The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

get off my lawn

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

I haven’t had a bagel in a little over 4 months, which is a realization that has just set in. Other existential horror which I can offer today involved a pulled muscle in my left calf, an injury which occurred just yesterday when I was running up a hill to get into position to photograph a passing train. Neither of these conditions explain why I’m showing you archive shots today. What can I tell you? A daily schedule is hard to maintain, even after all these years of doing so.

The good news is that the Pittsburgh analogue of “Open House NY” has announced a bevy of tour opportunities which I greedily ordered tickets for at the beginning of the week, and so has the “Rivers of Steel” outfit at the Carrie Blast Furnace. I’ve got boat tours to attend!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve been working on learning a few things the last few weeks, notably trying to perfect the capture of time lapse footage. It’s so boring shooting this sort of thing that I’ve decided to start bringing my old camera out with me when I’m capturing time lapse images just to have something to do while the 2-3 hour long process plays out on the “good” camera. The problem isn’t capturing the sequence, instead it’s about perfecting the formula by which the images can smoothly transition from day to night without looking like a scene from Blade Runner.

I’m currently getting close. I’ve got the process more or less figured out in terms of the technical and “in camera” stuff. So far, what I’ve doped out through trial and error involves setting several menus to “auto” which is anathema to me normally. A recent moment of realization involved restricting the auto ISO settings to a narrower range than the one I use normally. Once I can reliably produce smooth video time lapses, then I can start getting “creative” with them.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another major distraction I’m dealing with involves a new desktop setup back here at HQ. Wiring it up correctly is a bit of trial and error thing these days, since equipment manufacturers seem to no longer host actual manuals or support documents on their sites. It’s a real pickle, and my desk is currently a mass of loose wires leading to and from other boxes of wires and circuit boards which aren’t doing what I want them to do. This is annoying.

Back tomorrow with something fresh, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 23, 2023 at 11:00 am

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