Monday, January 20, 2014

Images from a night of restlessness ...

I had a few nights of irregular sleep this past week; I'd crash early while watching television, only to wake up in the very late evening unable to fall back to sleep in my bed. So I decided to get outdoors and walk, appreciating the night vistas I might come across.

I didn't start either walk with the intent of taking pictures. But now that I've grown accustomed to carrying the cell phone with me at almost all times, I turned to it on two occasions when the snowscapes and landscapes grabbed my attention. You saw one example of that in the previous post -- the shot of the moon through some tree branches in Garfield Park.

It happened again Saturday night, which came after a long day of light snowfall. I started out intending only to walk the two blocks or so to drop off some mail in the neighborhood mailbox. But as I neared the box, I felt refreshed ... and eager to maximize the exercise opportunity. I reminded myself that I had the camera phone in my pocket, motivated by the iPhone shot of the moon several days before ... and of images I posted here from the very heavy snowfall two Sundays ago.

On Wednesday night, I took only a handful of pictures, one of which was the one of the moon. That walk took me as far north as Manual High School at Pleasant Run and Madison Avenue. But on Saturday night (technically, as it turned out, it was early Sunday morning), I couldn't stop snapping photos. I counted 60 frames when I pulled up the images at home afterward. With one exception, the pictures you see here are the results of that Saturday night/Sunday morning walk-through my neighborhood, Garfield Park-South.

For those who might actually live in the neighborhood or are familiar with it ... and who would like to figure out how I arrived at various places ... my course started at the north end of Allen Avenue near Southern Avenue and proceeded south past the mailbox to Cameron Street, east on Cameron to the north-south alley just west of Shelby Street (behind Dinner Bell market), where I turned south and walked two blocks to Albany Street before going east for a short jog to Shelby Street. From Shelby, I walked north to Yoke Street, where I turned west and walked to Manker Street, then north on Manker to the east-west alley between Willow Drive and Southern Avenue before completing the jaunt.

In most cases, I tinkered with the images only slightly in post-processing. Curiously, even the slightest post-processing adjustments in contrast or color significantly lightened the sky in many of the images. You might not believe they were taken after midnight, but I assure you, all of them were (except the new one from Wednesday night that I include here). And in at least three cases, the sky color changed from a dark bronze to a pleasant, light blue.

The images are noisy and a few reflect a focus softer than I'd normally settle for. iPhone obviously needed a high ISO and slow shutter to give me something to work with. I ran all of shots through Noiseware in post-processing, but it really didn't seem to mute noise that much in this batch.

It was hard to pick a favorite from the batch. I lead off with one of them, a vista looking east down Cameron Street from a point just east of Allen Avenue. I enjoyed the framing, the mid-point street lighting ... and the tiny red stoplights at Shelby Street at the far end.

Above and below: Views from two sides of the same home. I so much liked the way this was illuminated, that I wanted to show it from both sides. I believe this home is on Cameron Street.

Above: The crossing pattern grabbed my eye here. I'm not sure where this was taken.

Above: This image was another of my favorites. The way the snow dresses up the bushes in the yard, the home's neat architecture, and the spot door lighting all worked together to make this a neat composition.

Above: Any tinkering with the contrast or color on this image, taken along Albany Street, I think, made the sky incredibly bright, so I left it alone. 

Above and below: The grill (above) and hood (below) on these vehicles are what nudged me to photograph them. I took the one below in both available and flash; I used the flash version for the post. Is it me, or does it look like a frown face on the hood below? 

Above: Recent bad weather has thrown off the pickup schedule for recyclables in neighborhoods everywhere.

Above: I was interested to see how much detail the iPhone would give me of the steam drifting off this machinery in the alley west of -- and parallel to -- Shelby Street.  

Above: My original destination for the late-night/early-morning walk Saturday/Sunday.

Above: On Albany Street just before turning north onto Shelby Street (below), where shortly thereafter I pass the two-story building housing Dant Insurance Agency (two below). This structure was rebuilt after being severely damaged by a tornado on the day of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race in 2004.  

Above: Vehicles in a used auto sales lot get no protection from the elements. 

Above: The entrance to the former Garfield Heights Church of Christ building just north of Berwyn Street. 

Above and next two below: Coming up on Dinner Bell Market on Shelby Street, just north of Cameron Street. 

Above and next three below: Different perspectives of Bethany Wesleyan Church, at the southwest corner of Shelby and Yoke streets.

Above: A conifer along Allen Avenue. 

Above: Also along Allen Avenue. This image is one of those in which the sky turned a pleasant blue with the slightest tweaking of contrast. 

Above: On Nelson Avenue, looking west toward the Allen Avenue intersection.  

Above: I think this one is on Manker Street, looking north from near Yoke Street.

 Above and next two below: More shots along Allen Avenue.

Above: A vertical orientation version of the scene depicted in the photo leading off the post. 

Above and next two below: Homes and a street vista on Manker Street. Incredible how bright the sky is, with just the slightest adjustment of contrast in the image. 

Above: This is the one image not taken during the weekend neighborhood walk-through. I took this on Wednesday night's walk, and it depicts a section of Manual High School in the upper right corner ... and Pleasant Run in the foreground. This was taken from the Madison Avenue bridge over the run.


  1. Thanks for sharing! The peace in these and the physical workout should have made you good and you could get that needed rest. Sure hope you had some good boots on! No, I couldn't see the frowning face on the hood of that one car; it just looked mighty cold! As far as restlessness, I probably would have taken a couple Ibuprophen and made a cup of hot Ovaltine, then tried sleep one more time.

  2. Actually, this walk-through also was my first opportunity to thoroughly "test run" a new pair of calf-high boots, which passed the test in flying colors. So yes, I did have good boots! They replaced a pair of broken down ankle-highs I'd used for the past seven years or so. The ankle-highs probably weren't designed for rugged wear, but I'd put them through quite a bit over the years. The construction of these new kicks is a lot more rugged, and they should last me a long time.