The Night Belongs to Me

Broadway 11-13-2015_2464I like roaming the streets at night. Maybe part of it is that I don’t like to get up early. Even most of my bicycle riding was done as the sun was going down and later. The streets were quieter. People weren’t in as much of a hurry. It was fun cruising through neighborhoods chatting with people walking their dogs, pushing baby strollers or rolling their garbage cans to the curb.

If you saw a flickering light in a darkened room, you knew the residents were watching TV; if the light was steady, they were on their computer. If their windows were open, you could smell their dinners cooking, and maybe even guess what part of the country or world they were from by those fragrances.

After I dropped off my late-night meeting or sports photos at The Missourian (so I wouldn’t have to get up early in the morning to do it), I’d roam up and down the streets and alleys listening to police calls, talking to the night watchmen or just enjoying a city asleep. The cops all knew my car, so they never stopped me to see if I was up to something.

View from Fort A

View from Fort A 11-13-2015The view from what had once been Civil War Fort A at the end of Bellvue is arguably the prettiest view of Cape Girardeau. I wish I had been there 15 minutes earlier so the barge would have shown up better in the reflections of lights on the river. Of course, had I been there 15 minutes earlier, the boat would have been below the bridge, and it wouldn’t have mattered what the light level was. As it turned out, I had to wait about five minutes for it to get where it is here.

KFVS antenna farm

KFVS at night 11-13-2015Coming down the hill from Bellvue on North Lorimier from Fort A, my eye was drawn to the KFVS tower and the antenna farm behind it. I drove past, wondering if it was worth a shot. When I saw the crescent moon over the Marquette Hotel. I circled the block and was lucky enough to find a parking spot just about where I needed to shoot. (You can click on the photos to make them larger, by the way.)

A car pulled in across the street just about the time I got out of mine. The driver must have wondered what I was up to, because I could sense he was watching me. Finally, when I opened the door to get back into my van, he got out and walked across the street. I didn’t stick around to see if he went into KFVS or walked down the hill to what used to be the the N’Orleans, the brick building on the left.

The antenna on the right is a twin to the iconic one on the last hill on Highway 61 coming into Cape from Jackson.

It’s that time of year again

Buy From Amazon.com to Support Ken SteinhoffEverybody is getting all excited about Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Overspend Wednesday (I made that one up), so I’m going to join the din.

If you are going to shop Amazon anyway, please go to my blog and click on the big red ‘Click Here’ button at the top left of the page (or, this one). That’ll take you directly to Amazon with a code embedded. If you buy something, I’ll make from four to seven percent of your purchase price without it costing you anything.

Think of it as being your painless Christmas present to me.

Is It True?

Jackson sunset-moon rise 07-30-2015Wife Lila and I were over in Jackson to see Carla Jordan at the new Cape Girardeau County History Center on Thursday. All the parking was taken up, so we circled the block hoping a spot would open up. Just as I turned west, she let out a shriek, “Stop the car!!!”

I thought I might have run over an armadillo or something, so I locked down the brakes. It turned out that she had seen the almost full moon and wanted to get out to take a photo of it.

I shot an obligatory photo of the orb, but that wasn’t what got ME excited.

A great nerve

Jackson sunset-moon rise 07-30-2015In the early ’90s, I attended a conference on telephone technology where the cover of one of the handouts featured the 1851 Nathaniel Hawthorne quote below. That’s about the only thing I remember from the conference, truth be told.

Is it a fact—or have I dreamt it—that by means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time? Rather, the round globe is a vast head, a brain, instinct with intelligence: or shall we say it is itself a thought, nothing but thought, and no longer the substance which we dreamed it.

As soon as I saw the sunlight glinting off the utility lines, I thought of those lines. (You can click on the photos to make them larger.)

We’re already obsolete

Jackson sunset-moon rise 07-30-2015I just remembered one other thing about that conference. Another speaker broke the news that the new ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) telephone switch we had just spent close to half a million bucks on was already Old Technology. To prove it, he brandished a USA Today newspaper he had picked up in the lobby.

“Leaf through the ads in this paper,” he challenged. “See how many of them have a telephone number in them and then count how many contain a web address.”

I didn’t rush back to tell that to management.

 

Accidental Valentine’s Moon

98% Full Moon  w warning siren 04-02-2015I realized that a photo I needed for a post was on my Nikon D3100, so I went out to the car to get it. Peeking through the trees was a moon that was 98% full.

I was going to forget about it, but then I saw it was hiding behind the storm warning siren on Kingsway Drive. It was fresh in my mind because the city did their monthly test of it yesterday.

I must have moved the camera during the 1/6 of a second exposure, resulting in a heart-shaped moon. It was tempting to save it for February 14, but here it is.

Photo Geek stuff: Nikon D-3100; 55 – 200 mm lens zoomed to 98 mm (but cropped tighter in printing); f/4.5; ISO 3200.

Moon with siren

98% Full Moon  w warning siren 04-02-2015This is the photo I was trying to take. It would have been more effective had the moon been larger, but I wanted to get the siren in it.

Photo Geek stuff: Nikon D-3100; 55 – 200 mm lens zoomed to 98 mm; 1/8 @f/4.5; ISO 3200.

 

 

Nearly Full Moon

97% Full Moon Cape Girardeau 02-23-2013

I was headed out the door to grab something to eat when Mother said, “There’s a full moon tonight.”

“Oh, I wish you hadn’t told me. I’m too tired to shoot it,” I lamented after a day of cutting wood. (I’m also too tired to write about THAT, too, despite promises I made on Facebook. It’ll come.)

That’s when I remembered my early birthday present from The Boys: my Nikon 55-200mm lens. How could I pass up a chance to see what THAT would do with the moon.

Not bad. It’s always more interesting if it’s lower in the sky and if it has some kind of interesting landmark in the foreground, but this will do for a lens test. You can click on it to make it larger.

Photo geek info

I shot the photo with my Nikon D3100. The ISO was 400 and the exposure was 1/320 @ f5/7. The lens was zoomed to the maximum 200mm, which would be the equivalent of 300mm on a standard 35mm film camera.

I underexposed five stops from what the meter indicated (because it was reading all that black sky). It was taken with manual focus instead of automatic because it kept wanting to either grab onto some tree limbs in the foreground or not fire at all because it didn’t think there was anything there. One of the nice things is that the focusing ring on that lens is big enough to grab; that’s not the case with my 18-55mm lens.

It would be a little sharper if I had bothered to drag a monopod or my new Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT tripod out of the car, but I was too tired and hungry to fool around with fancy stuff.

Oh, and when I got home, I found out that the moon wasn’t all the way full. It was only 97% full.