Pressure Ridges… January 27, 2013Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: deerfield river, East Charlemont, Elliot, frazil ice, pressure ridges, tilt-shift photography
…form in the frazil ice on the Deerfield river:
Sunset in East Charlemont, courtesy of Elliot.
Strangely, we’re heading for a fifty-degree day on Wednesday, followed by a return to winter temps. I’m hoping this will lead to some uncommon visuals.
Golda’s Lament. November 19, 2012Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
Tags: bears, Canon 24mm f3.5L TS-E II lens, Elliot, Golda, Hirschel, Monroe, tilt-shift photography, wrong turns
“Herschel, YOU IDIOT! NOW look what you’ve done!“
“I TOLD you not to turn left, but you HAD to turn left, didn’t you?? DIDN’T YOU!!! Mother always said you were a crappy driver, and now look, LOOK at the mess we’re in! Mother was right, I should never have married you, you’re a CRAPPY DRIVER who will NEVER AMOUNT TO ANYTHING, NEVER!!!
“Now YOU go get us some help, and make it snappy! I’m going to SIT RIGHT HERE UNTIL YOU COME BACK WITH HELP! There are BEARS out there, Herschel! You don’t expect me to go out there with BEARS, do you?? You IDIOT, Herschel! “
I have a feeling that Herschel just kept walking…
More views of the Autumobile from a past post, with a possible back-story.
Because enquiring minds abhor a vacuum.
Playing with Elliot in the back woods of upper Monroe.
Where there are bears, you know.
Phall Pholiage Photos! October 10, 2012Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: Autumn, barn, beaver pond, Bennington VT, bittersweet, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L US ISM lens, Canon 24mm f3.5L TS-E II lens, Canon 400mm f/5.6 L series lens, Conway MA, deerfield river, Elliot, fall foliage, Gizmo, Hawley MA, Massachusetts, Monroe MA, October, Ollie, Searsburg VT, Vermont, Vt Route 9
More colors from this sub-optimal (but still pretty cool) season.
Locally, some back roads:
A Conway beaver pond:
Bittersweet on a barn in Hawley:
A few Deerfield river shots:
The real color, though, was higher up in the hills. I’d seen The Change coming to Southern Vermont and headed that-a-way, passing through the heights of Rowe, MA on the drive, and stopped off at a seldom-visited beaver pond for a couple of quickies:
I especially liked this shot of orange jelly fungus popping out of a fallen spruce along the pond’s edge:
All of these are from Elliot, bless his little mechanisms.
In Vermont, the best colors were along Route 9 between Searsburg on the east and Bennington on the west:
Of that last bunch, the more expansive views were captured by Ollie, the last two are from Gizmo.
This year, Autumn has been a finicky visitor and seems anxious to be moving on.
Oh well, let her go, I say. Can’t stop her anyway.
I may head farther afield in the next few days, searching for a few last kisses before Bleak November arrives.
Today’s Ramblings. October 9, 2012Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: asters, Autumn, bittersweet image, Elliot, fall foliage, ferns, stone walls, tilt-shift photography
Spent some of this afternoon’s filtered light chasing photos, driving slowly and scrubbing the roadsides for images. The air was heavy, the light was low and the Little Things were glad to have their hands on the shutter release.
These are a few of the shots they made me take.
Gone-by asters beneath an old maple:
Bittersweet takes charge of a hedgerow beside a barn:
Fading ferns surround a few brilliant maple leaves:
…as turning vines adorn a stone wall:
All of these are courtesy of Elliot, who loves to lay his mojo down for any and all voyeurs.
Resident Evil. September 26, 2012Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: Buckland, Canon 24mm f/3.5 L tilt-shift lens, Elliot, fall colors, invasive species, tilt-shift photography, virginia creeper
On my way through Buckland today (yeah, the Lion’s Mane Buckland) I rounded a bend in the road to see a startling splash of color leaping skyward.
Of course, I slapped on the binders and pulled off the road to investigate.
It turned out to be an infestation of Virginia creeper, an invasive vine which I spend countless hours trying to keep out of our trees and lawn, though I know it will still be there long after I’m dead.
Anyway, the drizzle and gloom which make sane folks want to stick their head in an oven are like Mana form Heaven to us crazy photographers, saturating (literally) scenes with intense colors and an immediacy which is otherwise rare.
I assembled a tripod and umbrella and affixed Elliot to the box with six degrees of swing to snag this shot:
The swing gave me tack-sharp elements from center foreground through the distant right edge of this image, passing through the Main Event along the way. And a hand-held graduated ND filter allowed me to expose for the beautiful variety of ferns in the foreground without blowing out the sky.
For all of its negatives, Virginia creeper is dependably brilliant in its fall coloration, for which I appreciate it.
Thanks to Elliot for snagging this one.
Portland Head Light. September 6, 2012Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: Canon 24mm f/3.5L TS-EII lens, Elliot, Portland Head Light, tilt-shift photography
On my way south from my visit with friends Mike and Cindy in Maine, I drove a couple of curlie-cues to take photos of Portland Head Light, the most photographed lighthouse in the world.
