sky

Cape Cod 2015 – Images 131-141

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Chatham Lighthouse

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Dinghy’s Await

IMG_6219

Ripples

IMG_6245

Boats Asleep

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Thin Orange Line

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Rock Harbor Sunset

IMG_6026

Through the Reeds

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Red Sky

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Golden Hour

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Highland Light View

I just realized that it has been a year since my last post.  Must have been a busy year!!  I have not had many chances to go out and take pictures.  Only now, with summer at hand and the yearly trip to Cape Cod fast approaching, have I been able to shift my focus back to photography.  I just went through my digital album of images from our 2015 Cape Cod trip and included some of my faves in this blog.  I hope you enjoy them.

 

Cape Cod, MA is a “lighthouse” for our family.  A safe place, a “Beacon”, a place for us to focus on, a place that guides us and keeps us on our path.  We refresh and reboot there.  We relax and enjoy each other’s company with no distractions.  It is peaceful, tranquil, beautiful, and revitalizing.  The whole family looks forward to it for varying reasons.

 

Every year we try to find something different to explore there.  This year we are looking at exploring the dunes and Wellfleet as well as some tours (Cape Cod Brewery, Cape Cod chips, Wood’s Hole Science Aquarium, Nobska Lighhouse, Cape Cod Lavender Farm, to name a few).  We will, of course, visit the mainstays such as Nauset, Rock Harbor, and Lighthouse Beaches, Shops in Chatham, Penny Candy Store in Chatham, Hot Chocolate Sparrow in Orleans).

 

But mostly, we will breath in the salt air and relax and refresh.  Eat Well, Drink Well, Play Hard, Sleep In (except for one morning to catch images of the sunrise, of course), and revel in the company of Family and Friends.  Most likely, my next Blog post will be images from our 2016 Cape Cod Adventure…..

 

If you would like to view more of my Cape Cod images please visit:

http://www.mobileprints.com/profiles/justin-connor.html

One Object, Shot from Different Angles and Perspectives. Images 100-104.

Lone Post     Lone Post Among the Marsh Reeds

Lone Post in BW     Lone Post in BW

Lone Post Centered     Lone Post Centered

Lone Post Foreground     Lone Post in Foreground

Among the Reeds     Lone Post in Background

As I have written before, Cape Cod is one of my favorite places to visit.  Every time I go, I take at least 2000 pictures.  It takes me days to get through them all when I get home, weeding out the bad ones and editing the good ones.  It is a beautiful place with tons of amazing subjects to shoot.  Sunrises on the ocean side, sunsets on the bay side.  Beaches, Boats, Lighthouses, Flowers, Wildlife, Quaint Towns, Gorgeous Scenery.  Never at a loss for something to photograph.

We did not get a chance to go this past summer, but we will be returning this coming summer, staying just off Pleasant Bay, halfway between Orleans and our beloved Chatham.  However, two summers ago, we went for a week in Late July/Early August and stayed in a home right on “the River” on the outskirts of Orleans.  The River is really just and extension of Pleasant Bay, not a true river.  Standing on the deck, we could stare out at the marsh on the edge of the river, watching the sunset over the trees, watching the boats moored in the water, bob gently with the tidal currents.  I took these shots the day we arrived.

I walked down the sloping back yard towards the marshy area and as I sauntered past the tree line that marked the end of the property and the beginning of the marsh, this lone post came into view.  I assume it was once part of a dock, going out into the river.  I didn’t think much of it at first and started shooting pictures of the sky and the sun setting over the trees and the boats in the water.  As I paused to look over the shots, I noticed that the post featured in many of the shots.  I ventured over as close to it as I could get; it was pretty soggy right around the post.  I could tell it had been there a long time.  It was leaning to one side and was very weathered.  I took some more shots of it, then went back inside (the mosquitoes were eating me alive down there).  I proceeded to take a ton of pictures that trip and gradually forgot all about the lone post.

But, when I got home and began going through all the pictures I took on the computer, I kept seeing it pop up in the above shots and several others I had taken of the same view.  It was interesting how the post looked different from the different angles and perspectives when it was the main subject matter and it brought more interest to the pictures where it was a bit player in the foreground or the background.  I now have an 8 x 10 framed and matted on my living room wall of the Lone Post Among The Marsh Reeds shot.

