Photographs by Frank

29 June 2021

Gregg Lake Loons 2021 – Update

Filed under: Birds,Summer,Wildlife — Tags: , — Frank @ 1:00 AM

Today was hot (90 deg. F plus) and humid. Late this afternoon, I headed down to the lake to see if I could photograph the loons on Gregg Lake. The chicks are about three weeks old.

The loon family moved out the the main part of the lake when the chicks were only two or three days old. This makes photographing them much more difficult as they have a large area in which to roam. Shore-based photography was not going to work. I needed to use a kayak and Big Bertha is too unwieldly to use while afloat.

Instead, I headed out my 300 mm lens and both a 1.4x and a 1.7x teleconverter. I am able to hand-hold the camera with the 300 mm lens attached. Big Bertha requires a tripod.

The converters gives me roughly 400 mm and 500 mm of magnification, respectively. This turned out to be plenty. I used the 1.4x converter for most of the photos but did try out the 1.7x near the end of my outing just to see how it would work.

Adjusting the ISO so that I could keep the shutter speed at or above 1/1000 second allowed me to get adequately sharp photographs while hand-holding the camera in a bobbing kayak.

The loons are not bothered by the presence of the kayak but I tried to keep my distance and did not approach them closer than roughly 150 feet. For the most part an adult and the two chicks just hung out in one area and the adult spent some time fishing.. Thrice the adult brought a small fish to the chicks but I did not get a good photograph of feeding behavior today. The chicks spent significant amounts of time with their heads in the water as the adults do when fishing, but I only saw two or three short dives by the chicks,

Eventually the adult made a series of calls and the family headed off around the edge of the lake at a decent clip. I followed them for a bit but then thought better of chasing them as they moved along so I headed to camp. The loons eventually headed out into the middle of the lake.

As I headed back across the lake on the way home, I encountered the adult and two chicks again and watched as the second adult met up with them. By then it was almost 7:30, so I did not watch them for long before continuing on home.

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Adult and Two Chicks
Adult and Two Chicks
Two Chicks #1
Two Chicks #1
Two Chicks #2
Two Chicks #2
Adult and One Chick #1
Adult and One Chick #1
Adult Loon
Adult Loon
Adult and One Chick #2
Adult and One Chick #2
Two Adults and Two Chicks
Two Adults and Two Chicks

19 June 2021

Another Friday Night at the Races

Filed under: Uncategorized — Frank @ 11:45 PM

Last Friday night, I tried my hand at photographing the stock car races in Claremont, NH (see this post for the details). That evening was rain-shortened and my ticket was good again for last nights racing.

Thus, yesterday, I headed out early, paid the difference in admission between the grandstand ticket and a paddock pass and wandered among the racers for a long afternoon/evening.

I left the house about 4:15 PM and got to the track just as practice laps began at 5:30. The racing lasted until 11:30 and I got home just before 1 AM… not something this geezer could do every Friday night!

I was hoping to get some behind-the-scenes photos of my neighbors preparing to race. However, they did not race last evening. So I wandered the pits for a while and rediscovered that I am not very adept at photographing people… especially people who are working hard to get ready to race. After awhile, I turned my attention to the action on the track.

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Tools of The Trade
Tools of The Trade
Drivers Meeting
Drivers Meeting
Modifieds
Modifieds
Friday Evening Traffic
Friday Evening Traffic
Wrong Side Up (the driver walked away)
Wrong Side Up (the driver walked away)
Restart
Restart
Race Action
Race Action
Close Quarters (Sparks Fly)
Close Quarters (Sparks Fly)
Goin' Sideways
Goin' Sideways
Aftermath
Aftermath
On The Line
On The Line
Door Handle to Door Handle, Literally
Door Handle to Door Handle, Literally

Warning… photographer talk ahead!

Photographing fast moving objects in poor light is “interesting”. Early on, with the sun still out, life was fairly easy. As the evening wore on, I ventured into ISO territory that I had not visited before in attempt to keep a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the motion of a race car.

I also discovered that I have a gap in my lens choices when it comes to this sort of photography. The long end of my 16-80 mm zoom is a bit short and my 300 mm lens is often a bit long. (I certainly did not need the telelconverter I brought along for the 300.)

I also used “burst mode” exclusively. Burst mode allows one to take multiple frames in very rapid succession something like 10 frame per second for my camera. I very rarely use this mode in my usual practice. When I do it is only for short times and generally in the “low speed mode that my camera has. Last night I used the high speed mode for the majority of evening.

The result…I made a total of 4002 exposures and almost filled a 128 GB card! Terra incognita for me. Sorting though all of those files was a major pain and I bet that I missed a few interesting frames in doing so… one of the downsides of burst mode! I ended up processing about 100 frames total. Aren’t you glad I am showing only a dozen here!?

On The Way Home, Redux

Filed under: Landscapes,Summer — Tags: — Frank @ 11:00 PM

Wednesday morning I met my friend Bill in Keene for coffee and then I had lunch with my friend Al, also in Keene. I took an indirect route home via Sullivan, Marlow and Stoddard.

