Friday, October 31, 2008

Sunset on Halloween Night

Before the ghost and goblins came out to get free candy, there was a beautiful sunset in Fonda. This tree, holding tight to its last fruit, is located outside of my mother's house. Again, since I am not a fan of winter, I cherish this time of year when you find the last remnants of summer and autumn in mother nature. It is nearly 11:30 and I'm proud to have met the deadline for posting pictures. This caps off a great night where I spent the evening watching two eerie movies with my nieces and sister. A student of mine, and a friend of my nieces, also joined us as we ate pizza, wings and popcorn! I can't believe I have to think of yet another subject to photograph tomorrow! One day at a time! Goodnight.


I know, I know..this is an "old" picture. I'm headed to watch scarey movies with my nieces. I will take a picture this evening and post before midnight. I won't lose my chance at taking the trophy home! I like this haunted house. A neighbor's child says she can sometimes see childrens' images in the upstairs window. Look closely!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Lost My Head!

My first day on the job-to take pictures for the upcoming yearbook! I bombed! I didn't move my feet, I didn't wait for the good light and I didn't take my time with the subject. ugh. In the team picture I did not have the choice to move the subject to avoid the sun because the team was posed for me and the spot pre-selected; however, I should have waited for the sun to hide behind a cloud. As far as the helmet, I should have noticed the reflection in the helmet. I also should have moved the helmet to place it more in the shade or more in the sun, avoiding the half and half place it occupied. Fire me, please!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Comfort and Sympathy

Stainglass windows always give me a sense of comfort. The colors of the window panes and the craftsmanship in making the windows have always impressed me. This window is located at the Shrine in Auriesville. This afternoon, at school, teachers and staff were informed of a tragic accident which took the life of a sophomore. I didn't teach this young man but certainly the news of tragedy always makes one reflect and feel sympathy for those hurting so deeply. I remember vividly when my grandmother had her accident and the personal emotions at a time like that can not be described. Most adults have felt these emotions at one time, as loss and tragedy are a part of living on this earth. And so, drawn back to the Shrine today, I found my comfort. My heart goes out to all those touched by this recent accident.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Little Early Halloween Treat!

This evening was a good one for me. I was invited for dinner, which is always a blessing! One less meal for me to plan and eating with others is much more enjoyable than alone, in front of the television.
These images were fun to take because it was a family effort! Each contributed ideas, props and moral support.
I'm happy I was able to celebrate Halloween a little early this year. My nieces, sister and mother provided Halloween treats and cookies in hand-crafted treat bags! Who could ask for more?
I really liked this reflection in the window. Kids and adults aren't the only ones to look out a rain drenched window and wish for a nicer evening.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

This snap shot was taken in my car on the way home from my family's house. Nothing special, just evidence of how a few miles down the road makes a big difference to Mother Nature. In Fonda, slush and rain mixed together; however, in Amsterdam snow was the only precipitation to be found. Two fallen trees and a truck doing a 360 stood in my way as I made my way to my place! Hope everyone is safe tonight.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Shapes and Forms

I set out, after work, to find shapes/forms that caught my eye. I was fortunate to find a few that I liked. Trying to race the clock, in order to use daylight, I wasn't able to get home for my tripod. I apologize for not using a tripod, especially in the first image. I do like the idea of photographing shapes and making images that are abstract.

Do you see the letter R in this pic? I could have used this in my last project! This image also has a little Egyptian flavor, don't you think? My final image is my favorite. I like the curves and the details. The artists who make these objects are truly talented. Think about all the doors, windows, frames, pieces of pottery, etc. that are beautifully crafted. There are so many artists, of all different types, that deserve a lot of respect!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Did Someone Hear A Train Whistle?

I awoke early Sunday, grabbed my camera, and headed out to capture images of early morning fog. I found a GREAT spot to take a picture of a train, coming around a corner, literally cutting through the fog as it approached my position. I had a great puddle of water, reflecting a bright yellow speed limit sign. I was so excited! Trish had commented, on another image of mine, that there needed to be a train in the fog to add interest. By golly Trish, you were going to get a train! So I was happy to wait the ten minutes for a train. And I was content to wait 20 minutes for a train. And I was 'ok' to wait the half hour, though I was getting chilly. At the half hour, a CSX truck, on the track, drove past me! That wasn't a nice image because I wanted a train! By the 45th minute I got a little irritated. Then I heard a whistle. I was so excited! I waited and waited and waited. I knew the whistle was coming from the west, just as I wanted. I got all set up- I focused the camera, I exhaled on the lens to add more fog (a tip I had just read) and I anchored myself so that I wouldn't be shaky with the tripod. The train? Yeah, so at that very moment I heard a train coming from the opposite direction! It wasn't coming from the direction with the corner and the yellow sign. Well, I had to turn around and snap a picture regardless. Not the image I wanted. Then I turned to catch the train going past my yellow sign; however, the wind from the train stirred up my puddle and eliminated my reflections. UGH! 45 minutes wasted! Funny ending?? The train heading from the west? It passed 2 seconds later but completely blocked out by the east bound train! So, Trish, that is my train story! I tried!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


