Sunday, October 26, 2008

Infrared Foliage

Two versions of the same scene seen here, both shot with the InfraRebel at the Marsh-Billings Rockefeller National Park in Woodstock, Vermont. 'Twas a lovely walk through the autumn woods, and what better way, as I may have mentioned before, to capture the beauty of the New England fall, than to shoot in the pseudo-color black and white dreamland of digital infrared?

Above, left to right, are Kenny, Cheryl, Sherry and Sharon leading the way into the woods on the way to the Pogue. The Pogue is a 14 acre man-made lake with a three-quarter mile path surrounding it. In the Irish language 'pogue' (spelled 'póg') means 'kiss'. What this has to do with man-made lakes in central Vermont I do not know, but I have learned that a handy phrase in Irish is "póg mo thóin".

Saturday, October 25, 2008

North Fork Tractor

There's one assignment every year that I outwardly dread, yet quietly enjoy. A high school on the North Fork of the Island, a few towns past Riverhead, the county seat, does a picture of the senior class standing on the rocks of the inlet. Two busloads and a few cars, two hundred or so kids, for the last four years I've been meeting them at the beach.

For some reason, this year I was told the job would be at 10AM instead of the usual 11:30. Of course, this was wrong, as I found out on the way. But this being the early fall, I knew an early morning on the North Fork would be worth savoring, and now I had an extra hour and a half.

I'd planned on shooting only the IR camera this day, both as a self-assignment and to keep my own work separate from any school pictures. This tractor, with its background of clouds in the photo above, was a perfect subject. The first picture is equally arresting, with the road and poles rising behind the spindly-wheeled machine, and the distant building with its solitary tree off to the left.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Beside Myself

I had another one of those days today. I thought I was spared any morning jobs this week, except for yesterday, and, as it turned out, today. But today's was not without its share of dithering; I was put on, then taken off, then finally put back on it.

Not a big deal, except I had to use the 'clouds' backdrop, as you can see above. This thing is twenty feet wide by ten high, and weighs all of about five ounces, being made of that plastic-type fabric you see airmail envelopes made of. It requires three stands to hold it up, and if the room you're in has any kind of drafts or vents you'll get to see the thing fall down in slow motion. I also don't normally travel with one, so I had to stop by the studio to pick it up in the morning.

Of course, just because I have such a neat background doesn't mean I get to use it all that much. I was at this particular school from eight until 11:30 am and only shot five groups. Not counting the five clowns I had assisting me today....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sisyphus in Stripes

September, 2008

Because these guys are my counterparts, another group of middle-aged men who devote a part of their day to the service of teenage athletics and all the personal and physical development those activities bring to the youth of Long Island. Because most of them realize that they're just about getting to be almost too old to do this sort of thing for much longer already. Because there's something about an open field in the late afternoon on the south shore of the island in mid-October, with a warm sun, a cool shade and a close game.

Because there's just something about teenagers.

That's why he tries to push over the goalpost...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Vermont: A Red State

A red state, a yellow state, a gold and brown state. The Green Mountains in October are anything but, though the conifers do shine through in places. The lakes are shock still in the mornings, with wisps of mists curling above and clinging to their surfaces.

This was the first good leaf season I've had since we first got the place in Killington, in fact, my first leaf season in Vermont in fourteen years, when Sherry and I marked our first anniversary with a Vermont Bicycle tour. This Columbus Day weekend we would be joined by my sister and brother in law, and another friend.

The lakes along Route 100 have held my interest since I first came this way. I love how still and mirror-like they can be, and despite many attempts, never quite got what I imagined from a photograph of them.

I'm getting close, though, with this scene of Echo Lake taken from its eastern shore on the beach at Camp Plymouth State Park. The panorama is made from five individual frames, and you can click on it (and any other picture on this blog) to see a larger version. It was taken around eight o'clock on the morning of my forty-ninth birthday, as the sun was fully hitting Tiny Mountain, with the lake mostly still in the shade of the trees, providing the perfect mirror image. Another reason it's called Echo Lake.

Sherry and I did a little driving around ourselves, having arrived a few days early. On our way up on Thursday I was scouting out places to return to, as well as other places in the area that I knew would be worth stopping at, like the Calvin Coolidge State Historic site, with East Mountain in the background, above.

The pano above was taken at the Green Mountain Sugar House on Route 100, alongside the lower part of Lake Rescue. That's probably Mount Gilead, but I wouldn't swear to it.

And this is only because who could resist an infrared image of fall foliage?