Tag Archive: flickr


Image courtesy of Rose

Yesterday, the temperature hit 94 degrees here in Albany.  According to Channel 10 New’s Steve Caporizzo, we tied 1994 for the record temp on this day in history.  It was pretty warm for upstate New York in spring.

Every Wednesday, we ride with a meetup group called No Destinations.  Yesterday was no different, but it was a little bizarre.  We put on the gear (yes the jackets, boots, full face helmet and gloves) and set off on this adventure.  It was to be different that most days.  We usually leave here around 4:30 so we don’t get stuck in rush hour traffic on the Northway.  Sure, we get to the ride about an hour and a half early, but it beats sitting in traffic for an hour or two.

We left a little later than usual, probably around 4:45 or so.  The Northway was already moving pretty slow, so we jumped off exit 6 and picked up Route 9.  That wasn’t much better.  We hit every light on 9, and it seemed those lights took forever to change.  We were roasting.  I needed gas in the bike, so I pulled into the Hess in Halfmoon.  I got off the bike and Rose noticed a sign on the door that the air conditioning died, so they closed early.  The sign also said that the pumps were still on for credit card users.

Great!  I spin around to the pump and look at where the numbers should be, and there are none.  What the ?  I guess we wont be getting gas there.  As we rode up the street, we noticed a bunch of stoplights were out.  Not flashing, but out.  If you live in the area and know Clifton Park drivers, you will understand why that scared the hell outta me!

We headed up to Malta and grabbed some gas, then headed back to the Mill to wait for others to show up.  As we were heading up for gas, I saw the tire marks where my friend was riding and a van did a u-turn in front of him.  It was pretty eerie.  Word on the street is that he is coming home from the hospital tomorrow.  Fingers crossed.

Back at the Mill, about 25 riders braved the heat for the ride.  We did a nice ride up to Saratoga.  We stopped at the Horseshoe Inn Grill & Bar.  It was a really nice place, just across from the Saratoga racetrack.  While we were there, I got a text from the Weather Service telling me a thunderstorm watch was in effect for the area.  I pulled up the Weather Channel on my phone and the radar showed the storm North and West of us.  Nothing to worry about right now.

When we got back to the Mill, the club had some meatloaf and mashed potatoes waiting for us.  We ate dinner and had birthday cake for our good friend Murph.  There was a sign up sheet for us to volunteer to help our friend that was in the accident, as he wont be able to do these chores for a while.  People signed up to mow the lawn, help with the pool and cook food.  That is why I love this group so much.  The list filled up quickly and people were more than willing to jump right in and help out a member who fell on hard times.  It’s like a great big family.  I am honored to be a part of it.

It was getting kind of late and it had been thundering and lightning to the north of us, so we decided to head home.  As I turned the key on to start the bike, I noticed this fine mist in front of the head light.  I took my glove off and felt for rain.  It wasn’t rain.  We got on the road and it was coming down almost like fine snow.  I joked to Rose through our communications device about volcanic ash.  It was really weird.  I chalked it up to being pollen blowing out of the trees because it was very windy.

Heading down the Northway, the lightning show was amazing!  I could tell that we were heading for some rain though.  Around Exit 8, it started to downpour.  At 70 miles per hour, the rain felt like needles on my skin.  It was crazy, but I loved every minute of it.  It was a great day.

See ya soon!

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Last night I wrote about a model shoot the we went to as a photo group.  I didn’t have a chance to put some of the pictures up last night as I had to finish editing them and wait for the model’s approval.  Well, she has approved some of them and I can now share them with you.  Before I do, I wanted to tell you more about the shoot.

Amanda came out to Hudson, NY be our model.  She is 20 years old and a college student.  I was told that she was Miss Teen Vermont (or something to that effect) but I can’t remember her title exactly.  I am glad I got the photos done quickly, as she is leaving in a few days to go to Africa to help teach.  Sounds like a lot of fun!  Her sister is also a model and has volunteered to sit for another one of our photo shoots.

This picture made me realize just how easy a little different hair style can make someone look totally different.

I really like the way this shot came out.

This one is one was a great goofin’ around shot

So, what do you think?  How did I do for my first model shoot?  If you want to see more please check out my Flickr photostream.  See ya soon!

I am going to go out on a limb with today’s blog and do something a little different.  I am going to tell you about pictures that I took that just weren’t quite good enough.  Everyone makes mistakes.  I am no different.  That is the best part about shooting digital.  If you make a mistake, you can see it, and correct for it.  Then you can shoot it again with the correct settings and Voila!

I picked out a few pictures that I have taken within the last week that didn’t pass the test for one reason or another.  I will post up the picture and tell you why I didn’t think it was good enough.  I know this may be frowned upon by many, but I think it needs to be said.  None of us picked up a camera on day one and were automatically perfect.  I have deleted more than my fair share of pictures because they didn’t make my cut.  I will add this though – most serious photographers (myself included) are horribly over-critical of their own work.  People tell me every day that my work is amazing, and while I appreciate the compliments, I can usually see things that I think aren’t quite good enough.  I don’t know why it happens, but it does.

