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Backlit Infrared Pine Tree.
Black Mountain, Vermont   

Gloucester, Massachusetts, 16 October 2020   The show is more and more set in stone. I've ordered small prints and frames, to be sold at very, almost dissappointingly, reasonable prices, coordinated publicity with my beloved gallerist (Martha Spak of the Martha Spak Gallery) and have identified the trio of big prints to set the tone. Black Mountain, above, is one, and it will hang beside Reaching Tree, below, in the entrance to (hopefully!) pull people in. I'm not going to go into great detail about the show here and now, though when it's been up two or three weeks I'll post a gallery on it. I will say that it's titled Invisible Light because it consists entirely of infrared photos, starting with these two, which are among the very first of my infrared photos to make my heart sing, with examples from all the years since, including a little still life I took a only couple of weeks ago.

Matted but not yet framed B&W photo on a table on the aft deck of a yacht.
Untitled   Here's an illustration I took with my cell phone while I was assembling the sample picture for Martha. As we're doing everything to cut costs, I told her I'd "cut my own mats, a skill I picked up a thousand years ago in college" which was a little disingenuous, since, while I can honestly say that I'd been taught the skill, it's a little less certain that I'd learned the skill. With the tools of the day it required real freehand precision, not my strong point. I'm happy to report that the last forty years have brought enormous progress in things like computers and cameras and hand mat cutters. The $23.85 Logan Mat Cutter is the most delightfully clever tool, making good results possible for the unskilled as long as they follow the process carefully. This was on the aft deck of the boat I live on, the best workbench available to me in good weather. If conditions are bad when I'm back in DC and have all the components I may have to sneak into the clubhouse to frame the rest of the show.

We'll hang the show on 4 November and it will come down on 30 November. In this Time of Plague the galley's open only on weekend afternoons, but I can open it by appointment other times for the interested. If you're in the Washington area please come by during the regular hours or contact me if you need a special viewing.


Backlit Infrared Flame Tree in the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.
Reaching Tree   

Washington DC, 9 October 2020   Well, yay! The show is on, at the Martha Spak Gallery at The Wharf in Washington DC, running from 4 November until the end of the month. With Covid, the gallery has regular hours only on weekends, but I'm hoping to get some time during the week when I can open it myself for the folks in the neighborhood. Details to be arranged over the next three weeks... The name of the show will be Invisible Light, like my first show in Kathmandu, but this time the photos will be all infrared shots. I'm really looking forward to seeing the work up again.

Reaching Tree, above, will be the keynote photo, along with Black Mountain, Vermont, both in the doorway. I'll hang a big Fewa Lake on the center island, and the rest of the show will small, framed photos. Small for me that is... The prints will be twelve by eighteen inches, framed eighteen by twenty four inches.

More as this rolls out! Once Gallerist Martha and I had agreed on presentation and pricing, I put in an order for frames, made a trip to Blick Art Materials for matts and bought them out of their entire stock of a particular weight and color of board. The frames arrived today... It should all come together in time, which is short...


Washington DC, 2 October 2020   No photo today, as I'm rather distracted. There is the bigger stuff, of course, but also I'm trying to put together a show proposal that will work for my prospective gallerist. It's an interesting balancing act between creating framed prints that are affordable, and putting up work that is technically good enough that I can be proud of it. And all dependant on materials I have to source, both from afar and from the local art store. Back to it, and more on this next week when this will have resolved one way or the other.



Moody Infrared Panorama of Cityscape at Dusk, with a Small Kite High Above.
Kathmandu Kite

Washington DC, 25 September 2020   There is a real chance that I might have a gallery show towards the end of the year. I'm cautiously very excited... To that end I put together a roster of images where I thought I had big, gallery-sized, prints for the gallerist, and then went to the storage cage below The Wharf buildings to take inventory and see what was truly available. I'd been sensible enough to label most of the boxes with their contents, but until then I had no separate written inventory I could refer to. In the process I got reacquainted with older favorites. This one hung in the Siddhartha Gallery in Katmandu just over a couple of years ago. I think it really captures the feel of a late afternoon in the fall in The Valley, as one calls the high alluvial bowl that contains greater Kathmandu.

