Saturday, June 30, 2007
Two businessmen who are contractors, donated labor, time and materials to build a tree house for a children's cancer camp, in the middle of the woods. This summer day camp is offered to children who have cancer and their siblings. The tree house is really a whole cabin, built about 10 feet in the air, with a long wheelchair ramp up to it, allowing everyone access to the building. I got to photograph a group of children who visited it for the first time the other day. And this lovely child was enjoying the view of the woods from ten feet in the air, right outside her window.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:40 PM
Friday, June 29, 2007
I went to the store after dinner, and driving back along the water saw these multiple cloud layers in the sky. The sun had set, and I thought it was worth stopping. The longer I stood by the water, the better the scene became. I like this shot because of the diagonal pattern of the waves in the foreground, which contrast with the diagonal pattern of the clouds in the sky.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:07 PM
Thursday, June 28, 2007
(Whoops! Forgot to post this last night...) I have so many negatives of landscape photographs that I have done in years past, and they have never seen the light of day, once I closed up my darkroom at home. I finally bought two scanners - an Epson 4870 which will scan my 4x5 and 6x7 negatives, and a Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 which will make beautiful scans of all my 35mm Negatives. Now I can scan and print old negatives, and hang some photos on the wall at long last. This is one such image, done in the desert while on a Mark Kett workshop in Arizona. Just gorgeous plants to look at, those saguaros. Most of my photos of these cacti are from a distance with their arms reaching toward heaven. I like this because it shows so much more detail of their physical structure.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 11:34 AM
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
This is the reason I go to work each day. Because I meet people like this. His name is Larry Goldstein, and he has been retired for 17 years as a machine shop teacher for the New York City school system. I went to his house to photograph him and his tomato plants. He happened to mention he had a basement with "trains and airplanes" in it. I said I really needed to see the airplanes, at least. I was unprepared for his basement! His "train" is a live steam engine which he machined over a period of 25 years. The "planes" were large scale radio controlled aircraft! Then there was his shop - an engine lathe, a milling machine, drill presses, sanders, saws and one each of every tool you could possibly imagine! We spent an hour touring the basement, and talking. He has a collection of model aircraft engines, the kinds that I grew up with as a kid, and built model aircraft for. We couldn't walk two feet without picking up some other cool thing and having a discussion about it! So I go to work each day to take really nice photographs, but on the really special days, I meet someone like Larry Goldstein, who is so passionate about the things he does in life, and am reminded why I love my job!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:26 PM
Monday, June 25, 2007
My photo editor at work is Tony Jerome, and Lorina is his assistant. He depends on her to help with the enormous workload. She is really good, and a hard worker and really smart about finding photographs in obscure places. She is also a really gifted artist, and makes wonderful paintings, and other works of art. We are friends, and so I love to "bodder" her while she is working. Trying to take a photo of her is one of my favorite ways, as you can see from this photo. She is really a good sport about it, though. (At least I think she is... :-)
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:29 PM
Sunday, June 24, 2007
I was coming up the street the other day and caught a glimpse of this. Naturally, I kept driving, which seems to be the usual these days. Then, once again, I stopped and backed down the hill in order to come back and make this photo. I love the the multiple layers of distance, from foreground to middleground to background, one plane upon another upon another.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:34 PM
Saturday, June 23, 2007
I was passing through the kitchen this afternoon on the way out to my bike ride. The sun was shining through three beautiful blue glass bottles in the kitchen window, and left these amazing patterns on the windowsill. It took quite a while to get this image - I wanted the subject to be abstract enough so that it was not immediately identifiable. How did I do?
