A continuation of my Walking Pictures page just because the original was
getting too big. I fairly often take 100 pictures a day or so and only a
small fraction of those make it even this far. I got my current camera
10/23/2013 and by 5/31/2014 I'd taken 5000 pictures with it.
Prints of these are available, made on a color laser printer from the full
resolution images. email@example.com I hope to sell them in local
stores, don't have any shopping cart set up for buying online. Paypal
accepted by prearrangement.
Choose a background color:
I was headed over to Christian Hill in Colrain, someplace I haven't been
many times in my life but not far away, 6.4 miles as the crow flies from
where I live. This is Branch Elementary School (on the way) where I went
through grades 1-3 in 1960-63. There were 3 classrooms and a cafeteria plus
odds and ends. It hasn't been used as a school in many years, it was rented
out as a house and somebody lived there for a few years. The current Heath
Elementary School is within a mile.
These next 3 are in a little valley in Heath I had in mind. A guy I used to
know from Branch grew up here, he was killed in a farming accident a few
years back somewhere on this farm. His impatience got the better of him and
they found his body pinned between a trailer and a tractor. I used to work
for an uncle of his. Looking on topo maps this area and Christian Hill have
contour lines close together which means steep hills.
Finally in Colrain, a garden about ready to plant. I hit 3 different roads
closed which really messed up my plans. I was planning to go over through
the Colrain Forestry (officially HO Cook State Forest) then come home through
the valley above. I don't remember exactly where this is.
A few thousand dollars worth of solar panels sitting here with no house
around. I don't know what they're connected to.
A classic farm, silo and everything. Probably not the one I was looking for:
people don't put names on mailboxes over here. The Colrain pictures were all taken while
sitting in the car. The only place I got out was at a road closed sign when
I turned around.
This was on Christian Hill, I'm fairly sure. To me this looks like a golf
course in rural central Pennsylvania. Ever see Bill Cosby's estate? This
looks like money, and I didn't have an invitation or know exactly where I
was going. The woman who described this area as "amazing and beautiful"
grew up in Greenfield where there's not much that's beautiful. I like Heath
better from what I've seen. Rowe's nice too.
A pony in a back yard. He agreed with me that he doesn't get many visitors out
Some Holsteins having an afternoon cud chew and watching the silly tourist.
Plenty for them to eat in this pasture on top of a hill. Bad place to be in
a thunder storm and cows aren't usually smart enough to know that. I like
the colors in this, the grays and browns of the rocks are a nice addition.
Maybe I'll come back in a few months when the roads are
fixed. I think my next sunny day outing will be Burnt Hill in Heath. There
are even some ruins over there that may date back to Druid times but they're
hard to find. Standing Stones, like Stonehenge. I need a motorcycle again.
This is in Shelburne on "four mile square". When we were in high school
a friend of mine was being chased by the cops one night on his street
motorcycle and he escaped by coming over this bridge and up the trail, which
ends somewhere on Catamount. Looks like nobody's used it in a long time,
and I wouldn't trust the bridge either. It's called "four mile
square" because cross country teams used to get sent up here from
Mohawk in training, this is just off Route 112 near Shelburne Falls.
Some Mountain Laurel in the back yard I've been keeping an eye on for a
couple days, waiting for it to open.
I didn't ask what this is because I wouldn't remember it anyway.
Something that's almost a buttercup but not quite. It's about the same size
and color but the petals aren't shiny and the body of the blossom isn't
quite as deep. I remember from elementary school somebody holding a
buttercup up to somebody's chin and if it reflected yellow onto their face
then supposedly they liked butter. Arlene Giard, my first ever girlfriend
from first grade,
whatever happened to you? I associate buttercups with you for some
reason. Focus is funky because I was trying for the best compromise in
getting 4 flowers in focus.
Haying has begun in earnest, both sides of the road. My grandfather used to
think he was doing well if he got the first cutting in by July 4.
