Walking Pictures - 7/1/2014 - 7/31/2014

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 7/1/2014 I'd taken 6300 pictures with it.

Prints of these are available, made on a color laser printer from the full resolution images. alan01346@gmail.com I hope to sell them in local stores, don't have any shopping cart set up for buying online. Paypal accepted by prearrangement.

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Original 11/7/2013 12/21/2013 96 pictures
2014a 12/25/2013 2/6/2014 77 pictures
2014b 3/31/2014 4/30/2014 73 pictures
2014c 5/1/2014 5/31/2014 101 pictures
2014d 6/1/2014 6/30/2014 72 pictures
2014e 7/1/2014 7/31/2014 90 pictures
2014f 8/1/2014 8/31/2014 110 pictures
2014g 9/1/2014 9/30/2014 118 pictures
2014h 10/1/2014 ? ?
dscn6373 One of the last times I shot this there was a patch of snow on the roof, today it was 88°. And I screwed up the focus so I need to go back. What I'm playing with here are the 3 different corrugations and how they fit together. The top one is across the road on a different building. The camera has to be in just about the right spot and there are complications like trees in the way. A tripod about 30 feet tall would be better. 7/1/2014
Big bad cloud dragon eating the sun. Chiaroscuro. This was shot as color but the colors just confuse things here, the value (lightness) is more important. 7/1/2014 dscn6430
dscn6442 Getting skunked in the other direction on a sunset, such a thick bank of clouds that no sunlight gets through at all. 7/1/2014
Moon, a little overexposed but I got some craters pretty well. 7/1/2014 dscn6453
dscn6523 Thundershowery day. Making this black and white doesn't quite work because that patch of blue sky is about the only color, when you make that gray it's like turning off the optimism and it becomes a depressing gray mess. 7/2/2014
This camera has a "high contrast black and white" effect which I'm not sure I like but I was trying it out. Most of the "effects" and "scenes" built in you can live without and do the same thing in the exposure settings or Photoshop. They're probably selling features making the camera appeal to people who don't know how to do that. I wish they'd left out some fluff and put in basics like time exposures, an external flash connector, being able to make RAW files. 7/2/2014 dscn6558
dscn6571 It looked good black and white in the viewfinder, can't go back to color now. This was about noon so the sun's overhead. If you shoot as black and white it has to stay black and white, better to shoot color and make it black and white later if you want. Useless feature. 7/2/2014
The windmill and valley fog right after a thundershower. Shot one handed because I was holding an umbrella in the other hand. Fudged in The Gimp: did a fuzzy select to select the foreground trees, then inverted the selection to be everything else instead, and did a histogram stretch, turned up the color saturation 15% on the selection. 7/2/2014 dscn6588
dscn6602 Some little yellow flower that has to be replanted every year. I wanted to put Jalapenos here. 7/3/2014
These are something that everybody around here seems to have, I get a little tired of them. So there, I got the whole season over with one shot. 7/3/2014 dscn6620
dscn6623 Cherry tomatoes, the first of the year. Looks like they were pruned with a club or something. 7/3/2014
Queen Anne's Lace, something else I never took a close look at before, it just grows wild here as a weed. Because it's white getting the exposure right was a PITA. I used spot metering, full sunlight plus fill flash with an exposure compensation of -1, tried about 50 times. Directed autofocus. Brought up the black level a hair in The Gimp, used just a bit of Unsharp Mask, about half the default amount. I really don't like sharpening but I was trying to add some pizzaz. 3 tiny Earwigs in there, out in full sun on a 90° day. There's actually color in there. My first pictures of this had a white haze almost like the lens was fogged. It's easy to lose yourself in the landscape of this flower and forget that it's about 2 inches across. 7/3/2014 dscn6682

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

dscn6698 Trying to make this look like an infinite patch of white clover when it was about 20 feet across. Camera about 2 feet above ground on a collapsed tripod. 7/5/2014
OK, so these may not be Queen Anne's Lace. I took this picture to show the leaves better, also the shape of the top of the flower. The yellow bud at the right is a different plant. 7/5/2014 dscn6722
dscn6742 I don't know what this is but I kind of like the composition. Manual focus because the autofocus refused to work. It was like a mini-jungle. 7/5/2014
Another not very interesting sunset, the jet trails were the best part. After 3 days of rain it's once again too clear for much to be happening. 7/5/2014 dscn6810
dscn6846 Just before I quit for the night. It was so windy I had to hold the tripod to keep it from blowing over. I caught it once earlier in the day. I'm getting so many sunsets I'm thinking of putting them on their own page. 7/5/2014
The final (probably) version of this picture, although I see flaws that I can improve on. I used to live here until I was about 5 and my father had a big homemade air compressor in the closer building that was of course loud. It was kind of dark in there because there weren't any windows and I'd be in there and that air compressor would kick on at random times, it was like being caught by the troll.