A busy day at the Photo Expo prevented me from taking many pictures; however, I managed to take these few. I absolutely love NYC and was thrilled to be invited to go with my friend Jim Sack. I found a few photo-treasures that may enhance my future pictures and I was able to walk the streets of the greatest city in the world. I must note that posting at 10:30 also shows my dedication or obsession to this blog contest.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Even Cowboys Drink Coffee

I couldn't resist taking these snapshots of two cowboys at Dunkin Donuts. The more interesting 'story' happened outside of the camera's range. These two got their coffee via the drive-thru! As horses often do, there was a mess left in the drive-thru lane. One lucky employee actually came out to scoop up the mess into a garbage bag. She was literally gagging as she was cleaning after the horses. By the time I got to the window the same employee took my money and handed me my coffee. I hope she was able to wash her hands first! The second image is of the cowboys riding off into the sunset (well, I would have been a nicer image).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A New Twist

Trying to wind down from another busy evening, I began playing with photoshop and came across this filter. I feel that it works well with my subject. In fact, this is my favorite image in the series of angels that I photographed today. What do you think?


The first two pictures remind me, once again, of the importance of moving my feet when photographing. I first saw the golden trees and wanted to use them as a background, adding color to the angel image. Then I moved slightly to one side and noticed the brilliant blue sky, making for another colorful image. Two completely different images made simply by moving a few feet one way or the other.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A teacher affects eternity, unknowing of where her influence stops.

In 1986 a young girl wrote the following in my senior yearbook. "I guess it has been a pleasure knowing your ugly face. I think you will be a great teacher, if you make it through college. At first I thought you were selfish, obnoxious and arrogant....I realize that you are still all of those characteristics." My friend Shelly wrote those sweet words. Ok, to be fair she also wrote that I was "a great kid and you do have a great sense of humor and personality." 18+ years of teaching together, side by side, and we still have the same relationship from 1986. I would describe it as mentor/intern, me taking the responsibility of being a role model to a less experienced teacher with much potential. She might describe it as being on roller-coaster ride with an insanely flawed co-worker who relies on her steadiness for guidance, professionally and otherwise. Let's not split hairs, the truth is Shelly and I will have 18+ more years of teaching together and I wouldn't have it any other way. This image is exactly what I wanted. The partial silhouette captures the seriousness of a teacher, grading papers at the end of a long day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How Can You Not Smile At This!

I had a wonderful day today at school My middle school hosted a Political Convention We encouraged all students to wear red, white and blue, make signs and participate in our festivities. These students definitely participated! These fifth graders, whom I don't know personally, came to show me their fantastic masks! Of course, I gave my sympathy to Hillary for not making it through the primaries and shook all of their hands. I have to admit that I later hit Obama with a cart (by accident) as I rounded a corner in the hallway. I must say, considering my political leanings, I rather enjoyed the incident!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Autumn Picture

These autumn standards are a familiar site to be found on the side roads of the Mohawk Valley. These round, bundles of hay have always caught my eye. I did not capture these in any creative manner but I hope to some day. I believe there is a great picture using this subject. It is a matter of taking time and doing it justice. I did not have the time; however, I was happy to catch the sunshine on my way home since the sky was clouding over quickly. A beautiful day.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Contagious Personality!

What a fun day! I was invited to my mother's house for a birthday celebration which offers a lot of opportunities for family photos. I decided that I would ask for a volunteer to accompany me outside for a fun fall photo-shoot. Jenna, always a sport, agreed to help me out. Her energy and enthusiasm is contagious. In fact, the image of her looking at the camera was her idea! She is the family member that is bold and brave and these pictures remind me of her outward personality. Jenna participates in life, taking on all sorts of challenges. She faces any challenge straight on, just like when she looks directly into the camera. Incidentally, Jenna noticed that she was the only niece not shown on my blog. Jenna, they say that the best is saved for last.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Crazy Political Times

I don't remember a political season with so many ups and downs and twists and turns as Election 2008. Everyone has an opinion, most are fed up with Washington and people are aware that this historical election is a very important one for the American people. Some want change, some want security and most want 'better'. I read that my students' generation is the first generation in American history that statistically will NOT do better than the generation before it. This generation will have a lower living standard then my generation. That scares me! What have we created for our youth? What legacy are we going to leave behind? I fear that America is headed toward a socialist attitude where the government is expected to take care of its citizens. I never thought this country would head down that road. I always believed that America was about competition, supply and demand and old fashioned hard work and ingenuity. Anyway, I tried to create a photo that captured the insanity of this election. As jumbled as the signs are, in my image, so are the thoughts of many Americans. I only hope the voters are able to "look beyond the view" of the political candidates. We need to look beyond image and smooth talking and realize that serious long term effects will come from the choice we make in the election booth.
God Bless America and its values- may the hard work of our founding fathers not get lost.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Birds-Eye View

