Friday, July 31, 2009
I have been riding my bike around sightseeing, instead of for exercise while in Milford for a few days. I used to ride my old balloon-tired bike here with friends as a kid, and we would go out on the marsh at low tide and look for fiddler crabs. Not to do anything with, but just to see them. I rode by here yesterday and saw the way the marsh grass was pointing in different directions, and it reminded me of the fur of some animals. It almost feels alive, or something. Please click on this to view in a larger size to see more detail.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:55 PM
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Is this cat cute or what! This is Mahalo, who belongs to my neice Jenny. She rescued him years ago when he was just a wee thing. She named him "Mahalo" which is Hawaiian for "thank you" as if the cat were telling Jenny "thank you for saving me." When I first laid eyes on him I knew I had to take his photograph NOW! What an amazing face! What a beautiful cat!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:12 PM
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
This is James, a college professor and a member of our astronomical society. He was the speaker at tonight's meeting, and his topic was "What Ever Happened to Gravity Waves." I can't even begin to tell you all about this subject, but James did a great job of explaining the theoretical basis of their origins, (if they exist) and the efforts to build detectors to find them. Some of the explanations made my head hurt, but it was a great presentation. I love this shot! He moved around a LOT, so I had to shoot a great deal to get this one.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:00 PM
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
OK, my secret is now out. I am addicted to the brilliant colors of European team cycling jerseys! I have way too many of them, but they are fun to wear, AND because of the bright colors I choose, I consider them important for my safety when I ride. I want to be as bright and colorful as I can, so motorists can see me in difficult situations on the road, where I might be riding in the shadows on a sunny day, for instance. Anyhow, here are some of them, hanging to dry in the basement.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:13 PM
Monday, July 27, 2009
Both yesterday afternoon, and this afternoon, thunderstorms developed late in the afternoon and blew through with plenty of rain. I am not sure if it was a frontal passage or not. I don't think so, because usually when that happens, the sky clears, the air is dryer, and the weather is different the following day. More thunderstorms are forecast for tomorrow. Anyhow, I saw this division between clouds and clear sky after sunset, and it reminded me of what a frontal passage might look like. Anyhow, I didn't mean for this post to be a weather report, but rather an enjoyment of a beautiful cloud formation, and of an abstract photographic image. As always, it is better if you click on it!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
So I was sitting in my easy chair in the living room, reading, and then began to have a feeling that someone was watching me. I looked around and didn't see anything and so went back to my reading. I looked up again for some reason, and it was then that I noticed the kitty, completely still, watching me! I am not sure why this seems so funny, but I guess it's because the kitty is so far in the background and looking through the rocking chair legs. Just goes to show you, you can never be too vigilant!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:35 PM
Saturday, July 25, 2009
This is one of the lions that guard the entrance to the New York Public Library. Sometimes you can pass something like this a whole bunch of times, and then one day you stop and REALLY look at it, and realize how beautiful a sculpture it is. For me, it is something about dignity. However, I just looked them up on the web, and it turns out that mayor Fiorello LaGuardia nicknamed them "Patience" and "Fortitude," and the nicknames stuck. They were sculpted and took their place in front of the library when it opened in 1911. This is Patience, by the way.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:42 PM
Friday, July 24, 2009
I showed you a photograph of a soap bubble in the side yard a few days ago. I thought I picked the best one when I first edited the film. I was checking the entire shoot one last time and came across this image of another soap bubble, this one against the sky. I nearly passed it by because it was so light and faint. And then I realized that was the strength of this image - that it nearly does not exist. It is so ephemeral. At first I was are not sure if there was anything here at all. Then I realized that was the strength of the image - whether or not there is anything here. And then you see there is, and that it is all brightness and light and air.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I went to the city today to see the Richard Avedon exhibit of fashion photographs. Stunning show. I also visited a couple of other places, including the NY Public Library behind Bryant Park. While headed back from there I saw this image. First, I noticed the tower in the distance going up into the clouds. That building is the Bank of America Tower. It was only at the last minute that I noticed the apparent distortion of the curved building to the right in the photo. Only thing is, it is not distorted! That's how it looks - it is the Grace building on 42nd street. When it was first under construction, perhaps 20 years ago, I was fascinated to see that the base of the building curves inward from both sides.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:00 PM
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The didgeridoo (also known as a didjeridu or didge) is a wind instrument of the Aborigines of northern Australia. It is sometimes described as a natural wooden trumpet or "drone pipe". I have always wanted one of these since visiting Australia back in 1996. I finally bought one when visiting Los Angeles last December. I can do a drone with it but not do "circular breathing" yet. Anyhow, I got it out to show Sonia when she and her mom were visiting, and she being a curious child, asked if she could play it. Her first attempt produced a squeak. I thought it was because her lips were thin. I was wrong! I suggested she relax her lips when she tried again, and out of the didge came this amazing drone sound! We were all stunned! Never underestimate the power of a really smart child.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:25 PM
