Tag Archives: timeless

Greenport, NY – Moments in Time

Greenport Bicycle
Greenport Bicycle

Here is a little tip; If you ever get the opportunity to take a trip out to the East end of long island and  to visit the village of Greenport, NY, don’t hesitate; Take It!  The experience itself is  well worth it as it has a very relaxing atmosphere.  But what also makes it intriguing, is that Greenport attempts to preserve the little qualities that a lot of the surrounding areas have lost due to over development and heavy commercialization.  And, through the next few paragraphs and through the illustrations I will attempt to explain how it is I ended up with the title of this post – Greenport, NY – Moments in Time.

Due to its narrowly paved streets and closely connected buildings it is not recommended to drive through the main shopping area of Greenport. Now, I don’t say that to put of any would be visitors. But, the offerings of this quaint little town are best explored on foot or bicycle. It is more of a pedestrian town and to truly enjoy it, you have to be prepared to slow down. Once you can accomplish that, you will quickly realize there is lots to experience.

From its antique carousel which dates back to the 1920s, its one room town jail, its 1950s displays in some of its shops, to its modern day marina  which sits out on the bay from Greenport,  the town offers little hints into the influences of its past and present. Through my visits, I was only able to capture a small portion of the Greenport life through my lens.  Some of the best attractions were not easily captured through a visual medium because they stimulate other senses – the smell of the different cuisines and the salty air, the sound of the breaking of the waves on the shore line, the cool breezes from the bay…

The true highlight for me which is not captured in any of the pictures was the camera obscura which looks out onto the bay. Unfortunately, the nature of the room made it difficult, if not impossible to capture the experience in the photographic room of the device. But, it was like watching high definition TV being created by sunlight.

Unfortunately, with the shift of Summer into Fall, a lot of these  outdoor attractions and activities will disappear for a while. The carousel will be stopped, the marina will slow down and the streets will be less frequented. But that will be only be temporary as the town goes into hibernation. However, in the Spring its doors will again swing open to allow other visitors to the village of Greenport, NY. And through their experiences, they too will understand why I recommend visiting the village of Greenport, NY.

Round and Round the Merry-Go-Round

merry-go-round
merry-go-round

There are some things that, once seen, trigger nostalgic memories, of simpler and, what we always consider, better times. For some of us who grew up with carnivals and village feasts, visiting a fair filled with cotton candy, Ferris wheels, and Merry-go-rounds were a common sight.Visiting the NY State Fair last weekend thrust me back to into those memories especially when I saw the Merry-go-round.

The lights, the horses, the continual rotational movement was always fun and relaxing in spite of being monotonous. Certainly, they rides do not compare to what you would get at a place like Disney Land. But, I think being high-tech and exciting was never the appeal of a merry-go-round, that was never the point. It was fun because it simply appeals to a very basic desire to have uncomplicated fun.

That desire led me to take the photograph of this merry-go-round at the NY State Fair. It reminded me so much of those uncomplicated fun-filled days  that I enjoyed as a child and I wanted to capture the excitement of that moment. In using a slower shutter speed, I tried to capture the rotational movement of the ride and the exhilarating experience it’s riders would be enjoying. The lights which forms a natural appeal for the ride and most other carnival exhibits are emphasized here as they capture the circular pattern helping the ride seem almost like a flying saucer. And, it stands out as a marvel from the distance it was shot.

Indeed, their simple nature is one of the major appeals of merry-go-rounds. And, it is true that because of this, they do not stack up to more contemporary rides available in places as Disney Land when it comes to high-tech appeal. But, it is the lack of that characteristic which inspires people to get-in-touch with the nostalgic moments of their childhood and experience the exhilarating, uncomplicated fun of the merry-go-round.

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.

Fishing on the Dock of the Bay

Fishing on the Dock of the Bay
Fishing on the Dock of the Bay

If the title sounds vaguely familiar, then you may have already started humming the familiar tune by Otis Redding i.e. “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.” If you haven’t heard it before, then I must be really getting old. But, I certainly recommend that you jump over to YouTube and grab a listen. “Fishing on the Dock of the Bay” is a small play on words, but, I think it still carries the spirit of the song’s chorus line.

The chorus line went much like this:

I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I’m just sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

And, believe me, those words resonated when I saw this fisherman fishing on Onondaga lake just seconds after the sun had dipped below the tops of the trees bordering the eastern side of the lake. I am pretty sure he was not wasting time, rather passing the time away engaged in activity that he enjoys. But, I can’t deny the thoughts that the photo conjures up with its still waters, pastel-like colors in the sky and tree tops and the easy going mood the scene evokes.

My only regret, no my only desire, was that I wish I had a slightly longer lens something that would compress the photo even more and blur the trees in the background just a little to offset the fisherman from the rest of the scenery. And, it would allow me to do something that Robert Capa always preached, “If your picture isn’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” But, until I win the lottery and get a longer lens, or by some miracle I learn how to walk water, I will be content with capturing the spirit of the scene regardless of the lens I have available. So, I hope you enjoy, Fishing on the Dock of the Bay.

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.

The Folds

The Folds
The Folds

This is an oldy but a goody. I had spent quite a few days thinking through how I wanted to edit this photo. But after much observation, I decided to settle on something simple but, I think, adequate.

Back on April 22, I took a trip with companion photographers Joe Inzalaco and Lynne Fordham to Derby Hill Observatory on the shores of lake Ontario. Part of the observatory descends into a forest area with a slightly cleared walking path. It was a bit damp, and in some places I felt I was playing a game of hop-scotch as I tried to avoid the muddier parts of the path. But, it was well worth the effort. I found the immense diversity of plants in that woodland path pretty rich and  I found some lovely geometrical structures, like the one displayed on the left.

I was captivated by the way the leaves unfolded from the centre forming this ever growing spiral of leaf blades which protruded outward. There could have been any number of ways in which I could have photographed this plant but breaking all the conventional rules of composition, I decided to put it right smack in the centre. It just felt like that made the best display of the composition given the subject. But, I will let you be the judge.

For anyone who plans to visit Derby Hill Bird Observatory, I definitely recommend taking a walk around the woodland areas of the hill. It is well worth exploring and seeing what else is out there. But, please, whatever you do, carry some boots. You will thank me later for that.

Sodus Point Light House

Sodus Point Light House
Sodus Point Light House

There is something classical and enduring about light houses. Something about them suggest a metaphorical statement of an enduring light during the darkest times; Or, a spotlight to point the way and steer you clear of danger. This is the same feeling I get whenever I review this photo I took three weeks back at Sodus Point, NY. Sodus Point is a small bay town which sits on the shores of Lake Ontrario in Central New York. If you were to ever visit, the place looks like it sprang from an old fishing village.  I truly don’t know the full history of the town and to really learn that I would have to get that information from one of the locals which I did not have much opportunity to do.

But, back to the lighthouse and its appeal. The photo on the left truly doesn’t do it any justice as I had to crop it somewhat so that the lighthouse would be visible. However, the brooding dark sky really added to its appeal and added atmosphere to the scene that was better experienced rather than simply shot on camera.

What the photograph does not indicate is the frigid, windy temperatures that had to be endured to capture this. I took several shots of this lighthouse because the wind was so strong and constant, that my camera would shake even though it was placed on a steady tripod. I even took extra precautionary steps to avoid camera shake by using my remote trigger. Using the remote trigger also helped me to keep my poor digits warm too. In the end though, I was satisfied with the result and I present it here – the Sodus Point Light House.

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.

Nestled for Warmth

Nestled for Warmth
Nestled for Warmth

Taking advantage of the fair Sunday weather and to shoot with some photography friends, I ventured to the zoo. I had already made up my mind that in spite of my still fragile condition – recovering from a flu – I was still going to take the chance, brave the 46F weather and go shooting. Incidentally, there was a photo contest going on at the zoo. An annual winter contest which brings hordes of photographers from amateur to professional to shoot at the zoo and I was out there rubbing elbows with the best and worst of them.

It made no difference to me whether there was a contest going on or not, I was out for one reason – to make art with light and I think this photograph reflects that. Here I captured a duck in one of the many pools nestled in its own feathers for warmth just slightly off shore of the pond hence the title Nestled for Warmth.

Chittenango Falls Revisited

Chittenango Falls Revisited
Chittenango Falls Revisited

Back in 2010, I bought myself a circular polarizer and with unequivocal excitement I went out shooting like mad. Among one of the places I visited and made use of the polarizer was the Chittenango Falls. The photo I composed and took that day is available in the park walks collection of the portfolio.

This year, January 1, I was invited out by three other photographer friends for a New Year shoot-out. One of the many places we visited was, you guessed it, Chittenango Falls. Was I excited this second time around, you bet I was. This time around I had another toy to play with a graduated neutral density filter which helped me to keep everything within the range the sensor. But enough with the technical talk and lets get down to the image.

Having gotten to the falls, I felt that I needed to take something different which still emphasized the significance of the falls. And, after searching around, I settled on this composition which not only displayed the falls but the environs. Further, the low level of the sun as it broke through the forest trees and lit the grounds of the walkway already suggests that it was early in the morning; It was. But, it was beautiful, it was refreshing and was a fitting way to start the new year – taking photos with friends at the start of the new year.