Tag Archives: Enduring

Through My Window

Through My Window
Through My Window

It is amazing the small things we miss because we are so wrapped up in the business of the regular day-to-day – the falling rain, the blossoming flowers, the small shaft of sunlight as the clouds part. I am just as much a culprit of that as well. I often times get so wrapped up in programming at work that I forget to observe the things outside. Well, I broke away from the monotony and observed, through my window, tulips blossoming in the sunlight behind a pane of wet glass.

The act of using the texture made by the streaking water droplets on the glass was very deliberate as I wanted to bring attention both to the water and the flowers in the background. I could think of no other way to present it that would illustrate those elements together and on par. In fact, the water provided something more akin to a texture to the overall image.The lighting played its part in making the image what it is, lightly kissing the flowers helping them emerge from the surrounding dark green vegetation.

Could I have made the image sharper? Sure I could. But, the purpose of the image was not about conveying a surgical copy but to convey a mood. A mood that is often felt when observing the rain fall. It is more of a feeling of being purified as particles are washed away and everything seems to burst with renewed vigour. That is what I felt when I saw the scene and what I wanted to convey when I shot this image through my window.

Montauk Point Coastline

Montauk Point Coastline
Montauk Point Coastline

Oops, I did it again. I revisited the Montauk Point area to have a look at it given the changing conditions and because things were warming up – yaaay Spring. I had also planned on exploring more of the area like the coastline which I hadn’t had an opportunity to do on my previous trip. What I encountered however was a lot more than I bargained for.

I had thought that my visit would have been much like the previous one with the lighthouse being inaccessible. But as it so happens, on this visit, the lighthouse had resumed its services opening up to visitors. This time around, I had to pay a little to get into the parking lot and yes, I had to pay to get into the lighthouse as well but it was worth every “penny” – paid by credit card. Nevertheless, I got into the lighthouse which I later understood is currently unmanned – It operates automatically. Further, the rest of the lighthouse has been converted into a museum illustrating the history of the lighthouse and the Montauk Point. The discussions given by the guides were both educational and refreshing but the real treat of the visit was getting the opportunity to ascend the spiral staircase into the light enclosure. It was there I shot the photograph depicted above showing the jagged coastline of the Point.

The Montauk Point Coastline has been etched by the Atlantic Ocean over years of slow and continuous erosion. This has created some rather steep bluffs which look out into the waters. During stormy conditions, the beach area which is visible in the photograph is not accessible so it was very fortunate that I got an opportunity to make this capture. However, the natural formation of this beach front is beautiful and is the reason why I selected it as one of the photographs to post of my visit.

In retrospect, it would have been nice if I had the opportunity for me to set up my tripod to take this photograph and properly compose the shot. Given the narrow staircase, limited room to work within and limitations as to where visitors are allowed to access, it was not at all possible to properly plan out the shot as I would have wanted to. But, that was one of the limitations of  my revisit to the Montauk Point Coastline. Regardless, I enjoyed every bit of it.

White Mane

White Mane
White Mane

Like a scene straight out of a fairytale novel, a white maned horse, Jill, pauses and casts here stares in my general direction resulting in the photograph presented on the left which I have titled – White Mane. Indeed, the scene appeared almost majestic as the various elements coalesced into the composition visible here. But to explain how I got to this point let me take a step back to explain the back story.

Since my relocation to Long Island, NY last year, I had been longing for the opportunity to return to the place I now call home, Syracuse. I took the opportunity to visit some family, revisit some old familiar places and to take photographs over the Easter weekend. It was on one such photography outing with some family, Lynne, that I captured this scene.

We stopped at a nearby farm which we have frequented in the past to see two familiar horses – Jill and Jasper. On this visit, we discovered that both had two new companions – Dixie and Tiki. Tiki was not present when I shot this scene but Jill was well represented as she stood out front and center for this photograph. With her striking white mane flowing from her head to her back she stood out majestically among the other horses. Being a draft horse she stands out prominently with muscular legs and tall stature. But, in spite of her size, she is a gentle and beautiful giant.

For me, it is always a pleasure to see this horse. She embodies the sort of qualities which I fancy in horses – strong, majestic and beautiful. An of course, I can’t help but mention about her striking white mane which, to me, is her mos telling characteristic trait.

Jasper the Nipper

Jasper the Nipper
Jasper the Nipper

This post is dedicated to a friend and fellow photographer, Lynne Fordham, whose dedication to getting the story through the lens often means stepping in harms way and risking lens and limb while being ambushed by “animals.”

The title of this post, Jasper the Nipper, is a horrible play on words but with good reason. Jasper, the horse depicted in this photo, is notorious for nipping just about anything that he feels like. In petting him, he has nipped at my fingers; In photographing him, he has nipped at my camera. I don’t think there is anything that he has not tried to put in his mouth. He is a rescued horse and has not really learned how to be comfortable among people hence the compulsion to nip. And, his little habit got out of hand when both Lynne and I visited the farm where he was kept.

I can only assume that the animals were cranky the day we visited. Upon entering the barn where the horses are kept, we were targeted by a rooster which insisted on attacking us regardless of where we stepped. Although we kept our distance from the bird, he absolutely refused to leave us alone and followed and attacked us throughout the entire visit. The attacks, unfortunately, seem to have been inflicted more on Lynne than myself as she is the more adventurous of the two of us.