This is a rotary tedder which throws the cut hay up in the air and lets it
fall in a different position so it can dry faster. The teeth are mounted on
springs and that disk back there spins, picking up hay in front and throwing
it out the back and sides. The old ones were horse-drawn and used a bunch of
forks to do the same thing. This is much simpler.
2 hay wagons ready to bring in bales of hay, there's another parked up by
the house being worked on.
View of the back yard where I live, I even mowed the lawn a couple days
before. Most of the lawn here only needs mowing about 3 times a year, the
part up on the bank and betweeen the trees is a nuisance.
A purple version of one of these. I tried opening the petals on the top but
they resisted like they weren't quite ready for that.
A Mountain Laurel in the back yard, under cloudy conditions.
Mountain Laurel more fully open. The blossoms are like pom-poms. There's an
autofocus mode on this that you can steer where in the picture it focuses
on from 99 areas. Manual focus would be good but in bright sun you can't
always see either viewfinder well enough. Never had a problem with my 70s
Yashica because it was completely optical, when it was brighter outside the
viewfinder was brighter too.
From the side, irises or something and daisies behind them.
And while I was standing there quietly a couple of Monarchs showed up. Best
shot of the day.
For a while it was action photography trying to follow them with the camera
while standing still to not scare them off. I've rarely been able to walk
close to a Monarch but that Mourning Cloak was oblivious.
A blackberry blossom. Really nasty thorns on these, I never seem to mow past
them without getting an arm or a leg snagged and bleeding.
Daisies and clover having a reaching contest (they're over 1 foot high).
Saturation is artificially boosted because it was cloudy, didn't notice the
weird ring effect on the daisy above the clover until afterward.
A composite made from the best 6 pictures of the Monarch. The individual
selections could be better, I could spend hours fixing that, but I just
wanted to see if this worked. Each was selected and copied, saved as a file
with transparent background, and also pasted into the main background image
as a layer. Some were resized smaller, mostly the ones that were blurred or
out of focus. For Maria.
After about 3(?) days of rain the tall grass is all knocked down with water
droplets clinging to it, the visibility is down to about ½ mile in fog.
I had planned this sunny day to go driving around some higher parts of town
but the brakes went on the car so I trudged around and around the lawn for
exercise instead. More depth of field experiments (trying to get everything
in focus). f/5.9 1/200 sec, focus probably on infinity, aperture priority.
Silk purse out of a sow's ear, trying to make the front yard interesting. I
find myself using point-n-shoot with autofocus less and less.
The Charlemont windmill from Heath at about 8 PM. There's a newish (2 months?)
cell phone tower to the left of it. Wonder if there's 4G on that? I think as
many people like windmills as hate them so maybe it's like a bell curve
where the outliers are the likers and haters and most people don't care.
I'll take windmills over cell phones any day. Odd
place to put windmills and antennas, way down there in the valley.
View at 8 PM with long shadows and shifted emphasis.
Thought at first this was wild because I found it beside the road but on
second glance it looks like stuff we've got in the back yard. Tried a big
focusing experiment which in theory should have worked but I got about 50
useless pictures for my 1 mile walk. Too tired to do it all again right now.
There was haying going on and a pair of hawks were out catching mice that
were running away. I could only catch one at a time because they were rarely
together in the sky.
Haying the modern way (with old tractors). Some years they've wrapped these
in white plastic that makes them weatherproof and they look like giant
Just an area I like, little apple trees and woods behind them. No horses
showed up today.
Haying the old fashioned way across the road. Don't see the new dual axle
hay wagon in use, but there's another one over by the house that seems to be
Bird on a wire. I told him to hold still and he did. I took several pictures
and walked away, then he flew away.
Haying on a hillside, but it's all hillsides around here. When they used to
wrap these in plastic one time one rolled downhill and smashed against a
tree, but I suspect it had help. Those things must weigh half a ton (1000
lbs) at least. Focus set to infinity, let the camera have its way otherwise.
