jump to navigation

In A Black And White Mood. December 27, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,

Ah, December in the Berkshires, Solstice in the Snow, a White Christmas…

…but Oh, Wait – it’s still Ugly Season.  The mud has finally frozen, but there it sits in all its crap-colored glory, unfettered by the unbearable lightness of being an Actual Winter.

Not exactly what a would-be photographer wants to see this time of year.

But then, desperate necessity is the mother of devious invention, and if the pristine hues and simple palette of the season won’t cooperate, fuck ’em.

Enter Black and White.

Here are a few images I thought were worth seeing in B&W, some new, and one old but heretofore not posted in this vampirically drained format.

The side of a house in Shelburne, decorated with a hank of cord hung on a protruding bit:

This caught my eye while I was on my way to photograph more of the old Fords rakishly adorning the meadows at the Goldthwaite Farm, such as this one:

I’ve dubbed her “Eileen,” for obvious reasons.

And while I was conjuring this bloodless gallery of discarded rogues, I thought of this photo of a hay wagon, previously shared in full color, but which I always thought had the tonal range to make an acceptable  black and white image:


That’s how I’m handling my Snow-Jones.  I’m trying to live in the present I’m presented with, rather than lamenting the loss of the scenes I’ve spent most of a year anticipating.

Perhaps the near future will send me some snow, but if it doesn’t, so be it.  I’ll find some reason to push the shutter button, and sort it all out later.

Summer Time. July 4, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Politics and Society.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s the Fourth of July, a great American holiday.  I missed the fireworks, chasing The Light with my tools of choice, and instead of Chinese pyrotechnics,  I got a few more shots of My America.

These are actually an assemblage from the week past, but hey, in the grander scheme they’re cotemporal.  (I made that word up because it works.)

For me, the absolute apex of Summer occurs when the wildflowers are at their best.  For the most part, we’re there now, though there will be other shows later.  Right now, the high meadows are filled with Rugosa rose, Ox-eye daisies, Northern bedstraw, clovers and vetches, and grasses unfurling their pollinated flags:

Thistles beckon bees to flit between them:

The fields are ripe, the grasses are high, and the clouds are full of promise:

…and the rivers and streams flow with the rains, which recently have been generous:

Two black and whites, from Rowe and Conway respectively.

And to end this American birthday, a sunset on the Deerfield river:

Proof that humid nights have their greater purpose.

Happy Birthday, America, and good night.

Black And White On Ice. January 20, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , , ,

Here are a few Black & Whites from our recent ice storm.

North Union Street in Plainfield:

Blackbirds on ice in Hawley:

…and, finally, black cherries in a mixed forest, again up in Plainfield:

Ice storms have their own inherent black-and-whiteness which renders the colors within almost irrelevant.

Next post, more barn shots!  😉

Weekend Roundup. May 9, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , , ,

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.

Some Black And Whites For a Saturday Night. March 6, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , , ,

Been sick as a dog all week, but today was too nice to spend in bed, so I went out into the world with a head full of medicine and Elliot affixed to my box.

Despite the bright sunshine and temps tipping 50, I wasn’t feeling very colorful, and shot primarily in black and white.  Here are a few shots from my day.

A water tower in Readsborough, VT:

A limestone quarry wall in North Adams:

…and the view under the limestone arch at Natural Bridge State Park:

All of these employed considerable “shift,” but only the last used appreciable “tilt,” and in that case it was close to my 8-degree maximum, as I was less than a foot from the arch.

Elliot was quite an investment for a poor boy, but I figured if I’m ever going to make anything come of my love of photography, getting the right tools for the job would be a smart move.

I liked these shots, and hope you do too.


In The Snow. February 26, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Late winter is frequently a bluster here in the Berkshires, and this past week has proven to be true to form.  Storm upon storm has dumped feet of heavy, wet snow on us, denying us power, heat, light and water, and in cases like mine, even access to our homes; the berm of slop thrown across my driveway by plows plying Route 2 was a yard deep, fifteen feet wide and as heavy as lead.  Plus, there was no place to pull over and try to shovel, with the plows constantly rounding the bend on which I live.

But still, despite a growth of stubble and an unhygienic aire, I found the storms to be cleansing, healing, and beautiful.