When we finally got to see the horses, Lynne decided to enter the stalls where both Jasper and another horse, Jill, were being kept to get a closer photograph. She incidentally was using a wide angle lens which required her to be closer to get a more flattering capture. While she was taking photos of Jill, Jasper crept up behind her. I was a bit confused by his advance and had not quite figured what he was going to do next. With her back turned to Jasper, she was unaware and perhaps unconcerned, that the horse had crept up behind her, lowered his head and with the affirmation of her scream, nipped at her posterior. I was both startled and amused at the site as Lynne quickly covered her mouth with her hand, surprised and perhaps a little embarrassed at the experience, but underttered.

Even now as I write this post, thoughts still run through my mind – what was he thinking? It was bad enough that we had to suffer the attacks by the farm rooster but now the horse? But then, that is to be expected from Jasper as he has a habit at nipping at everything. Consequently, he has earned my unequivocal respect as a nipper, Jasper the Nipper.

Rider Three Sixty

Three Sixty
Three Sixty

Prior to the July 4 weekend, I chose to get out to do some practice shooting with my new D300s. I hadn’t taken much time to review the manual as I was all excited about getting out and getting to use the new camera. One of the placed I had in mind on visiting was a horse show/exhibition which was being held at the NY State Fair Grounds.I shared my intentions with some fellow photographers of mine and that sparked the attention of one photographer, Lynne, who was available to accompany me for the shoot.

The atmosphere at the NY State fairgrounds was indeed different for me, there was a musky scent that filled the air; there was the  chanting and whistling of the crowd; there were the exhilarating  rush of the horse carriages; and, there were the focused practice rings where the riders were deep in concentration reading their horses to be taken into the arena.

It was in one of these practice rings I came across a rider which I can only refer to as three-sixty. After warming up with her horse, she took a stance which, with the beautifully lit background, crystallized into an image which I thought was worth of taking and which I included into this post. I was certainly taken not only by the posture of the horse and rider but the way the evening light struck the horse and emphasized the muscular structure of the creature. Further, I was also mesmerized by the back lit scene which helped to set the environment of the place.

If my memory serves me right, three-sixty went on to win her competition that evening and right now, I wish I had her contact information to share the photo with her. There is some romantic, yet beautiful atmosphere of the image which has made it one of my favourite photos of the year. Yeah, I like three-sixty.

Penguin Passion

Penguin Passion
Penguin Passion

By nature, penguins are curious animals. Once someone or something enters their personal space they start investigating. Children are just as curious. So what happens when two equally curious creatures meet? – a moment of excitement which I think I captured here in “Penguin Passion”.

I will have to say that this young girl really inspired me. Just seeing how interested and excited she was in encountering this curious penguin made me more interested in studying her behaviour. The excitement she expressed was akin to seeing a long lost friend and being united after years of undesired separation. And, no matter how many times I review the photo, the image continues to evoke this strong feeling of passion and excitement.

This is one of the photos I shot during my last week at the zoo for the month of January and certainly it is one of my favourites. I love this photo.

The Ol’ Southern Belle

Ol' Southern Belle
Ol’ Southern Belle

Here is another image from what I think may become a series which I refer to as the Uncivil War. Pictured here is a portrait of one of the women dressed in the attire of what would have been a southern belle on the confederate side of the Civil War. And, being true to the nature of the women of that era, she had the accent and the attitude of one.

Unlike most of the reenactors at this event, she seemed to have more energy than anyone else. Personally, I wish I had more time to study her as I think she would have yielded numerous great photographs.

Fallen Petals Revisited

Fallen Petals Revisited
Fallen Petals Revisited

Some years ago, I created an image of a wilting rose which had lost it petals. It was not a particularly engaging photograph but it was not a bad one either. It just felt like it lacked something interesting about it.  Over the course of this summer, I decided to revisit the subject matter in an attempt to create an interesting photograph which captured the essence of the fragility of a flower’s beauty.

I present this here with two similar flowers juxtaposed against each other but at different stages of development. On the left we have one flower which has blossomed and on the right, one which is on  its last petal. Although the second flower has already blossomed and is on its decline, to me it demonstrates its own beauty through strength as  it clings to its last surviving petal as if to say, I am not past my prime yet.

Guard Duty

Guard Duty
Guard Duty

As one friend told me, this is a perfect example of a slice of life photograph. I am not sure if, during the Civil War, whether any of the persons who were involved in the war had the opportunity to sleep so comfortably on the battlefield. But, it certainly romanticizes the moment and the era. Don’t you wish guard duty was so simple ?

Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

Blanket of White

Blanket of White
Blanket of White

Feeling rather chilly this morning, 53 F  at what is supposed to be just the beginning of Fall, I began thinking of the last winter which ran through the North East of the country and set record lows and snowfall depths – 8″ there, 12″ in other places. It was certainly one of the roughest winters I have experienced in Syracuse thus far. On two occasions, I had been trapped in my driveway because of the incessant snow and delayed city plows. Yes, I was miserable because of it.

Yet, because of the incessant snowfall, when I did get out, I saw some rather amazing sights. One of those sights happens to have been the Green Lakes out in Fayetteville, NY completely covered in a blanket of snow. This is one of the deepest pair of lakes in this region which were carved out from melting glaciers from the last ice age. But, under this tremendous snowfall, it seemed transformed into something that seem to pop out straight from a fairytale or some story book.

Although, I am not looking forward to the cold again, I am certainly looking forward to taking more photographs like this if the opportunity presents itself this winter. If I collect sufficient, I will see about starting a new portfolio focused on the beauty of winter.

Feel free to comment or share your views on the photo and if you wish to share the post, you can do so in the bottom right of the page.