Concerning the kite, I'll quote the caption from the entry in the show page on this site: "Kite flying is a seasonal thing in Nepal, something boys and men do in the fall, and so loosely associated with the festivals of Dasain and Tihar. As one looks over the cityscape of Kathmandu in the afternoon one can usually see a couple of dozen kites in the sky. There's only one here. These are South Asian fighting kites and the pilots compete to see who can cut the strings of their opponent's kites with the strings of their own kites. Perhaps this kite is the survivor of the afternoon's combat. The photo is a three frame stitched panorama." And infrared, of course! The hanging print is about six and a half feet long, and the string of the kite is clearly visible.

It's been an odd couple of weeks since the return to Washington. It's an unsettled season, between politics and Covid. Work on photography, work on boat, and look forward to more settled days!



Black and White Photo of Plants Through Window Screen.
Window Still Life

Washington DC, 18 September 2020    A window still life I took two and a half weeks ago in New England. Unlike most of my black and white images it isn't infrared, but a visible light color image rendered to black and white through the magic of Photoshop. There are black and white digital cameras, but they're rare and tend to the very expensive. So, I do what most photographers interested in monochrome these days do and start with the color image and process the color out. I do like black and white, which is a part of my pull to infrared. I'm also drawn to color that seems black and white, like the photo below, taken of a storm brought into New England on the periphey of a hurricane in late August. It's a completely natural color photo, straight from the camera.


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Pre-Storm Clouds   

We did indeed leave the dock below behind us, finally, and have the boat and home back to Washington as documented on Facebook. It's good to be home. It is also really good to be back in front of the big, bright, sharp, and accurated MultiSynch PA272W monitor! It's a tool that makes the work so much easier.




High Contrast Infrared Photo of Weathered Boards
Dock Abstract

Tracy's Landing, Maryland, 11 September 2020   I had really been hoping to have left this picturesque dock behind me when this post went up, but, alas, the final, necessary, part for the boat did not arrive yesterday so the boat remains in Tracy's Landing. Here's hoping for today!

The photo is an infrared shot of the dock where the boat has been kept for the last week. I have nearly identical shots in color. Not much color, because the weathered wood is fundamentally dark gray. The color and infrared photos don't actually look that different, but I still think the infrared version is better.

I'm going to go to a weekly schedule for posting here, starting today. So, no Monday blog. I'm not actually having that much trouble keeping up, or even having something to say, photographically, but I'm taking baby steps towards a more agressive online presence, and a weekly post right before the weekend seems like the way to go. That way I can plan a bit more, say a bit more, and perhaps be a little longer and meatier in my opinions about photography and art.


Infrared Photo of Tall Wetlands Grasses with Saillboat Masts Behind
Wetland at Herrington

Tracy's Landing, Maryland, 7 September 2020   A bit before dawn, on our boat, in the water. (I've taken to waking up early in my impending early middle age.) We've cleaned and straightened up, and our home is once again feeling quite homey after the months away and the coming and going of the mechanics. The salon carpet is likely ruined, but we didn't like that carpet anyway... Tomorrow the head mechanic and the head joiner will be on for (hopefully!) last work and we'll be ready to go after that.

Took the photo above yesterday while strolling through the marina. Opted against posting general marina photos because I've done that before (see the 31 July post) and against the more abstract plant portraits I taken in the last couple of days because I wanted to post something that gave more of a sense of this place.



Paired Suspension Bridges from the Roadway with Big Sky.
Delaware Memorial Bridge

Annapolis, Maryland, 4 September 2020   Disaster... Great trip down, as you can see from my phone shot of the bridge as we crossed the Delaware from the Jersey Turnpike to I-95. But once we got to the boatyard we found the boat still on the hard (out of the water, on blocks) with multiple critical assemblies not yet re-installed. along with dire warnings about the condition of other critical assemblies. Oy! A phone call on Wednesday would have kept us in Gloucester, and saved us a small fortune in temporary accomodation. Picking up the pieces...

P.S. Friday evening: Boat's in the water and mostly reassembled... We'd planned on leaving today, but that's off, and there was still some work to be done when we left the boat, so a weekend departure is off too. So, reconvene with the mechanic Tuesday morning, and I'll have to gather a crew to bring her home later in the week. (Julee works, and can't take the time...) That'll be harder in the Time of Plague, and it's all very messy, but we're on track, and we're in our rented digs and confortable.



