Photographs by Frank

10 February 2019

Harsh February Light

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region,Winter — Frank @ 9:59 PM

In some ways we have had typical New Hampshire winter weather… periods of dull drab days and periods of bright, cloudless blue skies. What has not been typical are the multiple periods of warm weather. In the “old days” we would get a January thaw. These days we seem to get a thaw every few weeks.

The latest thaw was a couple of days in the middle of last week. The mud in the road was deep and spring-like. The road crew worked hard to keep it passable.

The last few days have been more typical of February, highs in the mid- to upper 20s F and lows in the low teens. The days have been bright and sunny… good for production by our new solar panels but challenging for photography. I have persisted none-the-less.

The first three photos were made in the last week, with a regular lens. The last six photos were made yesterday using a $20 “Holga lens” that I recently bought on an impulse. This 60 mm lens is all plastic and has a fixed aperture (f/8). Focusing is all manual and rather crude; there are small pictographs along the focus ring to indicate the distance. The resulting photos, all made in harsh February light, have “character”.

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Church Detail (Salisbury, NH)
Church Detail (Salisbury, NH)
Bend in the Road
Bend in the Road
Stone Wall Detail
Stone Wall Detail
Barn Roof
Barn Roof
Stone Wall
Stone Wall
Birches and Stone Wall
Birches and Stone Wall
Mill (Harrisville, NH)
Mill (Harrisville, NH)
Chesham Depot (long inactive)
Chesham Depot (long inactive)
Barn and Flag
Barn and Flag

16 January 2019

The Profound, the Prosaic and Other Details

Filed under: architecture — Tags: — Frank @ 12:00 PM

My friend Bill wanted to make my portrait. Why me, I have no idea! However, when it comes to such things, I know not to question another’s choices as there is no “right” or “wrong” in art.

Thus, we met yesterday for lunch at the Harrisville General Store before getting down to “work”. I arrived, at most, ten minutes before Bill. In that interval, I made these photographs, all within a hundred feet of the store’s front door.

After a bowl of wonderful soup, we headed to the house and got to work making portraits. I am very interested to see the result.

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The Profound and the Prosaic
The Profound and the Prosaic
Mill Tower
Mill Tower
Church Window
Church Window
Barn Ladder
Barn Ladder
Barn Board
Barn Board

The first photograph in this series, reminded me of another photo of a black board I made almost ten years ago, see: Rule #47.

8 January 2019

Images – Williamstown, MA

Filed under: architecture,Landscapes,Uncategorized — Frank @ 6:27 PM

Last Sunday morning (6 Jan 2019), we left the house shortly after seven in the morning and headed for Williamstown, MA; about a two hour drive. Joan was to attend a ukulele workshop organized by our friend, singer-songwriter, Bernice Lewis. I went along to see what I could find to photograph (I was not disappointed) and to attend the afternoon concert associated with the workshop. We also had an enjoyable visit and dinner with Jeff and Robin, friends from our Grand Canyon raft trip before heading home in the evening.

Williamstown is located in the most extreme northwest corner of Massachusetts (it abuts both New York and Vermont) and is the home of Williams College. Having spent a career in academia, I have visited more than my fair share of college towns. Walking around the campus/town for a few hours, I was struck by the complete merger of town and gown. To this casual observer the line between college and town here is virtually nonexistent. I spent about three hours wandering about the campus on a gray Sunday morning and found much to photograph.

The last photograph of this series is of a sculpture “Double L Eccentric Gyratory II” by George Rickey. The morning was quite calm and I did not notice any movement as I approached the piece and raised my camera to my eye. As I began to photograph the sculpture, I had one of those strange moments that sometimes occur as one goes about life. While I concentrated on the angles, the background and the edges of the frame a very slight breeze arose causing the sculpture began to move very slowly and subtly. It took my brain quite a few seconds to realize that this was a kinetic sculpture and that my mind was not out of whack!!

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Images - Williamstown, MA
Images - Williamstown, MA
Clock Tower
Clock Tower
Stonework (detail)
Stonework (detail)
Stone Church
Stone Church
Cupola #1
Cupola #1
Cupola #2
Cupola #2
Chimneys & Dormers
Chimneys & Dormers
UU Church
UU Church
UU Church (detail)
UU Church (detail)
Cupola #3
Cupola #3
Walkway
Walkway
Theater/Dance Center
Theater/Dance Center
"Double L"

31 December 2018

Adams Dozen for 2018

Filed under: Adams Dozen — Frank @ 1:00 PM

This post represents the eighth annual installment in my “Adams Dozen” tradition. Whereby, as each year ends, I choose a dozen of my favorite photographs from the past year.

In the first installment of this series, I stated that choosing twelve photographs was “not as hard as I thought it might be”. However, it is my impression that the selection becomes more difficult each year. I do not have a clue why this seems so, but I struggled this year to narrow the group down to just a dozen.

