Tag Archives: Charlotte

More From Town

Hot dog cart on Tryon Street in Charlotte

I’ve been feeling incredibly lazy and uninspired lately. Must be the heat. I thought I would break the posting drought with a few more photos from our last outing. We’ve got a couple more things planned over the next few weeks, hopefully to cooler and photogenic places.

Working harder than me – construction crew in Charlotte
The Atrium at Two Wells Fargo Center
Fin and Fino Restaurant in Charlotte
Fin and Fino Restaurant in Charlotte
The bar at Fin and Fino Restaurant in Charlotte
Buildings in Charlotte
Buildings in Charlotte
Duke Energy Center building in Charlotte
Buildings in Charlotte
Sometimes you just need it.
NOT the oblisk from 2001: A Space Odyssey

A Photography Exhibit In Charlotte

Photography exhibition ‘Annemarie Schwarzenbach: Departure without Destination’ at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte

One of the items on our agenda for our time in Charlotte was a photography show titled ‘Annemarie Schwarzenbach: Departure without Destination’ at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. (link)

Photography exhibition ‘Annemarie Schwarzenbach: Departure without Destination’ at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte
Photography exhibition ‘Annemarie Schwarzenbach: Departure without Destination’ at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte

Schwarzenbach was a Swiss writer, journalist and photographer with an interesting history. Her lifestyle would probably fit in pretty well today, but between that and her anti-Fascist campaigning made her an outcast forced her into exile. As a result she spent much of her time traveling the world, writing and photographing.  Her work as a journalist, coupled with her upper-class background and her status as the wife of French diplomat Claude Clarac granted her extraordinary freedom of travel for the period.

Photography exhibition ‘Annemarie Schwarzenbach: Departure without Destination’ at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte
Photography exhibition ‘Annemarie Schwarzenbach: Departure without Destination’ at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte
Photography exhibition ‘Annemarie Schwarzenbach: Departure without Destination’ at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte
Photography exhibition ‘Annemarie Schwarzenbach: Departure without Destination’ at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte

The Bechtler exhibit represents work from her travels throughout the world, including the southeastern US in 1936-1938 and features archival material, film, and 200 photographs drawn from the approximately 7,000 photographs in the Schwarzenbach’s estate, which is held in the Swiss Literary Archives in Bern, Switzerland.

“I only ask myself – and every day it becomes more urgent – if people actually realize the significance of what is taking place – namely, that not only a hateful tendency is gaining the upper hand here but also that an entire people, and in spite of it all a highly telented one that cannot be erased from the history of Eurorpean culture – is committed to this path […] for years to come. […] Oppositiion would not take the form of escape or renunciation […], but rather the cultivation of the intellectual and spiritual values in which one believes, until a better hour.” Letter from Annemarie Schwarzenbach to Klaus Mann, April 8, 1933

I had never heard of Schwarzenbach before learning about this show, and found it to a fascinating look at the world of her time. The show runs through 7/31/22.

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte

Birthday Girl

Deans Italian Steakhouse at the JW Marriott in Charlotte

Earlier this week, Kathy & I celebrated the ’44th anniversary of her 21st birthday” with a couple of nights in The Big City (Charlotte) with some jazz, dinners with friends, an art museum and lots of walking around. We had a great time, I took a few photos and we are now back on our diets for a few more weeks! 😉

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte

A Visit to NoDa

Mural on a building in the North Davidson (NoDa) area of Charlotte

This is the first of what I plan to be a series of posts under the category “Tourist In My Own Town!

Kathy & I paid a visit to the area of Charlotte near the intersection of North Davidson Street and East 36th Street, known to locals as “NoDa” as in North Davidson. Clever, huh? We went primarily to visit a wine bar and retail wine shop recently opened by a friend of ours, but decided to make an afternoon of it. It was a nice day, a little warm for spring with highs in the mid-80s, but the humidity was low and there was a nice breeze.

Mural on a building in the North Davidson (NoDa) area of Charlotte
Mural on a building in the North Davidson (NoDa) area of Charlotte

NoDa is packed with bars and restaurants, with a few retail stores and tattoo parlors mixed in for good measure. Kathy & I avoided the tattoo parlors! During the day it is pretty quiet, but I understand that things get cranking in the evening. We did our thing early and got out before the masses arrived!

The North Davidson (NoDa) area of Charlotte
Public art in the form of bicycle storage at the 36th Street transit station. The North Davidson (NoDa) area of Charlotte.

We walked around a bit and I took some pictures. Then with time to kill we hopped on the light rail, took it out to UNC Charlotte, wandered around there then got back in time for our destination to open at 4:00. We filled up on wine and snacks, bought a few bottles for souvenirs, and headed home in time to enjoy the sunset from our porch.

Shadows cast by the Mikyoung Kim’s Nexus Project – public art installation at the UNC Charlotte Main Station for the Lynx Blue Line

A nice day!

Lens Insecurity?

Testing my old Fujinon 18-55 Lens

Years ago I was at a photo seminar, and the presenter – either John Shaw, Tony Sweet or Bob Krist (I think it was Bob but it was a long time ago) mentioned that he thought we were looking at our digital files too closely.  He referred to the fact that in the film days, looking at our negatives or slides under a loupe only gave us about a 10-25% zoom factor, and that if it looked sharp under a loupe it was probably sharp enough.

