Word and Image

Landscape

Irish

This would the the “luck” of the Irish on Colleen’s side. We almost had a yard sale by the side of the highway in West Virginia in the absolute middle of nowhere. We had a low tire warning signal and the right rear tire was losing pressure at about a pound per mile. I made it to an exit off the highway with a gas station. And we got directions to a tire place about 7 miles down a twisty winding country road. I had just about lost faith in the directions when the tire shop came into view. Of course, it was “worst case scenario.” The nail hole at the tread rim was leaking enough that we could hear it. The tires need to be matched. That is – you need four matched tires on this particular model car. So, four new tires: they just happened to have our size. And, we were back on the road after about an hour’s delay. This would be considered way better than the alternative scenario. Irish! Colleen has Irish in her heritage. I feel so lucky! Coincidence? Colleen met a guy waiting for his car to be serviced. She and he knew common people all around the state. You just can’t seem to go anywhere without running into someone….


Morning star

I am unable to deliver to the monitor, the subtle color and detail I see in real life. It makes me inadequate as a photographer. I am working to correct this. Meanwhile, the moon is in partial crescent and the morning star is above. Which? Dunno. I admit the morning star is nothing but a small white dot. But it was dawn; the color of dawn was just rising; the elements were in alignment. What I saw was not conveyed to the camera. It was indeed a beautiful sight. Some things are too subtle for me to capture. It won’t dim my enthusiasm. Hmm, was that a pun?


Socks

As in… knocked my socks off. Dave sent this. iPhone. It’s the Oregon coast. He’s camping. This is his sunset. There are pictures. Some are better than others. This would easily be in my category of “keepers.” Stunning, it’s got that ephemeral quality that technical excellence cannot surpass. I could take this picture too. But there would not be the nuance of artistry that Dave has captured. What else is there to say. It’s like taste and smell. The descriptive cannot match the sensation you personally experience in appreciating this image.


Look

Sometimes you gotta look. We go by so fast never taking the time to “smell the roses.” Colleen rode on by and let me catch up. I worked the scene… this angle and that… till I got something to remember. It’s not perfect by far. But it’s something I saw that made me hit “pause.” We ride the neighborhood on our bikes and miss this kind of simple beauty because we are doing something else.


Spring

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The first buds, a pond, water, and geese – idyllic – a great scene – I noticed it out the window. My camera? I was not near the telephoto. I used the Sony RX 100 VI and electronic zoom. It’s soft. That would be my OCD and laziness rolled up in one. Instead, consider tie overall effect to be “painterly.” I could have done better. Then again, the message comes through. It’s spring and a new year has sprung from one of our warmest winters ever.


Lighting

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Light is everything. It creates the mood and tension in an image. Clouds are the intermediate palette upon which to base your background. Clouds can bring tension. Or they can direct light toward your subject. It is often fleeting to have the right light. Blink and it’s gone. I try to pay attention and take advantage whenever I can.

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Painterly

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Pointillism. It’s noise. Technically there is too much noise from the digital sensor. You can Photoshop. But, for the most part that would be more work. I like fog. It’s hard to photograph. But it does give a dramatic and different effect. Then there is timing. The early morning light changes quickly. Don’t give up; keep at it; things are sure to change if you wait a few more seconds.

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Distortion

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Photoshop does photomerge. It will combine photos to produce a panorama. It’s a bit more complicated than iPhone. Apparently if you shoot a series vertically and try to merge them, you get a good amount of distortion. Sometimes that’s a good thing. It’s not realistic, but it is a function of the method. Okay!

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Wide angle distortion. It’s what comes from holding the camera in one place and rotating. One could pan as you walk but then it would be work.


Scotland

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By now you must have guessed we were in Scotland. It’s taken time to get to posting about the trip. Majestic! It rains, therefore, it’s foggy. If it’s not raining it’s about to rain or it just stopped raining. Nice!


Been there

Dave was in Kauai. He knew I had been there. I reminded him that he had been there too, in a technical sense. 1980’s, Lisa was about six months pregnant. We traveled there for a meeting. To make a long story short, I pulled my slide after consulting my database. And Dave passed me his pic of now. How nice! Similarity. We’re reconnected after so many years. iPhone vs Nikon. It’s all the same. Only a few decades have passed. It’s nice to have a database.


Romantic notion

No man is an island. Ha! I missed the better shot. You don’t go back. That is an unfortunate rule. Like time, the trip is one way. I saw a house on the island. You can too. But very dimly/poorly as opposed to the home I saw as I passed initially. There is no access except over water. No bridge or path. Nice! It’s appealing in ways and probably loses its charm once you’ve done it more than a few times. I wonder how they got the building material over – slowly. And what about fuel and power? Hmmm? Great idea, lot of work.


