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Archive for April, 2010

I remembered this scene from my first visit to the 9/11 trail in Chestnut Branch Park a few days before. The lighting was flat and I was dressed for bicycle riding so I waited until Saturday when the noon light filtered through the trees and…

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I was dressed for the occasion (hiking boots and jeans) so I climbed over a log and worked my way down to the edge of this small stream. I hunkered down on my haunches for a low angle that put me into the scene. I found the perspective I wanted and took my shot. I like to shoot with the camera turned to the portrait orientation for variety.

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Then I turned to camera back to landscape, framed the scene the way I wanted and took my second shot. Neither shot has been cropped at all. You’re seeing exactly what I saw through my viewfinder that day.

I was using my 35mm AF lens on my Nikon N8008s. I like this lens. It gives me a wide, but not too wide, perspective that I’ve come to appreciate. The camera/lens combination is a good walking around kit — one lens, one camera and no fuss. I did have a medium yellow filter on the lens.

I was excited when I saw the first scans. These images came out better than I hoped. When I look at them I’m drawn into another world, the small stream in the woods.

Each view has a strong point and I like them both. I consider them keepers.

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We have two parks in our township, the Ceres Nature Preserve and Chestnut Branch Park. I’ve published quite a few photos from my visits to Ceres. I’ve been to many of my granddaughters soccer games held on the fields in the front of Chestnut Branch Park, but this is the first time I explored the back of Chestnut Branch Park.

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I slipped away from the soccer games on Saturday to explore and take a few photos. This is the 9/11 memorial. It’s in a sheltered grove of trees behind the athletic fields. This monument is a piece of a “…twisted I-beam from the wreckage of the World Trade Center is a reminder of the tragedies that unfolded September 11, 2001” (quoted from the plaque at the memorial). I knew it was in the park but hadn’t seen it before.

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There’s a 9/11 trail through the woods behind the memorial. Here’s a directional sign where the trail branches. It’s a large, meandering loop that winds through the forest and is quite nice. I took this photo on Wednesday, the day I discovered this hidden treasure.

I walked the entire trail on Saturday. I spotted the fungi on the old log and stopped to get a close up. I didn’t have my macro equipment with me but my 35mm lens can focus nice and close.

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Here’s another close up. This one was an experiment to see what I could do handheld with my 35mm lens.

The second photo in this series was taken with my 28mm screw mount lens under very different (flat) lighting conditions. Saturday’s shots were all taken on a bright sunny day around 1:00 PM in the afternoon when the lighting was very high contrast.

Be sure to visit Lisa’s Chaos for more Macro Monday photos. Thank you Lisa. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to share.

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I flipped a virtual coin today. Do I post nature images from this week or dip way down into my archives? The coin came up archives and a change of pace. The time was 1966, the place Saigon.

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I like the simplicity and composition of this image. Two people walking toward each other, long shadows (probably late afternoon) and the woman wearing the traditional Vietnamese ao dai.

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The pretty young lady in the corner of this image may have thought I was taking her picture. She’s a bit out of focus so I think capturing her smile was a happy accident that gives some life to this otherwise ordinary photo.

The second shot was a conversion from a color transparency, an old and faded one. I think the first shot was on B&W film.

Drop on by The Monochrome Weekend, especially if you are a monochrome maniac. There’s lots links to some great monochrome photography. And some of the monochrome maniacs still use film like I do.

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I was digging around in my archives looking for interesting reflections and found some Saigon street scenes that fit the bill. Some of the reflections are subtle, but they are all there.

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Okay, this one is obviously not a downtown street scene. 1966 was a long time ago and impossible to remember details. I’m reasonably sure this “rural” shot was taken from one of the outposts or gates around the Tan Son Nhut airbase where I was stationed. This image and all the others in this series were converted from old faded color slides. This one was a real bear.

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Hey look, a Buick – Pontiac dealer in downtown Saigon. Who would have thought?

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I think this street was one of the main drags with lots of bars. The name? No way can I remember details like that. You can spot the GIs a mile away can’t you.

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A 58 Chevy with whitewall tires. I always liked that year for Chevies. The 59s were butt ugly. And yes there are reflections in this shot, you need to look carefully.

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This is one of my favorite street shots. I used it once before to illustrate a tutorial on how to convert a color image to B&W using Picture Window Pro. This conversion looks like it was shot with B&W film.

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I Wonder Why?

I wonder why

raindrops wander on the glass.

I wonder why

I marvel at the sky.

I wonder why

I sigh and cry.

I wonder why

I laugh and play.

I wonder why

I wonder

and wander through

my toybox mind.

What will I play with today?

I wonder.

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I have some new macros that should be good ones. The roll of color transparency film is sitting on my desk waiting for me to take it to the post office and mail it off to the lab for processing. Meanwhile, let’s see what I found in my archives…

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Ah. one of my all time favorite flowers — a beautiful rose that’s just opening — when the flowers are fresh and young and the critters haven’t gotten to them yet.

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Here’s another shot of the same rosebud. I changed the angle by about 90 degrees. I gave this less exposure so the colors are more intense and the background is much darker.

I don’t remember when I took these photos. I think it was 6, maybe 7 years ago. Both shots are from the same roll of color transparency film. I used my F3 with my usual 75-150 zoom and 2 element closeup lens and of course my tripod.

