"Pattern(s)" is the assigned category for next month's "salon" at my photo club. I really don't like that word "salon".  In my mind it's really a contest. Why don't we just call it that.

Anyway, I did enjoy going through my images two nights ago looking for recent mages showing a pattern.  Though the monthly categories are known a year in advance, I usually forget to have a list with me when out shooting.  Nevertheless, I did find some candidates in my library of images. None were taken with this category in mind, but they do fit the category. 

Last night I decided on the fifth (last) image below, and submitted it digitally to my club at the required slide show resolution of 1400 x 1050 pixels. 

Below are the five candidates I considered:

This is a closeup of a lawn owner's least favorite flower, the dandelion.  I could not submit this image because I had already submitted it a few months ago in another category, using the title Nature's Symmetry.

This scene taken at low tide shows a very nice pattern formed in the sand by little lapping waves as the tide receded.  I think it needs something more.  Perhaps a starfish sitting off to the side, or a little child sitting with a pail and shovel.

This scene is a mogel field at Mount Sunapee, NH.  It needs a skier or two skiing through the bumps.

I think this agricultural scene is a little flat.  It fits the category for sure, but I like the final image, below, better

Here the pattern is in the process of being completed.  There's more of a story to it because of the addition of the farmer and tractor, and the action of the grass being cut by the 13 foot New Holland model 1431 disc mower.


Last June: lobstermen plying the water off Cape Breton Island

These images of the Jason and Jeffrey were taken at about 5:30 in the morning from a bluff in Ingonish, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Lobster boats in NS will typically have three men aboard. You can see that in these pictures. As I understand it, with unemployment running high in Nova Scotia, captains are required to hire two additional lobstermen.  (Along the coast of Maine you will usually see just two men per boat.)

I watched this boat for quite a while as it worked its traps.  I very much enjoyed seeing the traditional wooden traps being used. 

The the harvesting process was one of pulling up a trap and circling while one man (blue jacket) removed the lobsters and a second man (tan jacket) dumped a new pot, freshly baited, after the boat completed its circle, at nearly the exact spot where the first trap was hauled.  The hauled trap was then rebaited and staged to replace the next pot hauled, and so on and so on.  Unfortunately my angle did not allow me to photography the pot being dumped, as it was always on the far side of the boat. Image #3 is the closest I got.

The following pictures were taken during a one minute period.  Actually, the difference between the first and last image is 58 seconds.  They indeed worked fast!

If you look closely at the wake in the water, you can see that the captain circled nearly twice during this short sequence... rapidly moving along the shoreline like a corkscrew.


Winter doldrums: Page 4: Way too much snow

In the last 11 days we've measured over 50" of new snow.  It all started on a Tuesday with 36".  My brother had actually flown into town from his home on the west coast for a little family reunion, and was planning to fly out on Tuesday afternoon.  That turned out to be an impossible task, as the airport began canceling flights on Monday evening in anticipation of the big storm, and a driving ban was imposed by the governor.  The bonus was that we had two more days together, plus we never lost electricity in spite of wind gusts near 50 miles per hour!

Now I hear that more snow is expected to begin tomorrow and to last four days.  It will be light, but total accumulation is likely to be 8"-16".

Below is a "portrait" of my brother's rental car during that first storm.  (The rental car company did provide him with a plastic window scraper, which made us laugh. Not only that, but it was in the trunk!)

Dark blue 2013 Nissan Maxima


Winter Doldrums: Page 3: Another Saturday Inside

The middle Saturday in January is reserved on my calendar for the annual Fly Fishing Show.  It is a three day event and I enjoy meeting old friends there. January is a good time for it, when many fisherman (unless they like ice fishing) are suffering from cabin fever.

As a photographer I have a great deal of fun.  I am completely inept at "street photography".  Every attempt I have made to improve my skills at candid shots of people on the streets has been met with more anxiety than the effort is worth.  I am so fearful that someone will spot me aiming a camera at them and, even worse, take exception to that.

But at the Fly Fishing Show, this is not a problem.  It is so busy with people excited about talking and looking, that I am simply not noticed. Of course, I make things easier on myself by leaving my flash at home, even though I know many images would be made better with it (i.e. get rid of those raccoon eyes caused by terrible ceiling lighting).

Plus it's a relatively safe place to be, as we are all of the same mind.  A funny story: I did have one fly tying demonstrator see me, and he actually took off his reading glasses so I could capture (what to him would be) a better picture!

So, if you would like to experience the fun of candid people pictures, go to a show. I'm thinking a flower show or car show would be good places to "get away with" aiming a camera at people without much stress or notice.

One disadvantage of the Fly Fishing Show is that most of the demonstrators, vendors, and participants were middle-aged men. (Hey, I fit right in.) There were very few women, though as you will see below I tried.

I used an Olympus E-M1 with a 35-100mm Panasonic zoom (70-200mm-equiv), generally wide open at F2.8.

Below are reduced-resolution images: