Stone to City

While my normal images capturing the “civilization gradient” tend to be more focused on space (traversing from nature to dense urban areas), I sort of like the way this image reminds me of a traversal through time, from the Stone Age to the Information Age. As William Gibson says, “The future has already arrived—it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

Or perhaps it really just reminds me of the vantage point from Caspar David Friedrich’s “Wanderer above the Sea of Fog“.

Stone to City

Portland Pearl Aurora

This is more than a vibrant, glowing, living moment of late-night city life from the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon; this picture is the first I’ve ever processed with a new piece of software, Aurora HDR. It was processed only with Aurora, with no other fiddling in other programs. (As you may know, I’m typically a die-hard Photomatix+Photoshop workflow guy.) I’m not sure what place Aurora will have in my workflow long-term, but I have to at least say this: its noise reduction algorithms are by far the best I’ve ever seen. (Noise is the main enemy of good HDR shots.) I’ll bring you a longer report when I’ve had more seat time with it.

Portland Pearl Aurora

Architecture Future

Today’s photograph comes from the lobby of the newly opened Energy Biosciences Building, where I was lucky enough to get a late-night tour. Here, scientists and students focus on the problem of developing next-generation energy solutions, including biofuels and solar power. Though it will soon be bustling with life, the building is presently occupied by empty offices and cubicle skeletons. The modern surfaces, all wood and glass and brushed steel and matte concrete, really convey the mission.

Architecture Future

Blum Hall’s Geometry

During my time as a student at Berkeley, I’ve had a chance to watch Blum hall begin as a foundation and grow to this glowing glass-and-wood holocron you see here. It’s a beautiful building, and its modern architecture fits surprisingly well with the older buildings around it. Still, I have to wonder: given how small its footprint is, I have to wonder what the cost-per-square-foot of the space inside was?

Enormous. But oh-so worth it for the slightly sinister luminescence on winter nights. (I particularly like the manner in which the street lamps ring the building like matadors trying to keep its stampeding bulk contained.)

Blum Hall's Geometry