photography: May 2003 Archives

Mercklen Family

I've uploaded a gallery of pictures from Moselem Springs in Berks County, Pennsylvania. This area was settled by many Protestant Alsatians fleeing persecution following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in France, including my great-great-great- great-great-great-grandfather Johann Christian Mercklen. Johann left the city of Metz for Pennsylvania in 1703. His descendants lived as farmers, blacksmiths and millwrights in western Pennsylvania, at one point owning over 1,300 acres of land.

Although the family land was sold in the 1960's to build a golf course, most of the buildings remain, including an 18th-century house and mill. The Lutheran church nearby has a graveyard with many family tombstones from the past 250 years. Most are carved in German blackletter and eroded by the elements, which makes deciphering the names difficult.

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This will have to hold you untill I can process the two hundred pictures I took today in Berks County, Pennsylvania, in and around Moselem Springs. This gravestone is from Zion Moselem Lutheran Church, founded in 1743.









Edit: more here.

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Stamps from Norway

Some stamps from Norway -- from a package sent at Christmastime, thus the seasonal knit cap.







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Flowers on Broadway

Just a quick update as an excuse to upload a picture taken at a flower stand on Broadway and 103rd. Today is the beginning of commencement exercises on campus; the video feed we're providing will be available in both Real and Multicast MPEG-1 here.



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Birdwatching

Took a walk through Central Park yesterday with the new camera and managed to take a few snapshots of various avian and terrapin wildlife. We're finally getting some nice sunny days in New York. Thanks to Alicia for help identifying the birds.

The Canon 28-135mm lens is working out great -- it's a good range for both a far-off shot of an egret as well as when the turtles want their close-up. Think the next lens on my list might be a wide-angle. Due to the 10D's 1.6x focal-length multiplier, you have to get a pretty extreme lens to get much of an effect at all, which is a shame -- it's the downside to the same optical principle that renders telephoto lenses that much more powerful when attached to this body. Having said that, the Tokina 17mm looks like it does a good job in this situation. Here's a review of the lens by a guy who shoots with a 10D himself.

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Dez Reais

While in Brazil in 2000, I got this bill in change at a store. It's a 20 Reais note, produced especially for the 500th anniversary of the country (counting from Pedro Álvares Cabral's discovery on April 22nd, 1500.)

What's interesting about it is something that's difficult to sense without running your finger over the surface -- it's printed on polymer plastic instead of cloth paper. The red circle on the left-hand side is actually transparent plastic. When you fold the bill over on itself, the numerals "10" appear when viewed through the red filter.

Here is an image of the back of the bill. Note the multi-racial faces on it -- everything from white to black to indigenous. For more detailed info, see this page on the website of the Banco Central do Brasil, or this page in English.

Although 10 Reais is about $3.70 at today's exchange rate, the bill itself is allegedly worth $12-$15 as a souvenir. That trip to Rio is paying for itself already.

{Side note: the currency is Brazil is one real, plural reais. Initial 'r' goes to an h sound in most Brazilian dialects of Portuguese, and terminal 'l' causes the lips to be rounded into almost a w sound.}

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10D First Pictures

I took the Canon 10D out for a walk today on my way to lunch. The results -- pretty much the first shots I've taken on the camera -- are here.

Since I haven't gotten around to choosing a lens of my own yet, I borrowed a Sigma 28-135mm zoom from my friend زرينة (Zarina). The range of the lens was terrific, allowing me to capture everything from curbside flowers to distant buildings. I'm looking at getting a Canon lens with roughly the same focal length range, but with Image Stabilization to counteract my lack of ability to hold a camera steady.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the photography category from May 2003.

photography: April 2003 is the previous archive.

photography: June 2003 is the next archive.

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