Thursday, October 31, 2013

# 301 "Reflections. . ."

As I wind down another Challenge (a two month one at that), I was quite thrilled to be able to share with you some of my favorite images from the past five years. Thank you for your understanding!

And, what better way to end my "Reflections Challenge" than with a reflection! Sadly this fall did not fit into my schedule to capture Nature's tapestry of leaf colors.

If your photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough.
 - Robert Capa

f/8 @ ¼ sec.   ISO 100 on a tripod   Polarizer

Reflecting on Autumn

Stony Brook ran a field trip to Rhode Island – an opportunity to shoot the Barns of Gloucester. I stopped at numerous barns, all with the expected results of barn doors, a horse or two, and some foliage. Approaching the Bissell Farm, I noticed the pond in front of the barn and the colors reflecting off of it. I couldn’t wait to park the car and head over to the watery palette. A couple of laps around the pond to check for the right light and the most colorful fall foliage reflection. A few minutes with my digital workflow and voila!

As far as Robert’s thoughts about not being close enough, if I were any closer, my camera gear and I would have been wet, very wet!

Being there for # 300 were Michelle, EMO, Mrs. Vicky, Michael K., Mike D., Tony, Carol, Joyce, Phil, Deana, and Peyton.

Bonus Image

Monument Valley! This one is dedicated to all of you. . .

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

# 300 "Reflections. . ."

Today marks my three hundredth posting of the year!

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” - Ansel Adams

f/9.5 @ 1.5 sec.   ISO 100 on a tripod   Polarizer   GND

Fall Creek Falls

Mention there is a waterfall in the area and I will seek it out! Olympic National Park was no exception. I don’t think we had even checked in before I was off in search of Fall Creek Falls. It was overcast in the late afternoon so time and the light were both fading fast.

With my waterfall equipment in tow, I found the trail that opened up to give me this view. Olympic N. P. is almost completely covered in a moss-like material. It hangs from the trees, it grows on the ground cover and it encompassed Fall Creek Falls. I did like the bright orange specks of color that permeated the hillside.

The solitude of “Fall Creek Falls” is a place that was indescribable. There was no babbling of the water and even the local fauna was quiet. . .

"Heceta Headwaters" and "Skulled Arches" drew some high praise from Phil, Joyce, Mrs. Vicky, Michelle, Michael K., Mike Di., Tony,  Jeff W., and Doris.

 Bonus Image

Back to Monument Valley for this natural framing of the "Mittens." I even managed a few stars up there!

Thanks for sticking with me for these past 300 days of posting!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

# 299 "Reflections. . ."

“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.” Henri Cartier-Bresson

f/19 @ 1.5 sec. ISO 100 on a tripod  Polarizer

Heceta Headwaters

The Oregon Coast has some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. Our lodging had my wife and I overlooking this seascape when we awoke! This room was in the light keeper’s house that had the pounding surf for a wake-up call.

With tripod and camera in hand, I took a brief stroll to the edge of the lawn. It was mesmerizing – almost hypnotic. Back to reality for what I wanted from this seascape. The interaction of the waves against the rocks became my focal point. Did I want its full force or a softening feel? As you saw, I opted for the latter. Using my polarizer and a small f/stop, I was able to dial up a one and a half second exposure.

By the way, this was a B&B that offered an EIGHT-COURSE start to the morning – see why I can’t shoot at optimum hours!

Still out there: Michelle, Carol, Phil, Peyton, Deana, and Tony!

Bonus Image

"Skulled Arch" was an energetic hike up the face of this rock formation. Fortunately, my L L Bean hiking boots took the sliprock in stride going up and down. But, what a view!

Added Bonus

Another angle of "Skulled Arch!

Monday, October 28, 2013

# 298 "Reflection. . ."

I never have taken a picture I’ve intended. They’re always better or worse. - Diane Arbus

f/8 @ 1/250 sec. ISO 200 on a tripod   Polarizer

Blue Lagoon Pool

Another exquisite example of nature’s palette! Because I visited Yellowstone in the summer, I got the full kaleidoscope of colors. You see the bacteria in these pools react to the temperature – in summer they are bright and vibrant while in winter the colors become almost monotonic.

I do like Diane’s comment to the extreme that I may adopt it as my mantra. It’s a win/win situation! And, there’s a lot of truth in it as well. How many times have we seen the shot, taken it and discovered it wasn’t there? And the opposite is also very true. I’ve gotten credit for images that were well beyond what I shot. 

