Photographs by Frank

27 June 2022

Monhegan Island – Intro

Filed under: Misc.,Road Trips — Frank @ 10:12 PM

Joan and I spent the past week visiting Monhegan Island, Maine. We spent a weekend on Monhegan almost twenty years ago and said that we should return for a longer visit sometime. I guess that ‘sometime’ was last week!

We got an early start on Saturday (the 18th) for the drive to Port Clyde; we did not want to miss the ferry. We arrived in plenty of time to have a leisurely lunch and wander the village of Port Clyde a bit before boarding the boat. The weather for the trip was good… a bit of roll but nothing too bad.

Upon arriving on the Island, we left our duffel bags to be trucked up to the place we rented for the week and hiked way up the hill to the Daniel Stevens cottage, our temporary abode. The cottage is the last house on Burnt Head Road. The road continues as a foot trail to Burnt Head after the cottage.

Daniel Stevens was a keeper of both the Mannana Island fog signal station and the Monhegan Island light at different times, but as far as we can tell, he never lived in the cottage that now bears his name.

We spent sometime settling in before taking a short walk and then heading back to the village for dinner.

After breakfast on Sunday we took a hike on some of the many trails and arrived back at the cottage for a late-ish lunch just before the rain started. After lunch we relaxed and by dinnertime the rain had stopped and we hoofed it down the hill for dinner. We kept up this schedule for the rest of the week… morning hike, lunch at the cottage, afternoon rest and relaxation, and evening village stroll with dinner. Very delightful!

The weather for the rest of the week was perfect. Highs in the low sixties, lows in the upper fifties and generally clear skies. The fair weather was not the best for landscape photography… bluebird skies and harsh contrast but I managed.

Speaking of photography… I made 1,587 exposures over the week. But don’t worry, I’m not going to show you all of them. I have uploaded ninety-five images (about 6% of the total) that I will show in this and subsequent posts.

Here is an introductory set of photos made pier-to-pier; Port Clyde to Monhegan. The last photo in this series (of a window in the shed on the Monhegan pier) duplicates a photo I made on our first visit. Twenty years ago, their was a broken pane in the window. I was glad to see that it had been repaired!!!

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The second set of photos were made while ‘out and about’ in the village of Monhegan. The village makes up about one-third of the area on the island. The remaining two-thirds of the island is undeveloped conserved land, mostly forest.

The first three photos in this set deserve a bit of explanation. Manana Island is lies a few hundred feet to the west of Monhegan Island; the channel between the islands makes a nice protected harbor. Manana was once the site of a Coast Guard fog signal station. The fog signal was initially a hand struck bell that was eventually replaced with a air powered horn before being abandoned. Manana Island now has a single house, the remains of the fog signal station and a herd of sheep and goats.

I made a number of (OK… way too many) photos of both the fog signal station shed and the solitary tree seen here. I am not sure why they fascinate me but they do!

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Many more photographs to come over the next several days. Stay tuned…

27 February 2022

Hovenweep National Monument – A Folio

Filed under: Alternative Processes,Landscapes,Pt/Pd Prints,Road Trips — Frank @ 9:00 PM

Back in October 2018, during our road trip to the Southwest, Joan and I made a stop at Hovenweep National Monument. This site, located near the Utah/Colorado border in southern Utah, preserves several ancestral Puebloan villages that were inhabited by groups related to those who lived at the better-known sites in what is now known as Mesa Verde National Park.

Hovenweep is a quiet, peaceful place compared to much-visited Mesa Verde.

Back in January I selected ten of the exposures I made at the Square Tower site in Hoveweep and prepared digital negatives from these files with the intent to make platinum/palladium prints.

As is my habit these days, I initially made small (4×5 inch) negatives/prints to work out the adjustments (mainly dodging and burning) necessary to make a good print. Once I have a small print that looks good to my eye, I then print a larger negative (usually for an image that is 7.5 inches on the long side) and print that on 8×10 inch paper.

Last week, I spent roughly twelve hours (in two sessions) making the ten final prints that are shown below.

My original intent was to place the ‘bare’ prints in a folder with an appropriate title page and colophon. However, making prints that are precisely placed on the paper and that do not have any extraneous marks on the sheet has proved to be difficult. Thus, I am having second thoughts about that presentation and may end up mounting and matting all of the prints to 11×14 inches and placing them in a traditional print box.

