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Posts tagged “clouds

Sunup

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An early morning sunrise over a local swamp. The sun had just barely cleared the treeline before it was overtaken by an onslaught of approaching clouds, leaving the rest of the day overcast and dull. The entire shoot lasted about ten minutes and served as yet another example of having to “be there” before the event happens if you expect to capture it!

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Just Beachy

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I’m not a beach person. Many years ago I made it a point to visit the Rhode Island shore a few times every summer, but those days have long since been replaced with other weekend chores and activities. I’m not exactly disappointed either. Around the same time I stopped going to the beach it started getting very polluted, over-crowded and populated by roving groups of kids sporting boom boxes. (Yes, this was pre-iPod days.) It was no longer the peaceful commune with nature that I liked to think it was. Being a bit anti-social, the idea of leaving the tranquility of my farm for a big dose of chaos wasn’t exactly my idea of a day well spent. Besides, once you have animals it’s tough to get away for an entire day.

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Two years ago a massage therapist friend invited me to accompany her to a client’s house who lived in a very exclusive neighborhood on the Connecticut shore. Thinking this might offer an opportunity to do some photography, I accepted her invitation. While my friend worked I walked the area nearby and took some pictures. The large cluster of grass in this photo towered six or seven feet above the edge of a boardwalk that led out to a pier, the sandy beach and ocean shore completely hidden just yards beyond the live border.


SunStar

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I’m a little behind getting a photo posted today. Yesterday was (overall) a nice day with family and friends. I was blessed to have been able to talk to all of my siblings in one day, which always makes me feel kinda warm and fuzzy. It’s been 30+ years since I’ve been “home” for Christmas, so talking with each of my sibs on the phone is the next best thing.

Unfortunately, we started our morning with a trip to the hospital to visit my father-in-law who’s been there since early November. It was probably the worst I’ve seen him since his initial operation over six weeks ago. Since then he’s had multiple organ blowouts and failures, fevers, infections, high blood pressure and the inability to eat anything by mouth. A feeding tube was placed late last week and it’s taken several days to get him up to speed with it’s operation. Just when we thought he might finally be able to get downgraded to a rehab facility (oxymoron, since he’s not going anywhere from there) he developed yet another complication. As it stands, I don’t think he’ll ever come out of the anesthesia-related dementia/psychosis. He had a touch of moderate “forgetfulness” going into this, but now ….. well, he can’t comprehend what’s going on or communicate a thing. The family imported his 85 year-old sister from Croatia in hopes that might bolster his reserve, but this has done little more than add another stressed person to the chaos. I vocalized my disagreement about this decision when it was in the process of being made, so now I just need to shut up and stay out of the way.

While this isn’t one of my best pictures, it’s a reminder to enjoy each day as it comes. Our time here is fleeting.


Natural

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Rant on:

I was out doing barn chores this morning when my nose was suddenly assaulted by the strong pungent smell of fabric softener. That’s right, fabric softener. How on earth a fake floral scent can waft through the air and completely override the earthy smell of horse poop, hay and damp horseflesh is beyond me. And this isn’t the first time this has happened. Like clockwork, every two or three mornings my neighbor does her laundry, and I guess her washing machine doesn’t work very well because she thinks she needs to coat her clothing and a half-mile radius of the neighborhood with a “flower on steroids” chemical stink.

I simply don’t understand this mindset, but it appears clever marketing has won the war to convince the general pubic that we wreak. We’ve been brainwashed to think our house stinks, our clean clothes stink and even our clean bodies stink. I mean, why else would we feel the need to spritz ourselves with perfume after slathering ourselves with heavily scented body wash, throw perfectly clean clothes into a dryer with sheets that are chemically loaded with phony perfumes and “clean” our houses with chemicals that tout hyper-powerful scents ?

I think this is going to become what the war on invasive smoke was to the last two decades. Sure, you have every right to smell like a floral polecat in the privacy of your own home, but when your fake chemical stink starts to seep into my open windows and linger over my back yard and barnyard then it’s not just YOUR problem anymore. These products are known to make people and animals sick. They’re made to adhere to our skin and clothing and penetrate the surface of inanimate objects, where they can linger for days. Don’t people see the connection between chronic illness and the crap we’re breathing and cleaning and bathing with day in and day out? Enough already! Please, folks. Spend a few pennies more and buy unscented, chemical-free dryer sheets or vent your dryers into your own damn basement … I’m sick and tired of the chemical assault every wash day.

