Thursday, August 20, 2009

Inside The Blue Line

My traveling spirit is starting to stir again. Fall is fast approaching, and my mind is wandering with thoughts of visiting and photographing places I’ve never been. Thoughts of the Maine wilderness and Moose. Northern Algonquin. Nova Scotia. Beautiful places that would certainly provide magnificent photo opportunities. No matter how far my mind wanders out into the wilds away from home,one place always seems to take over my thoughts come autumn. The place that lies just inside the “blue line”. The Adirondack Park,and it’s many mountains and streams. There is a certain spirit that exists in the Adirondacks. One that I have felt no where else. The solitude is unmatched. An autumn leave ablaze lying on the surface of a still pond. A common autumn scene,repeated in many parts of the world,but here it is different. It is magical. I’ve seen it. I’ve felt it. The cry of a loon that penetrates the morning mist,as it rises to meet the sky,unveiling the painted mountains bathed in the morning’s first light. It is all so different here to me. The light is different. The darkness of star lit skies. The meandering brook. The sound of silence. It is all genuine inside the blue line. It is a place I am grateful to have visited,and it brings hope,knowing I can visit again soon. What I find in this place is the way things should be. Simple. Honest. Beautiful. So as my mind wanders and brings thoughts of far away places,my wandering spirit is being reined in by the call of the Adirondacks once more. The time is near. Time to step inside the blue line.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Focus Beauty Builder - Lightroom Presets

I recently found this really neat set of Lightroom presets while visiting the blog of Beau Harbin. Glad I stopped by,Beau !
This set of presets is called Focus Beauty Builder.
I'm excited to put some of these presets to use. To this point,I have very little experience at all with presets,and have a lot of learning to do in Lightroom,and processing in general.
Here's one I tried on a recent photograph of a mushroom. I applied the preset "Focus Isolation Center" to the original DNG file,and made no other tweaks. The original photo was shot with flash,and tweaked slightly in Lightroom. Kudos to Markus for these really cool presets !


Focus Isolation Center applied

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Blog Neglect

Now that I've neglected this blog for nearly 8 months,let me see if I can go back in time. Below is one shot for each of the previous 7 months.
There,now I'm caught up. :)

January 2009 - Looking through what I did shoot in January,and there wasn't a whole lot there. But what I did shoot is what matters most. Family. Here is one of my niece,the most adorable little girl you could ever meet.

February 2009 - - At the end of February,I left snowy Central New York,for what would be a trip of a lifetime for me. I would fly into San Francisco,and drive an hour north to Point Reyes National Seashore. From Point Reyes,I would begin a 1,400 mile journey that would last 7 days. My goal was to see as much as I could in those seven days. I drove the coast (California Highway 1) for three days to my final coastal destination of Cambria. From Cambria,I headed East across the state,and up and around the bottom of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Lone Pine for a day. Then it was back around the bottom of the mountains and up the other side to Sequoia National Forest. From Sequoia,it was off to Yosemite for a day. I won't soon forget,if ever,what I was witness to. I feel blessed to have had this opportunity. Photos from this trip may be seen here >

The photo below is from Muir Beach overlook. My first "good" look at the Pacific.

March 2009 - See February notes. Pictured below is a Sea Lion I encountered in Monterey. This character was hanging around with a group off the Fishermans Wharf in Monterey. The Monterey area was a highlight of the trip to be sure. Natural beauty abounds.

April 2009 - Spring. A time for renewal. Franklin Square,Syracuse,NY.

May 2009 - The last weekend in May,it's off to what has become a yearly gathering for some fine music in the Catskill mountains of New York. It's time for Mountain Jam !
My Mtn. Jam photos may be seen here.

June 2009 - Visited a very special friend in Ottawa,Ontario,Canada who needed some support. This woman has endured more than most could take in a lifetime.
A few years back,one of her son's was murdered,and they have yet to find the killer. Please say a prayer for her,and send some good karma her way. Here's a song that reminds me of her every time I hear it. Written by Warren Haynes,and performed by Gov't Mule.

So Weak, So Strong (5:08)
Buzzard Rock Music (BMI)

So weak so strong, nothing's forever in her universe
Bringing comfort, bringing pain, so weak so strong

So weak so strong, turning mountains into seas of dust
Finding courage when all hope is lost, so weak so strong

Men have died from half the pain she endures everyday
Many times I've seen her spirit fade away only to rise again

So weak so strong, there's only one of her in the universe
Bringing darkness, bringing light, so weak so strong

Men have died from half the pain she endures everyday
Many times I've seen her spirit fade away only to rise again

So weak so strong, she's never really what she seems to be
But life without her seems so bleak, so weak so strong

July 2009 - Spent a lot of time behind the lens this month. It was difficult to pick just one image,but the one below is certainly one of my favorites. This girl & her horse were performing in the joust at the Sterling Renaissance Festival.