Another Valley Shot. June 8, 2012Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: clouds, cumulus clouds, Elliot, farm fields, farms, Hadley MA, skies, tilt-shift photography, tobacco
…of a field in Hadley. The support structure for the tobacco shading is in place, though I’m not sure what’s been planted here.
Still, the skies are dramatic, so I pull over and take this shot:
Thanks to Elliot, with perhaps 1-1/2 degrees of tilt, a hand-held 3-stop reverse ND grad by Singh-Ray, and a foreground boost from Photoshop’s camera raw fill-light function.
Mood Indigo. June 5, 2012Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: Bladder campion, Canon 24mm f3.5L TS-E II lens, clouds, cow vetch, Daryl Benson, Hatfield, Mood Indigo, potato fields, potatoes, reverse-graduated ND filter, Singh-Ray filters, stormy skies, tilt-shift photographt
Well, naked bear encounters hardly comprising a full day’s activity, I eventually did what needed doing around the house (including putting my pants on) and headed out to do the extra-domicular things. You know, food shopping, banking, job hunting, and taking photos of whatever looked interesting.
As it happened, the weather sucked for kite flying and sun bathing, but for photography, not so much. I like the tumultuous skies and brooding atmosphere of intermittent storms, so I wasn’t complaining.
My errands took me to Hadley and Northampton, so I scoped out the farmlands down along the Connecticut river. The crops were just coming up there – tiny corn rows, truck patches of beets and cabbage in their nascent forms, and potatoes.
Potatoes seem to be the commercially viable alternative to tobacco, which used to rule this fertile valley. We grew legendary tobacco here, used to roll the finest Cuban cigars, big fat consistent leaves perfect for wrappers. The flood plains of the Connecticut are littered with tobacco barns, now either re-purposed or falling into disrepair.
Here’s a shot from this evening, of a ‘tater field and tobacco barns in Hatfield, with the farm road’s edge swathed in a tangle of cow vetch and bladder campion:
Regulars here will recognize Elliot’s hand, with a crisp foreground leading the eye to a reasonably sharp horizon. Thanks, Kid. You’re the best.
And again, I hand held a three stop reverse graduated ND filter to bring the sky into balance with the darker foreground.
If this technical stuff bores those of you who don’t work at photography as I do, please forgive me, but putting words to it helps me to clarify my process in the same way that writing ideas into an essay exposes truths and fallacies.
Stormy Weather. May 15, 2012Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: agrarian scenes, birches, clouds, cumulus clouds, farms, landscapes, storm clouds
We’re having a run of “inclement weather” here in the Northeast, which is to say, we’re getting some much needed rain.
I’m not complaining, even if I have to time my garden activities to coincide with the breaks. No rain, no garden, no business for the rafting companies which constitute a significant part of the tax base in my little town. And most disturbingly, lower reservoirs, drier swamps and wetlands and reduced levels in our water wells.
Anyway, life is good when it rains. And during the breaks, I find views of tumultuous skies over a bucolic countryside:
Late-day cumulobimbos wading across the sky yesterday afternoon.
More to come, if the forecast can be believed.
Full Moon, Fuller Clouds. February 16, 2011Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: Berlshire East, Charlemont, clouds, Florida, full moon, Mount Greylock
I tried to get some shots tonight of the rise of the almost-full moon, but thick clouds moved in as the appointed hour approached. I thought the mission was to be a total loss, without even a sunset to show for my travels.
But then, crossing over the hills of high Florida on the way home, the clouds overhead gathered into pleats and folds, as though the frontmost one had encountered an impassable place and was brought up short.
I availed myself of the first place I found to pull over, these atmospheric anomalies generally being short-lived, and threw on a lens which I thought might fit the unfolding scene.
I got off this shot of Mount Greylock beneath what should have been a sunset:
… before the light shifted and the clouds bellied up a little farther north. I threw my kit back into the car and sped up Tilda Hill Road for this one, with the light fading:
Again, the scene changed even as I panned my camera to the south, and again I sped off across Route 2 chasing the ever-shifting ripples.
Then, through a gap in the overhead blanket, the moon appeared:
…too high for a good moon shot, but nonetheless interesting as a landscape element.