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Heading home. Well, we are heading home from JFK airport, early in the morning on a rainy day, in this photo. But that's not the real "heading home." That would be Liz, who we dropped off at JFK, so she can catch a flight back to Los Angeles after several weeks of vacation here on the east coast. Days at Montauk with Amy & Gus, a trip to Rochester for Pat & Bethany's wedding, and time to hang out at home. It sure was nice to have her with us for this time.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:13 PM
Monday, July 20, 2009
I was sitting in my easy chair when I saw the kitty lying on her back like this, with her hind legs up in the air, her front paws folded, and her head twisted all around. Cracked me up, for some reason. She looked so comfortable, and yet a bit strange. I just hoped that she wouldn't move while I got ready to shoot. Fortunately I had my toy camera on the shelf right next to me, and so didn't have to get out of the chair to take the picture.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:12 PM
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The magic ball in the side yard... It is a soap bubble, of course. Liz and Sonia and Wendy were playing with one of those soap bubble wand things using special soapy water, and that you then swing through the air to make a string of bubbles. It was really difficult to photograph what was going with everyone running in circles, and then jumping up to try and break the bubbles. I was torn between shooting people and bubbles, and just the bubbles alone. This shot of a single bubble is better than the shots of people and bubbles together. If you enlarge it, you can see two images of the house reflected in it.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:31 PM
Saturday, July 18, 2009
We went to an engagement party today in New Jersey. The couple is my nephew Jonathan, and his fiance Lauren. It was so nice for the families to meet one another. The wedding will be in a year or so. Near the end, when we were all standing around chatting with one another I noticed this group of girls in a giant group hug. Seeing all the arms around each other I thought it was a shot. It turns out that it is the bride-to-be and all her bridesmaids were here together for the first time. Thus, the group hug.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:03 PM
Friday, July 17, 2009
Let's see... This is like doing a family tree, only different. This is Sonia, fixing the hair of her American Girl doll while she was visiting us today. Her mom is Wendy, and she and Liz were best buddies all through college, and have kept in touch all these years. There, that was easy enough to explain. I love this photo because at first you have no idea what is going on.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:44 PM
Thursday, July 16, 2009
One more photo from the wedding. After the ceremony I noticed this group of bridesmaids with babies, each admiring each other's babies. I thought it was so cute, and I loved all the faces. This blog could use more faces. But since I am much less likely to be around other people these days, I end up shooting landscapes and abandoned buildings... :-) More faces, yeah, that's what I need.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:32 PM
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I love how mysterious this looks, and how threatening. It looks like a spaceship from outer space about to land. It is none of these, however. It is a Goto Planetarium Projector at the Vanderbilt Planetarium. It projects the night sky onto the 60 foot diameter dome. It was installed when the planetarium was first built in 1969. We had a lecture on the operation of this incredibly complex machine, tonight, and it was fascinating. Click on it to see better color, please.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:26 PM
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
This is Taughannock Falls. I showed a photo of part the falls in the background of another photo a few days ago. At 215 feet high these are the highest falls with a single drop in the Eastern United States, and they are just stunning! While talking with other visitors, I also learned that they can be deadly. In the lower right corner of the photo, you can see a viewing area for people who hike in down at the level of the creek. About 4 or 5 years ago a family climbed over the wall, disregarded the signs saying "Do Not Go Beyond This Point" and a mother and father and two teenage children were swimming in the pool at the bottom of the falls. The mom climbed out of the pool near the falls. All of a sudden, a section of the wall above the pool, as big as a car, fell off the wall, and the rubble killed the woman! How random is that! I also learned that there are "Scalers" in the NY State Parks Department that scale the wall after winter each year, and knock off loose rocks that might endanger visitors to the park. But since you are not supposed to be under the falls, they don't scale that area. I posted a larger image, so please click on this to see a much larger image and all the wonderful detail.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:29 PM
Monday, July 13, 2009
This is a photograph of the actual wedding ceremony at Pat & Bethany's wedding. It was held in a non-denominational chapel in Rochester, NY, called "Chapel Hill." This stunning ne-Gothic chapel was built in 1890 as part of The Academy of the Sacred Heart, which was a school to provide young girls a top-quality Christian education. It was a beautiful ceremony in stunning surroundings, as you can see.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:29 PM
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Bethany and Pat hired a wonderful wedding photographer, but she couldn't be in two places at once, so I was enlisted to shoot the groom and his groomsmen getting ready at home, and then the photos would be incorporated into the wedding album. As luck would have it, it started to rain just as it was time to do a group shot of all of them before they headed out. A couple of them had umbrellas and used them to keep some of them dry. I love this grab shot, with them not posing yet, and I particularly love the broken umbrella that Christoper, the best man, is holding over his head!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:36 PM
