Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Stones of Stone Valley

Two or three times a week (occasionally more) in good weather I walk about 4½ miles on the nearby Stone Valley trail system https://adklaurentian.org/?page=stone_valley_trail.html. I usually carry my camera and photograph whatever catches my eye and brightens my day. Here are three from yesterday.

The two above are actually the same rock from different angles. On the top photo, I was taken by the crosshatched lines with the vertical lines being indented cracks and the horizontal ones being raised ridges. If you click on the images you will get a larger version that shows it better. I also liked the interplay of the fallen logs, the pine needles and the cones on the ground. I converted the photos to B&W and applied a slight tone to only the shadow areas in Lightroom (37 hue / 7 saturation) for a touch of warmth to the images.

Feel free to share by directing people to this page. Do not repost anything from this site elsewhere without my express permission, a matter of both copyright and common courtesy.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Car Show

Every year during Potsdam's Summer Festival there is a car show in Ives Park. I like old cars and I go most years to see the show which is free. If you have followed my blog for a long time, you have seen my car photos before. I tend to photograph details rather than the whole car. There are two reasons for this. One is purely practical. Between the milling crowds and the fact that most of the cars are parked close together, it is difficult to do justice to a whole car photo. The T-Bird below is an exception. It was parked off by itself and I only had to wait briefly for people to move on and give me a clear shot.

The second reason is that I really enjoy finding beauty in just parts of the cars, details that stand on their own as compositions. The remaining images are all details of cars. At the end is a photo of a tub of hand dyed yarn from the neighboring craft fair.

Enjoy. I sell prints if you see something you want to hang on your wall. Send me an email specifying what size print you want and I'll reply with a price. That applies to all the photos on this blog, not just today's.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Mini Adventure & a Photoshop Tip

I have been goofing off on posting again. I didn't realize until I checked that it had been more than a month.

Yesterday a hiking friend and I engaged in a mini adventure. It was more mini than planned because of the heat. We originally intended to go to the pastel show at VIEW in Old Forge and climb the Rondax fire tower on Bald Mt. on the way home but with the temperature in the 90s and a heat index in the 100s we settled for visits to Buttermilk Falls and Bog River falls instead (no mountain climbing involved). These photos are all from Buttermilk Falls, several are of the small cedar island in mid-river below the falls. None are the fall. I have numerous photos of he falls and the light was not good for photographing the falls. I was intentionally looking at the surrounding area to see what else was of interest the immediate area. Answer? A lot, huge rocks, roots, trees. I especially like this island of cedar trees that somehow survive the spring runoff year after year. You can see where ice flows bash them on the upstream side when the ice goes out in the spring.

The Photoshop tip I want o share involves the use of text in Photoshop. Once upon a time when adding text to an image, in my case a watermark, I could click the spot where I wanted text with the text tool and then right-click to get a dialog that included "Paste" to paste some saved text. Somewhere several versions ago in the updates to Photoshop that changed and a right click instead deleted the text layer I had just created. When I first experienced this Edit>Paste didn't work either but now it does. I know others have had problems with this because I have searched Google for solutions and found lots of frustration over it. The bad news: I have to unlearn my reflex habit of right-clicking to paste text. The good news: Edit>Paste is working again so I don't have to retype the watermark text for every photo in a batch.

Below are the rest of the photos from our outing. Buttermilk Falls is below (South of) Long Lake in the Adirondacks on North Point Rd.

As always, please respect my copyright and do not repost or otherwise use the photos elsewhere without my permission.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Book Review - Zen Camera

Zen Camera by David Ulrich is a series of six lessons for finding your own personal visual expression. David is a photography professor in Hawaii and a Zen practitioner. His lessons are derived from both. He explores six aspects of photographic expression in individual chapters with exercises at the end of each. The intent is for the reader to treat the book as a semester's course spending 12-13 weeks going through the lessons and exercises as if you were in one of his classes.

I will confess that I did not do all the exercises, in part because I am already an experienced photographer (not that I didn't learn from him, I did) and I find that my approach is already very similar to his. A number of his comments really struck a chord with me, particularly those concerning connecting with the essence of your subject matter.

There are no discussions of technique in the book but he does recommend shooting RAW (as do I) and learning to use editing software such as Lightroom and/or Photoshop. If you are looking for technical instruction, this is not a book for you but if you are concerned with finding your photographic voice, I highly recommend Zen Camera.

The photo above is mine, it is not in the book and is not related in any way to the book. It existed before reading the book. It heads the page because I like it a lot. It was made while walking the River Walk in Saranac Lake last year. A large print of it is currently in the Northwind Gallery's juried show (Woodruff St., Saranac Lake, NY) through this coming Friday, May 25th. If you dash over there before the show closes, the framed print is for sale or I can make you a print if you prefer to frame it yourself. Just post a comment to that effect and I will reply by email with the particulars.

