Wednesday, January 31, 2018
So yesterday I showed you the photographs I did in the snow, first of the herb garden and then others around the Japanese maple tree. This morning when I woke up, I noticed that you could look at my footsteps in the side yard and tracy my wanderings while photographing! "This calls for the drone" I thought! So here is my aerial photograph of the side yard. The herb garden is in the lower right and I ended my photography explorations in the upper left of the photo. The Japanese maple is in the lower left of the photo and is unrecognizable looking straight down on it. Please click on the image to see all the wonderful detail.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:52 PM
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
The forecast last night said we might get half an inch of snow, which was fine with me. But when I woke to 2" of wet snow, which was gently piled up on each and every branch, I was thrilled. I grabbed my camera because every minute counts. A small breeze is enough to start shaking the snow off. This was the first shot I did, of some herbs nearly buried in the snow.
Then I went looking for something completely different. I have photographed this tree so much that I wanted to find some view that I had never seen. I think this photo is that shot. The Japanese maple is in the foreground, and the giant Hickory tree is seen over the top of it. I like this shot a lot because it is different for me. And I can't restrain myself from doing, once again, the wide shot looking up under the tree. I know you have seen this before, and so have I, but I can't resist.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:10 PM
Monday, January 29, 2018
Traveling the back roads the other day, in the rain, I was stopped in my tracks by the colors of these grasses in a large field that serves as a front lawn that runs about one thousand feet to the house. I love that it is not a manicured lawn made of grass. It was changed to wild grasses years ago and they are quite beautiful. No more so than when it rains. The rain brings out more saturated colors in the grasses, which, of course, as a photographer, I love.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:59 PM
Sunday, January 28, 2018
On the way to church this morning as I drove by the harbor, I was stunned to see that the fog was probably 20 to 30 feet thick! There was no time to stop, so we didn't. After we returned a couple of hours later, there wasn't nearly so much fog, but I thought I would try and find a photo. So the line in the fog in the middle of the photograph is one of the sand barges that are moored in the harbor. It is almost completely hidden. The fog is the result of the water in the harbor being really cold, and the air over the harbor is warm and saturated from the rain. So the water cools the air and the fog forms.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:50 PM
Saturday, January 27, 2018
I was washing my hands at the sink when I happened to notice this plant in a flower pot on the window. What the heck? How long has THIS been there? Man, talk about an observant photographer! So I decided to see what I could do with my camera. I brought the plant into the dining room, set up a black background and a quartz light to illuminate the plant. This is what you get.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:49 PM
Friday, January 26, 2018
I first saw this roadside memorial back when I was still working. I would drive this road, Route 107, every day. So I am guessing that maybe this memorial went up back in perhaps 2006. I did a first post the first time I saw it. It looked different from this - I think it was mainly flowers. These roadside memorials have become common Long Island, placed where people have died in car accidents. I tried to search for the first post I did, but had no luck. It is interesting that after all this time, the family of the person who died, keeps the memorial refreshed.
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Amy told us about a podcast for writers, that she was interviewed for. It is about 30 minutes long and she talks about how she got her start in writing and how she first started working for magazines. It was wonderful listening to her interview because she was charming and funny and confident and told wonderful stories about writing books and about life. It made me think back to all that she has accomplished, and then I thought back to this photograph I took of her on the front porch. For some reason it is one of my favorite portraits of Amy. You can find the podcast here: Amy's Podcast
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:29 PM
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
When I am desperate, I put the Micro-Nikkor Lens on my camera and go outside and look for close-up images of things. I got about 3 feet outside the back door, and happened to look down at two flower pots that used to hold fall flowers - I have no idea which ones. But to see the silvery stalks all curled around among the brown leaves seemed to make an interesting texture.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:04 PM
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
I saw this landscape today when I was out doing errands. I think it was about the twisted branch in the center of the photo, and then the parking lot lights in the distance. So I think it is strange. With the rain and gray skies, I was so surprised to see blue skies and sunshine about mid afternoon.
