Thursday, July 7, 2011

Things that make you go WTF?!?!?...

As I was driving home from work yesterday along the tree-lined streets of my hood, this car in front of me caught my eye.

While a Prius is not by any means a terribly unusual sight in Alexandria - Hell, there's three or four on my block alone - this one was different. Oh so very, very different.

What? You can't see it in this picture? Let me blow it up for you...(it's clickable if you want a really good view)

Do you see what I see? Yeah, that's a Prius with a Palin bumper sticker. Isn't that like matter and anti-matter? Good and evil? Intelligence and American Idol? Chocolate and peanut butter? (Oh, wait, strike that last one, I got carried away).

Shouldn't this combination cause some kind of massive conflagration as one obliterates the other? A microscopic supernova (femtonova??) in Del Ray?

Seriously? As crunchy as owning a hybrid is, and as smug and pretentious as their owners can be (some, not all), it's still a good choice for a car when it comes to lowering the carbon footprint. But then you go and ruin all that good karma by supporting a deluded, vacuous demagogue like Sarah Palin?

I weep for the future.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Look! Up in the sky...

Hope everyone's recovering from America's big birthday party yesterday. Two hundred and thirty-five years old and we barely look a day over 200. Especially when you look at some of the roads around here.


Anyway, instead of battling the traffic or the barbarian hoards on Metro yesterday, I decided to risk Mother Nature's fickle mood and ride my bike downtown for the firework on the Mall. Although I didn't go to the Mall, I'm sure it would have worked just as well. All told, about an hour of commuting (30 minutes up and 30 or so back).

Except for the idiots around Gravely Point who thought it was a great idea to let their little kids play on the path, it was relatively painless. I'm thinking the bike is the way to go for all things outdoors, in the evenings in D.C. (basically, Screen on the Green or jazz in the sculpture garden).

And, for the moment you've all been waiting for, the pictures. Unlike previous years when I shot from the Mall, this year I went to the other side of the display and made my pictures from the Virginia side of the Potomac down by the Lincoln Memorial. I have to say, the crowds were a lot less and you're a lot, a lot, closer to the fireworks. You can feel them explode and don't have to worry about the sweaty stranger next to you getting in your space. For those who are wondering about the technical aspects of the pictures, they were all shot at 100 ISO equivalent, an f/8 apeture and, generally speaking, 1.6 second shutter speed.


This picture shows one of the main reasons I decided to forgo the Mall - you get very few reflections off a mass of sweaty humanity.

I really, really liked these ground-bursting shells. Very cool effect.

More ground-bursts.

And, finally, I got a whole bunch of shots where this guy in the kayak slowly drifted through the frame. I kinda like it.

If you want more from the fireworks display, they're posted on my Flickr page.