Category Archives: Uncategorized

2013 The Lost Year!

1308 – that’s the number of photo’s that ended up in my Lightroom gallery in 2013. A very down year photographically speaking when you consider I’ve averaged over 3X that amount for the past ten years It is a considerable drop off that, when I think about it is hard for me to explain. Two blog posts started and  ZERO posted – a little more understandable since I had a technical issue with the site for at least six months…not that I worked on it for six months straight.

I did manage to exhibit in the usual places – Next Door Gallery, Attleboro Arts Museum, Westchester Amateur and I was selected for the cover of the F&M Arts Review a real honor and surprise but, all 2012 or earlier images.

2013 F&M Arts Review

Outside of photography I left one great job (with a really poor commute) for an even better great job with a fantastic commute. I could blame the demands of work but, while I was extremely busy I don’t think that was the whole story.

I did do some good work at my Rugby Clubs annual tournament and I had some good luck vacationing on The Cape but I went to vacation with my wife not shoot every dawn and dusk.

Scrum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s puzzling. My sister says “you don’t like photography anymore” (I usually say it in a very high unflattering voice) – but not true I do and I missed it the entire year.

Well enough of the introspection crap – I’m chalking it up to an off year and starting my planning for 2014. So far I’m looking at the Great Falls on the Potomac (my friends think I’m going to road bike the C&O canal), the Adirondacks and maybe Long Island/Hamptons in the late spring as well as SE Mass with my sister – yes that sister – taught her everything she knows.

Here’s my favorite from the lost year:

Sunset Chatham Ma September 2013

 

Getting Back in the Groove!

Three Months! That’s how long it’s been since I took a serious photograph or put fingers to keys to write for this blog. It’s been a busy spring/summer. Work and its usual ninety minute (one-way) commute have been a big part of the gap in creativity – long workdays and full weekends haven’t surrendered much time for picture taking. That will change as the more comfortable, and picturesque fall season starts to take hold.

Julie and I were able to take a day this past weekend and head to Hartford to kill three birds with one stone:

  • Grain for another batch of “home brew” – more on this in another blog post – most definitely creative;
  • A recon of a restaurant supply store we’ve been wanting to check-out; and,
  • A stroll (with camera) through the “Ancient Burial Ground” in Hartford – 1640’s through the early 1800’s.

Our children have always thought it peculiar that we both like strolling colonial burial grounds but as you may know from reading my previous post about stone carving we find it relaxing and enjoyable. In any event I hope the day trip was sufficient  to kick start my photography into the fall season – high on my list this fall are waterfalls particularly in the Catskills in New York and Berkshires of Massachusetts as well as tracing the footsteps of some of the Hudson River School painters through the Catskills.

 

Nothing ventured……

Back in December I happened to be surfing the Alumni page of Franklin & Marshall College and noticed a blurb announcing the call for entries for the first edition of the F&M Alumni Arts Review. The article opened with: The F&M Alumni Arts Review is a printed publication, with a Web presence, which presents literary and visual works by Franklin & Marshall alumni.”

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I figured I’m an alumni and I’ve been making images (Photographers don’t “take pictures”) so I might as well throw my hat in the ring and see what happens. But what to enter? The article went on to say: “In our inaugural issue we are examining the idea of Turning Points. It’s a concept that can be broadly applied, and we look forward to seeing your particular interpretation.” “Turning Points”….”broadly applied” ….. “my interpretation” … great!….what’s a turning point?

I was hoping for something more along the lines of “Beautiful Adirondack Sunset” or “Majestic Fall Colors in New England”.

Turning Point? Really?

So I sat down and looked at my portfolio (“pile of pictures” is also eschewed by photographers) and found I kept coming back to the same grouping of images. It took a while but I finally figured out what the common thread was. Each photo in the group represented a “turning point” with regard to (finally) successfully applying a technical or compositional technique that resulted in the rendered image matching my per-visualized concept and conveying the feelings of the time and place (another way of saying it came out how I wanted it to and not how the camera wanted it to).

My Thanks go out to Sands Hall the editor and her dedicated staff for putting  together a high quality publication and also for considering my pictures images worthy for inclusion!

 

Following are the two images selected for the inaugural issue of the F&M Alumni Arts Review  (I was the only contributor to have two pieces selected – very fortunate).

 

Stone Carving A Coffee Table

If you’ve taken the time to look through my web site you’ve  probably noticed my Graveyard Gallery. My wife and I have always liked strolling the old colonial graveyards of New England, reading the inscriptions and wondering about the people and the time in which they lived. About ten years ago I became interested in the iconography associated with the stones of the eighteenth century and began to read/study about Puritan symbols and their application on stone grave markers of the period. So it was only natural (well to me any way) that when I picked up my camera again that I started photographing the stones and the wonderful carvings. (We’ll leave the question of  “are photographs of others  art really original” alone for now)  As I studied the images I began to appreciate the creativity these men had rendering beautiful images using only the simplest iron tools and their own physical talents.

 

 

Some of the symbols, depending on the age and/or the carver were very simple and plain. Others much more complex and rich in symbolism regarding the fleeting time spent in this world and the promise of  the life that follows our demise. All are evident on the head-piece at right – found at the old burial ground in Plymouth Massachusetts dating from 1743. Fleeting time – the hour glass, mortality – the skeleton and resurrection – the plant sprouting from the skull are all powerful symbols even today and would have truly resonated with devote Christians  of the eighteenth century

 

This weekend I had an opportunity to learn more and begin to gain a better appreciation of the work that went into making these stones. By doing so I hope to be able to  better represent through my lens the works these fine craftsmen rendered so many years ago. I took a two day “beginners class” in stone carving with Adam Paul Heller in West Warwick Road Island. Being challenged to draw a decent stick figure I was a bit apprehensive about the class but wanted to understand the process in more depth. (I also have this idea about carving our tombstone and getting some practical use out of it as a coffee table, after all a typical stone is damn expensive and … but we’ll leave that for a later post.) Adam is a great (and patient) teacher and I came away with what I was looking for as well as a new hobby and possibly a new coffee table.

…..although that might be a few years off yet.

Also posted in Blog Post