Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Back to the beach!  Anastasia SP in St. Augustine again.  This particular park, while not permitting access to sensitive dune areas, does allow a lot of wandering where there are clumps of sea oats, vines, and other flora I can't name.  The day was actually cold with a strong wind which forced the hood on the hoodie to be on and the zipper pulled up as far as it would go.  Odd, after a lifetime up north, to call a day in the low 50s 'cold', but that's the way it felt.  (Film)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Part of growing in photography is taking chances with subjects and compositions in ways that differ from one's usual approaches.  Including the sun here was risky both because it is at the top of the frame, and because it is such a focal point.  But, that is also what makes it a more interesting photograph, at least to me.  (Film)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Not wanting to rely solely on the ocean and marsh views I've photographed a lot lately,  I drove very slowly on the roads that make a loop on Fort George Island where the Kingsley Plantation and Ribault Club are.  I was trying out a new-to-me lens replacing one that has focus problems - a loose element -  that was about the same price as a repair would have been.  The forest here, as I've often written, is more like a jungle, and nearly impenetrable visually.  Still,  I found enough to fill a roll of film.  Here are the several I liked well enough to scan and process.  (Film)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

This photograph was made from a roll of film I started shooting a week or so ago, and finished today.  It's from Little Talbot Island State Park.  As described in a previous post, the Navy's Blue Angels' F18s were tearing up the sky, their roar a thrill to experience though not visible from the beach due to altitude.  The contrast of warplanes heard with serene scenes viewed was dramatic!  (Film)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Now and then, a 'mistake' can be an asset.  'Lens flare' is an aberration to be avoided most of the time, but not always.  In this image, the flare serves as proxy for the much too intense sun which would have been overpowering.    (Film)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

I may have posted this a few years ago, I don't remember, and don't feel like scrolling back that far to check   I just rediscovered it among some files, and thought it pertinent to the series I seem to be accumulating about the ocean, marshes, and swamps in this area.  How trees end up this twisted and gnarly is a mystery to me.   (Film)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The beach has become my Zen garden... a daily cycle of renewal that holds no memory of itself yesterday, nor any inkling of itself tomorrow.  Though these words were meant differently,  I think they also lend themselves to this theme  (Film)

  "...of course you are not finished
   how can you be finished
   when the morning begins again
   or the moon rises..."

An excerpt from the poem, to the book,  in, The Lego Poem by W. S. Merwin

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

There are a lot of these flooded cedar swamps around here.  Fortunately, this was by the side of the road and didn't require slogging into the water wearing snake boots.  This is one of the rare instances where I might have preferred a color image as the leaves were yellow and really stood out against the dark water.  But, this is what I got, and I like it well enough.   (Film)

Monday, October 26, 2015

On my way to the place I photographed in my previous post, I passed this scene.  I turned the car around and came back quickly....didn't want to lose the sun on the water.  (Film)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

As I now have an annual pass to Florida state parks, I feel compelled to visit those nearby as often as I can. I made this yesterday at Little Talbot Island SP when the tide was nearly all the way out. As swimming is discouraged, and fishermen gravitate to other places, it's often nearly deserted,  I did, however,  meet some nice people who had an interest in photography which was an unexpected bonus.  The strand is quite large at low tide, and the feeling of solitude is magnified by the vast expanse.  (Film)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

It's not always about the ocean here; sometimes it's about the marshes too!   I've photographed at Pumpkin Point Preserve before, but there's never been as much wind as there was yesterday which made the otherwise dreary Spanish Moss a much more dynamic element.  (Film)


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Well, back to the beaches.  Inland?...not so much.  (Film)

Friday, October 16, 2015

It is spectacularly easy to make a decent photograph around here if you're at the beach or the marshes.  But, away from them,  Florida forests are much more difficult and present a very different challenge than the boreal woods I've been used to for nearly all my life.  The light is often very harsh, and the undergrowth is cluttered and more difficult to penetrate.  But, I make the demand to myself that there is ALWAYS something in my own backyard that's visually compelling even if it's littered with junk (which, happily, it isn't).  This photograph attempts, using Photoshop Elements 11, to futz with the negative scan enough to make an image I don't hate. I'm at a loss to figure out what I'd do with it in the darkroom, but that's a problem to solve later...namely, when the damn darkroom is finished being set up!!  (Film)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sometimes less is more in photographs, too.  (Film)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

