Categories: Locations, Annapolis, Chicago, Maryland's Eastern Shore, Michigan, Allegan State Game Area, Allegan Forest, Jordan River Valley, Washington, DC
Here’s a snapshot of the Chicago skyline in the early morning, as taken from a hotel room last year. I re-worked the photo, previously posted here, in Photomatix. I really like the results on this morning photo, but oddly, Photomatix didn’t help the night shot at all.
Here are a few more snapshots from Chestertown, Maryland. All of these are, again, digital infrared tone mapped images.
First off - another fine old home:
And here is the old Courthouse near the center of town:
Emmanuel Episcopal Church - another very old landmark in the center of town:
Don’t have the precise name of this, but it was a Methodist Church near the downtown area:
Lastly, a commercial building, somewhere in town. I like the nice clean lines of these old brick buildings:
Next - Chesapeake City, MD!
One of the most relaxing days on our vacation was visiting Maryland’s eastern shore, and a visit to Chestertown was the highlight of that excursion. Chestertown is rich in history and architecture, and the downtown shopping district is home many interesting shops. (You can learn more about the town here.)
Here is a fine old Georgian (I think) style home located on the waterfront - again, digital infrared with a little hand coloring on the shrubs:
Here’s a shot looking back at the city from the waterfront:
Another landmark - the Imperial Hotel, which is located on High Street near the center of the city:
Lastly - The fountain in the fountain in the center of the city park:
More shots will be coming.
Just a quick snap shot from the Allegan Forest - a peek at the wildlife refuge, taken from the gate leading near Swan Creek. A while back I added a lensbaby muse to my small slection of Pentax 6x7 lenses - some fun, that lens. Agfa APX 100 in Agfa Rodinal 1:50
Here are a few more photos from my visit to Washington DC a few weeks ago.
For starters - the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center:
Reminds me of Guild Heighliner…
All of these are taken with the infrared converted Pentax K10-d. I’ve found that the Photomatix software is great for processing digital IR shots, even when they are not HDR shots. The shot above was just a single exposure, taken with a custom white balance, run through Photomatix, and the processed in Photoshop (channel swapping and the usual dodging and burning / overall tone and contrast adjustments.) I like the effects that Photomatix adds…
Another shot - a statue outside of the National Archives - again, single exposure digital IR:
Under this statue is written “Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty.” The dude in the statue looks formidable.
Lastly, here’s an actual HDR shot of the Lincoln Memorial. I took the exposure on a cloudy and overcast day, actually in a light rain, so the IR effect is very light and the contrast is extremely low. No way to tease any color out of this image - I resorted to the hand coloring technique earlier, here is a straight B&W:
As I mentioned ins post from a few days ago, I tried to take digital infrared images of the Capitol from the Washington Mall. It was mid morning, the building was back lit, and IR photography is unforgiving in some respects… So - I bracketed a few shots and walked over to the other side of the building. But I bracketed with the intent of trying to recoup some useful HRD images…
Pretty cool… Though a bit gaudy. This is an HDR compost of three bracketed digital infrared images (digitally converted Pentax K–10d) with channel mixing, layer blending, and a bunch of other digital manipulations. Super freak photography?
I liked that photo when I first made it, but putting it up on the wall after a while I realized it lacks - umm… subtlety. Here’s a photo of the Capitol that I like better - again HDR digital IR but rendered with a little less gaudiness:
ANd here’s a shot I like because it has trees in it (and as a rule, I like trees):
More HDR stuff - gaudy and not, IR and not, coming….
Another shot from Washington D.C. - here’s a digital infrared photo of the Capitol Building. The photo shows the east side of the building - not much luck getting a backlit shot from the Mall. I have no idea why the place was so empty.
Since it was the start of the Cherry Blossom Festival I took a couple of snapshots of the Capitol Building with pretty cherry blossoms in the foreground - which are these:
I spent a good part of last week and the week before on vacation in Washington, D.C.and Maryland.
It was cherry blossom time in the nation’s capitol. I took a few snapshots of the flowers, but on the one day I set aside for walking around and taking photos, I decided instead to work with the digital infrared converted Pentax K10. There were clouds with thin, diffused sunlight - not ideal for IR work but not bad either.
Here’s the Washington Monument - I processed the image with a little sloppy faux digital hand coloring to give it an old fashioned postcard look. I always see photos of the Washington monument and it is always alabaster white. It really isn’t like that.
And here is the Lincoln Memorial. Again, a digital infrared and a faux hand color look in the processing. A few more IR posts from this trip will be forthcoming.
Kalamazoo was in the sweet spot for an ice storm on February 21st this year - just to the north heavy snow fell and just to the south it rained. But here we had a heavy freezing rain that left well over 100,000 homes without electricity. Mine was one of them. Between the oven and the fireplace and a propane heater borrowed from a friend I was able to keep the house warm enough to avoid freezing pipes, if not crabby cats pissed off over being left in the cold - inside.
Here are a few macro snapshots of the ice, taken around my house.
All photos taken with a Pentax K-7 and D-FA 2100mm macro lens.
Well, here we are in late October. I’ve had little time to visit the fields, but fall is well under way and things are going to brown. Here’s a little essay from this July that never made it onto this blog:
There is an interesting place in the Allegan Forest. It is off 44th street, a ways south of 115th avenue. When you drive by on the dirt road you can catch a glimpse of a small parking lot at the end of a little drive, carved out of the forest. If you look closely as you pull in you’ll see a small log wedged in the branches of a pine tree near the entrance, with a moldering orange ball the size of a softball, or a grape fruit, fixed to it.
The parking lot is maybe big enough to accommodate 10 vehicles. It is dry gravel with the scrubby woods pressed close in on the north and the south. Someone dumped a bunch of garbage there, so plastic bottles, cans, scraps of tin foil and shreds of plastic bags adore the edge of the forest. If you look down and it is summer, you will see ants on the gravel. Lots of ants.
There is a small red gate, the kind typically installed by the DNR to close off two tracks and service roads. Behind the gate is a long disused two track, just two parallel bands of gravel with weeds in the center strip growing up 6 feet or more. Near the gate is an old cast iron pipe with a slot cut in the side. Similar pipes are used to this day at state parks and campgrounds - you drop your self-registration paperwork and fees into them.
The abandoned two track runs straight as an arrow into the woods. The trees have been cleared 20 or 30 feet to either side, though here and there a midsized tree has taken hold and is growing right beside the road.
The cleared areas along the side of the road are knee high with grass, knapweed, poison ivy, patches of milkweed and other plants. Huge anthills – domes 8 or 10 feet in diameter – rise up out of the grass. No plants grow on these nests, instead they are perforated with dozens of holes and millions of ants scurry in and out of them. The road extends for over 300 years, and the ant hills rise up every few feet for that entire distance. I imagine it is a huge single colony of ants – but maybe it is a federation of separate ant states. Either way, it pays to walk gingerly and not to stand around idle. Even on the road or the parking lot, you will get the stray ant tickling its way up you leg until it realizes it is stuck, and then the pinprick of its bite.
Thankfully, the ants here in Michigan are all pretty mild. Though it’s not a good idea to walk on the ant mounds and it is a very bad idea to jab a monopod into the soft sand of the ant domes. Take it from me.
Where the two track ends there is a break into a large field on one side. It is open and green and lush this time of year. Visiting it on Saturday, a white tail leapt out of the brush and bounded away gracefully. A moment later two young deer – still with their spotted coats but almost the size of a full-grown adult – bounded off in the other direction.
A couple of small concrete slabs are carved out of the vegetation – foundations form some now long gone buildings – and in a copse of scruffy trees a large sewer pipe stands on end – at least 6 feet in diameter and towering 20 feet or more into the air. I once spoke with a hunter here who referenced “the silo” – but it is a sewer pipe. How it got in this place and on its end is anyone’s guess. Someone – no doubt mystified by its presence here – chipped a hole in the side of it. Too small for a person to get through, you could peer into the inky darkness inside the pipe, if you wanted to.
If you keep going along the path that continues from the two track you’ll go 30 or 40 feet with large trees pressing in on either side, and then come upon a huge field, a few hundred yards long and wide. It is a regular square, carved out of the forest, and this time of year is full of knapweed, prairie grass, and lots of wild strawberries – acres of wild strawberries.
And all along the way there are dragonflies – lots of dragonflies – and their images are recorded here in this post.