David climbing into Ironton

David climbing into Ironton

A special effects image from doodling on my phone when I had some time to pass, a double exposure of two older images:  David climbing a hill on a hiking trip on top of an image of an alley in Ironton, Ohio.  Then converted to a digital painting.

 

 

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.

 

 

Instagram Best of 2015

Instagram Best of 2015

Happy New Year!

I post some images to Instagram, this is what a computer algorithm has selected as my most popular images with that service.  Here is hoping that 2016 treats us well.  As always, thanks so much for the support!

 

 

Bike Lean Composite

Bike Lean Composite

I ride past this old garage when I follow the local bike route and always admire the doors.  For this image, I made a very subtle composite photo, so subtle that you might miss it.  Image #1 is the bike leaning against the garage.  Image #2 is a closeup of a shirt that has bicycles on it.  Both of the images were shot and processed on the phone with the 2nd image being layered over Image #1 with a blend mode.  Something different though not entirely a success.

 

 

Self portrait composite

Self portrait composite

Here is a rough self portrait composite that I did on the I-phone, and I need to emphasize the word rough.  I recently spent a brief time viewing the Vivian Maier exhibit at the University of Kentucky Art Museum.  I intent to revisit the show and write more later but a quick summary is that it is very interesting but smaller than I had expected, both with smaller images and a smaller showing of images than I had thought.  But still well worth the trip.  The composite from above was from one of her images I’m fond of that was sandwiched with a self portrait in a mirror, Maier shot lots of self portrait reflections that I’ve always been fond of even before discovering her work.  If you don’t know here story, here is a nice article at Mother Jones.

 

 

The new and the old U.S. Grant Bridge

The new and the old U.S. Grant Bridge

Top: 2009 U.S. Grant Bridge
Bottom: the old U.S. Grant Bridge taken on slide film in 1982
Portsmouth, Ohio

During last weekend’s photo trip to Portsmouth, I was reminded of a photo outing that I took 27 years ago with Greg Wyer. We were photographing night scenes for the monthly Ohio Valley Camera Club competition and ended up taking photos of the old U.S. Grant Bridge. A few years ago the bridge was replaced with a new one so I snapped a photo for comparison. I think a night scene of the new bridge might make a good photo and I believe this time I’d shoot at F16 to try to get some star effect to the lights.

During that 1982 photo outing, we shot churches, refineries, and office buildings from the public roadways. The refineries weren’t a problem but at one office building, I was approached by a security guard who asked if I would come into the building and talk to his boss. I remember the exchange as being firmly business-like and I was puzzled about why they would even care. Now, I suppose the questions would be more intense and I probably would have refused to enter the building in the first place, making the ‘boss’ come outside. Times do change and so do we.

 

Two generations

Two generations

I’ve had this idea for a long time. The photograph on the right is my grandfather and was taken with my first Pentax SLR when I was in college. He died in 1981, so this would have been probably a couple of years before.

The photograph on the left is my father and was taken with a digital Pentax SLR a couple of years ago, giving a time span of about 25 years between the two.

I’ve attempted to match the new image to the “look” of the scanned old image.  The location was the same house and same spot, with a new chair. When I photographed my grandfather, he was engaged in a conversation where he was using the words ‘bully pulpit’ and ‘vilify’ but I don’t remember anything else about it though his face seems to reflect the seriousness of the words.

Memory is a funny thing.

 

Christmas 1935

Christmas 1935

A scan of my grandmother’s diary, which I found a couple of decades after her death. At the time of this writing, she would have been a young married woman with 3 children. I inherited my love of photography from this lady, she was hardly ever without her Brownie camera. The collection of photographs that she passed on to her daughter (who passed it on to me) date back to around 1905. She also made a killer cherry pie during the holidays. Have a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, or a happy holiday of your choice!

 

1978 vs 2008

1978 vs 2008

Flatwoods, Kentucky

More than 50 years ago, my mother’s best friend was married and moved from Kentucky to a ranch in Kansas. That began a pen-pal relationship that has lasted ever since. While growing up, I loved to get the mail and find a ‘letter-from-Margaret’ in the box. For decades, they would write their letters in long-hand on stationary paper. Sometime in the 70s, they changed to typewritten letters and most recently, with the advent of cheaper long-distance telephone service and the coming of older age, they have taken up chatting on the telephone. Through these letters our two families have kept up with one another probably better than some relatives do even when they live in the same town. Some of my favorite letters were about the farm life, the weather conditions, and (most of all) the letter describing the holidays.

The photograph on the left was made here in Kentucky when our Kansas friends had stopped for a short visit in 1978. My mother was the photographer and I’m the fellow with the hat in the back. Just this past weekend, we had a reunion and I replicated the photograph on the right side. Going from right to left, everyone is in the same position with the exception of the boy (2nd from the far left) who is in Kansas where he has taken over the farming and ranching from his father who past away a few years ago (and is to the far left of the left photograph).

We had a great time and sure hope that we can get together again soon. (and thanks to Heather for taking the photograph on the right).

 

Time Capsule

Time Capsule

When my son was 11 years old, we bought a handheld GPS device and took up Geocaching. This sport is nothing much more than a high-tech hide-and-seek. You get the coordinates of a hidden cache from an internet site and then set out driving, hiking, and searching until you find the hidden container. During one of our recent hikes, I remembered that the first cache that we found was somewhere on the hillside to the left of the trail. Looking for the most likely looking tree, I was pretty surprised to actually find it. The cache still had the original log-book in it and we were both surprised to find that it was in great shape, in spite of being in the woods for 6 years.

 

Homer Hickam at Empire Books

Homer Hickam at Empire Books

Huntington, West Virginia

We stopped at Empire Books for awhile on Saturday. There seemed to be two events: Homer Hickam was signing his new book, plus there is a big sale of used library books. Hickam is best known for his novel Rocket Boys that was released as a movie under the title October Sky. He is originally from West Virginia. He was a popular fellow, the lines were pretty long so I snapped the first photograph and we headed to the back of the store to browse a bit. After a little while, we heard the vacuum cleaner running and looked up to see that everyone, including Hickam, had cleared out. Otherwise, I would have gotten a signed book and a proper photograph.

Empire Books seems to have a business strategy of ‘less’. Less bookshelves, less books on them, and less places to sit- the bookshelves and seats seem to be moving to a storage room down the road, from what we saw last fall. It this works to make more money, maybe they can sell the business model to Starbucks.

 

1930’s Wallpaper

1930\'s Wallpaper

Greenbo Lake State Resort Park
Greenup County, Kentucky

This is the remnants of how the farm family insulated their walls in the 1930s. When I first discovered the old farmhouse in the 1970s, it had been vacant for about 25 years but the ‘wallpaper’ was very much readable.

I remember spending long periods of time standing in their former living room and reading about the news of long ago in Ironton, Ohio and Greenup County newspapers that were plastered on the walls. During that period (and up into the 1950s), most of the farm families of this area were full-time subsistence farmers. They grew what they needed, sold and swapped for anything else, and occasionally did other odd jobs such as iron ore or coal digging. The old iron ore diggings can be found on the top of the nearby ridges and can be recognized as resembling very large ditches, though big trees are now growing in and around them.