Monday, May 31, 2010

Return of the Lupine

We have a raised flower bed in the front yard that I built a few years ago as a 'stage' for a tall welded sculpture I made in a welding class many years ago. I planted the flower bed with Lupine and they did fine for 2 or 3 years then seemed to die out. For the last two years there have been only a couple of very small plants with no flowers but for some reason this year they are back in full force. Last night I was out making some photos of our flowers and this trio in front of the RR tie that the sculpture is mounted on caught my eye. Canon G10, f.4 at 1/30th sec., handheld.

Friday, May 28, 2010

As Promised...

One of four Yellow Lady Slippers I found yesterday. A peculiar thing I have observed about the Yellow Lady Slippers there is that in the 4 or 5 trips I've made over 3 different years to see them, they never seem to bloom in the same place. I know where to find Trillium every spring and Bloodroot. The same is true of other flowers. They come up in the same general areas every year. When I go to the Barrens looking for Yellow Lady Slippers however I never find them where they were the prior year, not even close to the same place. Maybe it is just a matter of timing but it is very odd and it makes them difficult to spot. This link will take you to a gallery of 44 photos from the two trips I made to the Barrens this year.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Lady & the Light

I went back to Chaumont Barrens today to find some Yellow Lady Slippers and I did find several as well as other flowers but this photo is from yesterday. It is looking in the window on the West side of our house. The "Lady" is one of Diane's figurines that stands on the windowsill. The "light" is over our dining room table. I first noticed the pairing when carrying weeds that I had pulled from the garden back to the compost pile. Tomorrow I'll post something from Chaumont Barrens and a link to a collection from there.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chaumont Barrens

Today was bright overcast, perfect for photographing wildflowers and I went to Chaumont Barrens hoping that the Yellow Lady Slippers were blooming. I found only one of them, a rather small one, but there were other flowers including the Red Columbine above. The background is a collapsible diffuser/reflector/shade that I carry for flower photography. I placed it behind the flower to cover the confusing background and make the bloom stand out. Canon 7D, 28-135mm lens with an extension tube.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Different Rainbow Falls

I don't suppose it is unique to the Adirondacks but one can't help noticing that place names are repeated a lot here. I posted photos of a Rainbow Falls last year but that one is in the High Peaks near Lower Ausable Lake. This one is a short hike off the Tooley Pond Rd. in the North-western Adirondacks. More than one place with the same name is not unusual. I know of three "Owl's Head"s, several "Duck Hole"s and several more "Mud Holes". Perhaps the original namers weren't aware of the others.

This is not one of my better images despite it being a 3 layer manual blend of bracketed exposures. The light is very difficult here. The waterfall faces North and the deep channel below makes for very deep shadows. Perhaps because it is a challenge I keep going back and trying to get a really good image of this Rainbow Falls. This one is okay but not on my list of favorite images. I'll keep trying.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Second Choice

This is the last photo I shot on my way home Thursday. It is at Church Pond in Paul Smith's. When I stopped there was a family of Canada Geese on the dock, a pair of adults with 8 little goslings. By the time I stopped and got out of the truck they were too far from shore to get a decent photo. Instead I got this. I liked the pattern of reflections and the tree limbs.

Friday, May 14, 2010

If You Are Lucky Enough to Be In The Mountains, You're Lucky Enough

That's what my daughter said to me after I returned from my latest excursion South into the Adirondacks and she's right. I took a trip over the Tooley Pond Rd. to Cranberry Lake and them on down to Owl's Head Peak (off the side of Cascade Mt.) where I shot this image of the trees on the slope of Cascade. It was a long day, twelve hours, and I shot about 200 frames so there will be more photos posted after I get them precessed.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day Snow

We awoke to snow on the ground today. Not a lot, not covering the ground, but snow. The temperature remains at 33ยบ this afternoon and we had another snow flurry that is just ending (12:45 PM). Occasional snow flakes are still fluttering past my window. I'm sure my brother and my friends who live in the Adirondacks saw more snow. I heard the forecast for there was 3 inches. Snow is possible every month of the year in the Adirondacks. When climbing the 46 High Peaks I was in a mountaintop snow storm on June 1st. The photo is a Nanking Cherry bush by my front gate. A short time ago it was white & pink with flowers. Now the petals are on the ground and the white on the bush is all snow.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Keese Mill