Looking forward to getting back to the Cape this August to find more great things to shoot.  Hope you enjoy these shots, and if you want to see more of my Cape Cod Images, please visit my websites!

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

Black and White: My First Love. Images 70-76

Downward Spiral     Downward Spiral, Genesee Lighthouse, Rochester, NY

Genesee Lighthouse, BW     Genesee Lighthouse, BW

Sodus Point Lighthouse, BW     Sodus Point Lighthouse. BW

Watkins Glen, BW     Watkins Glen, BW

Buttermilk Falls, BW     Buttermilk Falls, Ithaca, NY, BW

High Falls, BW     High Falls, Rochester, NY, BW

Close Up Flower, BW      Flower in Close Up, BW

When I began taking my own pictures, it was in High School at West Irondequoit High School, during my Junior Year.  My father was an amateur photographer and I had always wanted to give it a try.  When I saw that my high school offered Photography A, B, C and D as art electives, I jumped at the chance (mostly because I cannot draw for beans).  Of course, back in the old days (1988 to 1990), when I was taking HS Photo classes, it was all on black and white film.  I borrowed my mother’s 35 mm Camera, a Fujica, as I did not have a camera of my own yet (I would get my Canon AE-1 until graduation from HS; a gift from my Dad).

We started the class with learning how the camera worked; F-stops, shutter speed, film speed, focus, different lenses, etc…  (BORING!!!!!).  We learned all the basics as well as how to take the exposed film off the roll in a darkroom or in “the bag” and doing all the processing of the film in the can with all the chemicals.  Then we learned how to make the prints in the darkroom and process all the prints; developer, stop bath, fixer, stop bath.  I found myself spending hours in the darkroom, playing around with different ways to expose the image on the paper.  I would spend extra time after school and during study halls in the darkroom, or walking around the school with my camera, finding subject matter relating to the present project we were working on.  I loved it!

The Black and White Image was beautiful to me.  Stripped down; Basic.  More like an Impression; more artistic than it’s color counterpart.  Sometimes surreal; sometimes dramatic.  I loved playing with contrast to make it more interesting; to get the image to “pop” off the paper.  I was actually disappointed when we switched to color somewhere during Photo D.  I felt like I was losing the art of it all and my photos seemed more pedestrian; just like everyone else’s.  I felt like the color robbed all the creativity.

I have since learned to love the color image just as much as the monochrome image.  For quite a while, just because of ease, i took exclusively color images.  Black and White film was hard to find, and getting the film processed was more expensive.

Then, AHHHHHHHHH; Digital came around!!!   Now every shot I take is both color and black and white.

Take a look at more of my Black and White Images at the below websites.  I have an entire album devoted to Black and White on the Instaprints.com site.

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

Lighthouses: A Beacon With Meaning. images 63-69

Cape Cod Light     Cape Cod Light

Chatham Light at Twilight     Chatham Lighthouse at Twilight

Chatham Light at Noon     Chatham Light at Noon

Highland Light, Cape Cod     Highland Light, Cape Cod

Genesee Lighthouse     Genesee Lighthouse

Sodus Lighthouse, Pier     Sodus Lighthouse, Pier

Sodus Point Light     Sodus Point Lighthouse

My wife has always been drawn to Lighthouses.  She wasn’t able to really express what it was about the Lighthouse that she was drawn to, but she always felt a gravitational pull towards them.  We spent our honeymoon in Maine and this was the first time I had an opportunity to photograph a Lighthouse.   We visited several and found lots of great Lighthouse knick knacks that we started decorating our homes with.  Gradually, over the years, between my photographs and paintings my mother did as well as the knick knacks we have acquired, we have an entire bathroom devoted to Lighthouses.  It was this bathroom that finally led to an answer as to why she was a Lighthouse fetish.

Her brother came over to our house one day, and, of course, had to use the bathroom.  He came out of the bathroom completely shocked!  He then explained that he has a bathroom in his house that is also devoted to Lighthouses.  He and my wife began talking about how they both have been drawn to Lighthouses for years now and he was able to tell us a story as to why he thinks they share this fascination.

Their maternal grandfather died off the shore of Long Island, near Montauk.  He was a passenger on a ferry.  The ferry was carrying more than it’s capacity that day, and a freak storm struck, capsizing the ferry.  Many people drowned that day, swimming in the frigid waters, trying to reach shore, using the Beacon of the Montauk Light as their guide.  That Beacon was the last thing their grandfather saw.  They never knew their grandfather, as this all happened before their mother and father had even met.  But, nonetheless, they are drawn to the light just like their grandfather was that fateful day.

