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 seventh 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.

October 21, 2019

CRUISING THE MED: JOURNAL ENTRY #1

[REMEMBER, CLICK ON IMAGES FOR FULL-SIZED VIEWING]   

 ... my brother asked me to join him on a little wanderabouting of the mediterranean ... all expenses paid ... hmmmmm ... i've a rather busy schedule, as most of you know, but i somehow managed to squeeze in time for three days in rome and thirty-four days aboard holland-america's liner the "ms rotterdam" ... by today's standards, with a capacity of 1400, the ship is relatively small, but, as far as i'm concerned, it's still wonderfully luxurious ...

... internet at sea is rather sketchy, most likely 'cause just like on land it seems many people are never disconnected, so here are some ground rules ... at sea i'll do best i can, which means it'll be way after midnight that i post ... i'm going to try to do one entry a week ... on shore we may find internet cafes, if we don't get lost, that is, like we did this afternoon ... i'm not going to "chronicle" our adventure, that's a decision i made before leaving ... instead, this'll be more of a rambling stream-of-conscious type presentation ... ditto for my photography, i'm not try to do a national geographic story ... i'm just lookin' and seein' and snapping as my whims and desires drive me ...

... so, take a moment and travel with us ...

... later i'll snap some pictures aboard the ship ... suffice to say, small as it is my cabin is so comfortable i think i could live in it full-time ... !!! ... of course, having 24/7 housekeeping service is rather nice, too ... i have to remember to put the little "privacy please" tag in the door, otherwise if i step out for even a minute when i return the room's been made up fresh ... 24/7 on room service, too ...
    
... across the street from our rather posh hotel, early in the morning ...
    
    
... my brother, who has never cared much for outside dining, starting to realize that he might have to change his opinion ...
    
    
... while waiting for our meals i wandered the intersection ...
    
    
... yea, here's that "stream-of-consciousness" thing ... is too much for me to try to chronologically order my pictures, so you might as well get used to a rather random presentation ... while mike sat for the afternoon at a streetside cafe, i wandered the streets of roam ... i bumped into the chiesa di sant' ignazio di loyola, a 400 year-old church ...
    
    
... maybe i'm just looking for it, but it seems to me that in italy it's still okay to enjoy watching a walking-away woman ...
    
    
... i titled this one "busted in rome" ...
    
    
... these were the pilot boats that met us as we entered the strait of messina ... i got the impression they were having great fun playing around in our ship's wake ...
    
    
... our little culinary discovery ... "style" of image, just me playin' around ...
    

... late at night, mike and i sitting outside at a little street cafe, i noticed that there were other brothers enjoying the city ...
    
    
... mike, strolling the night along the via del bufalo ...
    
    
... yes, absolutely, his opinion of streetside dining is changing ...
    
    
... very early in the morning, from the front door of our hotel ... by the way, by rome standards this is a very straight and very wide street ...
    
    
... in the vatican ... i'll post images sometime of things i saw, but this is one i was most happy finding ...
    
    
... the vatican ... pope fella lives off to the right in a nice apartment, he refused the traditional palace digs ... people are in the three-hour line that i didn't have to stand in ... my good looks and mike's bucks, how nice ...
    
    
... i didn't have three coins ... actually, since after the vatican i missed my ride back to the hotel, it turned out having some folding euros was a good thing ... luckily, i'd put a card from the hotel in my pocket, too, otherwise i wouldn't have had a clue where to direct the cabby ... oh, yes, cab drive in rome—put that on your "ultimate amusement park ride" life list ...
    
    
... i sooooo wish i had a motorcycle to drive in room ... cobblestones, worn slick, pedestrians who totally don't look, twisting winding streets—oh, what an adventure that would be ...
    
    
... no, not the sistine chapel ... seems there're a lot of painted ceilings in rome, this one's in the sant'ignazio ... (a four panel twenty-frame hdr merge, by the way ... translation: one-two minutes to shoot, over an hour to process) ...
    
    
... this little model is a symbolic church of heaven ... nice, but some h.o. scale lionel h.o. trains and tracks would make it even cooler ...
    
    
... the front of the church ... exposure was easy for this shot, but the perspective adjustments took almost an hour ...
    
    
... i turned my head, she leaned hers, i snapped, she pulled away ... henri, once more i thank you for the lessons ...
    
    
... the alley—whoops, sorry—boulevard next to the church ...
    
    
... creating this great fun ... first, the square in front of the church is so small that the only way i could photograph the front was to take six frames and merge them ... after that, well, i just wanted to somehow present the "flavor" of the building ... and, yes, the only geometrically accurate section is the very center of the image ...
    
    
... entertainment to go with my pasta ...
    
    
... another waiting-for-my-food snaps ...
    
    
... our hotel lobby early in the morning ...
    
    
... from the front door of the hotel ...
    
    
... stopping time, that's of the best ways to measure living ...
    
    
... if you're surprised that a rationale agnostic such as i would be fascinated with this image, well, perhaps sometime you can buy me coffee and i'll explain ...
    
    
... wow ... wow-wow-wow ...
    