Infrared Panorama of Fishing Port Basin with Seated Womand to the Right.
Saint Peter's Landing

Gloucester, Massachusetts, 31 August 2020   Elegiastic photo of one of the basins of Gloucester's Inner Harbor, a pretty good mash-up of a working port and a great tourist draw. It's a two frame infrared panorama. I think the schooner Thomas E. Lannon, under power in the left side, is a nice note.

Elegiastic because we're about to travel. Thursday (if all goes to plan) we'll be on the road to meet up with our boat in Deale, Maryland, and Friday we hope to be on the water on the first day of our floating home's return to Washington DC. I don't think it likely that I'll be able to post that day. (You've been warned...) I think I'm becoming more and more a civilian. As a diplomat (and for some years following) I would never have broadcast my movements in advance this way.

I have decided not to think of myself as a "summer person" in New England, but as the latest of a series of artists, like Winslow Homer and Edward Hopper who came to Gloucester, worked here, and took inspiration from this very interesting and picturegenic place. I'm really happy with the last months' work here, a lot of solid with some real high points. Not the work I expected to be doing this year, which involved travel and exploration, but I'm still happy with it! For the next bit, we'll be settling in to once again having two homes and being able to move back and forth. We'll be back here at least a couple of times this fall while battening down the hatches for winter in Washington. On the photographic side, printer Danny Chau is stretching my knowledge of Photoshop with his treatment of the Big Picture I talked about a few weeks ago. One could spend a lifetime walking the streets and back alleys of Photoshop...



Infrared Photo of Sidewalk and Weeds
Decorative Margin

Gloucester, Massachusetts, 28 August 2020   Another infrared photo of the weeds encountered on the afternoon walks with Julee. I'm struggling with the word "weeds" because some of these photos show the very intentional decorative plants that people have around their homes. In my mind there isn't a very clear dividing line, and in this very crowded little city there is a lot of mixing anyway. Here I suspect the grass was intentional, and the other plants are sneaking in.

The last couple of days have been finally gearing up the next upgrades on the website. I'm delving into the mysteries of Mailchimp so that I can run a professional mailing list and have links embedded in my site and my emails to allow people to subscribe (and to unsubscribe!). That's probably it for this round, since that's actually a fairly large bite for this entirely-self-trained-and-without-inate-skills web master. I really want to see if I can at least partially wean myself from the social media sites. I have control of this, and no control over my presentation on them...



Infrared Panorama of New England Cemetary with Houses in Background.
High Street Cemetery

Gloucester, Massachusetts, 24 August 2020   The afternoon walks have brought me a sunnier, wider (four frames stitched together), version of the Prospect Street Cemetery I posted in the gallery I posted after a really good couple of walks in the middle of last year. This cemetery has two names, apparently because the name of the street changed over time.

The walks have given me a lot of good images, and I'm not caught up, which is a pretty good feeling. This week, I'm going to be concentrating on the technical side, first, better control over my EOS-R color camera, which has a mind of it's own and probably has enough moxie to go head to head with the Cray supercomputers of my youth. Second, I'm working with my printer, Danny Chau, on The Big Picture of Kathmandu Durbar Square, and expect to learn a lot about post production in the process.



Infrared Photo of Highlighted Grassy Shrub Heads
Highlights

Gloucester, Massachusetts, 21 August 2020   The Pandemic continues to enforce a small world, so I continue to take most of my pictures within a short walk of the house in Gloucester, usually on the short walks that Julee and I take in the afternoons after she logs off after her day at work from home. I'll carry the infrared camera an groove on the weeds and the decorative plants in front of people's houses, and sometimes on the small cityscapes of Gloucester. This one is from the walk yesterday.



Infrared Panorama of Nordic Waterfront with Statue and New and Old Buildings
Peaceful Section, Helsinki Waterfront

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Gloucester, Massachusetts, 17 August 2020   

Statue of Peace by Essi Renvall   I'm returning to May, 2018, when we were in Helsinki for Julee's work. I've restitched and reshaped the panorama, and done a little Photoshop patching in corner so that it fills out the rectangle. I still feel an amateur with this kind of work, but I'm getting it done. Both shots infrared, of course, and the panorama is stitched up from five individual photos. The view is of the city waterfront towards the inner harbour. Behind on this walk was a fancy neighborhood, with the U.S. and Russian Embassies, a mild pilgramage for me as they figured large in Foreign Service folklore when I joined in 1989 and the Cold War was still pretty hot.

