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A day In The Saddle. May 3, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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I got skunked in my efforts to show my photos to a chef/owner of a restaurant in Amherst this morning, and spent the hours ’till my next appointment driving around West-Central Massachusetts in a foggy drizzle.

I guess I could have just gone home, but the atmospherics of the day spoke to me, and I listened.  It’s a weakness of mine, you see.

So, here are a few shots from my rambles.

An orchard in the mists of South New Salem:

A lone maple along a farm road in Northfield MA:

…and the dazzling roots of a golden birch up in Savoy, positively glowing in the dim light of a drizzly May afternoon:

I hadn’t set out to photograph trees, but apparently that’s just what I did.

Those shots were, in order, from Elliot with two degrees of lens swing to get the apple trees all in focus; my 16-35mm L-series lens to capture the maple from my running boards; and Allie, my 24-105 zoom for the golden birch, with heavy polarization and a hand-held 3-stop ND filter.

More from this day after I get some sleep.


Serendipity. January 8, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Some while ago, a few years now if memory serves, I set up my camera in anticipation of a rising full moon.  My timing, though, was a bit off; I stomped about with an eye plastered to the Eastern horizon where I expected this spectacle to manifest, while behind me the sun was setting in spectacular fashion.

I almost didn’t notice.

Such is the trap of self-centrism: we miss what’s offered to us even as we pursue what we think we deserve.

I coined a phrase that evening and posted it as an off-hand comment, which has stuck with me ever since:  “Never piss on a sunset while you’re waiting for the moon.”   Thank you to my friend Paul from Albuquerque for recognizing that off-hand statement as a significant thought.  It’s kept me looking over my shoulder ever since, watching where I step even as I have Gizmo fixed on something way off in the sky.

That perspective serves me often, and most recently as I crossed the Route 5 / Deerfield river bridge between Greenfield and the town of Deerfield.  The sky looked as if it might burst into a showy sunset, so I banged a u-ie (is that a word?) and parked within walking distance of the bridge.  I got Ollie set up and dialed in, but then…

…nothing.  No fireworks, no singing choirs of angels, just a placid fading of the light.

Which, if embraced for what it was rather than for what I’d expected, wasn’t half bad.

Cottonwoods reflected in an uncustomarily placid Deerfield:

It wasn’t what I set up for, but it’s what was given to me, for which I am grateful.

I took half a dozen shots of this scene with very few changes in my settings, but this one conveyed the most tranquility, probably because the palette was subdued and homogenous and unconflicted by the oranges which the sunset interjected in most of the others.

What you’re seeing here is a combination of the dumb luck of Being There and a bit of elbow-grease on my part.

I hope you like it.