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Welcome To… Spring??? March 20, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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13 comments

Wednesday, March 20, 2013, the first official day of Spring:

Blog Spring

Another shot taken through my kitchen window.

This is unlikely to last, the sun being higher in the sky these days.

But who’s to say this will be our last wintry blast?  ;)

 

Spring, Almost… March 19, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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5 comments

Today, Monday, is two days short of the official start of Spring.

But this is Massachusetts, where we don’t care about no stinking calendar.

So the day began with our yard threatening to “green up,” the grass nearly bare of snow.

While making breakfast, I snapped this shot of deer grazing out past our slumbering garden:

Blog White Tails

…taken through an unfortunately filthy window, as Winter tends to render them before a real Spring cleaning. I didn’t have the proper lens on hand, so this is a severe crop of a larger photo. All-in-all, I’m satisfied with the result.

I spent the bulk of the day loading split wood onto the porch in anticipation of the predicted winter storm, then bombed off to Berkshire county to deliver a framed photo to my friend Tim. I was pleased by his reception of the piece and humbled by his refusal of the Good Friend Discount.

Thanks, Tim. I’ll remember that.

On the way home the weather caught up to me, and by the time I hit Charlemont it was snowing:

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We’re expecting 10″ or more, and judging by the way it’s coming down, we might not be disappointed!

Doane Cemetery, Hawley MA. March 9, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
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My housemates went up to the Maine Coast this weekend for some night photography, reminding me that it was a New Moon ’round about tonight and tomorrow night.

Well, I can’t get away, but thought I’d find something closer to home which might make a suitable subject for taking advantage of a clear, moonless night.

I headed up into the hills to get away from cities, towns and highways, but you know, there’s nowhere really, really  dark in Massachusetts. The best I could manage was to get to a high meadow in the hills, find something worth shooting and work with the ambient light.

I settled on the Doane Cemetery in Hawley, beautifully situated on a dome of farmland off of Forget Road. The faint glow of distant Pittsfield tainted the horizon, and I knew that with a long exposure to get the stars, it would be a compositional element. So I looked for a foreground element with enough presence to stand up to the background light.

I settled on a tall monument, which I lit with about five seconds of “light painting” from a small LED flashlight. It was a bit clumsily done, but with the camera a foot off the snow, evaluating the image meant laying in the wet snow, which I could only do a couple of times before I was soaked and had to call it a night.

Next time, it’s full gear and a foam pad for this old boy!

Anyway, here’s the best of several images – taken with a 16mm lens, ISO 6400, f/8, 30″ exposure:

Blog Doane Cemetery

I was surprised at how little of the sky I got with my 16mm lens; seems to me it looked somewhat grander when I last took night shots up at Acadia National Park in Maine this past autumn.

Oh well, I like the image anyway, and without buying a wider lens, that’ll have to be good enough! ;)

Just Another Sunset… March 8, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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…from this past Tuesday evening in Hadley, MA:

Tuesday's Sunset

That’s courtesy of my Canon 16-35mm L-series lens and a hand-held three stop reverse-graduated filter.

Taken along a back road behind Trader Joe’s. I’d have posted it sooner, but I was busy getting set up for my show at the AACC on Thursday.  :)

Upcoming Art Opening/Reception! March 2, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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9 comments

I just “finished” installing a show of my landscape photography at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce in Amherst, MA.

I put “finished” in quotation marks because I hung the photos, but expect to be back for a second look at their arrangement, and may yet move things around. I also have a lot of work to do on labeling and leveling and creating informational pages before the official opening on Thursday, March 7th as part of the monthly Amherst Art Walk.

I’m thrilled to be part of this event, as it puts a slice of my work in front of a whole new (and larger) set of hearts and eyeballs.

Here’s how the layout looked when I left it tonight, subject to minor changes before Thursday:

AACC FB

I’d be pleased to see any of you who are “local” at this event, and urge you to stop by as you wander about town (there are several nice Actual Galleries in the immediate vicinity, so you’ll get to see a lot without walking a lot.)

Stop by if you’re so inclined!

Amherst Orchid Show, 2013. February 27, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Uncategorized.
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7 comments

My yearly intro to Spring is this presentation of the Amherst Orchid Society, incongruously held in neighboring Northampton.

This year I was less zealous than in the past; in lieu of my usual 400 photos, I took less than fifty, most of which were entirely serviceable despite being hand-held at 1/30th of a second or longer, and shot at ISOs of 4000 or higher.

