Friday, February 28, 2014
I looked out of the dining room window at the light on the snow in the side yard. The late afternoon sun was skimming across the uneven snow surface, and I thought it looked interesting. So I grabbed a camera and went outside. I thought I would stand off to one side so I wouldn't be in the light, but as I approached the edge of the driveway, there was my shadow in the picture. And I realized THAT was the picture! I tried the shot without my shadow, and it was so much less interesting. I always try to be open to the unexpected.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:08 PM
Thursday, February 27, 2014
This shot may not work. I drove up to the post office today, and when coming to an intersection saw this mountain range in front of me. Well, it is not an actual mountain range, it just looked like one. So I parked the car and explored the subject. It is, of course, just a dirty frozen snowbank, with a bit of fresh snow on it. But it did feel like range of mountains when I looked at it.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:22 PM
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
When the sun was out yesterday, the whole back yard was sparkling. There were brilliant specks of bright light everywhere in the snow cover. So I got my macro lens, which is used for extreme close-up photographs, and went hunting. I wanted to see what was causing this effect. I tried a whole bunch of different locations in the yard, and this image was the best. I picked it because in addition to showing the way the snow has melted and re-frozen into ice, it makes an interesting mini-landscape photo. The snow had melted some, and then refrozen and this clear ice acts like a lens and that's what refracts the image of the sun, creating the bright spots. Click on the image to see more detail, please.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:19 PM
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
This post is not about the convenience store. I was looking for a good looking numeral seven. Why? Because this is the seventh anniversary of the blog! Seven Years. A post every day! Adds up to 2555 posts all together. I was trying to think of some cool photograph to post for such an auspicious occasion (in my world...), but I couldn't think of anything, so you get this. I am actually amazed at my discipline, to have continued this for so long, but I realize that looking for photographs each and every day is at the heart of who I am.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:36 PM
Monday, February 24, 2014
I was driving on one of the back roads, on my way to dinner with my friend Bob. I caught a glimpse of the clouds in the sky over this field where they play polo. There was no place to pull over, so I kept on driving. Then my conscience got the better of me, and I turned around, figuring that I would find some place to pull off the road. The entrance wasn't plowed, but I just pulled off into the snow. I was a bit disappointed that the clouds had changed some - It was only two minutes since I first passed by and the sun was lower and some layers had merged. But the gray and white clouds against the blue sky were beautiful, and worth a photograph.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 6:09 PM
Sunday, February 23, 2014
You will need to click on this photograph right away, to see it in larger size, and with more detail. I went to the grocery store after sunset today, and when I came back out, I happened to glance up at the trees silhouetted against the sky. I was taken by the delicate tracery of the smallest branches. The branches are so thin and so fine, and yet they will be strong enough to support so many leaves, that the branches will no longer be visible, come Spring. I am not sure why I hadn't noticed these delicate branches before.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:42 PM
Saturday, February 22, 2014
About once a week for the last million years I would cook a piece of salmon on the grill, and then eat it with a mustard and dill sauce I make. At the local market I have seen in the prepared food section some "Mediterranean Salmon" for sale. It's a filet with a few herbs on it. I thought "I could do better than that." So I went to the Internets and found a recipe, and modified it just a bit. So you are looking at my first try: salmon with tomatoes, capers, garlic, and Kalamata olives in olive oil. It was stunning! It was so good, that I made it again the next night, and added some basil flakes. This is about as complicated a recipe as I do.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:21 PM
Friday, February 21, 2014
Interesting weather today. There is still snowpack all over the ground, and it was relatively warm, and then it started to rain. Rain brings 100% humidity, and then since the air is fully saturated with moisture, the snow on the ground cools the moisture laden air, and fog forms. Simple, huh? I love the fog and the feeling it entails - mystery, I guess. I also love how it adds to a sense of depth, because the further from the camera an object is, the further away is seems because of the fog. So I love these trees, and the just the black and gray palette.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:09 PM
Thursday, February 20, 2014
I have been telling you about all the snow we have had this winter, but I just know you don't believe me. So when I saw the mailbox the other day after yet another snowfall, I realized this was a good way to actually show you how deep the snow is. I forget exactly how tall the post is. I think that it is about 3 1/2 feet tall. I will measure it when the snow melts. IF the snow melts. Ever...