I could have filled out my selection just using photos from our trip to the Grand Canyon and other places in the southwest but I worked to pick images from throughout the year. The first of this set was made back in January and the last two about six weeks ago in mid-November.

Without further ado, here are the twelve photographs, representing roughly one-percent* of my “keepers” for the year:

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Ice Abstract
Ice Abstract
Spring Runoff
Spring Runoff
Untitled
Untitled
Frosted Whiteface Mating Wheel
Frosted Whiteface Mating Wheel
Bluet
Bluet
Grand Canyon (from the North Rim)
Grand Canyon (from the North Rim)
Canyon Light (Grand Canyon from the Colorado River)
Canyon Light (Grand Canyon from the Colorado River)
Capitol Reef NP
Capitol Reef NP
Tower Ruin - Mesa Verde NP
Tower Ruin - Mesa Verde NP
Great Sand Dunes NP
Great Sand Dunes NP
Grange Hall, East Washington, NH
Grange Hall, East Washington, NH
Church Interior
Church Interior

* For those who are keeping track, my Lightroom catalog says that I made 10,733 exposure this year. Of that number I finalized 1542 (about 14%) of them. The former number is a bit lower than it has been in the past (the average for the five previous years is about 13,800) and the latter number is a bit higher than usual (again the average for the past five years is 10.7%).

20 December 2018

Color or Not

Filed under: Landscapes — Frank @ 10:00 PM

For some photographs color is necessary and for others it just gets in the way.

Consider these six recent photos:

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Ice Abstract #1
Ice Abstract #1
Ice Abstract #2
Ice Abstract #2
Ice Abstract #3
Ice Abstract #3
Untitled
Untitled
Birch and Barn
Birch and Barn
How Our Country Feels -- 2018
How Our Country Feels -- 2018

21 November 2018

Serious Snow — Early

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Frank @ 10:00 PM

Back when I first moved to New Hampshire, forty odd years ago (1976 to be exact), we often got our first serious snow before Thanksgiving. The ground was then snow covered until spring. These days, with the warming climate, serious snow in November is a rare event.

This year is shaping up to be one of those rare years. We have had about ten or twelve inches of snow in the past few days. The ground is well covered and it is likely to stay that way until spring. We will see.

This morning, we awoke to the usual gray November skies. At least there was no snow falling.  Mid-morning, I took the camera with me as I headed to town to pick up our Thanksgiving bird. As I headed out, there were faint traces of blue sky starting to appear. By the time I headed home (maybe forty five minutes later), the clouds had broken and the sun was shining nicely. I was able to use my camera to good advantage. Alas, the break in the November gray was transitory. More clouds rolled back in within the hour.

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Our deck, yesterday
Our deck, yesterday
Gregg Lake
Gregg Lake
Snowy Tree
Snowy Tree
Hattie Brown Brook, Winter
Hattie Brown Brook, Winter
Winter Woods #1
Winter Woods #1
Winter Woods #2
Winter Woods #2
Winter Woods #3
Winter Woods #3
Winter Woods #4
Winter Woods #4


 

20 November 2018

Unanticipated Consequences

Filed under: architecture,Landscapes — Frank @ 12:01 PM

I made this exposure back on the 12th of November at the church in East Washington, NH. The building was locked up tight. Thus I was outside with the camera help above my head and the lens pressed flat against the window pane. I framed the photo using the tilting LCD on the back of the camera. Ain’t modern technology wonderful!?

One might ask how I knew that this scene existed if I had to hold the camera above my head. Well, I initially peeked in the window by standing on tiptoes on a small ledge and steadying myself by holding on to the sill. The scene, lit by the late afternoon window light, was wonderful but I was not going to be able to photograph it while standing on that ledge.

When I got back to my digital darkroom (i.e. the computer) I cropped the frame (as I most often do) to a 4:5 ratio, converted it to black and white and “developed” the image to my liking (in this case with a very slight warm tone). Next, I went to make a print.

One of the features of Lightroom’s print module is that it remembers which print template you had used during your last session. In this case, it just so happened, that the template which popped up containing my 4:5 cropped image was set to make a square print.

I was immediately struck by the square-cropped version, a possibility that I had not considered. The image had much more impact cropped to 1:1 than at the 4:5 ratio I had originally selected. Being stubborn, I printed both versions and have spent some time living with them.

The square crop is, to my mind, definitely stronger. What say you?

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Pews, East Washington NH (1:1)
Pews, East Washington NH (1:1)
Pews, East Washington NH (4:5)
Pews, East Washington NH (4:5)

Here are two more photos made using my camera obscura on the same afternoon. Since the ground glass of the camera obscura is square, these images are always in the 1:1 ratio. The two photos were made from essentially the same spot, at roughly ninety degrees from each other.

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Baptist Church, East Washington NH
Baptist Church, East Washington NH
Grange Hall, East Washington, NH
Grange Hall, East Washington, NH

 


 

11 November 2018

Photographic Folios

Filed under: Landscapes — Tags: — Frank @ 12:00 AM

One of the definitions of the word “folio” is “an individual leaf of paper or parchment”.

