I got a catalog. It has 500k images. That is a lot? I rate images and at least 133k have a 2 star rating or higher. The first and last are represented. It has been a journey. Quite the journey. Life changing?! I daresay there is much to come. It amazes me. I have been fortunate. Life has a way of moving in strange and mysterious ways. All true.
Right now I am in a good place. Best ever. It is like a dream you do not want to awake from. The beginning of this catalog was but a mere couple decades back.
Did I mention to you… “I love my wife.”
I rate images with stars in Lightroom. Here are some five star images. They merit being posted alone but there are too many images. Julia taught me jump images – in Africa. I already knew, but, this was the practical application. I have seen great beauty. Maine! I lived there are few years… Some of my best fall colors come from those times. Fun?! I traveled to nearby Massachusetts for Patriot’s Day. For fun, I was (wink) nearly shot. Notice too that the reenactment soldiers turn their head when firing their muskets. It’s no wonder you could fire from point blank range and miss the target. The birds are Atlantic puffins. I paid dearly – seasick – to get to see them.
A day out
After a week of rain, fog, and wind, we ventured out into the world again. Stir crazy! Low and behold the beach was severely eroded. Wind and tides. I would say we lost 6 feet of sand. Well, as they say, I know where it went. Insanity! The police and beach people say they do not know when the government will be by to replenish the sand. Why? Would you? Should you? Meanwhile, Mother Nature sure is powerful!
After a week… we hit our usual antique stores. Strictly browsing. We still got stuff I/we did not need! But not this. Elvis? Fewer and fewer people remember. I carry a replica license. His pic and mine are similar. Retro hats? We still plan to attend another high tea. One simply must be properly attired! Yes, nuts. Us. But, fun!
It’s not just me. Colleen shoots. She does not like to – shoot. But, I cannot shoot from the car, and, drive, sometimes. And on a rare occasion, I actually turn around and stop to shoot. I did this one time. Colleen’s shots are sprinkled in. I’m not asking for guesses. She is relieved my shooting thru a car window is – forward. I cherish the opportunity to appreciate the beauty and the serenity of nature.
You simply cannot not stop at every potential photo-op. Even while I drove alone, I did not do it. Traveling with your wife is enough to try her patience many times over. Colleen is such a good sport. I am careful not to overdo things? Ha! Have I been known to be moderate? You can see some of the results of stopping by the roadside. And, you may ascertain some of the image shot thru the windshield on the go. Actually, Colleen has acquired some skill shooting on the go. She thinks she’s better than if I try to drive and shoot. Stop, go, hey! It’s all the same when I edit the images. Good, or, bad? Keep it, or, discard it? Sometimes, it’s hard to tell. I will readily admit that I tend to draw a crowd while I am stopped by the roadside.
New England, Maine, in the fall (every family relative asked) – have you seen the leaves change? Yet? Climate change, it’s been whacky. When we arrived, we were definitely too early. There was barely a hint of color change. As the weeks passed (yes, we were here for a few weeks) colors changed subtly. And, then, suddenly they were here/changed, only to fade quickly. Within the span of the few times we passed by, a tree in Rockland faded drastically losing its leaves. I shot individual trees; I shot individual leaves; I shot scenes; I shot reflections; I shot fog. Quintessential?! Sort of. I feel vaguely unrequited. I did get color. For sure. I’ve done better. And, I’ve done worse. I hate the randomness of my finding a suitable scene. Mostly, we were on the way to somewhere else and I shot out the from the car window or we stopped, paused, shot, and then quickly drove onward. I cannot say that I ever got that “Ah!!” shot. Otherwise, if I were chasing wool (fiber), I would say we were successful. Priorities! Keep priority straight and it’s a completely different picture. (pun intended)
A little more time would help. As in, time to work a scene, or, to let it develop as weather changes. Nope, I am often shooting out an open car window. (We are rushing here to there…) As you might imagine, I have a lot of camera gear. I travel with a lot of gear. And, especially, if you travel by car, there is no limit to how much or how heavy. I like parsimony. I pared my gear as much as possible. Yet, I still carried too much. Essentially, I needed two cameras – a full frame mirrorless and a compact point and shoot; one maybe two interchangeable lenses. It’s a good lesson. The other stuff is not going to make or break the experience. And, when traveling, less (gear) is more. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for antiques and craft, we have found. No complaint, though, we are still traveling. If my gear fills the space in the car, then…. no room for – say a loom? (Oh boy! This comes back to bite me a bit later.)
It was just above freezing. The droplets of water were not ice? Colleen and I disagreed but no one got out of the car to prove the point. Elsewhere someone was having a very bad day in the fog on the mountain. The traffic on the other side was completely blocked. You just can’t drive that fast in the fog.
More fog. The effect can be ethereal. Once upon a time I could not conceive that a photo in fog could be good. How do you focus in the mist? You don’t. And, the effect though unpredictable can be quite unexpected and surprising. It works for me.
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.
We were headed up the road to Wilmington. I got to ride. So, the passing scenery was fair game. It’s amazing how good the quality of the images is at high speed in poor light. Any image, at all, is fair. The first glow or the early morning fog are subjects rarely obtained by me. I like to sleep too much to be on the spot. But, serendipity beckoned. Voila!
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!
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.
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.
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!
Yeah, I coolly shot out the windshield between the drops whilst driving down the road. Don’t say nothin’!!
Indian River Inlet, Delaware. Maine, Boston…single pylon. The more traditional two cable bridge has been supplanted by single cable bridges. It’s the latest in architectural adventure. I’ve seen bridges of this style first in Maine and then Boston. Now, the Indian Inlet bridge is spectacular in the evening. The lighting designer gets plenty of credit for this too. But only mother nature can make a bridge stunning in fog. This second bridge is somewhere up the road on US1 south of Wilmington. Yes, I was driving while shooting…. How else do you get the shot?
David Mike Josh – buddies since kindergarten. How about that? I’m not in touch with anyone from grade school to college to med school. Of course we moved about every two years. No Facebook, Twitter… well there is this one girl… Jules was kind enough to invite the guys. All single! Yup – “Wedding Crashers” on the prowl. Dave has a girl – sort of – and the others checked out the single ladies…not too many and not too available. Yes, right after the ceremony the rain let up for a moment. The mist or the water on my lens was still significant. Do you think they were happy? Yup! I do! Hey, they still say that phrase at the end of the ceremony. I heard it! We always joked that groom said, “I do.” followed by, “I did?!” But yes, Dave’s sister is still happily married! As for this crew, they will be buddies for life. It’s so nice to see them again. It’s been a while.
Black Eyed Susan
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
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.
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.
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
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.
It was a park of sorts near to where I lived at one point. I would bring a book and read for hours. And when autumn came there was a magical time when photo ops were everywhere. All the elements came together – fog, reflection, and fall colors.