Friday, June 28, 2013

A Wet Hike

Today three of us headed to Indian Lake for a hike.  We signed in at the trail head, and began our wet, dripping hike, only to discover not far into the hike that the trail was flooded .  The boards that had served as a walkway were washed away and there was no way to get across the mini-lake without sloshing through water about 6 inches deep.  That may not sound too bad to hard-core hikers, but we just didn't want to do that.

So we turned around and signed back out--our fastest hike-time ever.  Fortunately, there was another trail not far from there, and even though it was a paltry 1.1 miles each way, we decided to go for it since we had already driven 1.5 hours to get there.  

It was a significant incline considering this was only our second hike of the season and it provided a nice workout.  We started out while it was raining lightly but we had no idea the trail would be so wet.  Below is the little "river" that was running down the trail for about half the distance.

I know it only looks like a little rivulet, but believe me when I say that the ground on either side of it was saturated.  It wasn't long before we all stopped trying to keep our boots dry.  We gave up and just walked through the wet areas, our boots often sinking up to the laces in water.

After all that work, and all that wet, this is the "view" that greeted us.  Sheesh!!

But it sure is green and lush up there~~well...everywhere.

And here are the boots feet that trod that slushy trail this morning.

After returning home I discovered that a couple of towns just west of us had been flooded again because of the incessant rain we've had this year.  It's heartbreaking.

There's more rain in the forecast.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

All the Hype

I'm not a big fan of nighttime photography.  I mean, I like to look at work done by other photographers, I just don't really have any interest in doing it myself.

But after all the hype about the super-moon for the past few days, I decided to try it tonight and see what I could get.  So I did some research about what settings to use and set my camera to the recommended functions:

mirror lock-up
200 mm zoom lens (the longest I own)
200 iso
f 11
125 shutter speed
and of course, my tripod

I headed up to the deck and waited.   and waited.   and waited.   and then I decided that because I still had a little time, I'd go to the west side of the house and see what kind of a sunset it was going to be.  

And I got this:
(it really wasn't this dark--I underexposed the image in photoshop because it so nicely enhanced the colors)

"Okay", I thought.  Now back to the east side of the house.  I waited some more and then I decided to get in the car and drive to higher ground.  I did that.  I drove 12 miles. Still no moon.  And it looked very cloudy, so I decided to call it a wash and head back home.  

After driving about 7-8 minutes I glanced in the rear-view mirror and saw that the moon had risen and was already well above the horizon...  Yikes.  Taking my life in my hands I pulled over, hit the button for the emergency flashers to come on, jumped out of the car and set up the tripod and camera.  

I really should have just continued my drive home.  This is so pathetic.  
The moon was a tiny little orb in a huge expanse of sky--this is an extremely cropped section of the bigger picture, and therefore very soft.

Oh well, it's my one-and-only attempt at moon photography and will probably be my last.  I'm just not all that interested.  But it sure would have been nice if it had been more successful.  


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Close To Home

The other day some friends and I took a road-trip to a cemetery to do some photography.  My photos were a bust, and I haven't seen any of theirs yet, so I hope they were more successful than I was.

Today a different friend took me to a local cemetery, right in my proverbial "backyard".  It's one I have driven past hundreds of times. It doesn't look like much from the road, so I never gave much thought to it as being a viable photo destination.

My friend wanted to show me Benedict Arnold's grave.  Not the traitor Benedict Arnold, but someone named after him.  Sounds weird, right?  Naming someone after a traitor.  Well, a google search turned up the information that our local Arnold was named after the infamous Arnold just two weeks before he betrayed our country.  Remember that in those days information traveled at a snail's pace, so it was a long time later before the parents realized what had happened.  

However, our local boy:

 "was a successful merchant and owned large parcels of land. He became an officer, a philanthropist and dabbled in politics for a bit. Benedict A. Arnold served as a Major General in the second division of cavalry in the United States Army and later served as a member of the New York State Assembly (1816-1817). A few years later, he was elected to the Twenty-first United States Congress, serving a two-year term from 1829-1831. He did not seek re-election. Returning to activity in village politics and retiring from business, Benedict lived out the remainder of his days in Amsterdam."

This is not Arnold's headstone, but his son's.   My pic of the senior's headstone is another bust, but I like this one.

Just a couple of other scenes from Greenhill Cemetery.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Another Rainy Day

Today dawned fairly sunny with the promise (however deceptive) of warming up nicely. I made mental plans to go shooting this afternoon.  I thought I would return to that cemetery I photographed last weekend because I figured the sky would be just blue enough to add some interest to the scenes.

By the time I returned home from church,    my.   plans.   were.   trashed.  It turned into just another rainy day.  In order to redeem the day and not waste fritter away the time as I often do, I set up my studio in my sewing room and began working on some close-up and macro photography.