 Bonus Image

A neighbor to "Square House Ruins" is "Three Pines Ruins." Out of respect for those who have tread here in the past, we decided not to climb up for a closer look. We were able to climb the rocks across from these ruins and look in. 

My telephoto lens did just fine!

Checking in for Sunday were Michelle, Milt, Michael K., Phil, Peyton, Mrs. Beth, Joyce, and Tony. Thanks. . .

Sunday, October 27, 2013

# 297 - "Reflections. . ."

“You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard.” - Ansel Adams

f/22 @ 1.5 seconds ISO 100 polarizer and GND filter on a tripod

"Rainbow Falls, Big Island" - no rainbow on this day but I did get the silky look I like in my waterfalls. This was one waterfall where I parked my car and walked two minutes to a small bridge, set up my tripod and clicked away!

Ansel was right on this one. Waterfalls are captured with some previous experience and planning.

Michael K., Jeff W., Michelle, Phil, Mrs. Vicky, Deana, Tony, Peyton, and Michael P. (checked in before heading out on a cruise) were marked present and accounted for!

Bonus Image

"Ear of the Wind" was a beautiful arch in the Mystery Valley of Monument Valley. I was able to walk up to the opening. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

# 296 - "Reflections. . ."

“To consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk.”  - Edward Weston

f/4 @ 1/60 sec. on a tripod

The endless archways! I was mesmerized by the repetition in these doorways at the Dry Tortuga National Park (see # 284 for another from this national park). Just getting here was no easy ride – a mere two-hour catamaran jaunt off Key West!

To get the full effect I wanted, I carefully set up in the middle of the walkway - luckily, I had my younger brother watching for foot traffic.

Bonus Image

 This is known as the "Three Sisters" - to someone they looked like nuns. I'm having a hard time visualizing my math teacher, Sister Mary Hypotenuse or my history nun, Sister Louisa Magellan!  That could be Sister Leo Vincent in the middle - known as "Skinny Vinny" - the wind would blow her over, really!

Blown away by those who took the time to comment: Carol, Michelle, tony, Milt, Doris, Phil, and Joyce. I met a photographer from Cranberry Country Camera club while going into a restaurant this evening. I guess he's been one of the many silent followers - thanks Doug!

Friday, October 25, 2013

# 295 - "Reflections. . ."

There will be times when you will be in the field without a camera.  And, you will see the most glorious sunset or the most beautiful scene that you have ever witnessed.  Don't be bitter because you can't record it.  Sit down, drink it in, and enjoy it for what it is!  - DeGriff

f/8 @ 1/250 sec.  ISO 200   Polarizer 

Athabasca Glacier
Charles Kuwalt named the “Beartooth Highway” outside of Yellowstone as the most beautiful highway in the Americas. 

Sorry, Charlie, but travel a few hundred miles north into Canada and experience the Icefields Parkway from Banff to Jasper. You drive in a corridor between the Canadian Rockies! I could have stopped every five feet and found another great image.

Words like majestic, awe-inspiring, breath-taking barely begin to describe the Parkway.

This image with its contrasts was more impressive as a monochromatic.

Fortunately for me, I did have my camera and was able to record it!

Heard from Jonathan of the UK, Peyton, Michelle, Phil, Tony, Michael K., Carol, Joani, Mrs. Vicky, and Joyce.

Bonus Image

At Monument Valley there was an opportunity to tour Mystery Valley - off limits for all but those who travel with Navajo guides. This is "Square House Ruins" - a small settlement in the carved out cave.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

# 294 - "Reflections. . ."

“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.” - Ansel Adams

f/11@1/100 sec.   ISO 140 on a tripod   Polarizer 

Bodie Light

I had met a husband and wife duo while doing a photo workshop in New Hampshire. We kept in touch for the next few years with each email inviting me to North Carolina to shoot with them. Since Doug and Kathy were planning to retire to Idaho, my window of opportunity to see the Outer Banks through the eyes of local photographers was rapidly closing. So, in May of 2009, I packed up my car, camera bag, and tripod and drove to NC.

One of their favorite places was Bodie Light on the Outer Banks. We timed it so that we’d be there well before for sunset. Our early arrival paid off as these dark storm clouds were forming off the coast and providing a most interesting backdrop to the flashing beacon. It was merely a matter of getting the timing right so that I caught the light on.

