2014 – HDR imaging, Part 2 + The best photos of the year

As I put these yearly posts together, I search my hard drive for various “Best of”s that I put together at the end of each year. Usually, it’s an accumulation of jpegs that are arranged by image number rather than by date or subject matter, so there’s no real placement rhyme or reason (unless it was an event with multiple images).

For 2011 – my first real digital year – I didn’t even think to make a “Best of”, so I had to go through every unaltered original, make my selections and start scanning and manipulating – a LOT of work. Since those originals are arranged in my Pictures file by month, that’s how I presented them.

As I start the post for 2014, I see that – for the last time – they’re arranged by month. After 2014, it’s back to rhymelessness/reasonlessness……………..just good shots (he says, hopefully).

Before we get to those monthly groupings…………


HDR (High Dynamic Range – continued from 2013)


The Anderson Street Station


This HDR image shows the newly-rebuilt station before they put the name on it:



This HDR image shows a train stopped at the station. I had to run up a few car-lengths to include the engine. Between the running, the setup and framing and the 3 exposures needed for the HDR, I barely finished before the train pulled out.



This is a combination of front and side exposures run through the HDR program. The yellow part of the tall building on the left is the front of the tall building on the right and the same side wall is shown in both (look at the one lit window on top).

I had NO idea how – or even if – this would come out, but I like it a lot:



The Second Reformed Church of Hackensack (my next-door neighbor):









The Hess Oil Tanks, Bogota, NJ

As seen from across the Hackensack River, these tanks are now gone and are to be replaced by apartments…………..in a flood zone. We’ll see how that works out.



The George Washington Bridge’s reflected lighting

The George Washington Bridge’s lighting is reflected in the Hudson River. The orange and green lights are the reflection of the bridge’s “necklace” during Super Bowl Week (orange=Denver, green= Seattle). The game was played at nearby MetLife Stadium.



The other HDRs of 2014:



















Photographically, I remember this month for two things: a local Super Bowl in winter and the frigid polar vortex (those are unrelated things – SB temps were OK).

Super Bowl XLVIII was played at MetLife Stadium, about 5 miles from where I live. Because the Giants weren’t in it (Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks) and ticket prices were sky-high, I settled for a visit to the Super Bowl Boulevard celebration – smack in the middle of midtown Manhattan.

I took a bus into Manhattan via the NJ Turnpike. This shot from the bus is as close as I got to MetLife Stadium that week:



On the NY side of the Lincoln Tunnel sat this bus/ad. Actually, I took this shot on the way home because I was sitting on the wrong side of the bus on the way in.



The heart of Times Square had a new street sign:



Headless Super Bowl and local (Giants, Jets) mannequins were available for mean-looking, ferocious fans to lend their heads to. The two meanest, most ferocious fans I shot chose Seahawks and Giants uniforms. Of course, the furry Giants fan has a connection to MetLife Stadium.





North of 42nd St, I found both the Lombardi Trophy and an enterprising (and surprisingly honest) gentleman who refused to let me take his picture, so I walked across the street, zoomed in and probably got a better shot.





On my way back to the Port Authority bus terminal, I noticed that the two starting Super Bowl quarterbacks – I recognized them by their uniform numbers – were hanging out in front of the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium on 42nd St and were kind enough to pose for me.



After I got home, I remembered that I still had one more place to go that was Super Bowl-related and required documentation.

I had read that the bulbs of the George Washington Bridge’s “necklace” were changed to each team’s primary color – orange for Denver and green for Seattle.

It was VERY cold that night and the entrance to the Fort Lee Historic Park – atop the Palisades and right next to the GWB (and where the best shot of the necklace could be gotten) – was closed to cars………….but you were free to take the lengthy, steep hike if you so desired.

I desired. Apparently, no one else did…………and no lights were on. It was pitch black and I had never walked up it before. I eventually found the spot I was looking for and got the below shot – orange on the Jersey side and green in NY.

The Seahawks just-barely edged the Broncos 43-8.




Other January shots:

Ecuadorian procession (every January 1) steps off from a restaurant:





Frigid weather

My back door and window:











I’m guessing that freezing occurred at various tide levels:









The rest of January:





















Venus Jet Trap:





















Horizontal Man:





















How’s that for timing from a block away? I love the impish grin on the thrower (who didn’t know the bicyclist).














Windy day:































Portable street light:







































The moment that you find your keys in the ignition of your locked van:













































Cindy’s billboard works well with others:

























FCC regulations forbid me from showing the fifth frame.

Let’s just say that parallelity with the horizontal plane was achieved.








Well, he IS crossing River Street, so that makes this a little less crazy-looking, right? No?





















Stopped at the light:








(“Pssst! They can’t see you pointing.”)

















































Shot from home:












 It finally falls to Earth:





































New York Giants Training Camp:

The Giants hold some open-to-the-public training sessions in East Rutherford, NJ, every summer. I had never gone before, so it was time. The players are on a field that’s surrounded by a fence. You’re expected to sit in one of two bleacher sections. You’re really not close to them at all. In some areas, you’re allowed to stand by the fence, so that’s what I did, zooming my lens between the chain links. That got me some decent shots:







From the top row of the bleachers and facing the opposite direction, I got this shot of MetLife Stadium (and half of the Izod Center/Continental Airlines Arena/Brendan Byrne Arena):



When training finishes for the day, different groups of players – usually by position – are made available each day in a separate area for autographs.

