Photographs by Frank

15 June 2019

Flowers (in the Studio)

Filed under: Garden Flowers,wildflowers — Frank @ 7:14 PM

This afternoon Joan brought me a lady slipper that she had knocked off its stem while rummaging around behind the took shed. Of course, I headed to my basement studio to make a photograph.

While I was at it, I also snipped one of the irises in the garden that I had noticed earlier and made a photograph of it too.

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Lady Slipper in the Studio
Lady Slipper in the Studio
Iris from Joan's Garden
Iris from Joan's Garden

12 June 2019

More River Project

Filed under: Monadnock Region — Tags: — Frank @ 11:00 AM

Sunday morning, on my way to Brattleboro (to teach a workshop at the VCP), I stopped at the stone arch bridge which spans the North Branch River near the Antrim/Stoddard town line.

Monday morning, I headed south to Peterborough to photograph the Contoocook. My first stop was Depot Square downtown. From there I headed south making three stops and ending at Noone Falls.

I currently have about three dozen photos in my “possibilities” collection. I am thinking of dividing the project into two (or three) phases… it seems less daunting that way. Phase one (maybe a dozen or dozen and a half photos) would cover the southern section of the Contoocook (between its source in Rindge and Henniker). This is the section of the river that I know best. Phase two (maybe a dozen photos) would be the North Branch River. Phase three would be the northern section of the Contoocook.

I have also begun experimenting with how to print the photos. I have made a few small (4″x 4″ and 5″x 5″) prints on matte paper using my printer modified to use Jon Cone’s warm neutral ink set. I like the small prints but I have made no real decisions in this regard, as yet.

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Stone Bridge on the North Branch River (Stoddard, NH)
Stone Bridge on the North Branch River (Stoddard, NH)
North Branch River Just Downstream from Stone Arch Bridge (Stoddard, NH)
North Branch River Just Downstream from Stone Arch Bridge (Stoddard, NH)
Stone Bridge on the North Branch River (Stoddard, NH)
Stone Bridge on the North Branch River (Stoddard, NH)
Contoocook River (Depot Square, Peterborough, NH)
Contoocook River (Depot Square, Peterborough, NH)
Contoocook River Just Upstream of Noone Falls (Peterborough, NH)
Contoocook River Just Upstream of Noone Falls (Peterborough, NH)
Contoocook River at Noone Falls (Peterborough, NH)
Contoocook River at Noone Falls (Peterborough, NH)
Noone Falls on the Contoocook River (Peterborough, NH)
Noone Falls on the Contoocook River (Peterborough, NH)
Noone Falls Dam (Contoocook River, Peterborough, NH)
Noone Falls Dam (Contoocook River, Peterborough, NH)

11 June 2019

High Wing Choo?

Filed under: Monadnock Region — Tags: — Frank @ 5:30 PM

Sometimes, one just has to stop and make a photograph…

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High Wing Choo
High Wing Choo

I can make an educated guess as to how/why this bus came to be called “High Wing Choo”.

The bus was parked at Depot Square in Peterborough when I made this photograph. The bus seems to contain a tradesman’s tools and has a severe deficit of seats. There is a private school called the High Mowing School in Wilton, just to the east of Peterborough.

Knowing these facts, I am sure that you, dear reader, can put a story together!

8 June 2019

The River Project

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

Over the past several days I have headed out four times to explore (photographically) the North Branch and the Contoocook Rivers. One of these excursions was in the morning; the others were afternoon trips, after the clouds began to build as they tend to do in the summer. Clouds can make or break landscapes.

I have learned two things from these explorations. The first is that I think that I am going to stick with the camera obscura for this project. The softness of the camera obscura helps hide distracting details in the landscapes. I also simply like the unique nature of the photographs.

The second thing that has dawned on me it that this is going to be a long term project. In these four sessions, (totaling more than a dozen hours) I have covered the small fraction of the rivers that I know best. As I go further afield the process will slow down further as I will need to do significant scouting of locations. However, I am in no rush.

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Powdermill Pond/Contoocook River at its Confluence with Moose Brook (Elmwood Junction, Hancock, NH)
Powdermill Pond/Contoocook River at its Confluence with Moose Brook (Elmwood Junction, Hancock, NH)
Powermill Pond/Contoocook River -- Crotched Mountain View
Powermill Pond/Contoocook River --  Crotched Mountain View
Covered Bridge Across the Contoocook River (Forest Road, Hancock/Greenfield, NH)
Covered Bridge Across the Contoocook River (Forest Road, Hancock/Greenfield, NH)
Contoocook River: View from Forest Road Bridge
Contoocook River: View from Forest Road Bridge
Contoocook River by the Paper Mill (Bennington, NH)
Contoocook River by the Paper Mill (Bennington, NH)
River Bottom Farm Field (near the Contoocook River, Deering, NH)
River Bottom Farm Field (near the Contoocook River, Deering, NH)
North Branch River near River Road (Antrim, NH)
North Branch River near River Road (Antrim, NH)
North Branch River near Loveren's Mill (Antrim, NH)
North Branch River near Loveren's Mill (Antrim, NH)
North Branch River near Loveren's Mill (Antrim, NH)
North Branch River near Loveren's Mill (Antrim, NH)
Contoocook River Railroad Trestle (Bennington, NH)
Contoocook River Railroad Trestle (Bennington, NH)
Crotched Mountain Across Powdermill Pond/Contoocook River (from South Elmwood Rd, Hancock, NH)
Crotched Mountain Across Powdermill Pond/Contoocook River (from South Elmwood Rd, Hancock, NH)
Contoocook River at its Confluence with Nubanusit Brook (Depot Square, Peterborough, NH)
Contoocook River at its Confluence with Nubanusit Brook (Depot Square, Peterborough, NH)