At last I packed things up and drove home beneath the thinning clouds, arriving at Berkshire East ski area in time to capture one more 30-second moon shot:
It wasn’t the kind of moon shot I’d been looking for, but rather something totally unexpected.
I guess you never know.
Weekend Roundup. May 9, 2010Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: 40 Ford, birches, black and white, clouds, orchard, stone wall
Here’s where all the shots go which seem worth saving but don’t seem to fit anywhere else.
White birches from last week’s walk with Frau B.:
Happy clouds over an orchard in Colrain:
A lively stone wall on the way to Susan’s house, shot here on a rainy morning:
…and another of Mel’s restorations, this one a ’40 Ford which he and his wife take to Florida every year:
I think he said he put a Chevy 302 in it, and that it got around 18 MPG on the highway if he kept it to 65, but that it didn’t want to go that way, so he paid a bit more to get there a lot sooner.
That one’s another of Elliot’s interpretations of proportion, yielding what seems to me to be a sense of surging forward while standing still.
So goes the roundup.
Berkshire Skyline. April 18, 2010Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: Charlemont, clouds, sunset
Tonight, as the sun dove into the western dirt:
Sun and clouds, earth and sky, the same-old-same-old rendered in all its spectacular presence.
No matter how many times I see the sun go low here in Charlemont, I’m still struck dumb by the beauty of it.
On The Road Home. April 7, 2010Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: clouds, Florida, Jesus rays, North Adams
…And later that same day (as the previously posted sunrise,) a patchwork of clouds provided this Westward view:
Taken (again) as I got up to Florida from the day’s job site in North Adams.
A Cloud At Sunset. January 12, 2010Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: clouds, pink and juicy
Here’s a shot of a cloud which got its glow on just as the sun set:
I expect the tag “pink and juicy” ought to boosts my views considerably.
Reflections, Continued. September 7, 2009Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: clouds, lily pads, McLeod's Pond, Quabbin Reservoir, reflections
I’m working with a new lens, which purportedly delivers sharp images over a greater depth of field than I can access with my other lenses. So forgive me if some of these shots are less than artistic; I’m really trying to see what my new tool will do.
Here are the previously promised reflections.
At the Quabbin, a local reservoir which supplies Boston with much of its water:
In this case the “tilt” function of this lens afforded me sharp focus from the foreground to the back.
Here’s a sky reflection, which utilized less of the “tilt” function of this new lens and more of the “shift” function:
I liked what happened there. I got shifted out of the photo, though an observer might never know.
Here’s one with me left in, a “self portrait” if you will:
I expect that this will become my most interesting (and most challenging!) lens, a twin in utility to my 16-35mm L series.
Sorry to get technical on you there, but I’m pretty jazzed.
A Walk In The Rain. June 20, 2009Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
Tags: CCC, clouds, clover, daisies, mullien, railroad, Raycroft Overlook
Got rained out of work on Thursday, so I took a walk along the railroad tracks near the Hoosac Tunnel. It was a strange mix of natural beauty and post-industrial destruction, with the cleansing rain putting the best face on the scene as softly furred mullein and optimistic daisies reclaimed an abandoned rail:
Sometimes the two plants seemed to be conspiring in their effort to affirm the power of beauty to confound our headlong rush toward its dissolution:
Then I took a drive up into the clouds to see what was happening up above.
The air was heavy with blowing fog, and every surface was bathed in fine beads of glistening dew. I parked at the end of a woods road and made the short hike out to the Raycroft Overlook, a CCC Work Camp project which is itself being reclaimed be the inexorable processes of nature.
The walk along the narrow ridge was magical, with the northern slope dropping steeply off into the clouds:
…to the old stonework vantage point from which the Deerfield river can usually be seen a thousand feet below:
On this day the “river view” dissolved into the clouds, leaving only the insistent red clover under foot to demand its mountainside back from us arrogant interlopers:
Wrapped in a raincoat and photographing under an umbrella, I was lost in the surreality of the feeling of helming this great stone ship through the swirling clouds. The experience was cleansing, and convinced me to venture out into the rain more regularly.
I hope you enjoyed these.