There's a hip new trend that has been sweeping the world of photography for the past few years, and it involves a special technique known as "Tilt Shift" photography.

Essentially, it involves taking photographs from an elevated perspective and altering them so as to make the image appear selectively in focus, much as the "macro" setting of a regular digital camera allows for up-close photography of smaller subjects. The resulting images make everyday settings appear miniaturized, as if a typical street scene was nothing more than a model or smaller version of the real thing.

So, since this blog is all about PERSPECTIVE I figured that Tilt/Shift would be well worth analyzing! However, after doing a bit of research I found that my current digital camera was dreadfully inept for such photography. Thankfully, the wonders of Photoshop allow an accurate replication of Tilt/Shift photography to be achieved! Here are some of the pictures I have applied my home-made Tilt/Shift photography towards...

Downtown Cincinnati

Airplane graveyard

Brother on water

44,000 and Moles

I recently found out that there are 44,000 homeless people in New York's five boroughs. Of those 44,000, over 6,000 spend their nights on the street. How is this possible?

Isn't there a housing crisis that has lowered the price of home and apartment ownership drastically? Aren't there government sanctions, such as Section VIII, that have allowed for reduced cost rent? Aren't there homeless shelters and all sorts of accommodations for underprivileged citizens to make use of? How is it possible for a city to be so desperate? A large portion of New York lives life above and beyond the limits of luxury while a vast population exists far below the poverty line.
How can I come to understand what it means to be homeless and live on the streets? I even hear that there are a kind of mole people - New York citizens that live in the abandoned subway stops and rail lines. I couldn't imagine living that kind of life, but for some reason the destitute nature of their existence makes me want to experience it all the more. At what other point in my life will I have the opportunity to see what it's like to live like a homeless person?

For all the atrocities that homeless living brings to the city, in all honesty the entire built environment of New York caters perfectly to the lifestyle of a homeless person. There are always people out on the streets, making it easy for homeless people to blend it. There is SO much trash and garbage overflowing from most of the garbage bins here that any homeless person would certainly never go hungry. Moreover, the maze of streets in most of the boroughs and the dark corners and parks cater perfectly to the late-night denizens not wishing to be caught or noticed, and in a city with so many flashy lights I couldn't imagine a better place for a homeless person to slip out of view than a side street or subway stop in New York city.

These are definitely questions worth pondering. Above ground, for now.


Who is John Galt?

I'm reading Atlas Shrugged and I think it's especially pertinent that I'm in New York as I'm reading it. Even though the book doesn't specify a time or era in which its events take place, it's fun to imagine that all of the events occur in the present day. I like to imagine that some of the people I ride the subway with might be modern Dagny Taggarts (or Howard Roarks if you've read the Fountainhead).
Besides this yearning for a brush with greatness and a continual apprehension that I might meet someone famous on the streets of New York, I also wonder at how many superheroes are from New York. Spiderman, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Hellboy for certain (plus Batman of Gotham and Superman of Metropolis). Am I leaving any superheroes out? And what is this obsession with Superheroes from New York?It's a pretty big contrast from The Last Airbender, the latest M. Night Shyamalan film, which, all its negative reviews and flashy 3D graphics aside, does a great job of casting the main hero as a bucolic, nomadic hero. Is it New Age? Is it just simple settings to contrast with a monumental story? I can't say for sure. What I do find fascinating however is The Last Airbender's ability to cast its hero in a stoic and spartan light (similar to Samurai Jack for those who remember that old TV show). Just as many other superheroes struggle with their power and responsibility, Aang of The Last Airbender proves no exception to the rule other than his existence in a pastoral, unadulterated landscape.This makes me wonder why New York, which, I would argue, is the major metropolitan hub for culture and economy in the Western World, is the place where so many super heroes choose to call home. Each of the heroes who live in New York certainly are a representation of the beliefs of the American way of life - compare any of them to The 99, a group of Islamic super heroes inspired by the 99 godly traits of Allah. Surely "American" heroes like those from New York take on a nationalistic, cultural, and arguably patriotic slant?
The characters from Atlas Shrugged seem no different from the classic New York-based superheroes, except that their abilities are closer to those of Batman, the classic "Superhero without super powers." Each of the characters exhibits a vast array of skills that are either mental, social, or economic in ability, and which make the character stand in brilliantly stark contrast to the petty New York citizens that surround them. I hope I'm not one of those petty citizens.
Who is the Howard Roark of our day? Who are the heroes that we idolize? Who is John Galt?