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.

January 24, 2012

AT THE EDGE OF THE SKY AND THE SEA AND THE SHORE



Sea waves are green and wet,
But up from where they die,
Rise others vaster yet,
And those are brown and dry.

They are the sea made land
To come at the fisher town,
And bury in solid sand
The men she could not drown.

She may know cove and cape,
But she does not know mankind
If by any change of shape,
She hopes to cut off mind.

Men left her a ship to sink:
They can leave her a hut as well;
And be but more free to think
For the one more cast-off shell.

Robert Frost


... "color" ... "black & white" ... as a photographer you might hear, "in the latter is to be found abstraction of the former's reality" ... nonsense, of course ... the monochrome of dark and light has not removed hue, rather, it merely allows it to remain where it is created ... as a photographer always keep in mind that whatever palette you use it is most important your images invite viewers to find their own stories ...

NIKON D200-SIGMA 10-20@14MM-F/6.3-1/200th-ISO100

January 23, 2012

A GIFT OF THE SEA


"To myself I am only a child playing on the beach,
while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me."
  Isaac Newton

OLYMPUS E10-OLYMPUS 35-140@36MM-F/7.1-1/125th-ISO80

January 18, 2012

WEATHER IN ALASKA


... circa 1960, somewhere along the seward highway, probably near moose pass, on alaska's kenai peninsula ... the news of cordova's current twenty-six foot accumulation brought to me the memory of the day my pa decided to "take us for a drive" to see the snow piled in the region of heavy precipitation along the southern coast of alaska ... we drove forever the almost-tunnel through the massive banks of snow lining the road that followed the floor of a steep glacial valley cut between the mountains of what is now the kenai fjord park, layers of white ice piled higher than the roof of our little rambler american wagon ... it was a lonely road, with few other vehicles appearing from either direction, and i was fully aware that at any moment one of the car's tires might explode or a large chunk of the engine might suddenly appear behind us, common occurrances in those ancient times ... i also knew that living in the frigid landscape on the slopes above us were all sorts of furry critters which were sure to be drooling at the thought of gulping down a nice, warm snack-sized nine-year old boy ... naturally, as befit the situation, when pa said, "let's stop and get out to take a picture," i should have been nervous, anxious, perhaps even a bit frightened ... but, as you can see, i wasn't ... the calmness of his voice, the power in his hands upon the steering wheel, the strength in his eyes, i knew that he could fix any part of the car that broke, and that not even the meanest, nastiest, most blood-thirsty of the carnivorous creatures living in the snow covered forest, none of them would dare leave the safety of the woods to face him ...

... when we stopped i had to pee ... i didn't want to be seen, naturally, so ma said, "just go behind the car" ... mike went with me and showed me how to help him make a neat little yellow cave in the snowbank .... it was a great day ...

ARGUS C3-CINTAR 50MM-F/16-1/100TH-EKTACHROME-ISO 80

January 16, 2012

POST (?) PROCESSING


... nobody queried leonardo as to his reasons for using a particular brush, the pigments he selected for his palettes, or his choices of materials upon which he applied his colors, so why are there such questions concerning the photographer's digital manipulation of images ... world is world and mind is mind, and, other than for a very few who discuss whether a cat sealed in a box is alive or dead, the distinction is elemental to the structure of the universe ... all the photographer really wants is connect the two, what is and what we think, nothing more, and all that he or she uses in order to achieve this are merely tools ... for this image, the seven different filtering operations and blending of three layers in photoshop is only a footnote, as it should be ...

NIKON D200-NIKKOR 18-135@52MM-F/9-1/200th-ISO100 

January 12, 2012

TURN AROUND, LOOK AT ME


... when we hear these lyrics it's interesting how those of us who recall* the sixties always think of the vogues, or, perhaps, the lettermen, never giving thought to jerry capehart**, who wrote the song, or, believe or not, glen campbell, who first made the u.s.a. charts with it in 1961 ... what's music got to do with photography, you ask ... simple ... keep this tune in your head ... when you're finding it difficult to see something through your camera's lens, close your eyes, hum the song to yourself, turn your back to the scene, open your eyes, look again ...

