Monday, April 30, 2007
These Sycamore trees have fascinated me since I moved to Sea Cliff in 1966. They go through cycles of growth, when they have full round, bushy tops, and then every 10 years or so, they are trimmed back to their stumpy branches. Shoots grow from the ends of the stumps and the cycle of growth begins again. The trees look amazing in late afternoon sunlight, in the rain and fog, in the snow, and at sunset. I never tire of looking for photographs here.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:03 PM
Sunday, April 29, 2007
It was a busy day today, so at the last minute I took a moment to photograph this Aloe plant in the back room, which has fascinated me with it's lovely shape. It is also nicely lighted by the window just to the left. I should not have been rushed for this, but I was. I keep thinking how much better Edward Weston would have done a photograph like this! Shame on me!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 6:53 PM
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Today was the first day of the two day Northeast Astronomy Forum, a harbinger of spring. It is held at Rockland Community College. It is always great to drive up there and see all the astronomy hardware, books and goodies, and listen to some great speakers. Just the thing to get the blood flowing, and inspire me to go out observing after a winter of overcast skies. This is a photo of Brother Guy Consolmagno, of the Vatican Observatory, who wrote with Dan Davis one of the classic books for beginning observers of the skies "Turn Left At Orion." He spoke of how his interest in astronomony began as a young boy, and his education and the work he does now. One of three great speakers and three wonderful talks. All very inspiring and a nice change of pace for the weekend.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:08 PM
Friday, April 27, 2007
I love this time of year. After what seems like a long cold winter, we arrive at a magical time of Spring for me - those first days when a "green haze" first appears on the trees - the beginning of the buds starting to bloom. It was raining as well this morning when I took this photo, which made the haze even more magical.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:21 PM
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I didn't do any photographs today - spent the whole day editing stories from last week and earlier this week. Here is a detail photograph I took at the glassblower's studio yesterday. It is a disk of clear molten glass fresh from the crucible, sitting on a graphite block, where it will cool slightly, and have a perfectly flat bottom. While still soft, a vase will be pressed into it, and this disk becomes the base for the vase. What amazing color - I have never seen anything like this - it looks like a view into another world.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:49 PM
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
This photo is just a tease. I spent the better part of the day with glassblower Martin Megna, in his Sag Harbor studio. This photo shows him working hot glass with the "glory hole" - a furnace, reflected in his sunglasses, while he works. I did a lot of shooting, and some audio recordings, and now I need to learn how to use the Soundslides application to put together a slideshow with audio for the Newsday website. My first one. I expect it will be a pretty steep learning curve. Stay tuned!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:43 PM
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Today I did a photograph of garden sculptures on pedestals in a corner of an art gallery - they are "sculptures," get it? After I was done, I turned around to see this collection of pedestals in the other corner of the gallery, and thought the shapes were interesting, so fiddled around with the boxes until I got this shot.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:24 PM
My daughter Liz returned to JFK from a couple of months in California last last night, so no Monday post. But here is the photo I SHOT on Monday for the blog. The story is about a high school senior who went shopping in 5 separate stores for 5 different prom dresses, and then photos of her will run in the paper and the readers will vote to choose their favorite dress for her to wear to the prom, and the paper buys the dress for her! Cute story. The shopping was interesting: The girl, her mom, one still photograper (me) a videographer, the fashion writer, and the fashion editor.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:16 PM
Sunday, April 22, 2007
First, an apology... I drove 150 miles Saturday night out to Southold and back to go observing the heavens at Custer Institute. I had done my bike ride late in the day, but didn't have time to post the photo.
So what IS this photo all about? Well, its about an 80 degree day, FINALLY, and blue sky and sunshine and being able to ride with shorts and a short sleeved bike jersey! It is also about someone crazy enough to try and ride with one hand while holding up in the air a Nikon D2x up near the top of my head pointing down at my arm and legs and the bike, while riding and trying not to crash while all of this is going on!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:49 PM
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
This is safety netting at a golf driving range, that happens to be next to a Starbucks where I often stop for coffee. The delicate tracery of the netting seen against the sky has always fascinated me. I have photographed it before, but never quite felt that I "got" it. Today is different. Apparently the terrible nor'easter we had last weekend has wreaked havoc with the facility. Huge areas of netting are missing, and the tops of telephone poles which hold the netting are snapped off! So the ordinary patterns of the netting have changed, and the sky was perfect. I love that it is not quite clear what is going on in this photograph, and that for me is part of the attraction.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:34 PM
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Lordy, when is the end of all this? Once again today, it was cold and spitting rain, as it has been for weeks. Why is it that this year I have less patience waiting for the warm days of Spring to arrive? I went out the back door with the last light of day nearly gone, and photographed the gray sky and the neighbor's trees, and imagined the warm days of May...