For my wife, the beacon of a lighthouse is a call to home.   It is that sign of a safe haven.  Her true north.  So I have developed a love of photographing lighthouses.  My Maine Lighthouse pictures are all in a box somewhere.  They were taken over 20 years ago on a Canon AE-1, a film camera.  one of these days i will find the negatives and get them into digital format.  For now, I will continue to take a picture of every Lighhouse I come across.  Next summer will be Cape Cod again and I would love to get some shots of the several Lighthouse on the cape that I haven’t gotten to yet.  I hope soon to be able to travel back to the West Coast and shoot all the Oregon and Washington Lighthouses.

For more of my Lighthouse Pictures visit my sites:

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

Mt. Hope Cemetery PhotoWalk; Rochester History. Images 49-62

MausoleumMausoleum

textured tombstoneTextured Tombstone

Path to HeavenThe Path

Angel and CrossAngel and Cross

Fallen FatherFallen Father

Fallen Father 2BW Fallen Father

Celtic CrossCeltic Cross

Head(less) in the CloudsHead(less) In The Clouds

Headless in BWBW Head(less)

Fallen FenceFallen Fence

Sibley CrossSibley Cross

Sibley BWBW Sibley

BrokenBroken

Broken BWBW Broken

I recently joined a group called Western New York Photowalkers.  It is a group that occasionally gets together and does a walking tour, taking photographs, sharing ideas and techniques.  The first opportunity I had to join them was a PhotoWalk of Mt. Hope Cemetery in my hometown of Rochester, NY last month.   A Cemetery.   Great.   Sounds morbid, doesn’t it?  But, the wife and kids were out of town and I had free time, and I hadn’t been out to get any shots recently, so I thought, Eh, What the Hell!  Why not?

Little did I know, it was pretty cool!!  I knew that it was an old cemetery.  I remember going there as a child on a school field trip to see the graves of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass.  I remember looking at it from across Mt. Hope Boulevard when I was a kid when I went to visit my uncle who used to live in an apartment in a house across the street.  I remember my father challenging my brothers and I to hold our breath while passing it in the car.  He would purposely slow down, even though he didn’t have to.  It is huge and there was no way anyone could survive holding their breath while they passed it unless they were driving a Ferrari at 150 MPH.  But, I had never looked at it through the lens of a camera.  It looked like it was going to be a wash earlier in the day, with gray skies and off and on showers all morning.  But, by the late afternoon, the skies cleared and the sun shone brightly, warming the air.

I  spent about 2 hours walking the grounds.  Of course, I had to stop and seen Sue and Freddy again!  I found all sorts of interesting nooks and crannies in the cemetery; little tucked away hidden areas with incredibly old and ornate tombstones.  I saw numerous old, worn grave markers and tombstones, raised words nearly worn off by wind and weather, nearly impossible to read.  I was particularly struck by a small white headstone, perched on a hill just above the path, leaning over to the left.  It looked like in another couple of years, as the hill eroded away, it would tumble down onto the path.  It had a name and 2 dates.  the dates were only 3 months apart.  A three month old child had died in the early 1800’s and this stone was all that remained.

As I traversed the grounds, I found myself drawn to all the Celtic Crosses that dotted the landscape; I have Irish in my heritage and have always been attracted to them.  There were tons of huge monuments and statues in various stages of decay.  Some were missing limbs, some had fallen over, some were cracked and broken, some even looked as if they had melted.  There was a strange beauty to it all.  Above are some of the shots I took.  I hope you enjoy them.

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

Downtown Rochester: New High Falls Pictures taken recently and Shots of the Bridge from Corn Hill Landing. Images 36-42.

