Pastures outside Preston, Kansas

Photo taken this past Sunday evening. I see here in August the moon rises at just the right time for a certain dramatic effect. I was in Preston, Kansas, a tiny, and regrettably foundering town of which I have some ties to. I stop there every once in a while when I’m visiting my grandmother who now lives in Stafford, roughly twenty miles to the north.

This photo is different than my normal in a few ways. I deactivated the telephoto lens’s auto-focus and manually trained it on the moon, allowing everything else to blur, including the foliage. I took several varied exposures for HDR to display the very subtle differences to be seen in color and contrast across parts of the photo. Actually I do that kind of thing frequently, but manually focusing on blissful, pastoral country settings take a bit of getting accustomed to for me. Normally I leave the serene nature photography to people who have more practice at it. I imagine those photographers are of a more serene and content personal nature in general as well. It makes one wonder.

Stafford Train Depot

The old unused train station/depot in Stafford Kansas, this past Saturday evening, 08/21/10. Maybe old unused depots are cliche subject matter, but whatever. This one has the red glow of the exit sign inside showing through the windows. I was out there in southern Kansas for a long weekend.

Back on July 24th was the Worldwide Photowalk Day Рthere were two in Kansas City, one in the morning and one in the evening  starting in the Crossroads area. I took this one around the beginning of the evening, looking westward with some geometries of part of the pedestrian bridge across the train tracks.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts construction progress

Tuesday evening was a good night to get out and get some dusk pics. I had been meaning to try this angle for myself for a while after noticing some other photos taken around the south entrance to the Ballroom at the convention center. The weather was cool, with nice cloud cover for a change, and it worked out great with the light at dusk.

I used six manually bracketed camera raw files at differing exposures for HDR tone mapping, at f/16, ISO 200, 16 mm focal length, and varied shutter speeds.

-August 17, 2010

For as much as this photoblog and my own collection of pictures are KC-centric in one way or another, it’s logical not just to illustrate only the up-to-date seven story buildings and whatever other pleasantries reside here – there’s also the abnormally high murder rate per capita that the urban core of KCMO has to deal with year after year. This past weekend on early Sunday morning, John Paul Garcia was murdered without any evident purpose at Mercier and Avenida Cesar Chavez in the Westside.

More facts of the situation are detailed in a Channel 4 video. A part of the video I thought was especially interesting was when Channel 4 reporter Eric Burke observed that this gathering was seemingly the biggest turnout he has seen for all the post-homicide vigils he has covered in this city over the years. If I had actual hard statistics in front of me I would do some analysis, but I’ll make do as best I can and say that random homicides are rare enough in this section of the city that one wonders what’s transpiring minute by minute in the concentrated parcels of homicide on the East Side of Kansas City. It seems like the blunt but factual conclusion is that homicides start to feel more part of the routine if you’re stuck around them long enough.

The Mattie Rhodes Center’s Latino Advocacy Taskforce organized this gathering on Wednesday evening, Aug. 11, 2010.