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:18 PM
Friday, June 22, 2007
This is funny in a way, that I would actually shoot a ribbon cutting. In the old days of newspapering, particularly at smaller papers, ribbon cuttings and handshake photos (known as "grip and grins") were considered worthwhile photos for publication. Fortunately, when I began work at Newsday in 1966, Harvey Weber, who was the director of photography, said "We don't do ribbon cuttings and we don't do grip and grins!" So it seemed so strange last night to be standing watching a ribbon cutting! Friends of ours own a commercial building, and a new grocery store has just opened in the building, so we were invited to the opening. So here I am standing watching a ribbon cutting, and I couldn't help myself... I would finally do my first ribbon cutting shot! Fortunately the curious children were there, and the mayor had a strange look on his face, so just maybe this is more than a plain old ribbon cutting shot.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:26 PM
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Yeah, I know... I have shown photographs of Shore Road and the Sycamore trees before. Can't help myself - I drive by this scene twice a day, usually. Tonight, shortly after a thunderstorm came through, I photographed these "Crepuscular Rays" (which we have all seen, but few know the proper name for...) and the clouds over Port Washington. The rays can be seen because of particles of dust or moisture in the air.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:14 PM
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I was in Starbucks this afternoon, working on my assignments for the day, and happened to look over to a table about ten feet away. A man was showing a woman some photos he took on his point and shoot camera and she was smiling with delight. I thought: "Hey, now THERE'S a picture!" But then I thought, "Oh, why bother them." I looked again, and then almost without thinking, reached for my Canon SD800 which I now wear on my belt, and quickly shot three photos, without being noticed. A couple of minutes later I noticed him trying to take a photo of her, so I got up, walked over, and asked if they would like me to take a photo of the two of them with his camera. They were pleased, and I took the photo. Three for me, one for them.
Monday, June 18, 2007
I photographed the interior of a home in Southampton today, for a Home magazine. On the dining room table was a plant that I didn't really pay attention to at first. Then I happened to look down and couldn't believe my eyes! "What IS that?" I asked the owner. "A Seashell begonia." So there you have it! I have never seen anything quite like if before.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:39 PM
Sunday, June 17, 2007
This is a long story... Back around 1975 I bought a beat up Penguin sailboat that was a wreck. I think I paid $50 for it, with a hole in the bottom. I spent a year rebuilding it, and when it was done, used it for frostbite sailing in the wintertime down at the yacht club. In the summer I used it to go sailing in when no one else wanted to go sailing in the Lighting sailboat we owned. We sold the Lightning and I kept the Penguin. Only thing is, it has sat in the garage for about 30 years up until now, and I wasn't sailing it, and I couldn't bear to part with it. You can see what a beautiful boat it turned out to be. Anyhow, it is long past the time that I needed to sell it, so I put an ad on Craigslist, and the first couple to call have just decided to buy it. The good news is that it will get used, and we will have much more room in the garage. But in some ways, I hate to see it go... Sigh...
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:16 PM
Saturday, June 16, 2007
I was photographing a collector of "Beach Glass" who turns the weathered glass into jewelry. While I was looking for a place to photograph him, I noticed this claw on the wet sand. The brilliance of the colors was amazing to me! I don't recall ever noticing how bright the blue in a Atlantic Blue Crab was. I crouched down, and made two exposures, and suddenly a wave came in. I jumped back, and was stunned that the receding wave took the claw with it! Oh no! Wait! I'm not finished! I wanted to spend more time photographing the claw. But fortunately, I managed to get this image in the first two exposures.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:52 PM
This is my Friday post. I forgot to post last night. I was on my way out the north fork, once again. It is summertime, and we are doing a LOT of coverage of the Hamptons and the North Fork. Driving out the north road, the image of a leaning barn flashed by my window on the left side. But I had an assignment to shoot, so I kept driving. When I was done, I returned by the same route, and the light was still good on the barns. I was surprised to see that BOTH barns were leaning, but the second barn was more subtle in its lean. I thought that was what made the picture. Once again, the interesting thing for me is how many times I have passed this scene, without seeing it before.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:02 PM
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I was driving home at dusk, on this road, which I travel once or twice a week, but during the day. I stopped for the red light, and there was something about the glow in the sky, the red traffic lights, and the lights under the bridge touched the "something" in me that says: "This might be a picture." I quickly grabbed the new Canon camera which I have begun to wear on my belt, and within 5 seconds snapped one frame through the windsheild. This is it.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:38 PM
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Saw the Goodyear Blimp while driving along the Long Island Expressway at the end of the day, on the way to the dentist. So I did the stupid thing, and reached for my new Canon SD800, and then rolled down the window and pointed the camera out the window (at 60 miles per hour... Duh!) I only took the trouble to shoot this because of the clouds - I see blimps a lot, but there was something about the clouds that made this special.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:13 PM
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
I had to photograph two real estate agents today at a property they had bought. They are going to demolish this building which has been here for a long long time, and move a more modern house onto the site. I was told that it was a cabinet makers shop for many years but it has been vacant at least 25 years. I found the building so interesting, that I went to work photographing it right away, and this is the result.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:13 PM
Monday, June 11, 2007
We had a thunderstorm late today and I was looking around with my new Canon SD800, and saw this. It is rain pouring off the roof behind a bronze Paoli Solieri windbell. The bells are made at Cosanti, which I visited a couple of years ago when I was in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:10 PM
Sunday, June 10, 2007
I was doing a lot of yard work today, so that's why another photo of Hostas. Well, I mean, this one is different, because it is a closeup. It's also different because I used my new Canon SD800 point-and-shoot to do the picture. It does a nice job, with a file size up to 20 MB. And the noise is not bad, if you keep the ISO below 400. This is a color shot, and just for the heck of it, I converted one file to B&W to see if the image looked like an Edward Weston photo. What do you think?
