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.

July 17, 2018

NEW LENS!!!!

... as you know, since i took up using "mirrorless" cameras i've for the most part used "legacy" (20-30 year-old) lenses ... lack of automatic features, as far as i'm concerned, is greatly outweighed by how compared to modern glass they are relatively inexpensive ...

... for critical work, however, using wide-angle lenses designed for film is a bit of a problem ... without going into the details (right, "ask patrick what time it is and he'll explain how to build a clock"), wide open to their largest apertures (to let in the most light) traditional "retrofocus" wide-angle designs just aren't very sharp in the corners ... soooo ...

... so, thinking especially of milky way photography, i finally made the move to a modern wide-angle designed specifically for digital sensors ... goodbye to my faithful nikkor 20mm f/2.8 ...
  
  
... the money i made selling it on ebay (more'n i paid for it, by the way) enabled me to purchase a brand-new rokinon 20mm f/1.8...
  
COURTESY MARC ALHADEFF

... downside—well, the rokinon is huge compared to the old nikkor ... well worth it, however, since it is clearly much, much sharper, even when wide-open to f/1.8 ...
   
... found inside the hathaway building, my my first image using the rokinon ...
   

... later, from a little wanderabout around town, this is the result of eight images being alignment stacked, focus merged, and then color/contrast corrected ...
   

... finally, a single frame taken in castonguay square...
  


... what great fun ... i'm so looking forward to using this lens ...

WANDERABOUT TO LOOK THROUGH THE LARGEST TELESCOPE

... early this spring john made arrangements to look through the world's largest refractor (glass lenses as opposed to mirrors) telescope at the yerkes observatory ... in mid-june wayne and i joined him for the drive west ... we stopped in columbus to visit with my nephew, jon, and on our rest day we made a little visit to the air force museum in dayton ...
   

... the next day in williams bay, wisconsin, we made our way to the observatory ...
   

... we took a guided tour of the facility ... the decorative figures were fascinating, and we were told many intriguing "back stories" concerning their hidden meanings ...
   

... the best tale was about the wasp that was removed from john d. rockefeller's nose ...
   

... considering the heat and humidity, just in time we were taken into the great dome ... with an objective lens 40" in diameter this is the largest refracting telescope ever put to actual use for astronomical observation (the "great paris exhibition telescope of 1900" was never put to scientific use) ... since reflector telescopes (using mirrors) are more efficient, this telescope is now longer a primary instrument ...
... its custodian, the university of chicago, has plans to sell the entire facility ... even as you read this the issue is in doubt as to whether or not this magnificent tool will survive ...
   

... i met this very nice couple ... i'd memorized their names, but, alas, since i took so long to complete this journal entry—well, i'll take credit for at least remembering that they were nice ...
   

... john asked many questions of our guide ... ...
   
... more of the wonderful faces ...
   

... there wasn't a sign saying i shouldn't, so i sat in this chair ... as i rested in its comfortable leather clad embrace i couldn't help but think that my butt was quite possibly occupying the same spot as had the posteriors of edwin hubble, george hale, carl sagan, and albert einstein ... and, yes, when i arose to rejoin the group i felt a teensy tiny bit smarter ...
   

... the eyepiece part of a telescope ... nowadays it is rather rare that scientists actually look through the devices ...
   

... a clock ... einstein said it would slow down when i got close to it, but i couldn't detect any change ...
   

... a famous person ... right, another "i forgot" ... i'll go out on a limb and say that this is george ellory hale, who founded the observatory—if i'm wrong i'm sure john'll most politely correct me ...
   

... 63' long ... the telescope itself weighs 6 tons, the mount and gears it contains to move the scope weigh 20 tons ... for those who wonder about such, this is a f/19 lens with one very tiny crack ...
   

... edwin hubble provided the observational proof of georges lamaitre's concepts, that the universe was expanding ... hubble also showed that our milky way galaxy was only an infinitesimal part of an incomprehensibly larger universe ...
   

... a hazy overcast inland, clouds over the observatory, our long-scheduled visit to look through the telescope was cancelled ... no matter, john and wayne and i found a field in which to set up our tripods and observe the heavens ...
   

... i'm thinking that someone with lots of money will provide the funds to keep yerkes open, and that next year we'll make another wanderabout with our fingers crossed hoping for clear skies ...
   


Like buried treasures, the outposts of the universe have beckoned to the adventurous from immemorial times. Princes and potentates, political or industrial, equally with men of science, have felt the lure of the uncharted seas of space, and through their provision of instrumental means the sphere of exploration has made new discoveries and brought back permanent additions to our knowledge of the heavens.

GEORGE ELLERY HALE

June 29, 2018

A MOUNTAIN STREAM

... i took a break from house/dog/cat sitting to do a bit of wanderabouting in the mountains west of ossisipee, new hampshire ... no map, just following the front end of my car, i came across the quintessential new england stream ...
  

... absent any wind, moist air had settled within the steep notch incised by the water down the side of the mountain, and a cool mist was softly blanketing the boulder-strewn bed of the stream ... i found a spot where my tripod could set securely and i began to explore ...
  

... this is a most special place, part of that being that it is clearly photographers' playground ...
  

... i experimented using my super-opaque filter, which allowed me to take very long exposures ... knowing that when i processed the pictures i'd want to have the full dynamic range to work with, i also shot bracketed images of each composition ...
  

... listening to the faint echoes of john and chad's voices, i used their guidance to expose three overlapping frames, later to be merged into this panoramic portrayal of the scene ...
  

... i did the same, only for this the camera was in a vertical position and i took four separate images ...
  

"It is a peculiar part of the good photographer's adventure
to know where luck is most likely to lie in the stream,
to hook it, and to bring it in without unfair play
and without too much subduing it."
JAMES AGEE

June 11, 2018

MORE WANDERABOUTING

... this is a poster i made for a friend ... area 51 is over the ridge to the right ... with the needle of our little matchbox rental car's gas gauge bumping on "e," i snapped this while adrien and i tried to calculate if we had enough gas to make it over the mountains in front of us ... which we did, and then coasted downhill for seemingly forever before we came to a station ...
   

... the narrows bridge in bucksport ... i don't care much for cable stay spans, but i put my feelings aside while i was shooting ...
   

... this one i shot through the window of the car as we drove across the span—no, absolutely not, john was driving ...
   

... result of a trip to bangor and some great fun playing around in photoshop, i'll let you figure this one out ...
   
   

... i snapped this one knowing i'd be "interpreting" it ... the final image is the result of "focus stacking" eight images, then adding four separate filter layers ...
   

... this one's for my friend, c.j. ...
   

... as i walked across the memorial bridge i noticed the seagulls lining up for the evening meal ...
   

... from high atop the bridge i found my ancient 300mm f/4.5 nikkor telephoto allowed me to join into the festivities ...
   

... it was very difficult, hand-focusing the heavy lens while simultaneously tracking the birds ... it didn't help that the light was fading as the sun slowly descended behind the cityscape along the west bank of the kennebec river ...
   

... others seemed to appreciate a spot that is one of my favorites, except, that is, i can't remember ever having my cell phone out while i was enjoying the evening sitting on the rocky east bank of the river (i didn't notice until i was working up the image) ...
   

... right below my feet the graceful creatures would rocket out from beneath the memorial bridge's huge arches ...
   

... at times it was like watching the movie "battle of britain" ...
   

... for thousands of years before the europeans arrived in the new world the abenakis and penobscots who lived in this area spent evenings doing exactly this—sans pole and monofilament, of course, but they were just as efficient with their self-made tackle ...
   

... a question on "quora," "why didn't birds evolve propellers" ... an engineer provided a wonderful response, "it's not that nature didn't select for propellers, it's that to this day we've not come up with a structure that can both provide an aircraft's lift while at the same time it also generates the necessary propulsive force" ... so cool ... orville and wilbur spent hours and hours studying birds (they were good students) ...
   

"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings ..."
  JOHN GILLESPIE MAGEE JR.

... before learning to fly a spitfire i think he, too, must have studied birds ...
   

... my soul has never been much for harboring envy ... this evening, however, my feet most firmly affixed to the earth, soaring with these birds i was envious—most seriously envious, indeed ...
   

... supper, at last ...
   

... roger'd asked if i was going to be home ... when i walked up the hill i found him, a conquering hero, fresh from visiting every covered bridge in the state of new hampshire ...
   

... we sat on the bench in the little park across the street from apartment and chatted while watching the waterville police very respectfully deal with an extremely obnoxious person ... above, well, perhaps this is as close as i'll ever get to taking a picture of a dream ...
   

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.” 
   RICHARD BACH