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Tulips In Winter! March 10, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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Yeah, tulips!   Harbingers of Spring, compatriots of the robin, bright islands of color welcoming back the leaves.

And every February, visions of loveliness in the greenhouses of the Lyman Conservatory at the Smith College Spring Bulb Show!

Here are a few shots of bright red tulips to get started –  a group shot:

…and an individual tulip, outside:

…and in:

They’d just watered (I was there at opening time,) so I got some nice droplets on my first shots.

I’ve got lots of photos from my visit, an almost overwhelming number really, so it’ll take me a while to go through them.  Meanwhile, these three are a taste to let you know what’s up here at Little Bang Theory, and to give me a little momentum with this big-ish task.

Later (but not much later,) – TCR.

Rising Waters. March 8, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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It’s a sure sign of Spring’s approach when the Deerfield begins to rise, and though it’s not really in “Spring Flood” stage, it’s certainly up from a couple of days ago.

The dam at Salmon Falls:

…and looking upriver from the Buckland side:

Up close it’s a swirling miasma of mists, making one grateful for the railing at the overlook:

That’s a far cry and a deep shudder from the idyllic swimming hole of Summer.

And yet, above the tumult hovers a reminder that there’s beauty in everything, if one looks at it in the right light:

It’s hard to believe the high country is still so tightly gripped by Winter, but it is!

More on that, next.


Still Rainin’, Still Dreamin’. March 7, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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A foggy, rainy day ; a train stopped on a siding along the Deerfield:

Where it’s been, where it’s bound, I don’t know.  I’m bound for bed.

Old Dog, New Tricks. March 7, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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That would be me, trying to figure out how to do portraiture.

I’ve been wanting to photograph people for a while, but finding it hard to get started.  First off, it’s awkward asking.  I just imagine someone being embarrassed that I asked, or suspicious of my motives (which could get me called a Perv in public, or maybe punched in the face.)

And besides, my desire is to do very personal artsy-fartsy photographs, which have the potential to be either brutally honest or fawningly flattering, both of which have relationship altering potential, and so ought to be undertaken only advisedly.

And since I don’t really have experience with photographing bodies, there’s a significant learning curve revolving around lenses, lighting and location (your place or mine?)

Yeah, it’s complicated.  I don’t want to take pictures of anyone who’s going to hate me for it in the morning.

Which pretty much leaves me. I mean, I can’t run away, I know what I want and I’m invested enough in the outcome to be patient with myself.  And I’m not into self-loathing (self-doubt, yes, self-loathing, no,) so I’ll probably forgive myself tomorrow.

Probably.  This time I kept my pants on.  In the future I might have to get serious.

I know, I know, enough disclaimers – put up or shut up!

So here we go:

I haven’t yet figured out how to size and position multiple photos in  a line on the blog page; if you know how to do that, feel free to clue me.

These shots are studies in perspective (via Elliot) and lighting.  I got pretty much what I wanted for perspectives, this being my first attempt at such; lighting proved to be more problematic, and will take more work (and equipment; I’ve only got a couple of flashlights and a drop light or two.)

Anyway, it’s a start.  A couple of hours work to get half a dozen shots worth working with.  Not keepers,  mind you, but working material.

If I can get my system down and reign the time in, I’ll have to suck it up and ask people to sit (or whatever) for me.

This Bud’s For You! March 6, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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I was in southern Connecticut yesterday, and couldn’t help noticing that, weather wise, things there have moved considerably farther toward Spring than they have up our way.

And I necessarily got to Jonesin’ for some color.

From our kitchen island, an iris bud portends the coming change of season:

…courtesy of Ziggy, my 50mm macro lens.

This bud’s store-bought (Trader Joe’s, if you care,) but it won’t be long until the first local color appears.

I’m psyched!

I Got Lucky! March 4, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Driving through Shelburne Falls this evening, I saw a couple of photographers at roadside, and being a curious little guy, I panned the scene for their subjects.

They weren’t hard to find.  In two trees between the road and the river, thirty yards apart and almost too close for good photos, sat two enormous eagles.

I jammed on the binders and pulled over, fumbling to get Gizmo onto my box, and started shooting out my car window.

I got this shot (and several more) of the male:

…lookin’ all cool and such as he cast his Hypnotic Eye on his intended mate:

…who was playing hard-to-get, as well as hard-to-see.  I was amazed at the differences between the two – he was very bold, both in appearance and demeanor, while she was very well camouflaged, and except for her impressive size (somewhat larger than the male) would have been barely noticeable amongst the larger branches in which she sat.

They both flew off after posing for ten minutes, and I snagged this distant shot of Americana:

Tracking the eagle’s flight at a hundred yards was difficult, and I motored off many shots, of which this was the only (barely) viewable one; the flags were serendipitous.

I gotta get better at that panning stuff.

Wishing I Was There. March 4, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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My housemate and photographic mentor Lizz is spending a few weeks in the Desert Southwest, chasing the Spring wildflower blooms.  Rumor has it she’s meeting with some success, and frankly, I’m a little jealous – my partial unemployment (a seasonal routine in my line of work) keeps me here but not fully occupied.

And there are only so many photos I can take of my little piece of the world in any given season before I’m ready for a change.

So, in solidarity with Lizz (and to keep from going nuts,) I bought a little “red capped” cactus into which I can disappear whenever I want to feel like I’m in the desert.

Like right now, for instance:

You might be saying, “Hey, that’s not RED, it’s ORANGE!!”  To which I say, “Yup.”  It was the only one among the specimens I saw which wasn’t red, and being the person I am, I dug it.

And until Lizz gets back with her photo-booty, it’ll have to do.

G’night now.

More Valley Shots. March 4, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Here are a few shots from a recent evening down by the Connecticut river.

First, a view from a corn field near the Northampton Airport:

…with the Seven Sisters range receding into the distance.  Courtesy of Elliot, my 24mm Canon TS-EII lens.

This expanse of flood plain is broken only by widely spaced tree rows…

…and the occasional farm out-building:

Here’s a view of the sun setting over that same area, from across the river in Hadley:

By the end of the month there’s a strong possibility that much of what’s in these photos will be at least partially under water –  the plains of Northampton are outside of the levee system which protects the town proper.

More on this as the waters rise.

A Hawk and Horses. March 2, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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A hawk:

…and some horses:

And that is all.

G’Night.  🙂