Be sure to visit Lisa’s Chaos for more Macro Monday photos. Thank you Lisa. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to share.

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I raided my archives again. This time we set the way-back machine for 1971 — the location was Clark Park in Phila.

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This image of the three ladies on the park bench begged to be B&W so I converted it from an old color transparency. I wonder what had their attention that day? I can’t remember.

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This shot (and the rest of the images) was taken during one of the fairs they had in the park. Two thirsty kids taking a break in the excitement.

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This image has always been one of my favorites from that day (or maybe it was more than one day?)  in the park. I suppose it’s the exuberance of youth.

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Speaking of exuberance, these two were really hamming it up for the photographer. We all had fun that day.

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Yep, they had a merry-go-round (carousel) set up in the park for the kids (and their moms). The little girl does look serious here.

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Here’s a shot of a friend. I like the expression on Sal’s face and the mood of this shot.

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I don’t know what to say about this photo except that I like it a lot.

These images (with the exception of the first) were all shot on B&W film with my Pentax Spotmatic. Some of the negs are a bit dirty and I didn’t have the time or inclination to do more than a cursory cleanup.

Candids reveal a lot about our humanity — our subjects and ours. I miss those long ago days in the Park, wandering about with my camera. Maybe one of these days I’ll take a trip back to the city with my camera when they’re having a fair in the Park.

Drop on by The Monochrome Weekend, especially if you are a monochrome maniac. There’s lots links to some great monochrome photography. And some of the monochrome maniacs still use film like I do.

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After I left the turtles basking in the sun, I wandered up the main trail to the cedar swamp to see what kind of reflections I might find.

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This image fascinates me. Do you think that might be why I took this shot? The photo has a kaleidoscopic quality in the way the “real” and the reflections diverge at the water line. I like the effect and the mood of this shot. I don’t recall which lens I was using (probably my 85mm). I must remember to record details in one of the pocket notebooks I just bought.

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Here’s another quiet morning image from the cedar swamp. I chose a portrait orientation to emphasize the vertical aspect of these magnificent trees. Even though you only see a small portion of the trunks, your imagination can take you to the treetops above and the roots below.

Both images are from the same roll of Ektar color film that yielded all the turtle pics last week. Here’s a funny story for you. I like 24 exposure rolls for my B&W. It takes too long to finish a 36 exposure roll. Well, Ektar is only available in 36 exposure rolls. For some reason, I suppose I wasn’t paying attention, I rewound this roll after 25 exposures. Duh! I wasted 1/3 of the roll. Learned my lesson and it won’t be happening again. But at least I didn’t have to pay to process the unexposed frames.

So what’s next? I have some possibilities on a roll of color transparency film that’s in my camera now. The roll is almost finished. When it is I send to California for processing and wait a week or so. Meanwhile, I’ll shoot more B&W.

PS — Update. I finally figured out how to eliminate (or at least minimize) the excessive blue cast from these Ektar images. I’m still working on it but I replaced the original images with the color corrected images and I think they are better. Another reason I like B&W. LOL

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It was so quiet, the air was afraid to move and the birds spoke in whispers.

Hearing the splash, I turned. They were moving out from the shore, gliding on the mirror of Emerald Lake. As they swam along they spoke to each other of seasons past, of sun, of moon and the delicious wind in their faces. While I, the intruder, kept still, watching and listening.

He urged her to go first. She said no. “We are partners love and we shall leave together.” They lifted their wings, rising from the water, running together, racing down the lake as one, feet barely touching the water. Faster and faster they went, powerful wings beating the air until…

They were free, long necks stretching, reaching for the sky, climbing higher and higher, until they soared over the treetops at lake’s end, banked left and were gone.

The lake went still, ripples fading, birds quietly whispering again. The air was motionless and so was I — paralyzed with wonder, the image etched in my mind for all time, the morning on Emerald Lake when I, the intruder, was privileged to witness this magnificent pair of geese taking to the sky and freedom.

Photograph? Maybe next time. For now, I share my words and memories.

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About three weeks ago I loaded my F3 with a roll of Kodak Ektar Color film and set off for the Ceres Nature Preserve. This was the first color I’ve shot this year. Spring is the perfect time for color.

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I found this moss covered log all tucked in among last years leaves on a side trail. It was the first bit of green I had seen this year. Took this shot with my 50mm lens to get an overall view.

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Then I put my 85mm on the camera and moved in for a closer shot.

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I hiked around the lake to the ridge trail and found this neat patch of moss. I had to climb up and around a particularly wet, muddy and messy section of the trail. I think the pebbles are a nice counterpoint to the soft moss and I liked the soft morning light.

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Look what I found on the other side! This is one weathered funky tree. How could I resist?

I’m finding all kinds of neat things in Ceres that beg for color. Last week I discovered some marvelous ferns and I took a few shots. Camera is loaded with Provia transparency film so it will be a few weeks before we see the ferns. In fact, I still have 2/3’s of the roll left to shoot. I’m hoping to get back this week for more.

I need to take my tripod (or my gorrillapod) with me so I can get even closer for some good macros. I have a right angle finder for my F3HP coming this week. No more impossible contortions for John. I’ll be able to get close to the ground without laying in the “stuff” and straining to see through my viewfinder.

Be sure to visit Lisa’s Chaos for more Macro Monday photos. Thank you Lisa. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to share.

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