The Roving Photographer


Simple Clicks – Fog




This isn’t a scene I would normally have photographed, and certainly not without the fog.  On its own this sweep of shoreline is a little distant, a little lacking in a truly interesting anchor.  But with the fog, that all changes – now we’ve got barely-discernible reflections through the mist, we’ve got a hill rising out of the fog in the background, we’ve got greens and oranges showing through.  Just enough, overall, to make it a worthwhile shot, at least for me.

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Simple Clicks – John the Heron



Just a quick share of John the Heron from back in August.  I think this was the night I took the kayak out and wasn’t really planning on doing much photography, but then found that I had some decent subject matter.  Thank goodness I brought the camera!

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Simple Clicks – can you see me?



I’m in this photo.  Can you see me?

I was traveling with friends this past weekend and am still playing catch-up, so unfortunately it’s going to be Simple Clicks for at least another posting day.  But hopefully then I’ll have some time to get into something in more details.  Don’t know what, but something…

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Simple Clicks – Lackawanna Lake at dawn



I’m standing along the shore at the fishing area at the north end of Lackawanna Lake, facing west with the marsh, and the South Branch of Tunkhannock Creek, just behind me.  It is dawn and it is frigging cold, much colder than I expected, much colder than I had dressed for.  When I left the house I put on a sweatshirt and my autumn jacket; when I left the house it was just below 40* outside.

Here by the lake it is 28* and I am bundled as tight as possible, jacket zipped to my chin, and I am still shivering.  Thank goodness I brought gloves.

There is frost covering the grasses and swaths are already dying.  No ice formed on the water; it retains too much of summer’s heat still, hence the dense clouds of fog it’s putting off.  In a few more weeks this will become a colorless landscape.  At some point the snow will fall and, if I’m lucky enough to get here while it’s fresh, it will be a transformed and staggeringly beautiful landscape.  But until then I’m retreating to the Jeep, turning on the heat, and sipping coffee until the sun crests the hill behind me.

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Simple Clicks – goldenrod at sunrise



Goldenrod at sunrise, intensely back-lit and glowing.  It’s one of those shots I just couldn’t resist taking, even if it is a little un-grounded in a compositional sense.

I don’t know about where you live, but here in PA – and in NY and VT – goldenrod is prolific through the end of summer and into autumn.  I always blamed it for my seasonal allergies – after all, with that much of it crowding every field, treeline, and highway median, it must be cranking out pollen.  Turns out not so much.  Goldenrod isn’t a grass, and grasses are responsible for the majority of allergy suffering.  Or so I’ve been told.

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Simple Clicks – maple leaves



You know what’s funny?  I grew up in Vermont and never once tapped maple trees to make syrup.  I had a friend up the street who did it, and we took elementary school field trips to see how sugaring was done.  My mother and I even talked about doing it once or twice, as we had maples in the back yard.  But we never did.  And yet when I see maple trees, and especially in the autumn when they are ablaze with color, I always think back to sugaring and the sound of sap dripping into galvanized steel buckets in the spring, and the raw taste of it when licked off my finger, and the clouds of steam that come off the evaporator while it’s being processed.

It takes an average of 50 gallons of sap to make a single gallon of syrup, and that figure can vary spike to almost double depending on the sugar content of the sap.  I find it staggering to think of maple trees as being capable of giving up that much sap at all, much less giving it up and still surviving.  Nevermind the massive investment in time, fuel, and energy required to boil it down to those little bottles of syrup we buy at the store.

But then again, when you grow up on real maple syrup, you can’t go back to the fake stuff.  Those little plastic packets you get at diners are disgusting to the kid who watched the real thing get made.

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Trostle Pond & thoughts on color and b&w

141005_LSP25 141005_LSP24


Turns out I shot a lot of photos at Trostle Pond the other morning.  And I was going through them in post, I stumbled upon a situation where I couldn’t decide how I’d best like to see the final product.  For me it happens like this: an image comes up on the monitor and I think, “Hey, that could look really good in black & white.”  Most of the time it also looks really good in color.  So I go back to Bridge, duplicate the RAW file, and process the original as color and the copy as b&w, with the intention of seeing which looks best in the end.

Most of the time they both look best, and so I keep both and end up with posts like today’s, where I’m sharing matching pairs of color and b&w images with a curiosity for which is better, or if it’s even possible for one to be better than the other.   Read more »

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Simple Clicks – dock at Bullhead Bay

BRENT PENNINGTON Dawn over Bullhead Bay on the morning on 05 October 2014.


By now the dock has probably been pulled out of the water, too many cold nights and cool days upon us now, and the threat of ice is starting to become real – or will be in another couple of weeks, at least.  But in the meantime, it’s unlikely that too many people are still venturing out onto the water.  I’d like to get out again, one more time for the season, but don’t know when that will be possible. Read more »

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Simple Clicks – Great Egret



For the past several weeks, Lackawanna State Park has been host to a lone Great Egret.  A large bird that’s somewhat like an all-white Great Blue Heron, they are neither natives of this area, nor frequent visitors.  In fact, the range maps for their species show PA as a migratory area, although both their summer and winter grounds are to the south of us. Read more »

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A Cold Morning at Trostle


I crawled out of bed last weekend before sunrise and drove up darkened roads to Trostle Pond, clutching my mug of coffee and uttering silent thanks that during this season at least, getting up for sunrise doesn’t involve an ungodly hour such as 4am. I had thought to bring gloves and a jacket, but even so I was unprepared; it was around 40* when I left home, but up in the hills around the park, it was 28*.

There can no longer be any doubt that summer is over.

Read more »

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