110217: A Good Autumn Day

I managed to spend some time this week back at my favorite quarry. I hadn’t been there in quite a while, so it was fun to dig around on familiar ground. Even though it might be familiar ground, that’s not to say that there are no surprises to be had. No new earth-shattering specimens perhaps but always a few that reach out of the rocks to create a little story of their own.

These two images of cephalopods were enough to already call it a good day. But there was more.

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The other reason for calling it a good day – the view from up top looking across at the eastern escarpment of the Catskills on a beautiful autumn day.

The remaining images are fossils from this quarry trip mixed in with the many piled up outside my studio (many of which came out of that same quarry).

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Thanks for the visit.

 

 

 

 

 

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102617: The Season Changes

Today’s post seems to be an extension of last week’s subject – What’s near at hand. I hadn’t consciously intended it to be. So, perhaps that’s what my new mantra should be for now. No fossils today. Instead here are some Autumn related images of plant life past their expiration date.

A trip to the farm stand (Story Farms on Route 32 – the best in the world!) got me thinking about gourds – strange ornamental plants that make me smile every Autumn when they appear, And then I remembered that I had saved a number of them from ten years ago, never knowing when I might revisit them.

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I also saved a Summer’s worth of weekly bouquets to see how they would degrade over time. At first I saw dried up plant life drained of color – as these three images seem to show.

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But, as I looked closer, I could see color buried inside the bouquets – more than I had expected.

I had assumed that the images would deal with typical Autumn notions of decay, of “withering” and “dying.” That assumption was quickly and solidly dashed when I realized that a joyful riot of color was waiting to be exposed!

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Thanks for the visit!

081717: Fresh Fossils

Today’s post is all fossils. I know that some of my viewers are particularly interested in fossils, while others prefer to see other type images. I try to strike something of a balance, especially since my work generally is more dimensional than a single subject.

My time is short today so I’ll just leave you with this new batch of images.

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Since I am finishing with two (partial) trilobites I thought I’d follow up with a few recent drawings of trilobites from a new series I am currently working on.

These are charcoal and chalk. Each is approximately 2×3 feet in size.

They are more “generic trilobites” as opposed to any specific type and they are fun for me to explore!

 

Thanks for the visit. Enjoy the eclipse next week wherever you are. And remember to follow viewing instructions carefully.

080317: Looking Out (and Looking Back)

Today’s opener was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft last year. It has been exploring Saturn and many of its 62 moons since its arrival at Saturn in 2004. Currently the spacecraft is in the middle of its “Grand Finale,” as NASA refers to its ultimate and final stage – plunging into Saturn’s atmosphere next month on September 15. It has treated us to previously unimaginable sights and still has six more weeks of transmissions.

More on this image – https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21046

Above are the first three drawings ever of Saturn and made by the observations of Galileo over 400 years ago. July 30,1610 was the first one (top) with slightly better results for the other two as he continually refined his telescopes.

We’ve come a long way – this pic taken from behind Saturn looks back at Earth (the dot center right). The beauty and importance of these and many other images, to me, cannot be understated.

More on this image – https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17171

This trio of craters, also shot from Cassini, reside on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons.

More on this image – https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20011

NASA’s image libraries are full of these wonderful and fascinating images and are all easily  accessible online.This one above is from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and shows part of Mars’ south pole.

More on this image – https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia21639/erosion-of-the-edge-of-the-south-polar-layered-deposits

And last in this series is a picture of our own Grand Canyon taken from the International Space Station by a student controlled EarthKam camera!

More on this image – https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/space-stations-earthkam-sees-the-grand-canyon

As I said, NASA has endless libraries worth perusing. Also, my favorite non-NASA sight you might want to visit is  Planetary Landscapes – daily posts of images from here on Earth and elsewhere!

One last note: Saturday, August 5, will be the fifth anniversary of the explorations begun by the Mars Rover. It continues to chug along the surface of the planet, sending back wonderful and astounding landscape images of Mars – Images – Mars Science Laboratory

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All this thought about outer space got me to break out my collection of pulp Sci-Fi magazines. The stories age great. The cover images make me dream of being aboard a spaceship exploring the wide universe. I think it’s my way of coping with the depressing news that we witness daily – especially the science related cutbacks, the dissolution of important government functions ranging from climate change to research of all kinds, etc.

The two  “Thrilling Wonder Stories” are from 1951 and 1952.

The three remaining magazines, “Amazing Stories,” are from 1947 and 1948.

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So, from the faraway future to the faraway past – I had to toss in a few new images of the very old – 387 million years ago (give or take a few mil!) – Devonian invertebrate fossils from the neighborhood.

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Science matters.

Thanks for the visit.

072717: A Walk in the Woods

The past few days have seen an explosion of mushrooms. A brief walk in the woods  turned into a fine shooting opportunity for me. I’ve learned from past experiences that mushrooms grow fast when the conditions are right. Fortunately my ever so flexible schedule allowed me to take time to explore.

I know little about mushrooms. I do know that they are fascinating to look at.

To show how quickly they grow please note the image above. Then take a look at the image below. these images were taken 24 hours apart.

That fly was not the only flying insect around. The fresh rains and heavy humidity helped to create whole armies of mosquitos that made thoughtful and deliberate camera adjustments luxuries I could not afford!

I was particularly struck by what I think was such a wide variety of mushroom types in a relatively small area.

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I also happened to run across a plant whose leaves (or fronds) were the size of a baby elephant’s ears! I couldn’t resist bring them back to the studio. These are a few of the studies that resulted.

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Who knows what the surrounding forest might yield next?!

Thanks for the visit.

072017: In The Beginning

Today’s opener is one of my very first fossil images, shot way before I ever considered any possibilities of obsession! I had just finished my previous project, the black and white urban landscapes that appeared here a few weeks ago. That one was shot with a 4×5 view camera. So I thought it only made sense that the fossils would be dealt with similarly.

Was I ever wrong! It was such a painstakingly slow, deliberate, and cumbersome process. Had I continued that way, I can assure you, my fossil obsession would never had occurred.

And that would have been a shame. These fascinating, ancient objects have become vehicles for many wonderful experiences. It’s been more that ten years since I took that first picture.

During that time, the images have been shown in galleries and museums here and abroad. Cindy and I have met some of the nicest and most interesting people imaginable. And our opportunities to learn and grow have been deeply enhanced.

All thanks to these remnants of life from hundreds of millions of years ago!

The rest of today’s images are some of my earliest work, all shot digitally and reworked this past week.

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Thanks for the visit.

071317: An Unusual Time

Another day, another bombshell report. I turn on the news each day and think to myself that this political nightmare we find ourselves in will soon come to resolution. And each day I scold myself for my naivete. This is going to take a long time to get clear of.

So I immerse myself in my work, finding my photo libraries to serve as useful and important distractions from the news of the day. Today’s opening image started me off on the right path. This very lyrical (and even poetic) image of a partial gastropod, found at one of my most favorite places, Isle La Motte, Vermont, led me to piece together this somewhat disparate selection of images.

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This final image is a playful variation on the opening one. A partial mirroring seemed to provide an intriguing alternate image.

That’s it for today. Thanks for the visit. Enjoy this beautiful summer (it’ll be gone in the blink of an eye!).