Oct 112012

About Traverse Earth

I’ve added an about page. You can click the link above (just below the header) if you want to know a little bit more about me, about this site and what I’d like it to become or for info on how to license or purchase prints of my photos. I’ll also be adding some photos of me in action over the weekend.

Today’s Photo: Barge Music Beneath the Brooklyn Bridge

This is one of my older shots from New York. I was going through some old files and found this tone-mapped image that I hadn’t tweaked in Photoshop yet. I’d been having some trouble with it over a year ago and it got cast aside. I decided to give it another go and now I’m happy with the final result.

Party barge under the Brooklyn Bridge with golden lights reflecting on the river and bridges under a purple night sky in New York City.

Jul 222012

This is another shot of the amazing window displays at Bergdorf Goodman’s in New York. Every Christmas they have these really intricate windows. I wonder what they’ll be like this year.

Bergdorf Goodman's 2011 white Christmas window with lady, attacking bear and other animals while showing 5th avenue in the downtown direction.

Jun 142012

Today’s Photo: Hello Stranger

Another of Bergdorf-Goodman’s amazing window displays just before Christmas. I find the way that I got the mannequin to look into the camera in this photo a little unsettling. There’s an odd life-like quality coming from it. It feels like she could step through the glass out into the street. I wish I’d taken photos of more of the windows there. Unfortunately, this and the parrot are the only two that I took. By this point I was absolutely freezing (it was 5 in the morning) and my hands in particular couldn’t take it any longer. I had a long, LONG walk back to the hotel. I did stop off and pick up a delicious egg and sausage bagel from one of the street carts though. That made it all better.

Bergdorf Goodman's 2011 Christmas window in white of woman, ram, bear and other animals with Fifth Avenue view looking uptown.

 Something Interesting: Back to the Future

This is a really cool idea for a photo project. Irina Werning got people to dig out old photographs of themselves and then recreated them with the people replicating the poses,dress and activities even though they’re now considerably older: BACK TO THE FUTURE: IRINA WERNING



May 272012

My First Time-Lapse!

I know I told you that my first time-lapse would be of an ice cube melting and that you’re all really excited to see that. Unfortunately, I’ve got to disappoint you. Yesterday, I shot a time-lapse of my friends as we cruised through Hamilton Harbor, Bermuda. The intervalometer was set to take a photo every 10 seconds. The end result is a 30 second video. I feel like it needs a sound-track, but can’t think of anything.


Today’s Photo: The Parrot in the Window

As a happy side effect of buying a second camera body, I took out one of my backup memory cards. Happily, I discovered some photos from New York I thought I’d managed to lose. Early in the morning, just before last Christmas I decided to set out and take some photos without anyone else around. The streets were empty as I’d expected. It was also really cold. Colder than I’d expected.

Bergdorf Goodman always has pretty extravagant window displays, so I decided to try to incorporate them in a few photos. I had seen a picture someone took on a train, where half the photo showed what was outside the window, the other half showed what was inside. This made me decide to try taking a similar approach with this shot.

Bergdorf Goodmans 2011 Christmas window of golden parrots and other birds while looking downtown on Fifth Avenue, New York City at night.


May 242012

New Toys

Canon 7d

I grew more and more paranoid about having my camera break down on my first day in Iceland. So, I went through with my plans as stated on the My Gear page of this website and bought a Canon 7d. BH Photovideo came in particularly useful for this as I was able to go through their second hand department and save some cash. I have a lot of faith in their second hand department as they certify everything is in working order and even provide you with a new warranty.

I haven’t had time to get out with it yet, but will be adding a comparison of the 5d mk II and the 7d once I get a feel for it. Already, from fiddling around with it at home, it’s pretty clear it will be a good companion for my 5d mk II. I’ll be using the 7d for any action/wildlife photos going forward. It’s got a much higher frame per second rate in burst mode and the crop sensor has the effect of extending the reach on my 70-30mm lens.


While I was at it, I bought myself a Canon Intervalometer. I’m a big fan of time lapse videos and this will make it easy. It’ll also make my long exposures easier as I won’t have to stand there watching for a 16 minute exposure to finish and close the shutter. In fact, as i write this my camera is producing my first time lapse for me. It’s sat pointed at a pair of ice cubes in a glass, snapping a photo every 45 seconds. Once I figure out how to stitch it together I’ll let you guys see how it came out. (the ice cube idea came from Ian Sheldon, here)

I know you’re all excited by the opportunnity to watch an ice cube melt, but that’s going to be a few days. To hold you over, take a look at these two great timelapse films that payed a part in inspiring my interest: Migration and The Mountain.