High Falls and RainbowHigh Falls, Rochester, October 2014

Downtown RochesterDowntown Rochester from Corn Hill Landing

Rochester High FallsHigh Falls, Rochester, October 2014

Rochester, MonochromeDowntown Rochester, in Black and White

Rochester High Falls in AutumnHigh Falls, October 2014

Corn Hill View Corn Hill View

Genesee BreweryGenesee Brewery

I recently went into the city for a “Photowalk” with a bunch of other photographers (from which I will soon blog about and put up some interesting shots) and on the way home, had the chance to get a few shots of Downtown Rochester.  I have posted a recent blog about Rochester, NY with some shots from High Falls taken about 3 years ago.  I wanted to get some updated shots of the falls using some new “Neutral Density” filters that I just purchased.  Neutral Density filters allow you to take long exposure shots in bright light without getting any overexposure.  I also stopped at Corn Hill Landing and took some shots of Downtown Rochester from the opposite side.  And, of course, had to get some shots of the Genesee Brewery!!  Enjoy!!!

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

High Falls in Rochester, NY; My Hometown. Images 17 and 18

Rochester, High Falls, 2High Falls, Rochester, NY

Rochester, High Falls, 1High Falls, Rochester, NY

Rochester, NY is my home town.   I was born and raised here; as was my wife.   It ain’t glamorous, but it is a great place to live and to raise a family.  Rochester has had it’s share of ups and downs.  It has been the murder capital of NY state in the past.  It has a lot of poverty and homelessness.  It is (or at least was) considered the Imaging Capital of the World for a time with huge companies such as Kodak and Xerox and Bausch + Lomb calling it home.   Bausch + Lomb is still around, although it has been bought by a larger corporation now.  Xerox is still around, but has seen better days and struggles constantly with lots of lay offs.  Kodak is essentially dead now; just a name now with a rich history and no future.  It is really sad to see all those building downtown gradually emptying out.

Rochester has thrived in the past as the Flour City with huge Flour Mills harnessing the power of the Mighty Genesee River and the Falls pictured in the above images.  George Eastman and his company, Kodak, really put it on the map.  Kodak once employed 145,000 people; today it employs only about 8,500.  An Epic Collapse; mostly due to bad decisions and underestimating the digital revolution as a passing fad.

I was, like Kodak, a film holdout.  I resisted the urge to go digital for a long time.  I considered myself a purist and tried to convince myself that the quality was better with film.  It was true, for a short time.  When digital photography started, the resolution was low and blown up images looked pixelated.  but with todays digital cameras, even cell phone cameras, the quality and resolution is incredible.

I am glad I changed for many reasons.  Nowadays, I wouldn’t even know where to buy film.  Digital allows you to take tons of images, immediately review them, discard the bad ones and keep the good ones, then immediately retake the shot over and over until you get it right!  With film, you had to take several shots of the same subject with different shutter speeds and F-stops, and hope that one of them turned out good.  For every roll of film, you might come out with 2-3 quality images.

But I digress.  Back to Rochester.  I choose to see Rochester in a different light.  it has it’s downside, for sure, but there is so much that Rochester does right.  Rochester and Monroe County are a great place to raise a family.  The school districts, at least the ones in the suburbs, are phenomenal.  There are amazing museums throughout the area.  There are great Minor League Sports teams with rich histories.  It is on Lake Ontario for those who love boating.  It is close to the Finger Lakes which has great wineries and beautiful scenery and all the boating and swimming that is available on those lakes.  It is close to Canada.  There are great restaurants and bars here in Rochester and Monroe County.  There are great festivals and events every year such as the Lilac Festival, the Jazz Festival, and the Park Ave and Corn Hill Festivals.

And, Rochester is the home of Wegman’s!!!   If you have never been to Wegman’s, you are missing out.  It is a grocery store chain, family owned, THAT HAS EVERYTHING!!!  When I lived in Sonoma, CA, we used to have to go to three different grocery stores to get everything we needed.  Wegman’s has it all, under one roof, at the best price, with amazing service.  Rochester has so many awesome things; Abbott’s Frozen Custard, Nick Tahoe’s Garbage Plates, Zweigle’s Hot Dogs, Genesee Beer…the list goes on and on and on.  I love living in Rochester and I am proud to call myself a Rochesterian!

The pictures above were taken of High Falls on the Genesee River and the Skyline of Rochester, from a pedestrian bridge in the Brown’s Race/High Falls area of downtown Rochester, NY during the late spring.  The first image has been tweaked and enhanced, the second image is the raw image.

Thanks for reading.  Come and visit Rochester!!  Grab a garbage plate, and abbott’s cone, walk the pier at the lake, then check out Wegman’s!!

Visit my sites below.  Many of the images were taken in and around Rochester and Monroe County.

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor