Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Photo of the Day: July 14th, 2015 "Wanderlust"

Wandering slowly every step calculated, every scene I see, I process beauty I am in awe of nature.  Sitting, staring, imagining history and looking toward the future.  The gorge is gorgeous, created over thousands of years.  In the future it will grow and become more beautiful.  The falls will still fall, the river sill still flow.

Each day we should try to slow, to see, to experience life.  The memories made on this hike will last a lifetime.  In life I will not remember the purchases whether of need or vanity.

Time is short and meant to be capitalized upon. Yesterday was a hike through Watkins Glen. A photo walk for a few waterfalls, a hike to build some strength.  It turned into an experience that will be hard to forget.  Thunder and storm soaked through the clothing.  No time to wait for the rain to subside.

Splish, splash it was no time to explore, to enjoy, to experience life from the top to the bottom and beyond.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Photoblog April 3 and 4: Diapers and Waterfalls on bikes a normal day on the road

April 3, 2015: “Love, Hate and Waterfalls”

You can tell I am riding a bike. Beauty is surrounding me, people whizzing by me some slowing others having no regard for my life getting so close I feel lucky that I wasn’t impaled.  Today I just smiled and waved stopped at a waterfall and thought what a wonderful world.
I call this Mister in the Gray Truck
Hey Mister in the gray truck. I am extremely glad I could have such a positive impact on your day. You drove by me. You took the time to role down your window. You took the time to scream an obscenity at me. You took the time to flip me the bird multiple times over the next 1/2 mile. I waved, I gave you a thumbs up I am not angry. I just want to understand.
Mister in the gray truck I am happy to have made your day. I was just riding my bike. I was doing nothing wrong. I was riding in a straight line. Riding with traffic. Riding exactly how the law dictates. You treat me like I'm nothing like I attacked you. I ride thousands of miles a year. I do not nothing but obey the laws. I stop at the stop signs. I use my hand signals. I watch for vehicles.
I believe you used to ride a bike when you were a child. Do you remember? Do you remember when the wind would blow through your hair, when you would ride down to the corner store? Do you remember how free you felt at that moment? Now you are grown. Now you have forgotten what it is to be a child. Now you let the negatives of life control you, instill anger in you. Anger for what? You were not delayed all you did was share the road pull safely a few feet a way from me. Did slowing down prolong your trip 5 seconds? When you get home do you let your son ride a bike? I bet you have forgotten how to enjoy life.
I have one piece of advice ride a bike, you just may enjoy it and not hold such anger in your heart when driving.

April 4, 2015: “Diapers on Bikes”

Tis the season where I will be commuting and living off of my bike, hopefully.  I started my errands y turning a 2 mile ride into a 10 mile ride.  My first errand of the season was to buy diapers so I went to Rite Aid thinking it’s far enough away to give me a few miles.  Little did I realize carrying diapers on a bike is hard.  I had 7 miles to go and because I always bring my own bags and do not take plastic bags, I was forced to carry them. 

400 yards with idiots in traffic carrying diapers like a football.  The bad thing about most stores is they are on a road which is well traveled.  This is no exception, you would think a 4 lane road would have a shoulder or a bike lane.  This is a very common road for bicycles and serious cyclists alike.  In fact I hate heading north through those couple hundred yards because no matter how far I come into the lane I can still feel the pull of a vehicle way to close to me as they pass on by.  I held my own this time like always, holding the diapers close veering off onto the shoulder as soon as I got out of the business area. 

My idea was for a superhero pose with the diapers while riding my bike but all I could get was this.  Not too shabby especially with the trees aligning both sides.  The road was busier than expected and the sunlight kept hiding behind the clouds.  I am Diaper Dude bringing you diapers one mile at a time haha.    

Photoblog Randomness: March 16, 17, 22, 23, 25 Almost caughty caught up. Nothing to see here, actually there is...

March 16, 2015: “It’s out of Focus”

One thing I see that bothers me and gives photography a bad name is when I see a photographer post out of focus images or have the wrong focus in the photo.  These 2 images are to present the differences in focus.  There is a 2 foot difference in the image but the focus shows something different.  I wanted to highlight the diploma, the first image has the words in focus, the second is focused on the random bottles in the front of the pic.  These pictures are poor quality but show how the same image can show you something different.  A lot of what I see out of focus is people and it kills me, focused on something in the back or foreground not the actual item.  In auto mode it typically doesn’t focus on what you want.  To get the photo is to develop your skills, understand the settings and how to portray the image you are going for. 