Saturday, June 9, 2007
I have been in the basement for a large part of the day, doing woodworking. I am making a new wood tripod for one of my telescopes, so I didn't go out to photograph. It is a wonderful feeling to be covered with sawdust, though! This is another tree photograph from Genesse Valley Park in Rochester. I found so many interesting photographs there - couldn't let this go to waste.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:07 PM
Friday, June 8, 2007
Long day today, and I was late driving home. It was somewhat foggy on the south shore but not so much in Sea Cliff. I drove by the trees on shore road, and had not done my photo for the day, so thought I would take a look at the shoreline at dusk, even though there was no fog. Brought my 180mm lens instead of a wide angle lens, and this is the result. Of course it is not about the trees, but about the benches. You just never know where the photo will come from.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:43 PM
Thursday, June 7, 2007
I photographed a yoga class today, and was astounded to see how flexible so many of the young women were. They apparently have been doing yoga for a number of years. I took this photo for me, because I honestly could not tell, at first glance, what parts of the body were where! Honestly! So see if you can figure out the puzzle.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:55 PM
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Huh? What? But those are fish nets. Let me explain... Now that the summer season has arrived, the traffic to the Hamptons is horrific. So after I cross the Shinnecock Canal, I get off of Sunrise Highway, and go south to East Montauk Highway, which runs along the shore of Shinnecock Bay for a bit. I have passed these fish nets many times lately but never stopped. Usually the nets are mostly submerged. They are part of a fish trap. Fish swim along the shore and when they run into the net they head toward deeper water, following the net seaward. At the outer end of the net, there is a maze, and another net which can be lifted into a boat to harvest the fish. This is one of my more quiet photos, but I love the rhythms inherent in the picture.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:54 PM
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Late in the day, I am driving down Scuttlehole Road in Bridgehampton, and I saw this. What first caught my attention was the brighter patch of light on the front of the building, which was caused by the light mounted on the building. Inertia always being an issue, I kept driving, until I was haunted enough about NOT stopping, that I turned the car around in order to investigate the building and the light. I photographed the scene from several different directions and distances. This is my favorite.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:12 PM
Monday, June 4, 2007
I photographed a theater group in really cool old barn that has been converted to something that looks like part theater, and part artist's studio. When I came outside after the shoot I saw 5 sculptures in a semi-circle off in the distance, in this field. I grabbed the camera and went to investigate. The sky had some complex clouds which added to the photograph, and the sun had already set. It almost felt as if I was on a pacific island. I examined some of the statues, but there was no clue as to who the artist was...
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:41 PM
Sunday, June 3, 2007
In the corner of the back yard, I built a one-quarter circle, wedge-shaped garden out of bricks. It is pretty deep shade there so Kathy planted these Hostas. I have photographed Hostas so many times before, but while mowing the lawn today I saw this photograph. Something about the subtlety of these leaves, and the pattern drew me to this composition.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:06 PM
Saturday, June 2, 2007
The book was published in 1849 and is called "A Short Course in Astronomy and the Use of the Globes" by Henry Kiddle, A.M., Superintendent of Schools, New York. I bought it for a buck at an astronomy convention, I believe. I was looking for a photo for today, and wandered into the living room where the setting sun was illuminating the book on an end table. I opened the book to make it a more interesting photograph.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:25 PM
Friday, June 1, 2007
I was driving through a residential street in Sag Harbor, and pulled over to answer a call on my cell phone (How unusual, that I would pull over...) While talking on the phone, I happened to notice an unpainted wooden fence with a garden behind it. I got out to shoot that, but then noticed the house itself, and these flowers. I sure am glad I pulled over!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:06 PM