This past week I was in Europe, in Germany and the Netherlands. Thursday I was stuck inside all day due to rain, but after dinner the rain let up and I went out with my camera and the very nice (and relatively inexpensive) Tokina AF 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124 Pro DX II Lens. This is about half the price ($495) of the Nikon equivalent and is a solid, great performing lens. The challenge I set for myself was to just use this lens, no switching, forcing me to think in wide angle terms. The f4 setting let in a fair amount of light and the D7000 range resulted in (I think) decent photos.
Mr. William Schreyer endowed the honors college at Penn State in 1997, creating the Schreyer Honors College. When he passed away in nearly two years ago and friends and family wanted to honor him with a fitting gift to the SHC. The William A. Schreyer Courtyard will be dedicated tomorrow evening. I think it is beautiful.
When I started shooting and developing my own film and images (following in my older brother’s footsteps) we only used B&W. It was much cheaper and a lot easier to do in a basement darkroom whose walls consisted of heavy black plastic duct-taped to the ceiling. I have always loved landscapes and barns and farms in particular. This fall I hope to shoot a dozen or so specific farms I have gotten to know in our drives around central PA over the last 6 years. Today was fortuitous. It had begun to rain and we pulled over to put the top up. I drive past this farm at least twice a week, but usually as I am late for some meeting. This time I had the time.
No, this is not a political appeal or a reference to the upcoming election. It is about the SS United States. A few weeks ago we went to see Real Madrid v. Celtics at the new Eagle’s stadium. I left the ladies shopping at Ikea and directly across the parking lot was this old, rusting hulk of a ship. Clearly formerly majestic, now it was just sitting there waiting to become scrap…unless. Unless we save it! That is the appeal and I have to say, it’s history is compelling. At one time she held the fastest trans-Atlantic crossing record:
July 7, 1952
SS United States passes Bishop’s Rock at 6:16 A.M. ship’s time (5:16 A.M. Greenwich Mean Time), marking the end of the official transatlantic passage. She completed the transit in 3 days, 10 hours, and 40 minutes, with an average speed of 35.59 knots, utterly shattering the Queen Mary’s standing record.
You can find out more and help with the restoration at https://savetheunitedstates.org
My wife and I spent the first 4 years of our marriage in Oxford (UK, not MS). It was a wonderful time. I have been back just a few times, but 10 years after we left we returned with our children. That was 2007 and these are just a few pictures taken with a Minolta DiMAGE Z1. (This was produced a few years before they went out of the camera business; Sony bought their SLR division and the Alpha line was born.) I wonderful city, especially for an aspiring scholar. Next year we will be returning with a dozen students in tow for a two-week class.
We took a 15 minute train ride to Koog Zaandijk, famous, apparently, for its windmills. Cute place, a bit like a Dutch Williamsburg and not a bit like Dutch Wonderland.
This is the building in which my office is housed. It was originally built in 1937 (see image below) and was a woman’s residence hall and was named after Frances Washburn Atherton, the wife of the 4th president of Penn State. In 1997 construction began on creating office space within Atherton, already an honors residence hall, for the newly founded Schreyer Honors College.