If you are photographer quality will always win over quantity.  Always so put the focus on your subject, put the focus on yourself relax and create the art you want.  Don’t just throw it against the wall and hope what is seen is what was created. 

March 17, 2015: “The Club”

Every Tuesday is Port Photo Club night. Shooting outside in lowlight, I had a ton of trouble getting any type of focus.  The club is a place to hone our skills and make great strides and great errors.  I really wanted this shot to be amazing and it works to a degree.  The lack of crispness bothers me as well the way the light comes in.  A great pose but working with just the streetlights is always tough and this was no exception.  Shooting people I always want to use an external light source unless it outside on a sunny day.  In those cases I would want to block out light.  Whether you are using a phone or dslr the most important thing to understand and control is light.  That will create the image.  Tough light sucks but can always be altered to create what you wish to make.

March 22, 2015:  “Creep”

I didn’t feel like doing a full setup and wanted originally to do the hoodie thing.  I tried to control the light from one source but had to use to which brightened the background.  Sometimes I just want to creep and hide into the darkness.  

March 23, 2015: “Alive in Death”

Last summer a dragonfly flew into my car and ending up getting stuck inside and dying.  I noticed him quite a while ago and he had been my car companion for months.  Dragonflys are neat little creatures with bugeyes, wide willowy wings and that nifty tail.  I’ve shot a few out in the wild which is super hard to get a good focus on the little guys.

This little guy who had been riding in the back was fun to pose and light to get an image that shows the detail.  I shot a flash through a tube to project through his body with a black background.  I shot a few shots at different angles to see which one would come out as the most interesting.  Sadly I was disappointed to see that all of the detail I was hoping for in the face was just a cloudy eye.  Overall I truly enjoyed the beautifulness of this guys nature and how he preserves.  In his death he is alive and bringing mindfulness to me.  Understanding that things we may walk past everyday are the things that truly contribute to life.  In the big picture the small things matter and make the world go round.

March 25, 2015: “Deer”

BOOM, POW, BAM! The deer ran into my car.  Damage done, I am ok.  As we encroach on nature, nature lives on our turf.  There is nothing we can do when nature has nowhere to grow but in our society.  It is a sad commentary that greed fuels growth which leads to destruction.  Instead of rebuilding in an empty building, the woods next door are torn down.  Instead of leaving the forests be the real estate companies buy them for development.  Destroying the homes and habitat of wild animals.  We complain about there being so many out in the open.  I wonder why they are where they are when we destroy their homes daily.  

April 5, 2015: “Hopeless”

April 5, 2015: “Hopeless”

Feelings are strange thing we can go from happy to hopeless in matter of seconds, from sad to jubilant.  There are millions of microemotions that can be seen across us all.  I woke up today Easter a holiday went to work, worked, went grocery shopping and came home.  I ran gamut of emotions today to where I sit content and balanced.  Most of the day did not go that way.

Most of the day I was stressed, I was angry, I had feelinglings (fyi it was a typo but I kind of like the extra lings) of hopelessness.  It all stemmed from where I am in life and how I have failed myself in my career endeavors.  Wasted my education never got that job I wanted which I am not even sure what it is.  Stuck, simply stuck in a state of hopelessness working today.  No family celebrations just catering to corporate greed.  Local and non essential businesses shutdown, they enjoy their holidays and still respect values that are people based not profit based.  That is why I feel hopeless, for my self failures and for humanity which is increasingly controlled by business, increasingly dependent on business to survive. 

I’m a hopeless wanderer stuck, if I didn’t feel responsibility I would never look back pack my bags and bike across this country and the planet earth taking in all that is great.  I’m hopeless wandering on a path for enlightenment for understanding trying to figure out why money matters so much.  Shouldn’t we just have hope to survive and only covet our basic needs.  I’m hopeless in so many ways.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Photoblog: The bike blog and photos

March 18, 2015: “Book Club”

What is your favorite store?  Mine is the bookstore, in this day and age the survivor is Barnes and Noble.  I frequent the store sometimes buying bunches of books and magazines, sometimes whimsically walking through indecisive. 

I found the ultimate bargain book, “Einstein and the Mindful Art of Cycling”.  This is possibly the worlds most perfect book it combines genius, cycling and mindfulness.  Everything practice everyday.  It warmed my heart so much I did a book photo shoot.  Words are weapons for good and evil, we need to read to create understanding and not follow blindly.  My happy place provides me with knowledge, hope and happiness.  Go enjoy and join the book club create a new world you can get away into or learn and grow.

March 20, 2015: “Gone MacGuyver”

Bike, bike, bike all day long, everyday.  I heard a noise clink, clang, cluck could I figure out what it was, it sounded like it was coming from below near my crank.  I continued for miles until I got home.  It wasn’t until I searched to diagnose the problem that I realized what it was.  My pump holder plastic had cracked and come off its holder.  For those miles I was riding the pump was hitting the top chain ring and was pretty chewed up.   There was nothing wrong with the pump at all.  I tried a few things to fix the holder but soon realized fixing cheap plastic was a lost cause. 
Boom MacGuyver mode kicked in, first I tried paperclips then glue and then I settled upon a cord holder elastic mini strap.  It holds the pump attached to my bottle holder.  I rode 30 miles no problem with it the bike.  I’m glad it worked well and I didn’t have to come up with an alternative means of a holder.  

March 26, 2015: “Shelved”

It is snowing again, a few inches here.  My bike is inside my gear lays askew.  Nothing to do but to wait it out.  I look at the forecast seeing no end in sight.  I want to ride and get ahead in the game.  The wind still howls, the snow still blows.  I thought I had a chance to move forward instead I’m stuck looking for a break.  Looking for someday.  Today I am shelved.

Photoblog: "Memories and Places" I an track, I spent a lot of time here these places made me who I am.

March 24, 2015: “Star Trails”

One of my favorite things to do in photography is sit outside watching the time pass by connecting with nature.  To me one of the best times to do that is when it is dark, most people think oh its dark there is nothing to see.  WRONG!  That is when the beauty truly comes out look at the stars, the moon, listen to the sounds it is something to be seen.  This time of year I find hard to sit outside since the temperatures are cold on this night in the teens with a mild wind.

I did sit outside take in the sights and the stars.  I wanted to do a light trails photo which is something I had never done before.   I set up tested my exposure and shutter time.  Things looked good so I set up and took 68 total 30 second photos.  Most of the star trail photography is completed in post processing to bring out the trails.  I used a program to stack all of the photos and create the circular motion.  I was very happy with my first attempt.  What I need to work on is simply figuring out how to make my camera automatically keep shooting rather than having to repress the shutter button every 10 shots. The shutter button has a 10 second lag which creates the small gaps in the trails which appear almost like clockwork.  Expect plenty more of this style in the future.

March 30, 2015: “Memory Lane”

Walking around town familiar breeds memories.  These are streets I roamed as kid, aimlessly wandering to nowhere, to somewhere and growing up.  My springs were spent at the track running in circles and flying through the air.  The track I ran on was gravel, there have been upgrades to the rubberized track since then.  I walked up and down the track, checked out the records board.  I saw a few familiar names from my heyday and few older still standing.  Seeing those names bought back a flood of memories and what could have beens.

That senior year being undefeated, hitting the school record in practice.  A quarter of the way through the season prom happened and I hurdles something and boom, there goes my ankle.  It was horrible, a memory that I wish I didn’t have.  I was a captain, I was depended on to win every meet and get the maximum points in the pole vault and had a really great chance to be league champ and qualify for states.  None of the hard work ever paid off.  I blew out my ankle and couldn’t recover in time for sectionals to attempt to qualify for states.

I just remember how I would show up and the coaches didn’t care, saw I was done and thought whatever and gave up on me.  I was killing it early in the freezing season qualifying for sectionals on 40 degree day with 20 mph winds.  The one coach who never gave up was there my first few years was Mr. Villlela, he cared and had a way of teaching where he understood each individual and took the time to talk to you an understand you.  He led the team the way leaders are supposed to lead.  Winning wasn’t his top priority, developing us kids into productive humans was his number one goal and his vehicle happened to be track and field.  Walking down memory lane I walked through a field onto a track into memories of failed dreams.

March 31, 2015:  “Coldwave…still”

It I still freezing and it is the end of March.  Will we ever see warm weather?  As much as I complain about it, I do enjoy the crispness while I am out shooting.  Today I venture to Olcott about 2 hours after sunset to see what I could get.  My favorite things to shoot long evening exposures.  Today it was on the Lake, I had specific shots in my mind but there was too much light pollution to get what I had hoped for.  I took a literal walk in the park found some interesting scenes.  After walking and scoping sights in darkness I decided I would head down the hill to the pier.  There was one fairly accessible, not the easiest thing to do going down a hill with a camera and a flashlight.  I setup for about 15 minutes until I got the composition right.  Amazing and beautiful in the darkness of night.

Photoblogs for March 19, 27, 28, 1, 2: Who Are You? What Do You See? Are You Judging Me?

March 19, 2015: “Serious Tea”

Who Are You? A local pottery artist creates handmade pottery.  I looked at this cup and it hit me in the hard.  Who Are You?  I reflected and asked myself, it is these little things that help me figure out who I am, where I am and who I want to be.  Such simplicity that holds my tea but through the cloud of tea brings a bit of clarity.  Seriously this is serious tea.  Who are you?  Ask yourself this and look deep, it may lead to change, lead you to a more productive place where you find balance.  That is who I hope to become.

March 27, 2015: “Whats Morality”

I walk by where I grew up the first few years in my life inside a church along the canal in Lockport, NY.  You learn things based in two thousand year old book.  Millions of people around the world base their lives on these teachings.  By these teachings I mean only the ones they agree with because we all know the old testament really doesn’t count.

I’ve been told I’m going to hell by literal interpreting of not believing.  More so recently there are two stories in the news.  Duck Dynastys Pastor Phil decrying athiests and the Indiana passage of the religious freedom to discriminate act.

I am an atheist, I believe in a thing called science and fact.  Phil Robertson was speaking to a conservative group and said the following:

“I’ll make a bet with you,” Robertson said. “Two guys break into an atheist’s home. He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters. Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him. And then they take his two daughters in front of him and rape both of them and then shoot them and they take his wife and then decapitate her head off in front of him. And then they can look at him and say, ‘Isn’t it great that I don’t have to worry about being judged? Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this? There’s no right or wrong, now is it dude?’”
Robertson kept going: “Then you take a sharp knife and take his manhood and hold it in front of him and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be something if this [sic] was something wrong with this? But you’re the one who says there is no God, there’s no right, there’s no wrong, so we’re just having fun. We’re sick in the head, have a nice day.’”
“If it happened to them,” Robertson continued, “they probably would say, ‘something about this just ain’t right.”
Morality is not a question of having god.  I am a moral person, I get my morality and values from my families and friends.   Spewing hate filled speech is horrible.  I have a question for you all:  If the bible teaches you to love your enemy, go into the world with love why is distorted to attack your enemies and preach hatred. 
It is not just christianity but every religion trying to convert someone, somewhere.  Can’t we just let it be and teach human kindness and treat each other how we wish to be treated.  Discrimination is the name of the game for Phil and Indiana.  Morals and values are not and will never be owned by religion as long as religion keeps killing, keeps discriminating, keeps spewing hate. 
Please someone tell me how horrible of a person I am and that I have no morals or values because I am an atheist.  The best part is you know me and understand that I am warm, caring and a good person.
March 28, 2015: “Follow Your Arrow”

Kacey Musgraves came to the Town Ballroom in Buffalo, NY for a show.  I haven’t seen her ever in what I would call a headlining show.  I have seen her a few times before.  Today I was blown away by everything she did.  It is rare for a such a young artist to truly know who they are and hold true to every piece of it.  Will she ever be a superstar, I don’t think so.  She has a distinct style that is more folk/Americana than country.  She performs to tell a story and make sure her lyrics are heard. 

She is progressive in her song choice while practicing what she preaches.  On stage she commands the room, engages the audience and doesn’t hold back.  She speaks with the tongue of a sailor while her songs elegantly expose the truth.  She played for almost 2 full hours with all of her original music and a few covers along the way.  She put her stamp on the show by telling the crowd to shut up and stop shouting ignorant things.  She follows her arrow to beat of her own drum and will have quite a successful career even if the crowd didn’t know enough to learn her music before they showed up.

April 1, 2015: “What You See is Not Always What You Get”
What do you see?
What is this?  Look closely and if you can’t tell you are not seeing the whole picture.   The whole picture shows that winter is still here, that is fading slowly.  Look closely and question everything in life because reading only the cover will never give you the full the story. 

Did you see snow?
April 2, 2015: “That’s So Queer”

Queer, queer, queer, that’s so queer.  A common word thrown around tonight at Andrea Gibson’s spoken word performance in Buffalo, NY.  An excellent performance full of emotion and stories.  I went into the event knowing that Andrea is gay and an activist for the cause.  One thing I never realized was how beautiful words could be.  I was surprised to hear the word queer thrown around so casually.  I guess I don’t spend enough time around the gay community to realize that they use that word amongst themselves.  I always thought of it as a straight white man as hate speech.  Which I guess it would be if I used it or someone else did to antagonize. 

In Indiana and Arkansas they passed or are trying to pass a bill to discriminate against the LGBT community.  As of this writing Indiana’s Senate has approved an amendment to make discrimination illegal with specific language to include gender identity.