Rush and Mendon

Apr 15, 2012 in Photography

wpid-rush-mendon-2012-04-15-16-25.jpgA blog post inspired by cycling but not about cycling notwithstanding the cyclist in the last image in this set.

Many of our bike rides are in this area. A few times we started from Sara and Billy’s place in West-Rush. Then, while we are riding I often see landscapes I want to photograph but I often don’t like stopping to take pictures while riding just for the taking of the picture – the clash between two hobbies. A few days ago there was a really nice sunny day. In the morning before going to work I put the camera plus tripod in the car and then after work drove zigzagging along the country roads trying to re-find what I saw during our bike rides. This is always a bit of a challenge: the much higher speed and the different point of view make it hard to spot the spots.

I was shooting for a while near the two farms on Quaker Road and River Road. A couple of young people were working on the land. After a while they came over. Am I from RIT, one of them asked? Apparently RIT has some agricultural projects in the area. No, I explained, we often ride our bikes in the area making me want to shoot pictures of the landscape, this evening had a nice low stroking light and so…

One shot I had in mind didn’t come together: the sun was on the wrong side. This is near East River and West Rush. When we got through there on our bikes at the beginning of our ride it is (early) morning. Now it is evening…

The photos are in the gallery.

Around the Public Market

Feb 26, 2012 in Photography

wpid-Tracks2-2012-02-26-11-02.jpgIn the eight years or so that I’ve been here I still have to visit the Public Market. Yesterday’s photo excursion doesn’t count as I was there mid-afternoon and so too late for the market although there were still a few vendors going strong. Instead the focus of the trip were the buildings and train tracks in that area. Combined with the strong winds and the drifting snow I was hoping that it would lend itself to photos with some character. Whether I succeeded you can assess for yourself in the gallery.

These photos were edited on my iPad with Snapseed. I am falling love with that app! Nik Software now also released a Mac OS version of the app.

To pick up from the previous blog entry, I found a new home to display the photos. As mentioned, Apple is discontinuing the MobileME Gallery and so I was pondering what to do. I do post on Flickr as well which is nice for getting comments and ratings on my work but I don’t really like the display options there – it is very cluttered. After some searching and browsing I came upon It has similarly nice presentation options as MobileME has (or had), it integrates with Aperture, it looks nice on iPads as well. So, will be new photographic home. Let me know what you think?

Yesterday and Friday evening were also productive times for another hobby: the web site for the Day Rides program, now renamed to Impromptu Rides: In two or three days time we will launch the new version I’ve been working on for a few weeks. And I made good progress on the Club Rides app for the ’12 season as well! I should be submitting the update to Apple today or tomorrow – a few loose ends still to tie up.

Charlotte at Night

Feb 13, 2012 in Photography

wpid-roofs-icon-2012-02-13-15-32.jpgYesterday evening was about the first chance this winter to take some snowy pictures. And, it being evening and all, an opportunity to continue my quest to take after dark pictures. I was meeting with Cindy later on in Charlotte to discuss the new features to the Day Rides, now called Impromptu Rides, web site, and so went over a little earlier armed with camera and tripod.

I’ve taken pictures there a few times before. It has a certain scenic appeal. I first hiked around the lighthouse and the (defunct?) train station and then up to the pier. There I saw that the snow and the dark clouds inspired photographic inspiration upon another couple of photographers as well. There is something about the snow, the fading natural light and the emerging streetlight.

You’ll find the photos on Flickr. As part of its move to iCloud, Apple is phasing out the MobileME photo gallery I had been using. Which reminds me that I have till June to through the blog posts and fix what will become dead links to photo albums…

Early Morning Photo Excursion

Dec 06, 2011 in Photography

wpid-Floating-2011-12-6-20-15.jpgOn my morning commute to work I drive down Empire Boulevard in Webster toward the 590 highway. It goes past Irondequoit Bay. If the light is right, that is often a beautiful sight making me think to bring tripod plus camera and stop to record this for posterity.

Not having done much photographic activity since the Boston trip except for the occasional iPhone picture the need to take the camera out has been slowly rising the last few weeks. The recent weekends became decision moments between bike rides and photo trips. As the weather has been pretty amazing for November the bicycle won until this Sunday. And even then it was a close call, the lure of a bike ride strongly calling because recently there has been someone making the bike rides even more fun.

