Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Monday, July 30, 2018
We were coming back to our car, parked at Dunkin' Donuts, after we had had our coffee and donuts And here was this beautiful dog sitting in the driver's seat of this truck! And he was sitting in such a position that it looked as if he was ready to drive away! There was a man standing nearby, and I asked if it was his dog, and he said that it wasn't. So I quickly took my camera off my belt, and got about 3 shots before the dog apparently got down off the seat. Whew! But I got it!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:33 PM
Sunday, July 29, 2018
Near the end of my bike ride each day, I climb a mile-long hill, stop for a swig of water and then turn around and race down the hill. Today, when I stopped at the top of the hill, there were these fungi growing in the grass. Only camera that I had with me was my iPhone. I rarely use it to take photographs - I would rather use my toy camera. It is only a 5 SE but I am amazed at what great quality the photographs are, and I am also impressed with how well it does closeups! I spent some time trying to find out what these fungi are called and the only reference I could find mentioned "Stalkballs" and "Puffballs."
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:36 PM
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Captain Dusty ran a charter boat business out of Montauk for most of his life. I have no idea if he also put down lobster traps. Usually lobster trap buoys like these belonging to one skipper are all painted with the same color scheme so lobstermen can tell their traps from others. So maybe this is just a random collection of buoys hanging on the fence. But I thought it made an interesting picture of the collection in late afternoon light.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:06 PM
Friday, July 27, 2018
When I was walking along the beach at Ditch Plains in Montauk, it seems like I saw a photograph every one hundred feet! You already have seen my bathing beauty shot, and here is another shot. I saw the surfboard sitting on edge, and I was looking at the three fins on the back end of the board, and it was only then that I saw the feet! After looking at the scene for a minute or two, I figured that there was someone lying on their stomach and they had bent their knees so their feet were visible. Funny looking thing to see, I thought.
Thursday, July 26, 2018
This is the hammock in the back yard of Captain Dusty's - the house that Amy stays at in Montauk. I saw it sitting there, surrounded by green, under a clear blue sky. Makes me think of a good way to relax. But I think this photograph is mainly about design - meaning the shape of things within the frame of the photograph. I do think it is kind of relaxing to look at this photograph.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:10 PM
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Oh no! The creepy guy is photographing a beautiful young woman again! Oh wait! It's his daughter! Amy is the master of the selfie, and is amazing in her skill to hold the camera and photograph 3 or 4 or 5 people all in one selfie. Here she is only photographing Kathy and I, but you can see how much joy she takes in making photographs. She has a great eye for photography, and I am constantly amazed at how good she is in seeing creatively.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:10 PM
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
I love walking down a beach with my camera at the ready - you never know what you will find. I happened to see this bikini-clad woman near the lifeguard stand, and even though she was barefoot she was struggling to climb up the stand. I was fascinated so stopped and watched her continue her climb. It was then that I noticed a young man who was apparently with her, holding up a cellphone and taking pictures of her in this pose. I took a chance and took two shots without being noticed, and then walked away. I love the exuberance of this woman on a beautifully sunny day!
Monday, July 23, 2018
Amy is spending two weeks in Montauk, her favorite place in all the world! So we were invited out for a couple of days. Montauk is such a special place, with the ocean, salt air, the sun and sand and the cliffs. The offshore wind was really blowing today, and the surf was foaming white off the beach. What this meant was that there was so much salt spray in the air from the breaking waves blowing in from the ocean toward the beach. It almost looks like fog. I love how the people and cliffs in the distance are fading away.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:58 PM
Sunday, July 22, 2018
This is Grace, and she is looking at me very carefully. Do you wonder why? I will tell you. She is looking at me because I am sitting in my easy chair. And sometimes when I am in this chair, I get out my red laser and let the cats chase it around the living room. They really love having something to chase that moves really fast. And what's really interesting is that when the laser moves closest to one of the three cats, the other two cats don't chase it - they let the closest cat have its turn!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:32 PM
Saturday, July 21, 2018
When we were downtown, Stan and Ann and I we were walking up Lafayette street and went by this building. Ann said "Look at the statue of Puck." It is the historic Puck Building first built in 1885, and then added to in 1892. The building sports two gilded statues by sculptor Henry Baerer of Shakespeare's character Puck, from "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The building was the longtime home of Puck magazine, which gave the building its name; Founded in St. Louis in 1871, the magazine moved into the building in 1887 and remained there until it ceased publication in 1918.
