Sunday, February 28, 2010
I spotted this orange glow in the west after I got back from my bike ride late this afternoon. Wow, hints of a sunset! I am tired of overcast skies. I hope we end up with some more sunshine this coming week. I know it is not dramatic, but I actually like the more subtle colors of this photograph.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
After the snow ended yesterday I went to the beach to see what I could find. I had hoped to walk down there when it was still snowing, but I took too long to get there and the snow stopped. Just as I started to photograph, the sun came out. That was a nice thing to see, if only for a few minutes. First thing I noticed was the shadow of the railing on the snow. Then I noticed the wonderful storm clouds in the distance. I made about 6 exposures, and the sun went behind the clouds again, where it stayed. Maybe it was OK that I came here when I did.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:35 PM
Friday, February 26, 2010
There was a forecast for some snow, and yesterday it rained all day, so I thought it would only be 4" of snow or so. When I awoke this morning there was 10" on the ground. And that turns out to be nothing, compared to New York City which received more than 20 inches. They are calling it the 4th worst storm in the city's history! Wow! This is the first picture I took today, and I decided I liked it best. I photographed the "usual suspects" and went to the beach and did some things - maybe I will post one of those tomorrow. But this feels as if it is a different subject and a different picture than the kinds of things I usually shoot.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I spent a while photographing that Chinese lantern branch outdoors. I was satisfied that I had something useful when I was done. I brought the branch in to the house and as I walked through the back room, I noticed sunlight coming in through the west window. So I held the branch in the sunlight, and because of the light from the side, which gives texture, and the really dark background made this a much more dramatic picture. So the lesson is, you are never not looking, you are never done trying to find a better picture.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:18 PM
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
It was a very foggy drive back from my astronomy meeting tonight. As I neared Sea Cliff, the fog got thicker - closer to the water, I guess. So instead of going straight home, I decided to check out one of the parks in town that I know has a number of trees - trees disappearing into fog is always an interesting subject. First I found a picnic table, and that was interesting. The thing is, when I find a subject, I go into "tunnel vision" mode and just focus on that. After I thought I had it, then I looked around, and saw this tree with the light streaming around it. In the end, I thought that this was a stronger image. I shot it in color, but then felt the color was distracting, and so you are seeing it in black & white.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:33 PM
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
We have had blue sky and sunshine for a number of days now, so I have no reason to complain that this morning we woke up to a gray and rainy day. I looked out the bedroom window at the bare trees in the distance and thought how pretty they were in their bleakness. Then I noticed that right in front of my nose, there were raindrops on the window pane. I stopped the aperture of the lens down really small to try and show both the raindrops and the trees in the distance.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 5:33 PM
Monday, February 22, 2010
"Pasta World?" What? What does this photograph have to do with pasta? It looks like one of the satellites of Jupiter. Well, I'll tell you... We had pasta last night. After the pasta and water were poured into the strainer, the pot was put back on the stove to cool. I picked up the pot after dinner to wash it, and saw a flash of color. Color? What? So I carefully studied the bottom of the pot, and was astounded at the brilliant colors. These colors are "dichroic" - A dichroic material is one which causes visible light to be split up into distinct beams of different wavelengths (colors) which you see here. I think it has to do with microscopically different thicknesses of the left over starch. In any case, it looks like a phantasmagorical planet. In any case, I was thrilled to see a whole "world" in the bottom of a pot! Here is a photograph of the pot, in case you don't believe me.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 6:43 PM
Sunday, February 21, 2010
On the trip to Rochester for Thanksgiving, I picked up a stalk of these when I stopped to photograph the ruins of the burned farmhouse. I tossed it on the back shelf of the car and have been driving around with it there all this time, always thinking that one day I would photograph it. Today was the day. I remember this plant as a child, but I can't remember if my mom grew these. (my sisters will jump in here and tell me if she did...) Anyhow, it is called a Chinese lantern Plant, and it can also be known as a Japanese lantern plant. I took it out in the side yard, and held it up in the sunlight with the snow in shadow as the background. It ends up looking like the sky, but it's not. I think I love the dried, twisted leaves as much as the orange lanterns. Be sure and click on this image to see it with much better color.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:32 PM
Saturday, February 20, 2010
So this is how one of the kitties sleeps. She is certainly warm and toasty because she is sleeping on the warm radiator. But as for the comfortable part, it is hard for me to imagine that she can be comfortable with her legs hanging over the edge like this. But she sleeps like this a lot, so I guess it works for her.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:41 PM
Friday, February 19, 2010
Three weeks ago I saw a red pepper in the grocery store, and so bought two - one to photograph, and one to cut up and put in my salad. Only I left the photographic one out on the shelf, and in a day or two it was beyond photographing. Who knew? So I saw this one yesterday and bought it. I set up a light tonight and here it is. At least I haven't given you another snow photograph. I am amazed at the shape that some of these peppers take - they are astounding. I have no idea why they seem to double back on themselves. But this is the second one I have seen. I am fascinated by the form, of course, and spent time looking at it to come up with the most interesting angle.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:37 PM
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I went to the "computer" store today for some training in an application. I can't say the name of the store. But it is the name of the fruit that Isaac Newton saw fall from a tree. I can't mention the name, because when I quickly took out my toy camera to shoot this, one of the employees said that pictures were not allowed in the store. So I don't want their trademark bot looking for mention of their name, followed by a letter from their lawyers! I just thought it a bit incongruous to look up and see clouds through the skylight in the ceiling. I loved the effect, and thought it was an interesting abstraction.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Gee, another snow picture. I wonder why... Actually, I had jury duty today. I didn't get selected, but it took all day so I wasn't out photographing like I should be. I took this the other night after taking out the garbage. For some reason, while I was wandering around all day looking for photos during the "frosting" snow, I realized that I had never looked up. Maybe I did, but with an overcast sky and white snow on trees, the tree didn't stand out. At night, the streetlight lit the house and the snow covered tree and it jumped out at me, against the dark sky. It is a long exposure, and I am surprised how much it looks like a daylight photo even though it was taken at 10:00 PM at night. It is gorgeous, isn't it?