Monday, January 22, 2018
Kathy and I went to the movies tonight. Since the theater is so busy on the weekends, we have taken to going on weeknights. We went to see "The Darkest Hour" which is a very powerful film, about Winston Churchill when the British Empire stood alone against Nazi Germany and the Axis Powers in Europe. Anyhow, we wanted to get to the theater early so we could get good seats - on centerline and about 7 rows back. No need to worry, on a Monday night. There was one other person in the theater by the time the movie started!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:22 PM
Sunday, January 21, 2018
We have the best mailman. Whenever he has an oversize package, he gets out of his truck and walks up the driveway, and up the porch steps, and across the porch, and puts all that day's mail on a table just outside the front door, where it is not visible to passersby, and when it is protected from the weather. However, when Bill is off, one of the replacement drivers doesn't budge from his truck. Instead, if something does not fit in the mailbox, he balances the package on the top of the mailbox! He has done this to the people across the street, and at our house, and at another house down the street. A gust of wind and the package is in the street! Man oh man.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:55 PM
Saturday, January 20, 2018
When I went to the city a week or so ago, I grabbed this photograph at Jamaica station. What I found interesting was that there was a solitary passenger standing on the platform. Usually the platforms are filled with shoulder to shoulder passengers. So one person standing alone and checking his email seemed like an unusual scene, and I took the picture.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:06 PM
Friday, January 19, 2018
We put this pumpkin out on the front steps in time for Halloween. We also had a Jack-O-Lantern on the porch railing, up where passers-by could see it. After Halloween we put the Jack-O-Lantern on the compost heap, and a number of squirrels have dined on it. Since this pumpkin was not carved, we let it sit on the steps And it looked fine, even during the time when the temperatures were below freezing. But... It warmed above freezing and look what happened! Yikes! Now that it has frozen again I need to take it up to the compost heap before it thaws again.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:53 PM
Thursday, January 18, 2018
I am still going through some old photographs, and found this one! Wow! It is Liz and Amy doing some kind of cooking in our old kitchen. I love that both of them have to stand on stools to be high enough to use the counter. On the left is the ancient gas stove that was in the kitchen when we bought the house. Look at the cabinets on the walls. I think there are two, one on each side of the kitchen. I love this photograph and it really takes me back.
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
OK, OK, so there was no blizzard. Just 4 or 5 hours of light snow, with a total accumulation of about 2 or 3 inches. While the snow was still drifting down, I grabbed my camera and went outside to try and find a photo or two. The first thing I came to was the herb garden and I love the curves of the herbs bent low with the snow. I kept looking and tried some close-ups of branches with snow, but I couldn't make a beautiful picture out of that. Then I backed up and saw the shot below. I love that the distant trees are ghostly, and the nearby trees are dark and foreboding.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:05 PM
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
I stumbled across all the photographs I did for an assignment back in 2002. I worked on a story of a spirituality center in Water Mill, NY. It was this beautiful old building built in 1887 in Queen Anne Style, with amazing architectural detail, surrounded by a huge lawn, looking out on Mecox Bay. It was run by a small group of nuns. Within a year or two, they had to give up the whole facility and it was sold and is now a private residence. As part of the facility they had constructed two mazes which visitors would slowly walk around while in a contemplative mood. This is a photograph of one of the mazes.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:45 PM
Monday, January 15, 2018
Kathy decided to make pizza for dinner, and this is it! How gorgeous is this! And it tasted SO good! I was stunned at how beautiful it looked, and thought it looked worth a photograph. What do you think? Wish you could have been here to share it with us.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:51 PM
Sunday, January 14, 2018
I was driving back home this afternoon, and coming up Route 107, the route I took every day coming home from work. I drove by a familiar location that is quite beautiful, and where I have stopped so many times over the years to take photographs. It is the property of Banfi Winery headquarters. I haven't taken a photograph here in years, but I saw these long shadows of trees cast by the late afternoon sun, and thought it might make an interesting photograph.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:22 PM
Saturday, January 13, 2018
After a few days of above seasonal temperatures the cold weather returned. It was a clear, cold, and crisp day, so I decided to go for a walk. I didn't see much to photograph until I saw the orange sun through this forest of trees. Something about this view felt like something you would only see in winter - something about the bare trees and the light, that is distinctive to this season.
Friday, January 12, 2018
I drove by this scene tonight on the way to pick up some food for dinner. OK, OK, it was Kentucky Fried Chicken, because I know you want to know... Since the food was hot, I didn't stop on the way back. But after dinner I got in the car and drove back down to this park. It was raining all day today, and because the ground was cold, and covered in snow, these cooler temperatures cooled the air which was saturated with moisture. When you cool moist air, you get fog. I love the mystery and magic of fog!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:58 PM
Thursday, January 11, 2018
I went to the city today to meet my friends Stan and Ann to see some exhibitions. We started with the exhibit of Richard Avedon’s photographs from “Nothing Personal,” Avedon’s 1964 collaboration with James Baldwin, creating a book with words and photographs, about life in America. We tried another exhibit, but it hadn't opened yet, and then on to this exhibit of paintings by Elizabeth Murray "Painting in the '80's" Here Ann is walking away from one of the paintings, while reading a description of the different works in the exhibit. A great day was had by all!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:26 PM
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
This is not a drone photograph. I took it a few days before doing the drone photos. I am looking down at frozen surf from the bulkhead, which is about 10 feet above the water. I like this because is is rather dark and mysterious. And there is no sense of scale at all. You have no idea what you are looking at or how large it is.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
This is the third and last drone photograph that I did the other day. It is taken while flying over Scudder's Pond, on Shore Road, in Sea Cliff. I saw the hockey players and since I had the drone sitting on the front seat, I pulled the car over and decided to try for another photograph. I shot from an oblique angle because the FAA drone regulations prohibit flying directly over people. I like this shot a lot!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:15 PM
Monday, January 8, 2018
So this is the first drone flight I did, photographing the frozen harbor. For those of you who know this neighborhood, this is Tappan Beach in the foreground. I am facing north, and Sea Cliff is to the right. Port Washington and Sands Point are on the left. The width of the harbor in the distance is about one mile. And the harbor is frozen from side to side. It was a day with blue sky and sunshine, and I love the colors in this photograph.
