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 sixth 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.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

January 17, 2019

A FASCINATING NATURAL PHENOMENA & TWO COOL LIGHTHOUSES

... after oversleeping a bit i drove to fairfield, picked up john, coffee, and donuts, and said, "where're we wandering today" ... his response, "i hear there's a giant ice circle in westbrook, let's go see what that's all about" ...

... an hour or so laughing at the latest entertainment provided by america's head clown, then we parked and crossed the river to westbrook's parking garage ...
    

... absolutely fascinating ... over three-hundred feet across, it's spinning just fast enough that you can see it moving ...
    

... we strolled back to the other side of the river ...
    

... another from the parking garage (i'm tired, so i'm not paying much attention to chronology right now) ... i wanted to go skating ... most intriguing, scientists cannot specifically explain the formation of this giant ice circle ...
    

... yours truly photographed by john ... no, those trousers aren't too big ... they're part of my lined "stay warm while out picture taking in the cold" outfit ...
    

... based upon his very limited knowledge of english and heavy accent i deduced this gentleman was from far away ... when i finally managed to decipher what he was asking, another clue was his question, "what is it" ... it took a bit, but i finally determined that winter, as in frozen water, etc., was something new to him ... we had a nice talk ... i told him he could go up to the top of the garage (visible to the very left in the photo) ... after being reassured that it was "okay" he most excitedly headed across the bridge ...
    

... fascinating ... absolutely fascinating ...
   

... after a nice lunch at chipoltes, we crossed the fore river in portland and found our way to the spring point ledge lighthouse ...
    

... we wondered about both the roman numeral markings on all of the sections of the iron structure as well as its unusual relationship with the jagged rocks forming the breakwater ...
   
CREDIT SPRINGPOINTLIGHT.ORG
   
... it turns out the while the lighthouse is almost 120 years old, the breakwater was constructed out to and around it in the early-1950s ... as for the numbers, the iron sections were built in new york, assembled, marked, then disassembled and shipped to maine ... even with a brisk sea breeze it was a great day to visit ... 
       

... after spring point we drove over to bug light ... it was built before the civil war, but as the shoreline was extended by fill it eventually became obsolete ... joints in the curved cast iron plates are hidden by the beautiful corinthian columns ... i consider this one of the most difficult lighthouses to photograph, but john unknowingly helped me find a pleasing composition ...  
    

... climbing across the rocks until i found this vantage, i was forced to admit to myself that it's possible i'm a teensy-tiny just-a-little-bit less spry than i once was ... no matter, it was worth it ... 
    

The murmur rose soft as I silently gazed
On the shadowy waves playful motion
from the dim distant land, till the
lighthouse fire blazed
like a star in the midst Of the ocean.
THOMAS MOORE

... a wanderbout in which we saw something new ... a wanderabout in which we visited things familiar ... a wanderabout shared ... what a wonderful day ...
    

December 21, 2018

HOUSE CLEANIN' TIME

... a few days ago megan and emily came over and helped me with a major floor washing and dusting and general tidying up ...
   

... tonight, longest of the year, thought i should do the same with my journal ... for those who are regulars on facebook many of these will be familiar, but for the majority of my friends and family this will be "first night" ..

... i'm just going to wander a bit, dealing individually with each photograph ...

... if for no other reason than it was getting in the way of my "creative process," i found it time to replace my macbook air ... moving up from a machine that is at least two cpu generations ancient, i wanted to get a computer with at least 16GB of RAM and running an 8th gen/i7 processor ... due to apple inc.'s exorbitant price structure, i decided to save well over $1,000 and purchase a dell ... right, windows 10, almost lost a few friends with that ... i think they finally accepted that i do, indeed, know what i'm doing when it comes to digital technology ...

... this machine is fast ... fast-fast-fast ... in the past few weeks i've been putting it to the test while i experimented with new techniques and used software that i've never had a cpu quick enough to handle ...

... so, here we go ...

... this was taken in 2001 with my brand-new olympus e-10 ... 4 megapixels, wow ... still, it had a fabulous lens and for its time the viewfinder was first-class ... i revisited this image using aurora hdr and affinity photo, and i was quite pleased with how much more i could accomplish with the original file ... museum of art, new york city, by the way ...
       
    
... from a wire bridge wanderabout ... seven layers, each rather painfully manipulated and then even more painfully blended with one another ...
       
    
... five frames, hdr merged in aurora hdr ... this spring we're going to take some measuring instruments and determine if the tops of the towers are askew or it's just an optical illusion ...
       
       
    
... two black & whites, also five-frame hdr merges ...
       
    
... robert, my favorite test subject ...
       
    
... megan and emily and i went for a stroll along the kennebec ... one of them, i'm not sure which, called to me, "mister groleau, look at the shadows" ...
       
    
... playing in jixipix premium pack ...
       
    
... more fun ... i think that next spring i'm going to enjoy greatly trying to capture the essence of flower beings ...
       
