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Going Home. October 9, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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So the rain never stopped, the pall never lifted, and I spent the better part of Sunday limping home with wrinkled finger tips, chillblained knuckles and two pair of soggy boots.

Along the way I kept pulling over for Yet Another Try, with a roll of paper towels tucked into my raincoat to keep my dripping hands from swamping my precious camera gear.  As often as not I got the works in place only to see that the desired results were not to be forthcoming, packed it all back up and pulled back out into the home-bound traffic.

C’est la guerre, n’est ce pas?

But I did manage to get a few images.  “Perseverance perseveres,” as I like to say.  And here they are.

Along the Kankamagus Highway, the Swift river rages from days of rain:

Tributaries swell their banks, flushing tannic acid from the decomposing forest duff:

The colors were pretty good here:

And with the mountains still obscured by clouds, I got yet more river shots:

With everything I had with me saturated to the point of near-uselessness, I wandered up over Kankamagus Pass, stopping only to photograph this freshet erupting from a roadcut:

Then I packed it in and headed for home.

There are a couple more weekends of color left in the season, and hence a chance that I’ll get another shot at capturing it.  But for now, that’s what there is.

Ruby Tuesday: Reflections On My Country. February 15, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society, Ruby Tuesday!.
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I’m an old fart.

I was reared as a God-fearing American, a uniform-wearing Boy Scout, an “A” student.

But that was then, and this is now, and over the intervening decades I’ve come to understand things differently, to view history with a skeptical eye.  I’m no longer willing to give a “pass” to the actions of my government when such actions are in contravention to the tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, nor to defend it when it acts outside of international law.

On a recent trip through New Hampshire, I snapped this photo in the little town of Wentworth:

…with obvious Ruby relevance.

But the relative geometry of the shot raised questions in my mind.  What was the moral hierarchy in this scene, a public expression of purpose and passions in the quiet hills where people “Live Free or Die?” Was it the dominance of our military might?  Was it the iconography of our religious institutions?

Or was it the half-mast manifestation of the hell and havoc wrought by our hegemony, and the loss of life which is the inevitable outcome of our actions?

This scene inspired me to ask that question.

Sorry to not be the usual Ruby Tuesday fare, but it’s  the reddest thing I have.

For lighter renditions of a Ruby Tuesday (and there are many,) visit Mary over at Work of the Poet.

And have a good night.


We Almost Missed It. January 18, 2010

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

As part of a day trip up to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Frau B. and I hoped to snag a few sunrise pictures at the shore in Portsmouth.  As we got off the highway and headed for the water, the sky grew red and roiling, and we savored what we weren’t set up to photograph.  By the time we parked at seaside the sun had just broken the horizon and the clouds had lost their light.  I grabbed Eliot but left the tripod in the truck – this was either going to happen in about the next minute, or it wasn’t going to happen.

My rule of thumb in quickly changing compositions is to fire off a shot, then fine-tune my settings, thanks to the instant replay capability of digital.  At least that way I have something from the moment.  So this first one is underexposed, but I liked what I saw, so I kept it:

I didn’t mess with that color, just cropped it.  I got lucky (well, made an educated guess) with the focus, which can be hard for me in low light, especially with the “tilt” requiring checking both near and far points of focus.

Lizz was set up to my left among some rocks, so I headed on over.  She tends to know what she’s doing, and  I’m happy to learn by following her around.

My goal for this outing was to use Eliot as much as possible and hopefully get quicker with it.  I’d found a website with tilt-tables for the common focal lengths of tilt-shift lenses, based on height above the plane of focus (the Hinge Rule,) and though I could only assume that the values would result in a horizontal POF, I’d memorized a few of the larger ones and had Eliot set accordingly.

This one was at a degree and a half, three feet off the plane of the water:

The increasing light made focusing easier, and it seemed that the table was working!

I was really pleased with the cloud reflections on that one.

With the sun breaking free of the horizon, the remaining color was in the other direction.  The rocks were ruddy with the dawn:

Low tide was good to us, despite being too late for the spectacular predawn show.