Photographs by Frank

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.

Springtime in New England

Filed under: Garden Flowers,Landscapes — Frank @ 12:00 PM

Ahhh… springtime in New England!

How come that statement never conjures up visions of warm sunny weather?!

Yesterday, we awoke to snow on the ground. Not much… just enough to cover the bare ground in the garden and coat the vehicles. But it is the middle of May!

The snow was gone by mid-morning.

After lunch, I headed out on some errands. I wanted to get materials for building an electric fence. I want to try to keep the bears out of the bird feeders. Additionally, the paper for the Limrik had to get from the mill to the printers and for some reason they don’t make it with legs!

While I was out and about, I stopped and made two photographs.

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Springtime Barn
Springtime Barn
Springtime Bench
Springtime Bench

22 May 2018

Rainy Day Colors

Filed under: architecture,Garden Flowers,Monadnock Region,Spring — Tags: , — Frank @ 6:00 PM

After finishing my errands this morning, I took a stroll (with camera in hand) around downtown Peterborough in a light rain.

The light was dull and flat, it was not a day for black and white photos, but the rain did make the colors really pop!

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Blue Spokes
Blue Spokes
Once Blue
Once Blue
Spring Flower #1
Spring Flower #1
Spring Flower #2
Spring Flower #2
Colorful Detail #1
Colorful Detail #1
Colorful Detail #2
Colorful Detail #2
Colorful Detail #3`
Colorful Detail #3`
Colorful Detail #4
Colorful Detail #4
Fixed!
Fixed!
Traffic Cone
Traffic Cone
Flammable Gas
Flammable Gas
Life Is Good, Etc.
Life Is Good, Etc.


 

19 September 2016

A Dollar and Half’s Worth of Fun

Filed under: Early Fall,Garden Flowers — Tags: — Frank @ 6:00 PM

A few days ago I spent $1.50 at the Tenney Farm for a stalk of sunflowers.

The next morning I spent a bit of time in the yard photographing two of the flowers. By the time I finished the sun was getting high and harsh so I moved inside to my table top studio in the basement to photograph the two remaining blossoms.

At some point I stopped for lunch and to make a trip to the mail box. On my way back up the drive way, I picked up a couple of apples  from under one of the trees. In the evening I got back to the studio to photograph the apples.

A buck-fifty well spent!

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Sunflower #1
Sunflower #1
Sunflower #2
Sunflower #2
Sunflower #3
Sunflower #3
Sunflower #4
Sunflower #4
Apple #1
Apple #1
Apple #2
Apple #2


 

22 July 2015

Yard Odes and Flowers

Yesterday (Tuesday, 21 July) dawned hot and sticky and stayed that way. Despite the weather I spent some time in the late afternoon haunting the yard in search of odes. The numbers of odes were small, but there was a nice variety. The most common insect was a butterfly; the great spangled fritillary.

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Spreadwing
Spreadwing
Great Spangled Fritillary
Great Spangled Fritillary
Frosted Whiteface (female)? #1
Frosted Whiteface (female)? #1
Frosted Whiteface (female)? #2
Frosted Whiteface (female)? #2
Frosted Whiteface (female)? #3
Frosted Whiteface (female)? #3
Calico Pennant (male) Oblisking
Calico Pennant (male) Oblisking
Calico Pennant (male)
Calico Pennant (male)

At some point during my rounds, I turned my attention from odes to the flowers Joan has growing in the many beds and containers around the yard.

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Black-eyed Susan #1
Black-eyed Susan #1
Black-eyed Susan #2
Black-eyed Susan #2
Garden Flower #1
Garden Flower #1
Poppy
Poppy
Garden Flower #2
Garden Flower #2
Purple Coneflower
Purple Coneflower
Black-eyed Susan
Black-eyed Susan
Snapdragon
Snapdragon


 

10 May 2015

Mothers Day Flowers

Filed under: Garden Flowers — Frank @ 7:45 PM

While the table top “studio” (white seamless background and lights) was all set up to make the “New Hampshire Firewood” photo, I looked for other things to put in front of my lens.

Joan had two daffodils from the yard sitting in a vase on the kitchen counter. They were my next victim. Subsequently, a number of the other plants from around the house succumbed!

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Daffodils
Daffodils
Orchid
Orchid
House Plant
House Plant
"Easter" Cactus


 

20 July 2014

Garden Flowers

Since there were so few odes around on Friday, I took to making photographs of the flowers that Joan has growing around the vegetable garden.

