Wednesday, December 24, 2008

This photograph is meaningful to me because it was taken at the farthest spot I trudged to in Goose Pond Mountain State Park yesterday. The snow was at least 10 inches deep and exhausting to hike through especially with the 4x5 kit on my shoulder (I don't have snow shoes...yet...). And then my spot meter refused to stop blinking and give me a reading. I suppose it was just too cold for it to work properly as the battery was okay (it worked normally when I got home). This is a "sunny f16" guesstimate exposure that worked out well.

I wish all of you who visit here a joyous holiday season, and a splendid new year.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Stopping in New Palz for lunch at the Gilded Otter, we noticed that the Wallkill River was waaay out of it's banks from the rain and sleet that has fallen in the last few days...far more than we thought. So we parked by the river where the bike trail continues and spent some time with the cameras despite the significant cold. We then drove up into the Gunks which were utterly beautiful with their icy coating on every twig and branch. It was too fantastic to even attempt serious photography, being more important to just take it all in without saying WOW too many times too loudly. However, the third photograph below was irresistible, and finished the roll of film for me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

This morning's sleepy trudge to the kitchen to pour some coffee was quickly changed to a brisk trot to get the P67 loaded with Delta 100, the 135mm lens secured to the body, the whole kit mounted on the 'pod, and myself out on the deck to record the gorgeous glitter of overnight sleet that stuck to everything. It didn't last long as the sun blasted the frozen bling back into liquid that cascaded into the already sodden dirt..but I didn't have to shovel anything ;-)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I had some time to spend in Beacon, New York recently, and since all of the galleries were closed (which I was eager to visit, and then disappointed to not be able to see), I found myself drawn to my favorite natural spot in that town...the falls. Here are a couple of images made with my new-t0-me Mamiya C330 and the 135mm lens I've had since the late 80's I think. I love square...(not that there's anything wrong with rectangles!).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sunday (November 2nd) was crisp, and sunny, and irresistible for any kind of outdoor adventure. I arranged a much lighter and more limited 4x5 kit for a long walk at Goose Pond Mountain. It's remarkable how simple one's tools can be, especially in this era of megawhizbang autodigitastic cameras. I just took along 1 lens (210mm Nikkor), 5 film holders (10 sheets of film), my light meter, dark cloth and the 4x5 folded up on the tripod. More just wasn't needed.

These three photographs are negative scans, but will likely become prints in the near future. I feel as though I'm beginning to lose my ability to accurately guage these scans to really resemble what the prints will look like (the prints will be a great deal better), but they do offer a sense of what's present in the negative, and over time, will allow me to imagine how I may go about making prints that are more satisfying...a digital contact sheet.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

This is a totally unmanipulated scan of a negative I made about five or six months ago. It was one of the first photographs I made using my then new-to-me Nikkor 210mm f5.6 lens on the 4x5. I very, very rarely photograph man made stuff, but this had a nice design, great texture, and just enough character to make it seem worthwhile. I'm still not sure it'll ever become a print, but if it grows on me, perhaps it will. BTW, for those who are from around here, it was taken of an outbuilding on the roadside by Museum Village. I'm not certain if it is a part of the actual site, but it's an antique building nonetheless.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Columbus Day weekend offered us an opportunity to visit Cape Cod, which I have missed a lot over the past ten years or so. I used to take my boys there for a week or two at the end of August, and we all fell in love with the place. So here I was back again after the long interval, and I got to do some serious photography at sites that stayed in my mind in a very visual way. We also went to a slew of galleries, and saw some wonderful work that was mostly painting. However one Cape photographer...Janet Woodcock...was the highlight of what we saw for me. Her work seems to have evolved from decades of really knowing this area deeply, and there's nothing else that quite allows that to happen in so special a way.

Here are five that I like among about thirty or so that I made with the 4x5 using the 210, and 250mm lenses. They were all taken at the National Seashore in the town of Eastham in the vicinity of the Salt Pond Visitor Center, and Coast Guard Beach.

Monday, October 6, 2008

At last I had a chance yesterday to take the camera (Shen-Hao, 210mm) out for a ride which resulted in this image. I wanted to visit this Wallkill River site in this season as I knew from a year ago what wonderful light engulfs this place. There'll be more to come soon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

