Archive for the ‘Images’ Category

Happy New Year!

1 January 2009

Stoaty likes to post “a picture of the last light of the year on New Year’s Eve,” but I’m generally a morning person, so I like to shoot the first light of the new year.

I didn’t get out for a proper shoot this year, because I was geared up for snow removal (from a storm that didn’t materialize). So I cheated. I just stepped outside my door and took some quick snapshots of the high school across the street in silhouette, and then of the snow-bound football field. The brief exposure to the 5-degree temperature numbed my fingers and made ’em hurt like heck when they started to thaw.


Deering High School at dawn on the first day of 2009


Deering High School football field, imprisoned behind a chain-link fence on the first day of 2009


Deering High, a closer look

The other day, I found a link to one of those sites that “rate” your blog for you. This one came out as a “G,” I think, with a note that one post had used the word “shoot” once. I dunno how to talk about photography without using the word “shoot,” nor do I want to. Strange that a normal activity, like shooting (whether with a camera or weapon), could be the cause of concern to some. More PC intrusion in our lives.


Oldie But Goodie

11 November 2008

This one is almost six years old, but it’s still one of my favorites. Mainly because I like to retreat there (in my mind, anyway) when the weather around here starts turning wintry. As I write this, it’s about 30 degrees warmer there than the 39 degrees here in Portland.

Crystal River, Florida, in the morning

Crystal River, Florida, in the morning

The image is of a small tributary of the Crystal River in Florida, taken early in the morning. It almost looks as if people don’t exist there.

The Difference of a Week

12 October 2008

Different weather. Different light. Peak foliage. A tripod.

I wasn’t satisfied with the stuff I got last week on Pleasant Mountain, so I tried it again yesterday. (I’m not satisfied with the stuff I got yesterday, either, but for different reasons.)

There was a dad-gummed hiking tour convened at the top when I got up there. Twenty or so self-congratulatory Sierra Club types who sounded like a flock of starlings. I didn’t realize how loud they were until they left and it got quiet. I don’t understand why anyone would do something like that in a group. I go for the solitude and silence. And the pictures, too, but mostly for that other stuff.

I did manage to keep the crowds out of the images; although I had to edit out a couple of apple cores, left behind by some pig, that I didn’t notice for several frames.

On the way up:

American Beech leaf in Autumn

American Beech (fagus grandifolia)

At the top:

Mount Washington, Kezar Pond from Pleasant Mountain

Looking northwest towards the White Mountains. Kezar (kee’ zer) Pond is at right, Mount Washington is just to the left of center at the top. If you embiggen and look closely, you can see both Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines.

Mount Washington and Kezar Pond from Pleasant Mountain

Another perspective

It took me three hours to get down, because I kept stopping to take pictures.

Moose Pond, Denmark, Maine

Looking southwest, over Moose Pond towards the town of Denmark

Moose Pond, Denmark, Maine

Southwest view, again

Moose Pond, Denmark, Maine

More of the same

Red Maple leaf, backlit by sun

Red maple (acer rubrum) leaf, backlit by the sun

Autumn maples

Some local color

If I’m gonna do any more fall foliage this year, I’ll have to hustle. It’ll all be gone by next weekend. Well, the bright maples and birches and stuff; after that comes the quiet umbers, siennas and ochers of the oaks and other late-fall foliage. But the stuff most people think of as “New England Autumn” will be past.

On the Run

10 October 2008

I hate to post just pictures (I have to explain them, doncha see), but I’m pressed for time right now. Here are a few from last Sunday’s hike up Pleasant Mountain in Denmark. The colors weren’t at peak, but still nice.

Pleasant Mountain, looking towards White Mountains

View from the summit looking northwest towards the White Mountains

View towards Mount Washington

That’s Kezar Pond at middle right, and Mount Washington at the upper left

Striped maple (acer pensylvanicum)

Striped Maple (acer pensylvanicum)

Red Maple (acer rubrum)

Oo! The colors! (acer rubrum)

Gotta run.


28 September 2008

Or what passes for one in these parts: mostly a big bag o’ wet. Kyle passed offshore this afternoon, throwing a bunch of rain to all sides.

Looking at the boiling water at the base of the light, it’s not difficult to imagine how the bark Annie C. Maguire got smashed against that big chunk of ledge at the right, on the night of Christmas Eve, 1886 (as usual, click the pix to embiggen):

Portland Head Light, hurricane Kyle

Portland Head Light, Hurricane Kyle: quite a difference from five days ago

From this angle, I couldn’t keep the lens dry, no matter how much I wiped it. It was better from the east, with the wind behind me:

Portland Head Light, Hurricane Kyle

With the wind at my back

I gave up after a while, fearing for the electronics in the camera, and decided to go for a short hike. By the time I got home, my Gore-Tex lined boots were holding the water in, and I was soaked to my skin. It was lots of fun. Even at my age, I enjoy being outdoors in adverse conditions.

