Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Parade--Saratoga

A friend and I  drove out to Saratoga this morning to get there in time for the parade.  It was a beautiful morning, cool and clear, and we happily planted ourselves on the shady side of the street.

After leaving the car in the public parking area, we began walking to the main street.  I spied a vanity license plate, and readied the camera to get the image.  Now, today I decided to use the 50D, which I hadn't used in several weeks.  As I pressed the shutter button, there was no reaction to autofocus.  The shutter worked, but no focusing.

Oh.     My.      Goodness!!!

I only had the one camera with me, and there is only one Memorial Day Parade a year.  I switched lenses, thinking maybe the current lens wasn't talking to the camera.  Still no autofocus.  So I resigned myself to manual focus, knowing darned well that my pictures were doomed to be soft, since the last time these old eyes had manually focused was about 15 years ago.  Aaaarrggghhhhh!

Anyway, we continued to the main street, found a good vantage point and waited. 

In the meantime before the parade began, I did some "photo-journalism".  Considering the manual focus, the resulting images aren't too bad.  And it was still fun--that bw function on the camera rocks!!!

After the parade, we decided to walk around and we headed to the park.  After taking a few images with manual focus, I had an epiphany.  I remembered that after my Denali, AK workshop last year, my camera was set to focus with a different button.  Duh!!!  

To say the least, I was very relieved that my camera wouldn't need a trip to the repair shop and that it was just user-error.  

I did, however, put the camera on "color" for a few of the images.  The one below really called to me to be taken in color.

My friend, Jessica, happily posing for me during a break in her shooting.  It was a good day.

Thanks to all the service men and women who have sacrificed their time and lives to keep our country free.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Project

I'm working on a project that requires specific images.  I went out today to see what I could get without having to travel too far from home.  It was already late in the afternoon, and tomorrow a friend and I are going shooting and will probably have to travel quite far.

These are not the exact images I'm using for the project--I don't want to give anything away, but they'll be similar.  

This first image is of a local country church that is now a historical society.  There's a great little cemetery on the side and back of this church where I also spent some time photographing.

A little farther on down the road is this great Forest Preserve.  Now, where I live, a forest preserve may not sound like such a unique environment since I'm at the foothills of the Great Adirondack Park, but this is one area where there's a nice foot trail providing an easy walk and it's only about 10 minutes from my house as opposed to the two hours it usually takes to get to our hike destinations.

I didn't go too far into the forest because within about 2 feet of the entrance I was being eaten by bugs and, of course, I didn't have any bug spray with me.  I still like the images I got.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Moose Mountain Pond Hike

I know, I know, the sign says 3.2 miles, but the guidebook said 3.5 miles, and that's really what it felt like.  So 3.5 it is.  (7 miles RT)  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Another beautiful day.  It was cloudy and drizzly on the 2 hour drive to the trailhead, but then it cleared and became pretty spectacular.  There wasn't much elevation, but again, we had to navigate over tree roots and rocks and across mushy streams.

This hike ended at a lean-to with a fire pit on the edge of a pretty lake.

And, hooray, there was an outhouse.  Yeah, pretty rustic, but a welcome sight all the same!

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but after every hike we stop for dinner.  That's really the main reason I hike.  The heck with the great exercise, being in the fresh air all day, the beautiful surroundings, the good company and the fun conversation...really, it's the dinner at the end.  

Okay, I know this isn't gourmet, but I'm a big fan of comfort food.  The other two had tuna-salad sandwiches and we all had nothing but rave reviews for the food at this little 
country diner in Schroon Lake.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Nothing in Common

Today was the Spring Fling in Amsterdam.  You know,  an event where they close off a street and invite vendors of all sorts to set up and sell their wares.  Music, dance demonstrations, stores (what few there are) open and hoping for some business, car show, motorcycle show and people like me and a friend walking around with cameras looking for THE shot.

The weather was spectacular.  About 82 degrees, low, low humidity and blue cloudless skies.
We meandered around taking photos, all of which were random. They have nothing in common, nor do they have a purpose.  I'm beginning to think I need intervention.  

I take pictures because I CAN'T  not take them.  I have no use for them.  I don't sell them, nobody wants them.  Usually no one even sees them but me.  I can't help myself.

Anyone else in that boat--I'd like company!

So here you go, dear reader.  A random selection of images from my day out in the sun.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Let the Hiking Begin

Today  was the first day of our 2012 hiking season.  it was a glorious day.  39 degrees when I left the house at 6:30 this morning, with the promise of getting much warmer during the day.

