Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its fifth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

February 16, 2018

WINTER LULL WANDERABOUT

... from a this week when the temperature rose to almost 45°f, relatively balmy for this time of year ...
  

... eighteen years ago now, i remember doing this same self-portrait with my first "serious" digital camera, an olympus e-10 ...
  
  
... john texted me, "want to go wander a bit" ... silly question, after all, isn't that what life's supposed to be all about ... at our first stop, the colby museum of art, we enjoyed a special exhibition of the sports photography of walter looss ... if you're a photographer and/or a sports fan, i highly recommend a visit ... after that we wandered through several of the galleries ... 
  
  
... i like sculpture, and, as you know, i like taking pictures ... i'm always a bit hesitant when i think of interpreting another's art—but, something i've learned, hesitation is antithetical to creativity ... here're my original images, taken using a sony a7ii with a 35+ year-old manual focus/aperture nikkor 50mm f/4 ...
  

... here's what i "saw" ...
  
  
... in another gallery we found another most fascinating less "traditional" piece ...
  
  
... there are many ways that art can be defined as "good," i know that one of the most important is if it makes you smile and want to play ...
   

... me and me and the art and the light did a little dance ...
  
   
... john recorded the result ...
  
COURTESY JOHN MEADER
  
... another way you know art is good ...
  
  
... i stopped, laughed, pondered for a moment, then suddenly realized i'd just found yet another of the definers ...
  
   
... after the museum we drove across the interstate to what i'm going to select as the first of my "wonders"—no, even though next year it'll be celebrating its 100th birthday, not the rice rips impound generating station ...
  

... the "wonder" is the huge 10' diameter wooden penstock that delivers 42-foot head-pressure from messalonskee stream 2,300 feet uphill from the generating station ...
  

... its tar covered barrel-stave like boards are bound with huge iron rings held tight by massive washers and bolts ...
  

... as you might be beginning to guess, it's something else that brought me to select this place as the first on my list ... by the way, please, add your own ...
  

... it's not the penstock itself, nor is it simple the dam, it's the fact that the big ol' tube leaks, a lot, and in the winter when it's freezing out the little squirts and spurts and sprouts and streams of water cause really magical things to occur ...
  

... strangely compelling wonderfully fascinating things ...
  

... phantasmagorical things ...
  

... you don't have to believe me, this wonder is only a few miles from the center of town, just across the interstate in oakland ... don't wait too long, however, otherwise all you'll see is a big wooden tube ...
  

... i worked this one up from my museum images ... i'd much rather you don't ask me about it—tell me (you can use little box in upper right of page) ...
   

... this one—well, i'm trying to be as good at making posters as my friend chad ... it's not happenin', but i keep trying anyhow ...
  

... i hope you had a relaxing break ... thanks for joining me ...

February 14, 2018

PLAYING WITH A NEW BRUSH

... after my fuji x-t2 died i sold all the kit associated with it in order to finance my little exploration of sony a7ii land ... deciding that i didn't want to be without some sort of lens with which i can photograph a casual event, i searched and searched until i came across a great deal on a nikkor 35-70mm f/3.5—not the little plasticky kit lens but the real deal, the "professional" mid-range zoom ... back in the film days i would often dream of owning such a wonderful, and, yes, rather expensive, hunk of optical glass ...

... on full-frame 35-70mm is actually rather boring ... at the wide end there really isn't much drama while the long end just isn't—well, it just isn't long ...


... what it does do is allow me to leave the house with a single lens and explore a wide range of situations, which, of course, is exactly the reason i got it ...


... so, let's go on a little lens test wanderabout ...


[NOTE:  IF YOU CLICK ON A PICTURE YOU'LL SEE THE IMAGES IN A SLIDE SHOW]

... the very first frame from the lens ... roger, doing his well-known "which motorcycle do i want" routine ... as always, very entertaining ...

  
  
... looking into the light, not bad for a 10-element/9-group 35+ year-old design ...
  
  
... at the hathaway building it surprised me how comfortable i was using the lens in such contrasty lighting ...
  
  
... the first shot for which i completely forgot what lens i was using ...
  
  
... a different interpretation ... if you want to you can voice your choice or thoughts via the little email box in the upper right corner of the journal page ...
  
  
... at the antique bazaar ...
  
  
... from a time when it was okay to make simple things cool ...
  
  
... and working things were built to last forever ...
  
  
... one of the south end's lanes ... not the waterville most are familiar with, here is to be found an entirely different town ...
  
  
... that little sprit of land where the sebasticook river joins the mighty kennebec, prior to the french and indian war in the mid-1700's that was the very edge of the english empire in this part of north america ... at night the soldiers would close and secure the gate, then from their watch posts along the wooden palisade they would stare across the river into the dark, forbidding forest along the foreign shore  ...
  
  
... i call this one "little house in the little woods" ...
  
  
... a mile or so from my house is my favorite testing ground ... high contrast, back lighting, i put the nikkor to work ...
  
  
... this is my favorite shot, one that says nothing (or, if you're some sort of "pixel peeper," little)  about the brush with which it was painted ...
  
  
... one of the very best indicators that i'd made a wise choice in my selection of this particular lens, i just couldn't stop playing with the raw files ... had i bought a less refined 35-70mm zoom (i.e., "cheaper") i don't think i would've wanted to work up this particular image ...
  
  
... hmmmm, with only one camera, how to show you the lens ... ??? ...
  

... in the end, it's just a rather clever assemblage of glass and metal ... a tool, that's all, but for sure it's a very, very nice tool ...

"i think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship"
RICK BLAINE-CASSABLANCA 

February 10, 2018

WANDERABOUTING A SOFT WINTER MORNING

... a rather dreary winter morning, with the promise of becoming even more dreary, i was contemplating the concept that snuggling up on the couch and watching a movie was a much better idea than going out to take pictures when john called, "want to go do a bit of wandering" ... off we went ...

... down at the south end of the belgrade lakes system we stopped at a little dam ... i couldn't find anything spectacular, but then i thought to share with all of you the simple things ...
  
   
... for some reason i was drawn to the relationship between the leaning birch tree and the reflected trunks in the stream ...
  
   
... john, of course, applied his super-duper "L" zoom to the scene ...
  
   
... always, a tree in a field serves a good subject ... just as i snapped this, however, john yelled, "run, the snowplow's coming"  ... after all these years i must now be qualified as a "real" mainer, since i knew not to look, just run for my life  ...
  
   
... at castle island i found the softness of the day ...
  
   
... winter, gentle ...
  
   
... at the "sunset grill" in belgrade john treated me to a most excellent lunch ... it was so scrumptious that towards the end when i discovered that the cook had very cleverly hidden black olives within the tortellla i wasn't in the least bothered ...
  
   
... i snapped this picture because—well, just because, i guess ...
  
  

"i walked the center of the road,
because doing so made it less empty."
L. ALLEN 

February 5, 2018

EXPLORING A PORTLAND SUNSET

... just as i was finishing up my morning appointments chad messaged me, "would you like to go down to portland this afternoon with shara and me to take some pictures" ... about a half-hour before the appointed pick-up time i donned my it's-going-to-be-wicked-cold gear (including, with a very sad r.i.p. to my forty-five year-old herman survivors, my new boots) and then we were off ...

... our first stop was bug light in south portland ... admitting to my compositional failings, i've never managed a pleasing shot of the structure ... this day i played a bit ...
  


... as i continued to familiarize myself with the sony a7ii, i commented to chad that since it aligned with the horizon the fence wasn't easy to fit into a composition ... having said that i immediately challenged myself to disprove my thesis ... a bit classic, but i think this is a pleasing picture ...
  


... shara and chad were dressed to take pictures on the bleak icy surface of pluto, which, in this weather, the coast of maine would make a good training ground for future astronaut training ...

  
... as we drove up onto portland head i noticed this spot at the top of the hill ... after a debate of which spot to park in, i slogged my way up what i think was once part of battery dehart's defensive glacis and enjoyed a little dance with the tree and the lighthouse ...
  


... descending the icy stairs i became fascinated by the juxtaposition of the fractal form of the tree and the linear geometry of the lighthouse ...
  


... along the fence i came across a guy with a very, very expensive nikon camera around his neck ... affixed to it was a most humongous zoom lens, big enough that i image it had it's own zip code ... he was pacing back and forth along the safety barrier, apparently trying to find a suitable vantage for a picture ... i looked around, walked another seventy-eighty feet down the path, squeezed through a gap between the fence and the nasty thorn bushes, and, carefully holding the railing so if my feet slipped i wouldn't plunge to an icy death (i've had enough of that nonsense), worked my way back to a little rocky promontory i had seen from above ... there i took this picture ... after, as i worked my way back to safety, i noticed that the man had been watching me from further down the path ... i think he was scowling ... strange, very strange ...
  


... i saw shara and chad down below, so, deaf to the voice of my ankle doctor, "wait a few more months before trying it out on uneven rocky surfaces," i negotiated the closer-to-vertical-than-horizontal slippery path down the the boulder covered shore ...
  


... i like lighthouses ... i like rocks ... i like ice ... i really, really like icy rocks near a lighthouse ...
  

... i thought of ma, "ohhhhh, look at the rocks" ... she loved rocks ...
  


... i wonder why creationists think that the science of geology, in determining that this quartzite intrusion is much, much older than 6,021 years, in any way diminish the glory of g*d ...
  

... finally, my photographic piéce de rèsistance ... using my sony a7ii with a "classic" (30+ years-old) nikkor 50mm lens, hand-held (rather foolish for shots like this) i made three separate exposures and then combined them into a single image ("hdr," for those of you not in the know) ... gosh, every now and then i begin to believe i've actually learned something about photography in the past fifty years ...
  


... shara, now officially a member of our "merry band" ... this, not photographs, is what i believe it's all about ...
  

  
"A good photograph is knowing where to stand."
ANSEL ADAMS