Monthly Archives: July 2006

Rivers and their Clouds

Rivers and their Clouds

Over the Midwest, US. Small clouds low to the ground in the mid-afternoon cast wonderful shadows which, seen from above make cloud photographs much more interesting. Over the years that I’ve been flying and looking out the window I’ve noticed that clouds seem to follow natural changes in the landscape: mountains, hills, and in this case, two small rivers. I wonder if this is coincidence or there’s some other piece that aligns these two visual but separate natural formations. These rivers are running close to north toward south which means the clouds are possibly perpendicular to the prevailing wind and weather which generally flows from west to east or northwest to south east.

Ed Burns: Risky Business

Ed Burns: Risky Business: “In 1995, Ed Burns made a small movie called “Brothers McMullen” for $25,000. With its moving story and compelling characters, it went on to earn millions. 11 years later, even with the stardom that came with his first success, Burns still believes that nothing beats a good story. “The Groomsmen,” made on a Mac and Final Cut Studio, proves his case.”

(Via Apple Hot News.)

Peppergrass

Peppergrass

Washington, Connecticut. This weed (called peppergrass) was on the edge of what used to be a cornfield but is now part of the Macricostas Preserve of the Steep Rock Land Trust. The field has gone to tall grass and a variety of interesting weeds like this one.

Ted Roth in the field

Ted Roth in the fieldWashington, Connecticut. My friend Ted has been my tour guide through all of my recent local landscape and nature photography. I have great photo-ops right here on my property but it’s a lot more fun to put on hiking boots and trudge out on an adventure with a fellow photographer. Ted’s been a great guide to places around here that I never would have known about. And, he’s a knowledgeable and supportive photographer buddy. The only downside is we can’t share lenses, alas, he’s a Nikon D70 user.

I’ve known Ted off and on for over 20 years although not as a photographer, we both were early “evangelists” of computers in education and while we worked in different capacities, we met at local conferences.

Here’s the thing: if I take forever to find a dragonfly or figure out how to take a shot, Ted will just do his own thing or gaze out at the landscape for the next interesting shot. It’s easy to be patient with people who are patient with you.

Field of Dreams

Field of DreamsWashington, Connecticut. Knowing that I’ve been on a Queen Anne’s lace “kick,” a friend took me up to this secluded field that may have been in corn growing rotation at one point but it seems to have been left to grow wild in recent years. There were photo-ops at every scale here: macro to micro, flora and fauna. I was licking my chops when I took this image and we stayed another hour tracking dragonflies and daisies. What a place.

Queen Anne’s Lace in the Field

Queen Anne's Lace in the FieldWashington, Connecticut. Farmers sometimes leave a wall of trees on the side of a field to protect it from wind. For a photographer, the wall of green can provide a great backdrop to flowers and other subjects. In this case, I caught some Queen Anne’s lace and grass in the space between me and the wall.

Queen Anne's Lace in the Field 2

Daisies in a Dream

Daisies in a Dream

Washington, Connecticut. I had just crossed a field of grass, Queen Anne’s lace, milkweed, daisies, and other assorted plant life when I noticed a bunch of daisies with clear space in front of them. The romantic mind thinks that this would be a good place to pick out a bouquet for the wife. The photo-nerd mind thinks that this would be a good place to set up the tripod for some dreamy daisies in bokeh shots. I got the shots…

Dragonfly high on grass

Dragonfly high on grass

Washington, Connecticut. A friend and I were walking across a large field of grass, Queen Anne’s lace, milkweed, and other assorted plant life when he spotted this unusual dragonfly. I had an incredibly hard time seeing him and once I did I had to put down my bag, set up the tripod and get the camera with long lens mounted. I was sure that he’d be gone once I got set up but he stayed put. It was another struggle to find him again through the long lens but I did and was able to get a few shots before the wind finally dislodged him from his furry grass seed perch.

Milkweed Beetle Pondering and Climbing

Milkweed Beetle Pondering

Washington, Connecticut. There’s quite a bit of milkweed out in the meadow at Macricostas Preserve of the Steep Rock Land Trust. Monarch butterflies love to eat this weed and I would think that smart photographers who want to photograph monarchs would wait by a patch of this weed for one to stop by for a snack. While photographing another weed (Queen Anne’s Lace) I noticed a milkweed beetle slowly climbing around on a nearby plant and so, moved my tripod over for a session with this colorful creature.

Note: I didn’t know what this guy was but flickr helped.

Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Anne's Lace StemsWashington, Connecticut. Queen Anne’s lace is in full bloom In the meadow in the Macricostas Preserve of the Steep Rock Land Trust. Each part of this plant is photogenic, even the geometry of the stems leading up to the flowers on top.

Queen Anne's Lace Flowers

Queen Anne's Lace Stems

Queen Anne's Lace Flowers

Queen Anne's Lace Flowers from Below

Old on New

Old on New

New York City. An interesting aspect of large glass buildings is how they interact visually and spatially with the buildings around them, be they other glass buildings or older buildings with stone or brick facades. The most photogenic glass buildings are glazed in a way that distorts, warps, or colors the reflected image in unexpected ways.

Hot Windows

Hot WindowsNew York City. As the sun went down behind New Jersey, an apartment building facing west lit up. I couldn’t shoot it from my vantage point so I bounced off the reflective north-facing windows of the office tower across the way. Because of the grid of windows and panes on that building, the result was a high contrast, Hockney-like collage of the hot brick building within the coolness of the stone tower.