Here is where I confess to the fact that I had never heard of "Puck." But he is an amazing figure. I guess I better go read "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
Friday, July 20, 2018
There is a house down the street where a bunch of different people lived. One time a man saw me looking at the sun in my side yard and I invited him to look through my telescope. He lived here. There was a young woman who wore a head scarf all the time, and walked up and down Laurel Avenue to get wherever she was going. She lived there. There were always 4 or 5 cars in the driveway. The house went up for sale about a year ago, and then about three weeks ago, they held an open house sale of all the furniture and other things. Yesterday, this was the only piece left, sitting out by the curb by itself. The end of an era. It will be interesting to see who moves in now.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:46 PM
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Kathy bought two Hibiscus plants and put one on each side of the stairs leading to the new back room. I have never been around these plants before, where I get to see them every day. They are astounding! I come out of the house and there are these magnificent flowers that have bloomed and then in the evening, the blossoms shrink and by morning they have fallen off! But fortunately, we get blossoms almost every day.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:05 PM
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
We had a different kind of meeting tonight. Instead of sitting in rows to watch a speaker, we set up in the round facing each other. That's because we didn't have a speaker, but rather different members took turns talking about their techniques for viewing the planets through telescopes. This is Frank, a long time member of the club who probably has the most experience viewing planets over the years. It's fun to see the expressions of the people listening to him!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:53 PM
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
I have passed this downtown wall a number of times, and each time I see it, I wonder if it will fall down. It has a serious lean at the top! This wall surrounds the churchyard at the Old St. Patrick's Cathedral. The cathedral was built in 1868. In 1879 when the new St. Patrick's Cathedral was opened on 5th Avenue, this church became a parish church.
So on this day I decided to see what I could discover about this wall. So I walked around the property until I could see into the churchyard. And lo and behold, I saw that in addition to the original brick buttresses, there have been added some brick-colored concrete buttresses. So by the looks of it, this will will not be falling down. Aren't you relieved? I am!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:04 PM
Monday, July 16, 2018
This was one of the artworks on display in one of the exhibits at ICP. The exhibit is called "MULTIPLY, IDENTIFY, HER" and it features an intergenerational group of women artists whose work explores representations of identity. Working in photography, video, and film, through assemblage, collage, multipart portraiture, and the use of avatars both analogue and digital, these artists reckon with the complex and changeable elements that inform who we are. This piece is called “Graft and Ash for a Three Monitor Workstation,” and is modeled after exercise machines for office workers. Viewers are invited to use the bicycle, while watching a video in which Perry’s digital avatar addresses them in the familiar monotone of a computer-generated female voice. I couldn't figure out what all of that meant, and I didn't ride the exercise machine. But it sure looks like an interesting collection of things, and I love the wires coming out of the wall
Sunday, July 15, 2018
On the way to The International Center of Photography, I passed this restaurant and pizza equipment supply store, on Bowery. I was immediately taken by this wonderful statue of a waiter. It is an absolutely charming sculpture, and it demanded that I photograph it! My first pictures of it were from the other side, but the picture didn't quite work, because the background as seen from the other side was too busy. But when I saw it from this side, I knew I had the shot.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:37 PM
Saturday, July 14, 2018
I took the W train from 34th Street, down to the Prince Street station, to get to the International Center of Photography. When I got off the train I was surprised to see these figures on the tiled wall of the station. A lot of the subway stations in Manhattan have been refurbished and redecorated with various artworks. It is always fun to visit a new station and see if there are interesting things to see. These figures are cut from stainless steel and set into the tile. The work is called "Carrying On" by Janet Zweig, in collaboration with Edward del Rosario. Waterjet-cut steel, marble, and slate. The frieze at the Prince Street subway station celebrates the significance and individuality of the citizens of New York. ... It depicts 194 silhouetted people ... taken from photographs of New Yorkers in all their variety... arranged as a 1200 foot narrative.and was installed in 2004. It is just brilliant to see!
Friday, July 13, 2018
I went to Fun City yesterday to meet Ann and Stan at the International Center of Photography to see several photographic exhibits. And of course, I spied on them while we were in the museum, looking for a blog post. The biggest exhibit was an extensive series of original photographic prints by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Here they are looking at a number of hand written letters by Cartier-Bresson on display in a case. He only photographed in black & white, and his prints had a lovely warm tone to them. So I have duplicated that tone in my photograph.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:44 PM
Thursday, July 12, 2018
When I was in my senior year in college, RIT announced that they were going to build a brand new campus in Henrietta, NY and move from their downtown campus. So I went out to the huge area where the new campus was going to be built and did a photo essay of the land and what was on it at the time. One of the things I photographed this abandoned farmhouse, because the land had been farmland in the past. I thought this was astounding that the paper was peeling from the ceiling like this. Unfortunately I have not been able to find a photograph of the outside.