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:14 PM
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
I was driving home from my astronomy club meeting and I still didn't have a blog shot for the day. Oh no, what can I do? Well, there is always shooting out the windshield while driving along. This is not dangerous, because I do it a lot... :-) I mean, I only did it because I was desperate. I did a couple of quick test shots, and liked what I saw. The sky was visible above the trees, and I liked that it was slightly reddish in color to distinguish it from the dark tree silhouettes. I really do like the feeling of speed in the photograph, because of the blur.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:44 PM
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
We went to the city late this afternoon and went to this famous pizza restaurant, before seeing a dramatic play. The restaurant was pretty crowded, and we had a long wait. Imagine my surprise to see this young girl and her sister sitting on the floor, of all places, playing with some kind of electronic game devices. Yikes! I mean, it was the floor of a restaurant. Eccccch. Although I guess kids being kids, they will be just fine. But it did creep me out just a bit.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:36 PM
Monday, February 17, 2014
I am continuing my boycott of shooting snow around here! This is another shot from California, from a while back. It is Amy and Gus and their bikes taken on the beach in Venice. Here's the fun thing about this shot, in addition to it having a sunny feeling - I was using a long telephoto lens, and was a long way back from them. And I needed to tell them where I wanted them to be, and what they should be doing. So I called Amy on her cell phone, and from a distance could ask them to move to different places on the beach, and create different compositions.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:02 PM
Sunday, February 16, 2014
One of the commenters on yesterday's blog said: "...don't you have a few pictures left over from sunny, warm California?" Now there's a brilliant idea! Seriously. And, yes, I do. This is a photograph from Joshua Tree National Monument taken back in 2007. And it makes me feel really good to look at it. It lifts my spirits. I love the warmth of the late afternoon sun on the mountains in the distance. And you know what I REALLY like? I like that there is nothing white in this picture!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:24 PM
Saturday, February 15, 2014
A Poem About The Snow
"Snow, snow, the lovely snow,
That covers the earth with it's lovely blanket,
that softens the lines of the earth...
that breaks my back, and makes me slide and fall,
that takes away my bicycle rides
and uses up most of a day,
to make it go away."
Friday, February 14, 2014
This is unusual, icicles hanging from the drain pipe. Not sure what causes this. Maybe a lot of snow, and yet temperatures which go from freezing, to melting. I am really good about keeping the gutters and drainpipes clean, but I think they have been overwhelmed by the snow. On the news the other night they said, get this, that we have had 51 inches of snow this winter! Wow. I had no idea we have had this much. I love that I could get the shadows of the icicles and the icicles themselves together in the same picture. Makes it more interesting.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
So this is almost exactly the same scene, same framing, as yesterday's photograph. The difference is 24 hours, and a new snowstorm that moved in. It was snowing this morning when I woke, and I took the photograph right away. I was stunned how much more snow had fallen overnight. It was supposed to be something like 4 to 6 inches. The news report tonight said that Oyster Bay got more than 14 inches. That's how much snow was here. The loan of the kind neighbor's snow blower saved my life again!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:33 PM
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I woke up this morning knowing that yet another snowstorm is coming. They are saying 4 to 8 inches of snow, with perhaps some rain mixed in for a while. "This is getting tedious," I am thinking. Then I looked out the bedroom window and saw the patio, and there was a record of the last couple of snowfalls, frozen in time. Usually there is a warming period and the snow melts, but not this year. Lets see how this looks in a day or so.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
I like this photograph for a couple of reasons. I don't think I have photographed this building from this angle before, I think. Originally there were white pieces of fabric in all the windows, but then they went through and cut the steel window frames out of the windows, and I think the wind has blowing the fabric in random ways, which, of course, adds to the forlorn feeling. The other reason I like the photograph, is the sense of more of the surroundings at the left hand side of the frame. I love the sense of brilliant light and the old power poles. That leaning pole, by the way, has been leaning the same way for years!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:37 PM
Monday, February 10, 2014
With all the gray clouds around here lately, I found that when the sun came out, and we had blue skies and sunshine overhead, I found my spirits were lifted! There is something about seeing fresh snow against the blue sky. I can't explain it, but I felt wonderful! So this is not a great photograph - it is more of a "fragment" of a photograph - something interesting, but not complete in and of itself. I promise to work harder in the future.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:03 PM
Sunday, February 9, 2014