Testing my old Fujinon 18-55 Lens
Testing my old Fujinon 18-55 Lens
Testing my old Fujinon 18-55 Lens

I’ve always heard (and practiced) that sharpness with digital files is best evaluated at 100%.  That was especially true back in the days of Unsharp Mask in Photoshop.  But now that we have newer, higher-resolution sensors, I’m not sure that needs to be the case any more.  Once in a while I look at my photos think that they don’t look as crispy sharp as they should.  Is it the lens?  Is it my technique?  Is my new whiz-bang camera a piece of junk? Is it my eyes?  Am I looking too close?  But the finished digital files and prints come out consistently good, so it hasn’t been too big of a worry.

Testing my old Fujinon 18-55 Lens

A couple of weeks ago I was aimlessly wandering through my Lightroom catalog and looked at some of my recent photos taken with the Fujinon 16-80 f4.  Although I’ve been consistently pleased with the lens since I got it, I convinced myself that some of them looked a little soft, especially at the edges and the corners, and I wondered about the lens.  So I went back and sorted my photos by camera and lens, looking at photos I’ve taken with some of my older lenses including my primes, and found that they all look really good but all about the same.  The primes are more consistently sharp, but that is to be expected.  That is a good reminder to use my primes more!

Testing my old Fujinon 18-55 Lens

I often reminisce about the Fujinon 18-55 f2.8-4 that I sold to my son along with my old camera bodies, referring to it as “the lens that made me decide to go with Fuji” when I moved away from Canon gear.  He graciously agreed to lend it to me for a week or two, so I have been using it to take some walking-around-the neighborhood photos.  But you know, as good as it is, it isn’t significantly “better” than the other lenses I own.  I do love the more compact size, as it is closer to a prime weight-wise.  But it isn’t significantly better image-wise.  But then I remembered that old saying and decided to back the zoom off to 50%.  Lo and behold, they all look pretty darned good!  So I’m wondering – am I looking too close?

In case anyone wonders, I wrote off the 16-55 2.8 years ago as being too heavy and too expensive, regardless of how highly rated it is.  It would be defeating the purpose of downsizing from the heavy Canon gear.

Testing my old Fujinon 18-55 Lens

Another thought I had was about monitor resolution.  I’m using a good but old ASUS Pro Art monitor that I’ve had for about 8 years.  It’s nothing fancy, especially compared with the newer 4K and 5K monitors out these days.  Is it possible that my monitor is not able to sufficiently resolve the files, or that a newer better monitor would show that detail better?  Or would I be just as perplexed as I am now but several hundred dollars (or more) poorer?  It’s new territory for me, but if anyone has insight I’d love to hear it.

Testing my old Fujinon 18-55 Lens
Testing my old Fujinon 18-55 Lens

In the mean time, I’ll keep my zoom at 50% and be glad that the finished output still looks excellent!

These photos, by the way, were all taken with the 18-55 and in-camera JPEGs with the stock Fuji Velvia profile.  No adjustments in Lightroom other than output sharpening.  For whatever that’s worth!

Testing my old Fujinon 18-55 Lens
Testing my old Fujinon 18-55 Lens
Testing my old Fujinon 18-55 Lens

Christmas Lights

Christmas lights on Carbert Lane in Huntersville, North Carolina

Kathy & I gave up covering our house with lights years ago, but still enjoy driving around nearby neighborhoods to check out other peoples’ efforts.  Some people really get carried away!

Christmas lights on Carbert Lane in Huntersville, North Carolina
Christmas lights on Carbert Lane in Huntersville, North Carolina
Christmas lights on Carbert Lane in Huntersville, North Carolina

Most neighborhoods we go through have few places to park or walk safely, but this particular spot in Huntersville has two houses next to each other, spectacularly decorated and with reasonable parking, at least when we visited.  We were able to get out and walk on the sidewalks without worrying too much about distracted light peepers.

Christmas lights on Carbert Lane in Huntersville, North Carolina
Christmas lights on Carbert Lane in Huntersville, North Carolina
Christmas lights on Carbert Lane in Huntersville, North Carolina

The forecast is calling for some interesting weather here for tonight and Christmas Day, but I don’t think we’ll see any snow.  It sounds like a good day to stay snuggled up with coffee and a warm fire.  Later in the day we’ll open the bourbon and wine!

Christmas lights on Carbert Lane in Huntersville, North Carolina
Christmas lights on Carbert Lane in Huntersville, North Carolina
Christmas lights on Carbert Lane in Huntersville, North Carolina

We hope everyone has a good holiday this year despite all the mayhem.  We are looking forward to lots of positive direction in 2021.

Christmas lights on Carbert Lane in Huntersville, North Carolina

A Return To Latta – With Company!

Nature walk with Edison at Latta Nature Preserve near Huntersville, North Carolina

Kathy & I made another trip to Latta Nature Preserve this past weekend, and met our son Scott and grandson Edison there.  Edison enjoys taking “nature walks” and we knew this would be a good place to take him.

Nature walk with Edison at Latta Nature Preserve near Huntersville, North Carolina
Nature walk with Edison at Latta Nature Preserve near Huntersville, North Carolina

Interestingly, the water levels were much higher this time, even though we really hadn’t had that much rain.  I know that Duke Energy manages the lake levels along the Catawba River, so it likely had something to do with that.

Nature walk with Edison at Latta Nature Preserve near Huntersville, North Carolina
Latta Nature Preserve near Huntersville, North Carolina

It was a little chilly but the sun was shining and we had a nice visit.  We then returned to the house for pizza and chips, so it was a good day all around!

Latta Nature Preserve near Huntersville, North Carolina