Abstand bitte

Heed these words, You who wish to probe the depths of Nature: If you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither will you find it outside. In you is hidden the treasure of treasures. Know Thyself and you will know the Universe and the Gods.

In 2012 I went to Frankfurt (and Soest and Bochem University) while visiting friends. I recreated two photos I took in 2012. One of MyZeil, the mall, and one of the Eschenheimer Turm. I also accidentally took nearly the same photo of these buildings on the river.

Obed Adventure

Today my friends and I bouldered and swam at Obed. We climbed Show Me Your Biceps (V2) and tried Popeye (V3). If it would have been a bit drier we could have gotten Popeye. The slopers at the end were very damp. We took a group photo with the self timer. After climbing we got a beer at Lilly Pad. The woman in red had just passed her citizenship test, so everyone celebrated as she recited the Oath of Citizenship. With the recent bike and hike, and then today I am really liking multi-sport outdoor days.

Cooper Hewitt

Today I went by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum to see Ginkgo Bioworks’ most recent art project, Resurrecting the Sublime. Ginkgo presented this work at SEED 2019, so I had to see it before I left. Ginkgo currently has a push to make GMOs more widely understood and thus hopefully more accepted. The purpose of this art project was to share synthetic biology with the broader public outside the context of research (which can be esoteric & difficult to understand) and consumer products (which can have negative connotations).

Cooper Hewitt was having an exhibition titled Nature focused on understanding and using natural elements in design. The drawings are by Plate, Odontoglossum Grande, Paxton’s Magazine of Botany, and Register of Flowering Plants, vol. 8, 1841. This reminded me of Ernst Haeckel’s Art Forms in Nature which I almost bought at the Met. There was a dress designed by AnotherFarm and made from silk genetically engineered to contain a green fluorescent protein. Textured concrete panels to encourage the growth of moss and lichen designed by Marcos Cruz, Richard Beckett and Javier Ruiz. The building was Andrew Carnegie’s Mansion on Fifth Avenue and the chandelier is original, from Tiffanys and made with turtle shells. There were other tortoise shells and products on display. These reminded me of Pembient’s effort to 3D print keratin to make artificial rhino horns to meet demand without harming rhinos. Now, all ‘tortoise shell’ sunglasses are now made with cellulose acetate. Is there space to make an artificial, but chemically identical, tortoise shell products?

Along the theme of nature inspired products I tried an Impossible Taco for lunch. It is a plant based meat alternative, and it tasted just like meat. Though one of the things I like about meat alternatives, like bean burgers, is that they can have their own more varied flavors.


I am still struggling with properly exposing my photos. The light meter in the Nikon FE is center weighted. This means the exposure is biased (60/40) towards properly exposing whatever is in the center of the frame. This works well for images that have relatively uniform light intensity (eg mountains on a clear day). However it does not work well with large dynamic ranges between the darkest shadows and the brightest highlights.

In this image of Shelby she is in the sunlight while behind her are trees in the shadows. The exposure is correct according to the center weighted TTL meter, through I would have preferred Shelby to be less overexposed even at the expense of crushed details in the shadows (which are blurred anyway).

The same effect can be seen in these two images in New York. The sky between the rail way structure is blown out as is the light between the leaves on Park Avenue. Even though the photos have overexposed sections they have a dreamy look to them.