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IN THE FIELD: A MONTH APART

June 19, 2018 8 comments

 

In this part of southeastern Pennsylvania there are small towns and communities surrounded by farms. Interspersed among these farms are more farms. Corn, soybeans and wheat are the primary crops grown here. Most farms also raise various grasses which are grown for hay. Dairy farms are also prevalent. Whole milk and some wonderful cheeses are produced and sold in small co-ops. Organic veggies along with grass fed beef and pork can also be found in these small stores. And the eggs, oh the eggs…yummm!

On the way to and from work I often see folks out working the fields. And yes, they are up before sunrise. Watching the transition from fallow fields of late fall and winter, to lush crops of early spring and summer, for me, is a sight to see. Man and nature working together to the best of their abilities.

The farm in these photos is quite close to where I live. Literally about seven minutes away. I will be visiting from time to time to document the changes through the seasons.

These two photos were taken about one month apart this year. The first was taken on May 1 and the second on June 5.

 

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INSPIRATION AND ASSIGNMENTS: TREES A SECOND APPEARANCE

June 9, 2018 4 comments

I enjoy living in an area where there are distinct seasons. The scenery changes often enough and sometimes rapidly enough to have different visuals almost on a daily basis.

The photo of the lone tree illustrated in the previous post was taken on June 5 of this year. The photo of the same lone tree in this post was taken on May 1 of this year. 

And in a few weeks time, the corn that has been planted in the foreground fields will be so tall that the tree will not be visible from this same vantage point.

Ya know…looking back, I wonder if I should have reversed the order of photos/posts. Oh well.

 

 

 

 

 

INSPIRATION AND ASSIGNMENTS: TREES

June 5, 2018 8 comments

I have a special affinity for trees and it doesn’t matter what species of tree I may be looking at. To me they are all special. I honestly think my love for trees started when I was a young boy. My parents planted a Scarlet Oak in the front yard before I was born. Scarlet Oak trees are pretty fast growers and by the time my younger sister and I were able to climb nearly to the top, it was already taller than our house. Granted, it was a ranch style house and we were still youngsters, it was still big to us! My sister and I spent many a day playing in the tree. Mom always knew where to find us. Oh, by the way, the tree still stands in the front yard of our childhood home. It’s at least 60 feet tall now. Maybe taller.

Now several (well, many) decades later my love for trees continues. Whether it is through photography, woodworking or just visual enjoyment. And lately I have been doing a little exploring around the community where I live. Looking at trees. The area is nestled in a wide valley, surrounded by small and a few not so small family run farms. This area has been farmed for hundreds of years and most of the farms have been handed down over many generations. Though sparsely populated, in town there are two gas stations, a grocery store, a couple of small eateries and a few small shops. And tree lined streets. Yup, there are two.

Back to the trees…

Dotted among the farmland and rolling hills carved out by glaciers centuries ago, are groves of trees that have been untouched for a couple of hundred years. And then…what I find puzzling…are the lone trees some farmers leave to grow in the middle of their fields. 

Maybe they let them grow out there in the middle so some shade is provided for relief on a hot summer day. Or maybe, just maybe, the farmers leave the trees in the middle of their fields just because. I like that reason the best. 

Ya know…I would think that farmers are pretty well-read. So the quote that follows may be familiar to them. Just because…

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a

green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some 

scarce see Nature at all. 

But to the eyes of the man with imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.”

William Blake

Letters

1799

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiration And Assignments: Look Closely And You Will See

May 22, 2018 9 comments

This photo was taken just two days ago. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and  you folks will probably figure this one out pretty quickly. In this day and age of modern technology what you are seeing can be a pretty common occurrence if the weather and light all gel together. In fact, I would bet you have all seen something like this in your travels.

Inspiration And Assignments: View From Above

May 19, 2018 14 comments

I have been wanting to use this photo in a blog post for quite some time but was at a loss for words. Well it appears timing is everything.  A few weeks ago a good friend of mine came across a quote that she felt would be perfect inspiration for one of my blog posts. She turned me on to the quote and it turns out she was right on the money with this one.

“It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see.”

Henry David Thoreau

In many more words than Mr. Thoreau used, this has been my mantra for years. 

“I think that people will too often look and not really see. And if I can see for them, to show them what fascinates me about a single leaf floating in a creek, or the morning light highlighting a stand of trees or the seemingly random pattern in a pile of rocks…then I have shared that single experience, that split second in time with them. And if I can give them the opportunity to enjoy that one moment, then I have accomplished what I set out to do.”

Try to take the time out to “see.” It will make a world of difference in your life, and in your photography.

By now you are probably wondering what the subject matter is in the above photograph. I’ll give ya a few hints. It’s not a photo of a mountain range or of a river delta taken from a window on the International Space Station. I’ve never been invited to go up there.

 

 

 

 

Inspiration And Assignments: ARCHIVED IMAGES

April 3, 2018 5 comments

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Every couple of months I will review my archived images. Sometimes I will just pick a random category and really scrutinize the images. Other times I will review several categories and just look at them to bring back memories of the time and place. I have found it to be an inspiring and rewarding activity.

My latest foray into the depths of one of my hard drives was looking through images in my  Weather folder. Some of those photos brought back memories of a very stormy evening which started out as a beautiful sunny late summer day.

Then Mother Nature decided it was time for a change. It was after all, early evening, and there is no better time for change than early evening. Dark ominous clouds moved in, the winds picked up and it started to rain. Well, really it was more like a monsoon. The weather app on my phone started alerting me that severe weather was on its way. Really severe weather. Mesocylclones were all over the map. These are large air masses associated with tornados. And these air masses were very close. Like a mile away close. It really is best to stay inside in these situations. Besides I was still at work so I had no choice. But in reality I wanted to photograph what was happening outside. So I made the best of the situation and took cover under the front porch of the store where I work. At least the roof offered some protection from the rain. The wind…not so much. I kept a vigilant eye on the radar but none of the rotating clouds formed into actual tornados.

Following the mantra of photographer friend of mine Ed Heaton, “Learning to capture light will make extraordinary images from ordinary subjects” I looked for a light source that would make for an interesting image. I wasn’t able to capture lightning strikes so I had to look elsewhere.

The headlights from a customer’s truck were shining at the perfect angle to highlight the raindrops striking the parking lot. And after the storm passed through the area, the sun highlighted the remaining cloud cover with fantastic light and color.

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IN THE FIELD: SPRING IS HERE?

March 22, 2018 11 comments

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The official Spring Equinox for this year 2018 occurred on March 20 at 12:15 pm Eastern time. On that particular day it did not come in like a lion but more like a lamb. Around where I live it was quiet. Mostly sunny but still cool. Temps where in the low 40’s with some puffy clouds floating above. The puffy clouds were just a pre-curser to what would follow later that day.

Following the puffy clouds was a storm front coming in from the west. As the day progressed, it became more overcast and the temperature began to head towards the freezing mark. Not much happened in the daylight hours, but during the wee hours of the night, a few snow flurries made an appearance. Just before what would normally be sunup, the snow began to fly. And boy o’ boy did it fly. The snow came down from the sky for the better part of 18 hours! The storm was one of four nor’easters to unleash their fury in the month of March this year. The snowfall totals in my area were anywhere from 10-13.5 inches.

I recently read a profound quote which seems to say it all.

The first day of spring is one thing,

and the first spring day is another.

The difference between them is

sometimes as great as a month.

Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)