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:26 PM
Monday, April 16, 2007
I have always been fascinated by the lighting that the artist Chuck Close uses for his portraits (which he then uses to paint giant canvases from). I have always felt it was not flattering lighting, but it reveals so much more about the texture of a face, and as a result, the photograph carries more interest. It is not a simple setup - 4 lights, and I have never taken the time to do a lighting test and see how close I could come to his setup - I think I have pretty much nailed it. I thought the photo would show how sick I have been, but I am starting to feel better, so I did the setup tonight and did some shots. I guess since I am no longer on death's door, all you get to see in this photo is how long my beard is!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 6:55 PM
Sunday, April 15, 2007
So the rains came, but the winds didn't seem so bad for most of the day. I arose from my deathbead after sleeping most of the day, and drove down the street to the harbor at 10 PM to see what high tide would bring. The waters from the higher tides were spilling over the bulkhead and flooding shore road. If I waited until no cars were passing, I could get these beautiful reflections of the trees in the water. (And I missed my posting date - this is Sunday's post!)
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:05 PM
Saturday, April 14, 2007
The weather forecast is for the "Storm of the Century" or some such tomorrow. But today it was warmer than it has been in weeks, with temps in the 60's. So still feeling sick I went out to the garage in the late afternoon sunlight to look for a photo. I found this sculpture that my daughter made about 10 years ago, by casting plaster of paris in a sand mold. It looks like some Aztec god to me. What is amazing is that it has hung on the side of the garage all these years, and is virtually intact. I expected that with weathering, it would be long gone by now.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:43 PM
Friday, April 13, 2007
Late Saturday afternoon, a week ago, I went over to Buchenkirks florist to buy an Easter lilly for the dining room table, as I do every year. When I got there, there were about a dozen plants on one table, but none of them had an open blossom. On the next table there was one solitary plant, and it had one blossom, so I chose that one. When it was time to pay for it, the woman said “Oh, that’s a double, and it is $25, instead of $15 for the singles.” Ouch! That was a bit more than I wanted to pay, but what the heck. It apparently has two trunks and there were closed blossoms all over the place! I brought it home, and the next day there were three blossoms open, and the next day probably six were open! I had never seen so many blossoms on a plant like this before! They just looked like clouds of blossoms! And the aroma is heavenly. So today I decided to photograph the plant. It doesn’t seem like the photograph does the plant justice.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 6:59 PM
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I am still sicker than a dog, so this is a photo from a month or so ago. The assignment said we were doing a story on "The Best Bakeries on Long Island." So among the photographs I did at Junta's Bakery in Jamesport was this still life of breads. I was so thrilled with the shot. Nicest food shot I have done in a while.
Then, the story runs, without my photo, and the ACTUAL story was about bakeries that cook with real butter! Duh! Oh well...
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:54 PM
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Day two and already I have an excuse! I am sicker than a dog! Skin hurts, joints hurt, a low grade fever - It feels like the flu. Hey, it's April, what's with this? Came home from work early. So I took this photograph of an old church that is being restored, last week. Love the clouds, and the architecture - and all the angles.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 6:12 PM
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
So I have decided to change the nature of my "Great Visual Truths" blog, by challenging myself in a different way. I find I come up with more images than I have space for on the "Sixth Day Photogs" blog. I thought of changing my blog last night after seeing what Will Yurman and Jay Capers have each done on their sites. This afternoon I was headed out the door for a late afternoon bike ride, but I was behind schedule. The garage in my back yard was lit beautifully by the low sun in a clear day. Perfect for my first photo, but I was in a hurry. When I arrived home, the sun was only a short distance above the horizon. I didn't believe there was any direct sunlight left for an interesting photo, so I was thinking I would cheat, and post a photo I did earlier in the week. While thinking about this, I went upstairs, and happened to glance into one of the bedrooms and saw this! No cheating required!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:18 PM