Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking at the Sky - Winter Wonderland

Looking at the Sky arrives and the winter blues has a different meaning in this old Polaroid print. This is Feb. 8, 1978 in East Hartford. The previous two days left around 30 inches (77 cm) of snow on the ground, probably the biggest amount of snow in one nor'easter than I have seen. And it rarely does it snow this much in the Hartford (CT) area.

But what of the sky? My father referred to days like this as 'the rewarding day after the snowstorm day'. When the system departed, the sun was strong and the sky was bluer than ever. Given that this picture, taken from an SX-70 instant camera (anybody remember these?), the print has faded, is a bit blurry and lacks its original clarity. Yet the aging hasn't taken away the feeling of a sky as clean as can be with a brilliant blue in the heavens to offset the work of removing 30 inches from the driveway. See the sky in all its beauty at Tisha's great meme!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sepia Scenes - Seasonal Sepia

Sepia Scenes sends us scurrying for seasonal subjects that may be enhanced by this subtle monochrome.

For me, I turn to Christmases past, here in 1971 (me at 16). Naturally, the triumvirate of Ralph I, II and III. This day was unusually warm as I remember, and the grass was the seasonal brown on Wickham Drive in East Hartford. The house was a sepia-ish yellow, the southerly sun was strong (see the shadows). Sepia brightens the brilliantly sunny, yet faded print appropriately.

This is around Christmas 1975, with six of the seven kids. The holiday snow is on the ground, no sun here. On the opposite side of the house, I chose a much lighter sepia edit. Since there was no sun to highlight, the choice to keep the glare muted and softens the look.

Christmas is a fine season by me, warm or cold, cloud or sun, frozen precip or none...Happy New Year to the sepia artists on Mary's great meme!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ruby Tuesday - Wii!

Ruby Tuesday seems appropriate these days, what with the season we are in. Our little rubies are quite big now. Yet the season of giving (and receiving) never grows old.

So these college age kids like gifts, electronic preferred. They look as happy as they do as Santa has given them the Nintendo Wii. Of course they are familiar with the device, but are thrilled to have one of their own.

As are mom and dad. They will be gone in January for a few months. As they say, well paraphrased: When the kids are away, the parents will play. Happy New Year to all participants in Mary's wonderfully fun meme!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday - Birthday girls

Shadow Shot Sunday is the place for the many interesting lighting effects. Hosted by Tracy at Hey Harriet in the sunny land of Oz, we look all about, inside and out for the obvious and/or elusive shadow.

This week we look at my favorite ladies, the lovely Patti (mom) and Allegra (daughter). Tuesday December 29 is a special day as they share the same birthday. Lady Allegra will turn 21, as always, a great kid. Her date of delivery was in1988, a week lake, but worth it, the perfect birthday gift to Patti.

Patti was born in the 20th Century, and that is all that I’ll say about that!

On the top, the firstborn arrived home on New Year's Day 1989. The shadow on the wall comes from the new mom admiring our new family member.

I took the first picture, but not the next two.

However, the light shadows complement the girls nicely as they were on a school trip to Paris awhile ago.

The beautiful spring day gives a warm shadows near the from the trees by the famous Champs-Élysées.

December 29 is a wonderful day, and the happiest of birthdays to these special ladies!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sepia Scenes - Tinseltown

Grandpa loved big Christmas Trees. He also loved tinsel on his big tree. And if he visited us on Christmas, he reserved the right to place the tinsel on our big tree (we always acceded - the grandkids loved to see Grandpa happily at work...)

Sepia Scenes is a great place to present a look at his big tinselly tree. The monochrome dulls the sheen a bit.

I think that we are in 1959 at their home on Oregon Avenue in Steubenville Ohio. There is Grandpa Ralph, Aunt Terry and Grandma Agnes dressed so nicely on this day. The print was color and washed out, so I went to B&W, converted to a light sepia. The era of the big tree looks just right here and the family is truly enjoying the holiday together...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ruby Tuesday - Holiday Heirlooms

Ruby Tuesday this week continues my nostalgic look at Christmas. The Christmas holiday is arriving quickly, and since this is a holiday for kids of all ages, we go back to Christmas morning 1993, with Allegra (almost 5) and Cameron (just turned 3). Santa was generous that season, and rubies are all around. A Radio Flyer wagon, a bowling set, a 'tool' kit, Snow White and the Dwarfs offer plenty of red.

Their sleepers also have a bit of ruby in their patterns. Let us not forget the Mickey ornament on the tree either. The two of them are happy and excited. The perfect family holiday!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New year in advance to all participants of Mary's always fun Ruby Tuesday!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday - Summer Wistfulness

The shadowy world is always in fashion at Hey Harriet's most excellent Shadow Shot Sunday.

We know that it is Summer in Queensland so it is warmer there than most of the US now. And with an approaching snowstorm that is poised to leave 12-16" (30-40 cm) or more by noon Sunday. So not only will it feel like Winter, it will look the part too. To prevent any seasonal blues, we can alter our psychology a bit.

We look to the summer on our patio instead. It is true that we want the warming sunshine now as we prepare for snow. Yet, we look for relief when the sun is strong, so the shadowy shade we seek.

The umbrella covers the table outside, and we luxuriate in shade on occasion. This day was in 2007, the patio was scrubbed down, the humidity was delightfully low, and the ambient temp was around 80°F (29°C). In all a delightful day to light a charcoal fire and burn cook food over the grille. And sit in the shade. and relax in the sun, with the snow to be later and we will deal with it then!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Looking at the Sky - November Fire

Tisha's Looking at the Sky allows the colors of the heavens to shine. Like here, the brilliance of the sky takes over the view, and we stare...

Perhaps it is the opaque condensation inside that we notice. Or perhaps the pastels. Maybe it is the brilliance of the sun peeking in at the window's edge.

All three work for me!

Given the date, I guess that it was a lot of 'warm' rain that left the moisture inside and a cold front that is passing. Since I do not know the specifics, the vivid colors outside this window will suffice for now...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sepia scenes - Soft Snow

Surrounding snow, a nice take for Mary's Sepia Scenes. Unlike my previous snowy shot in Utah, this is Ansonia a few years ago after a wet snow. Hard to shovel, but beautiful to look at in the backyard. It adheres nicely to the branches and growth along the fences. Maybe in the Spring we will hire someone with a brush cutter to trim the unsightly in Summer looking brush. But only after a Winter when the snow transforms the yard from weedy to lovely in snow...

Note to readers, I had much spam piled onto my posts recently. So I had to resort to word verification. For a few days to dissuade the spammers hawking their wares online...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ruby Tuesday - Wasatch Winter

Ruby Tuesday returns, the mere requirement being the inclusion of red. 

This week I am providing pictures from my brother Christopher. He and his family live north of Salt Lake City near the snowy Wasatch Mountains. 

Naturally, the winter is full of snow on the Salt Lake Basin. the wintery currents dropping frozen precipitation from the range nearby. Great skiing I am told! The University of Utah offers a fine ruby that stands out so nicely in this seasonal snow! Thanks Bro!

See rubies galore at Mary's fun site!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday - Chrome Shadows

From sunny Brisbane, Hey Harriet offers the meme Shadow Shot Sunday that is fun work that never tires us. We search for unique shadows almost incessantly, and without warning they appear, yet not always apparent at first glance.

Regular readers know I like old cars. Here the intrepid photographer sees a restored 1955 Ford Fairlane, resplendent in a rich burgundy paint. And with blindingly bright chrome that these old land yachts carried acres of. The shadow I am interested in is in the curvaceous rear bumper. The thin shadow follows the curb (kerb?) from the sidewalk over and up, following the edge of the shiny steel contour. Of course, the photographer leaves a shadow on the sidewalk - why not participate in this shadowy world, too??

The front bumper sits on the sunny side of the street, so the shadows are even less apparent. The most obvious one sits under the chassis, with the equally curvy contour replicating the 1955 stylish Ford arc. The more subtle one seems the be the reflection of (who else but?) me. In my 'chair, I seem to be surrounded by a snaky shadow created by the brilliant sunny orb in the background.

Yes, looking for shadows is a task we never tire of. See the great photo artists from all parts of the globe at this most fun meme!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Looking at the Sky - The Sky, The Bliss

Looking at the Sky gives us a reason to continue our look upward and onward.

Patti and I were at a wedding of one of Patti's newspaper colleagues a few years ago. The ceremony was held outside, at a facility along beautiful Candlewood Lake in Western Connecticut.

Low 70s temperatures and low humidity. The facility was super, the grounds well manicured and the string trio were wonderful accoutrements. 

But the sky, so blue with the fairest weather clouds portends the beginning of married life. We see the sky as symbolic of a beautiful relationship and life for the couple from this day forward...

See the heavenly views from all over at Tisha's fun meme!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sepia Scenes - Sepia Siblings

Sepia Scenes is a showcase of monochrome images. Perhaps seasonal sepias work for this week

Then let's go back to the year 1964. In those days, the growth of suburbia, in this case 115 Wickham Drive in East Hartford Connecticut.

The neighborhood, like so many then also included so many route drivers hawking and delivering their wares. The fast growing neighborhoods brought such goodies as potato chips in cannisters (Charles Chips), milk in glass bottles delivered from the long gone A.C. Petersen Farms, and in this case, photographers.

As I understand it, a route photographer came by looking to take family pictures for Christmas cards. My mother had to get all seven of us dressed and ready for the photo.

So the top item is the 1964 Villers family card. The card was done in a light sepia, the portrait itself in antique. The B&W print has aged so is not as brilliant as new. But the faded look is from the past, and sepia gives it the look of the past.

See sepia in its monochrome glory at Mary's site!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ruby Tuesday - Holiday Lunch

Ruby Tuesday arrives with the holiday season where ruby predominates and green is the usual accompaniment. Like last year, the non-profit that I work for had its Christmas luncheon at the wonderful Carmines Tuscan Grille in New Haven.

A fine restaurant with the Mediterranean iteration in its interior style, the decorations of the season are great, and I was to record some of the seasonal art. And as per custom, they are of a perspective that I uniquely can capture from my ride height. The tree is decorated not garishly but with restrained rubies.

The desert/wine case contains Santa, snowmen, sleds and holly. Replacing food with the seasonal customary art and color makes December look like it should, or like I think it ought to look...

The table decorations included Santa's sled, carrying a present for the nice, never the naughty...

The camaraderie was the focal point, of course. However the ruby motif was carried over to the food. From the bruschetta covered in tomatoes to the salad radicchio and tomato, there were red highlights. The pasta course was delicious with the Marinara sauce covering the nicely al-dente ziti...

My entrée is the final ruby. The choices included stuffed sole and a chicken roll-up which included gorgonzola and pine nuts. For a party menu, they were ambitious. I was the only one to choose the vegetarian entrée. Even though I usually choose a carnivore main course, this was wonderful. Grilled asparagus, eggplant, and zucchini covered the holiday green requirement, the roasted red pepper offers the December ruby. And it was excellent! A fun date for Patti and myself, good company paired with great food made for a fine time...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday - Tunnel visions

Shadow Shot Sunday is an always fun meme hosted by Hey Harriet. We often look for shadowy views in natural light, and they appear readily. With artificial lighting, the shadows can be illusory and indirect. Without specifically looking for them here, they appeared just like that. Here is a tunnel underneath the train tracks at the generally busy Union Station in New Haven Connecticut.

But on a Saturday, when the place is devoid of commuters, we note the details that the traveling public misses. The oval portal and the horizontal silver trim moves endlessly toward the far away light at the end of the tunnel.

This picture wasn’t staged, I merely pointed the device with the flash on, and pushed the button. The view is tilted as I supported the camera from the 'chair, and the eerie chartreuse glow appears on the bright trim. And shadows have resulted without trying. Artificial or natural light, shadows abound.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Looking at the Sky - Cold ground, warm sky

Last week was a busy Thanksgiving weekend, and I missed Tisa's fun Looking at the Sky. Happily I have returned, and this week is an autumnal view out the back window. The bare trees confer the cold look of the season. Yet the sky offers warm pastels, the soft colors adding a few degrees to the overall 'feel' of this picture. We know that it gets dark early with the freezing temperatures and cold breezes, so we all know the warmth has left us for awhile. Yet the view upstairs allows us the feeling that the warmth of the Spring will return again...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sepia Scenes - Spanning Sagamore

Sepia Scenes arrives again - and this monochrome meme softens the overall view. I think that this effect allows us to focus on shape and style detailing. It is a nice day as we cross the Cape Cod Canal on this elegantly styled cantilever Sagamore Bridge. Opened in 1935, the arched roadway climbs to 135 feet above the water. Here is crossing east, and the colors of sky blue and green banks are mute. So the uphill climb seems more pronounced by itself, the delicate vertical bars make us feel safe on the pavement. The large shadow of the structure on the road implies strength. The look down is deep, but we cross with the knowledge that the strength and builder's design assure us of a secure crossing. See sepia as an art medium in Mary's stylish meme...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ruby Tuesday - Vacation Vignette

Vacations and kids can make for satisfying Ruby Tuesday posts. So I have concluded, anyway...

On the left, we have Allegra in her (Pink Floyd) Roger Waters pose. The giant aviator sunglasses were a trademark of that artist along with the serious expression. It was just before our 2005 trip to the Cape. The aviators were mine, and even I have switched to much less noticeable eye protection these days. I guess we are seeing Allegra the rocker...

To the right, both kids are looking fine in front of the sailboats on the Harbor ("Habah" to the natives). Ruby wear is in view, and they were enjoying the Cape sun. Like I prefaced, ruby, kids and vacations are a perfect trifecta...