Another photo from my mountain day on Thursday. It was taken with a Canon 7D on a tripod, 18-135mm EFs lens. The St. Regis Presbyterian church in Keese Mill is another of my favorite locations but this a different viewpoint than any of my previous images of it. The location makes it a difficult subject in terms of light. I've tried HDR images there but wasn't fully satisfied with them. I decided to go with a duotone because it allows me greater range to manipulate tonal areas without ending up with strange looking color. I think this is my best photo there so far.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Mountain Pond Spring

On my trip into the Adirondacks yesterday I stopped by Mountain Pond, a favorite spot of mine all the way back to my high school days. I remember when there were camps on its shores. It was state land but back then people could lease sites from the state. They weren't supposed to build permanent camps so they would build cabins that had walls and floors with windows and doors but used a canvas roof. That made them a tent technically so they weren't violating the leases. A lot of people were very upset when the state changed the policy, canceled their leases to make private use of the public lands and they had to tear down their camps. Today there are only camp sites where you can set up a tent or park your camper and there are no "facilities", electric, water hookups and the like. There are a couple of privies but that's it. I've never camped there but I rarely go South into the mountains without stopping by and have found many good photographs like the one above on my repeated visits. No grand mountains or fabulous sunsets on glistening lakes. Just peaceful scenes of nature. Later in the summer there will be loons swimming and calling to one another. There will wildflowers on the shores. Sometimes that is enough.

As always, be sure to click on the image above for an enlarged view. More of my photos can be found using the links at the upper left.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Mountain Day

I went to the Adirondacks today to do some photography. It had been too long since my last trip. The sun came and went as did the rain, but it was a good day to be out and about in the mountains. The photo is Roaring Brook Falls which came be seen from a turnout on Rt. 73 near St. Huberts. The wind was blowing pretty hard so there is some blurring (probably not noticeable in the small web size copy) but the light was great.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Crabapple Blossoms

Like last year, the crabapple tree is loaded with blooms but last year when I stood under it it was literally buzzing with bees, honey bees and bumble bees. This year I have not managed to spot more than 2-3 bumble bees at a time around the tree. That is not a good sign.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

In Flight Black & White

Yesterday I posted some new B&W images to Picasaweb (Link). They are photos taken from the plane while flying from Chicago to Syracuse when we returned from Texas. The plane windows were dirty as usual with streaks and spots. I've never had the good fortune to be on a commercial flight that had clean windows. At 24,000 feet the haze made the view flat and very blue but I could see some interesting patterns in the landscape so I shot a number of views. After loading them into the computer I used Lightroom and Photoshop to increase the contrast and reduce the detail in order to accentuate the patterns. I particularly liked the contrast between the organic forms of the landscape and the geometric  patterns imposed by humans. A lot of my photos are composed based  on patterns but I don't usually push them this far so that the pattern takes over. Most of the land forms are distinct enough that I was able to find them on Google Earth by following the flight path. The one above is on the Eastern side of Lake St. Clair.

Just a reminder that prints of my photos are for sale. I charge $35 plus postage for a nominal "X" by 9.75 inch print matted to 11X14. "X" varies with the aspect ration of the original and 9.75 inches is the long side whether vertical or horizontal. I don't usually sell framed prints by mail due to breakage potential. 11X14 is a standard frame size and is readily available. I can print larger sizes on request. If you want a larger print send me an email stating what image and size you'd like and whether or not you'd like it matted. I'll quote a price. For really big prints it might be more efficient to send them rolled in a tube and let you get them matted and framed locally but the choice is yours.

P.S. If you live in NY state I have to charge 7% sales tax. Personally I think art should be exempt like food but I don't make the rules.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

You Can Count On It

I'm working for the Census doing followup on addresses that did not respond. Now I should point out that one of the reasons I took the job was because no one in the little hamlet where I live got a Census form to return including me. I'm told by the Census people that the Postal Service returned them all as "undeliverable" but the clerk in the PO tells me she never got any to deliver.  Anyway I know that there are lots of homes here that need to be visited but the Census has me assigned to a team that is canvassing residences that are 9-30 miles from here. When I observed that I'd rather be working in my own community I was told "But you'll be getting mileage" (50¢ per mile). I guess that means they'll be paying mileage to someone from 20 miles away to come here and do what I could do on foot for no mileage. I learned today that isn't unique. The Postal clerk told me this morning of a friend in another community who also is doing Census work several miles from her own area. It seems like a strange way to do the job in a time when the country is staying afloat on credit from China.