Saturday, August 28, 2010

V.I.C. Again

Another example of beauty in decay. This abstract is a detail of a dead tree trunk. The bark is gone and the patterns are trails left by insects that lived under the bark and weathering that has occurred since the bark fell off.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another from Paul Smiths V.I.C.

A group of lily pads in varying degrees of health and decay. Some nature photographers only photograph 'perfect' examples of flowers, plants, etc. I look for interesting color, pattern and texture. I believe that everything can be beautiful if seen in in the right light (both literally and figuratively) and that it is my job as a photographer to see the innate beauty of my subject matter. My task then is to use my skills to show that beauty to others.

Adam & Eve, the mythical first humans, did not leave Eden. Rather, in learning to see the world in terms of good vs evil we humans are too often inclined to focus on the negative in life and overlook what beauty there is in everything. Eden is all around us. As natural creatures in a natural world it sustains our very existence. My role as a nature photographer is remind others of that.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Photo Outing

I went to the Paul Smiths Visitor Interpretive Center this morning to do a bit of photography. I had not been there in a while. The state budget shortfall threatened to close both V.I.C.s this spring but a deal was reached and they are still open. It is a good place to walk, run (two runners were there while I was wandering the trails), view nature, ski or snowshoe in winter, just a good place to relax and get in touch with Mother Earth. I shot some mushroom photos and various other things but my favorite image from the outing is the Pickerelweed leaves and their reflections that I found on the Shinglemill Trail. They seem to float in the reflection of the sky and clouds, not anchored to anything, halfway between heaven and Earth.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

You Never Know

No, I didn't win the lottery (I wish I had). The title refers to a post earlier this year in which I worried about the lack of bees around my crab apple tree. It was loaded with blooms but compared to the prior spring there were hardly any bees working the blossoms and I feared that they might not produce apples. My worry was for naught. The tree has more apples this year than any year in the past and I thought last year would be hard for it to beat. The tub above is a plastic pot from a tree we bought a couple of years ago and is the equivalent of a 4 or 5 gallon pail. This is the second time I've filled it and so far I've only picked standing on the ground. There are probably 3 or 4 times this on the ground as drops and many more times that still on the tree at stepladder height. I don't need anywhere near that many but it pleases me to see the tree produce so well. When I planted it, it was just a whip. The deer will enjoy them I'm sure. This batch is destined to become jelly.

Monday, August 16, 2010

More on the Alleged Ansel Adams Negatives

It appears that Uncle Earl Brooks will finally be getting his due. Some of his photos will be included in an exhibit alongside those of Ansel Adams and his assistants according to this article in Mercury News. If the link doesn't work for you,  copy and paste the following to the address line of your browser:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Revisiting My Youth

When I was a kid this gorge was just over the hill behind our house. My brother and I discovered it when I was about 8 and he was 10. We made several trips down into it before our mother learned what we were doing. To her credit, although she wasn't thrilled by the idea she didn't stop us from clambering down its banks to play in the brook and explore its wonders. This is one of the waterfalls we enjoyed. I took this photo on Tuesday when I revisited the gorge (Inman Gulf is its proper name). It is as amazing a place as I remembered.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

More Black & White

The Ansel Adams exhibit put me in a B&W mood. I did nothing but B&W for years, until digital came along, and I think that a B&W image is more expressive in many ways. Take this image for example. The sky wasn't really that dark nor was the yellow mustard really that much brighter in tone than the surrounding field but those were the elements of the scene that attracted my eye and the things I wanted to emphasize. If I were to push the tonality of a color image this far it would look fake, but in B&W it works because we don't expect B&W images to look "real" in the same way we do with color. By manipulating the tones in the B&W I was able to 'point' to exactly the parts of the image I really wanted to show you.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Speaking of Ansel Adams...

The Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT currently has an exhibit of Ansel Adams and Edward Burtynsky photographs. There are over 60 of Ansel's prints on display. We went to see the show on Friday and it is awesome. I liked the Burtynsky photos better than I thought I might. He photographs industrial sites. I found his photos of abandoned marble quarries very appealing. Photography of any kind is not allowed in the gallery of course but there are lots of other things to photograph at the museum. The photo above is the staircase in the lighthouse. The original color version and 63 other photos can be seen in a Picasaweb album here.