NIKON D200-SIGMA 10-20MM@10MM-F7.1-1/60th-ISO400

* i know, "if you can remember it you weren't really there," but that's just another of the myths of those times ...
**and, if "i'll wait forever for you to come to me" is a bit too sweet for your taste, how about:

"I'm gonna raise a fuss, I'm a-gonna raise a holler,
About a-workin' all summer just-a- trying to earn a dollar,
Everytime I call my baby, try to get a date,
The boss says: "No dice son, you gotta work a-late."
Sometimes I wonder what I'm a- gonna do,
But there ain't no cure for the Summertime Blues."

January 10, 2012

AN EXAMPLE OF PROCESS


... for the photographers amongst you, here's a bit of insight as to utilizing two of the most important compositional tools:  patience and the feet ...

... in the boston museum of art, as i walked through this room i noticed the young girl making a sketch of the sculpture affixed to the wall ... the very first element of my picture taking process was to continue on as if i was simply aimlessly strolling from one gallery to another ... only when i had almost exited did i begin to pay attention to work of art directly behind the girl ... then, very casually, i turned and tucked myself against the wall (note: watch out for alarm sensors), brought my camera to eye, and flicked the little switch that all photographers possess in order to control their cloaking devices ... invisible, i snapped the first in the sequence, ready to pivot and put my back to her if i noticed she was beginning to turn ... she didn't, so, still an unseeable apparition, i snapped another shot ... if you make a very close inspection of the tiny pools of light on back wall to the far left, you'll see that as she got up and began to move, so did i ... my 'instinct' was to bring the second pool of light into view, hoping to better define the passageway leading off behind the sculpture, the additional art viewer was purely a bonus ... 'patience' came after frame four, as i waited forever for what i somehow knew was going to happen ...


... henri cartier-bressen spoke to me of "the brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box," and while taking pictures i always remember his advice as i calm my eyes by humming to myself carly simon's little ditty, "anticipation, anticipation, is makin' me late - is keepin' me waiting'" ... photography is about many things, often the least of which is the camera ...


NIKON D100-SIGMA18-50@18MM-F/5.6-1/13th-ISO800

January 9, 2012

DOWNTOWN WATERVILLE


... melissa, at barrels community market on main street in waterville, just a few steps up the street from my apartment ... seemingly a long, long time ago, melissa was one of my students ... now she's all grown up, a wife, mom, and working hard to make our community a better place ... me, of course, i'm even more grown up, i guess, always a dad, and, i suppose, it's fair to say that for awhile i'm taking a little break from the 'working hard' thing ...

NIKON D200-SIGMA 17-70MM@60MM-F/4-1/30TH-ISO1600 

DOWNTOWN WATERVILLE


... angles, shadows, a contrast of visible forms and hidden functions, this is the provence of classic black-and-white photography ... obviously transportation for a hardy new englander, or, perhaps, a teenager for whom winter is simply the time of year when leaving the house is always to the refrain, "put on your coat or you'll catch your death of cold," can you find the obscure detail that provides clue as to why this bicycle might've been so carefully parked on ticonic street ...

NIKON D200-NIKKOR 18-135MM@100MM-F/8-1/500TH-ISO100

FIRST BLOG POSTING


... this first posting is of my daughter, adrien ... for the photographers among you, this image was captured with an 'old-fashioned' 35mm camera using ilford xp-2 black-and-white film (not silver, but a dye based film that can be developed in standard c-41 'one hour' color processing machines) ... a nikon coolscan v-ed was used to bring the image into photoshop, where it was dust spotted (development standards not being up to my own) and contrast corrected ...

... enough of all that ... to the picture takers it is the moment, captured, for moms and dads it is awareness we need not arrive in heaven in order to know the faces of angels ...

OLYMPUS OM2n-50MM-F/1.8-1/15TH-ISO400