Cram It!

26 September 2008

My bookmarks file is a bloated two megabytes. I save bookmarks that look interesting, and then forget them. A few days ago, as I was browsing some of the photography-related links, I found some good stuff.

One of the links was to I originally found the link at Reflections By Kris, but this time I took the time to read it.

I found a link there to an article by a Michael Brown, titled “The Art of Abstract Macro Photography.” I haven’t been a big fan of macro photography, mainly because my attempts have turned out to be mostly boring. In the article, he discusses a technique he calls the “Cram It” method. It looked interesting, so I tried it out.

Some of the stuff I got was pretty crappy, some of it was okay, and some of it I really liked.

This rose wasn’t, strictly speaking, “crammed,” but I like it anyway, so I’m including it here:

Rose <em>Carefree Beauty</em>

Rose Carefree Beauty

Some of them came out looking like the sorts of things Georgia O’Keeffe obsessed about:

New Guinea Impatiens

New Guinea Impatiens

Some were, indeed, filmy and abstract:

New Guinea Impatiens

New Guinea Impatiens

Pink Petunia

Pink Petunia

Rose <em>Carefree Beauty</em>

Rose Carefree Beauty

And some were so vague as to defy analysis:

Purple Petunia

Purple Petunia

I really like this one:

Rose <em>Carefree Beauty</em>

Rose Carefree Beauty

I think I’ll do some more.

One Afternoon at the Shore

25 September 2008

I don’t usually shoot late in the day; dawn is more my style. But lately I’ve been sleeping till seven o’clock or so, and missing the morning light. These were taken a couple of days ago at Portland Head in Cape Elizabeth, late in the afternoon.

Portland Head Light and Ram Island Ledge Light

Portland Head Light and Ram Island Ledge Light

Portland Head Light, up close and personal

Portland Head Light, up close and personal

Portland Head Light, from the East

Portland Head Light, from the East

One of the things I don’t like about shooting later in the day is that it’s hard to keep people out of the frame. They lead the eye right to themselves and distract from the other elements of the picture. Early mornings are much less crowded.

I guess I gotta get off my lazy rear end and start getting up at a decent hour again.

If I Keep Going Back to the Well…

12 August 2008

I may eventually get water. Spring Point Light in South Portland is one of my old standbys. Last Saturday, I drove out there again, to see what I could capture at sunset. Someday I may get an image that I like; in the meantime, I’ll just keep posting what I’ve got.

I present, for your viewing enjoyment, the Horribly Clichéd Shot of the Gaff-Rigged Cutter Through the Gun Port at Fort Preble:

Sort-of-warmish-colored sails in the sunset

Sort-of-warmish-colored sails in the sunset

A while back, I wrote a tutorial on batch resizing of digital images with Irfanview. It was a thing of beauty: very long, with screencaps and everything. Luckily, the medium prevented me from drawing circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one. To my surprise, it has become my most popular post by an extremely large margin.

I’ve cursed the lack of a program like Irfanview for Linux; I’ve been doing resizes of individual images only, using either the GIMP or GThumb. I must be slower than most. The other day I went back to Imagemagick and actually read some of the documentation. Some of you know from a previous post that Imagemagick is a command-line only tool. That means no fancy GUI, no mouse, no point-n-click. Just text commands.

One thing about the Irfanview tutorial that gave me pause was that it was a pretty complicated procedure, with many opportunities for the unwary to make mistakes. Here’s how I resize multiple images simultaneously with Imagemagick:

mkdir 1024×0768
mogrify -path 1024×0768 -resize 1024×0768 *.jpg


Companion to the Birth of Spam

3 May 2008

If it wasn’t for Stoaty, I wouldn’t have anything to blog about. Her weekend post about Spam’s 30th birthday sent me to my bookcase to retrieve an old geek book:

Old DEC manual

Almost 40-year-old DEC manual

Old DEC manual 2

Almost 40-year-old DEC manual, side view

That’s it. Nothing to say. Just some geek reminiscences.

This Is What’s Been Happening

14 March 2008

Winter. In all its ugly, homicidal dreariness. It’s been a long, snowy one here, and every year my ability to cope with it diminishes.

Across the street, for the last two weeks, they’ve been working at clearing the snow off the new plastic athletic field. The huge price tag on it was justified by the claim that it would be used almost non-stop by various groups; now the crews are out desperately trying to make the field live up to the hype.

snow blowing memorial field

Snow removal on Memorial Field

Less than half the field cleared in almost 2 weeks. If we luck into some really warm weather, it might be ready for use sometime in April.

snow removal from ground level

Snow removal as seen from ground level

Thanx for asking, Joan. You may see me next month as I roll by on my way to the Gulf. I need to thaw out before next winter strikes, around the middle of August.