Bodie Light” as a B&W is also interesting!

Lots of fond memories with yesterday's "Dream Kitchen" - Deana, Milt, Doris, Joani, Carol, Phil, Michelle, Tony, Mrs. Vicky, Joyce, Mike Di., and EMO.

Bonus Image

My next place of interest was Page, AZ where the Slot Canyons are. I had two tours booked. The night shoot was done in Upper Antelope Canyon. Lionel is the only guide allowed to photograph at night in the Slot Canyon!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

# 293 - "Reflections. . ."

“A truly good photograph tells a story. It should connect to the reader. That's all there is to it really. Things like composition, focus, colour, lighting and subject matter are all in a sense just fashionable. But the photos that tell stories are timeless.” 
     - Dr. Leslie Brown

f/14 ISO 200 on a tripod No shutter speed HDR  

Dream Kitchen

Another example of being in the right place at the right time! Three club members were planning a visit to a desolate farmhouse so I invited myself along. Upon entering through the kitchen you got the impression that not only did time stand still here but no one had disturbed what was left behind.

Each room had memories of days gone by – as was the situation for Challenge #5, “Moth Protected.” The kitchen was filled with photo ops – all you had to do was turn your tripod left, right, up, or down and there was another images waiting to be frozen in time.

I took this shot seven times for the purpose of creating an HDR image. Similar to Challenge # 34, I wanted the grunge look for this “Dream Kitchen.” I opted for the monochromatic final result.

I knew there was a story, actually many stories, here. I trust that I have told one of them. . .

Bonus Image

Once again, Clint came through at the end of the day. Our last stop was "Teardrop Arch" for the setting sun on Monument Valley. Perfect ending to a perfect day!

Adding to my perfect days back home were Michael K., Deana, Michelle, Mrs. Vicky, EMO, Tony, Phil, Carol, Doris, Joani, and Jeff W.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

# 292 - "Reflections. . ."

“Success is what happens when thousands of hours of preparation meet up with one moment of opportunity.” 
      - Anonymous

f/16 @ 4 sec. ISO 100 on a tripod   Polarizer   GND

HBR Falls 

I had passed by this mini-waterfall many times and knew I would go back when the elements were favorable. An overcast day would be a great start. Since I wanted the cotton candy feel, I packed up my tripod, the polarizer and my GND filter and headed off to shoot the falls. Several angles were promising but this one gave me an interesting flow and a few anchoring points within this frame, such as the contrast of the lighter rock to the left surrounded by flora and its counterpart to the right. The effect of the splashing of the water on the darker rock created a smaller waterfall.

Okay, maybe not thousands of hours of preparation but certainly hundreds of previous waterfall experimentations!

Yesterday's followers were Michelle, Phil, Deana, Joani, Michael K., Tony and returning after a brief absence - Lisa K., Milt, and Carol! Joani wanted to know if I had picked out my ten favorite SW images. Can only find one or two like this one. . .

Bonus Image

"Totem Pole" is one of the iconic images you have to capture at sunrise. Clint, our guide, made sure we were in the right position for this golden opportunity!

Monday, October 21, 2013

# 291 - "Reflections. . ."

“You’ve gotta taste the light, and when you see light like this, trust me, it’s like a strawberry sundae with sprinkles.” 
     - Joe McNally

f/22 @ 3 sec. ISO 200 on a tripod   Polarizer

Sunrise at Otter Rocks and Cliff 

For Challenge #14, “Duck Brook Scenic” another photo friend and I had the landscape to ourselves. Here another thirty photographers surrounded me – all positioned and waited for the rising sun. Being extremely careful about NOT being in the sight lines of those set up behind us, we arrived early, very early! I found a comfortable rock (now, there’s an oxymoron, if I ever heard one) to squat upon and wait for the light. A few test shots to check my histogram and what was in the viewfinder and I was ready.

Reflecting back to that cobblestoned beach, I think I would have appreciated that strawberry sundae Joe mentioned. After seeing what came out of my camera and computer, I’m glad I opted for the images instead of the ice cream delight AND less calories!

Must have been a slow day for my blogees (those who follow blogs) as I had double digit responses - EMO, Michelle, Peyton, Mrs. Beth, Mrs. Vicky, Tony, Jeff W., Joyce, Joani, Michael P., Michael K., Phil, and Liz!

Bonus Image

Later in the afternoon in Monument Valley, I booked the "Mystery Valley Tour" which can only be done with a Navajo guide. Clint took us off the beaten path on roads, make that, trails to see places like, "Eye of the Sun." It was an amazing tour of land not too often visited.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

# 290 - "Reflections. . ."

“Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs.”
     - Ansel Adams

f/5.6 @ 1/1600 sec. ISO 400

Double Jump

I had an opportunity to shoot a Motocross Competition in the area. One of the areas of weakness (and there are many that need to be addressed) for me is action shots. With these cyclists zipping around the track I was able to practice freezing the jumps and panning their movements around the circuit.

In many photo ops the background is key to whether or not you actually have a worthwhile image. Here the distractions were minor. Being able to move around the race area allowed me several vantage points to capture the shots.

After a few practice runs, I was able to determine where they would be airborne. Now it came down to getting the shutter speed correct. By cranking up the ISO, I had a shutter speed of 1/1600 of a second. This was fast enough to freeze the jumps.

I think Ansel was a visionary with this quote. We have been able to manipulate our images to the point that no one knows whether they are real or not! No image manipulations were done to “Double Jump” other than contrast and sharpening.

It only takes one to keep me posting but I heard from four yesterday - Michelle, Tony, EMO, and Joani!

Bonus Image

This was a difficult shot as there were always cars parked beside the barn. So an early rise the next day and getting to the park (Capitol Reef) before it officially opened, I got my shot!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

# 289 - "Reflections. . ."

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.” - Marc Riboud

f/11 @ 2 sec. ISO 200 on a tripod

Marshall Efex

Another one of those shots where all I had to do was press the shutter button on cue! I really can’t take much credit for this shot other than it was on my SD card and I did post-process it.

Roy Marshall (hence the name, Marshall Efex) had a few set-ups for us to try. This one involved setting up our tripods, focus our cameras and click away when Roy said, “Now!” Others in attendance were a little more creative as they sought out different angles.

By the tenth slide down the ramp, the colors in the glasses were taking on a totally new spectrum of colors – colors that were not pleasing to the eye!

"Adrift" had a=quite a few positive replies: Michelle, EMO, Phil, Tony, Mrs. Vicky, Doris, Joani, and Mike Di.

Bonus Image

With our national parks gated, places like Red Canyon came alive with tourists. We hiked the trails; climbed the rocks; and clicked away at their vibrant colors!

Friday, October 18, 2013

# 288 - "Reflections. . ."

f/13 @ 1/160 sec. ISO 100 on a tripod   Polarizer


Making lemonade out of lemons – poor subjects to shoot that day! A photo workshop in Rockport was more of a bust than a boon. The traditional shots of Motif #1 were there but it has been taken from every possible angle. Walking along the pier, I did notice this brightly colored boat floating in and out as others motored by. I stopped to watch its movement. When it drifted far enough away from the dock and the other boats, I clicked away.

The color contrasts on the boat up against the still waters of the harbor caught my attention. While looking through the viewfinder, I noticed my polarizer filter was brightening up the reflection. When I opened “Adrift” up on my desktop, I worked on bringing out those elements for this final look. And, yes, I did remove the rope that was tied to the boat.

In all due respects to Dorothea, my photography here did not hold the boat still, it was all the work of Mother Nature!

From yesterday's posting, "spoken" like true followers: Phil, Michelle, Joani, Emo, Michelle, Tony, and Deana :)

Bonus Image

"Owachomo Bridge" was a bonus catch as I was heading to Monument Valley when I came across Natural Bridges National Park - and it was open!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

# 287 - "Reflections. . ."

“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.” - Anonymous

f/4.5 @ 1/320 sec. ISO 200   Polarizer

Got a Spare?

If you are ever in the need for the unusual, check your calendar to see if the Brimfield Antiques Antique Fair is running. Be prepared to walk through thousands of vendors to find it. Or, you could don a signboard in hopes that the vendor will find you. I had purposely gone to the weeklong event to do some street photography of the characters but I also wanted to capture its character. Exhausted and ready to retrieve my car, I came across this collection of wooden wagon wheels. The way they were arranged provided numerous images. I chose this one because of the spokes interacting with each other and the rims. And, that late sun with the interesting shadows helped to further define Brimfield’s character.

Chiming in on the Bapst Library, I heard from Michelle, Phil, Peyton, Mrs. Vicky, Carol, Joani, Joyce, Tony, and EMO.