The results are not world-class images, but I had a good time and I'll add these to my files and hope that some day I might have some use for them.  If not, at least I can say I enjoyed the afternoon.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Car Show

There was a small classic car show today at the open house at the Sanford Horse Farm.  Along with the cars that were on site, there were vendors, so there wasn't much room for the cars.  I've never seen a show where the cars were so scrunched together.  It was almost impossible to get a good perspective on them, but I tried.  Composing was further complicated, as it usually is, by all manner of extraneous "stuff" in the background and the fact that it was smack-dab in the middle of the day when the sun is highest and brightest and causing all manner of glare.

But it is what it is, so I tried to make the best of it.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Going Through Old Files

It has been raining here.  A lot.  Everything is very green and very lush. But it keeps raining.
Now....I'm not really complaining, after all, my well is full and I can do laundry at my house throughout the summer.  The temperatures are cool so I'm not getting cranky due to high temps with equally high humidity.  And sleeping is wonderful with the cool temps and rain drops falling on the roof.


Photography!  Doesn't much happen in these conditions.  So I was going through some old files and found these.  I never processed them before, so I decided to have a go at them.  They were both taken in Hawaii.

Old unused country church.

Educational pier on windward side of Oahu.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

A Cemetery Adventure

After taking a friend out for a birthday celebration breakfast,we went searching for some photo ops in a cemetery we had never been too.  It turned out to be small, and it didn't have any grave stones that made us go oooohhh, ahhhh, but it was very pretty and very quiet.  We had the place to ourselves, so we spent quite a bit of time there.  I can't wait to see the images she got...

It was quite overcast and at times there was a lot of drama in the clouds, just not in the directions I was shooting.  I'll have to make a trip back there when the sky is prettier.

I am totally hooked on HDR, so all of the following images are done with that process.

As we were heading back to town, I suggested that we detour into down-town and see what we could find.  The downtown of Amsterdam is nothing to brag about, although back in the day it was a sight to behold.  

Usually this street is deserted on a Saturday afternoon so we were surprised to see the curbs lined with cars, and the center parking spots all filled.  I was a little disappointed at first, but when I began composing, I realized that the vehicles might give the image some character.

I love this old door.  It makes me sad to think that these beautiful old buildings are just sitting there vacant and going to rack-and-ruin.  Wouldn't this be a great doorway for a senior portrait?

Friday, June 07, 2013

Thankful Thursday (on Friday) &
The Award Ceremony

I'm always confounded that we human beings are so forgetful.  Since the beginning of the year I've been writing down one thing per day that I'm thankful for, no matter how trivial or grand.  Since I returned from Hawaii, I haven't done it once.  I just keep forgetting!

I've heard it said that it takes 21 days to make something a habit.  I wonder who said that, cause it certainly doesn't work that way for me.

Anyway....yesterday (Thursday) I had the opportunity of spending the entire almost the entire day at home, which is the first time I could do that since I returned in May, 27 days ago.  It was glorious.  I caught up on all sorts of things, including trimming a hedge and relaxing.

I didn't exactly lay on the couch all day, like my cat manages to do, but it was still good. Not one of my most creative or imaginative images, but I think you get the point I'm trying to make.

While I was taking photos of the cat, I took a few of my one-and-only-living-plant cause I think it's soooo pretty.  It will be interesting to see how long I can get this plant to survive...

This morning I joined my daughter at school for an award ceremony for the two younger grandkids.  "Did you bring your camera?", she said. "No", I said. "Whaaaattttt???" she said.  Well, not to worry, I have my point and shoot.  

I'm beginning to wonder, whose kids are these anyway, and if they're hers why am I the only one taking pictures?   

The grandson, the tallest one in the pic--is in 4th grade.
The boy next to him is in 4th grade too.  
The one with "smile" on her shirt is in 3rd grade.
She usually not only smiles, but she poses, but this line-up was a
little inhibiting...
The entire group of winners of "artistic" awards.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Now I Remember Why...

The last time I gutted and cooked my own fish was a very long time ago.  I was in college and one summer I worked at Yellowstone Park.  We went out in a rowboat one day and caught some beautiful Rainbow Trout.  My position at the park was fry cook, so I had the opportunity to cook the fish we caught.  I remember that it was really good.

Well, today I had the chance to gut and cook some trout that others caught, and I totally remembered WHY I haven't done it since college.  Anyway, there were a ton (not literally) of them, and after a while I decided I would just throw the rest away.  

People really enjoy doing this...??

When I began cleaning the mess up, I decided to take some photos for this blog, and then I really got into it.  (taking photos, that is)  

Remember a while back I told you about this great point and shoot camera I have??  It has a modified fish-eye function on it.  Yup, you got it!!  I took a picture of a fish eye with the fish eye.  What a hoot. (insert me slapping my thigh and howling)  Just thinking about what a corny joke that is made me laugh.

I've discovered that there are times when it doesn't take much to amuse me.  

Anyway, I put some of the fish in the freezer and cooked a couple for myself.  They were good!!