Because of this, I am sure I have thrown away perfectly acceptable pictures many times.  They just didn’t seem quite good enough for me.  I do get a lot of positive feedback and constructive criticism from my peers over at the Movie Photo Forums.  They definitely motivate and challenge me to be a better photographer.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

Here’s the first picture I have to talk about.  I was driving around on Saturday during a storm way up on top of a mountain and I saw this house.  This shot was taken in the car, through the windshield.  I was driving, so I pulled over and took the shot.  The UV glass in the car gives it a greenish hue.  It also wasn’t composed very well.  Using the rule of thirds in composition, this picture is not composed well at all.  The image shouldn’t be in the middle.  It should be in the bottom or top third of this shot.

In this picture, the most obvious problem is the A-pillar of the car and reflection from the windshield in the bottom right.  I had the 70-300mm lens on the camera and wasn’t far enough away to get the whole house in the shot without changing lenses.  I didn’t want to change to a wider lens in case I saw something in the distance I wanted to shoot.  Also, the green hue from the windshield exists in this one.  The light was great against the almost pitch black background.  If I had switched lenses, and rolled forward a few hundred feet, I could have put the window down and gotten a clear shot.  Maybe next time…

I really like this picture for the most part.  Sometimes as a photographer, you get smacked in the face with reality.  You take a picture and step back and say to yourself, “I did that.  I took that picture”.  This was one of those times.  But not with this exact image.  I took four or five more after this and had one I loved a little more.  This one to me is way too dark.  The top of the flower is chopped off and should have more background above it.  The dew on the flower is not sharp enough either.  I do really love the bokeh (or blurry, out of focus) background.

So, what do you think?  Am I crazy, or does this make sense to you?  I know that I am way to critical.  There’s nothing I can do to change that.  It’s instilled in my brain.  I’d like to know how critical you are, and do you look at your pictures with the same crazy over critical attitude I have?  Do you just take pictures and post them, because they are good enough?  I am curious to know.  See ya soon!

I spent the Saturday yesterday shooting waterfalls and chasing storms.  I found a small set of falls in the town of Berne, about 30 minutes from Albany.  I was a little weary leaving to go there, as it was raining on and off.  Just to be on the safe side, I brought another set of clothes, a bucket hat and a second waterproof jacket. The sun came out just as I was getting to the falls.  At one point while shooting the falls, however, it started pouring.  I was under some trees at the time, so I wasn’t getting very wet at all.

I took off the bucket hat and put it over the camera so I could keep it dry until I got to the car and grab the waterproof jacket.  Once I had the jacket, I put it over my head and the camera, looking sort of like the really old 1800s cameras where the photographer went under the curtain and took the picture.  I am sure that if anyone saw me doing it, they were probably thinking I was a little crazy.  Boy, are they wrong.  I am a lot crazy!

Here are a couple pictures I got at the falls…

Later that day, I ended up in Thacher Park a few times as I was exploring back roads and finding out where they went. It was a great deal of fun!  On my last trip to Thacher Park, I saw an amazing scene. The storm had moved past the mountain and was now over the valley and passing the city of Albany. There were these huge puffy white clouds and then some darker sky off in the distance.  So, I decided to try a panorama shot.  When I got out of the car, I had no idea I was going to do a pano, so I had no tripod.  I just did it handheld instead.  I am including the original and the Topaz versions so you can see the difference.

What do you think?  See ya soon!

For a few weeks now, I have been promising tulip pics from Washington Park.  I’ve put up some pics I have taken in years past, all in an attempt to make you want to see fresh ones from this year.  Well, today is that day.  This morning, I got up extra early (for me anyway) and went down to Washington Park with a few members from my photo group and I got some fresh pictures to share with you.

When I got to the park around 7am, there were a few other photographers milling around and a bunch of State workers putting the final touches on the grounds for this weekend’s Tulip Fest.  They were taking down the temporary fence around the fountain and scrubbing the fountain down, preparing to fill it up.  A few other workers were mowing the lawn around the fountain.  After about 3 hours, the park became pretty crowded with people walking and taking pictures.  I left around 10am as the sun was getting pretty harsh and the dew drops were starting to dry up.

I took about 400 pictures in my time there this morning.  I’ll probably only post about 20 or so of them on the internet, as I am highly critical of my work.  Probably much more than anyone else.  I really hope you enjoy them.  I can only hope that some of the photos I take make someone smile.  That would make it all worth it.  Ok, enough babbling from me.  Here’s what you really came to see…

If you’d like to see more, please check out my Flickr.  See ya soon!

The splotches on the pic were raindrops on my lens.

Time is slow ticking down to the well known Tulip fest in Albany.  I promised I would keep posting pictures I have taken over the last few years in Washington Park until I get fresh ones this year to share.  Here are a couple more I took last year in the park.

Hopefully in the next week or so, the tulips will be opening and I will be there around sunrise to get pictures when the light is perfect.  Let’s just hope the weather cooperates!  See ya soon!