Bonus Image

"LaSal Mountain Peaks" The day I drove this loop, I was blessed with white snow. For the next three days they appeared gray.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

# 286 - Reflections. . .

"A good photograph is knowing where to stand." - Ansel Adams

f/8  ISO 200 on a tripod HDR so no shutter speed

Bapst Library

For several months small groups of photographers have been going to Boston College to photograph one the top twenty-five most beautiful college libraries in the United States – The Bapst Library – actually it was ranked #1! After numerous failed attempts to get on the list, I succeeded.

About ten others joined me in this classic library. The stained glass windows, the handcrafted wood, the ambience all were there for my camera. Where do I start? I positioned my tripod in the back, the front, in a private meeting room, near the floor – the possibilities were limitless.

Quoting Ansel “knowing where to stand” was the determining factor and for me it was as you entered the Bapst.

Well worth the wait!

Bonus Image

"Newspaper Rock" was a series of petroglyphs carved into the rock's surface some 2000 years ago!

Now, be honest - how many of you were craving a butterscotch sundae after yesterday's image? Still hanging with me - Phil, Michelle, EMO, Joyce, Joani, and Tony.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

# 285 - "Reflections. . ."

If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff. –- Jim Richardson

f/8 @ 1/320 sec. ISO 200 on a tripod   Polarizer

Orange Spring Mound

Yellowstone is probably one of the most diverse parks in our country! The variety of wild animals (bison, wolves, birds of prey, etc.), the thousands of acres of flora, and the natural occurrences (geysers, boiling pools, etc.) all come together in this one amazing park. I was particularly interested in what was happening in those multi-colored pools. A few of them are included in this month’s challenge (Challenge # 9 and soon to be shown # 52).

Orange Spring Mound for me was Mother Nature’s version of a butterscotch sundae – a twelve-foot high butterscotch sundae!

More images of Yellowstone can be found in the “Our National Parks” folder on my website:

Still out there; Michelle, Tony, Doris, Joani, Tony, Carol, and Liz.
Thank you, Liz for the term, "Muzzle Flames" used to describe the fire seen at the end of those muskets.

Bonus Image

"Owl Slot Canyon" I now know why they are called slot canyons. You had to squeeze through many of the passageways!

Monday, October 14, 2013

# 284 - "Reflections. . ."

“To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

f/8 @ 1/320 sec. ISO 200   Polarizer


Another opportunity to capture our living history – this time of the Revolutionary War. Tip of the lens cap to those men and women who spend countless hours researching their characters and invest their hard-earned money for outfits and ammunition! Timing was the key to getting the actual fire from their muskets in my image. I watched the squad practice and paid close attention to the leader who was barking out commands. After a couple of practice runs, I was ready to get the fire I wanted. My camera was in burst mode allowing me to take several shots in rapid succession. Using this convenient tool, I was very sure that I would have the moment – and, I did!

Henri’s “precise moment to capture fleeting reality” for me happened because of timing and my camera’s burst mode!

Bonus Image

"Sunset on Mittens" was shot from the balcony of my room at The View!
Thanks for "Viewing" yesterday's images: Michelle, Peyton, Joani, joyce, Tony, Mrs. Vicky, and Phil. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

# 283 - "Reflections. . ."

“Looking and seeing are two different things. What matters is the relationship with the subject.” - Christophe Agou

f/5 @ 1/1250 sec. ISO 500 on a boat!  GND

Wings Neck Sunset

Continuing my boating adventure in Buzzard’s Bay ( see Challenge # 24), Captain Carl positioned his boat to offer us the best views for sunset at Wings Neck Lighthouse. As the sunset began to set and the tides came in, our Captain continually maneuvered his craft. I had packed a Graduated Neutral Density filter in my bag and decided this would be the ideal time to work its magic. By darkening the skies and allowing the rest of the frame to remain as is, I was able to get this exposure. Without the GND, I would have had over-exposed skies or a deeply shadowed lighthouse. Remember this was shot on a rocking and rolling boat. My relationship with this sunset was greatly enhanced with the GND filter!

Bonus Image

Fan of the TV show, "Pawn Stars?" In a very seedy area of Las Vegas, far from the Strip, you come to the store where the stories and trades take place. No one there the day I stopped by.

However, Phil, Michelle, Mrs. Beth, Tony, Joyce, Mrs. Vicky, and Joani stopped by my blog!