As this blog post demonstrates the camera won for this morning. I set the alarm for 6 and managed to get out of the door a little after seven, in time for the 7:25 am sunrise. I wanted to try two locations: the south or bottom-end of the bay, and the northern part. The south location would give me the sun in the back stroking over the bay; the other providing the opportunity for back light. I decided to shoot in that order.

Another motivation to go shoot pictures has been my lens baby. I got it many weeks ago but – except for some quick indoor shots – hadn’t played with it yet. A lens baby has a twistable front section so that you can move the focal point around and at an angle to the camera. Wonderful distortions are the result.

The lens baby photos are taken in Tryon Park in Rochester. Many trails cross through the park; mountain bike routes labeled like ski slopes are. Even the green trails still looked tricky to me. The blue and red trails are certainly above my MTB skill level.

In the gallery you’ll find the outcome of my getting up before the sun.

In Flight

Feb 12, 2011 in Photography

wpid-inflight2-2011-02-12-14-131.jpgThis week I continued my hobby of taking pictures during airplane travel.

This requires a bit of luck:
– a window seat
– but not above the wing
– window glass that is not scratched
– no cloud cover or nice storm clouds

And of course a continental flight is a little more entertaining than flying over an ocean.

Wander over to the gallery.

Sodus Bay revisited

Dec 19, 2010 in Photography

wpid-sodus-winter-2010-12-19-11-00.jpgLast year on a sunny November day I drove to Sodus Bay for a photo excursion. A year and a month later I decided to see how things would look now. At least that became the plan. I started driving out from Webster along Lake Road to take pictures of what I would see there. But nothing really struck me other than the too obvious snowy christmas postcards. In part this is caused by traveling by car: you’re just going too fast and don’t really see anything. I prefer to walk (or bike) around then you see things that otherwise stay hidden. Thus I arrived in Sodus Bay village without having taken a picture yet and so made the theme of the trip the contrast with last year’s effort.

I am still on the black & white streak although I’m throwing in one color photo at the end of the album in the gallery. I just like very much what the Nikon camera does in the B&W setting.

Around Webster

Sep 26, 2010 in Photography

webstersunday-2010-09-26-12-031.jpgLast Sunday the sun was low in the sky, there were some clouds and a bit of wind. In other words time to grab the camera, put on the walking shoes and hike about the neighborhood. I moved here in June when the house was finally sold and so a Webster photo trip was more than overdue!

This album builds on the previous black&white excursion. I am falling newly in love with grey tones and I really like the camera’s performance in the b&w setting.

This trip I took off on foot from the front door of the apartment. At first the plan was to focus on autumn pictures. I did take some of those but as you can see from the album those didn’t make it in the final selection. Instead I let myself drive by what I encountered along the way.

Go to the gallery.

I want it painted black

Aug 03, 2010 in Photography

Whoistaller-2010-08-3-17-55.jpgOne thing I miss since the onslaught of digital photography is playing in the darkroom and doing black&white photography. Occasionally when editing a project I think “oh, that should look good in black and white.” In the photo editing application, I convert the image to black&white but seldom does it really come out as great black&white photos can as with the beautiful Ilford films of old.

My D90 can take be set to take black & white photos. I tried that once before but left the image format setting at RAW only then to be confused at first when the images were all in full color after loading them onto the computer…

This Sunday, remembering that lesson, I ventured out to Irondequoit Bay. I set the camera to black&white and to JPEG. The fun thing about the D90 is that it can also simulate yellow, green and red filters. And so I played with those too even while my photo club days at the SGN High School are quite a bit behind me, having to do a bit of memory surging to recall the effect of each filter.

There is something about black & white so be prepared to see more.

Have a look in the gallery to see how I did.

Real Musicians Don’t Need Electricity

May 09, 2010 in Life

HeadSpace.jpg …or maybe just a little of it…

Last night my friend Mark returned to the live performance circuit with his brother-in-law, Jeff. Their acoustic duo is called Head Space. The performance was at the Cottage Hotel in Mendon, according to Mark’s email “a cool, roadhouse kind of joint. Good food, good drinks, ace sound system, and room for dancing.”