I had the pleasure of visiting my sister and nieces this evening. They have two parrots, Oliver and George. In these pictures, Oliver is perched in front of a window which he looks out of for countless hours. I have wondered often what he sees and what he thinks as other birds fly past the window. Is he happy to be in a loving home with protection from nature's elements or does he envy the freedom of the birds outside? Strange how relationships are similar. To be in a relationship is attractive in that it does provide security and familiarity and yet being 'free' denotes a sense of excitement and variety. I'd choose the relationship, as odd as that may seem for those who know my 'track-record'. I think Oliver would choose the security and loving home as well.
In these images I purposely tried to capture silhouettes, one more partial than the other. Hope you enjoy the birds-eye view too!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Quick! No One's Looking!

Well, why not casually walk into a flower shop with your camera and wait until the counter person disappears into the back room so that you can whip out your camera and snap a few pictures? There isn't anything illegal about browsing! Besides, the flower shops do such a nice job of 'staging' the flowers with lights and props that it would be a shame not to photograph them. Since the store was full of flowers I had to crop pretty tight which may be a bit annoying but I really couldn't avoid it. If I wanted to isolate this presentation I had to eliminate distraction by zooming in close. I liked the lighting. I think it adds a little drama to flowers. I hope you agree!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Peaceful Shrine

What luck I had this afternoon. On my busy day I worried about what image I could take in the time that I had available. I even whined to Trish today, saying that it would be difficult to find anything meaningful. Then a stroke of genious! The Shrine! Yes, there are plenty of opportunities there for photos. I quickly learned that there really aren't plenty of opportunities but maybe a few. I remembered that I was carrying my newer fisheye lens and hoped to find the Shrine open...and it was. Not only was the Shrine open, but it was deserted. I thought using the fisheye lens on a round structure may be just the trick to make the image more interesting. I know this lens has to be used sparingly; however, I think I accomplished my goal in making an interesting image. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Foggy Start To The Day

Another foggy morning offered the opportunity to showcase those elements in nature that are able to stand out through the dense cloudy atmosphere. On any other day this tree probably isn't noticed at all. This tree has seen better days, a time when it still sported leaves and was standing tall and straight. Time has taken its toll on beauty but not on this morning. Today, this tree is once again making a statement. It stands separate from all the other foliage that has disappeared behind a curtain of fog. Today, this tree is special!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Flower Power

Walking through Schenectady's Central Park, I did not expect to find beautiful flowers still in bloom. This rose is holding strong against frost and autumn's darker days. There were many roses still in bloom and some that were giving in to nature's time table. Since I am not a fan of cold weather and winter I was happy to find a group of brave flowers that were also trying to put off the colder months!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New Twist, Old Pic

So far I have been lucky to have had the time and places to take some relatively interesting images. I won't be able to keep this pace for an entire year; however, perhaps photoshop does allow a photographer to be creative and produce images- even with an ordinary or typical picture? This is the great debate, correct? Is manipulating an image still art? Or is manipulation of images a tool which takes the art out of photography? I'm trapped without a reliable vehicle so I'm spending the night exploring photo shop elements! I actually like this image. You?

Do I Have A Flare? Or Not

Today I headed out very early to embark upon my overnight trip to "somewhere". I took my time driving Rt.5S all the way to Syracuse. From there I was going to head South toward Cortland. From there I was going to head to the Finger Lakes, stay overnight and come back on Monday. Well, that plan didn't work out as my Jeep decided to trigger the engine light and to make my gas gauge read empty even though it was full. With fear of being stuck on the side of the road on a holiday weekend, with no hope of finding assistance, I turned around and headed home on the Thruway-quickly and directly. Good news is that I made it home! As far as my images, I knew that I would be encountering bright sunshine today and so I decided that I would attempt using sun flare to my advantage. Rather than avoiding the sun, I purposely shot at an angle -into the sun. I was very pleased to capture some sun flare on the image since that is truly what I wanted. Maybe it is too 'blown out' for the viewer's liking, but it was another planned attempt on my part and that pleased me. This little church, near Utica was perfectly situated for my sun-flare attempt. The sun was on the left of the church and, though it was fairly early, (9:30ish?) it was quite bright. I took a few shots and by that time the sun had already gone too high for my liking. I hope that when the image is on the blog, you can see a few sun-flare circles.

Now it is up to you....either I have a flare for this sort of thing or I failed?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Testing This Feature Out..You Like?

Do I need a life, or what?

Ok, so I already posted today but I took the following pictures later and wanted to share! My niece Jamie ran another race today (remember she is in 5th grade!) and I wanted to post her picture. I'm the proud uncle of the third place winner! The tree and the truck were amazingly colorful. I'm not sure how they will display on the blog; however, in person they were both radiant. The truck had too much 'noise' behind it so I had to get creative in order to use the image. Telephone polls, people, fences, wires, etc. would not have allowed the viewer to really see the truck and so I hope this fun picture isn't too much!