Rant out.


Clearing

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Once the clouds move out it should be a nice day!


Remains

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The remains of a light snowfall last week.


Change

 

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Fall to winter, day to night, mild to cold. Last night change rolled in on a magenta sunset. As we finished up a nice trail ride the sky started to form what l though might shape up into a nice sunset. I grabbed Gus and hit the road with my camera and gear, thinking that if I got lucky I might find a nice shot lurking not too far from home. I thought I had at least a good forty minutes to get someplace and set up before the sky started to really put on a show, but much to my dismay a front decided to come in riding low, dark clouds. Not quite ready to accept defeat, I kept searching. My local region doesn’t have the long, wide vistas one needs to catch the sun slipping over the horizon. Instead, we have nooks and crannies and deep valleys that hide the setting sun, and offer only a hint of a spectacular scene …. someplace else.

They say you should always wait until the final curtain goes down, so with darkness moving in I quickly searched for a sweet spot that might offer one last glimpse of what should have been a gorgeous sunset, but was fast turning into vivid ribbon of color against a dark sky. In a last-ditch effort I pulled off the main road onto a seldom-traveled side road that runs parallel to a big swampy area. I’d driven this road months before, hoping to find better access to shoot the swamp, but I never found the right vantage point. I kept one eye on the winding road and glanced at the setting sun every few seconds. I knew I didn’t have a minute to waste: I either needed to find a magic opening in the trees right now, or turn around and go home. I slowed the car as I drove into a sharp bend and suddenly, there it was, the picturesque view I wanted! The spot wasn’t anything special and in fact, I’d  have to do a bit of creative maneuvering to work around some junk in the foreground, but if I could manage to do that then it just might work. In the five minutes that it took for the sun to slip below the treeline I shot a handful of pictures, then blowing on chilly fingers I packed up my gear and headed home. Not too shabby for ten minutes work!


It’s Back!

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We’re getting our first real snow of the winter season and it’s hard not to feel sorry for myself. After all, a week ago we were getting T-shirt-warm tropical high winds. Today it’s another high wind warning and polar fleece jackets, hat and mittens. Opposite ends of the spectrum! I certainly feel for the folks who are still displaced and without power from Hurricane Sandy. Seems like they just can’t catch a break. Meanwhile, it’s piling up out there!

Speaking of broken ….. our president stuck. So I’m wondering what happened to all those folks who kept yapping about needing a change and taking this country back? Well, time to shut up and get to work. I don’t think sitting around bitching about who’s in the white house will change anything for the better.

Speaking of better … I was hoping I’d have new glasses by today. I don’t, but maybe tomorrow?


Ponds

 

 

 

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There’s been a lot of emphasis on water since the storm of the century showed up on our doorstep. I live some 35 miles from the shore and when high tides and storm surges collide it isn’t a big threat. However, we do have a large amount of water nearby. Streams that swell, rivers that rise and ponds that balloon beyond their banks when snow melts or storms dump an unprecedented amount of rain in them. My house is above flood level, but we can easily become marooned here if nearby waterways get too high. But this last summer was relatively dry and so our surrounding landscape managed to soak up all the rain. As incredible as it sounds, our sump pump never kicked on during this “epic” storm! Quite the different scenario from last fall’s hurricane/tropical storm, Irene. But I’m not complaining. We did get a lot of  debris and breakage from various sized trees, so I’ll be busy cleaning up the yard and acreage before the snow arrives.

Thanks for all the well-wishes during our highly unsettled weather!


The Dock

 

 

 

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Thanks to all who left comments or wrote to encourage me to keep blogging. I have a very large catalog of pictures that I’ve taken over the last two years, so I’ll go back and dig around to see what I can come up for this blog. I apologize ahead of time if I post a repeat. It’s doubtful that I’ll post the exact same picture, but I often take several photos at each shoot, which leaves me with a pretty good assortment of shots that I can use. I’ll try my best not to get too repetitious, but unless conditions improve I don’t expect to be taking new photos for at least a few more weeks. (And even that might be wishful thinking.)