Disclaimer: I was not asked to review the book, I bought the book from Amazon, David Ulrich is totally unaware of me or the review. I get nothing for writing the review. I only review and recommend things I truly believe have value to my readers. Please respect my copyright and do not repost any portion of this post without my consent.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Just playing in Lightroom

While going through my photos from the last 12 months to decide what to enter in SLCAC member show I got sidetracked playing with this one I shot while climbing the Saranac Six. I converted it to B&W with a modified version of infrared filtration.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Busy, busy day

I played delivery boy today, taking 4 of my own works to the Paul Smiths VIC for SAMFEST, two others as entries in the Northwind Gallery juried show and to Northwind entries for my friend Ron Larsen. I swung over to LPCA to see the current show there and revisited the "Maya" sculpture by Linda Howard that is in the overflow parking area across the street. That is the photo above. The other 3 are at Barnum Pond. Then I came home to work on piling 4 tons of wood pellets into the storage bin om the back of the garage. A day in the life of an artist.

Monday, April 23, 2018

A Busy Time of Year

It seems like all the juried and invitational shows in my area happen in the spring. I just picked up work from one that closed on Sunday and this week I have two others to deliver work for, plus the deadline for the Saint Lawrence County Arts Council members show is looming as is the deadline for submissions to next year's calendar. At least it actually is spring now. It was still snowing most of last week, not much, but enough to make one wonder if it was ever going to stop. The sun came out on Saturday, the thermometer has been reading 60s and most of the snow is gone most places except in the mountains.

When I went to Saranac Lake on Sunday to pick up work from the closed show there was still snow on the summits so I did a side trip to get this photo of Whiteface Mt from Norman Ridge. I had made another photo from almost the same spot last year but there was no snow on the mountain. I like this one better. I haven't made any prints yet but I will. Reminder: I sell prints. I can print this one up to 12x24 myself. Any larger I'd have to send out. If you want a print of any photo on this blog, email me. The color version is below. I'm not sure which I like better.

Below are a few other photos from Barnum Pond yesterday.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Tupper Triad - Winter Version

Last June I did the Tupper Triad in a day. The Triad is a hiking challenge issued by Tupper Lake, NY to encourage tourism. If you complete the specified hikes you qualify for a patch to put on your backpack or jacket.  http://www.tupperlake.com/recreation/tupper-lake-triad  When I did all three in June I was out of shape (my 1st hike of the year with no prep) and it was a bit of a challenge. I decided I wanted to do the winter challenge too but I was in better shape this time (I have been working out) and I broke it up. I did Mt Arab on March 1st. There wasn't much snow left. We were at the end of a thaw and I figured I would do the other two the following week.

Unfortunately, the very next day I came down with gastrointestinal flu that laid me low the entire week and to top things off, two Nor-easters blew through one after the other. but more about that later. On the way up Arab I found this nice ice wall but discovered that I did not have a memory card so all my Arab photos were shot with my phone.

It was an overcast day but the clouds were high and there were good views.

The whole hike took under two hours and I was home in time for a slightly late lunch.

Because of the illness and then the snow, I nearly gave up on completing the winter Triad before the 21st (the last date to count as 'winter') but when I got up this morning the sun was shining and it was 25°. On the spur of the moment, I decided to do at least one more, either Goodman or Coney, and decide on the way down (I live North of the Adirondacks) which I would do. I settled on Goodman because it was the longer hike, 1.6 miles to the summit. Someone had been in yesterday but parts of the track were drifted and I had to break trail in places. As I approached the top it clouded over and began to snow.

Since I wasn't sure how long the snow would last and the wind was quite cold without the sun I figured that Goodman would be it for the day and headed back down. On the way down though, the wind blew the clouds away and it began to clear up again.

After I got back to my car I ate my lunch and pondered whether to continue with Coney Mt and complete the Triad Challenge. I drove to the Coney trailhead and there were two other cars so I knew the trail had been broken and decided to go for it. The sky became almost totally cloudless and was incredibly blue, the kind of intense blue that we used to get using Velvia with a polarizer. The pictures don't really convey how intense and saturated it was. The following two photos are approaching the summit of Coney and the summit which has 360° views.

These three are photos from Coney's summit. I did not linger too long because although the sun was out again, the wind was very cold. I discovered when I returned to my car that the temperature had dropped into the teens. The pointed mountain with the open snowy patch in the middle of the second and on the right in the third is Goodman.

It was a good day in the woods, not a lot of photos but good exercise in very fresh air, my kind of day. If you are going to be in the Tupper Lake area and want a modest hiking challenge, give the Triad a try.