Of course I made a few photographs on the way.

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Odd Fellows Hall (Marlow, NH)
Odd Fellows Hall (Marlow, NH)
Gazebo (Marlow, NH)
Gazebo (Marlow, NH)
Town Hall (Marlow, NH)
Town Hall (Marlow, NH)
A Fine Summer Afternoon (color)
A Fine Summer Afternoon (color)
A Fine Summer Afternoon (IR)
A Fine Summer Afternoon (IR)

14 June 2021

Hardware (Anthotype Photograms)

Filed under: Alternative Processes,Anthotype — Frank @ 10:30 PM

Saturday evening, I sat down with my jar of ‘stuff’ for making photograms and played with patterns. Early Sunday morning, I set up some photograms based on my ‘play’ the evening and headed for Brattleboro. Shortly after I returned home in the middle of the afternoon I processed the now well exposed anthotype paper.

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a
a
b
b
c
c
d
d
e
e
f
f
g
g
h
h
i-8x10
i-8x10

13 June 2021

On the Trip Home

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region,Summer — Tags: , , — Frank @ 10:34 PM

This morning, I headed to Brattleboro to see what was up at the Vermont Center for Photography’s “tag sale’. Not that I need much in the way of ‘photo junk’, but I like to support the VCP and can always find something that will be useful. I came away with a few books, some mats and developing trays.

On the way home, I meandered and made some photographs. I made a few with the camera obscura but mostly, I made infrared (IR) photographs. It was a bright sunny middle of the day… good for IR landscapes and not much else.

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Town Hall, Chesterfield, NH (camera obscura)
Town Hall, Chesterfield, NH (camera obscura)
Mount Monadnock (Camera Obscura)
Mount Monadnock (Camera Obscura)
Mount Monadnock (IR)
Mount Monadnock (IR)
Mount Monadnock & Pasture (IR)
Mount Monadnock & Pasture (IR)
Mount Monadnock & Newly Mowed Hayfield (IR)
Mount Monadnock & Newly Mowed Hayfield (IR)
Harrisville Mill Building #1 (IR)
Harrisville Mill Building #1 (IR)
Harrisville Mill Building #2 (IR)
Harrisville Mill Building #2 (IR)
Lake Skatutakee (IR)
Lake Skatutakee (IR)

12 June 2021

Friday Night Racing

Filed under: Off Topic — Frank @ 10:30 AM

Our neighbors down the road about a half mile are in to stockcar racing. Both the father and one of the (teenage) sons race. A couple of months ago, I was chatting with the dad and discovered that they race regularly at the Claremont (NH) Speedway, a bit more than an hour’s drive from Antrim.

Yesterday, on a cool and threatening rain, afternoon, I decided to head to Claremont to ‘check out’ the scene. I was hoping to get there early and spend some time in the paddock photographing ‘behind the scenes’. Alas, that did not work out and I arrived only a bit before the first race. They got in about an hour’s racing before the rain began. The good news is that, because of the rain, my ticket is good for next Friday night as well!

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Establishing Shot
Establishing Shot
Not As Bad As IT Looks
Not As Bad As IT Looks
Coming Out Of Turn Four
Coming Out Of Turn Four
The Pack - Turn 4
The Pack - Turn 4
Down The Back Straightaway
Down The Back Straightaway
Coming Out Of Turn Two #1
Coming Out Of Turn Two #1
Gettin' Low (Turn Two)
Gettin' Low (Turn Two)
Coming Out Of Turn Two #2
Coming Out Of Turn Two #2
Coming Out Of Turn Two #3
Coming Out Of Turn Two #3
Goin' High
Goin' High

9 June 2021

Gregg Lake Loon Chicks in 2021!!!

Filed under: Birds,Summer,Wildlife — Tags: , — Frank @ 7:36 PM

Yesterday (Tuesday, 8 June 2021) evening we received a report that a loon chick had been sighted… right on schedule! Joan had estimated that the chick were due around the 10th.

This morning we headed down to the bridge to see what was up for ourselves. We arrived at about 9:15; the temperature was in the mid-70s and there was a high, thin overcast. We did not have to work very hard to find loons. There was an adult with two chicks hanging out in the area between the two bridges. The distance was pretty much ideal for photography.

After a short interval the second adult arrived, with fish in beak, to feed the chicks. We observed feeding three more times in the two hours we watched. One adult and the chicks stayed within a small area between the bridges the entire time we watched. The other adult made forays into the main part of the lake to hunt.

As the morning progressed it became sunnier and warmer. Eventually we decided that we had spent long enough and headed home. It was about 11:15 and 85 degrees when we packed up.

If things follow the same pattern as last year, there will be a short window of easy photographic opportunity while the chicks and one adult stay on the north side of the road, near the nest site. Eventually, when the chicks are big enough, the whole family will move to the main part of the lake for the remainder of the summer*. At that point they will be ranging widely and one will need a to photograph from a kayak. I did not try this last year, but I just might try this year.