    
... above the rotunda of this church there is no dome ... nope ... just a fantastic illusion painted upon a flat ceiling ...
    
    
... rome, athens, all-you-can-eat food, room service, private berth—nah, for me this is what this trip is about ...
    
    
    
    
... for both of us, the last time we were on a cruise ship it was painted green and taking us to the territory of alaska ... the troopship uss general m.m.patrick, beans and a cot and looney tunes cartoons projected on a white-washed bulkhead—oh, my, the rotterdam is a great step up in our wanderabouting ...

... athens tomorrow, i need to get some sleep ... g'night ...
    

October 1, 2019

PHOTOGRAPHS

   
... a lot of work bring this to life, make sure to click on it because the depth isn't as apparent in this smaller version ...
   
   
... the "proper pig," one of waterville's recent civic improvements ...
   
   
... playing with a "new" almost 50-year old ansumura wide-angle ... sloppy in the corners wide open, but once it's stopped down to f/4-5.6 it actually holds its own in today's computer-designed exotic rare-earth asperhical glass world ...
   
   
... same lens, this is a five-frame hdr merge ...
   
   
... from chuck and ann's "front steps" ... i'm okay with the final result, but no matter what i did i couldn't bring the color to what i really wanted ...
   
   
... while this one, which i consider a real "keeper," i had no expectation i would be able to filter out such gorgeous color ...
   
   
... ditto for this one ...
   
   
... just having a little fun before supper ...
   
   
... such a simple image, it shows little evidence of the amount of work it took to manage the color and contrast ...
   
   
... young victor, getting ready for bedtime ...
   
   
... seven frames blended, this is the little waterfall at conway's miniature golf course ...
   
   
... i took this three-four years ago and have revisited the original image several times ... finally, as far as i'm concerned, i got it right ...
   

... i've been taking pictures for over fifty years and i'm constantly amazed that the joy i find doing grows ...

“We are making photographs
to understand what our lives mean to us.”
— Ralph Hattersley

September 19, 2019

A VISIT TO MY "GALLERY"

     
... i don't have my own "brick and mortar" gallery, unfortunately, since i should, so today i'm going to invite you to take little stroll through the virtual halls of "patrick's picture place" ...
  
... wanderabouting waterville it's often i meet some very interesting people ...
     
     
... a nine image merge showing the approach to the r.r. bridge over the kennebec ...
     
     
... sarah's backyard is one of my favorite places to wander ...
     
     
... there's something extra fun in photographing supper ...
     
 
     
... both of us, looking up ...
     
     
... an involved study in high-contrast symmetry and nature's expression of fractal geometry ...
     
     
... ducks from the deck of the two-cent bridge ...
     
     
... six focus-stacked images, an attempt to portray form by controlling depth of field ...
     
     
... some are gracious enough to pose ...
     
     
... a half-hour of focus stacking, hue-contrast-saturation adjustment, edge sharpening, vignetting both exposure and focus, all to bring to you a bug on a flower ... yea, you just gotta love photographers ...
     
     
... late evening in my backyard—nahhhh, this is one of the many residents of the maine wildlife park in grey ... orphaned when his mother was killed, he was raised in captivity and cannot be returned to the wild ...
     
     
... from our little wanderabout to as-far-as-you-can-go north, when i was snapping the twenty images that comprise this photograph i had a poster in mind ... i like that "beginning to end" process ...
     
     
... technically simple, but the timing was tough ...
     
     
... another very simple image ... i'm pleased that it shows no evidence of the twenty minutes i spent searching for what i consider to be the perfect compostition ...
     
    
... i shot this thinking b&w, but in the "darkroom" (aurora hdr, photoshop, nik silver effect, and jixpix) changed my mind ... why ... ??? ... no idea, no idea whatsoever ...
     
     
... practicing my "zone system" skills in a very contrasty situation ... thank you, ansel ...
     
     
... in the south end ... stop, look, find the photograph ...
     
     
... looking down to the curbside, autumn begins with the first occurrence of the thought, "oh, my, that one's not from last year" ...
     
     
... sometimes photography is peeking ...
     
 
     
     
... the community is agog over a photographer ... displayed around town are beautifully printed and mounted prints of his work ... he deserves the attention, his b&w studio portraits of "locals" are wonderfully done ... me, i just walk along and snap away ... i was captivated by this construction worker's fabulous smile, asked if i could do a quick portrait, clicked the little button twice, then moved on ... this is a good example of how photographers shouldn't see b&w and color photography as being anything but different "brushes" ...
     
     
... the jewelry store changes its window display frequently, much to my delight ...
     
     
... captive and free ... ??? ...
     
     
... this snapshot began as a little private running joke i have with a close friend ... the fun i had playing around in photoshop produced an image that is itself great fun ... yet another reason to enjoy photography ...
     
     
... rather'n how it appears, trying to capture what a flower is ...
     
     
... "photography," from the greek: to draw with light ...
     

... i hope you enjoyed the time you spent in my little gallery, perhaps you'll recommend to a friend that they make their own visit ... thank you ...