Tag Archive: rose


Every year, Rose and I head to Americade in Lake George to see the massive influx of motorcycles.  The bikers come from all over the the US and Canada to participate in this rally.  It is estimated that 50-60,ooo bikes will ride into Lake George for the week of Americade.  I didn’t take the time to count them all, but there were a load of bikes there, despite the gloomy weather we had last week.

On Thursday morning, we put on our rain gear and headed up the Northway knowing we might hit some rain.  It’s annoying, but not a big deal if you are prepared for it.  We have friends that live close to us that head up every year and stay in the same hotel.  So, we went up to meet them for a ride to Old Forge.  There was a threat of a pretty strong thunderstorm, so we decided to stay local and head downtown to the expo and the forum to see what the vendors had to offer.  The picture below is of the parking lot outside the expo.  Despite the threat of rain, the bikers turned out in droves to peruse the forum.

Inside the expo we found hundreds of vendors.  Some of the bigger names were companies like Kuryakyn, Givi, Nolan, Mustang seats and so many more.  If it is motorcycle related and you are looking for it, there’s a good chance you can find it in the expo.  You could get new tires, pinstriping, seats and many more accessories added to your bike while you wait.  It is truly a one-stop shop for bikers. As we walked around, I saw something that made me smile.  Indian motorcycles seems to be back in business.  They have gone out of business and been brought back a few times, and it seems like they’re back again.  Indian motorcycles are the epitome of a classic motorcycle.  Even the new ones look like the classics of the past.  Here’s the truck and some of their motorcycles.

After a few hours in the expo, the sky started to look a little dark.  As we were walking out, we heard thunder off in the distance.  Time to hustle up and get on the bikes.  We got back on the bikes and headed back to the hotel.  On the way, we saw a few bolts of lightning and it rained pretty hard.  Luckily, I hadn’t taken my rain gear off, so I stayed nice and dry on the ride back to the hotel. This is what we saw when we left the expo…

We hung out at the hotel and had some great times with our old neighbors from Delmar.  It’s a really great time, as a lot of the same people come back there every year.  So, it’s like a family reunion each time.  People are incredibly friendly, and more than willing to come hang out, sharing great stories and good company with you.

Around 10pm, Rose and I hopped on the bike and headed back to Albany.  We were tired, but needed to get home to take care of the dog.  Be sure to stop back by tomorrow to hear more about our trip back up on Friday.  See ya soon!

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The other day, as I was wandering around the yard getting pictures for my garden blog, I saw the rose bush had a bunch of blooms.  As I was looking over the rose bush, I saw this group of five roses.  When I looked at it a little closer, the five flowers seemed to shape a heart.

I have looked at this bush quite a few times, and the image never stood out to me.  I spent some time shooting it and then I cut the group and put it in a vase for Rose.  I was even more shocked that they were all growing on the same stem.  One cut got all five of them.

You can see from the picture that the few extra roses on the bottom and a little farther back seem to extend the bottom of the heart.  That was just a little bonus.  I didn’t plan that.  So, you never know what you’ll see, even when walking around in a place that you think you know well.  Keep your eyes open!

Take a look at the picture.  Can you see the heart?

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!

Earlier in the week, I heard that Keeler Smart Center Latham was hosting a Smart Car test drive at Crossgates yesterday and today.  I found out about it through Keeler’s tweets encouraging people to stop down.  So yesterday, Rose and I stopped down to check it out.  I had always wanted to drive one of the Smart cars, but never had the chance.

I had seen them for years before they came to the states a few years ago.  In my travels to Europe, and at Lime Rock in Connecticut.  The car at Lime Rock was most likely brought to the states and converted to US EPA standards.  That was way back in the late 90s or early 2000s, long before they began importing them for sale here.

Recently, I had seen them on the road here and there in the Capital District, and even see one up the street at a neighbor’s house every day.  It is bright yellow.  You can’t miss it.

Two of the people at the event were marketing reps for Smart USA, and I also met John Sterrett from the Latham Smart Center.  He went with me on my test drive.  Great guy!  We discussed the Smart car as well as sports cars and motorcycles.  Who could ask for a better co-pilot?  I got to drive the Smart ForTwo Passion Cabriolet in Blue Metallic and Rose drove the Smart ForTwo Passion Coupe in Red.

