Snow riding

Snow riding

Greenbo Lake State Resort Park
Greenup County, Kentucky

I was lucky enough to be able to ride in the first nice snow of the year.  It is strange in a futuristic way to hear the Emergency Broadcast System go off on your cell phone while riding through the woods, warning of slick roads and incoming snow.

 

 

Claylick-Buffalo School at Greenbo

Claylick-Buffalo School at Greenbo

Greenbo Lake State Resort Park
Greenup County, Kentucky

Here is a photo of the old schoolhouse at Greenbo during the recent snow.  I converted it to digital art with the app Prisma then to black and white with Snapseed.  Originally, the location was down by the lake in a low wet spot when I was a child.  I remember the year they moved the building, I thought that sounded impossible to carry it over the hill.

Here is a history of the park from the Kentucky Parks website.

 

 

at the Tri State Camera Club

at the Tri State Camera Club

Russell, Kentucky

This week we held our January meeting of our local photography group, this marks our 1 year anniversary.  More of a community group rather than a club, meetings are free and we have no official membership.  This month, our program was a discussion by a local college professor Tom Suter (Senior Lecturer of Art at Ohio University Ironton) on digital art and photography, ending with the fine points of setting the custom white balance within the camera itself.  Pictured above is a couple of group participants during our hands-on session towards the end of the meeting.

2016 in Review, image 1

2016 in Review, image 1

I’ll present a few collage images from 2016 that I like.

On the top is the portrait of Tom at the OVCC, I think two of the great lenses of all times must be the Fuji 90mm F2 on a crop frame camera and the Canon 135 F2 on a full frame, both shot wide open.  Some take exception to that opinion, but I’ve always loved a lens that has personality.  You buy a camera but the lens makes the photos for you.

2nd Row from the left is a recent image I shot with David Roark while on a nice hike at our local state park, Greenbo Lake.  Also a Fuji image, the muted color represented the feel of the day quite well.  I love the park on a rainy or snowy day.

To the right of this is the downtown sidewalk scene in the rain, photographed with the Android phone and rendered in the painting app Prisma.  Toward the end of the year, I became addicted to that app and could have put all my images through it.

To the next right is a Pink Lady’s Slipper that I found on the trail at Greenbo during the late spring.  When it first started coming up, I was intrigued with what it could possibly be.  I made several bike trips on the trail, hoping to find out before the deer dined on it.  The location was high on a ridge and only a few miles away, but I still made a few extra trips to catch it just right.

On the far right of the 2nd Row is a high contrast photo of power lines, shot from a moving car on our way for a family pizza dinner at Portsmouth Ohio.  I love to shoot from a moving car because the scenes and perspective are both unlike you can usually find.

Bottom row left is Brian’s leaf, something I picked up in the yard of a coworker while on a bike ride and stopping for a brief visit.  I don’t think he saw the beauty in it, nor does he still.  But I loved it.

2nd image on the bottom row is my fat tire bicycle on the trail at Greenbo early in 2016, an Android phone photo.  My fat tire bike took me along these trails a lot this year and if you followed my photography then you probably grew tired of bike portraits. My style of photography is to photograph what you see that might be interesting, so here you have it.

3rd on the bottom row is the sunset photograph from downtown Huntington, a Fuji jpg image.  Fuji cameras might be more difficult to operate but their jpg images can be beautiful, allowing you to use settings that provide the look of their old film images.  I’ve never had more fun with any other camera brand.  This sunset image was one that I used as an example to my son when saying that often a bad thing can provide something good if you only look around a bit.  After dinner with a friend, his car battery was dead.  We were fortunate that some fellows offered to jump start the car for us, as they were getting into position I spied this nice sunset.

Bottom row on the far right is a GoPro photo of Bob on a walk.  Bicycling helped improve my health this past year, however more than that it provided quite a few nice conversations and friendships along the way.

 

 

The Surly Ice Cream Truck on the Clay Lick Loop

The Surly Ice Cream Truck on the Clay Lick Loop

While closing out 2016, I think biking photos probably dominated the blog.  I’m on track to have 110 bike rides in 2016 compared to about 40 in 2015, I’ve been out of shape for most of my life so that’s a bit of improvement.   This bike has changed trail riding, making it a bit safer for me and now I just have to figure out how to incorporate other forms of photography into this activity or else find an additional activity that is equally as healthy. It was a pretty good year, or at least ended up mostly that way (with a few exceptions).

 

 

Dad’s Christmas Tree

Dad\'s Christmas Tree

My father spent some time in a nursing home this year and while there he dreamed up this idea of a University of Kentucky basketball themed Christmas Tree, saying that you really have to have something to dream about while there.  It was a family project, but a new white flocked tree and all new ornaments and lights turned out really well.  He was very pleased and proud of it, inviting all sorts of folks to come and see it.

Hope you had  nice holidays!

 

Up Pruitt Hollow

Up Pruitt Hollow

This point was the destination of many fishing trips decades ago.  Motor until you pass this point then shut it off and drift till the breeze out of the hollow spins you to the right.  Then cast the shallows and the underwater creek bank that slides over to the side of the lake bed.  Produced two state record bass when the lake was much younger.

 

Shellbark hickory at Greenbo

Shellbark hickory at Greenbo

One of my favorite trees is the Shellbark Hickory, often called the Shagbark Hickory.  They are fairly common in our area, you can especially find them on the park and I love to stop and admire a good specimen.  Nevertheless, Wikipedia states they are uncommon across their range and only found as wild trees because the long taproot makes it nearly impossible to transplant.

 

Finding the trail

Finding the trail

Sometimes you just have to go by instinct in order to find the shortcut.  I told David, yes it looks like this is the way I believe, up that hill.  Before the hiking trails, when I was a teenager, we tried our luck with map and compass to navigate over this ridge, we thought we had really done something big.  Now, seems pretty simple.  This cutout, we think, had once been an old logging road or perhaps a road to haul the iron ore.  On top of this ridge, there is an area that the bicycle folks call the Whoops because, well, you go up and down small hills that make you want to say "whoop!".  That area was the source of open digs for the iron ore for the old blast furnace that was down near the lake.  Back in the furnace day, all these hills would have been bare, stripped of their oaks for furnace fuel.

 

Festival of Trees #2

Festival of Trees #2

Same style of shot from yesterday, different camera, lens, and no flash this time.  The Festival of Trees is a bit odd in my opinion, it is really a fund raiser and occurs around Thanksgiving and the trees are auctioned or sold off with the festival being dismantled so the trees can be moved to the homes of the purchasers.  It’s a popular Thanksgiving-time activity and we were lucky to have a morning of photography to ourselves.

 

 

Truckers lounge (digital painting)

Truckers lounge (digital painting)

Here is another photo from yet another road trip with Dennis and Mike.  While you were away, I had great fun looking through the past 13 or 14 years of photographs and seeing if any could be reclaimed for digital paintings.  I’m thinking that the future holds a lot of unknown processes and maybe we should just never delete photographs, even when blurry or not tack sharp.

 

 

Old Olds (digital painting)

Old Olds (digital painting)

A digital painting from an image I took on a photography road trip with Dennis and Mike a few years ago.  I remember saving this blurred photo but had no idea how to use it but the digital painting app seemed like it might be useful here.  Our trip was just a day long but most productive and great fun, a day in which you look back and treasure for the rest of your life.

 

Fat bike trail riding

Fat bike trail riding

Completing the seasons on the trails means returning to photographing the browns of last winter, not a joyous occasion.  I love the woods this time of year, being able to see the contour of the land and admire the interesting and large trees.  But very difficult to photograph to give the same perception and feeling that you get with your own eyes.