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
This is another of my early works, one that I thought was lost. It is one of my all time favorites for a number of reasons. This is a photograph of the gate that led to the path for the cows to get to the pasture on my grandfather's farm in Guilford, Connecticut. My grandmother had a print of this for years, but I never did because I though the original transparency was lost. But I found it when I discovered a box with 12 rolls of color negative film, and a small three ring notebook with original transparencies in it! What a wonderful discovery. It is hard for me to figure out the power of this image for me,. It is a romantic landscape because it is the family farm, and I love the design of the fence, the stone walls, and the haze in the distance that is so evocative for me. As a child I played here and walked the cowpath down to the creek. That must have something to do with the power of this photograph for me.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:38 PM
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
This is another photograph of mine from 1963. It was the farm of Leonard Hubbard, just down the road from the Spencer family farm, "Westside" in Guilford, Connecticut. The building at the left is called the "Medad Stone Tavern." The Medad Stone Tavern was built in 1803 by Medad Stone to serve as a Tavern. He had built it away from the town green because he thought the Boston Post Road would be rerouted. As it was not rerouted that way, it never opened. It has 14 rooms and 10 fireplaces! For almost 200 years it was farmed by the Davis family. In 2001 Leonard Davis Hubbard bequeathed the Tavern to the Guilford Keeping Society. It is now a museum operated by The Guilford Keeping Society. As a young boy, I knew Leonard Hubbard - he was a friend of my father and my uncle.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:34 PM
Monday, July 9, 2018
I stumbled across a box which contained about a dozen rolls of color negative film taken when I was a student in college! The film was shot in 1963 and 1964. I remember many of the photographs, but haven't seen prints of these negatives in years. So I got out my film scanner and scanned some individual negatives. This is from a class trip in Fall when I was a senior, and the course was advanced color photography. We car pooled and went down to Naples, NY for the day with our instructor, Robert Bagby. I always thought that this was a successful photograph.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:29 PM
Sunday, July 8, 2018
We arrived at the home of our hosts for dinner and fireworks while it was still daylight. They had done some serious improvements to their gardens, so I took my camera and wandered around the gardens. I really liked the feeling of this photograph, with the garden blossoms and the setting sun through the trees. A different kind of garden photograph for me.
Saturday, July 7, 2018
I finally finished painting the garage! It looks gorgeous up close, with all the shingles painted with glossy gray paint. It took forever because the shingles on this side, which faces west, were really heavily weathered, so I needed to first paint this side with a primer, both white and gray, and then the final coat. Painting those small diamond windows took a fair amount of time as well. And they needed both primer and finish coat. It is really nice to have this done, finally!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:14 PM
Friday, July 6, 2018
On the Fourth of July, after driving to Connecticut and back, we went to the home of our friends the Gordons. For years they lived next door to us. They bought a modern house maybe 10 years ago and one of the beauties of the house is a deck on the back that looks down on Long Island Sound. On the Fourth, we get to look down on the fireworks in the harbor, while having dinner with a group of friends who we get to see each year. It is always such a wonderful gathering.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:27 PM
Thursday, July 5, 2018
When we bought our house in 1971, we found an American Flag on an aluminum pole with a gold plastic eagle on top, in the front hall closet. There was a fixture on the front porch railing which held the aluminum flagpole. Over the years, the hedges grew taller and the flag didn't hang all the way down. Also, the white stripes on the flag were tan as if they were dyed by tea. So I finally bought a brand new flag, and I am hanging it from the top of the porch opening. It is 3.5 feet by 5 feet in size, and is quite beautiful hanging in its new spot, celebrating the Fourth of July.
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
The Los Angeles Times today included a link from the Poetry Foundation, of poems that were appropriate for the Fourth of July. I read the first one, "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, and was deeply moved. I realize that my friends do not need to be reminded of what the United States is supposed to stand for, but perhaps there are members of the present administration that need a reminder. I am including a photograph of the head of the Statue of Liberty from a photo essay I did in 1986 after the statue was renovated. I felt that perhaps this photograph carries some of the power of the Emma Lazarus poem.
The New Colossus
By Emma Lazarus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
For the first four days last week as I rode my bike around a corner on my route, I caught a glimpse of trees that were backlit by the sun, at a golf course. I kept thinking that I needed to get the drone and come over to the golf course and see what kind of picture I could make out of it. The problem is that there is a chain-link fence around the golf course, and there are trees blocking most of the view. So the trick was to find a space above the fence, and below branches of the tree through which I could fly the drone. I am an ace pilot so no problem! I flew through the hole then on the other side climbed up to about 200 feet to take this photo. I love how the world looks from the air.
Monday, July 2, 2018
Yesterday you saw one of the young lady's sunset photographs. Today you can see two of my photographs. I couldn't decide between the horizontal photograph or the vertical photograph. It is interesting to note that a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera has a lot more capabilities, in terms of image quality, than a cellphone. I could not do either of these photographs to my satisfaction if I was just using a cellphone.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:12 PM
Sunday, July 1, 2018
We were driving by Memorial Park in Sea Cliff, which overlooks Hempstead Harbor and Long Island Sound. This is the best place to view sunsets, and there is always a good crowd of people when the sun goes down. I thought we should go watch the sunset (and I could take a picture or two, of course...) I did that, but then I noticed this young girl right next to me who was photographing the sunset with her cellphone, just like I was with my camera. It was fun to watch her try different compositions - I was impressed that she didn't do just one shot and walk away.