I wasn't able to make any sense of the odd and wonderful bronze of the floating mid-20th Century woman in her house dress (but barefoot!). There's an inscription in three languages I can't read (Finnish, Swedish, and Russian) so no help there. My Finnish friends didn't seem to want to talk about it, though when I pressed they admitted it had something to do with the relationship with Russia. When I really dug into identifying it this week, it was fairly hard to find. There are a number of more classical statues of women on that waterfront that are much better known and beloved! Persistance pays off, though. It's the Statue of Peace erected to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 1948 Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance between Finland and the Soviet Union which laid out the Cold War relationship between the two countries. Given the background I can see why it's a zone of quiet for the Finns... I'm a bit outside, so I can say that I really like the odd power of Essi Renvall's monumental image.




Infrared Photo of House Front and Peaked Roof.
On the Way to the Weeds

Gloucester, Massachusetts, 2020   Took this on while walking to railroad station to take the photos of the plants growing along the tracks, thus On the Way to the Weeds. It's the house on the corner of our street, very much in the style of most Gloucester houses. Little is new here, and nothing in our neighborhood, but all is loved and well used.



Strongly Backlit Infrared Photo of Weeds Growing Between Railroad Ties.
Trackweeds

Gloucester, Massachusetts, 10 August 2020   So, Saturday, we had what we call "Adult Dinner", and we walked back through the Gloucester train station on the way back from the ice cream parlor. Back in the day, when Kipling wrote Captains Courageous and Harvey Cheyne met his parents in their private railway car here, this railroad fanned out into what must have been a warehouse district. Today it's a single line of commuter rail running through Gloucester from Boston on to Rockport. It's not seeing any traffic this year, as the drawbridge that carries the rail to the island of Cape Ann is undergoing months of repairs and maintenance, and nature is taking over, as nature does. The weeds were wonderfully backlit, but I didn't have my infrared camera. But, home is near at hand, and once there I grabbed the machine and staggered back in my drunken chocolate ice cream haze, Ready to Make Art.

On last week's issue, how critical is critical? I'm not sure the "small" big monitor I'm using here is up to snuff. Not only pale, but the right side of the screen is (if you're looking carefully) darker than than the left side. I'm not sure the 25 inch version of this product is nearly as good as the 27 inch version from the same manufacture that I have on the boat. Work and analysis in progress!



Photo of Desktop With Printed Photo and the Same Photo on the Big Monitor
Untitled

Gloucester, Massachusetts, 7 August 2020   The next step in my exploration of photo processing for print and screen: A sudden test print ordered from a local lab, Adorama's Printique. (Hey, Brooklyn is local, even when you're a bit north of Boston, with quick turnaround in any case.) At Adorama/Printique when you order online you have the option of requesting "no adjustments". Normally a tech will look at your photo and make it better before sending it to the giant printing machine, but you can turn that off, although that will trigger a pop-up dialogue box where you have to swear you have a calibrated monitor and know what you're doing. Well, yes to the first, and a little necessary fudging on the second!

So, comparing the paper print on the actual wooden desktop with the image on the monitor... No real surprises. Hightlights are very similar, but the shadows on screen are fairly open on the monitor, and quite opaque on the print. (And, as before and what drove this whole exercise, open on my twenty-five inch NEC monitor, and opaque on the laptop screen...) Could the monitor be brought into confluence with the print? I suspect not, or at least not completely, though I also suspect that it could be bit closer. But, I may just need to keep records and adjust the shadows to where they look washed out on screen, knowing they'll print darker on paper. But I have to also consider that I need to have image files that look good on my website, on a fair array of computer, tablet, and phone screens. Oy! I've been a bit shielded from this by having a super master printer for my display prints, Danny Chau. He's been working at this continuously in a mindful way since he was a teenager, and it shows.

But I still really want to understand this, even if my prints are produced by someone who is already deeply knowledgeable and can just do it. It's an important part of the craft, especially for someone like me who is drawn to marginal light. And, of course, I love the details of the work, even while holding on to the fact that the display image is the real product.



Round Clock with Day of the Week Hand on Yellow Wall
Glosta Clock

Gloucester, Massachusetts, 3 August 2020   It's Monday... I know it's Monday because, as you can see, I have clock with a day-of-the-week hand.