Both my parents grew up on lakes. My father was raised on the shores of one of the Great Lakes (Lake Ontario), my mother on one of the smaller lakes in the Finger Lakes region. (Conesus Lake.) As a consequence, both parents felt it was important for all of their children to learn how to swim at a very young age because they knew we would grow up spending a considerable amount of time at either lake. I don’t recall how old I was or how I got my feet wet, but I was a proficient, if not highly skilled swimmer well before Kindergarten. My mother enrolled each of us in formal swimming lessons, though I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps she felt it was important for us to achieve our Red Cross swimming cards or maybe it was just her way of showing off? Whatever her reason, we smoked every kid in each class that we took.

By the time I was in sixth grade I was waiting to be old enough to take Senior Lifesaving. If I recall, you had to be a certain age to enroll.  At that point in my life we lived in the suburbs of the city and we had an in-ground pool in our back yard. Swimming was as natural for us as any other childhood game or sport and given this advantage, I’d advanced well ahead of the curve. In fact, my formal lessons had come to a screeching halt a few years prior as I had passed all but the two final tests: Junior and Senior Lifesaving. As a young man my father had earned money working as a lifeguard at a public beach in Charlotte, NY., so naturally he expected that his children would take (and pass) the lifesaving courses. And as mom pointed out, with a pool in our back yard, the more card-carrying lifesavers around, the better!

My older sister was exactly eighteen months (to the day) older than me, and when she reached the age to enroll in Senior Lifesaving my mother somehow managed to get me enrolled in the class too. This meant that I was the smallest and youngest in a large class of mostly boys and a few girls. While my sister was a strong swimmer she was by no means a tough girl. But I was, and that more than made up for the slight disadvantage I had going into this class. I don’t remember all the details of this experience, but I do remember having to swim lots and lots of laps and having to tread water for a ridiculous amount of time. None of that bothered me the least, but what did bog me down was the amount of reading and reciting that we had to do. I remember sitting poolside and reading our Lifesaving books, yellow hi-lighter in hand. Often, my sister and I would jump into the deep end of our pool to practice something we’d just read. I’m sure this gave us a huge advantage over other students in our class.

When it finally came time for our water tests the instructors did their best to try to intimidate us. We were each tested alone; nobody except the crew of instructors and their hand picked “drowning victims” could watch. Each test for every student was different, created spontaneously as the student was ushered from the bowels of the locker room up to the pool. We nervously waited our turn, then as each student returned from their test we peppered them with our questions. “How was it?” “Was it hard?” “Did you pass?” “How many tries did it take?” Unfortunately, each student was sworn to secrecy before being dismissed, and so we learned nothing. Two or three students were injured in the process. Dislocated fingers and broken toes seemed to be the catch of the day.

My sister was called to test ahead of me, leaving me for last. By then, word had it that several students had failed their water tests. I was shocked to learn that several of the biggest, best swimmers had failed to “land” their victim in the allotted amount of time. I worried that my non-aggressive sister might not fare well and I hoped the best for her. When she returned, she looked defeated (she had, in fact passed) and subdued, and she wouldn’t catch my eye, afraid perhaps that her big sister concern would tempt her to share more information than allowed. I remember the chill as I walked up the long tiled corridor, followed by the strong smell of chlorine as the warm humid air hit my face. I was quickly introduced to my ‘victim’ before he jumped into the deep end of the Olympic size pool. By all accounts, he was huge. Tall, muscular, very long-limned, and I had no idea how I was going to “rescue” him. I knew for certain that he’d be doing his best to try to drown me in the process, especially since “Realistic” was the only description I’d managed to cajole out of any of the other students.

My test was explained to me. I was to perform a direct front in-water approach and a classic cross chest carry. Once I got out there anything could happen and I would be allowed to make my own decisions on the fly, but that was what I was supposed to attempt. I nodded that I understood, glanced at the clock and walked to the edge of the pool. There were ropes with life rings attached, long poles and other implements that we could use as we deemed necessary, but only after our prior assignment had failed. The whistle blew and I dove in. A strong under water swimmer, I didn’t surface until I was just out of reach of my victim. I called to him and he lunged directly toward me, mimicking a full blown panic! I dove deep, grabbed his legs, spun him around until his back was against me. I crawled up his body, gripping him like a vice, terrified that he would get turned around again. I knew I didn’t stand a chance if he wrapped one of his spidery arms around my neck. My lungs were about to burst. I kicked hard, surfaced, threw an arm across his chest and locked my elbow down. We headed toward the edge of the pool, but his long, heavy body dwarfed mine and I had to fight to keep us both afloat. Meanwhile, my victim was doing everything in his power to sabotage my rescue. He repeatedly tangled his legs in mine and tried to break free, but I rolled him like an alligator and kept working toward the make believe shore.

I was one of four students who passed the Senior Lifesaving water test that summer. I never applied to be a life guard anywhere, but swimming has remained my strong suit. Many years ago I joined a YMCA and swam laps on my lunch hour. Something about the steady rhythm of the crawl appealed to me. I found it calming. When I was young my parents used to pack me up and send me off with my older sister for a two week stay with my mother’s mother. Grandma didn’t spend much time worrying about us or supervising our every move. We knew what was off limits and what the rules were, and were were pretty much on our own. One of my fondest memories was waking up at the crack of dawn so we could swim while the water was still calm. The cool morning air made the water feel bath-tub warm and the only sound we could hear was the soft slapping of the occasional wave against the sides of the rowboat that was moored along the dock. I remember the long, stringy, green seaweed that clung to the wooden ladder at the end of the dock. It looked like cooked rhubarb as it waved back and forth, pulled by an invisible current. I remember doing handstands, my feet kicking in the air and my fingers pushing against the ripples of sand on the shallow bottom. My sister and I swam or rowed to a float that was secured some 150 yards or so from the main dock, where we planned our  strategy for swimming across the lake. (Accompanied, we thought, by one of us rowing the boat alongside!) We were young … probably seven and nine when we were doing all this, and totally unsupervised. Like many memories from my childhood, I’m so glad we had the opportunity to do these things, unfettered by parents who thought better of our crazy schemes and ideas.


Dawn

 

 

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Happy Birthday to my sister! May the dawn of a new decade be as bright and beautiful as the lovely woman, born this day many dawns ago.

PS. It’s all downhill from here, sweetie!  😉


Magenta Morning

 

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A magenta sunrise.


CQ! CQ! CQ!

 

 

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My husband was a HAM radio operator. There. I’ve said it. I’m fairly certain this qualifies him to belong to some secret, card-carrying universal order of geeks, but it’s not the kind of thing you go around mentioning at cocktail parties. Not that there’s anything wrong with it … but it’s a little like confessing you were born on Mars.

After thirty-some years of living with a HAM radio operator I still don’t know very much about it except to say that this basement hobby gave real meaning to the words “Man Cave” long before I’d ever heard anyone mutter the term. I learned shortly after I met my husband that he was a HAM radio enthusiast, in fact, the first time I met his parents I couldn’t help noticing the very tall tower parked in their back yard. Apparently the appreciation for Morse Code was inherited from his father. I’m not sure who got bitten by the airwaves bug first; father or son, but they shared their interest and enthusiasm for all things HAM for more than two decades.

We have the black and white pictorial proof that back in the mid 70’s Aldo and Pop belonged to a grassroots HAM radio club. During the summer members honed their craft by setting up and running field events where they could practice real life situations. For these events the men and boys would assemble at someone’s house, pile into a few cars then caravan out to the edge of a remote field where they would set up a makeshift relay station. They used generators for their source of power. I’m not exactly sure what else their agenda involved except to practice emergency preparedness and (judging by the pictures) the adults enjoyed the occasional alcoholic beverage and the kids consumed a lot of junk food and played cards. Good times! I do know that many of the folks who became involved in HAM radio became lifelong friends, both locally and around the globe.

I never got a HAM radio license. Oh, there was plenty of jovial teasing and encouragement to do so, but Morse Code is a type of foreign language and memorization isn’t my strong suit. Instead, I preferred to observe and, as technology progressed, listen in (eavesdrop) on the conversation. Long before cell phones were readily available my in-laws traveled to Europe. They went to visit family, but they also planned to visit with a HAM radio friend. Today, I suppose this would be the modern equivalent of meeting someone you’ve met and conversed with on the Internet prior to web cams and digital photography. Before my in-laws left we arranged a specific  time and date to rendezvous via the HAM radio. I can still remember how exciting it was to be able to talk to them (at no cost!) in real time from across the ocean! Obviously today’s inexpensive cell service, Skype and the Internet has put a dent in the thrill of going live over the airwaves.

I also know any time there was a major world event we had cutting edge information about it long before the general public. We knew well in advance when the 1990 Gulf War (Desert Storm) began, and we got inside updates that the public never got. The same happened when weather disasters happened in remote parts of the world. Sometimes it was exciting to be privy to this news, but other times it was a bit daunting. HAM radio operators are to this day still ready, willing and able to use the airwaves for  emergency broadcasts. It’s pretty neat to know these folks are dedicated to keeping the world informed.

Years ago we used to belong to a local HAM radio club. We never went to the meetings, but twice a year we’d get a big envelope stuffed with a dozen or so CQ cards. CQ cards are personal “calling cards” from the individuals you’ve made radio contact with. Not everyone had them, but I guess in the HAM radio heyday CQ cards were pretty common. So you would contact someone and they would send their CQ card to your regional headquarters. Or something like that. It was kind of like collecting stamps from all over the world. Usually the cards had a picture of the operator and their tower or gear on the front along with their call handle. Yeah, how corny is that? But back then it was cool to see who was using what equipment.

I remember on clear winter nights the airwaves were usually very strong. Our tower is (I think) an 80 meter dipole. That’s geek-speak for a medium-sized residential tower. There used to be a motor on the top that rotated the large antennae, but over the years it’s stopped turning. It was quite an event the day the tower went up. It took several men to manipulate the guy wires and scaffolding and we still have the climbing belt they wore when they hooked all the electrical lines to the top. I’ve climbed about halfway up (beltless), but I’ve never been all the way up to the top. I bet the view is nice!

The down side to having a large tower in your back yard is that it often presents a challenge when trying to take certain photos. Normally I don’t shoot much in that direction, but sometimes I wish I could without having to navigate around an unsightly tower. Oh, and we used to have some pretty strong filters on the tower or we would pick up or cut into phone and television transmissions in our neighborhood! I know there are people who consider themselves technology geeks, but back in the 60’s and 70’s HAM radio was the ultimate geek calling card. I know HAM radio hobbyists have become a bit of a dinosaur, but its fun look back at those days and remember being a part of it.


Batter up!

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No, that’s not a bird or a plane.

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It’s a bat!

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First of all, I didn’t adjust the color in any of these photos! They were taken on an unseasonably warm, beautiful day that evolved into a stunning, glowing sky as the sun began to sink over the treeline. I was out playing a little end of the day Frisbee with the dogs when I noticed what I thought was a barn swallow darting about in the evening sky. It stood out against the warm tones of the clouds as it swooped lower and closer, almost dive-bombing straight for us! Seconds later another “bird”  appeared and I suddenly realized they were not birds at all, but bats darting to and fro! They flew fast and furious, honing in on insects too small for the naked eye to see. Several times they dove low to the ground, nearly colliding with me! Normally I’m not afraid of bats, but it was a bit unnerving to see how close they’d come to hitting me before pulling up or swerving to one side at the last second. I didn’t think I’d be able to catch their antics with my camera, but I decided to give it a try. If nothing else the sunset was stunning and the bats literally glowed from the reflection of the pink-orange sky. I watched the bats feed until the fiery sun sank below the horizon and I lost them against the darkening backdrop of the woods.

I don’t know what kind of bats these were, but I’m hoping they were Brown Bats. The Brown Bat population has been ravaged by white nose disease and nearly decimated in our area. I’ve seen several bats around the farm this summer, but none quite this bold or engaging. I hope they’ll be back again come spring!


Beginner’s Luck

 

 

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I didn’t know it at the time, but last year was the perfect fall for taking pictures. My camera was new and I was completely inexperienced, but the conditions were stunning. This year …. not so much. I’ve been very unmotivated to get out before the crack of dawn and go hunt for that great shot. The fall color has been nothing to write home about and the fantastic light I had almost every day last year has not made much of an appearance. Being a rookie, I thought every fall would be like last year. Apparently not, and I’m very disappointed.


What Fall?

 

 

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At this time last year the landscape colors were rich and warm. It was an true Indian Summer complete with cool nights, mild sunny days, and gorgeous sunrises and  sunsets. Day after day I got up before the crack of dawn and shot tons of pictures. By comparison, this fall looks like a dud. That may change later in the month, but I’ve heard rumors that “Irene” dumped so much saltwater on parts of the New England landscape that it’s going to be a brown fall.


Peace and Quiet

 

The last time I was out on this trail it looked like this. Given that I haven’t been able to even reach this trail let alone see it since January, I’m getting pretty excited to start hiking again. The only good thing about winter is that very few people try to hike this trail very far. You see, my house and barn sit only a couple hundred yards away from it and I can’t stand the traffic during the rest of the year. We’ve lived here since way before tree huggers lobbied to turn this (already public) trail into a linear state park. Not that our state needed more parks. Many nearby parks have either closed or offer no services (things like a simple trash can) because our state doesn’t have money in the budget for park upkeep. But people pushed for this old rail bed to be converted into a park anyway, so now what was once our nice quiet, remote little farm at the end of a dead-end road is like living in a fishbowl in the middle of Grand Central Station three seasons out of four. Oh, and while most people seem to think this trail was a great idea (Read as: free) they don’t realize that a good portion of our state gas tax goes toward it for improvements, upkeep and continued expansion. Since our current price at the pump has exceeded $3.60 I’m wondering how great that idea seems now? Frankly, I’d much rather be able to afford a tank of gas or home heating oil than pay for “improvements” for a trail that …. well, was ALREADY a trail.

 

Right now it’s still quiet, like the calm right before a storm. Soon, I’ll be awakened by people yelling at my horses and at each other as they bike, hike and jog past my property. The traffic will be almost constant during the daylight hours, especially on the weekends. As soon as we change our time back my peace and tranquility will be over  …  before I really even get a chance to get outside and enjoy it myself.

 

 

Oct 17, 2010 7:46 AM. EST.

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 400, 30mm, 1/50 sec, f/16

Lens: Canon EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

Lightroom3: Contrast/brightness adj


Winter Sky

 

 

I’ve taken several pictures of this tree, but this was one of the nicer shots that I got after we had about three and a half feet of snow on the ground. Getting to the spot where I took this picture was a workout in itself: a steep uphill climb through butt-deep snow drifts while carrying a camera and tripod was a little nutty, not to mention the fact that (as usual) I was trying to beat the sunset. Oh, and it was single-digit, bone-chilling cold.

 

I used PS5 HDR toning to process this because it helps make the margins of the clouds pop a bit more. So far I’ve played with the HDR toning settings a lot more than the basic HDR program. That’s because I don’t take a lot of bracketed photos, which you need for the HDR program. HDR toning uses just one photo and the results are a bit less extreme, but that suits me just fine for right now. Perhaps if it wasn’t so darn cold I might have been more inclined to tinker with my camera settings and take some bracketed photos, but I could hardly manage to take the few pictures that I got.

 

Color-wise, I left things exactly as I saw them. I don’t like to punch color or vibrancy up unless I really have to, and in this case there was enough contrast in the sky to keep things interesting without playing Mother Nature. The wind was howling, making the sky change from moment to moment and it was one of those times when I found myself questioning my sanity and wondering why I was out there … until I saw the results. Sadly, there isn’t much interesting to shoot up on that ridge. The lone pine tree is nice, but unless there’s something brewing in the sky, it’s rather ho-hum.