It was pretty jammed that day because Victor Cruz was signing, so I stayed in the closer (and elevated) bleacher just off to the side and got a pretty good shot of him signing his book without my having to fight a crowd to get in there.

The only negative that day was that I got a strong sunburn on the back of my neck from shooting through that fence for a couple of hours.

That didn’t keep me from going back the next month to shoot some more and you can see that under “August”.



















The Rest of July:

This was a TREMENDOUS bolt of lightning that appears to be behind Manhattan (compare its size to the Empire State Building).



Three-track traffic jam in Teaneck:






















 “Then don’t drive in front of me.”



“This was a great trade for that noisy kid!”





















New York Giants Training Camp (Part 2)













Parking lot paint job















BergenPAC, Englewood, NJ (Edgar Winter, Vanilla Fudge, 2 more):



Considering that I retired 22 years prior, not bad………….




The rest of August:


Cindy welcomes a new match:





Cute hood ornament:



Pole smoker:








Solo in a church parking lot:


Good to the last drop:





Lunch-time attack:



Oblivious on the right (lucky for him):


Left pic is same person, 40 minutes after right pic:





I never saw the companion when I shot this……..bonus!










GPS directions: “At the road arrow, make a sharp left……..”



































Old guy selfie with Dre-days cap (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P690t9IzvjU)







Hackensack’s Main Street Festival:










Who put these things in the back of my closet? In my defense, they appear to be brand new. Must have been a “gift” that was immediately hidden away.



I used to see this girl walking around carrying a large Minnie Mouse doll. There are other pix in upcoming posts:



Mickey joins the fun:




This is a 2-photo stitch:



The rest of September:



The Itchy & Scratchy Show:
































Spoiler alert!


































This IS right-side up:



New Martin Luther King, Jr. statue at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Hackensack

I was invited to take pictures when this statue was to be delivered and erected. The last picture was taken two days later at the official unveiling and dedication before an invited crowd of about 300. If you’d like to read the story and see more photos: http://tinyurl.com/MLKstatue-FDU





























The rest of October:





































This is the steeple of the Holy Trinity Church in Hackensack…………where I was baptized and whose school I attended from grades 1-8. I didn’t even live in Hackensack during that time, but I now live two blocks away and took this picture from my roof. The church used it in their web site for a couple of years.




The rest of November:





























Note: sometime in the first week of December, I dropped (and broke) my beloved Canon SX-130 (but I did get it fixed later on). I IMMEDIATELY got on eBay and bought a similar SX-160. I’m pretty sure that all the December, 2014, shots shown here were taken with the 160, which looks like this:



















 My pick pick:



























My New Year’s Eve shirt………….according to the copyright, I’ve had it a long time (photo taken December 29, 2014).





Lots of stitching this year…………..

This is a 4-image stitch taken from the banks of the Hackensack River in Terhune Park in Teaneck. On the far left is the Midtown Bridge from Hackensack to Bogota. To the right of that for about half the stitch’s length is the northeast corner of Foschini Park in Hackensack.

Starting from the left to the middle of the picture, the direction of the river is north-south. It then makes a sudden left turn and runs east-west. Beyond the view of this picture, it returns to north-south. The east-west area is called Kipp’s Bend.

As usual, click the image once. After it takes over the screen, hover the mouse over the image. You should get a + sign. Then click it again. It’s now full-size and must be scrolled to see everything. Click it once more to shrink it back and then use your back button to return to the post.



This 6-image stitch is almost the opposite of the previous one. It was taken 5 months earlier in winter from Foschini Park in Hackensack – just to the right of the midpoint of the above stitch – and looks across Kipp’s bend to Teaneck.



This 7-image stitch was taken from my living room window and shows (l-r): the Sears tower, the reflection of the setting sun, (on the horizon) a new high-rise in Fort Lee, NJ that’s right next to the George Washington Bridge, the Kipp’s Bend section of the Hackensack River, the Hackensack YMCA, all of midtown Manhattan and the new World Trade Center (and a couple of sky glitches).



This is a FIFTEEN-image stitch of geese parked at low tide on the Hackensack River, with a confession from me on one of the frames.



This is a 4-image stitch taken from another bend (what – no name?) in the Hackensack River from Hackensack, looking at Bogota. The entire Hess tank farm is now gone.



Next up is an 8-image stitch (1 glitch) that shows both sides of the Fairleigh Dickinson University Teaneck/Hackensack campus. I’m on the Teaneck side and the pedestrian bridge over the Hackensack River on the right leads to the Hackensack side.



Lastly – and right on the Hackensack side of that pedestrian bridge – is a 4-image stitch taken at the unveiling/dedication of the new Martin Luther King statue, which you saw earlier in this post.

If I recall correctly, everyone was singing “We Shall Overcome”.



All this stitching and I still can’t sew a button on my shirt…………….


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