I've been shooting this scene every time I walk down this way for about 9 months trying to decide what to do with it. This selective black and white trick I learned from Jeannette 16 years or so ago, spend a lot of time in Quick Mask selecting everything you want in one selection or the other at high magnification. I spent hours on it over 2 days, the real photo is 4896 x 3672, I scaled a version down for the web. That also scales down the errors.

This is taken from up the hill on the opposite side of the road. There's at least 1 tree in the way. It's possible to stand where the 2 ends of the roofs line up, but then you only see half as much of the far roof. 1/250 second at f/5.7 exposure, bright sun about 4 PM, tripod with 2 second timer. 7/5/2014
dscn6846 7/6/2014 sunset. There's a strange quality about some pictures (taken by Nikons at least) where they look better than real life, this sort of has it. The colors are right, but some look almost more like paintings than photographs. The one before this looks like something from a children's storybook (to me). Canons look too brown. Vivid memories of standing out there at the tripod swatting mosquitoes, watching the LCD viewfinder and the sky. 7/6/2014
If you have plants in containers outside (or inside) try this. Cut 10 - 20 layers of newspaper to fit the containers and staple them together. Being several layers thick the wind doesn't bother them, they may get wet in rain but that doesn't do any real damage. They keep weeds down and limit evaporation of water. Almost as good as the traditional black plastic but with less hassle. 7/7/2014 dscn6958
dscn6791 I did take a few other pictures when I was down there to shoot roofs. It was one of those "partly cloudy" days when I'd just get everything set up and a cloud would come over so I'd have to wait a few minutes for it to pass. But yeah, I lived here until I was about 5, my bedroom window was the left one on the first floor. 7/5/2014
I guess this tractor's been put out to pasture. Newer, fancier ones have been adopted. Those back tires are probably worth as much as the tractor itself. 7/9/2014 dscn7097
dscn7193 Still Life #1: Killing time while waiting for something, trying to make an interesting picture out of nothing special in the front yard. Is there such a thing as too much "rule of thirds"? This is a cookbook picture: the pinwheel is 1/3 of the way from the right, most of the flowers are (about) 1/3 of the way from the top. Those by themselves don't make it interesting, too much of the picture is taken up by the foliage attached to the yellow flowers. If I parked something in front of that it would help. So I dug out the wheel. 7/10/2014
Sunset had this long bank of clouds that the color of changed on but they didn't move much. 7/10/2014 dscn7209

A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.

dscn7322 I had in mind to do a better shot of a rotting tree off to the west but I'm too sore from walking there to go that far. This one's off to the east instead. I'm just enjoying the color of the bare wood when it gets exposed this way. It's almost as if it had been sawn, planed, sanded, and varnished, but this is just nature. 7/12/2014
A decaying stump in a more advanced state. A whole spectrum of rich browns. 7/12/2014 dscn7338
dscn7375 A picture taken by actual moonlight. Most of the night scenes you see on TV and in the movies are faked with a blue filter, this was real. Full moon at perigee, 4 second exposure at f/3.0, ISO 400, tripod of course. If somebody'd turn off that blasted light in the upper left I could see something. :) (Moon's overexposed deliberately) Slight selective Gaussian blur to reduce the ISO noise, gamma tweak to make the field more visible. A Rootin' Tootin' Saturday night in the country. 7/13/2014

You know you're hooked on photography when you spot something about the way distant mountain tops line up you never noticed before. Then it's raining out but you're out there with umbrella, camera, and tripod trying to capture it because there's something just so about the way the fog fits the tops of the farther mountains that'll never be the same again. So what do you do? You shoot it, crop it, scale it down and make it a Facebook "cover photo". They just seem to blur together and fade off into infinity:

Foggy mountains

Listening to baseball games you don't care anything about for hours on end every day is about as interesting as listening to a neighbor's dog barking. It has the same kind of insistent cadence that's hard to ignore. Professional talkers. WEEI: Yech!

If you use unix (or anything with exiftool installed) this is a handy alias:

alias exif "exiftool --list . > exif.txt"
It dumps all the EXIF data from all files in the current directory into a file called exif.txt. I run it several times a day to dump all the data from the latest batch of pictures into a file I can refer to later to look up exposure details. I burn them to DVDs along with the images and a thumbnail file.