    
... i snapped this image many years ago using a fancy 4/3rds "point and shoot" camera ... aurora hdr enable me to further explore the shadow details ...
       
    
... a new edge-contrast filter brought the leaf to the front of the frame ...
       
    
... car running to keep her warm, ma sat and enjoyed the point while i froze my fingers trying to honor the hardy rhode island winter surfers ...
       
    
... affinity photo allows for very precise color manipulation ...
       
    
... combining aurora hdr and affinity photo, a classic "zone system" image ...
       
    
... odd, never much caring for the original image other than accepting that it's a perfect "calendar shot, this interpretation pleases me ... it's a three-frame panorama to which i performed some very convoluted skewing and twisting to get the apparent perspective just right ... photoshop cs, plus six layers of jixipix play ...
       
    
... from a long time ago, taken with my often missed sigma 100-300 f/4 "super-duper" zoom ... aurora hdr helped me to find the tonal gradation i've never been able to achieve using just photoshop ...
       
    
... one of my all-time favorite shots ...
       
    
... the dell has a WXUGA display (super sharp compared to anything i've ever used) that makes working on an image such as this much easier on my eyes ... this is downtown belfast ...
       
    
... a self-portrait, one i've never been able to process to satisfaction ...
       
    
... another revisiting ... five frames hdr merged, then a lot of masking and perspective correction to bring it to "as i saw it"...
       
    
... just playing, i added the snowflakes ...
       
    
... some of beth's famous flowers ... i'm happy with this interpretation, but i've a ways to go with this before i'm going to pronounce it done ...
       
    
... last night, outside my window ... hand-held at 1/8th second, i.s.o. set to 6,400 ... in original the crows are pretty much indistinguishable, thank you very much aurora hdr ...
   
    
... either you'll understand or not, neither'll make much of a difference as to how much i enjoy finding pics such as this ...
       
    
... these, i believe, are from emotional center of my photography ...
       
    
... i take pictures and then share them ...
       

... you and i, together we see ...

... what great joy ...

November 30, 2018

CAYMAN ON FILM

   ... last december, knowing that it would be helpful to the healing process i was going through, sarah and jon gave me a trip to cayman as a christmas present ... packing for the flight i decided to take only my wittnauer festival film camera ...
   
  
... in 1958 my dad bought one of these little 35mm cameras for our cross-country drive from florida to seattle via a stop to visit family and for mike and i to finish up the school year in west warwick, rhode island ... he didn't take the camera out until we'd been on the road several days, which leads me to believe that ma knew nothing about his purchase ... i picked up this one on ebay several years ago, and, to my knowledge, it might just be the finest example of the model in the entire world ...

... so, with three rolls of i.s.o 400 print film (in the mid-50s something of which photographers could only dream) and my equally-ancient gossen light meter, i was off to the sunny caribbean ...
    
... my sister, sue, took me on a tour of the "recently discovered" caves on the east end of the island ... actually, the caves have been known about for a long time, but it is only in the last few years that someone decided to invest the millions of dollars necessary in order to make them cayman's newest tourist attraction ...
   
   
... an environmentally friendly infrastructure now allows easy access to these fascinating natural formations ... i am even more fascinated with the thought that while farming one of the tiny fertile spots in the ironshore our great-grampy or another ancestor might've taken to one of these below-ground chambers as a cool respite from the tropical heat ...
   
   
... light from the natural openings filters down, allowing plants to flourish ...
      
   
... sue took me to spotts to share supper with her friend, mark, and his girlfriend (apologies, i've forgotten her name) ... although at times difficult because of the currents, spotts is one of my favorite places to snorkle ...
   
   
   
... i do remember that she's a very nice person ...
   
   
... it's a wonderful view of the island and sea from the gazebo above the beach at mark's vacation home ...
   
   
... even with the i.s.o. 400 film, using the wittnauer in low-light was pushing it well beyond it's functional envelope ... keeping the shutter speed at 1/30th of a second to minimize blur, i knew these frames would be seriously under-exposed ... the fact that i had to send the film in to be developed, and, while the prints are nice, the digital files returned to me are only 2-megapixels, meant that it was a lot of work in photoshop to bring these images to life ... this one, four different layers and an hour's work, i converted to a sort of film/oil hybrid canvas ...
   
   
... i did the same with the image i snapped of mister geoff rutty ...
   
   
... most people go to cayman for such as this, the famous "seven-mile beach" ... it's a beautiful and most pleasant streach of white sand—even if it's actually only 5.1 miles in length ...
   
   
... i'm lucky, i get to go to cayman to visit family and friends ... my sister hates having her picture taken, so, for this trip, at least, i respected her reticence and there're no images of her ... no problem, since i still got to take pictures of my dearest sweet aunt, "miss francine" ... more than anything, to me she is grand cayman ...
   

... the trip was great medicine, thank you sarah and jon, and, equally, thank you, pa, for teaching me how to take pictures with your little wittnauer gem ...