It was a beautiful walk:  2.5 miles in to the river with some ascents and descents. 
Lots of boulders, lots of tree roots, and many swampy 
areas that we had to navigate.

When we arrived it was just about high-noon.  
Not the most perfect time for making photographs, 
but definitely the perfect time to eat lunch.

We ate, relaxed and photographed for a little while, then began the trek back.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Accident

I had to head out this morning around 9 for an appointment.  As I started to pull out of the driveway, I saw police lights off in the direction I needed to go.  There's a very sharp "S" curve just yards past my house, and I could see that there had been an accident at the curve.  

The traffic controller waved to me that I could go forward and when I got to the corner, this is what I saw.  It took my breath away.  I pulled off into the parking lot and, of course, got out my camera.

Unbelievably, no one was killed, and the downed horse was up on its feet after a few minutes.

Within a minute or two of taking the above picture, the Glen Fired Dept. arrived on the scene.

Those volunteers are awesome.  I doubt that the members of any paid fire department are any more dedicated and devoted than the members of our volunteer group.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Keeping It Short

This post could be pages long, but I'll spare you that agony by keeping it short (or not).
Long story short, I spent some time in NYC this weekend.  I drove my daughter down there and we stayed overnight so she could catch a plane to FL to meet up with her mission team.  They're on their way to Haiti to help with Vacation Bible School.

We arrived mid-afternoon on Sunday.  After checking into our hotel, 
we took the subway into Manhattan.
Here's how it started out:
Walked down the subway stairs, found the machine that dispensed the paper "token".
Me:  so do you know where we're going?
Leah: no, I thought you did.  You looked so confident.
The two of us looked at each other and shrugged.
After getting on the subway car--
Me:  where should we get off?
Leah shrugged.
Me:  should we just pick a stop and get off?
Leah:  sure.

So when when the train pulled into a station that sounded kind of familiar, we got off the subway, with me taking copious notes about where we were and which way to turn to get back.

It was a good choice.  We found (even though we weren't really looking for anything specific), St. Patrick's Cathedral (under mega-construction), and Rockefeller Center.  I, of course, kept stopping to take photos, but I couldn't belabor the effort because I knew Leah had a short fuse for that kind of thing.  I put the camera on bw again and shot away.

This next image is probably the keeper for the day.

On the way out of the city today, my GPS led me past the neighborhood where I grew up.  Of course I had to park and walk around for a while.  I got some images, although nothing spectacular or worth "writing home about" but it was still a great trip down memory lane.

And then this license plate.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Another Tulip Festival

As many of you know, Albany hosts a tulip festival every year on Mother's Day weekend.  In anticipation of that event, the city plants thousands of tulips in Washington Park several weeks 
before hand.  Every variety imaginable can be seen there.  

People drive from miles away to see the beautiful display and to take photos.  For the past two years I haven't been able to get down there to photograph the tulips, but really. . . . in spite of how beautiful they are, it's the same thing each year.  

It's difficult (but not impossible) to be too creative because the flowers are planted in tight beds which doesn't leave much room to maneuver the camera/tripod and to isolate any particular flower.  
So it's an interesting battle of wills to get a good, unique shot.

I had an appointment in Albany yesterday, so I drove down a little early in order to visit Washington Park.  Because of all the rain we've been having, the tulips looked pretty pathetic. I've never seen them look so sad before the event - - usually after the weekend is when they go to rack-and-ruin.  

But I was already there, so I tried to make lemonade out of lemons.

There were a few sections where the flowers were still in pretty good condition, but alas, the sky was blah.  Still . . . . you've got to work with what's available.


Saturday, May 05, 2012

A House and Plotterkill

Today was one of those days that started out dreary and boring.  I spent way too much time on the computer and then began wondering what I could do for the remainder of the day. I wanted to get out and do some photography, but the question was, where?

I needed some ink for my printer and I remembered that the closest Office Max was not too far from Plotterkill Park, and considering how much it's rained lately, I knew the falls would be flowing nicely.

Before I got to Plotterkill, I found this abandoned house.  I've passed it many times but today I was determined to stop and figure out how to get close to it.  So glad I did.  This must have been a beautiful and comfortable home in its day. 

Friday, May 04, 2012


Not much to say.  Just a couple of random images from a photo excursion
to a hotel in Wakiki a few weeks ago.