Wednesday, January 29, 2014

More Winter (an observation, not a request)

As I age my comfort zone narrows. I barely noticed hot or cold weather as a kid. My college years were spent in snowy blowy Cleveland, with a summer of field work in desert conditions in southern New Mexico. Neither bothered me much.

But at age 60 I've found this winter very uncomfortable. My feet are cold almost all the time and I go around blowing on my fingers a lot. And that's just indoors. Getting out to take pictures has been a struggle that I have mostly lost. I try to take heart at the forecast: today it will reach 22 F! (though as I write, it is 9 F).

But I did get out a couple weeks ago (see my post on Winter at the C&O Canal) and was rewarded with interesting ice. Here's a shot from a flooded, frozen forest floor that was an abstract riot of leaves and crystals.

Leaves and Ice
The details: Pentax K-5 handheld 1/125 sec at f 6.3, ISO 1600, 50 mm (smc Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM). 

Aren't these wonderful times when one can shoot ISO 1600 and leave the tripod at home on such days? Maybe the shot isn't as sharp corner-to-corner as I might wish, but setting up and handling a tripod in this weather isn't fun. Especially on ice.

The depth and texture of the ice and the contrast with the organic color and form of the leaves appeals to me. I may be empathizing with those leaves.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Winter at the C&O Canal Park

We've had a very cold spell this past week, so when things warmed up a bit on Friday I headed out to Great Falls, one of my favorite spots for photography, hiking and just clearing out the cobwebs. The Potomac River has been very high recently but was receding on Friday. It left ice on the banks in wonderful forms, shaped I suppose by the fluctuations in temperature and water level. I loved the contrast between the angular ice crystals and the smooth ripples of water. Once again I was glad I got outside. I was also happy that the restrooms at Great Falls have hot-air hand dryers (which I usually loathe).

Ice and Branch, Potomac River
For those interested in the details: Pentax K-5 handheld 1/250 sec. at f/6.3, ISO 1600, 36mm(smc Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM).

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Two images for Tokens and Sentiments exhibit

Two of my images have been accepted for the Capitol Arts Network show, Tokens and Sentiments. The show opens on Friday, February 7, 2014 in CAN's Urban by Nature Gallery, and runs through Wednesday, February 26th.

The show will feature the work of invited artist Pam Rogers, and "will be a unique, real-world take on love and romance that is not necessarily the greeting card version of the story". I hope you will be able to see it.

Here are the images I'll show. Paw Paw was taken in one of my favorite locations, the C&O Canal Historical Park, on the Maryland side of the Potomac River. Paw paw trees are indigenous; I'd seen the paw paw fruit previously in late summer but I had never seen one in blossom. Friendly folks on the park website helped me identify the blossoms in this image.

The Dalmatian Iris image is from another favorite location, Brookside Gardens, a public display garden in Wheaton Regional Park in Montgomery County, MD. The image was made in early morning during a photo class conducted by Nikhil Bahl.

Paw Paw

Dalmatian Iris