Time Series: Travelers Tower

The move to Hartford has offered me the opportunity to capture this time sequence (like the ones I took in Kentucky and the North Country) with a dramatic view of Travelers Tower over the course of a day. If the image appeals, it’s also available as a dynamic wallpaper for macOS that will change your desktop with the time of day.


Travelers Tower 04:30


Travelers Tower 04:52


Travelers Tower 05:10


Travelers Tower 11:32


Travelers Tower 14:11


Travelers Tower 16:33


Travelers Tower 17:31


Travelers Tower 18:51


Travelers Tower 19:25


Travelers Tower 19:40


Travelers Tower 20:00


Travelers Tower 20:36


Travelers Tower 23:46


Eucalyptus Trails

Why save RAW camera outputs from (in this case) six years ago? Digital photography is a rapidly advancing field, and the advent of machine-learning-based noise reduction techniques has completely changed what sorts of images are salvageable. This lovely shot of Berkeley’s fire trails and tall (but invasive) eucalyptus trees stayed in the “unusable” pile for half a decade because I took it freehand, just after sunset, before I deployed my tripod—resulting in an ISO 4500 image from my old D7000 that was just too noisy. Topaz’s latest filters solved that and now this photo can take me back to my California sabbatical.

Eucalyptus Trails

Hartford by Night

Moving to downtown Hartford, Connecticut placed this view just outside my window. I used to look across the city to Travelers Tower (the illuminated building at right) from my dorm room at Trinity College; 15 years later, I realize it shone like a beacon because it was being actively lit from nearby rooftops. Perhaps that’s a good lesson for life: the achievements that stand out don’t do so by accident, but because of conscious effort.

Hartford by Night

Where the Houses Stop/Palm Trees and Sprawl

Like a child’s legos, spilled out onto the floor until they reach the wall of the room, the sprawl of Coachella Valley reaches from one mountain range to the other.

Palm Trees and Sprawl

Of course, when that sprawl does reach the edge, modern California’s land conservation kicks in and a hard barrier appears between homes and desert.

Where the Houses Stop

The Future Wasn’t Already There, But Now It’s Evenly Distributed

My favorite William Gibson quote is, “The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed.” How we gauge futurity—or how we identify the traits we associate with future-ness—means that some places will have more “future” to them than others. A mountaintop in the Adirondacks might be pretty similar to its condition 100 years ago, while downtown Berkeley would be unrecognizable.

This image is a picture of the past, from the “future”: I wanted to print a tall, vertical image of Berkeley and the Bay but had (it turns out) never quite taken the one I wanted. I had taken the two pictures that went into making this image as part of a larger panorama in 2013 that never quite came out. Here in the present, I pulled in every technique in my arsenal—Adobe’s super resolution, Topaz AI noise reduction, frequency separation—to assemble two images from a circa-2010 16 MP Nikon D7000 into the 76 MP monster you see below. This one is definitely worth clicking through to full resolution.

The Future Wasn't Already There, But Now It's Evenly Distributed