Photographs by Frank

16 August 2021

A Few Hours of Odeing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Frank @ 11:30 AM

Yesterday afternoon, I took a walk down the road at the Harris Center property on Brimstone Corner Road. The temperature was in the mid-70s F and the skies were mostly sunny.

Just before 3 PM, I lathered up with “bug stuff” and headed out. Three hours later, the mosquitoes drove me home. I don’t know if the “bug stuff” had worn off or if it was the hour but the mosquitoes were viscous on the walk home.

This property has a number of diverse habitats frequented by odes… sunny wood roadsides, old log landings in various state of regrowth and a large beaver pond with its associated outlet stream. Diverse habitat means diversity of species and I was not disappointed.

The most common odes by far were meadow hawks, I saw roughly three dozen. Yellow individuals (females and immature males) outnumbered red ones (mature males) by about four to one. The meadow hawks were present in sunny spots along the road as well as in the old log landings.

The next most common species were the spreadwings in the stream just down stream from the culverts; I counted about a dozen. There were also a small number of ebony jewelwings present here and two variable dancers (one of each sex).

Over at the beaver pond, I saw roughly half a dozen male slatey skimmers. They are hard to count has they were, for the most part constantly moving. The aerial “dogfights” among the slatey skimmers are fun to watch.

The find of the day was a single black saddlebags in a sunny spot at the junction of two woods roads. This species is fairly rare around here… rare enough that there are many summers when I do not see one.

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Meadowhawk (female)
Meadowhawk (female)
Meadowhawk (imm. male)
Meadowhawk (imm. male)
Meadowhawk (male)
Meadowhawk (male)
Variable Dancer (male)
Variable Dancer (male)
Spreadwing
Spreadwing
Black Saddlebags
Black Saddlebags

15 August 2021

New Salted-paper Prints

I have spent the past week making a new batch of salted-paper prints. In doing so, I mined my archives for photographs that I think will work well as salted-paper prints. The initial exposure for all of these photos were made between five and ten years ago.

Making salted-paper prints is an iterative process.

I process the image in Photoshop making educated guesses as to how the negative should look to give me a good print. Then, I make a negative and use that negative to make a small test salted-paper print on 5×7 inch paper.

I probably get things exactly right the first time about two-thirds of the time. If the print is not to my liking, I go back to the computer and make further adjustments in Photoshop. Most often these adjustments involve dodging and burning… adjusting the brightness of very localized areas of an image. It is very rare that I need to make more than a second negative.

The photograph of the dragonfly in this series is one of those rare images. After the second iteration, I was still not satisfied with the print. In this case I went back to the original file and began anew. Of course, I had the ‘education’ gleaned from the first two unsatisfactory versions and thus the third version “hit the nail on the head” as they say.

The first five images below are all 4×5 inch prints (on 5×7 inch paper). Many times, after making a successful print at that size, I will make a larger negative (6×7 1/2 inches) and print that on 8×10 inch paper. The last two prints in this series are of the larger size.

This process illustrates why I much prefer working with digital negatives for alternative processes compared to analog (film) negatives. Both ideas (making detailed adjustments to the negative and printing an image at different sizes) are possible but extremely difficult in the analog realm.

I often have thought of making even larger prints, maybe up to 11×14 inches. My light source is large enough for a 16×20 inch contact printing frame. However, when I begin to work out the logistics of the larger trays and the space they would require as well as the cost of the materials for such large prints, I run smack into the wall of reality!!!

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Autumn Harvest
Autumn Harvest
Common Whitetail (female)
Common Whitetail (female)
Bluejay
Bluejay
Mockingbird with Prey
Mockingbird with Prey
Western Chipmunk
Western Chipmunk
American Avocet
American Avocet
Willet Feeding
Willet Feeding

7 August 2021

Pieces

Filed under: Uncategorized — Frank @ 6:00 PM

For some (unknown) reason, I seem to be seeing pieces or details these days. The camera goes with me most places these days. Here are some of the fragments of the world that have caught my eye over the past week or so.