For those of you who return here from time to time, I apologize for not having posted a photograph for a while. Real life has been way too intrusive on my time for photography, and the few negatives I've made and scanned haven't been worthy to exhibit. BUT...I have acquired a new camera body...a Mamiya replace my C220 that has been letting the dark leak out! Ironically, the C330 (which is a more sophisticated camera body than the 220) had major light seal problems that led me to figure out a way to replace them myself using slices of the fuzzy half of the pair of self-adhesive strips that comprise a Velcro kit. Had I been aware of what I now know, I could have repaired the 220 light seals myself. But, the 330 has a much more reliable film advance than the 220, and cocks the shutter at the same time the film is advanced, and kisses me on the lips and makes I'm not sorry I bought it (really inexpensively $95 plus shipping...from a seller on ebay.) I am perpetually grateful for the advent of's made traditional equipment waaaaaaaay more affordable. For some kinds of work, digital is nearly miraculous, but for contemplative photography of the highest quality (and I mean far, far, better than the best digital) film absolutely rules. (It's fun to be able to say that on my own blog...I don't have to listen to the out-of-tune chorus of rebuttals that usually ensue from such an assertion.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One highlight of our time in Florida was a day at Ginnie Springs. The springs, and there are many of them, are crystal clear and always 72 degrees F. throughout the year. Using newly acquired snorkeling gear, it was a real treat to dive in water that is so utterly transparent. When I'd had enough of the water, I took out the C220 and made these nesr the mouth of the spring. (I'm still so new to the area that I continue to be impressed by palm trees, and cypresses...)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It's been a while since I've posted here, but I've been far too busy with music work to even look at my cameras. When the cello gig finally came to a close, I left immediately for Florida to join my family who were there already. These 'graphs are from that trip...the first from the beach behind Marineland (the original oceanarium that's been completely remodeled as a dolphin study center, and a wonderful place to visit), and the other three from a stream we passed in North Carolina on our way home via the Blue Ridge Parkway and Smokey Mountain National Park. All were taken the C220 which makes an excellent travel kit. There will be more images to come as the film gets developed and scanned.

Monday, June 30, 2008

I needed to take a walk today (June 30th), so I strapped the Shen-Hao kit on my back and headed up the Goose Pond Mountain SP trail from LaRoe Road. I had seen this little woodland detail a while ago, so I knew what I was looking for. I made four exposures...two with the 210mm Nikkor, and one with the 250mm Fujinon. This is the latter, and though the difference between the two lenses is slight, I liked this somewhat tighter approach better. It's a great privilege to live so near such a gem of a state park, and I am always very happy to spend time there.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

These two photographs are negative scans from a completed 120 roll of black and white film I've had sitting around since early spring that also has some winter images of Round Lake (the willow over the ice). I had very little expectation that anything I'd taken was going to be appealing, but now that the negs are scanned and I can visit them after such a long interval (April to June), I kinda like these two. The top one was made on a little wooden bridge on the trail (an erstwhile road) that runs the breadth of Goose Pond Mountain State Park. I used a 65mm lens on my C220 that I don't think is very sharp, but I like the slight softness of it nonetheless. I'm eager to make some actual prints to see if either of these work as well as I hope they do.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The gallery that represents my wife and me has moved to an historic new location. It's the Patchett House, built in the early 19th century, and occupied variously as a home, an inn, and...a funeral home...yikes! (yes, there'll be ghost tours in October at Halloween time!) Here's a link with a color picture of the building.
It is beautifully restored, and I took myself there yesterday afternoon (June 17th) to see what I could do with the interior photographically. I've never done much architectural work, and using the appropriate movements proved to be a challenge, but I'm fairly pleased with this staircase photograph. There's simply no way it could have been made without a view, or film, getting this much depth of field wouldn't have been possible any other way. I actually went a bit beyond the limit of front fall and rear rise as there's a bit of darkening in the lower right hand corner....but it'll just be our one else will notice...okay?

This is a very big crop of a 4x5 negative that didn't interest me much except in this small area. The distortion is due to the ancient rolled glass. It's a view from one of the gallery rooms looking out to the rear of the building where there is an enormous copper beach tree that's probably a good deal older than the Patchett House itself. I think it is going to be considered for landmark status as well as the house which already is on the national register.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Here's another from the several negatives I made in early May. The one I posted earlier I was printing in the darkroom this evening (June 6th), and this is a different one that I've cropped square from it's original 4x5 size. I'm not certain how I like it yet, but if it grows on me, I'll perhaps print it later this weekend. It is originally a vertically oriented (portrait) negative, but I think there is too much in it that doesn't contribute to the image, so this crop is the result.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I was able to get out today with the 4x5 and ended up on Wisnewski Road in the black dirt region of Orange County. I've made some 'graphs here before, but today was particularly worthwhile, because the values were so absolute..... pure monochrome fodder. The dirt here really is black, and the entire area hasn't been developed by home builders because it's very soft, porous, and easily blown away. I have no idea why that deters a determined builder, but that's the story that the locals tell me, and I'm happy these fields remain agricultural whatever the reason. The plantings are young onions which are grown here in great quantities. They are sweet, juicy and absolutely delicious; they're totally worth the social isolation that follows eating them ;-) ! (BTW, the lens I used here is my Fujinon 250mm 6.3. As much as I love my 210 Nikkor, I use this lens a lot, and love it just as much.)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I finally got around to developing a roll of film I exposed on my way home from the AIPAD show in NYC in April. The sky was very active with a late afternoon cloud show, and I found a place to pull off the Palisades Parkway to investigate the Hudson and the the clouds. I liked this negative more than the others each of which were quite different because the sky was changing very rapidly. It's often easy to see what made the Hudson River School painters so inspired. It is an astonishingly beautiful scenic river with its mountainous banks and verdant forests.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

I can't get through the spring without looking for a dogwood tree blooming in the forest somewhere. This year I found several in an easy to access location, and stopped on the way home from work on Friday (May 2nd) to make some photographs. The air was dead still and humid, and the light was rather dim, so this is a one second exposure between f22 and f32 on Delta 100 film. The nice thing about the 4x5 camera for a longish exposure is that the leaf shutter is all but vibrationless, and with no breeze either, this is one damn sharp negative.