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
As you know I have photographed this tree so many times, in Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, but I don't remember seeing it like this EVER before. The snowfall last night was very light, but went on all night long. The most gentle of snowfalls. Everything this morning had a coating of frosting. But this tree was the most stunning. I have never seen it like this! I have done a lot of photos today, but this is my favorite.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:24 PM
Monday, February 15, 2010
I have to ask your indulgence here. I ended up with so many really nice photographs from the snowstorm the other day, that I can't bear to only show one. This image was taken JUST before I did the photo of the wonderful fence. I was sure that THIS was going to be the image for the blog. Then I walked further on, and you know the rest of the story. But I keep coming back to this one. It was the light on the porch that drew me to this spot. Well, the light, and the fence. I tried this image from several slightly different angles. But in the end, it is about the orange and the blue colors together.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:40 PM
Sunday, February 14, 2010
OK, here is an AMAZING story. On the way to Manhattan on the Long Island Railroad I saw this man reading his book. But the book looked different from any book I had ever seen. The pages were yellowed with age, and the covers of the book looked more like a picture frame, rather than a bound book. I grabbed a couple of snapshots, and then when we got up to leave the train, I asked him about his book, saying that I had never seen a book like that - it looked home-made. He told me this amazing story. Two hours before, he had just been given this book by his 94 year-old grandfather, who had been in WWII. His grandfather had talked about his youth, but had never spoken of the war. His grandfather said that he had written about his unit's experiences during WWII and added the pages to his book as he had written them. This man said he was a screenwriter and was just starting to read the book, in hopes there were stories he could use in his screenwriting. I was blown away! I am SO glad I took the time to ask about the book. I wonder what stories he will discover.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:01 PM
Saturday, February 13, 2010
We got a last minute call from Amy, to tell us that she was being flown in from Los Angeles to New York, arriving Friday night. Why? She was going to be a guest on the CBS TV Early Show on Saturday morning! She was there to talk about her new book "Meeting Your Half-Orange: An Utterly Upbeat Guide to Using Dating Optimism to Fine Your Perfect Match." There would be two other authors as well. She was absolutely GREAT under the pressure and we were so proud to see her on national TV! Then we took the train in late Saturday afternoon to see her and have dinner together, which was a real treat.