Saturday, July 11, 2009
This is Bethany and Pat, and they are getting married! Pat is our nephew, and lived with us for a couple of years ago when working in New York, and we are huge fans of Bethany who we have known for years. So there was a rehearsal at the church and this is a photo of them during the practice. We are thrilled they are getting married.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:20 PM
Friday, July 10, 2009
Checked into the hotel in Geneva, on the lake. Watched the nearly full moon rise over the lake, and then crashed for the night. Somehow, I automatically woke at 5:45 AM and there was the first light of dawn. Got the camera, and started taking a few photos, waiting for the sun to peek over the horizon, which it did about 10 minutes later. I like having the bright sun in the shot which adds another element. Other than that, watching both the moonrise one night and sunrise the next day leaves me with the wonderful sense that the universe is divine clockwork. Please click on this to see better color.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:40 PM
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I haven't been to these falls, here in Upstate New York, in about 20 years, so we decided to stop today on the way to Rochester. I spent about an hour here, shooting everything in sight, of course. When I was leaving I came back up to this level from down below, and saw this couple looking at the falls, transfixed, as I had been. I managed to grab 2 or 3 frames before they moved, and started taking pictures of their own of the falls. There is something about the way they are standing, almost exactly mirroring each other. It is a simple composition, but it held me for some reason. Maybe the colors had something to do with it. And since I had spent so much time photographing the falls, it was interesting that in this photo you can hardly see the falls at all, which maybe makes the photo more interesting. More on the falls tomorrow.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:58 PM
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I was driving back to the house this morning along the water, and the sky was clear, and I noticed the cumulus clouds on the horizon. I thought "Gee, that's pretty..." and then I noticed the reflection of the clouds in the water of the harbor. The reflections are subtle, but they are there. This is quite unusual, because usually there is a wind when the sky is this clear and this blue. But the breeze was light, the waves were gentle, and the surface of the water was more mirror-like. So I jumped out and did some pictures. What is it about blue sky, sunshine, and puffy white clouds that I find so calming? Please click on this to see in with better color.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:25 PM
I was working outdoors yesterday late in the day, and came in the house for something and was blown away by all the light streaming into the front hallway. It felt like an explosion of light. I quickly grabbed the camera and shot this, because the light changes so quickly in these circumstances. NOTE: Sorry for being late with this post, but we had a thunderstorm last night and lost power. Woke up this morning with power restored, then before I could get to the computer it went out again! Now its on again, and here is my post!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:27 AM
Monday, July 6, 2009
When I was at my sister Joan's house in Connecticut for the birthday party, I found this wonderful seat in the garden. I think it is not her garden, though. She is really friendly with the family next door, and Joan uses the neighbor's horseshoe set, as she did for the party. I went over to see the game, and discovered this wonderful garden seat. Some years ago I did a photo essay on garden benches, and wish I had known of this one to include. I love the look of the surface, with the silver-colored wood, and the moss.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:36 PM
Sunday, July 5, 2009
On Flag Day I posted a photograph I took of a flag hanging from the front porch of a classic Sea Cliff house. Well yesterday I saw this flag on a more modern house, and I loved that there was a garden in the foreground as well. I know, maybe I should look for flags in unexpected places for future posts. I like the thought of that.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:45 PM
Saturday, July 4, 2009
We went to our friend's house for dinner tonight with a group of their friends, and they have this great view of the harbor from their balcony. Which is good, because there were fireworks launched from a barge in the harbor. Last year I did a close up view of the fireworks themselves, so this year I had to do something completely different. Just because... So here it is - Dan was leaning on the railing in a relaxed way, and maybe a perfect foreground for this wide-angle view. Fortunately, they didn't wait until dark to shoot them, or I wouldn't have a silhouette in the foreground. Click on this for better color, please.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:43 PM
Friday, July 3, 2009
So we had a wonderful birthday party for all the July birthday people! This is my mom, and the American flag cake my sister Betsey made for all of us, and Liz and Amy showing my mom the photos they took of the whole group of us around the table. It was a wonderful day for all of us to be together.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:14 PM
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Yeaaaaa! Liz is home! Picked her up at JFK tonight on a flight from LAX. Yipeeee! Tomorrow we all head to Connecticut for the family birthday party. It has been six months at least since we have all been together, and it is SO nice. Nice to just sit around and visit and hang out and drink coffee and share laughter. Isn't that what families are all about?
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:43 PM
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
More rain today, only this time it was a thunderstorm, with lightning and really heavy rain. Amy was so excited - it has been a long time since she has been around a thunderstorm. Not only do they not have thunderstorms in coastal Los Angeles, they hardly have any rain at all. So she was thrilled to be in the storm, watching from the porch. She got her camera and did both still photographs and some movies, as a reminder of how nice it is to be on our porch during a rainstorm.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:49 PM