As is often the case, the scans do not do full justice to the original prints.

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11 October 2021

Random Photos (2021 Trip)

Filed under: Misc.,Road Trips — Frank @ 10:00 PM

I made about 2,700 exposures in the month we were “on the road”*. Some of these photos don’t fit the stories that I tell in the other posts. Thus I post them here.

The photo titled “Woody’s Sign #2” (in the color section) requires some explanation.

Woody Guthrie’s famous song “This Land is Your Land” is usually sung in an abbreviated version. One of the often omitted verses reads as follows:

As I went walking I saw a sign there,
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing.
That side was made for you and me.

More than ten years ago, on the Rhode Island coast, I made a photo of a no trespassing sign similar to this one. Now, I have two such photos. I think that I have the beginnings of a new project!!!

Black and White —

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Color —

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* In these blog posts, I have shown 110 photos in total.

Great Lakeshores (2021 Road Trip)

Filed under: Landscapes,Road Trips — Frank @ 9:30 PM

After our trek on “the 200s”, we spent the next five nights in Michigan exploring the Lake Superior and Lake Huron shores. We spent two nights near the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore area, two nights further east on Whitefish Bay (both Lake Superior) and one night in Harrisville, MI on Lake Huron.

While at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, we did a 10 mile hike visiting both Chapel Rock/Beach and Mosquito Beach along the way. The four mile stretch between these two beaches is reached only on foot or by boat. The scenery was spectacular although the weather (heavy overcast and some fog) was not ideal for photography. This was true for most of our visit to Pictured Rocks.

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Of course, where there is shore there are lighthouses. I photographed a few! Perhaps the most interesting of these was the lifesaving station at Vermillion. It is a little off the beaten path! I was looking at the map of the Whitefish Bay area and noticed a point marked Vermillion on the Lake Superior shore. It was at the end of a dirt road about seven or eight miles from the main road. Intrigued and knowing nothing more, we headed for Vermillion and were glad we did. At the end of the road was a nature preserve and a well preserved lifesaving station, but no lighthouse. It was well worth the trip.

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While we were camped in Harrisville, MI we decided that it was time to head home. The distance from Harrisville, MI to Antrim, NH is roughly 800 miles. We made this distance in two days. We stopped for the night in a motel near Rochester, NY and made it home late afternoon on Friday (8 October)… exactly one month and 6,772 miles after we set out.

Elk Rut and Prairie Dogs (2021 Road Trip)

Filed under: Mammals,Road Trips,Wildlife — Frank @ 8:02 PM

Our usual route east, towards home, from Western Montana is US Route 2 which runs across the country just south of the Canadian border. This time, we decided to try a different route… a series of state routes numbered 200. We picked up Montana 200 in Missoula (the route starts a bit farther west, at the Idaho border) and eventually continued on the contiguous North Dakota 200 and Minnesota 200 until we were in the Duluth area. This week-long, roughly 1,100 mile trek took us across the central parts of those states. We saw lots of prairie and not a lot of people.

The drive was interesting and quite different from the drive on US 2. The towns along route 200 are generally much smaller and farther apart than the towns along US 2. I think that this is because of the railroad… US 2 generally follows the railroad while the 200 route does not.

The drive was interesting, but I did not make many successful landscape photos along the way. I guess that I did not find a muse in the high prairie. However, I did photograph wildlife in two locations.

Back in 2017, we spent a few hours at the Slippery Ann elk viewing area of the C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in central Montana. This trip we stopped and spent the night. The elk rut was in high gear (as it was at more-or-less the same period in 2017) and we spent a late afternoon and early evening watching and photographing the action… it was fascinating. The bugling continued after it got dark and, in fact, went on all night. We were hoping to photograph again in the morning before moving on but the elk were in the woods and thickets nearer the river rather than out in the open by the road. We could hear them but not see them.

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The second wildlife opportunity along this section of the trip was unplanned. We pulled into a campground in the north unit of Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota one evening. As I wandered the environs looking for landscape photographs (an endeavor complicated by power lines), I heard odd noises coming from a fenced in pasture abutting the campground… the sound was almost, but not quite, avian. I wandered over the found that the noises were emanating from prairie dogs!

I made one photograph through the fence (the first one shown below) but by the time I found a better vantage from which to photograph (a matter of maybe five minutes) the light had faded and there were zero prairie dogs to be seen! Of course, they were all back out-and-about the next morning and I made many photographs of these amusing creatures.

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The Bitteroot Valley (2021 Road Trip)

Filed under: Landscapes,Road Trips — Frank @ 6:03 PM

After our raft trip we spent four nights visiting Joan’s brother and his wife in Hamilton, MT.

During our visit we made one long (about 8 mile) hike to Coquina Lake in the wilderness area of the Salmon-Challis National Forest. Additionally, we did two drives (with a little walking) on Forest Service roads; one drive in the Bitterroot Mountains, (on the west side of valley) and one in the Sapphire Mountains (on the east side).

The autumn colors were in full swing in the Rockies so many (but not all) of my photos from these trips are in color.

Color Work

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Black and White Work

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9 October 2021

River of No Return/Frank Church Wilderness Raft Trip

Filed under: Autumn,Landscapes,Road Trips — Tags: — Frank @ 10:34 PM

Joan and I returned from a month long road trip yesterday (Friday) afternoon. We left two days after Labor Day and made more-or-less a beeline for Salmon, Idaho.

We made overnight stops in western New York, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, Wyoming and central Montana. The last day of the outbound leg, we made a brief stop at Joan’s brothers house in western Montana to drop off our camper before proceeding to meet the folks we would be rafting with in Salmon.

The river we ran is the main stem of the Salmon River. This stretch of the river is also sometimes called the River of No Return* and runs through the Frank Church Wilderness which is the largest wilderness area in the lower forty eight states. We were on the river for six days/five nights. The boats were oared rubber rafts and inflatable kayaks.

Our truck was shuttled to the takeout and after we got off the river, we headed back to Hamilton, MT where we had left the camper. We spent a few days visiting Joan’s brother and sister-in-law before beginning our meander back east. (More on rest of of the trip in subsequent posts.)

Of course, I made a few photographs along the way!

The first batch shown below are photos I made while we were in camp… usually before breakfast or in the late afternoon/early evening before dinner. They were made with my main (dSLR) camera.

The second batch of photos are those made during the day (either at lunch stops or while on the river) using a small fixed (wide angle) lens camera.

As the regulars know, my landscape work in mostly black and white and thus the large majority of these photos are of that ilk.

However, I have snuck a few (three, to be exact) color photos in at the end of the first batch. Not even I would try to photograph a rainbow in black and white!!! As for the last photo (made early on our last morning on the river), the sky was just to luscious in color to convert.

So without further ado…

Batch 1 —

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Batch 2 —

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* This name is not as bad as it sounds. Early settlers (ranchers and miners, in the main) would build boats in Salmon (and up river) and then float the river to their camps. Upon arrival the boats would be dismantled and the (valuable) lumber used for other projects. Thus, is was boats that did not return not people.

3 October 2019

2019 Trip – Other Subjects

Filed under: Road Trips — Frank @ 11:00 AM

As we travel, I make photographs of random things that catch my eye.

Here are some of those photos from our recent trip…

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2 October 2019

2019 Trip — Landscapes

Filed under: Early Fall,Landscapes,Road Trips — Frank @ 5:00 PM

This trip was mainly about the landscape and it did not disappoint.

As much as possible, we stuck to local roads and hugged the coast beginning with coastal US1 from Brunswick to Calais, Maine. We spent time at Acadia National Park, both on Mount Desert Island and on the Schoodic Peninsula.

At Calais, we crossed the border into New Brunswick and followed the north shore of the Bay of Fundy. We spent time at the Bay of Fundy National Park. Eventually, arriving in Nova Scotia, we hugged its western coast and spent time at Cape Brenton Highlands National Park.

Turning back towards home, we explored the northern shore of Bras d’Or Lake on Cape Brenton Island and the eastern shore of mainland Nova Scotia. We turned north towards Turo before we got into Halifax (we like to avoid cities) and then turned westward at Turo to follow the coast again. Heading back into New Brunswick, we retraced our outward bound route down the coast and home. We were gone two days short of three weeks.

We could have stopped to photograph at many more places than we did… we would still be on the road if we had!

One subject that we ignored this trip were the wonderful little churches found in almost every village and hamlet we passed through. Many are perched scenically on a high point of land. One could spend an entire trip just photographing churches. Maybe someday I will!

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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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