Woodpecker tree, taken mostly for the colors. It's in the shade so nothing's washed out but a sunny day as you can see by the sunny patches of grass in the background. Good saturated colors. 7/14/2014 dscn7412
dscn7566 A yellow jacket nest under the gable end on the garage. I was at least 10 feet under it and they ignored me. 1000 mm (equiv) lens and tripod. Looks a little like a smoke detector but it's not. I think what's happening is that the three that aren't near the hole are adding to the edges of the layers they're working on to expand the nest. They didn't stay there, workers were constantly coming and going, also from inside via the center hole. I used to watch my ant farm so I know these things.   :)   7/15/2014
We've got wild turkeys around. I went out to shoot yellow jackets and spotted turkeys on the lawn. None of these pictures are perfect so I scaled them down and combined them. Same lens as the yellow jackets but hand held so none are quite sharp. They were about 200 feet away. 7/15/2014 turkeys1 turkeys2
dscn7749 Checking progress on the nest, I was right as to what they're doing. This camera seems to autofocus on the wood behind the nest even when I put the little square on the nest. I guess that's because the wood's firm and the nest is feathery. 7/16/2014
Same windmill from a slightly higher point so there's less foreground junk. Near sunset so it was lit well from the west. It says "Power Wind" on the side. By the topo map it's about 2½ miles away. Each of those 3 blades is 190 feet long. 7/16/2014 dscn7756
dscn7764 Trying a new experiment with Tragely's but I should have feathered the selection more. 7/16/2014
Sunset 7/16/2014, these were all taken within 5 minutes so they're very similar. 7/16/2014 dscn7800 dscn7809 dscn7811
dscn7868 This probably won't mean much to people not from around here but the road leads to the house after a few ups and downs. The road's like a roller coaster. Focus and light could be better, I was concentrating on showing the vertical shape of the road, also having the tripod set up in the road with more traffic than I like. 7/17/2014
Bird party, no idea what the occasion was. All barn swallows as far as I know. 7/17/2014 dscn7875 dscn7886
dscn7895 Sunset 7/17/2014, nothing very exciting but a different cloud pattern than last night. It was actually chilly out there. 7/17/2014
Volunteers by the brush pile. These are wild, called marshmallows, because if you boil them down they taste like marshmallows. I haven't tried it. They look like Petunias to me, except they're tall, so that's what I always assumed they were. 7/18/2014 dscn7927 dscn7945
dscn7937 Another attempt at Tragely's, more feathering on the selection. It looked clearer (less haze) than I remembered but it's about the same. This is a farm across the valley. Gimp feathers to the inside of a selection BTW, seems like Photoshop feathers outside. I intended to feather out into the woods. I tweaked the levels in the selection to try to cut the haze. 7/18/2014
Mount Greylock from the top of the hill above the Heath Transfer Station, along the same ridge with the fairgrounds. It was supposed to be mostly sunny today. Greylock's 20 miles west of here so there's bound to be haze. 7/19/2014 dscn7969
dscn8006 I don't get many chances to do pet portraits since I don't have any pets. This is Charlie who I finally got to settle down for a minute so I could get a picture. 7/19/2014
Fire pit, keeps bugs away, burning broken up palets. 7/19/2014 dscn8045
dscn8133 Nobody bought me a balloon for my 60th last week but I had fun with these. Mylar balloons, mostly reflective, shot at twilight with a flash. 7/19/2014
I just ordered some gels for coloring the flash to daylight because using it as fill flash when I have shadows gives such a bogus color temperature that I don't do it anymore. The gels are variations on amber so I tried amber and green pill bottles that I had around. 7/20/2014 dscn2761 amber flash	green flash green bottle
dscn8177 Checking in on the yellow jackets, first time I've looked in a couple days. Must be expanding the nest is low priority because it doesn't seem to have changed much. Caught one in the air as a blur on the right. 7/20/2014
Zoomed-out view of the yellow jacket's nest. I'm far enough away when standing at the tripod that I don't worry about being there. 7/20/2014 dscn8181
dscn8183 Still life #2, those white flowers weren't noticeable before. They're not the white flower I called Queen Anne's Lace but now I'm thinking might be Poison Hemlock, the leaves are different. It's not poisonous like Poison Ivy, at worst it's like what Socrates(?) drank, you have to actually eat it. Don't know what happened to my great depth of field here, OK f/4.3. This camera doesn't have much of an f-stop range (3.0 - 5.9), should have been f/5.9. 7/20/2014
Turned out to be a nice day. Yesterday was predicted to be and it was overcast, today was supposed to be mostly cloudy and it's been mostly sunny. 7/20/2014 dscn8188
dscn8200 dscn8267 Something else that I don't know what it is. There are benefits to not mowing lawn very often. These usually get mowed off without me ever seeing the flowers so I never noticed them before. 7/20/2014
I stay up late so I don't get up in the morning often. The morning light from the east lights up the windmill better than any other. There's also a cell tower to the left of it and another radio tower to the right that usually aren't very visible. 7/21/2014 dscn8234
dscn8530 A dead limb getting ready to fall, maybe this winter. This tree's been dropping dead limbs since I lived here. (Front yard at the Riddle place). 7/25/2014
The horses actually paid a little attention to me today, at least they showed up instead of being off in the woods or in the barn. 7/25/2014 dscn8533
dscn8562 The flies were bothering them. Much swishing of tails and stomping of feet. 7/25/2014
They just seem so perfectly in tandem here, almost exactly the same position so it's like they worked at it. 7/25/2014 dscn8563
dscn8574 An oak sapling on the far side of the fence post with some leaves turning red already. 7/25/2014
I bought a cheap Chinese infrared filter and was fascinated with it for a few days. It has its own page here but the novelty has worn off. It lets such a tiny amount of light through that the camera has to work something like 10,000 times as hard, the result of which is a lot of noise and difficulty focusing. It's also a pain to use: autofocus doesn't work so I have to use a shirt over my head and the camera in bright sunlight to see the viewfinder. This was a 1 second exposure taken in bright sunlight. 7/24/2014 dscn8451
dscn8608 Bissell Bridge waterfall in Charlemont. Taken with my tripod fully collapsed because I had to shoot under a railing. I've never seen anything this sharp come out of this camera so maybe it's worth spending the big bucks on a fancy tripod. The tripod was sitting on a concrete walk though. Those are full-sized car tires lying on the far bank.