For me it's been an odd start to the week. My FrankenMac crashed, and crashed completely, while I was reading the news at breakfast. Fortunately, it's Glosta, and I can make a desperate Monday morning phone call to The MacDaddy on Main Street, hand it over the curb at 11:00, and get it back complete with the intermediate repair at 3:30. Wow! I know they're busy, so I appreciate the close to instant turn around. Final repair later in the week when a pair of new 8gb memory modules arrive...

So, not the start to the week I was planning, with further work on The Big Picture and some Deep Thought on the issue of monitors, prints, color, tone, and calibration. Perhaps when the littlest hand points to "Tuesday"...



Infrared Panoramic Photograph of a River with Crowded Docks and Marinas on Each Side.
Tracys Creek Panorama

Gloucester, Massachusetts, 31 July 2020   Another version of the photo I posted on 17 July, which seems ages ago, and is not quite two weeks in the past. I prefered the earlier one because it showed the crowding a bit better, but Julee saw this one over my shoulder and reacted strongly, and the truth is, I really like it. So here it is... I've been a bit all over the place this week, with the house pulling me (but happy with the work accomplished) and other business distracting, along with my naturally low level of energy and tendency towards extended planning processes...

On the photo side I'm working on getting my colors and contrast right from the beginning, that is, first on screen, in a way I can actually predict what the prints will look like, because, in the end, I'm still thinking of the print as the final product. And it is! I want something that will look good on my wall, and on your wall. (Email for prices!) It's not simple, first in not being simple (this was true in the film and photo paper days too) and second because the baseline parameters for screen display and printing are very distinct. I've now got my displays toned down to emulate paper and they look very dull.

Finally, the technology behind the built in display on the FrankenMac is older and different and much more limited than that of the big external monitor, so it's hard to get them to match. The Mac screen uses a technology called Twisted Nematic, which sounds like it should be a heavy metal group... But I do much of my editing on the small screen, and it's more vibrant (less accurate?) than the big screen. This all came up big time with The Big Picture I posted on the 24th, so I'm in a zone of struggle as I continue to work on this.



Wide Infrared Photo of Forest Glade with Dappled Sunlight.
The Emerald Forest

Gloucester, Massachusetts, 27 July 2020   Just about a block from where we live here in Gloucester there is a patch of wild forest, unaccountably wedged between a residential street and a shopping complex. I've been mildly curious about it for a long time, but in the last couple of weeks it's really grabbed my attention. For one, it really is wild. It's not a park, it's not urban in any way, it's a little patch of wild forest. And, it began to look really photogenic to me.

So, this morning (Friday, 24 July) I took the infrared camera and went for A Walk on the Wild Side. (Cultural references: 1. and 2.) Once there, edged in a little bit across the soft accumulation of rotting leaves and twigs, edged out again, found an actual path, found the photo above (a three frame panorama, as often, a substitute for not carrying a wider lens) and explored right up to the path along the fence on the further edge, against the shopping complex. There, messy young people have found a private place to get drunk on beer, leaving the evidence behind, but aside from that the patch is remarkably clean. Retracing my steps back across I came out and was greeted by some neighbors washing their vehicle, so now I have a history and name.

The property was once a foundry making such things as anchors for the fishing fleet. I love foundries and hot metal work but they are environmently fraught. You can deal with it in ongoing operations, or clean up later. I suspect the business started before anyone thought of those issues, and when the foundry closed the site had to be razed to the ground and below, with everything, including a couple of feet of topsoil carried away. Then it was a brownfield and quite ugly, and then, with truly benign neglect, the forest grew up on it. Future use is still up in the air but my neighbor's household calls it The Emerald Forest, and I will too. They think of it as a real asset, which is absolutely correct, and organize cleanups. Next time I will join them!

I don't think you can argue that I was wrong about the forest being photogenic... I'm really pleased with this picture for a number of reasons, among them the fact I was able to pull it together so quickly and (dare I say?) with such assurance. I got home from an errand at 10:15am. Knowing I wanted bright morning sunlight I grabbed my camera and walked over. I took my pictures and conversed with my neighbors and was back in the house and had processed the raw image files and assembled the panorama in a bit over an hour. I had this photo ready to post at 11:28... Whao! I've learned a lot over the last ten years and I find myself very proud indeed. But still so much to learn... On the color side I truly wish I had Leah Gordon's post production skills, which awed me when I got her help with a difficult photo a couple of years ago in Haiti. They would truly help in balancing out the tones and colors in the picture below. Nothing for it but to study, to experiment, and learn.



