Friday, December 31, 2010

Penobscot Narrows Bridge (Bucksport)

We had a nice day in Portland visiting Torrey and his girlfriend, Kate. Spent some "talk time" in the apartment and then went out to lunch. The fast down & back trip (my second this week) leaves my head spinning and it would be great to have more time, but... it was good to see Torrey as always.

I'm actually going to post a couple of pictures I took on the way back tonight. We came home via route one and for the first time in quite a while I saw the bridge in Bucksport all lit up! I guess it costs a small fortune to keep the lights on, but it is New Years Eve... the recession must be over! Yea!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Jen's Mom is failing and we had a cry about it today, so thinking about mothers seemed to be on the menu in general. Then as I was cleaning up the studio, I came across a small photo of my Mom. I remember Dad making prints in the bathroom in the evenings, but I think he was worried about brother and I getting into the chemistry or something, so I never got any lessons from him or anything like that, and by the time I was in high school I don't remember him doing it any more. I suppose by then it was easier to just send film away to have it processed, and color was a big deal when it first came out. I know, it's hard to believe that I've lived in times that have seen so many advances with imaging, but here we are!

I'm posting that picture of my Mom, she was born 90 years ago, and it's hard to believe that she's been gone for 30. Also a detail, shot with the eye loupe and iPhone, of brother and me.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Looking Closely

I got an email yesterday from a retired colleague who is a photographer and sends me a lot of interesting links, and it was of a stop-action animation shot with a cell phone and a special magnifier system. Well, he got me to thinking as I'm sure his intention was, and so I tried holding an eye loupe over my cell phone lens and wow! I'm posting some of the shots I got tonight. A whole new world of magnification! Thanks a million, Galen!

 I'm pretty sure I will be using my cell more as a photography tool... I just downloaded the app "camera +" and it really has got some nice features.

The shot at the right is the top of a soda can (flip tab top) and it fooled Jen, she wasn't sure what it was. The idea that a close up can be an abstraction was another of O'Keeffe's "systems", and it belies our perceptions that we think in such fixed dimensions.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snow With Sunshine

Part of this afternoon was spent outside in the sunshine shooting drifting snow and other various objects. The drifts were like sand dunes in the desert I've seen pictures of except for the pure white color. Two major screw-ups (and I learn new things every day of my life - and not always because of mistakes) today were; one, I reset my camera to a lower "film speed" and went to shutter mode to shoot some moving water and forgot to set it back when my subjects changed, and two, didn't think to clean my lens well before going out. Shooting snow is probably the worst subject with a dirty lens as there is little texture to hide dark fuzzy blurs! Ahhh, PhotoShop.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Simply Snow

I'm reading a biography of Georgia O'Keeffe, as I may have mentioned here a few posts ago, and it is absolutely fascinating how much I am feeling connected to her philosophies and sense of space and self. I've known for years that I admired her both as an artist and as a woman, but reading and understanding many of the gaps in my knowledge of her has affected me greatly. I thought of the spareness of so many of her paintings when I was shooting these photos in the snow today. Funny how we humans can influence one another.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Calm Before the Storm

So I went out to clean the snow off the boat cover and ended up down by the shore with a camera in my hands, as I guess I should on certain days and this is one. Here they are.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Nothing Like a Zombie Christmas With the Family!

Certainly meant just in fun, no sense of blasphemy or anything like that, but Christmas eve with the family is about as good as it gets! A little zombie humor was in the mix thanks to my music/video class movie and Matt's purchase of "glow-in-the-dark zombie finger puppets for stocking stuffers. We are all headed to Portland early tomorrow morning to try and make Torrey's Christmas bright!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Little Snow Day

... and a couple of pictures from down by the shore to post. Shoveling this morning only to watch it melt off by late this afternoon.
Here are the photos I chose.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Truck Off the Road

On the way in to school this morning, I watched a truck (not the one in the post, that was already off the road) slide, or should I say "yaw" obviously uncontrollably to a point in front of me. I slowed down, while thanking the ice and road spirits that I had studded snow tires on my car, and then noticed a truck off the road to my right. I stopped to see if all was well (it was) and snapped this photo. Dangerous spot in Hancock by the cement factory! Here's the truck...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Orange You Glad I Didn't Say Banana?

So, first of all, it's been a week since my last post, and I have been so busy that I hadn't really even noticed until today. I almost went out to the shore last night around 9 p.m. to shoot some flash shots of the ice, but only almost... it was really cold out there.

Instead I peeled an orange and did a journal drawing from the peeling, which looked an amazingly amount like a person dancing (or at least in my imagination). Photos posted.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Night Light & Neon Color

So I headed into school early this morning to get work done and catch up on some things, and it was a wild ride! Debris in the road, wind howling, a real adventure! As I drove into the main entrance I stopped and grabbed this shot of the rain in front of a street light. I wish now I had taken a longer shutter speed to capture the movement of the rain across the pre-dawn illumination of the light.