This is posted in honor of my mother whose birthday is today (May 3rd). She would have been 99 years old. She loved the woods and flowers and would have liked this photograph I think.

Monday, April 28, 2008

This is a crop of a 4x5 black and white negative that included the far shore and more of the branches which were very nice. But I liked the purity of the silvery river enough to crop out the rest. I've become much more adventurous since learning to cut my own mats. I feel totally free to crop or not because I can formally present the image no matter where the edges end up. The river is the Wallkill that runs a very long distance through Orange County, NY.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

From this past Saturday's early morning expedition to Hudson, this was the first thing I was attracted to, and it remains the only image I think is worthwhile from the time there. But being on that bridge before the sunrise over "Anthony's Nose" was worth every moment spent.

If you've seen the movie "Michael Clayton" then you've seen this place. He stops his car to walk up a hill where there are a couple of horses browsing...and then his car blows up! This is that hill, but there are no horses that graze there in reality. I took this because I liked the skeletal trees, juxtaposed with the skeletal trestle.

Monday, April 21, 2008

And another month has gone by without much photography, but in the last few days I've exposed 16 sheets of 4x5 film. Here are two from a marsh just south of the Bear Mountain Bridge. I've been using my new 210mm Nikkor lens, and the 250mm Fujinon as well. However, I have no idea which is which below, nor can I even remember if perhaps both were taken with the 250. The sun was strong; the mind was weak. No records were kept. Rats!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It's been a while (about a month or more) since I've exercised a camera, but Easter Monday was a day off from work that was beautiful if chilly. The photographs below were made in tiny Craigville at a small, memorial park. I have photographed here before, but not actually printed the negatives as I wanted to come back and use the 4x5 rather than the C220. The time I spent was very satisfying, and these two images were my favorites of the eight films I exposed.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Despite some pretty hideous weather on Saturday, our opening went very nicely. Susan, Devin and I sat all alone by our very own selves for the first 15 minutes or so thinking gloomy thoughts and staring at all the food and wine that was going to go to waste, when all of a sudden people began to arrive and the "party" really got going. I was too busy chatting with visitors to count heads, but it seemed to be well attended after all, and two of my photographs were purchased into the bargain. That was a nice feeling. Now I can start working on a new project, and begin the long process of building a new body of work. It can be arduous to be sure, but for me at least, it's better than golf! ;-)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Views of the exhibition announced below are now online at Click on "exhibition images".

Sunday, February 17, 2008

This is the card for our upcoming show. Susan's work is work is what it and white photographs. It's keeping us both very, very busy for the next two weeks. I won't be posting any new work till the show is up. All are invited. We hope to have scans of all the work in the show by March 1st, so you can visit us then at BTW, the Walkill River Gallery is in Montgomery, New York. It's a charming old, small town on the Walkill River in Orange County. There are a surprising number of good restaurants there, so if you come by you won't be at a loss for food and drink at the opening, or in the town.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

February 13th brought a marvelous/awful ice storm to our region. Marvelous, in the spectacular beauty of ice embracing every twig and pebble...awful, in the treacherously slippery footing and road surface conditions that persisted throughout the day despite temperatures above freezing. In fact, as fog and mist and sleet and rain drenched these branches, the coating of ice only increased...go figure....I guess the trees were solidly frozen and were colder than the air. In any case, I had a happy time with the Shen Hao aimed out one of the rear windows of our house. Here's one of the six exposures I made with the 4x5.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I've been going through my negative file for stuff I've not printed at all for one reason or another. This is a square crop of a 4x5 negative I made last spring I think. No photographer can continue to exist without having made an image of this timeworn subject (written with tongue planted firmly against cheek). This is my first. It's an endearing and enduring subject despite its ubiquity. Perhaps I will make more in the future as lily pads are alluring. ;-)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I've not posted here for a while because I've been too busy "finishing" prints for exhibition to have had time to make new ones. The two 'graphs below are from a storm that was predicted to be a major one, but turned out to be a very beautiful, but low accumulation event. I was able to hijack a little time to make these from our deck. The lower one is from a venerable old character that has learned to weather the wind and weight of heavy snow. The upper is the same view as an earlier post. I will probably make many more very similar 'graphs, because there are infinite variations of light and circumstances that beg to be recorded. Both were made with the Shen-Hao 4x5 using the Fujinon 250mm lens. I love where I live!