Brooks Jensen, the editor/publisher of Lenswork, has written about the idea of photographic folios*, an unbound collection of small prints wrapped up in an elegant folder.

In the past, I have made folios consisting of 5″x 7″ prints printed on half of a letter-sized sheet of paper and wrapped up in a home-made cover folded from a single sheet of heavy, decorative paper. These were quite economical to produce and I was quite satisfied with the final product. However, I did feel that margins allowed in this format were somewhat skimpy and thus the images felt a bit cramped. (I don’t believe that I wrote about these earlier efforts so I can’t point to a previous blog entry with more detailed information… sorry.)

In pondering what to do with some of my photographs from our recent trip to the southwest, I decided to revisit the idea of folios.

This time, I decided to use a full letter-sized sheet of paper for each print and to incorporate generous margins (three-quarters of an inch on top and one and three-quarters inches on the other three sides); the printed images are 7.5″x 6″. The end result has a much more luxurious feel than my earlier, smaller efforts.

When making an artifact that is meant to be handled, the materials used are much more important than, for instance, a photograph destined to be encased in a mat and frame and hung upon the wall. In the former case, the artifact has to feel nice when you pick it up! Thus, the paper used for printing is a critical part of the experience.

For this project, I decided to use nice heavy papers and to avoid papers that have a plastic-y feel. Of course, as with almost all of my prints, I only considered papers with a luster finish… not too shiny, but not completely matte either.

I ended up using a different paper for each of the two folios I have completed. For the first folio (titled “Canyon Light”) I used Canson Baryta Photographique (310 g/sq. meter and alpha-cellulose based). For the second folio (“Puebloan Ruins”) I used Epson Legacy Platine (314 g/ sq. meter and cotton rag based). Both papers worked well, but the Epson paper, because of its cotton rag base, does have a nicer, very soft feel when you hold a print.

In addition to the prints, the other, equally important component of a folio is the cover… first impressions are important! Although, I am usually a do-it-yourself kind of guy when it comes to things like this, for this project I decided to save some time and effort by purchasing folio covers from Dane Creek Folios. They are high quality and reasonably priced. Highly recommended.

Well enough about the presentation… what about the photographs!?

Thus far,, I have completed two folios each consisting of ten black and white images. The first folio (titled Canyon Light) contains photographs of the Grand Canyon from river-level. These were made during the ten days we spent rafting the river. The second folio (Puebloan Ruins) contains photographs of the ancient Native American ruins at a number of sites in the four-corners area.

Clicking on the title of each folio (above) with get you an electronic facsimile (as a pdf file) of the folio. These are, in my opinion, a poor substitute for the physical  object. You will have to come for a visit to see the real thing!


* He has even produced a DVD workshop about his approach to folios. However, I must confess that I have not seen this video.

10 November 2018

Random Photos

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Tags: , — Frank @ 10:07 PM

I often carry a camera with me as I go about my day-to-day activities. Sometimes I even activate the shutter release!

These photos were all made in the month or so since we returned from our road trip. During yesterday’s rain, I remembered to take the memory card out of the camera and see what had accumulated.

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Roadside Oddity #9
Roadside Oddity #9
Autumn Cascade
Autumn Cascade
Autumn Leaves
Autumn Leaves
October Skies
October Skies
Untitled
Untitled
Pumpkin
Pumpkin
Fungi
Fungi
Morning Light
Morning Light


 

11 October 2018

2018 Road Trip (Part 9) — Great Sand Dunes National Park

Filed under: Landscapes,Road Trips — Frank @ 9:15 PM

Great Sand Dunes National Park in south central Colorado was the last “scenic” stop on our road trip.

We arrived in the late afternoon to interesting light on the dunes and made some good photos. The details in the windblown sand were as interesting to me as the epic landscape. The sun went behind some clouds on the horizon well before it set ending photography for the day. Such is life.

We camped for the night and hoped for nice light in the morning. Alas, this was not to be. However, we got an early start towards home!

These dunes are, simply said, fantastic… unreal. They scale is difficult to comprehend… there are some very tiny people in some of the frames. The first ridge of dunes (which is all one can see here) is 700 feet high.

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Great Sand Dunes 01
 Great Sand Dunes 01
Great Sand Dunes 02
 Great Sand Dunes 02
Great Sand Dunes 03
 Great Sand Dunes 03
Great Sand Dunes 04
 Great Sand Dunes 04
Great Sand Dunes 05
 Great Sand Dunes 05
Great Sand Dunes 06
 Great Sand Dunes 06
Great Sand Dunes 07
 Great Sand Dunes 07
Great Sand Dunes 08
 Great Sand Dunes 08
Great Sand Dunes 09
 Great Sand Dunes 09
Great Sand Dunes 10
 Great Sand Dunes 10
Great Sand Dunes 11
 Great Sand Dunes 11
Great Sand Dunes 12
 Great Sand Dunes 12


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