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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pictures of Hill Valley

Monday, February 26, 2007

About Cancelled Flights and Time Machines

Once again I'm dealing with flight cancellation and have to stay one more day. New York is awaiting a lot of snow. This is kind of hard to imagine while sitting under palms in California. I just cannot get my mind used to the fact that there are totally different climates in one and the same country.
So how did my little trip go? After arriving in Hollywood, I quickly figured out that this Back To The Future trip I planned was the biggest pleasure I could do to myself. I was really like a little kid going from spot to spot in a rental car while listening to the original soundtrack. I especially enjoyed the dramatic orchestral parts while trying not to get lost.
If you find this stuff ridiculous, you might want to stop reading here. I will not talk about anything else in this post :-)
First stop: Bushnell Avenue in South Pasadena. This is where George McFly and Lorraine live in 1955. You might remember the scene where George falls from tree while watching her through his binoculars. It was amazing. It was night and raining like crazy when I arrived there and the whole street had a power outage. Pitch black. I went for a little walk until I was soaked. I don't know how to describe this moment. I guess I'm really a freak when it comes to this movie. This event was even topped when I arrived at Doc. Brown's Mansion from 1955. It stopped raining in the meantime and this was the point where I went crazy with my camera. This was followed with a stop at the "Hill Valley" high school in a town called Whittier. The whole high school is actually fenced, but that night was some event going on, so I managed to enter and walk around. The final stop for that day was the "Twin Pine Mall" where Einstein (the dog) became the first time traveller in history. I didn't photograph the mall. It looks just too much like any other mall. Next morning, I finally got to Marty's house from 1985. From the movie you get the impression that you can easily reach the mall from his house in a few minutes on a Skateboard, but you actually spend an hour on highways to get from one spot to the other. Sad conclusion after this trip: It's just a movie :-)
I stopped that and went to the desert afterwards. I visited and photographed ghost towns, but the very next day I was back on Back To The Future again. To see some more stuff I went to the Universal Studios. This is where Downtown Hill Valley including the courthouse and clock tower was created. I did the studio tour which was very interesting, but the courthouse was not visible to visitors. What I got to see was the DeLorean time machine itself, also some cars which were used in the 50s scenes, including Biff's car. I also got to see a photograph of Doctor Emmet Brown and the Clock Tower, an original Hill Valley Newspaper from 1985 and the famous "Save the Clock Tower" flyer. Better than nothing. However, I can really recommend the Studio tour. The shows are a bit lame, though.
That's it for now. Good night.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Greetings from San Diego

Yesterday morning I gave my talk about image segmentation with level sets and in the evening I went to San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter for dinner and some photography. It was a rainy night and I liked that. Wet streets make good reflections. I ran into this Russian ex-KGB agent on the street, quote: "...I used to deliver Pepsi to Lybia, but I made a huge mistake: I delivered Pepsi Light, so they stabbed me...".
He told me that there will be a big Mardi Gras event tonight. I think I will go there and stroll around with my camera.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

New Travel Plans

I'm going on a little California trip this Friday
and will present some new work at a conference in San Diego. The whole conference will almost take a whole week and after that I'll spend three days in Southern California for fun. I'm thinking about getting a rental car and going somewhere. The question is where. Major attractions like Grand Canyon or Monument Valley are about eight hours away. Mexico is quite close, that would be an option.
Another thing that sounds very interesting to me is "ghost towns". In California are a lot of old and abandoned gold-mining towns in the desert. Some of them are totally left alone, some others are turned into tourist attractions. I personally started to be fascinated by ghost towns after I accidentally found one here in Jersey last winter (an abandoned soul asylum).
Here is another idea: I'm a big Back to the Future fan and seriously thinking about driving to Los Angeles and visiting all the places where this movie takes place. Mostly very unspectacular streets and residential areas, but after seeing this movie a thousand times, I would be very excited being there. Can anybody understand this? :-)
If someone has other ideas, let me know!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Today, my dear reader, I digged out one of my first tries in landscape photography (you know, with trees and stuff). This morning light was not an easy thing for a beginner and the result is not really stunning. However, Yosemite is always something nice to look at and for sure a good contrast to an airport picture.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Frankfurt Airport

I placed the camera on top of my luggage cart to do some exposure bracketing using a remote control. Kind of a tripod with wheels and without creating any attention.