I looked up the word "forlorn" to make sure I was using the correct term for how I felt about how this building looks these days. Here is the definition: "pitifully sad and abandoned or lonely." That's how this building feels for me now. First they blocked off the windows while they did asbestos removal, and now that it's done, they are cutting out the window frames. They don't make buildings like this anymore- it was built about 1915, and is architecturally interesting. It is slowly being demolished, and of course I will record that. That's what I do sometimes - I try to save history.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:30 PM
Saturday, February 8, 2014
I went down to the power plant so photograph some changes in the building, as part of the demolition process. I parked my car and was walking toward the plant, when I saw this chair, in the middle of nowhere. I have no idea why this chair is there. There is a bus stop across the street, so maybe this is for the bus going in the opposite direction. Who knows. I guess that's the fun of what I do sometimes - I find stuff, and then have no idea what it is all about. Some help I am!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:02 PM
Friday, February 7, 2014
This is the other ice storm photograph that I liked from yesterday. I like that it is a more complex landscape, with a foreground and middleground and background. Only thing is, you can't see the ice on the trees unless you click on the image and enlarge it. Then you can begin to see the ice on the branches. I do like the overall gray feeling to it, but it is not a really "graphic" composition - which to me means some powerful graphic shape or element that stands out. Without the dark shapes in the foreground, I don't think there would be a photograph at all. Just maybe this picture is better than I first thought.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
I learned something interesting today. I went out for a walk with my camera because I had seen some trees with a light coating of ice on them, backlit by the sun, when I was out in the car. Simple picture to take, right? Well, I walked around for an hour, and photographed a lot of trees backlit by the sun, and realized that it was nearly impossible to show the bright sparkle of the ice. What a disappointment. I realized there was a problem right away, so tried photographing other things, and this shot works well. The branches are coated in ice, but they are front-lit, and there are some clumps of snow in the branches as well. I did do one other shot I like, so I may post it tomorrow.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:44 PM
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
On the way to New Haven the other day, when driving through Bridgeport, Connecticut, I spied this unusual cloud of smoke in the sky. This is the coal-fired United Illuminating plant on the harbor in Bridgeport. So I started thinking about what might cause this, and realized that there was not a hint of wind blowing, so the smoke was rising straight up from the red and white striped stack. I don't remember ever seeing this before. It makes for an interesting shape in the sky.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
This is Neil, my brother-in-law, who lives in Connecticut. His grandson is in the hospital in New Haven and is on the mend, happy to say. Connor is a brilliant kid with so many friends. They have all brought him all kinds of things, like this wonderful stuffed dog, during his time there, and since he is moving from the ICU, some of this stuff needs to be brought home. Neil said he would help, and I suggested that I thought he should carry this wonderful dog! So he agreed! Oh man, another set up picture! It still makes me smile. He is such a good sport!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:08 PM
Monday, February 3, 2014
I hate to bore you with my tree, but when it snows, and particularly when the snow is like frosting, the first thing I go to is "the" tree. I photographed it from different angles, and chose this angle because the tree looks the most amazing. Be sure and click on this to see it in more detail. I wandered around some looking for other photographs, but nothing was quite as beautiful as this. The snow was heavy enough, by the way, that the bottom branches were as low as three feet to the ground!
Sunday, February 2, 2014
It is winter, so it is time for our participation in the Pre Cana program. Pre Cana is a marriage preparation program established by the church with volunteers like us who work with couples preparing for marriage. We have 5 couples come to our home for two hours a day on four sundays. We talk about communication, conflict resolution, finances, children and other topics which we hope will be helpful to the engaged couples. We've been doing this program for more than twenty years. As I was listening to one of the couples talking about their relationship, I happened to notice that they were holding hands, and I loved the gentleness of how their fingers were intertwined. I waited until the program was finished and asked if I could do a photograph, and they said yes. So, yes, this is a "recreated" photo.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:04 PM
Saturday, February 1, 2014
This is a photograph I took while wandering around looking at the ice forms down at the harbor. It it just an interesting design to me, but it does look like a mushroom cloud. It is interesting that there is no way to know the scale of these ice forms. The oval shape is about 18 inches across. I have no idea how these shapes formed, but they sure are interesting. I did take a version of this shot, and increase the contrast so the shapes were more dramatic, but aesthetically it bothered me that I did that, so this is the more subtle version. It is finally warming up - enough so that I am back riding my bike again, which I have missed. And these forms will be gone on the next high tide.
I decided late in the day, to post the black and white photograph that was worked on a lot, in terms of contrast, so you could see the difference, and perhaps why I like the more subtle version above. Maybe you like this one better.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:38 PM