At one point, I was aggressively investigated by a female ruby-throated hummingbird.  I guess that she decided that I was not going to eat too much nectar because, after the initial close encounter, she proceeded to visit a few flowers while I fumbled to take the extension tube off my camera. I was too slow and she headed off before I could make a photo of her.

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Purple Cone Flower & Visitor
Purple Cone Flower & Visitor
Black-eyed Susan with Visiting Committee
Black-eyed Susan with Visiting Committee
Garden Flower #1
Garden Flower #1
Garden Flower #2
Garden Flower #2
Garden Flower #3
Garden Flower #3
Garden Flower #4
Garden Flower #4
Garden Flower #5
Garden Flower #5


 

2 April 2014

Keeping Busy in the Late Winter and… Signs of Spring

Arrrgh… blasted computers!

I went to write this post (the first in two months… how time flies!) and found that WordPress was asking me to update a number of things; which I dutifully did. This broke gallery plug-in that I have been using to display sets of photos. I have spent part of two days trying, without success, to get things working again! I have given up (at least for the moment). Thus, you will note a much less elegant presentation of the photos included in this post. Please click on each thumb nail for a larger version and then click on the larger image to close it.

Here is the post I was contemplating before update hell intervened…

February and March are always the slow time in my photographic year and this year has been no exception. Stretches of cold gray weather followed by a day or two of  cloudless bright sun… neither of which are very conducive to landscape or wildlife photography. Most years we see signs of spring by early April and the photographic opportunities reassert themselves… not this year, as yet!

There is still more than a foot of snow on the ground and “ice out” on the lake  is no where in sight. There are a few meager signs that spring is coming… the snow has a nice wet slushy consistency, a few robins have appeared, the temperatures are falling to barely below freezing at night and the road is a quagmire! Yesterday, it was even warm enough to spend some time making saw dust fly in the garage Spring can’t be too far away… right!?

Although the making of new photographs has been slow, I have been “photo-active” in other ways. For instance, I put together and submitted a portfolio of fifteen 8″x 10″ prints (matted to 11″ x 14″)  in support of my application to become an exhibiting member at the Vermont Center for Photography. I am glad to say that this portfolio was favorably received and I was accepted as an exhibiting member at the end of February.

The Vermont Center for Photography is a gallery and resource center located in Brattleboro, VT (about an hours drive from the house). For the moment, I plan to take part in their group exhibits. I also plan to use their darkroom facilities as I experiment with hand-made cameras (see this post, for example).

Here are the photographs I submitted:

 

17 August 2013

Experiments in Optics

Filed under: Garden Flowers,The "New" Yard & Environs — Tags: , — Frank @ 6:00 PM

I recently acquired a bunch of lenses from old enlargers… both enlarging lenses and condenser lenses. One of the largest lens in the collection is a 5″ in diameter condensing lens that is mounted in a metal frame. It is probably from a 4″x5″ enlarger. Today, I decided to “play” with this lens in conjunction with a digital camera.

Here are the first results…

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Untitled #1
Untitled #1
Untitled #2
Untitled #2
Untitled #3
Untitled #3
Untitled #4
Untitled #4
Untitled #5
Untitled #5
Untitled #6
Untitled #6
The Set Up
The Set Up

The last photo in this set shows the set up. I mounted the condensing lens on a tripod, added a cardboard lens hood (which you can’t see in this photo) and a dark cloth. Both the hood and the cloth are attached to the lens with masking tape. The first couple of images I tried were low in contrast and had lens flares. Thus, I added the lens hood.

To use this set up, I placed myself and the digital camera under the dark cloth and made photos of the lens.

Clearly the middle of the circular frame is the sharpest, but it will never be “tack sharp”, and that the images goes soft and distorted towards the edges. All of which is really the point in something like this. Isn’t it?

It was interesting to watch how the image made by the lens changed in large ways with small movements of me and the camera. I learned quickly to make an exposure when the composition was good and not try to worry about stuff at the edges of the frame that were going to get cropped out any way.

Post-processing consists basically of cropping to the square format (to eliminate the extraneous part of the frame ) and  adjusting the exposure to make sure that the frame is pure black). A few images got small amounts of other processing (curves adjustments, etc.) but nothing major.

I forgot how hot it gets under a dark cloth in the bright sun… even on a day when the air temperature is in the low 70’s. However,  I think that results were worth the “suffering”! What say you?


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