Word and Image

Fog

Fog

Rain had just fallen. We missed the thunderstorm. It was ahead of us. We caught the remnant as we traveled through. There was fog on the mountains. You drive a lot. You don’t see fog very frequently from the road. At least, it is a rarity for me. Layers. I remember watching layers of mountains while in the car as a kid. I recall the Blue Ridge mountains? Clouds? Layers of mountains? I’ve seen it since. They are always fun.


Fog

The funny thing is that less than half a mile away on US 1 it was bright and sunny. We went down to say “Hello” to the ocean. I haven’t really realized how much this means to me until now. Thanks.

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And there was fog. It’s like London without the crowds. Okay, so don’t fall down laughing. I can’t think of another analogy. But, it’s neat. I’m glad we went.

 


Fog and Rain

Cool stuff. It’s hard to photograph. Harder, yet, if you are in a moving car. We had a “white knuckle” ride. At the last service check the tech told us the tires were due to be changed. The passenger in the “shotgun” seat had it in her head that we were riding on “slicks.” I was told to get off at each and every exit and get tires, “Right now!” The rain stopped. We got tires two days later. All is at peace with the world again. It was the wind blowing and causing us to “fishtail” down the road. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ with it!

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Yeah, I coolly shot out the windshield between the drops whilst driving down the road. Don’t say nothin’!!


Sweat

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Street photography – you don’t aim or compose, you just press the shutter. The idea is to catch spontaneity. It’s mostly because you are afraid or shy to ask to take a picture. Or you are afraid to have an angry objection. And if you are in a foreign place it is wise to be discrete. Auto focus! It works. Aim in the general direction of your subject. Hope for the best. At night I use auto ISO and shutter speed 1/125. Otherwise things will be blurred. They tend to be. So I try to lessen the error.

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I had an errand to do in the old city. It’s September and still hot as blazes. The humidity is high. And still, it does not rain. You go out only at night. Daytime is instant meltdown. I live in A/C. My villa has never seen the A/C off in four years. Power outages are very rare. Once it lasted for more than an hour and my friend left to go to a hotel. He did not tolerate heat. Wuss! Well, me too. But for some reason we were on different circuits and my power was on. No, he did not want to stay in my messy villa. As soon as I exited the air conditioned car my camera lens fogged up. I did not realize it. So for a moment, until I checked, everything was fogged. It was an interesting effect. And the shot I could not get… the man in the chair had sweat dripping from the tip of his nose. Sorry. Couldn’t get that. It’s street photography! There are shots I saw that will ever be on my mind. I missed it. But I saw it. If you didn’t get it, you didn’t see it. But I did. Like the eggs. Some days you are in the right place at the right moment. And just a bit later on, you miss. Yes, a drop of sweat, right on the tip of his nose. “Plain as the tip of your nose.” Missed!


Black Eyed Susan

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This, too, was an evening shot. The blue cast and the soft focus is a contrast to my usual preference for bright sunshine and rich color. Yes a little fog goes a long way. It’s the same time frame as the foggy lighthouses.


Portland Head Light

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More fog – sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up. Fog is special. Most folks aren’t out and about in this weather condition. But this is pretty much the reason for lighthouses, eh?

Different perspective changes the mood. I caught the beam of light. Somehow the angle of the beam is not what I wanted. And I wonder that modern GPS navigation must make it a lot easier than to try to see a lighthouse in dense fog.

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Bug Light

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It’s known as the Portland bug light or the breakwater light. Fog – and it was evening. I got my money’s worth from the spiffy f2.8 lens. My shots were decent. Clarity was not the goal and the overall softness of the image works. The breakwater is a fair hike. And in near darkness over uneven rocks this was a bit of a challenge. The trip back was the more interesting walk.

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Night Fog

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This was a hand held shot. With fog I am not sure a tripod would have added much more detail. Digital is so forgiving. You can get a shot at night with the ISO freely adjusted. Noise starts to become an issue. There is more fuzziness. But if you are not too nuts the fuzziness works. This shot would not have been easy with film. Here the immediate feedback allows for adjustments. That is a big plus and increases the chance your image will be satisfactory


Schoodic Point

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I have been to this spot several times. The first was on a bike trip with Lisa. She shot this picture. We had started off in sunny weather. As we rode into the point, the fog and weather were impressively picturesque. Lisa shot this as I am the subject in yellow. Misty, foggy, windy, and chilly all come to mind. It was a classic mood shot. More recently Colleen and I were there. It was a crisp chill clear autumn day. Same spot different day, you could never imagine how it changed. Things are like that. When you travel, you never know what you will come across. And you are not there long enough to wait for changes to be favorable. The sunset you see is where you are. I’d like to be just camped in a spot waiting for a picture. But that is simply not I. So I will take what there is when I am there. And there will always be a different good shot somewhere.

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Life’s Journey

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I recall this photograph. It’s a life lesson. The circumstance – on my way to see the puffins in God only know where, Maine. I had just purchased a brand new spiffy Nikon D200. It was the first event. I had to go from Lewiston to Cutler to pick up the ferry to the puffin island. I calculated a start out time of 3AM to get to the ferry by 6:30AM. It meant zipping up to Bangor on I-95. You can drive fast at that hour. Right off the exit ramp in Bangor I was stopped for speeding. Out of the complete darkness, the flashing patrol car lights caught me. When I told the fireplug short female state trooper I was headed to see the puffins, she ran my plates and then let me go with a warning. A nutcase from NY going to see birds shouldn’t receive a penalty if he’s already nuts. I have now driven to try to see the puffins three times. This time and the next were a complete bust. I saw better pictures in the travel brochure than I got with my new camera. We never got close enough but to see a dot on the water or in the sky.

After Bangor the road is smaller and winds eastward toward the coast. I was tooling along at as fast a pace as the deserted road would allow. Meanwhile I was hyper-attentive in anticipation of the birding. At the early glow of dawn I looked out over a fog covered valley as the sun was beginning to rise. Sunrise is rarely a time I am awake unless I am in an OR with an emergency.

I was running late. But I had to stop for this shot. The digital camera compensated for an impossible lighting scene. This was the shot of my day! It happened before my day ever began and I never knew it till much later. In fact it was a shot of significance. Thinking back and looking over many images I have taken before and since, I can make an observation.

Life happens quickly. I’m not the first to comment on this fact. But sometimes a special moment happens and you don’t know it. Later when you have time to pause and rewind the video – I play back some of the events of my life and finally realize how special this moment was. I knew this was a special shot right from the moment I pressed the shutter. But I was rushing to another event I thought was more important. It turned out that the moment of import was before me as the dawn rose over the fog in the valley. Well I was fortunate to preserve the moment to look back upon. My only regret is that I did not stop to realize it had been one of life’s special moments of which we experience so few in our lifetimes. It is not the first time I have done this nor will it be the last. But if I ever recognize such a moment again I hope I will sit back to savor it.