Here is the common misconception about these cars – they are incredibly roomy inside.  The car had lots of legroom and quite a bit of headroom.  There was even a decent amount of storage behind the seats for luggage or groceries, whichever you may be hauling.  They come equipped with a 1.0 L, 71 HP, 3 cylinder engine.  It’s not the fastest car you will ever drive, but it will pay off at the gas pump, as they get 41 miles per gallon according to the Smart USA website.  With gas now back to over $3 a gallon, that plays a huge factor in many people’s decision of which new car to buy.

The other question a lot of people ask is about the safety of such a small car.  The Smart ForTwo cars have a very high 5-star safety rating per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  That is pretty impressive in itself.  I would feel very safe in this car.  heck, it can’t be any worse that being on a motorcycle in traffic.  At least people might see you in the car.

The event is going on tomorrow as well.  Make sure you stop down and check them out. Sorry about the crappy pics.  All I had with me was my cell and was shooting into the sun.  I tweaked them a touch in Photoshop to make them  little better.   See ya soon!

And by that time, I mean Spring time!  The sun is shining again and the trees are starting to sprout buds.  Rose and I rode the Harley down to her parents house in Rhinebeck for Easter dinner, and on the way down I saw a ton of brilliant yellow blooms.  There were also seedlings growing in her parent’s backyard.  The birds are chirping in the mornings and insects are starting to come back around.  Here is a dragonfly I found one Spring trying to blend in with a stick.

Spring coming around is a huge relief to me.  I am sure I have mentioned before that I go into a sort of (self-proclaimed) “photographic depression” after the leaves fall off the trees and Winter rolls around.  It’s not until those first blooms of Spring that I get the urge to shoot again.  Seeing those first flowers and buds just starts to inspire me.  Here’s a shot I took last year as the flowers were just starting to grow.

But, here’s the problem – now that the weather is getting better, I get torn on what I’d rather do, go riding or go shooting.  Tough decision to make for me.  Between Thursday and Sunday, I put about 150 miles a day on the bike.  It’s been five months, so it was way overdue.  Now, I am ready to do some shooting.  I want to gather locations in the area that I haven’t shot before.  I’ve done Washington Park and Tulip fest a million times.  Been to Plotter Kill falls and Ka’aterskill falls is a favorite of mine.

What I am looking for are places that I can take my photography group, The Capital Region Photography Meetup Group, and have interesting subjects for them to shoot.  I would love suggestions in the Albany, NY area.  I don’t mind traveling, but would like to keep it within an hour or so of Albany because members will need to travel and carpool.  I appreciate any suggestions you can give me.  Thanks in advance!

See ya soon…

Yesterday was our 4th anniversary.  The past four years have had some ups and downs, but have, for the most part, been the most amazing four years of my life.  It’s not often that you meet someone who really gets you.  Someone who laughs at your corny jokes and likes a lot of the things you like, without just adapting to them.

Rose is that person.  She gets me.  She loves to encourage me and do things with me that she knows I love.  For that, I consider myself very lucky.  I could spend all day naming all of the things, but you would be bored and leave.  Let’s just say that she loves motorcycles and the Dukes of Hazzard.  Yeah, I am simple like that.

She doesn’t ask for much, so when she does, I try my best to do it for her.  Every year for our anniversary and her birthday, she asks me to make her a duck.  Duck is her favorite meal, and I enjoy it as well, so why not.    Last night was one of those nights.

I got the duck in the oven and had some time to kill, so I did the usual, Twitter, Facebook, yada yada.  After about an hour, I went down and peeled the potatoes and cleaned and sliced the mushrooms.  I was hoping to time everything just right to be done at the right time.  I can cook, but usually I focus on one or two things and that’s it.  With this meal, I had to make mashed potatoes, gravy with mushrooms, the sauce for the duck  and make sure the duck didn’t overcook.  Oh boy!

So, I got the potatoes boiling and started sauteing the mushrooms.  We saute them with a little butter, some garlic powder and Beau monde seasoning.  They then go into the gravy for some extra flavor.  If you’ve never tried it, get going!  It is amazing.

Below is the recipe I use from the Food Network website for the sauce.  I do make some changes to it while I am preparing it.  Feel free to do it by the recipe or doctor it up like I do.  Instead of using cherries, I use cans of Plums from Price Chopper and omit the scallions.  A word of warning!!!  This recipe requires the you flambe the mixture.  Please be very careful!  Fire is cool and all, but not when you burn down the kitchen!  If you can do this properly and without incident, the sauce is well worth it!

For the Brandied Cherry Reduction:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup brandied cherries, halved
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups rich duck or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Set a 10-inch saute pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, about 30 seconds, add the shallots, garlic and cherries. Cook the shallots, garlic and cherries until the garlic is fragrant and the shallots begin to caramelize, about 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the brandy and tilt the pan toward the flame to flambe. Cook until the fire goes out, about 1 minute. Add the vinegar to the pan and continue to cook until it is almost completely reduced, about 2 minutes. Add the stock and chopped rosemary. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, swirl the cold butter into the sauce and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Dinner was fantastic!  Everything came out just right and it tasted so good!  Especially the Plum sauce!  What a great night!

Happy anniversary, honey.  I love you.

-Me

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Selective color is one of my favorite styles of image manipulation.  I love the way the color stands out from the black and white portion of the image.  To do this, you take an image with a bright color and make most of it black and white, leaving just a small portion of color in the image.  This process can really make part of an image stand out and sometimes even make a not-so-great picture an amazing picture.  Here are some pics and the inspirations behind them…

The first image you saw a few days ago.  It is from my cousin’s wedding.  When I took this shot, it didn’t have the amazing sky that the others had.  It did have something else.  Romance.  Old fashioned romance.  My cousin Bo is a true Southern gentleman.  What would really portray his love for his new bride?  Black and white.  As I sat there analyzing the photo, I noticed that flowers really stuck out in this one.  As I type this I also notice that their shoulders and the way Melanie’s arm curves down to the bouquet sort of form a heart.  Maybe it’s just me.  I really fell in love with this image.

The kiss

The kiss

When we were setting up the reception area the day before the wedding, the ladies were putting bows made of tulle.  They did a wonderful job with the fabric and even incorporated leaves in it for the fall wedding.  Later that day, the sun was shining in through the windows and I just happened to catch it as it was glowing through the fabric on the chairs.  it was amazing, and it had a warm golden color to it.

Golden Bow

Golden Bow

Earlier that day, I had seen a few more of these chairs sitting in the middle of the dance floor, freshly decorated.  The three chairs in a row seemed like a perfect picture.  I added a little blur around the edges to draw your eyes to the chairs in the middle.  The leaves stood right out and I knew I had to make this one selective color.

Triple Bows

Triple Bows

The following weekend, Rose and I attended another wedding.  Our friends Mandy and Jeremy were getting married and I decided to bring the camera with me.  I figured I would sneak a few shots here and there.  Boy, am I glad I did.  The picture below was not a great picture, but it was of a ceremony I had not seen before.  The bride and the groom each had a container of a different color sand.   On the table was an empty bottle.  When they poured the two different colors into the empty bottle, it signified putting two things together that would never be separated, just like their marriage.  Although the picture didn’t come out well in my eyes, the colors did.  So, I began the process of selecting the colors and desaturating the rest of the picture.  I absolutely love the way it came out.

Two Lives Together Forever

Two Lives Together Forever

As Mandy was being walked down the aisle by her father, I snapped this next shot. The building they were having the ceremony in was dark, and I didn’t have my large flash with me.  So, I took the picture and made it pop.  I took the color out of all but the flowers.  I love the result.

Mandy & Her Dad

Mandy & Her Dad

At the reception of Mandy and Jeremy’s wedding, one of the guests stood out to me.  She was wearing bright red heels.  At one point during the reception, I joke that they would make a great selective color shot.  As she was coming in off the dance floor, I asked her to put her foot up on the chair.  Voila!  Add in a little border to match the shoe and this is what I got…

Red Shoe

Red Shoe

Rose and I took a trip to see her family in Honesdale, PA a few summers ago, and I spent a little time walking around her cousin’s yard.  As I walked around the front of the house, I found a wilting rose.  Instantly, I knew it would make a great selective color shot.

Wilting Rose

Wilting Rose

Of course, you know my love for motorcycles.  How could I do this post without including one?  Every Wednesday night during the summer, we ride with a great group of bikers.  The bike in the picture belongs to our friend Murph.  He is about 6’8″ tall and makes everyone I know look like a munchkin.  His bike is bright red with some anodized aluminum in it.  Perfect for selective color.

Murph's Bike

Murph's Bike

I hope you enjoyed.  I welcome questions if you are interested in selective color techniques.  Don’t be shy.  See you soon.