REMEMBERING 2018

Yes, I’m a little bit behind but that’s the way life is these days.  For several years I’ve posted a gallery at year’s end to showcase what I thought was my best or most interesting work of the year.  That was usually done by the first quarter, certainly by spring …. yeah, Labor Day’s a little late but, they can still be looked at.

An annual feature is then to dig through them and pick out a few as the best of the best.  Here’s the first.

I was setting up to photograph a sunset on Sanibel Island when this caught my eye, an OMG spontaneous capture.  The actual sunset was well off to the right, far enough to provide a key light on the cloud which, in turn, reflected it to the water’s surface.  This image first appeared on page 38 of my eBook, Shooting For Better Images, (see BetterPix.net).  I wished in the book that the Pelican could have been positioned over the reflection;  well, just letting a few months go by resulted in the Pelican doing just that. 

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Sanibel Island has always been a good source of pixels.  Here’s the bird that welcomed us on our first morning walk on the beach.

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Also from Sanibel’s Ding Darling Wild Life Refuge is this morning gathering.  There are several varieties scrunching together as the tide takes their sand bar away.   The two on the left, probably also white pelicans, have obviously committed some social error.

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This one came home from the Philadelphia Flower Show.  My camera’s eye was caught by the jumble of glass pieces, the reflections from the many overhead lights, and the spots of color.  Creative arranging.

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Here’s one to ponder in the heat of summer slipping away.  This was made in early March at the East Point Lighthouse where the Maurice River edges into Delaware Bay.  Yes, such days lie ahead for us.

This, too, is seen in my eBook as an example of back lighting and specular reflections.  I hope his day worked out for him.

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This image was made as we forged our way down the Columbia River, headed west to Portland and the great Pacific Ocean.  A windblown morning.

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There was winter last year.  This image was one of my Ice In The Pines studies in which I enjoyed the early morning sun attacking the ice crystals.

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A summer highlight was the Night In Venice boat parade at Ocean City, NJ.  Here we enjoyed a wave from Miss Night In Venice as she passed by.

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The squalls of summer don’t make for great beach days but they often add drama.

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Christmas ended the year, brightened by this craft work from Wheaton Arts.

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These were all selected from my best of 2018.  The rest of them can be seen in a gallery by clicking here.  Thanks for taking a look at my work.

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WHERE MY CAMERA TAKES ME

I’m pretty much a landscape/seascape photographer with only an occasional departure from my comfort zone.  There have been some of these moments recently and I thought I’d share them.  The first was in Philadelphia in December.  In looking around, this crazy-mirror image of city hall caught my eye.  Were I a pigeon I think I’d also prefer a flat ledge.

Image 03

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On that same day I experimented with street photography.  The idea is to capture people in their reality, hopefully showing some emotion-inducing aspect of their lives.  I’m not a street-photographer.  It’s intimidating; I feel as though I’m intruding into the subjects’ lives, and that it could prove embarrassing.  It’s anomalous that I’m reluctant because most of my early exposure (beginning in high school years) was to the work of great street photographers such as Cartier-Bresson, Eugene W. Smith, Edward Weston, Dorothy Lange, etc.  on the pages of Popular Photography magazine.  I saw myself in the future as a Weegee (Arthur Fellig) or a “Casey, Crime Photographer” chasing the grit of New York with my Speed Graphic.

My effort that day in Philadelphia was because I had to have entries for the Street Photography competition category at the camera club.  Later I found that the category was only for prints rather than for projected digital images which is my preferred category.  Anyway, here’s one of the results that day:

Image 06

I offer no comment on the image other than that I felt sorry for him, and there is sadness and need in this world.

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After the stress of Christmas I always like to get away for a few days.  This has typically been to Williamsburg and a return home through Chincoteague but this year I wanted something different.  I went instead to Harpers Ferry just across the border between Maryland and West Virginia.  I can well imagine your excitement at this news.  🙂

Well, once again, the family had visited there, probably in the late 60’s and I remembered a certain charm.  It lies between the Potomac and the Shenandoah rivers which converge at the tip of the town from which the surviving Potomac continues on its way to Washington and thence to Chesapeake Bay.  Because of its strategic location, the train lines and bridges, it was occupied by both Confederates and the Union, the ownership shifting several times during the Civil War.

Potomac left and ahead

Potomac left and ahead

The train tracks seen above coming thru a tunnel in Maryland Heights are for Amtrak on the left, and CSX on the right.  I didn’t have to wait long to enjoy this thundering freight train headed west.

Image 01

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Sometime in the recent past, on a visit to the Forsythe Refuge  I photographed a flight of snow geese.  The result was as confusing as a flight of birds can be but as I studied it I saw the picture within the picture seen here.  I loved the composition but….it was fuzzy because of their motion and having been cropped out of the original.  So, I applied Topaz’s Glow with a pleasing result.  So, here’s an image cropped out of a larger one and then further obscured with some software artistry.  I like what’s left.

Snow Geese cover

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It’s Monday which is always a downer for me, and it’s raining.  Fortunately, there’s some color in the house.

Image 02

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Last week I received an email from a friend here on the campus, telling me that there was a white flower blooming outside her apartment.  What!?!  How could anything be blooming in this nasty cold weather?  I walked over and found it, a Hellebore or Christmas Rose, an evergreen perennial flowering plant in the ranunculus family.  I was on my tummy to capture it, and pleased that I could get up without calling campus security.  I didn’t stay long because in witchcraft it is believed to have ties with summoning demons.

Image 04

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Finally for this post, last Saturday found us at a familiar site overlooking the East Point (of the Maurice River) Lighthouse.  I keep returning here and I’ve never been disappointed.  This visit’s view was made dramatic by the ice and the shadows created by the low hanging sun.  Beautiful, but oh, with a sharp wind from the northwest, it was colddddd.

Image 05

Many of us photographers present a year-end post of our best shots from the previous year, and I’ll be doing that for 2014.

Looking back in 2015, however, I think the above lighthouse scene is my best shot of the year.  😉

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MAURICETOWN BECKONS ON A COLD DAY

As I’ve mentioned before in this journal I enjoy getting down to the Mauricetown, NJ area a couple of times a year. The periodic antique show held at the firehouse is a good excuse to make the trip. The show yielded nothing new for my collections but I enjoyed it as well as just driving around through this 19th century seaport town along the Maurice River.

The town is spruced up for the season and, in particular, for their House Tours the weekend of December 11th.  I’m tempted to drive back down again.

Then it was off to the surrounding area, to the quiet roads of Shellpile, Bivalve, and Port Norris, and Dorchester to Leesburg to Heislerville to the east point of the Maurice River.  It was high tide as seen in this tidal creek which I crossed on the way out to the point.

Out at the point near the East Point Lighthouse I was exposed to the open Delaware Bay and 15 to 20 knot westerlies.  Although it was only in the high 30’s the windchill made it difficult to use my fingers on my camera.  I didn’t stay long but it was worth it to me.

It was actually better than advertised as the Weather Channel had forecast solid cloud cover for most of the day.  As it was, the chunks of cloud just hadn’t quite come together.  One last image which I converted to black and white to reflect the tone of the waning, blustery, cold November day: