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.

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 ...

September 13, 2019

WANDERING TO THE SUN


... after spending a full day either zooming along wicked fast in a shiny airplane or sitting absolutely still for way too long in a very warm airport terminal, we arrived in "the big sky state" ... per the dictates of true wanderabouting, the next morning we cast aside my carefully researched plan and headed deep into the montana wilderness to visit the famous "polebridge mercantile store" ... "how do you get to this 105 year-old store," you ask ... easy, head to the middle-of-nowhere ... when you get there, turn right and keep going for awhile, it'll be at the end of the road ...
    

... great baked goods, all sorts of fancy coffees and cappuchinos, and, it seems, at least one famous person has visited this marvelous place ...
    

... our first stop on the going-to-the-sun road was the smooth-pebbled shore of lake mcdonald ... i regret a bit not taking a dip, but had i done so i doubt i'd have thawed out before the end of our little wanderabout ...
    

... millions and millions of fascinating rocks, i regressed to age ten and tried to exam every single one of them ...
    

... glacial meltwater, crystalline liquid turquoise ...
    

... in the heights i found memories of how excited pa was when he drove us through these mountains ... i'd always thought that the road was opened in 1957, just a year before we traveled its serpentine path, but it turns out that the road was opened in 1933 ... a mere detail, pa's great smile remains stamped all along this landscape ...
    

... at 6,000 feet the mountains still towered above us ...
    

... on the west side of logan pass we could look back into the deep ice-carved valley between mount oberlin and haystack mountain ...
    

... i found a great spot to snap some pictures ...
    

... some, it seems, were traveling the road for other'n scenic purposes ... it was great luck for the fancy porsche's shiny finish that my wal-mart blue jeans don't have rivets on the back pockets ...
    

... a monochrome interpretation of the same image ...
    
  
... here "going-to-the-sun" meant "staring into the sun" ... this photograph is a blending of two images, each itself a merging of five differently exposed frames ... i then separated the sky, processed it independently, and added it back to the picture ... after that—right, that would be about a half-hour figuring how to remove the wide-angle lens flare spots ... [sigh] ... are times i envy painters ...
    
  
... and, again, in black & white (if you think this is cool, a fabulously wealthy patron of the arts can help me greatly improve my monochrome photography by posting an LDP converted-to-b&w-only Nikon D800m via ups or fed-ex ... first "keeper" i manage using it will be yours ... !!! ... 😊) ...
    
   
... our drive from the park to bozeman, montana, was a contrast in geography ...
    

... pa took the same picture ... so did ansel adams ... i've a feeling that one of the definitions of "photographer" being drawn places such as this ...
    

... we could see the state capitol's dome glinting in the sun, so we made a little side trip to investigate ... seven ounces of pure gold, it's amazing how thin that stuff can be pressed ...
    

... ad and i have wanderabouted all 50 states (arkansas has a tiny asterisk, something we've to fix someday) ... we've kicked around the idea of doing the same for all the capitals to see all the capitols [clever, huh] ...
    
  
... ya's gotta love a gal can smile at the montana state senate chamber ...
    
  
... a major restoration and modernization of the structure is currently in its final stages ... even as we wandered about we ran into both construction workers finishing up details as state employees were excitedly moving back into their new digs ...
    
  
... me, i notice tiny details ...
    
  
... the building is elegant in its simplicity ...
    

... it's the most open state capitol i've ever visited ...
    

... next along the path was yellowstone ... adrien's had been there twice already, so it was a great joy to me that i had my own personal tour guide ...
    

... vast, pristine, wild, for sure, but my first impression of yellowstone was "color" ...
    


... it is simultaneously fascinating and frightening to think that beneath this landscape is one of this planet's greatest volcanic calderas ...
    

... the surface we walked upon is but the thin crust of a monstrous magmatic mass  ...
    

... only meters beneath the surface the water is heated under pressure to temperatures exceeding 400°f ...
    
 

... it bleeds and bubbles and bursts its way the surface, carrying with it uncountable forms and combinations of dissolved minerals ...
    
  
... an american bison (b.bison), called a "buffalo," which it isn't ... this one has plopped himself down upon an active steam vent, a sort of natural sauna ... before the movement of european culture into the american west estimates are that there were 30,000,000+ of these massive critters roaming the plains and open woodlands ... by the end of the 1800s only a few thousand remained ...
    

... in the tropics that color would promise a nice swim ...
    

... not here, for sure, since there's absolutely nothing "nice" about being boiled alive  ...
    

... this hill is composed completely of precipitate from a hot spring ...
    

... slowly, the landscape grows—until, that is, the next time the caldera collapses ...
    

... if it was allowed, which it isn't, i'd have thoroughly appreciated finding a spot where i could have soaked my feet for awhile ...
    

... boiling water cascading into a mountain river's frigid flow ...
    

... at the microscopic level earth is growing ...
    

... and, at the same scale, life has established itself ... fans of yellowstone will say, "don't tell us that there can't be life on other planets" ...
    

... my favorite bird, the raven ... we are only beginning to understand that complex language isn't something unique to h.sapiens ...
    

...  the pièce de ré·sis·tance ...
    

... i'd expected "old faithful" to be a bit anticlimactic ... i was wrong ... completely ... despite a lifetime of seeing images, historical and contemporary, and movies, still it was absolutely fascinating ...
    

... after the show we decided to visit one of the lodges, have an ice cream, and await the next eruption ...
    

... sun low in the sky, i reflected, "12,000 or so years ago, the First People to witness this, what must they have thought" ... i was pleased to hear my own response, "exactly the same as you, that's what they thought" ... right ... i didn't think of boiling water, magma, steam chambers, temperature of vaporization, or anything like that ... i just—well, i just sat in wonder wondering ...
    

... on our late-night drive from the park to dubois we witnessed an odd cloud structure exploding just over the horizon ... at first we consider driving faster, thinking it might be evidence that yellowstone was about to erupt, but then we realized it was in the wrong direction and was most likely simply a local mountain range produced weather phenomena ... still, just in case, we added a few notches to our cruise setting ...
    

... along jackson lake we paused to witness day ending behind the grand tetons ...
    

... even after all the wonders we had witnessed, still we felt as if another bit of magic had been added to our wanderabout ...
    

... yellowstone not behind, but within us, we wandered into the night ...
    
    

... there was much more for us to do, including a viewing of the movie "it 2" and a visit to our favorite place for vittles, the "pancake house," but i'll end this journal entry with evidence we made sure to visit the shrine to one of the west's most amazing resident fauna, the elusive jackalope (lepus cornibus)... we were mesmerized by the stuffed and mounted "largest jackalope ever shot" ...
    

... all that we saw and did, it was father and daughter wanderabouting the west ...

... indeed, life is good ...