I also have been working with Prismacolor neons and looking for something to do with them for a while, so when I saw regular sized compact fluorescent bulbs in Home Depot that were "black lights" I thought I would try it. And cool they are! I put a bulb in one of my aluminum holders and viola! The colors were magnified greatly in their appearance. I just wish it had showed a  bit more in the photo.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Magic Light

Good things are going to happen on that Island, and I know that to be true, although I cannot determine the context or time frame. It really doesn't matter, because I feel that I am in the right place, I have a job where I am working for the good of others, and I can make a difference in the world. Taking things for granted? Sure, at times, but then there are times like this that strike me as being perhaps among the most important of my time on earth, and I have to take pause to reflect and appreciate. I do appreciate.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Another Sunset...

... in a way, I take these for granted, a lot of times just casting a casual glance and saying something like "Oh, that's a nice one!", but I really think that we all get desensitized to a lot of things, and the beauty around us is only one thing. It seems as though the same beautiful spot, or the same point of view, whether it is visual, political or otherwise loses it's impact after that first few exposures. So what do we do about it? I say, nothing. Appreciate what you can when you can, 'cause with time we all can open our eyes to the world around us and the messages it has to give us. Peace.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Recording Studio

So here's a shot of reflections in the glass of the TV studio at school as Dan G is working with some kids on one of the songs I wrote. The student on guitar really "shredded" some cools riffs for the lead part of the song and we will include the recording in our score for the class movie (see for details).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Work-In-Progress & Uncle Vern's Truck

So the first post here is a piece that I had the chance to work on today, and actually did finish it after I took this first photo. It just needed a bit of detailing. The title is "Touching", and I think it is about two people making connections beyond the physical into the spiritual realm, while being "branded" by traditional religious mores.

The second is simply the humor of my brother-in-law and the plate he sports on his truck all year long. It is especially appropriate because of the color of the truck , but even more so as today was a "snow day".

There's No Day Like a Snow Day!

Well, actually I beg to differ. I have never understood why anyone would prefer giving up a perfectly good school day in December (or January, February or even March) to go on an end-of-the-year, warm and sunny, kids would rather be finished (or outside - well, we can accomodate that) from school sort of day. So I should just be arriving at school about now, gathering materials for the day ahead, preparing for my first period class and meeting with students who had emailed me questions over the weekend, but instead... I find myself relaxing over a nice hot cup of coffee, gathering some warm outside clothes together, preparing for going outside to shovel what must be several hundred pounds of snow (we have a long driveway) but delaying by posting some early morning pictures on this blog. How does it get any better than this?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Oak Leaves are Still Hanging in There

... and here are two shots from late this afternoon to prove it! It's starting to snow, so maybe some snowfall pictures tomorrow.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pumpkin Pieces

We had two giant pumpkins, they needed cooking, and it seemed like a cooking task even I could handle so I did. Here's a photo of about a third of the pieces sitting in the sink. Took me most of the day.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Worn Out Box & Broken Ties

OK, some abstractions here... take what you will from them. I never know each day what will come up and strike my imagination, but often times it somehow feels more like it is happening to me than I am actively pursuing. Of course the refelction of the overhead light on the waxed floor is an intentional element that I can control.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Brush Strokes and a Car Off the Road

I like this first one as it was just an impression left on the formica by the sink in my art room. These images abound when classes are working on painting assignments.

The second shot was taken in stopped traffic, which I rested in for about half an hour on the way home tonight... hey, what else to do but shoot a few pictures? I won't include the action (slow shutter speeds) ones, although they are always a lot of fun as they are unpredictable.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Stand By - Pencils Have Been Sharpened!

I had a fit with all the colored pencils in my "monkey box" and had to sharpen them. I'm so cheap with everything that I sharpen them with a knife so I don't lose all that precious colored center by sharpening with a regular sharpener. I like to leave the leads a little longer so I can draw more without having to put a new edge on them, and the knife cut lets me do that. So I'm looking at the chips I've shaved off into the lid of the "monkey box" and I find this picture.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Apple Gulls

The Bay gulls have discovered the apple tree in the edge of the field and they feasted there this morning for quite a while. I got a number of shots of them as they came in and were frightened away, but this one with them in flight was my favorite, with the implied motion and mixture of various shapes of their wings in flight. Lots of gulls!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sunrise Over Taunton River

 This morning gave me a shot I had to stop for, and knowing that I was in the middle of the bridge and that there were likely going to be eighteen wheelers coming through at some point (there was only one, so that was good) didn't seem to matter. The sun was just reflecting off the clouds and the effect was beautiful. I think I would like to do a painting of this scene.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Cactus Again

I think, after a closer look, I got a really good photo of the Christmas cactus today. Better than last Wednesday, eh?

Princess and the Pea

Jen and I went to the Fall Musical at MDI High School last night and thoroughly enjoyed the work by the kids. The lead (princess) was one of my advisees and she was great! The whole play was well cast, directed and designed and the final performance was to a sold out audience. Two photos I really liked I am posting.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Moon on the Way Home

I don't really understand why the moon has such a fascination for me, but it has for a while and I have made numerous posts with the moon as the center of focus. I was really struck on the way home from school tonight by the way the light of the moon played within the setting sun shining on the trees. Beauty is truly all around me.