Cloudy

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These eastern clouds were being lit by setting sun in the west. It had been storming earlier in the day. I shot out the car window as we traveled down the highway south. South is always down, right? We’d been using a map that day. My companion folds hers. It doesn’t help. Two GPS devices, two iPhones, one map later and we still have a frantic scramble at the next turn. Kidding!

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There is something to be said for cropping. I never considered panoramas until Dave showed me his iPhone shots. Easy!…on an iPhone. Pretty easy in Lightroom too. You have to have a good substrate with which to work. Then, it’s effective. Right image – right tool. Nice trick.


Scene at the beach

I found it curious that the gull sat on the sign. He let me take his picture. So, I did. It was a beautiful sunny day. I’m glad to see the gulls are following the rules.

 


Beach

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Bright sunny day! Most beach shots are boring. It’s a horizontal view with some people and the waves breaking behind them. That would be my average. A bikini keeps the interest. But otherwise it’s not too exciting. The water in the Atlantic is cold! – for me! I’m spoiled. I’ve been in the Red Sea. I’ve been in the Caribbean and Hawaii. I’m not dropping names and destinations. I’m just comparing an ice bath to a nice warm one. I choose the warm waters. So, this is Long Island. It’s beautiful. The sand beaches are wide and the best I’ve ever seen. The rest of the world has narrow beaches. Really! But I stopped going in the water shortly after “Jaws” came out. And the cold keeps me out. Nowadays I am a great admirer of the beach. Just give me warm waters to float in. Better yet, give me a good dive spot.


Trees

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Have you ever wondered… how the trees are the same height? Or, why they don’t stick straight out of the hill? I mean like a kid would draw… straight out of the hill. You know? I swear I saw trees sticking straight out…somewhere, but not here. And they grow at the same height. Is it because the wind blows? Who knows? Maybe they have an agreement with the Cat in the Hat to grow at the same height.


Traffic

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There is a side benefit to sitting in NYC traffic during the evening rush hour. I was not familiar with Williamsburg. So we had to go the hard way. GPS is nice. It will get you there. But to be a native, is to know the short cuts and avoid the sitting. We sat. But it was sunset and the benefit was that we had ample opportunity to photograph New York as I had never been allowed. Yes, we shot through and out the window. We got what we got. The new Kosciuszko Bridge, the skyline, the Empire State Building, the Freedom Tower – all of this was afforded to us.

There was a big ginormous cemetery in Queens that one rarely glimpses over the high fence. I got it with the ESB in the background. Neat!

We still sat for a good long while. But there was something to do too. Stuck in traffic? There’s a benefit. You can see the city from a vantage you will not otherwise be allowed. There are views and then there are views. …silver lining.


Jet Trails

I live at a cross road. Morning skies are always interesting. Count ‘em. Too numerous to count. I’m in the middle of tbings, but not really. I liken it to living on a golf course and not playing a single round. I’m ok with it. I don’t mind not having to battle TSA and crowded planes and baggage claim and… Sure, I’ll fly again. Meanwhile, I enjoy the myriad of jet trails that cross my skies. Of course, as a kid (8 or so) I used to run from under planes passing overhead with the belief that I did not want to be there if someone overhead flushed the toilet.


Arches

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To see the “arches;” it was on my bucket list. Half hearted. But yup! We got to the park about an hour before dusk. Right at sunset we arrived in the parking lot nearest to “Delicate arch.” It’s the emblematic arch on all the photos. You can hike (too late and too chilly) or you can get a view a short walk from the parking lot. It was a long telephoto lens shot. I was disappointed not to get closer. Oh well. But then… looking at the shot, it seems I did come away with an image. And I got the sunset glow. Well, ok! You take what you can get. It was better in retrospect. Decent!

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The other quintessential image is balanced rock. It is solid and not reinforced as the strata might suggest. The minerals that leached through the rock gives it a stratified look. To me it looks like they used concrete reinforcement. But no. At some point it will fall over. Everything changes over time. Hey! I saw it before it keeled over. Yay!


Cape Cod Revisited

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Okay, this post would/should follow the post of Feb 14. I got ahead/behind myself. And I remember Ginny’s admonishment. “More people.” But I’m behind on going into the/my archives. Soon…she jokes there are pictures decades old that she is still waiting to see.