Out shooting butterflies again. It takes good aim because they move around
and once you get zoomed in it's hard to find them again. Zoom and autofocus
both seem slow when they're flitting around. I haven't seen any orange
Monarchs this year at all.
Devil's Paintbrush. I remembered these from a few years ago as being
interesting inside but I forgot just what was in there.
There is apparently also a plant called Indian Paintbrush that's similar but
different. The blossoms don't seem to have any central "clump",
there are just spikes radiating outward. Those are found out west, like
Utah. I thought they were the same thing but they aren't. It's like telling
red and white oak apart: white oak has rounded points on the leaves, red is
sharp. White resists rotting better.
Closer up. There are sparklies and little curly things and everything. (No
idea what they're called, I didn't like Biology.) This reminds me of
climbing down inside a fractal then not being able to go farther. Looking at
this weed leaves me filled with awe and wonder.
Not sure what these are, I saw some yesterday beside the road but these came
out better. As usual, not one flower picked for these photos.
I've been taking pictures of butterflies and in some cases extracting them
from their backgrounds so I could paste them into another scene. It's a
tedious process but this one came out pretty nicely. It's on a transparent
background here (scaled down). It was taken from about 8 feet away with a
zoom lens and I've got a good image
that's 2728 x 2817 pixels. It took me about 2 hours to work around the edge
isolating it from the background. This could probably sell as a stock photo
and earn me 25 cents.
Common buttercup, my best of close to 100 pictures. I have issues with some
of the designed-in features of this camera (Coolpix P520), it's not a malfunction.
There's nothing concrete in manual focus like being able to set it at 2
inches then bracketing the camera forward and backward until the subject is in
focus, there aren't any distances at all. There's no split image or ground
glass to tell when you're in focus. Everything relies on being able to see
the viewfinders well, which is impossible in bright sunlight. Autofocus, even in
macro mode, is unpredictable and often gives up. This is the closest I
could get to these and have the camera autofocus (and this is cropped down).
It's OK unless I want a full-frame flower to give me over a certain minimum
pixel size. I keep finding these little shortcomings, but it's mostly a good
camera. It's a "consumer grade" Nikon, not one of the pro models
that can cost $2000 or more.
No, I don't have a stock of pet ants, I just keep finding them.
Butterfly composite 2, most of the original cast with improved images, 3 of
the Mourning Cloak as well.
I've got probably 100 Monarch pictures now, these are among the best that I
chose to put transparent backgrounds in. The process takes 1-3 hours, longer
if it's higher resolution, and I've probably done enough for this year. The
first number in the filename is the sequence number that the camera assigns,
the second is the final width in pixels. I did the bee just because he showed
up and posed.
Fleurs for Lorraine's birthday, some roses in the front yard. The most
memorable thing about them to me is that I have to mow between them and
dwarf apple trees on the other side, which is usually painful.
A single blossom from above.
Reading a photography text, trying to convey a mood. The camera has no soul
(I think I knew that). It was starting to sprinkle.
Taken 10 minutes before the picture above. I liked how that came out so I
went back 10 frames and looked for others. There wasn't any circular
movement out there and no thunder. The text I'm reading is by Alain Briot
and he says to look around the sun when there's a weather disturbance. I
took it so I think of it as a cloud over the house, but other people might
see it differently. To me there was no real danger beyond getting wet.
Nothing exotic in the least.
6/24/2014 & ½
So I'm out there with my camera on a tripod, reading glasses on, LCD
viewfinder open taking rose pictures and I hear this noise that sounds like
a tractor coming. They've been haying for weeks so I didn't think anything
of it. I looked up when I figured it was about mid-field. Camera back off
the tripod, glasses off, back to the normal viewfinder and I just got one
out of focus shot before it went out of sight to the north. Student pilot
out of Westover no doubt, he turned and headed east, I was hoping he'd
circle. 4 engine prop plane: not big, not quiet (but I thought it was a
tractor). I guess they're starting to use prop planes again because they're
a lot more fuel efficient than jets. Once when we lived at Riddles several
helicopters (Army) landed in this field because they had some minor
These roses are starting to be past their prime and I haven't been able to
get one really good shot of the bushes. The Alain Briot book (PDF) says cloudy
days are good for higher color saturation but I like sun better.
Reverse view, the retaining wall in front of the house which I think my
grandfather built. He and the owner used to be in the same deer hunting
gang (me too, briefly). The driveway and patio are at the level where the big
stones end and small ones start.
The picnic area out back. The sticks on the table are potential walking
sticks from this year's branch drops. It takes me half a day every spring to
pick up before I start mowing lawn, I always save the ones that are solid
(not rotted). Anything I can't break I save. These are all red oaks.
Briot's definition of an artist is someone who can portray an emotion
through some medium. I can't draw but I've been using cameras for 50 years.
When I set up a shot I have a pretty good idea how it's going to turn out,
that's just learning to use the tools.
This is my attempt to portray loneliness. All tripod shots for the rest of
the day, this was using the WiFi remote too.
Windmill in near-sunset light. I never seem to get tired of taking pictures
Tragelly's with a twist. I took the picture near sunset, then in The Gimp
(think Photoshop) I selected the area of the farm and measured the level
corrections needed to stretch the endpoints on the histogram. Then I
unselected the area and applied the correction values to the whole picture.
The foreground is pushed into black, the effect on the background isn't as
noticeable. Most of the time at this distance there's a lot of haze which
the level correction takes out but there's still a certain graininess. I
finally Googled them but it seems like they're out of business: http://www.tregellysfarm.com/
Somebody else's link describing the farm: getoutsidenj
I just wanted to email them a picture taken from over here across the
valley, I've never been there.
Looking at near-sunset light on the hills.
Clouds at sunset. The sunset itself was nothing special, these are to the
Windmill again, later in the same sunset. I managed to catch a blink of the
beacon light. It blinks, the blades pass in front of it, and I'm using a 2
second timer in the camera so everything had to be just about right. 1 shot
out of 4 worked.
Getting ready to run this rake over the dirt road (Bassett Road). I was just
reading about color saturation and this showed up so I grabbed it. The
camera was on a tripod with the sun behind it so it was pouring down on this
tractor which looks freshly repainted. Cropped a bit tight because once
again the camera was tilted and I had to rotate the picture (tripod problem).
Another nothing special sunset, just "practicing". There was
barely a cloud in the sky, and those are what's needed. There's this
wonderful red light but if it can't hit something there's no way to see it
since it's mostly horizontal and miles up. Whenever it hits even small
clouds they look interesting but not spectacular. We just had about 3 inches
of rain a couple nights ago, most of the moisture must have condensed out of
the sky. You can see a red haze up there if you look for it.
I had to go back and shoot this again because it's just so orange. It's not
my favorite color or anything, it was just so saturated with the sun hitting
it directly. The Gimp says 86-89% saturation depending on where I sample
it but the photo doesn't reproduce how vivid it was. They apparently parked
this here Friday intending to use it Monday.
I was out feeding the mosquitoes again. I was out there about 21 minutes and
could have stayed longer but it was getting less interesting and the bugs
These are in order taken and if you compare the 3 wide shots (1,3,5: look at
the trees for reference) it looks like the sky is getting bluer. What
happens though is that the white goes away. This is the best of the 3 nights
I've been taking pictures but far from the best I've ever seen.
These literally popped up in a house plant. They look like some ceramic
decoration but they're real. No idea what they are, I hope I don't get
busted because I put a picture of some illegal hallucinogenic mushroom on
Not a great sunset but something more than clear nights at least. There's a
second bunch of red to the north in here.
I had to resort to diving into the red to get anything interesting at all,
and I stayed out there until I needed to use a 1 second exposure because the
red area gets bigger as the sun goes down.
Written under Firefox 5 (who can keep up?). I basically don't care how it
works in that Microsoft thing.
I'm setting colors by name, some are ugly in some browsers.