Wednesday, October 28, 2009


So yesterday morning I leaped out of bed at the crack of 8 o'clock, slammed down a peanut butter sandwich (for anyone out there that thinks that it is not abnormal for me to eat such an unhealthy breakfast: I usually have pancakes [homemade] with yogurt on top) and went outside to get some photographs of the frost that came 'round last night.

I'm not really a big fan of Daylight Savings Time partially because it makes sunrise an hour earlier so photographing at dawn (when the light is great for photography) involves getting up an hour earlier. Since I am lazy and value my sleep (and just lying around in a nice warm bed even if I'm awake) DST isn't so good for me.

I was out taking pictures of the frost yesterday morning (this is one of the first frosts we've had...I like winter so I like frost since it tells me that snow is on the way) and came across this tree that – lo and behold – actually had some color to it (some of you may remember me lamenting the lack of fall colors in my last entry) and thought it looked nice against the blue sky.

OK so the these three pictures are of the same general area. Same trees, creek, etc. One was taken yesterday morning shortly after sunup, one was taken 4 days ago late in the morning, and one was taken in the winter of '07-'08. Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt and sometimes it breeds good photographs.

Water amazes me. I love canoing (though this wasn't taken from a canoe), I love a good rain (though if the rain is cold I like to have a good roof over my head, be it a tent or house or whatever), I just really like being around water. When I take pictures at Memorial Park (a park here in Lancaster) I walk along the creeks in the park and then do a lap around the shore of the pond. This is a picture of the surface of the pond with a leaf floating on it (obviously) that I happened upon as I was doing my customary circumnavigation of the pond.

Ever notice how meteorologists can't really accurately and consistently predict the weather more than a few hours in advance of the present? I've gotten so I don't really even pay attention to what is forecast to happen past 24 hours in advance. The only constant is change – or something like that. So anyway, sky/clouds/weather are an incredibly complex thing. I'm kinda glad that we can't predict it. So anyway (I'm aware that I just started another sentence with those same words), the sky is unpredictably cool.

Well, I'm realizing now that all the pictures in this entry have some form of water in them. Clouds, fog, frost, liquid, snow. I think that most forms of water enhance pictures. Wetness makes color saturation better. Fog can add to a photo's composition. Etc. This picture would look hugely different if there were no fog or frost.

Sometimes getting down on your knees can make for some decent photographs. That's the case with this picture. I feel as if decent pictures are surprisingly easy to take (even though I take a lot of bad pictures – the percentage of pictures I take that are worth a damn is somewhere between 5 and 10). My strategy most times is just to go out and simply look around. Cool things are there for anyone to see.

This was taken as I took a lap around the pond at the park here in town. There was a frost the night before last and when I took this picture the sun was hitting the frost on some tree branches above this water. So the frost was dripping onto the water as it melted. I got this picture (I probably took 15 or 20 to get this one picture) at just the right time. If you look (very) closely you can see that there is a little explosion of a water droplet directly above the splash. I suppose that if I was some sort of physics dude I could explain why that's happening. But I'm not really a physics dude, so I can't.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chuck Norris

It was a nice day yesterday, really nice – at least for late October in Wisconsin, sunny and in the 60's – so I took the opportunity to head down to Schreiner's Park (a park on the edge of Lancaster) to take some pictures. I generally have good luck finding interesting and photo-worthy subjects near water (it seems likely to me that I tend to find cool things near water because I like water so much. I doubt very much that I'd find many cool pictures around, say, a candy bar wrapper factory which, incidentally, Lancaster has. I rode by it [the candy bar wrapper place] on my way to the hardware store today and it has a rather disturbing smell coming from it always does) so I walked along the stream bed for part of my photo outing.

This first picture is also one of the first I happened onto today. You can kind of tell that the leaves are floating in water (you can see the waterline around the edges). Also it had rained yesterday morning and as you can see some of the rain hadn't yet dried.

For this one, like the last, the leaves are floating on top of the water. I thought it made for a nice contrast since it looks as if the leaves are set on some sort of black background in a studio. But they aren't.

This is the stream itself, obviously. Last summer/spring (actually as I think about it we had two major floods last year, one in the spring and one in the early summer) water came rockin' and rollin' through here and scoured out this little waterfall (more of a watertumble methinks).

This is the back of a leaf that had fallen. Yee haw. Not much more to say. Sure, it's a nice picture but there's not a whole helluva lot to say about it. Maybe if I keep describing how little there is to describe in this picture this'll end up being a caption of average length. I think I made it.

We're having a pretty pathetic autumn here as far as fall colors are concerned. There are a decent amount of partially-rotten-and-brown yellowish leaves (but then again who wants to have a picture of a diseased yellow/brown leaf hanging around? Which begs the question: who would want a picture of a vibrantly colored, beautiful leaf hanging around? Judging by the number of leaf pictures I have sold, very few). But this was an example of a comparatively eye catchingly colorful leaf. Like I said: pretty pathetic colors this fall.

And I can't resist putting this up here. It has nothing to do with anything. I was killing time in the Milwaukee, WI airport while waiting for a bus that would take me to Madison, WI (I was on my way back from Atlanta) and was checking out this little art exhibit. There was a place to put comments which is where I happened to see this priceless artifact. After watching many episodes of Walker: Texas Ranger in college (thanks to Charlie J.) I didn't really picture Chuck Norris as one to be into either paintings or marching bands. Then again Chuck Norris never ceases to surprise...just watch a few episodes of Walker: Texas Ranger.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Since it has been a while since I wrote in this blog I'll reward your patience with a few more pictures than usual.

This picture reminds me of the blog I did where I posted pictures of bark. (See it here) They (the people in charge of making the park look all nice and pretty) had just taken a tree out near this one and it had scraped a little on this one...hence the fresh orange-looking bark.

I got to this before the dew evaporated - which is not to say I got there early in the morning because it was overcast and probably took most of the morning to dry anyway.

Ditto with the dew on this one.

This was taken fairly early in the morning. (To see an old picture I put in the blog in June of last year go here and scroll down)

I was walking along the edge of this stream and happened to notice how the water looked kind of swirly right here.