I hope there's never a tax on the appropriation of cloud images in Florida.  It's the coin of the realm here.  The land is one huge, flat sand bar, but the sky is one huge melodrama more often than not.  Here's one from yesterday.  I was nearly hit by a car when crossing the road to this beach.  Partly my fault for being oblivious, but the damn driver didn't even try to brake.  At least, he is safe from zombies as he clearly has no brain at all!  Nothing to munch on....not a whit.   (Film)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Here's one more from Anastasia SP from my Thursday trip there.  I love the little vines that act like leading lines.  And, just for silly, the sand goblin was photographed in mid dance yesterday at Big Talbot Island SP.    (Film)

Friday, October 9, 2015

The state parks in Florida I'm now familiar with are really beautiful and remain 'wild'.  Yesterday I bought a year's pass and expect to get waaaay more than my money's worth.  The photographs below are from my first visit to Anastasia SP in St. Augustine.  (Film, 25 A red filter)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I returned to Alpine Groves Park again yesterday with the same camera as my last post, but with fresh film.   There is a dramatic difference in the negatives on the fresh from the 14 year's expired batch.  But, once scanned and fixed up in Photoshop, those differences are muted.  I won't go back there again for a while, because I'll just be likely to rephotograph what I've done already.   (Film)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

These two images were made on film that expired in 2001.  I was hoping to use it to experiment with long exposure, but the scene didn't lend itself to that procedure.  Instead, I used it to be sure the camera I was using was doing what it is supposed to do...it was.  What you cannot see here are the manatees who were swimming near the pier, and sounding ever few minutes with their loud exhalations.  You also cannot hear the guy who was not far away playing his Uilllean Pipes...a wonderful bagpipe sound that's more gentle than the Great Highland Bagpipe.  (Film)

Update.  It seems that Uillean pipes are usually played sitting down, so it must have been something different as the piper was standing.  I discovered that there are 16 varieties of bagpipes in the UK and Ireland alone and about 3 times that many in other countries.  Whichever kind it was, it was very nice to hear. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

I have begun to experiment with neutral density filters to learn how to make long exposure photographs.  I don't know what's involved with digital cameras and this technique, but with film it's mostly a lot of careful calculation and consultation with reciprocity failure graphs.  (RF is the falloff of film's sensitivity with extended exposure that is compensated for with still longer exposure which  has to be fairly precise.)   To do this, I'm using my oldest medium format camera, a Mamiya C220.  The reason is that it uses no battery, so exposure can last as long as necessary.  This photograph was only a one second exposure, but I used a fast film (ISO 400) so couldn't extend the time given the brightness of the scene.  I'm learning.  More to come!  (Film, of course!)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

It rained the day before I made these photographs, but the sky remained sullen.  The ocean was also in a terrible mood hurling itself on the beach in a tantrum.  Not to be upstaged, the wind whipped water into froth and sand into stinging splatter. I kept forgetting to turn my peaked cap around when facing the wind so off it would go. I quickly developed Medusa hair chasing it.  It's also true that eyeglasses and camera lenses are inclined to attract vapor (thankfully, the camera ones have clear, protective filters). With all the cap chasing and glass cleaning, it's a wonder I had a moment to make a photograph.

The air was on the cusp of feeling cool, and on such a day at this particular state park, I was reminded of Cape Cod. It's the Atlantic Ocean's seashore in both places, and the dunes and flora are not too distant in character. In Florida, though, if I fail to dodge an aggressive wave, my toes don't suffer frostbite.  (Film)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

It's rare that I turn my camera on its side for a portrait view, but every now and then it seems to be a good idea.  I took this photograph a while ago, and only found it interesting enough to work with  today.  So, I'm posting it months after the fact.  But, if I said it had been taken today, it would be nearly impossible to prove otherwise! lol   (Film)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I always try to develop film on the same day I expose it, but sometimes I don't finish the roll then.  When I do, it often holds pictures made in another place at a later time..  This photograph was taken on September 14th, but developed yesterday.   It's a view from a bluff at Big Talbot Island SP that used to have a wooden stairway to the beach below.  But, the storms that caused the scores of trees on the beach to fall also destroyed the stairway.  Now, people walk around a fence intended to keep them back from the edge and clamber down a steep embankment.  I did walk around the fence, but did not descend to the beach.  (Film)

Friday, September 18, 2015

There is a beautiful area on the coast that's new to me, Hanna Park.  It's fee based (as are all the SPs in this area I think), but it's worth it.  There are 20 miles of trails to hike or mountain bike though that mileage is achieved by a lot of switchbacking loops.  It's also right beside Mayport Naval Base that is home to aircraft carrier sized ships and a Naval Air Station.  Had I turned my camera 90 degrees to the left, the ocean view would have included a warship heading out to sea.  I'll be back for more as soon as the weather becomes less rainy.  (Film)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

As I've mentioned before, this is a blog where photographs are posted more or less when they are made.  A web site is where only carefully curated work should be on view.  The point is that I may post photographs here of the same subjects that will be different, but not necessarily better.  It's a kind of visual journal that will be wearing a tuxedo one day, and a tee shirt the next.

Relying on clouds to make a pictures sing is pretty safe, but not very adventurous.  Here are two from Pumpkin Point that don't have clouds.  Maybe at another time, the water will be dead calm and clouds will be reflected in it, but that was not the case for these two.  Still, I like them for other reasons.(Film)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Other than the ocean beaches, the most fertile places for photographs around here are the tidal salt marshes to the north of where I live.  These two photographs were taken two weeks apart as of yesterday, Sunday, September 13th.  The top one is from the boat launch area at Cedar Creek Preserve which I've posted scenes from earlier.  The lower one is from a brand new boardwalk at Big Talbot Island SP.  What would we do here without those marvelous clouds!   (Film)

Friday, September 11, 2015

In 2001, I was spending a lot of time in NYC living with a woman friend.  On the Saturday following that horrific Tuesday, September 11th, we walked downtown into an area by the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue and 25th Street.  The walls were covered with messages, the sidewalk with candles and flowers everywhere.  I look at the pictures I took there every year.  They get to me as deeply now as they did when all this happened.  Here is one I've posted before.  There are several others I posted in 2011 if you want to scroll back to that year.  (Film)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The last two posts here have felt a little strange as they have emerged as a kind of time capsule...photographs from New York taken years ago.  This, photograph, however is once again from a nearby marsh; Dutton Island Preserve taken a few weeks ago.  I think I will have my darkroom ready to use in a few weeks to a month, and I'm really eager to print this series of tidal salt marsh images as well as a large backlog of photographs I've made since moving here.  Can't wait!  (Film)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

I continue to find rolls of exposed film that have been stowed away in boxes I'm now unpacking,  Stupidly, I hadn't written anything on the paper that wraps the film, so I had no idea what I would find when developed.  I souped two such rolls last night, and still couldn't figure out when or where they were taken as I looked at them.  One roll was truly bizarre in a way that made me doubt I had anything to do with what was on it...strange patterns and shapes I didn't recognize at all.  But, the other roll was vaguely familiar and the two images below were the best of the ten.  (Film)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

We've lived in Florida for the past two years.  Only now have I been unpacking boxes to clear the room that will be wet darkroom in a month or so.  In one jumbled pile of stuff that must have been dumped from a drawer, I found a roll of exposed film that was unlabeled, so I developed it last night.  Below, is one of the four images it held.  I think I remember where I took this, and I remember it fondly...a little park a few miles from my NY home that was a memorial to a departed child.  Odd to be posting 'ice' in early September here with a predicted high of 90 degrees.  (Film)

Friday, August 28, 2015

In a way, it might be a better idea to wait until I've accumulated a lot of photographs from the marshes rather than post them right away.   But, as this is a blog that doesn't allow self-curated image groups the way a website does, it'll have to do.  Obviously, what I'm happy with today might be totally eclipsed by what I find next week, but so be it.  I'll just post the 'better' work when and if I make it.

This is again from Pumpkin Point.  As you can see, the tide was out, and the mud was just 'puddle wonderful' (e e cummngs).  Framed by leafy branches and ubiquitous Spanish moss, the marsh was still;  the silence broken only by egrets scolding each other over fishing rights!.  (Film)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I've been utterly seduced by the marsh at Cedar Creek.  I could return endlessly and find nuanced variations of photographs I've already taken over and over again.  I'll try not to indulge that impulse.  Here's one from yesterday.  (Film)

Update:  I posted an earlier version of this with a wider view that included part of some trees on the right, but all of the cloud on the right.  This is a revision without the trees.  I can live without the entire cloud.   This way also keeps the eye more centered which, I think, is better. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I was happy to find this tree though I didn't expect to find anything at all in the parking area at Pumpkin Hill.  My interest was in the marsh, but this skeletal relic got to me right away.  What is hard to see is the hawk on a branch in the upper left.  He just stayed perched with barely a twitch the entire time I watched.  But....at least I know he was there, and now so do you!  ;-)  (Film)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

I'm beginning to be aware of an attraction to the marshes here that I never expected would occur.  That impetus arises from visiting them frequently.  Between tidal fluctuations, and the glorious parade of clouds, there is a lot to savor that is constantly in transition.  Here are two more from Cedar Creek Preserve.  The first is titled "Six Posts, One Buzard".   The critter ignored me utterly, and I was much closer to him than the way this appears as I was using a very wide angle lens.  But his quarry was no mystery...the smell was not subtle!  (Film)