30 May 2019

Contoocook & North Branch Rivers

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Tags: — Frank @ 11:30 PM

Inspired by a discussion at yesterday’s conservation commission meeting, I took a drive along our local rivers this afternoon .

The Contoocook River runs roughly seventy miles, from Jaffery (south of Antrim) to Pennacook (north of Concord) where it joins the mighty Merrimack. It forms the eastern border of Antrim.

The North Branch (of the Contoocook) River runs about seventeen miles, from Stoddard to its confluence with the Contoocook in Hillsborough. Most of its run is through the north part of Antrim.

I took both my “normal” camera and my camera obscura with me on the drive but I was moved to use only latter.

I am mulling beginning a larger project involving photographing along the entire length of each river. We’ll have to see how this pans out. Watch this space for future developments!

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Iron Bridge Over the Contoocook River between Bennington and Antrim, NH
Iron Bridge Over the Contoocook River between Bennington and Antrim, NH
Contoocook River Near the Iron Bridge between Bennington and Antrim, NH
Contoocook River Near the Iron Bridge between Bennington and Antrim, NH
Riverine Field Near the Contoocook River, Deering, NH
Riverine Field Near the Contoocook River, Deering, NH
Riverine Field Near the Contoocook River,Antrim, NH and Hedgehog Mountain, Deering, NH
Riverine Field Near the Contoocook River,Antrim, NH  and Hedgehog Mountain, Deering, NH
Contoocook River from the Second NH Turnpike Bridge (Antrim and Deering, NH)
Contoocook River from the Second NH Turnpike Bridge (Antrim and Deering, NH)
North Branch River Near River Rd., Antrim, NH
North Branch River Near River Rd., Antrim, NH

27 May 2019

Garden Flowers in the Studio

Filed under: Garden Flowers,Summer — Frank @ 10:00 PM

A few days ago, I realized that Joan had at lease nine (and probably more) varieties of daffodils growing around the yard.

I headed out with scissors in hand to collect enough specimens to make a composite three-by-three matrix as I did with maple leaves a week or so ago. *

Today, while photographing the dragonflies, I noticed that the irises down by the vegetable garden were also in full bloom. Thus, just as darkness fell, I snipped an iris and I took it to my basement studio which was still rigged up from photographing the daffodils.

I’m thinking of keeping the studio set up for flowers all summer and the scissors close at hand. There will be many more garden flowers coming along in the next few months!

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Daffodil Matrix
Daffodil Matrix
Iris
Iris

* This time I set up a black cloth for a background. The tricky part of photographing on a small table top with a black background is keeping extraneous light from spilling onto the background and thus making it gray instead of deep black. It took a number of pieces of cardboard used as flags to do the job, but done right, the background require only a small about of “fixing up” in the computer.

Ode Onset

Filed under: Odontates,Wildlife — Tags: — Frank @ 9:30 PM

About a week ago small numbers of dragonflies began to appear in the neighborhood. The numbers gradually increased all week and in the past few days there have been dozens of immature chalk-fronted corporals and Hudsonian whitefaces around. Both species are typically the first of the season in the neighborhood.

Alas, the most common insects around are still the black flies along with the first mosquitoes of the season. The old double whammy!

This afternoon, I finally yielded to temptation and headed out to make some photographs. In addition to the above mentioned species, I also found and photographed a single immature frosted whiteface.

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Frosted Whiteface (immature)
Frosted Whiteface (immature)
Hudsonian Whiteface (immature) #1
Hudsonian Whiteface (immature) #1
Chalk-fronted Corporal (immature) #1
Chalk-fronted Corporal (immature) #1
Chalk-fronted Corporal (immature) #2
Chalk-fronted Corporal (immature) #2
Hudsonian Whiteface (immature) #2
Hudsonian Whiteface (immature) #2
Hudsonian Whiteface (immature) #3
Hudsonian Whiteface (immature) #3

20 May 2019

Star Island — Spring 2019 Birds

Filed under: Birds,Wildlife — Tags: — Frank @ 9:30 PM

This past weekend Joan and I made another trip to Star Island to experience the vernal migration of birds. This is my third spring trip; previous trips were in May 2014 and May 2017, We also visited in the fall of 2015.