Color Work

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Pieces #1 (color)
Pieces #1 (color)
Pieces #2 (color)
Pieces #2 (color)
Pieces #3 (color)
Pieces #3 (color)
Pieces #4 (color)
Pieces #4 (color)
Pieces #5 (color)
Pieces #5 (color)

Black and White

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Pieces #6 (Lines... Roof and Power)
Pieces #6 (Lines... Roof and Power)
Pieces #7
Pieces #7
Pieces #8
Pieces #8
Pieces #9
Pieces #9
Pieces #10
Pieces #10
Pieces #11
Pieces #11
Pieces #12
Pieces #12
Pieces #713
Pieces #713

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!?

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.

20 December 2020

My Father’s Train

Filed under: Uncategorized — Frank @ 6:21 AM

Electric trains were a holiday tradition in our house when I was young. The trains came down from the attic with the Christmas decorations in mid-December and went back up in early January.

There were two sets of trains. A “modern” set that my brother and I got for Christmas one year in the early 60s and to which a new car or two was added on each subsequent year. The second set was one that my father had when he was young. It probably dates from about 1940.

Both sets ran on the same tracks and we played with both. My father’s set consisted of a very sleek engine and two passenger cars. I seem to remember that the were somewhat balky in their operation. Not surprising, given their age. The “modern” set, consisting of freight cars including a missile launcher car (this was after all, the cold war!) made for more interesting play.

I have no idea what has become of “my” set. However, my father’s set recently came into my possession. When we moved my Mom to assisted living this Fall one of the boxes that ended up at our house contained the train set. When I got the box home, I stowed it in our garage and did not think much about it until last week.

When I opened the box last week, I found the three trains (engine and two passenger cars) that I remembered (in their original boxes) along with a receipt dated 2005 for their refurbishment. Also in the box are four unopened boxes of brand spanking new train track and a modern power supply. I don’t think that my father ever set them up after getting the trains fixed up.

I was inspired to make a photo of the engine. The box of trains is currently sitting in our house, I should probably set them up and give them some exercise. We’ll see…

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Lionel Model Train Engine
Lionel Model Train Engine

6 December 2020

Friday Dozen

Filed under: Uncategorized — Frank @ 10:00 PM

Friday morning I visited my friends Joe and Diana in Laconia.

I took an indirect route home and stopped to photograph in East Andover and at Potter Place (a historic rail station) in Andover with the following results:

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Church Steeple (East Andover, NH)
Church Steeple (East Andover, NH)
Grange Hall (East Andover) #1
Grange Hall (East Andover) #1
Grange Hall (East Andover) #1
Grange Hall (East Andover) #1
Untitled (East Andover, NH)
Untitled (East Andover, NH)
Hand Truck (Potter Place)
Hand Truck (Potter Place)
Potter Place Depot
Potter Place Depot
Untitled #1 (Potter Place)
Untitled #1 (Potter Place)
Untitled #2 (Potter Place)
Untitled #2 (Potter Place)
Wood God (Potter Place)
Wood God (Potter Place)
Wood Stove (Potter Place)
Wood Stove (Potter Place)
Box Car Detail (Potter Place)
Box Car Detail (Potter Place)
Boston and Maine (Potter Place)
Boston and Maine (Potter Place)

9 March 2019

A Walk on the Lake, Part 2: Other Photos

Filed under: Uncategorized — Frank @ 7:05 PM

Of course, there were things other than bob houses to photograph during yesterday’s walk on the lake.

Here are a few of the things that caught my eye:

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Drifted Snow
Drifted Snow
Red Chairs on Dock in Snow
Red Chairs on Dock in Snow
Tracks in the Snow #1
Tracks in the Snow #1
Tracks in the Snow #2
Tracks in the Snow #2
Nominally White #1
Nominally White #1
Nominally White #2
Nominally White #2
Nominally White #3
Nominally White #3

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"

24 May 2018

Eight Years and Counting

Filed under: Uncategorized — Frank @ 10:00 PM

No new photos for today, but I cannot let the day pass without comment.

I made my first-ever post here, eight years ago today… here it is, so you don’t have to search for it!

Four hundred seventy four posts later, I am still at it. Who woulda thunk?

As the last photo in my most recent post says… Life is Good.

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