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.

June 14, 2015

MILKY WAY TO SEA

... chad dropped a note, "up for a little milky way photography," and i was quick to respond, "absolutely" ... after a great thai supper at what used to be the "empire grill" in skowhegan, we headed up to the wire bridge, where i'd calculated we should be able to frame the milky way through the bridge's towers ... going through norridgewock we stopped to photograph the bridge across the kennebec ...

... chad was a bit nervous watching me stroll across the railroad trestle, but the allure of the vantage soon drew him onto the structure ... i had to settle his fears by telling him that a person couldn't fit between the ties, but he obviously didn't think that his camera bag might be thin enough to fall ... "is it against the law to walk out here" ... i laughed, "chad, we're breaking more laws than you can imagine just by stepping on the right-of-way" ...

... in kingfield we spent the sunset taking pictures of the falls ... the water was extremely high, which made finding good places to set up my tripod much more difficult that it was when john and i last made a visit when the river was frozen over ... i was fascinated by the remnants of some long-gone industrial age building ...

... i decided to see how many ways i could photograph the structure without falling into the river ...

... for this one i almost ended up taking a dunking, but the result is my favorite ...

... the wire bridge was a bust ... the river was a torrent, and the water was so high the level banks of the river were completely submerged ... also, the mist from the rapids made the air unsuitable for 30-second exposures ... we packed up and drove up route 16 to route 201, then cruised along the kennebec up to the rest area outside of jackman that looks down upon the dead river ... i was pleased that for this location my calculations proved to be dead on correct, at about midnight the sky darkened and the milky was was exactly where i anticipated ...

... these first two photographs were taken with my sigma 10-20mm zoom at its widest setting ...

... after a bit of instruction from chad, i managed to capture this three panel merge with with my sigma 17-20mm ...

... finally, this is a four panel merge done with the sigma 17-70mm ...

... for me, this type of photography is mostly about enjoying a night out looking at the milky way, but i do feel my understanding of the process is improving ...

 ... john had said he'd like to make an outing on sunday, so the next morning, after a few hours sleep, i went downstairs and took a nap on the curb while i waited for him to arrive ... "where do you want to go" ... i yawned, "you're the boss" ... he gave me a nice menu, of which one choice was that we head to portland so he could purchase his first ultra-wideangle lens ... "that's it, let's go" ...

... while he inspected canon and tokina wide zooms the salesperson piled all sorts of nikon lenses on the counter in front of me ... "this is all mint-condition used stuff that just came in" ... ohhhhhhhhhh, did i have to practice my self-control, which, in this environment, is like a compulsive gambler walking around in a casino with a pocket full of chips ... this is a snap using a non-rectilinear "fisheye" nikon 10mm ...

... i resisted, money in the bank for next year's coast-to-coast-to-coast motorcycle wanderabout, and substituted by enjoying watching john play with his new canon 10-16mm zoom while we waited for our lunch to be served at the miss portland diner ...

... heading north, we stopped to admire an icon of the maine tourist industry ... tens of thousands of people in this country, when asked, "have you ever been to maine," will respond by saying, "oh, yes ... when i was a kid ... i remember the big indian" ...

 ... in freeport we paid the entrance fee, and, after being warned about the "deadly poisonous wooly caterpillars," hiked down to the shore ... we arrived to find the tide so low it was actually possible to walk, albeit a bit muddily, to googins island ...

... once, probably when we were in rhode island, mike and i collected hundreds of clam shells, then spent hours trying to learn if more than one match could be found for one half of a pair ... no luck, as i recall, i think we decided that clams must be like fingerprints ...

... his master said, "he won't stick around when anyone tries to take his picture" ... another check mark on my score card, i guess ...

... john told me what these were, but, being as they're flowers, i forgot ...

... "closer ... closer ... closer," i kept urging him, "it's counter-intuitive with an ultra-wideangle, although it feels like you should step back, get closer" ... he took to the lens as if it was a tool that had been custom fitted to his hands, or, in this case, his eyes ...

... "blight" ... ??? ... no idea ...

... what a beautiful spot on the edge of the sea ...

... no better way to enjoy maine, i'm sure ...

... wandering the road uphill from the maine criminal justice academy, the old oak-grove coburn school, we chanced upon a most perfect composition ...

... this, i believe, is likely to be my all-time best horse picture ...

... midnight beneath the milky way to an afternoon at the edge of the sea ... everywhere, so many places to be, so many wonders to see ...