Star Island is one of the Isles of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. As such, the island is a classic migrant trap that concentrates migrating birds in a small geographic area each day. That concentration, combined with the generally low vegetation (with sparse leaves in mid-May) makes for wonderful birding and bird photography.

The most charismatic of the migrating birds are the warblers in breeding plumage this time of year. However, there are other migrants present in addition to the warblers. There are also species that live and breed on the island. All are represented in the photos shown here.

The set of thirty photos* below begins with an image of a magnolia warbler in the chain-link fence with surrounds the island’s tennis court. I begin with this photo to show the size of the warblers… they are tiny birds! Their size, coupled with their near constant movement and their preference for thickets of vegetation make for challenging (and thus fun) photography.

I have sorted the set so that the warblers appear first followed by the other birds. I apologize for the large number of photos but there was an incredible variety of birds present on the island in the roughly forty-eight hours we were there. I tried not to show more than one photo of a species, but failed most egregiously in the case of both the yellow warbler (which breeds on the island and is thus one of the more common warblers) and the black and white warbler (which is one of the easier warblers to photograph as it tends to move a bit more slowly that most of the rest). Sometimes it is simply too difficult to choose a favorite “child”.

Lastly, there are still some photos titled “ID needed”. Hunting through bird books is not my idea of a fun time and in the interest of a timely post, they remain unidentified by me. If you care to help “fill in” those missing IDs, please leave a comment or send me an email. Corrections to the IDs I have made are also appreciated. I am hoping that Joan will do most of the “work” when she sees this post!

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Magnolia Warbler (in chain link fence)
Magnolia Warbler (in chain link fence)
Northern Parula #1
Northern Parula #1
Common Yellow-throat
Common Yellow-throat
Magnolia Warbler #1
Magnolia Warbler #1
Magnolia Warbler #2
Magnolia Warbler #2
ID Needed #1
ID Needed #1
ID Needed #2
ID Needed #2
ID Needed #3
ID Needed #3
Black and White Warbler #1
Black and White Warbler #1
American Redstart
American Redstart
Cape May Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Northern Parula #2
Northern Parula #2
Black and White Warbler #2
Black and White Warbler #2
ID Needed #4
ID Needed #4
Blackpoll Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Yellow Warbler #1
Yellow Warbler #1
Yellow Warbler Singing
Yellow Warbler Singing
ID Needed #5
ID Needed #5
Yellow Warbler #2
Yellow Warbler #2
Mallard
Mallard
Sparrow Singing #1
Sparrow Singing #1
Catbird
Catbird
Common Eider Pair
Common Eider Pair
Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing
American Robin with Worm
American Robin with Worm
Sparrow Singing #2
Sparrow Singing #2
Least Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
White-throated Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Common Grackle Calling
Common Grackle Calling
Red-winged Blackbird Calling
Red-winged Blackbird Calling

* For those that are interested in such things, I made roughly 800 exposures (most but not all, of birds) while we were on the island. I processed 125 (~15%) of those exposures and present 30 of them (~4%) here.

16 May 2019

Amaryllis

Filed under: Garden Flowers — Frank @ 11:08 AM

This amaryllis has been sitting in our bay window for some weeks now. I look at it over Joan’s shoulder every time we sit down for a meal. Every day, I say to myself “I should make a photo of that.”. Well today was that day!

I taped a black cloth to the window for a background, moved the plant far enough forward so that it was well lit from the sides and made five exposures total… two to get the highlights properly exposed and three at different f/stops to bracket the depth of field.

It took me less than a half hour to go from digging out the black cloth to making this blog post. Ain’t the digital age wonderful?!

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Joan's Amaryllis
Joan's Amaryllis

15 May 2019

Composites

Filed under: Autumn,Garden Flowers,Spring — Frank @ 12:05 PM

One day last week, Joan came home with a flat of pansies for her garden. I was struck by the amazing variety of different shapes and colors. I snipped off a few flowers (she will never notice!) and brought them in to my “studio” (i.e. the table in the basement). I photographed each flower individually and, after cleaning up the background a bit (pesky dust spots!), I composited the three frames using PhotoShop.

This image reminded me of a project I began last fall, but had not gotten past the “collect the specimen” stage. Last October I collected a number of fallen leaves and glycerinated* them. They have been sitting in a pile for months. After finishing the pansy composite, I was inspired to finally photograph this collection of leaves. The final images you see are, again, composites.

The grid image is what I had envisioned the seven or eight months ago when I collected the leaves.

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Pansies
Pansies
Three Autumn Leaves
Three Autumn Leaves
Maple Leaf Matrix
Maple Leaf Matrix

* Autumn leaves look very nice when you collect them but they are hard to photograph since they are not flat. One can press the leaves to get them flat, but, in my experience, they become brittle as they dry and thus hard to handle. They also do not stay flat for very long. Glycerination is the solution to the problem. By coating the leaves with glycerol and pressing the leaves between two glass plates one gets supple flat leaves that stay flat and therefore easier to photograph.

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