Today’s Photo: Creepy Red Light

I took this on my first trip to New York after discovering HDR. The inside-outside nature of the shot is great for HDR along with the details in the bricks. The red light was flashing on and off which I thought could add a pretty cool effect and I set about capturing it. I don’t know who decided to put a red light in this tunnel but it would have been pretty creepy if I’d encountered it at twilight; particularly as it was also buzzing for the moments it was on.

This light was an integral part of my shot. So, typically, as soon as I got set up it decided to turn off. I’m pretty sure it had a loose wire. I gave up and started to pack up. Then, it came back on again so I set up again. Guess what happened next…

Give up?

It turned off again!

By this point I was determined. I thought maybe it was on a motion sensor. I couldn’t see one and walked all over the place to no avail. I decided I’d wait 15 mins and then pack it in. About 5 minutes in it started flashing again and I got the shot.

Brick tunnel bathed in red light looking out at a green bordered path in Central Park, New York City.


Apr 112012

Iceland Planning

My upcoming trip to Iceland is starting to come together. I’m going for the solstice so that I can take pictures during the extended sunsets/sunrises. The sun only dips under the horizon at this time of year so it’s going to be light 24 hours a day. To take advantage of the golden hours I’m going to have to be shooting from about 10:00pm until 4:00am. My original plan was to stay up all night taking photos and sleeping during the day. I was trying to plot a route that would allow me to arrive at a new hotel every morning. The next step was going to be convincing hotels to let me stay for just the daytime.

This got frustrating because, assuming I’d managed to book hotels, it was very difficult to make these jumps from hotel to hotel on the back roads I want to photograph and manage to make it all the way around the island in a week. It also made it impossible to schedule in a few activities I’d like to do that take place during the day – snorkeling the rift, whale watching, and a somewhat odd museum.

I’ve come up with the solution. I’ll be sleeping twice a day. So, I’ll drive from hotel to hotel in the middle of the day, sleep for the evenings and then head out all night for the best light. Then, I’ll go to sleep again from about 4am until about 5 minutes before the hotel forces me to check out.

This route actually means that I can spend a couple of nights in two locations, allowing me to dedicate a day to whale watching as well as a day for snorkeling the rift. The only thing I need to fit in now to make me perfectly happy is a visit to the ice caves of Kverkfjöll. They’re in the interior so I’m not sure I want to drive there on my own. Apparently, there’s also a chance of cave-ins so a guide is pretty essential. Unfortunately, the only tours I’ve found so far last 12 hours! That’s not going to do the trick.

Spare Doors for Sale

I found these taxi garages in New York really interesting. They were really long and narrow, this one particularly so. It must be a real pain getting cars in and out, having to empty the shop every time. I took this photo with a wide angle lens in order to emphasize the depth. As i mentioned in a prior post I didn’t have my tripod with me as checking in at the Yotel was proving complicated and I’d let them store my bag without removing my tripod. As a result, I had to shoot handheld so I had to use a smaller depth of field than I would have liked.

Long skinny yellow taxi garage with a row of spare doors on the wall in New York City.

Mar 222012

This is one of my early attempts at HDR. I spotted this little structure and decided to see if I’d be able to capture the detail inside as well as the skyline in the distance. I have no idea who this guy is but he made quite a good subject to anchor the photo on. He seemed completely oblivious to my presence as well, must have been a good book.

A man reading inside a detailed cast iron gazebo in Central Park, New York showing the lake and skyline in the distance.

Mar 202012

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is quite a hectic experience – in a good way. There are loads of people walking across the bridge on what is a relatively narrow pathway considering that one half is reserved for bicycles – and people fly across the bridge on their bikes. Heaven forbid you should accidentally stray into the biker lane. This happened quite regularly and the bikers’ responses ranged from frantically ringing bells to comedic outbursts of rage.

Looking over the edge I noticed the scene was much calmer and snapped a shot of this car on it’s way home. The peace didn’t last long as this road was soon swarmed with commuters once again.

I felt like the lone car gave this photo a bit of an apocalyptic feel – like it was being driven by the survivors of a zombie invasion.

View from the Brooklyn Bridge of a lone car on the road giving an apocalyptic feel.