There used to be a dam across here when I lived in Charlemont in the 1960s but somebody must have figured out that it was safer not to have such a thing right above town. This water wasn't clean enough to drink then but it ran to fire hydrants and that sort of thing. Some people drank it but it usually smelled bad. I remember "helping" my father fix a leak in some rusted-out water line under some building in Charlemont and that smelled. I was only about 10, I was probably mostly in the way. 7/26/2014
7/26/2014 sunset. Everything interesting was happening in a little patch of sky near the horizon but it was still the best I'd seen in a week or so. 7/26/2014 dscn8829 dscn8640 dscn8644
dscn8663 Don't know what it is, don't need to, I just liked the droplets of rain on it. Strange lighting but it was that kind of day. 7/27/2014
Another purple thing. I'd rather shoot wild flowers but I got a few minutes between showers. This is within 10 feet of the door. 7/27/2014 dscn8670
dscn8697 Sun on the back side of a dense cloud. I liked the rays that radiate, captured by probably more cloud material that isn't formed into a visible cloud. I like catching the "silver lining" effect which this doesn't quite do but the rays are good too. 7/27/2014
OK, this is getting old, even the pinwheel's fading. I was watching that cloud and every time the sun wasn't behind it I'd turn around and shoot this instead. I don't think I'd done this in late afternoon light before. The sun was almost behind the camera, just about perfect light. 7/27/2014 dscn8706
dscn8509 Until the cows come home... They gathered near the road like they were expecting someone to show up but then they dissipated again before dark. 7/27/2014
Weather, ayup. A few minutes later I was scurrying for cover as the first drops of rain hit. There was distant thunder and lightning. 7/28/2014 dscn8726
dscn8773 Several families of turkeys showed up. Actually the males are usually off by themselves at this point, just hens and chicks are around. 7/28/2014
Cute pose, watching both directions at once They're very nervous with chicks around and they could tell I was out there. 7/28/2014 dscn828
dscn8837 Again, watching both directions. They can fly if they have too but I think having the wings open was a warning to the chicks. She didn't fly. 7/28/2014
A whole different kind of sunset. There was this thick bank of clouds near the horizon, the only color was higher up. 7/28/2014 dscn8859
dscn8872 dscn8888 The real Queeen Anne's Lace, maybe. I posted a picture of the other one on nikonians.org and some woman in Pennsylvania said she didn't think that was the right plant. This is less interesting, and less common. I only know where to find one of these, the other stuff grows beside the roads here. Different leaf, different stem arrangement going to the flower head. Simpler flower. 7/29/2014
I've done this before but I just like the angles involved. 7/29/2014 dscn8900
dscn8911 dscn8924 We've got a bumper crop of choke cherries this year, I don't think I've ever seen so many. There has to be a use for them. Nobody would think rhubarb or currents were useful either if you ate them without sugar. 7/29/2014
Jalapeno pepper blossom. The blossoms face down, so the camera was under the plant facing up. Fill flash is the camera's normal flash with a ¼ CTO gel over it to make it more like daylight. 7/30/2014 dscn8986
dscn8994 A Facebook profile picture, I change them fairly often, it grabs people's attention. Same ¼ CTO gel over the flash. It looks almost too warm but I did spend several hours in the sun the day before. No religious connotation was intended. This reminds me of someone in a coffin, that wasn't intended either. 7/30/2014

"Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination." HBB, Nikonians

Pruning apple trees. Never done it before but I read something about it once. These are drawf apple trees and I curse them every year. I haven't tried to mow under them this year at all. I only took one major live branch off each tree and got rid of a bunch of dead stuff. 7/31/2014 dscn9002 dscn9019 dscn9023 dscn9026

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.

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