 

Below: The trail back down.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo #1:

Jan 30, 2011 5:47 PM EST.

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 100, 19mm, 1/4 sec, f/25

Lens: Tamron SP 10-24mm 1:3.5-4.5

PS5: HDR toning

Lightroom3: brightness/contrast adj.

 

Photo#2:

5:49 PM. EST.

ISO: 100, 11mm, 1/4 sec, f/16

 


Stand Tall

 

 

Plumes, photographed on a fall visit to the Connecticut shore.

 

Oct 10, 2010. 9:04 AM. EST.

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 200, 135mm, 1/2500 sec, f/5.6

Lens: Canon EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

PS5: HDR toning

 


Green Valley

One of my favorite pictures from last fall.

 

 

Oct 16, 2010. 8:20 AM EST.

ISO: 200, 24mm, 1/320 sec, f/14.

Lens: Canon EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

PS5: HDR toning


Early Chores

I was so hoping the sky might give me a beautiful background this morning but alas, it was not to be. It was nice, but not spectacular.  I’m kinda disappointed because today we have to clear the snow off the barn roof and it was the last day I could try to capture some early morning photos of the barn showing the amazing amount of snowfall we’ve had thus far. The clouds cooperated, but the colors just never came together at the right time. So I puttered around and took a handful of photos so I could practice various things, but since the light wasn’t all that great there wasn’t a really fantastic photo in the bunch.  Oh well. At least I got my barn chores over and done with very early! And yes, I wish I’d framed this photo to eclipse the treetops, but (once again) I was so penned in that I couldn’t zoom out anymore or I would have caught a bunch of garbage in the foreground. Reminder to self: pay more attention to the finer details!

 

The barn is already being cleared off as I write this, making way for the next snow storm that is predicted to pass this way in a day or two. We’ve barely been able to keep up with the snow removal and as pretty as it looks, it’s become a real problem. I can no longer shovel things myself as it now requires throwing the snow up over my head. My shoulders and back are protesting and I can’t ignore this like I might have ten or fifteen years ago. Thank goodness for teenage boys who want to earn a few bucks! 😉

 

 

Jan 28, 2011. 8:13 AM. EST.

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 100, 24mm, 3 sec, 1/8 sec, 0.8 sec, f/18

Lens: Tamron 10-24mm

PS5: HDR conversion.


Back To Bashan

 

 

I messed around a bit more with the HDR. For me, it’s not so much the settings that are confounding, but the saving/resizing/converting into a format that I can post here. I’m so computer illiterate that I get far too bogged down in that end of things, more so than the actual processing. That kinda takes the fun out of it. It takes me ten or fifteen minutes to actually process the photo, then half a day to figure out how to save it and get it into a reproducible file format! There’s gotta be an easier way, I just haven’t figured it out yet!

 

But I digress. Above, another one of my attempts to tinker with HDR. Below is one of the original pictures that I merged, the lightest exposure of the series. I’ve tried to use the HDR program to bring out some of the finer details of this winter scene without making the picture look too surreal.

 

 

Jan 16, 2011. 5:40 PM EST.

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 100, 22mm, 1/15 sec, 1/60 sec, 1/30 sec, f/18

Lens: Tamron 10-24mm

PS5: HDR

 


Lake Sunrise

 

I’ve been thinking I should go back to this spot and try to get some pictures now that the seasons have changed … then I remember how cold I was the morning I took this photo.  Big storm coming in later tonight so I guess I won’t get there first thing tomorrow. Might try to do it soon though.

 

Oct 22, 2010. 6:46 AM. EST.

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 400, 21mm, 1/5 sec. f/13

Lens: Canon EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

 

 


A Subtle Transition

This was taken early one evening when I’d hoped something great might happen in the sky. Unfortunately, this was about as exciting as it got  … which wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I had in mind. I haven’t been back to this spot in awhile and I’m going to assume it looks pretty desolate about now. We are in-between seasons, which is challenging.  Not fond of the cold, I’m far more tempted to park myself in my office and work on learning the computer end of this hobby. Once it snows I’m sure I’ll be motivated to get out and shoot. Any time there’s a major change in the landscape I want to take pictures of it.