Friday, July 27, 2012

An Old Friend

I have been driving by and frequently photographing this tree for years. I think its days are numbered though. Most of the leaves you see in the photo are a vine that is using the tree for support. The actual number of leaves on the tree is down significantly from last year and I'm wondering if it will leave out at all next year.The roots get the energy to carry a tree through the winter from photosynthesis in the leaves through the summer. With this few leaves the tree may be winter killed.

Despite all the times I've photographed it, pondered its persistence in spite of being "challenged", and generally appreciated it aesthetically, today was the first time I attempted to identify it. I took my tree guides with me and as near as I can tell it is a Black Walnut although there is a chance it might be a Butternut. I could only go by the leaves and they are both sparse and somewhat stunted so they might not exactly fit the standard shown in my tree identification books.

As a result of our move I soon won't be going by it frequently if at all. I'll miss it like an old friend and wish our parting could have come with it in better health.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Acres of Sky

Our new place has an open meadow in back of the house that gives some great views of the sky. We were surrounded by trees at the old place which was nice because we were in town and the trees gave a sense of privacy to the one acre lot. Here I'm enjoying watching the sky, especially around sunset and the twilight just after sunset as in this view. The former owners used to brush hog the field but I like it as a natural meadow with wildflowers. I mowed the meandering path to the woods. I'll leave the rest. If something starts to grow back there that I don't want I'll cut it individually rather than mow everything as a preventative measure. Come August 11 I plan to park a lawn chair out in the meadow with the back reclined as far as it will go so that I can go out at night and watch the Perseids. I hope it will be clear that night.

Canon 7D. Three vertical frames stitched.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

French Pond Rd. Again

Two photos for your pleasure. I've featured this house before, a detail of the front porch, back on May 24th. I liked this view of it as I was driving down the road this afternoon. There is a barn across the road that is falling/being torn down and I made the second photo of that.
Both were made using my Canon 7D with the 18-135mm lens. Conversion to B&W was done in Nik SE Pro 2 (top image) and in Lightroom 4 (bottom image). To share the photos with others, as always refer them to this page. Copying and re-posting elsewhere without permission is prohibited not to mention bad manners.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

New Work, Old Subject

I took a day to go to the mountains yesterday. My day did not go as planned but I've learned over the years not to plan too firmly and to roll with whatever happens. Besides, any day in the mountains is a good day for me. From our new house I usually would take a different route than I used to (shorter from here) but I was going to town anyway and from there it was about the same either way so I decided to revisit old haunts. Above is Mountain Pond on Rt. 30, a place I used to stop almost every time I went to the Adirondacks. The light was very nice on this group of shoreline rocks so here it is.

The woods are very dry. The DEC has issued a "high fire danger" warning. I noted that water levels on several ponds/lakes were down as much as a foot. Quite a change from my lean-to adoption trip when the water levels were a little high.

I decided to revisit Cascade Mt. Falls. A friend and I went there last year to make a series of photos one of which I posted on the blog and others that I put on Flickr. After that visit torrential rains from hurricane Irene flooded a lot of areas in the Adirondacks and caused landslides along some mountainside brooks including the one by Cascade Lakes. I wanted to see how the falls had changed. Answer: Dramatically!
There was a large slide on the mountainside above the falls where the brook used to run among trees. All the debris coming down the mountainside stripped the trees and vegetation that had bordered the falls leaving this wide bare swath of rock.

The damage was even more dramatic below. There used to be a shallow pool a the base of the falls which was made by an old dam that once captured the water for a hotel that was on the bit of land between Cascade Lakes. The slide took out the remains of the dam and carved a deep ravine where a shallow brook once ran through the woods below the falls. The amount and size of rocks that the slide moved is mind boggling. It will be a long time before this spot is as "scenic" as it once was.

Both photos were made with a Canon 7D and an 18-135mm lens. The falls are a three (horizontal) frame stitch. I discovered I didn't have my wide angle lens when I set up to make that photo so I had to improvise..

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New B&W eBook From Guy Tal

Guy Tal has come out with a new ebook on digital B&W. I was privileged to get a chance to review it before the release (today) and was impressed by its thoroughness. I have a lot of respect for Guy's vision and skill and in this 59 page ebook he lets us in on his working methods for B&W.

I should start by saying this is a book for those who are serious about B&W and their art. If you are looking for a guide with 10 quick and easy tips for better B&W, this book is not for you. If you are into using Lightroom and Photoshop to do conversions and want to step it up to the next level by studying how one of the best does it, you want this book. Although it is brief it isn't light reading and I'm sure you will learn something that benefits your work even if you are already an advanced digital photographer. The insight into his thought process and methods alone are worth studying. I recommend it highly.

The ebook can be purchased at

or you can use the link in the left hand column to reach his ebook page.
The photo above is a page from the beginning of the book.