Saturday, August 06, 2005

A Day At The Park

Today I headed down to Balboa Park based on the recommendation of a friend of mine. I got down there a bit late, so I didn't get a chance to look around as much as I'd have liked to. Plus, for some very stupid reason, I didn't bring my camera. Which was a bad idea considering how picturesque the place is. I'll probably have to go down there again to look around some more and bring my camera. I checked out the Museum of Photographic Arts that they have there, which was pretty cool. Some of you may be surprised that I went to an art museum voluntarily. Well, I do have my moments of culture, and I can appreciate art, especially photography. They had a bunch of pictures from the Gigapxl Project on display. For those of you who don't know what the Gigapxl Project is, they take pictures using custom camera bodies and ultra-high resolution film originally developed for military satellite images, then scan the negatives using high resolution drum scanners. The link above gives you some idea of how much detail is in these images, but they really have to be seen in person to be appreciated. On display were several panoramas, including one of Pittsburgh and one of San Diego. They didn't look like pictures; it looked like you were looking out a window. Maybe better than that. The museum had magnifying glasses available to use, and I was able to read license plate numbers off cars in the San Diego panorama. In the Pittsburgh panorama, I was able to read the phone number off a semi parked across the river. Truly unreal. If you ever get a chance to see these photographs in person, I highly recommend it.

They also had a collection of photos by Steve McCurry, who is probably most famous for this photo which appeared on a National Geographic cover in 1985 (I didn't know who the guy was either, but I knew I saw that picture before somewhere). It's really an awesome photo when blown up and viewed up close. Those eyes truly make the picture what it is. There were some pictures of women in full burkas, including a picture of the woman in the above linked picture wearing a burka. She's apparently now married (she was 13 when the original picture was taken) and can no longer be seen by anyone except her husband. It saddens me that people still think and act this way, but there's not really much that anyone can do about it. The culture has to evolve on its own. Tis a different world, I suppose; but perhaps one not so different than our own. After all, it is still common and socially accepted for a wife to vow obedience to her husband. OK, I'm going to stop before I begin to rant uncontrollably.

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