Focus

29 April 2009

I was trying to do too many things at once this past Sunday. As a result, I did none of them well.

Sunday was my every-fourth-week drive to Denmark, Maine, with a friend and his daughter. I’ve been promising her for six months that I’d take her on a little hike one of these times, and the weather was too good to pass up this time. As is usual for me, I grabbed my camera and tripod; because, if I’m gonna be out in the woods, I’m gonna be taking pictures.

Except I hadn’t hiked Douglas Mountain in about twenty-five years and my memory was a little fuzzy on the length of the hike. And when I take pictures I like to take my time.

So we ended up not being able to reach the summit, and I hurried the shots and came away with not much usable, and we were late getting to Denmark.

I need to learn to focus.


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A small waterfall on Douglas Mountain


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A small stream on Douglas Mountain


Is It Safe To Come Out Of The Storm Cellar Yet?

4 April 2009

Another day, another excuse from the guy who has over 1100 of my dollars for a new cap for my new truck. He still hasn’t driven down to Massachusetts to pick it up. The upside is that I now have the time to post some stuff I shot a few days ago.

I think I’ve figured out why I get so depressed in March. That’s when, at the end of a long, hard winter, I figure out that I still can’t afford to retire to Florida and I’ll have to spend next winter here, too. Even with that in mind, this past one was particularly bad. Several injuries have left me limping and depressed. In the midst of it all, the 95-year-old whose property I maintain fell and broke his hip. Between hobbling to the hospital every day with his mail, trying to shovel snow using only one arm, and watching my retirement fund fly out the window for a new truck after the old one died of cancer, I’ve been functioning at a very low level.

The good news is that most of the snow has melted and the temps have gotten high enough that I can put out the garden hoses and start spring cleanup. A few days ago, as I was surveying the damage to the trees out back, I came across a little patch of color in the woods. As I couldn’t decide which shot to post, you get two.


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Crocus, unknown species or cultivar.


These crocuses were poking their heads out of the mess of leaves on the far side of my canoe. The colors remind me of a children’s book I had when I was a kid, “The Color Kittens.”


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Same crocuses, different shot.


I didn’t even notice that I was crawling on my belly in the mud until I brought it into the house with me.

And a couple of nights ago, as I was walking home, I thought the fog rolling in to Memorial Field was pretty neat. But by the time I got my camera and got outside, the fog had completely rolled in and there was no contrast between clear air and fog. Some interesting shots, anyway.


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Deering High Memorial Field at night in fog.


The lacrosse players were taking a break on the left side of the picture. They’re pretty hard to see.


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Deering High Memorial Field at night in fog. This view is from ground level.


Back to working on my attitude…

Update: Well, crap. I just noticed that for the last few posts, Worpdress hasn’t been automatically making each image a link to its full-size self. Now I gotta go in and hand-edit all the images. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Update 2, now with more bookly goodness: Here’s the cover from the book. I found it at Wikipedia.


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The Color Kittens


That takes me back about sixty years. That’s scary. And sad.

They’re Here!

29 January 2009

Well, part, anyway.

The unicorn seems to have been held up in shipping; but the Skittles are being delivered. For some reason, though, the only ones coming through are the brown ones. And they smell kind of funny, but it’s probably ungrateful of me to criticize. I’m sure the rest will start shipping any day, now.

I’m so excited!

They’re Coming…

22 January 2009

O Hope! O Change! In the New Age of Obama, we’ll all get Skittles-pooping unicorns. Some have already received theirs*:


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Taste the Rainbow.


* Thanx for the picture to Unclefacts, who comments over at Ace o’ Spades HQ.

Fauxtography

8 January 2009

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This image has showed up on the internet from time to time over the years. It’s usually sent as a forwarded email with the subject line “Sunset at the North Pole,” and a body which reads

Sunset at the north pole…

TOO BEAUTIFUL NOT TO SHARE

A scene you will probably never get to see.
This is the sunset at the North Pole with the moon at its closest point.
You also see the sun below the moon.
An amazing photo and not one easily duplicated.
You may want to pass it on to others.
The Chinese have a saying:
‘When someone shares with you something of value,
you have an obligation to share it with others.’

The last time it was sent to me was in March of 2007; apparently it’s making the rounds again, because it was forwarded to me by two different people today.

It’s a cool image, but it’s not a photograph. I say that not as a photographer, but as someone who paid attention in High School science classes. From Wikipedia:

The angular diameter of the Sun is about the same as that of the Moon…

What that means is that when you look at the sun and the moon, they appear to be approximately the same size when viewed from Earth. The disparity in sizes in this image is a scientific impossibility.

That doesn’t mean that it’s not a pretty nice piece of art. It’s just not a photograph. That also doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate getting it from people who want to send me something nice. It’s just that I’m a geek, and I can’t let a misrepresentation like this slide. Thanx for sending it to me, guys. I really do like it. And I appreciate the thought behind it.

And if the creator of this art work is reading this: please let me know who you are, so I can give you proper credit. I don’t like publishing without attribution.

Much later: Oh, and there’s no open water at the North Pole, either. Except in the fevered imaginations of the Glowball Warmening cultists.

Update, 18 February 2009:

Commenter Haggas says:

Her name is Inga Nielsen

http://nielsen.sp01.ab-webspace.de/index.php?link=news&lang=1

So. Mystery solved. And now I can say that the image is copyrighted by Inga Nielsen. Head on over to her site to view her amazing artwork.

Thanx, Haggas.

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.


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Deering High School at dawn on the first day of 2009


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


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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.

Shoot.

Merry Christmas

25 December 2008

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I’ll be going over the river and through the woods today. I wish all (three) of you a very happy and peaceful Christmas, and I hope you all have as much fun as I’m going to have.

National Ammo Day

16 November 2008

Just a reminder:


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This is National Ammo Week. Go out and buy a hundred rounds of your favorite caliber(s). Do it for the children.

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.

Semper Fi!

10 November 2008

Happy 233rd Birthday, USMC.


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