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When I took these slides they were quintessential images for me. They were framed by my (then) father in law and remained on display for many decades. Pictures fade. I printed and framed these slides many years ago. The dunes faded to a monotone. The house (print) has faded to near ghostly. Kodak paper – it fades with exposure to light over time. Unfortunately, I (Kodak) printed in a format they had at the time – 8X12. It’s an odd sized print. Fortunately, there is someone who will print it. I can frame it again. My darkroom (no more) went with the last several moves. I Photoshop now. Luckily, my index system allowed me to find the (digitized) images in about five minutes. Amazing. The slides were taken back in 1981. Would you believe the house is gone? It was in a park/preserve and the house has since gone away. I visited decades later and discovered that this circumstance can never be again. I was sort of shocked that I could not return and that things change. I don’t know why I was surprised. I returned to the spot and the picture (house) was gone? I could never recreate the atmospheric conditions. So, why was I shocked? At least I got the slides. They are all stored away at the moment. Luckily, I digitized them. Crazy. I found the files/slides in a few minutes. ? Yeah, I did it with my database. There are too many images (>400k) to just cull. Lightroom would never be able to save me. Over the years, first on index cards, then Microsoft Works, and now Excel. My file system allowed me to track down the appropriate image in minutes. Neat!  I wish I had digitized a few friendships too.


London Bridge

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I’ve been here before. Once. No. Here! It’s in Lake Havasu, AZ. The McCullough chainsaw owner bought and paid for the bridge to be brought over (from London) and reconstructed it (in Arizona). It’s silly. But we were passing through… Don’t jump! Duh! There’s a lot of hard concrete before the bridge goes out over water. I used to take care of kids every summer who jumped into empty pools in NYC. Yeah, “Duh!” to them too. I don’t remember the English telephone booth the last time I was here. I guess there is not too much need in London for them either. Why was I in Lake Havasu for the second time? Once was enough? Go figure.

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Yes, don’t jump in the (shallow) water too.


Cliff

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Hardly. Rock climbing doesn’t require Everest. When I was younger I’m pretty sure I could have climbed. No longer. No stretch. And bones break when you fall. Ah! But I would have liked… then I found my vertical limit. It shrinks as you get older. I was short of breath just walking around in Denver. Oh well, I’ll not be climbing Everest. I’m ok with that.


Wind Farm

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I guess it’s pretty windy through this corridor. It looks like this might be the original test area. We saw windmills of different technologies and ages. They lined up geometrically and randomly. They were definitely unlike the plains states of Kansas and Colorado. There was more sense of purpose and urgency in the distribution and crowding.

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Ah! We snapped a pic just as a hitchhiker passed. It was nice timing. We could not have done it if we’d planned. Serendipity. Spooky?

I have to think that California is ahead of the curve and has been forward thinking enough to have what appears to be early and late model windmills working side by side. It’s renewable and after the initial investment, it’s sustaining and clean. They are also not known to be a health hazard. Clean coal? – an oxymoron.


Super Blood Blue Moon

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So, on the heels of my last post is the picture I missed. I slept through it. Hung over. It was the State of the Union address last night. A blue moon is the second full moon of the same month. A super moon is when the moon is closest to the earth. The blood moon is when you have a lunar eclipse. Damn! A trifecta. Missed it. Double D.

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The very next night… well I saw the full moon which is still blue and super. Yes, it doesn’t look blue. Duh! It’s just the terminology. I got off a shot. See the power lines. Not good but a shot, a place holder if you will. The darn camera does its own thing. I try to get what I want. Sometimes it gives me what it will. We bargain and I come away with shots. Some good some bad and some less bad.

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And thank you Ginny, she reminded me. Of course, Dave was in the air and saw it all, lucky kid. Me? I slept – fitfully/blissfully through it when it all happened the day before. Now I was in a shopping mall…


Nature’s Spectacular

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For fireworks, I’d guess you can’t beat the sun. My old partner used to say the sunset over Bayonne, NJ was spectacular because of the air pollution. Maybe? The California wildfires were burning furiously to the north and south of Los Angeles. We could see the smoke 65 miles away in Ventura. Maybe? Maybe it was pollution, or maybe just luck? Nature put on a spectacular display.

I get a lot of sunset shots. …because I look. After that it’s the camera that does the trick. Of course, you’ve got to know how to hold your camera. Ha! There are a few things to knowing the right exposure. There’s nothing that Photoshop can make better if you didn’t get a good image to start. I’ve learned a lot about photography. Scenes and images come around again. It’s a matter of knowing what to do. I got hundreds of sunset images. Do I need to stop to take one more? Hmmm? Each time the light is a little different, the clouds unique, the location? It’s kind of like love; I do it ’cause I am.

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Hang ’round awhile. What’s the rush? Unfortunately, I shoot a lot of sunset pics from a moving car. Hey! I shot some/something. Did you? But if you hang ’round after the sun goes down, there is an afterglow that follows. That is pretty spectacular and worth shooting too.