I hope that means I’m becoming a bit more discriminating, though I suspect it speaks more to my becoming lazy as I get old and fat.  ;)

Anyway, here are some orchids:

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A close-up:

_MG_7624

…and some paphiopedilums,  all relatives in the “Lady Slipper” family:

Paph !

_MG_7627

_MG_7644

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…as well as some more ornate sprays, which I haven’t a clue about:

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This was a fun outing – it’s late enough in our New England winter so that flowers make me smile!

_MG_7657

Enjoy these in the knowledge that Spring is on its way.  :)

A Bog Pond Outing. February 13, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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6 comments

Way up in the hills from my valley home sits the town of Savoy, and a big patch of Savoy Mountain State Forest (parts of which are found in other adjacent towns.) It’s a land of boreal forests and wind-swept ponds, usually frozen long before their valley counterparts.

This past weekend I got up there with my sweetie Susan for a few hours of snowshoeing.

The weather was perfect, cold enough for physical effort but not so windy as to risk exposed skin. We strapped on our ‘shoes in the pull-off at the pond’s spillway, she learning about the bindings of her new shoes, me trying to adjust mine to a pair of felt-pacs which I usually don’t wear with them. I spend a majority of my outdoor time in steeper terrain and generally use a stiffer, more technical boot.

The skies were an amazing shade of blue, with high clouds doing a choreographed dance across the firmament:

FB Sky Detail

We headed across the pond, marveling at the sculpted snow, breathing deep the cold, clean air:

Bog Pond_7517

Susan took to her snowshoes without a hitch, and was having a great time:

_MG_7516

Heheh!  :)

She took this photo of me in my element, the Great Outdoors:

At Bog Pond

We’re both so packed full of warm accessories, I have boobs!

A great white birch along the shore looked spectacular against the deep blue sky, and I couldn’t resist snapping this one off:

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We took a little detour into the mixed shoreline forest, here captured in a black and white image which I hope conveys the quiet weight of the winter woods:

Savoy Forest B&W

I took the B&W aesthetic back out onto the pond, capturing this image of a waiver of ghosts rising from the wind-tortured snow:

A Waiver of Ghosts

..and this one of a very low sun illuminating the underbellies of some interesting wind-sculpted features:

_MG_7607 B&W

I’m amazed at the difference between these two images, with shadows defining the first and light delineating the second.

My apologies to those of you who already saw some of these on Facebook, but this forum serves as a more accessible record for me, rather than just being a point in the torrent-stream of Facebook.

This was a beautiful afternoon of being outdoors and sharing that with my sweetie. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed the excursion.

Dinner With TCR! February 5, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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8 comments

Well, at long last, a reprise of a popular installment here at LBT: my dinners!  :lol:

Actually, I’ve long been focused on other things, but tonight I ran into the proverbial Wall, and just needed a break from churning my works.

So I threw together some odds and ends which I expected to enjoy in solitude, but unexpectedly liked the looks of them, and decided to go Global with my fare.

So here it is, a picky-plate of healthy and savory tidbits:

A baguette topped with a purée of white beans, lemon juice and way  lots of garlic:

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…topped with white anchovies and roasted red peppers, and paired with a salad of organic baby greens, onions, grated Romano cheese, Kalamata olives and toasted almonds, moistened with a red wine vinaigrette.

I’m eating it as I type this, and loving every second of it!

Ice Carvings! February 3, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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8 comments

Here are a few shots of ice carvings from this weekend’s Greenfield Winter Carnival.

A chubby penguin over on the west end of town:

Penguin

Cute, that.

A unicorn right in the center of town:

Unicorn

Careful with that chisel, Eugene!

This was my favorite, a little polar bear carved by Sue O’Sullivan of Royalston, MA:

Polar Bear

…with two chainsaws, a chisel and an electric iron. Who knew?!?   :)

Not in the judging was this professionally carved swan, donated to the event to get people psyched:

Swan

I did everything I could to get a clean shot of this, including laying in the mud, but urban environs aren’t conducive to clean backgrounds… guess that’s why I’m a nature photographer!  :lol:

The Winter Carnival went on all weekend, but I only got these few “drive-by” shots. The sponsoring Greenfield Recreation Department is happy to have people photograph for free, but I can’t be that guy.

Hey, a man’s gotta eat!

Eagle Street. February 1, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
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9 comments

A view of downtown North Adams which always catches my eye:

Eagle Street

My preferred shot would be with my 16mm lens from the middle of the road, but I’m chicken to go stand out there with my back to oncoming traffic…

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