A home up in the hills of Cheshire:

A nearby rural lane:

Stone monuments on a knoll above Ashfield Lake:

…and a barn in the farmlands of Shelburne:

I wandered long past dark, waiting for the plowman to come and let me into my driveway.  I got there in time to snap this shot of yet more snow descending from the heavens:

…that last one taken through my windshield.

I love winter, despite its tribulations.

Back To Black. January 22, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , ,

I’m playing with my capabilities here, mostly because I can, but partly because it just does me.

Tobacco barns on the plains of Hadley:

I hope that looks to you at least a little like it looks to me, which is pretty cool.

But, whatever.  It’s a photograph, for you to take or leave as you see fit.


Another Black and White. January 21, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , ,

A barn in Hadley, with the requisite collection of dead trucks and resting tractors:

Doubtless better full-sized, as most things are.

Boston In Black And White. January 5, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , ,

After I dropped my daughter off at BU this Saturday, I took a spin through Boston, hoping to snag a few photos in the new fallen snow.

But as I approached the center of town, I was suddenly surrounded by wailing sirens and flashing lights.  In my rear-view mirror an armada of fire trucks were rapidly gaining on me – and then another pack rounded the corner ahead of me and came screaming at me, one-way street be damned!  Incredibly, there was a double parking space on my right (I hadn’t seen one in blocks,) so I swung in to let them all by.

But they didn’t go by.  Instead, they screeched to a stop all around me, boxing me in, and an army of Heroes leaped out, dragging hoses and cranking their giant ladders skyward.

I clearly was going nowhere fast, so I grabbed my camera and tripod and hopped out, praying that my car and everything in it would survive this incident, and headed across the street (actually, onto the fenced median) to what I hoped would be a safe spot.

I noticed almost immediately that the fine snow was changing over to sleet – unfortunate timing, as I had Elliot, my tilt/shift lens mounted, and its articulated body isn’t as weatherproof as my other L-series lenses.  I hunkered over it like a modern Quasimodo, sharing my hat with it as I set up a shot:

Turned out that both the tilt and the shift came in handy on that one.

I stopped a passing Sergeant and asked if my vehicle was going to survive, and was relieved to get a “yes” out of him; turned out it was likely a false alarm, but they still had to evacuate and thoroughly check out the building.  He estimated an hour for the process, so I returned to Plan A:  shoot some architecture.  I began to walk.

The Back Bay neighborhood of brick and brownstone buildings in which I had “parked” was beautiful in the fresh, clean snow, and right away I was setting up to capture it:

Pardon the scroll on that one; I liked the whole thing and couldn’t decide where to crop it!

I played with Elliot’s articulations, getting more adept at pre-judging the amount of swing necessary for keeping facades in focus, despite the relatively low light:

A few blocks away I came to the meat of the matter, the heart of the city, where old brick buildings are dwarfed by glass and steel behemoths, in this case the Prudential building:

All of these shots of Downtown are hand-held, braced on light poles and sign posts, as it was too crappy out to spend time setting up the tripod.  Thankfully, I had a pocked full of tissues to dry Elliot as I walked between shots looking like I was smuggling something in my jacket front.  I’m almost surprised that I wasn’t stopped by the police – but then, this is Boston, and they’ve probably seen it all…

Approaching Copley Square, I got this shot of the Old South Church on the left and the Boston City Library on the right, another juxtaposition of the traditional and the modern:

By then my lens was getting impossible to keep dry, so I headed back toward my car, by then set free… and illegally parked.

I hopped in and beat feet, satisfied with my urban catch.  I hope you enjoy them as well.  🙂

I’ll have some color photos from this excursion soon.

A Season Of Black And White. December 19, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , , ,

The Holidays notwithstanding, the weather around here provides a palette of black and white and shades of gray.

Rather than wrestling that into some kind of faux-technicolor, I’ve stripped these shots down to their monochromal essences.

A gone-by Queen Anne’s lace gathers the freezing mist below Mole Hollow Candle Company at Salmon Falls:

And Birds on a Wire above a power station on the Deerfield River:

These were both done with Elliot, my 24mm tilt-shift lens, allowing me to bring in a couple of different elements of each.

Hope you like them.