I made 788 exposures in the two hours! Many are what we photographers call ‘similars’. With up to four critters (in this case) all doing their things and not taking direction from the photographer (to say the least!), the best strategy is to make lots of exposures and to sort out the best frames later.

I processed about 10% of the frames but will only show you eleven. As I said, the rest are ‘similar!

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Adult and Chick #1 (2021 Loons)
Adult and Chick #1 (2021 Loons)
Adult and Two Chicks (2021 Loons)
Adult and Two Chicks (2021 Loons)
All Aboard! (2021 Loons)
All Aboard! (2021 Loons)
Feeding Time! (2021 Loons; extreme crop)
Feeding Time! (2021 Loons; extreme crop)
Adult and Chick #2 (2021 Loons)
Adult and Chick #2 (2021 Loons)
Nap Time! (2021 Loons)
Nap Time! (2021 Loons)
Two Adults and Once Chick (2021 Loons)
Two Adults and Once Chick (2021 Loons)

This sequence of one of the feedings deserves its own gallery! And yes… that fish did slide right down the gullet of that tiny bird!

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Feeding Sequence #1 (9:52:09 AM; 2021 Loons)
Feeding Sequence #1 (9:52:09 AM; 2021 Loons)
Feeding Sequence #2 (9:52:10 AM; 2021 Loons)
Feeding Sequence #2 (9:52:10 AM; 2021 Loons)
Feeding Sequence #3 (9:52:11 AM; 2021 Loons)
Feeding Sequence #3 (9:52:11 AM; 2021 Loons)
Feeding Sequence #4 (9:52:21 AM; 2021 Loons)
Feeding Sequence #4 (9:52:21 AM; 2021 Loons)

* UPDATE on Thursday (10 June) afternoon: The loon family has been spotted on the main part of the lake already.

7 June 2021

Anthotypes & Salted-Paper Prints

Filed under: Uncategorized — Frank @ 8:30 PM

I “cooked up” a batch of anthotypes on Saturday.

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A
A
B
B
C
C
D
D
E
E
F
F
G
G

On Sunday, I beat the heat by making salted-paper prints in the basement.

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Grange Hall, Antrim Center (NH)
Grange Hall, Antrim Center (NH)
Tractor Engine Detail
Tractor Engine Detail
Chichester Barn (NH)
Chichester Barn (NH)

The first of the anthotypes is 6.5 inches square on 8×10 inch paper. The rest are 4.5 inches square on 5×7 inch paper. The salted-paper prints are either 4.5 inches square or 4×5 inches on 5x7ish inch paper.

3 June 2021

Another Set of Anthotypes

Filed under: Alternative Processes,Anthotype — Frank @ 5:30 PM

Yesterday morning, I started a bunch of anthotypes early and then spent the rest of the morning finishing up the batch of salted-paper I had sensitized earlier in the week*.

I put the anthotypes out at about 9:30. This is as early as the sun reaches my ‘anthotype spot’ (AKA the bulkhead leading to our basement). At about 5:30, I began the process of disassembling the frames and spraying the anthotypes. I finished the clean up just in time for a 6:30 webinar on ‘hand-made photographs’ sponsored by the Photographic Resource Center in Boston.

The astute observer will note that I have expanded the subject matter of my anthotypes! There will be further expansion to follow as time and sunny days permit… I have ideas!!!

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A (about 6.5 inches square)
A (about 6.5 inches square)
B (about 6.5 inches square)
B (about 6.5 inches square)
C (about 6.5 inches square)
C (about 6.5 inches square)
D (about 6.5 inches square)
D (about 6.5 inches square)
E (about 4.5 inches square)
E (about 4.5 inches square)
F (about 4.5 inches square)
F (about 4.5 inches square)
G (about 4.5 inches square)
G (about 4.5 inches square)
H (about 4.5 inches square)
H (about 4.5 inches square)
I (about 4.5 inches square)
I (about 4.5 inches square)
J (about 4x5 inches)
J (about 4x5 inches)

* There were no new images in this batch of salted-paper prints, so there will not be a post about them. I am trying to get in the habit of making an ‘edition’ of two or three copies of each image I print on salted-paper.

2 June 2021

New Salted Paper Prints

Filed under: Alternative Processes,Landscapes,Salted-paper Prints — Frank @ 4:00 PM

I have been ‘mining’ my archives looking for photographs that I think would do well as salted paper prints.

Here is the latest batch made yesterday evening. The images are 6×7.5 inches or 6.5 inches square on 8×10 inch Hahn. Platinum Rag paper. I made two copies of each.

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Bass Harbor Light (Mt. Desert Island)
Bass Harbor Light (Mt. Desert Island)
Birches & Fence
Birches & Fence
Stone Church (Antrim Center)
Stone Church (Antrim Center)
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