Well, that may be so but that was hard to determine at first. I had programmed the address into the GPS. When I got to the 64 & 251 junction it told I was there, I had arrived. However, nothing was to be seen. All was dark. I examined the four corners of the junction, seeing all the cars parked along the right hand corner and trusting that the GPS was right, it had to be the building on that corner. I parked, found the front door, walked in. Plenty of people inside a dark room: the storm had taken out the power in this area. Candles were out, the beer taps were still working: the party is on!

This evening four bands would be playing starting with Head Space. There was some discussion among the musicians: who needed electricity and how much? Someone found a generator, parked it outside the side door. It had just enough wattage to power the sound board, one lamp (so the sound guy could see what dials he was twisting), a few microphones and two loud speakers (one for the musicians so they could hear what they were doing, and one for the audience so we could hear what they were playing).

Mark and Jeff tuned their guitars and started playing. I believe Mark told me they hadn’t performed in years. Must have been a little unsettling to make the come-back under these circumstances. With just the one speaker I don’t think the musicians could hear themselves very well. But they did great playing songs by the Dead and others for about 20-25 minutes. At the end two little girls walked up to Mark seemingly to request a song. “Not sure we can do anything, we played all the songs we know,” Mark mumbled while bending over to hear them out. It turned to be a Happy Birthday song for a family member.

What was a bit sad for Mark and Jeff, but good for the evening, was that the lights came back on just a few minutes after their performance.

You can find the pictures I took in the gallery. I took some by natural light to give you an idea how dark it was while Head Space was playing.

Honeoye Falls and Canadice Lake

Dec 24, 2009 in Life

Honeoye-Falls.jpgOn Tuesday it was sunny, cold and there was still snow on the ground – the perfect inspiration to take photos. Photos to then use to help my migration from iPhoto to Aperture.

This excursion further more enabled me to take photos of an area I’ve long wanted to photograph, an area where I am often enough, frequently with a camera on my person but I never take time for it: Honeoye Falls as we pass through it on our club bike rides. Every time we ride through the village and past the waterfalls I think “oh, that looks nice, I should photograph this.” But, as some know, I don’t like to stop while cycling if there’s not a cycling specific reason to stop. The result is that in this blog you seldom get to see the terrain we cycle through but instead more often these lunch time pictures.

So instead of Maximilian (ehh, the road bike) I took Dr Frits (ehh, the Mini Cooper) plus of course camera, tripod and much matters.

Sunny winter afternoons are perhaps my favorite days to go photograph because the sun hangs so nicely low in the sky causing the light to stroke over the landscape. The waterfalls were, except for a few streams of water, frozen over. It always amazes me that water flowing so swiftly can freeze.

From Honeoye Falls I went to Canadice Lake. Many of our club rides go past this lake along a lovely quiet bumpy road. Past the lake I turned Dr Frits left onto Reynolds Gull Road, an unpaved road that winds over the hill ridge to the side of Canandaigua Lake. But before getting there I turned right onto Canadice Hill Road through Spencer State Park. In September a bike ride took us this direction and I remembered it being quite beautiful.

The Falls and other photos are in the gallery.

On the way back I stopped in Lima for a drink and walked into a local pub. I sat down at the bar, peered over to the tap station to see what they had on draft and ordered a Labatt Blue.

Next to me an elderly chap and a woman in her thirties were having a bit of an odd conversation. She was, or was pretending to be, very in love with him asked him to have another drink with her. Said he that he needed to phone to see if he can stay out this evening and dug out his cell phone. He finished his call, put away the phone and said that he needed to go home to cook dinner.

He got, started towards the door but lingered at the pool table. In the meantime she started softly singing “Hepatitis, he has hepatitis”. One of the billiards players called out for her to shut up. She kept singing. Another one called to the bartender to call 911 and have her thrown out.
She leaned towards me saying: “He has hepatitis.”
“That is fascinating,” I mumbled.

More calls for 911 and for her to be quiet rang through the bar.

Realizing the time, I finished my beer and left 🙂

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