I wanted something a bit removed from the I-phone images which doubtless make up the mass of the action here, so chose to catch as much of the scene as I could with Elliot, my 24mm tilt-shift lens.
Here’s the light through a scrim of beach roses:
…with rose hips vying for attention with the remaining blossoms.
Another shot, with lilies in the mix:
Elliot gave me some advantage here over the point-and-shoots and cell phones, extending my depth of field by a lot. I laid my plane of sharp focus along all the axes of the compass to get these photos, and hope the difference is apparent.
Wave-swept granite below the light:
…beautifully sculpted by the ocean and the seasons over uncounted years. I scrambled over fences and down the steeps to crab-walk along ledges to get a low-tide perspective:
Elliot was delightful in this setting. The verticality of the Maine coast played to his strengths, and hard swings of his objective lens got me what I was there for.
Here’s a classic Portland Head Light shot, but with goldenrod representing in the foreground thanks to Elliot’s contortions:
Thanks, kid. You complete me.
Dairy Cows, . July 8, 2012Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death, Politics and Society.
Tags: BGH, Canon 24mm f/3.5L TS-EII lens, cows, dairy cows, Elliot, GMOs, monsanto, Shelburne MA, tilt-shift photography
Dairy cows lined up behind a fence, expecting (demanding!) to be milked:
The farmer showed up on schedule ( these grrrlz were a bit ahead of him,) dropped the electric fence, and lead a bovine parade up the road to where their udders would be relieved of their burden.
These local dairy farmers work really hard for their bread, with NO days off, obscenely early and late hours, and not a lot to show for their Herculean efforts. Consequently, they’re dwindling in numbers, and soon, if we don’t all pay attention, all of our dairy products will come from large corporations.
Monsanto manufactures the BGH which makes these shy beasties produce more than the normal amount of milk, but also makes them prone to infections. Hearing of problems with their genetically-modified milk producers, Monsanto commissioned a study, which concluded that their Bovine Growth Hormone injections for dairy cows resulted in a significant amount of blood and puss in the milk we drink, the milk we feed our little children. Monsanto addressed this problem by buying the study and burying it.
I’m not gunning to ruin anybody’s day with this kind of news, but rather trying to help us all understand what we’re up against, and how directly it affects us and our families.
Support your local farms, lobby the FDA for tighter controls on GMOs, and resist corporate take-over of our daily lives.
Your children thank you for getting aboard this train.
Thanks to Elliot for this shot; I got the swing wrong and missed the focus on the Dear Ones at photo right, but got a really productive depth of field right down the middle. I see hand-holding “snapshots” with a tilt-shift lens as kind of a crap shoot which sometimes achieves my goals, sometimes comes close, and sometimes falls flat on its face. In this case I came close, and the result is more than acceptable.
At The Rowe Fen. June 13, 2012Posted by littlebangtheory in Uncategorized.
Tags: blue flag irises, Canon 400mm f/5.6L lens, Elliot, fen, Gizmo, impressionistic photography, northern pitcher plants, Rowe, Rowe fen, Sarracenia purpurea, tilt-shift photography
Up in Rowe, MA sits a fen, or basic pH bog, which hosts many hundreds of Northern Pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea.) I’ve been there uncounted times over the past years to photograph them, with varying degrees of success.
Well, you know, one doesn’t improve by being satisfied with where one’s at.
So today I went back, arriving in late afternoon to find wonderful light slanting through the treetops.
Blue Flag irises separate the fen from the gravel road, and though they were nearly gone by, they were still worthy of a photo:
There’s an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail lighting on the iris just left of center, though it’s hard to see at this size.
In the grass at the fen’s edge, I got this shot of a sluggish butterfly, which looks something like a black Swallowtail, though it’s wings lack the definitive posterior points:
That could be a sign of old age or disease, as the wings tend to deteriorate with age.
The Northern Pitchers were gorgeous in the warm afternoon light, glowing as though illuminated from within:
Their totally unique flowers were red as roses and ripe with last night’s rain:
Before packing up my kit, I got all Artsy-Fartsy and took a couple of 1 second panning shots, hoping for something impressionistic. While the results of this sort of experimentation aren’t that predictable to me, they were close to what I’d hoped for:
The first shot in this post is from Elliot, the rest are from Gizmo with a 2X Tele-Extender, giving an effective focal length of 800mm, albeit without auto focus or image stabilization. I used Live View/mirror lock-up and a two second delay to get steady shots.
Up next: some animal shots, which have been piling up embarrassingly in my to-post pile.
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.
Truck Patch. June 7, 2012Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: brooding skies, cabbages patch, Canon 24mm TS-EII f/3.5L lens, corn field, crops, dark clouds, Elliot, farm fields, Sunderland, tilt-shift photography
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On my way home from a photographic art showing in Amherst, the brooding skies cried out for a photograph. I took rural roads home and drove slowly, looking for a foreground to pair the clouds with.
I settled on a farm field in Sunderland, planted with cabbages and corn:
Another one from Elliot.