Friday, February 12, 2010
This is Pat, our favorite waitress at the diner. I went to the Dinosaur Breakfast this morning, joining a whole bunch of colleagues from the newspaper business. Our tradition is, that we have our group photo taken at the end of each breakfast, and guess who is elected to snap the shutter? Pat, of course! Well, snapping the shutter is the easy part - getting us all to laugh is the hard part. But she was successful! The technique is, if you are a photographer, to mimic what you want your subjects do. You laugh, they laugh. She did. We did.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:53 PM
Thursday, February 11, 2010
It is stunning how different it was this morning, with blue sky and sunshine, compared to yesterday at dusk. It feels as if the world has been born anew! I know you have seen this Japanese maple before, but I never get tired of looking at how beautiful it is! I did this wide view, and then I did a closer view, and I think this one wins. I was out here, of course, to shovel the driveway - we ended up with about a foot of snow - and fortunately it stayed on the tops of the branches. It is this "frosting" which makes the photograph as beautiful as it is.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:04 PM
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
With the snowstorm in full swing I decided it was a great time to go out and look for pictures. I went first to the water and took photographs there, then walked up the hill to a park I knew of, and did some nice things with the trees there. Then I passed a house at dusk with a picket fence around it. It was dusk, and the back porch light was on. I spent 15 minutes photographing that and then walked on. I stopped to look back, for some reason, and there it was! The crooked picket fence! The best picture of the day! I made this image larger, so please click on it to see an bigger version.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:00 PM
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I was looking for a photograph of something today and stumbled across this picture from our trip to California. We were getting ready to leave the motel room, and I saw Amy's profile out the window through the curtain. I quickly snapped this. I loved the pastel colors which were muted because of the curtain. But what I love most is with a snowstorm forecast for tomorrow, with cold temperatures and high winds, I could look at this photo and think of blue sky and sunshine and warm temperatures.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:00 PM
Monday, February 8, 2010
The kitties are so funny - if anything new is going on, they want to be right there. I used to think that these cats were "scaredy-cats," but at least one of them is very curious. Sometimes she will aproach, and then back away, then approach again, if I am doing something different. Here I am painting the trim on the stairs, and she was going to come downstairs, but rather than pass me on the stairs, she sat there watching me paint for quite a while. I liked the point of view of this shot - how often do we get to look UP at a cat?
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Two long-time friends, "foodies" both, a party, and a time for catching up. What's could be better than that! I actually think I have nothing more to say about this photograph. Oh... One thing. I didn't see this photo first. Dora came to me and said: "Have you seen Sylvia and Clarke sitting and talking in the hall? I hadn't so grabbed my camera, and there they were, and here they are for you.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
When I went flying the other day with friends, I spent a lot of time looking down at the winter landscape, hoping to find something interesting. Finally, up near Sunken Meadow State Park, I spotted this frozen marsh. I love the interesting shapes of the straw-colored marsh grasses surrounded by the ice. The earth is such a beautiful sight from the air. Please click on the image to see a larger picture with better color.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:06 PM
An email arrived last week from Pat, and she said that we should all get together, those of us in our Newsday "family," to celebrate our friend Tony. So we came from all the corners of Long Island to talk of how we missed him and what a wonderful person he was. It was a time for me to be reminded, more than ever now, how much I miss my friends and colleagues. It's funny, but I think we all go to work, and see our friends and colleagues every day, and probably take it all for granted. Then many of us leave, and we loose these connections. Pat is wonderful, because she is the one who feels this loss first, I think and she says: "It is time for all of us to get together again." It was a lovely evening, and the connections are still deep and rewarding.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:10 AM
Thursday, February 4, 2010
This is an update of the construction of the new Roslyn Viaduct. I have shown you some photographs of this before. The new bridge is 2000 feet in length, and is made up of two separate spans which will be joined side to side when it is finished. The first span is completed, and they are assembling the second span. Each span is made up of "concrete box sections" which are prefabricated and shipped to the site by barge. I am guessing that there are almost one hundred sections connected together to make one span! And these things are HUGE! I kid you not. This photograph shows one assembly in the foreground which is made up of 4 segments. They are held together with steel cables running through them, that are stretched hydraulically. It is a huge project, and fun to walk around a look at it and photograph it. Click on this for a larger size, so you can see the other sections in the background.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:13 PM
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
My first sight of this little toddler was looking down the street at her tipping back and forth as she walked up the street toward her house. She lives in the house next door and so I headed toward her and her mom just to say hello. As we talked I kept looking at how cute she was in her outfit, with a snow hat with ears and tassels, and bright blue gloves, and layers of sweaters under her coat, and her scarf. The longer I looked at her, the more I realized that I NEEDED to take a picture of her. I asked her mom and she said "sure" so I ran in the house to grab my camera. Fortunately she hadn't moved and my picture was still there when I came back out. Whew!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I had so much fun flying, that I need to subject you all to some flying photographs for the next couple of days. I love the design of this, with all the diagonals. I am bummed that I didn't get the photograph quicker. When I first saw the shadow of our airplane on the ground, we were much closer to the ground and the shadow was larger and more obvious. I shot it anyhow. Maybe you can think of this as a puzzle - where IS the shadow? Click on the image to see it in a larger size.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:53 PM
Monday, February 1, 2010
I went flying today, for the first time in a couple of years. Of course, I was only the co-pilot. A friend from my astronomy club invited me along on a ride, and we cruised around Long Island for an hour or so. It was nice to be back in a Cessna 172. I tried to do a photo of me in the airplane by holding the camera out at arm's length, and aiming it at myself. Well, this is the first shot and it is obvious that I missed! I did some more photos, and got it right. I was going to discard this, but then realized that because it cropped a lot of me out, that it was the more interesting photograph. I am wearing a noise-canceling headset with a microphone, by the way.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:09 PM