Blogs > 37th Frame

Photography, notes, commentary and much more from former Reporter Online Editor Chris Stanley.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ruined Olympics

If you like Photoshop, or hate it, check out this gallery of altered photos at Gizmodo

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

One for the techies

Major League Baseball announced yesterday that they would begin implementing instant replay for home-run calls, such as fan interference and foul-pole calls.
This in the wake of several well-publicized blown calls in recent weeks.
"In this day and age, where all these ballparks are being built now where people can reach out over the outfield fence and catch balls, fan interference is becoming more and more of an issue," Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine said.
Detroit pitcher Kenny Rogers called the decision "a slap in the face of umpires that have been here for a long time" and said the decision might have been made because Alex Rodriguez lost a home run on a blown call May 21.
"It overshot the mark by far just because, what, in a Yankee game someone didn't get a homer? Please. It's happened thousands of times," Rogers said. "That's part of the game. It's the beauty of the game. Mistakes are made."

Well, there you go. The Yankees have done it again!
Pro baseball, for whatever is wrong with it these days, is still a sport of individuals. Humans. That's one of the things that sets it apart from other sports. Now, everybody wants to second-guess the umpires (yeah, they blow some calls, did you have a perfect day?) from Little League up to the beloved Yankees.
The thought of umpires staring into hooded television monitors while fans wait, or more likely watch commercials, is nauseating. Get over it, move on. We're all human.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I spotted this guy hard at work over the weekend.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I hired a blimp to fly over Center City past the Ben Franklin Bridge this past weekend just so I could take these photos and present them to you on this humble blog.
Isn't it great when things just work out?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Fog

So did you ever wonder what would happen if a thick fog settled over a drive-in movie?
Nature's own special effects.
It would have worked better if the movie was something creepy, but in this case it was Tropic Thunder.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Kernel panic

Microsoft fans, check THIS out...
The 'Blue Screen of Death' may have made an Olympic appearance, judge for yourself

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fake out

By now most people have heard about the 'computer-enhanced' fireworks shown on TV during the Olympics opening ceremony.
Is this a big deal?
Today comes a revelation that the young girl singing at the ceremony was lip-synching. A last-minute switch was ordered when somebody decided the real singer wasn't cute enough for TV.
It seems that many viewers, even some in journalism circles, don't find this very significant. After all, they point out, it is not news coverage but rather a televised pageant presented for the entertainment of an audience.
There has been much talk in photojournalism forums about manipulated photos and how they affect the public trust in the media. Obvious examples inlude items either cloned in or out of photos, or excessive electronic dodging/burning in photos to create an artistic 'vignette' effect. This is a popular look among photographers right now, and they will claim that nothing in the photo has been manipulated, only the exposure and lighting effects are enhanced.
When established media outlets manipulate stories or photos, that becomes big news in itself. Magazines have been manipulating photos for years on their covers and elsewhere. Newspapers usually prohibit such manipulation, but sometimes a cloned photo slips past the editors.
This breaks down trust, which is really the cornerstone of what news coverage should be all about. If people can't trust the photos, can they trust the stories?
The Olympics opening ceremony was entertainment. But the coverage of the event was not; most people thought what they were seeing was a true representation of what was happening at the venue. Yes, the announcers vaguely described the computer enhancement, so technically no ethics were breeched. I mostly tuned out Bob Costas as I watched, preferring to hear the music rather than his run-on commentary.
So why is this important? Because slowly, we are accepting more and more 'simulated truth' in our media and it is spreading beyond entertainment into news (reality TV, anybody?). Trust is the keystone of any news organization. Without trust, whatever you read or see from an established media outlet is only as good as the latest internet rumor. And don't think the public won't go there for their (mis)information.

Friday, August 8, 2008


SHARON HILL - As authorities urged the owner of a black Mercedes-Benz believed involved in the fatal hit-and-run of a 16-year-old township girl in Sharon Hill Sunday night, her mother Thursday expressed forgiveness to the person being sought in her death.
I understand the Christian concept of forgiveness. I have a strong personal belief, however, that forgiveness is something that needs to be asked for, at least with a heartfelt apology, and not just given out unilaterally.
The spineless driver who killed this girl does not yet deserve forgiveness, since he or she could not even have bothered to stop and offer help, or come forward on their own accord to the police.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Image matters

We received a reader comment about Obama and the fact that a flag logo was removed from the charter plane the campaign uses and replaced with a campaign 'O' logo.
I checked it out on Snopes, and it is true.
The flag logo was part of the charter company's logo, so naturally it would be removed by a long-lease customer doing a repainting.
But you also can't overestimate the power of image and people's ability to find meaning where there may or may not be any. Some PR-savvy campaign worker probably should have realized this.
In fairness, McCain's plane doesn't have any large flag logos, either.
Gaffs: Obama 1, McCain 1 (the Paris Hilton ad)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Not yet

It's August 4.
Just a little past the middle of summer.
So why does Yahoo have this graphic on their web site today? Why is everybody in such a hurry to see summer end?
Slow down. Enjoy it. There will be plenty of time to celebrate Christmas in October.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Retired bridge

The Snyder Road bridge over the Perkiomen Creek in Green Lane has been closed for several years due to its deteriorating condition.

Before that, it was a one-way entrance to Green Lane Park and the Deep Creek Lake (which itself used to have a nice beach, but is now filled with algae blooms and is off-limits for swimming).
The iron truss bridge was built by the York Bridge Company and dates back to 1904. It was rennovated in 1987.

Now that it is closed to traffic, it is much easier to examine the structure of this simple, sturdy span without fear of being run over.