Sunday, January 7, 2018
After eleven days of sub freezing temperatures, a friend told me that Hempstead Harbor was covered with ice. I went to several different sites to look for photographs and found some really nice things. I will be posting a few more photographs in the days to come. This is the last photograph that I did. I was doing higher altitude aerial photographs of the expanse of ice across the harbor, and then started pointing the camera down and noticed my shadow. So I lowered the drone and did this photo showing me on the edge of the harbor, and the edge of the ice. Cool, huh? Click on this to see more detail.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:27 PM
Saturday, January 6, 2018
Kathy has been in a bread-baking mood. This week she did two versions of cinnamon raisin bread, one with a swirl inside, and one without. Now those loaves have been eaten, she decided to make a loaf of pumpernickle raisin bread! Oh man! It smells so good, it was hard to photograph it without taking a bite. I cannot wait for breakfast, when we will be toasting this and adding butter! Oh, you want to know how our diets are going? Not well, not well... :-)
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:32 PM
Friday, January 5, 2018
It was really cold again today - 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind was still howling, 25 gusting to 40! Yikes! I am feeling much better, so I decided to walk down to the beach and go down to where the rocks are and see if they were covered in ice. I got to the foot of my street and was stunned - everything was covered with ice! I didn't leave the house yesterday until late in the day, when I used the snow blower on the driveway. It was cold yesterday as well, with strong winds, and as the waves crashed into the bulkhead, the winds blew the spray over everything. This one bench encased in ice was the most dramatic.
This is an overall shot of all the benches, trees, and the railing in ice. In all the years I have lived here, I have never seen anything like this before. And I have seen it so cold for so long that a major portion of Hempstead Harbor froze solid enough that people were out walking around on it.
This is the railing, and I thought the close-up view was a nice detail of the ice.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:32 PM
Thursday, January 4, 2018
The wind! Man oh man! The snow was relatively light and came down slowly, but the winds were howling, 25 knots, gusting to 41! It felt as if there was a real storm out there! So I stayed inside and came up with these two photographs. The one above is shot through the bathroom window upstairs, and it was coated with ice on the outside, making this impressionistic image. I thought I would wait until tomorrow to get the snow blower out, since I was sitting and reading, and enjoying a cup of hot apple cider. But then I heard the sound of a neighbor's snow blower and noticed that the snow had stopped. So out I went and fired up my beast of a machine, and made short work of the driveway. The winds are supposed to be just as strong tomorrow, so I will be curious to see how much snow drifts back on to the driveway.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:58 PM
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
I was driving to my astronomy meeting tonight when I saw a giant full moon on the horizon. I kind of followed it as I headed east. When I got to Huntingon, then I saw the picture. The moon has risen high enough to be over the top of the buildings. There is a minor problem in that the moon is partially covered by trees, so it looks a bit weird. But it is still a sort of interesting photograph.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:21 PM
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Obviously I didn't take this photograph today. I was digging through some old photographs and found this image I took years and years ago. On the way home from Los Angeles, someone a row or two away was sneezing for the entire flight. The day after we got home I started sneezing, and within a day had a full blown cold, and felt really lousy. With the temperatures in the teens I have been reluctant to spend much time outdoors. I am feeling better now, but may not be shooting outdoors for another day or two.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:01 PM
Monday, January 1, 2018
We are fond of putting one electric candle in each window in the front and side windows of the house. I love the subtlety of this kind of Christmas decoration. I first saw how something like this can make a spectacular sight when I first saw the town green in Guilford, Connecticut., about 50 years ago. The green is surrounded by historic houses, and they have an understanding that no colored lights will be used. To see all the houses on the green with each window in every house illuminated with white candles is really a sight to see! Of course this photograph is different - this photograph feels spooky and strange. The view from outside is more magical, however.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:28 PM