Monday, January 30, 2012

Winter Light, Forty (enough Roman numerals)

Bethlehem, Connecticut

About seven thirty this morning, cold and very windy. But temperatures are supposed to soar over 50° F tomorrow—a very strange winter we're having.

Winter Light, XXXIX: Flyover

Roxbury, Connecticut

Yesterday afternoon I'd stopped at a familiar spot, one of several vantage points at Toplands Farm that I've used many times. There was an interesting sky and I wanted to try some 16:9 format shots with it backing up the field and wonderful stark trees at the crest of the drumlin. But I heard a strange sound, and finally looking directly overhead found a large jet leaving a dense contrail. There's nothing unusual about large jets flying over, we're under standard routes for the New York regional airports and Bradley International, but there was something a bit off about the sound. In the clear air you could see the body of the jet, a gap, and then the condensing trail.


After making several shots I turned back to find the original framing I'd intended to try, expecting the contrail to come into play. I made a number of shots with slight variation of framing, but sensed through the viewfinder that something was funny about the contrail.

When I lowered the camera and looked at the scene again, I realized I couldn't see the plane. It had, in effect, disappeared, and the contrail was much broken up. Later when I could look at the pictures on screen, this was easy to confirm.


The exif data tells me the two shots were made 37 seconds apart. The vapor trail I would guess ended from hitting a change in atmospheric conditions, but what happened to the plane? I can only guess that it traveled far enough to pass behind and be hidden by the fairly dense cloud, but that really seems too far away, and the aim also doesn't seem right. Maybe a substantial course change would account for both. BTW, I'm not trying to start a thread about space aliens, just wondering what set of atmospheric conditions might result in non-standard sound from the plane and the strange disappearing act.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Winter Light, XXXVIII: Steep Rock Reservation

Washington, Connecticut

With rain predicted for the afternoon, I thought the mid-day light looked pretty interesting and went up to Steep Rock Reservation to try for some pictures in the woods. Instead of rain, a very light snow began to fall and there was more than an hour of really interesting conditions. I was also wondering how well I could get this sort of subject to work on micro-4/3s format, and in the process finally discovered something I like about an LCD viewing screen:

Working on a tripod! I can use a chest-high camera position while standing comfortably up straight, looking at the articulated LCD. I even found that the touch-the-screen focus-point feature was very handy, though not in this particular shot. One problem though was that I've done so much work with view cameras that for half an hour or so, every time I wanted to pan the head slightly to fine tune the framing, I'd turn it the wrong way!


Greenwich, Connecticut

On the Grounds of The Bruce Museum. We saw a wonderful show of American Impressionists, and the rest of the museum's eclectic collection was also fun.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winter Light, XXXVII

Litchfield, Connecticut

Noontime today.

Winter Light, XXXVI: IORM

Winsted, Connecticut

The letters on the building stand for "Improved Order of Red Men," a fraternal organization with a long history going back to before the American Revolution. At the yearly Laurel Festival parade here, members march in full Native American regalia. I haven't heard of any repercussions to this locally, and perhaps some of them actually have Indian blood, but non-Indians wearing regalia really infuriates
actual Native Americans. I learned about this twenty-some years ago while doing pro-bono photo illustration work promoting a pow-wow put on by Connecticut tribes. The leaders I worked with were bemused by earnest new-agers adopting bits and pieces of indigenous culture, but got pissed as hell if they encountered white frat boys cavorting in regalia as if it were a Halloween costume.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Winsted, Connecticut

Blog Notes: Post at TOP

A week or so ago I thought I'd write up some notes for a rare technical post here, about some things I was finding out while working with a new piece of equipment in connection with the Winter Light series. Thing is, the notes took off and grew into a full length article for The Online Photographer. If you're interested just link on over to have a look.

Winter Light, XXXIV: Approaching Storm Clouds

Woodbury, Connecticut

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Winter Light, XXIX: Cold Morning

Woodbury, Connecticut

Just after dawn this morning, in a hard biting cold wind.

Stop SOPA and PIPA

On strike most of today to join the protest of SOPA and PIPA. For more information, link over to Wikipedia.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

And the Rains Came

Woodbury, Connecticut

Winter Light, XXVIII: Snow and Rain

Woodbury, Connecticut

We had a few inches of snow last night, and around mid-day the rain is coming in. It's supposed to turn into a real downpour with a threat of flooding because of the snow cover and ground frozen hard by several days of temperatures way below freezing.

Woodbury, Connecticut

Winter Light, XXVII: Threatening Sky

Roxbury, Connecticut