DC (not to be confused with previous post)

Posted by on Nov 19, 2009 in street

A month ago I attended the 238th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in DC. I know, I know, you probably feel silly for missing out, but it’s okay, they have two per year. Anyhow, sometimes I got out of the convention center and did myself a little wandering. I enjoyed the city quite a bit and found that it had a presence and character that really stood out. So, when I got home, I convinced Emily that we needed to make a trip there so that I could show her how much fun DC is and how easy it is to get lost despite the clever letter-number system they have going on with the streets.

We went down this past weekend for Emily’s birthday (her birthday was on Friday, but we changed it to Saturday because it rained) and thanks to some cool friends, got set up in a super nice hotel. We came down Thursday night, spent some time with friends and got nice and rested for a full out assault on the smithsonian museums the next day. Cue rain. We visited the museum of natural history, looked at some fish, left. Uhm.. We also bought a nice polka-dot umbrella… We learned that maybe the smithsonians, though impressive, weren’t our thing. We stopped by a couple art museums and pretty much called it a day.

Saturday was amazing because we visited Georgetown, which hosted the majority of an event called DC Photo week. This was awesome. It was basically a crazy amount of exhibitions by private photographers, photojournalists, and the AP. Absolutely amazing. We visited about 5 galleries, all of which were completely different. The associated press gallery was based on the election, there was one on cuba, one on russia and a huge collection of selections from different photojournalists.

Sunday. The holocaust museum is an interesting way to start off your day..

After that we visited the Eastern Market, which was definitely a good time. I ate a pretzel. So did Emily. Her’s was cinnamon though. Then we took a metro to dupont circle to meet some more friends for some awesome Italian food mmmmmmm.

Our last day was spent at the Newseum, which is based on journalism and well.. anything news. It’s one of the only non-free museums in DC but it was so flippin’ worth it. They had a piece of the Berlin Wall, the broadcast tower from the World Trade Center and a billion (roughly) other things that made my head melt. Also there was a giant room that had a ton of pulitzer-winning photographs on display. awesomely awesome. I highly recommend it.

Here’s our trip in a few photos:

and I inadvertently made this Nissan 350z advertisement

ludicrously long escalator to the dupont circle metro station


some flags at the post office



Then we went home. Wrong! First we got pulled over because I went through a red light in one of DC’s confusing circles of death. Got a warning :-) Then we went home.

DC Breakdancer

Posted by on Oct 28, 2009 in Personal, Photoshop

You Guys aren’t gonna believe this – but I was in DC and I found this breakdancer just rocking out between two moving subways. Hopefully, you don’t believe it because this image is my first shotty attempt at a photoshop image merge thingy.


I used to be very much on the side of those opposed to photoshopping the b’jesus out of photos, but I’ve recently been massively inspired by a number of photographers/digital artists out there. As an example, check out the ‘composites’ section of Jeremy Cowart’s work (http://www.jeremycowart.com). They’re definitely surreal enough for you to know something’s not natural, but he’s so talented it’s completely believable. I would love to sit down and learn a bunch of photoshop to see if I can tackle some of this stuff but grad school keeps getting in the way…

I still very much respect ‘keeping it real’ when it comes to photography – so long as you bear in mind that your image processor is making a lot of the decisions as to what real really is. Though, there certainly is a lot of authenticity to capturing an amazing shot without having to insert art into it later.  hmm hmm.


Oh – Here’s the originals:

orig-6SRC07_0810_BREAKDANCE-3_largeSubway Train (1)subway-5511-01

Here we go!

Posted by on Oct 26, 2009 in street

So every once in awhile I take my camera along with me for the whole day and I point it at various things. So long as I remembered my battery and memory card, I record some shots along the way. Every time I do this I say to myself ‘Mike, why don’t you do this more frequently, Morgantown is beautiful, in it’s own way, and you should record it’ Surprised by how thorough my conscious can sometimes be, I decided to carry my camera more often and -surprise- blog it.

So, welcome to my little blog. If you don’t know much about me – I’m a nerd. I go to grad school at WVU hoping to graduate with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry sometime around the year 2048. I have a lovely wife who shares my photo hobby with me and a little apartment in Morgantown WV. and also a blue mazda.

So in this first post, you’ll find my first little experiment with taking my camera to work/school/lab/whatever. I had a great time wandering around with my camera and took a large number of horrible photos. Not those horrible photos that look a lot better after you photoshop them, but just really not good pictures. It was fun! I usually point my camera at things on purpose – had some reason for the shot, and am not typically surprised by the result. But this week I just kinda clicked at things on my predictably mundane trip to work and back.  Out of the dozens of nonsense shots, though, I did come out with a few I really liked – not because they are particularly exceptional photos, but they achieved my goal of adding photography to my day-to-day life. woot.

So – here we go :-)


If you’re not familiar with the Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit System, affectionately known as the PRT, you must understand that it is one of the things that sets Morgantown apart from other *ahem* cities. You see, sometime in the 60s, they built it as a public transportation experiment to be one day implemented on a larger scale if it was successful. If you’ve visited any other American city in your life, you would know that it wasn’t. However, it is still a glorious combination of electric power and small carts. This is a photo of my trip to work, riding the PRT.


Oh No! I’m falling down the stairs!

I’m not, actually.


I thought it was kinda neat how the light was pretty much only on the trees.


This is our exceedingly brilliant NMR guy – I found him on his way to Sozo for some coffee.

So that is it for my first post.