color, I wouldn't have questioned it at all.

Sports? It's all about the cute, color coordinated outfits, isn't it? Dodger Blue is one of my favorites, whether they make a touchdown or not.

Dina said...

Yes, the photo per se is very appealing, but the blimp is exciting!
Switzerland had a national exhibition thing in 2002 or 2003 and a passenger blimp was brought in for it. Several times a day for over a month it would fly over my window, very low and the engine very loud. The landing place was in the little airfield nextdoor, and I'd run out into the farm field to watch the ground crew catch the lines and pull the huge blimp to its mooring. Not always successful on their first try. It looked dangerous. One day I even ambushed the pilot and begged him to let me inside the gondola. Too bad that was in my pre-digital days. It was so exciting!

marley said...

This is a really cool photo, especially in B&W. Nice job.

Christie said...

I saw the blimp last December while it was hovering over Epcot at DisneyWorld. It was the first time I saw it in person and that was pretty cool! I'm glad you got a good picture of it.

Ted Thompson said...

OK... I knew this would happen eventually. I want a PRINT!!

That shot... I... uh... wow...

just

wow.

That's the best way I can put it, more learned folks above have put it all manner of technical terms but this is just one of those things that hits me - instantly... I wanna hang it next my Ansel Adams picture...

Really...

Knoxville Girl said...

This has Zen potential! There are a million stories to tell here.
I haven't seen the blimp floating in my skies for many years.
And here's a tip on speaking sportese. Start with this phrase: "How 'bout them (local team's name)?" Then smile, and let everyone else blab about sports stuff while you go check out the tailgate snacks.

Kris said...

I very much like the composition to this one.

"Sportsee"? Is that anything like "goatse"? ;)

Petrea said...

Bernie, thank you. I'm thrilled to hear such praise.

Bonjour Webradio! Merci!

Michael, it's so nice to see you here. I'm glad I conjured a memory for you. Do you get back to the states much?

I'm glad to find I'm not the only one, Sharon. (I didn't think I was.)

Generally I leave the color in, Elaine. I've never articulated why. I like B&W photography a lot when it's done well, but I don't like B&W just for the sake of B&W, if that makes sense. I think there needs to be a reason for it. I thought there was a reason for it here, although if you asked me what it was I don't think I could put it into words.

By the way, the photo of Benjamin's that you linked to is one of the more beautiful photos I've seen on the City Daily Photo blogs in recent weeks.

It is exciting, isn't it Dina? If I had a chance I'd do the same, try to get inside it. I don't think they land it here but in Redondo Beach.

Thanks, Marley.

Christie: double fun! Epcot and Goodyear blimp. That one flies out of Pompano Beach.

Oh boy, Ted! I'm honored. I'll figure out how, I promise. Just...I don't think you should hang it next to the Ansel Adams. Not close, anyway.

Argh! KG, I don't know what I'm going to post for Zen Monday. I shoulda saved this one.

Kris I...goatse? Is that like vegomite?

From de Cafe said...

P, a bark out 2 you 4 your choice of b/w!
Has anyone mentioned your choice of b/w to you 2day?

You & tech-queen Laurie definitely see the world best in black & white!

Tash said...

I SAW the BLIMP today going over to the fancy shmancy car show (I chased after it.) I drive home right by Airship Ops usually when the blimp is heading home, put-putting somewhere over Torrance.

But besides that - from all the comments, I think that blogging & following sports just does not mix, with maybe an exception of our favorite Alabama blogers.

Bernie K. said...

Makes me think back to Rudolph Arnheim—his Film As Art has a chapter where he analyzes the different ways to exploit rectangles (esp.squares, but he hung out with Gropius, for god's sake, whattya gonna do?).

This is a classic X composition, varied nicely by the usual differences in tone and shape. What I like best about it is how the dark complexity of the man+tree-shadow element balances the aridity of the blimp-alone-in-sky element, while the pale grey rectangle, on the wall at lower L answers the empty sky of upper R. X marks the sweet spot.

Petrea said...

Ha ha, From de Cafe!

See, Tash? And you didn't get excited either, did you?

Bernie, you're the only one who would casually "think back" to Arnheim and Gropius.

Olivier said...

superbe composition, j'aime beaucoup ce b&w.

Ms M said...

Interesting photo with the positions of the blimp and the guy walking. Good eye...

Bernie K. said...

Somtimes, when my brain hurts, I think back to Beanie & Cecil

Ted Thompson said...

having had more time to ponder it, I think I know what strikes me...

Nature overshadows the human while both dwarf technology and all are headed in different directions.

Sometimes I think I think too much... ^_^

Bernie K. said...

Dwarf technology! You'd need a microscope to see it.

Petrea said...

Merci everyone! I like this one, too.

Let's put Ted and Bernie together in a room and let them solve the world's problems. It just might work.