Very Wide Panorama of Traditional Nepali City Center with Vibrant Daily Life and Earthquake Damage.
The Big Picture, Kathmandu Durbar Square, 17 December 2016  (work in progress!)

Gloucester, Massachusetts, 24 July 2020   Well! My first week "at work" has paid off. When I sat down at my desk at 8:00am on Monday, this is the photo I picked to work on. It's a complex panorama taken of Kathmandu Durbar Square a sunny afternoon not quite four years ago. The Historical Photography Laureate of Nepal , Kiran Chitrakar, invited me out in his neighborhood, and took me to one of his secret vantage points whence I took this photograph.

That afternoon was a bit over a couple of years after the April 2015 earthquake, and this city/kingdom central square is still pretty beat up. Of the three major durbar (palace) squares in the Kathmandu Valley this one took the most damage and was the last to rebuild. I love these squares because they're major World Heritage Site tourist draws, dripping with history, and also the vibrant centers of comtemporary neighborhoods full of ordinary people going about their business. I was really lucky to live a couple of blocks off of Patan Durbar Square to the south the last couple of years in Nepal. I walked across the square every day and had to explain myself every time. Being European in appearance the guards assumed I should be paying the admission charged to tourists. It was lucky I spoke a rough grade of Nepali and could talk my way through...

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On the technical side, this is a twenty frame double row panorama, one row of overlapping pictures across the top, a second row across the bottom. It covers a full 180° from side to side, and, as you can see, is very large image containing a lot of detail. As I was working on it I felt like I got to know the people and bond with them. This young woman definitely has someplace to go! There is a boy on his bike, a man on his phone, and many, many, groups hanging out this weekend afternoon. This picture taught me a lot, most importantly to make every effort not to pan diagonally, that is to tilt up or down as one sweeps the camera from one side to the other. That makes creating a rectangular image so much more difficult, and, even if successful, leaves perspective artifacts. Also, this photo helped push me to commercial panorama software. The open source software Hugin is awsome, and I owe it a lot, but it has trouble with highlights, masking is very hard, and it takes all night to stitch a photo this big. €149 for PTGui, and well worth it!


I've talked about the issues of these big urban panoramas in this blog before, here, and here when I was working on the nearly as big and equally complex panorama of the Marché Croix des Bosales in Haiti. Many of the same issues, including connecting with the people in the crowd! I honestly don't think I could have brought this one together without the lessons and experience of that one. I'm going to ignore the three minor mistitches on the building fronts (don't look, you will never find them at this web resolution) and call the image done on that side. It still needs some work, but in the realm of balancing lights, darks, and colors for printing and different screens. Another issue for another day!



Infrared Photo of Curbside Plants with Field of Focus.
Ornamental

Gloucester, Massachussetts, 20 July 2020   A bit of an experiment, as I'm not sure how this photo will play on my site, displayed small enough to view on a computer screen or even smaller on a phone or tablet. Often one uses light and shadow to draw the viewer's eye into the image, generally to the center of the frame. Here, the focus is literally focus. The center is sharp, and the focus falls off towards the edges. Interesting... It's not the way I generally think of making photos, being an Group f/64 accolyte, but it's valid, especially if it works!


Infrared Photo of Brutally Textural Rocks at the Water's Edge.
Tidal Rocks   Three photos from another great afternoon walk in Glosta - sorry, Gloucester! This one is from Stacy Esplanade, looking down at the shoreline, rather than up at the outer harbor.


Stark Infrared Photo of Small Apartment Building with Balcony and Plants.
Myrtle Square Apartment   And this one is from the second to the last corner before we got home. I'd always thought this was Myrtle Street but I do fact check before I post, and it's Myrtle Square.

I've gone back to work. Not in the sense of getting a job, but the last months of weirdness and uncertainty have messed up my focus. I'm getting things done, but not necessarily the most important things in the right order, and it feels disordered. I think it's best if I set aside a period of the day to sit at my desk and do the most important things, which I define as photography and writing. This website and blog are both, of course. So, eight to noon, which leaves plenty of time for other important things, like working on the homes and shopping...



Infrared Photo of Small River with Many Pleasure Craft Docked on Either Side.
Tracys Creek, Maryland

In Transit, 17 July 2020   Well, it is obvious what they do around Tracys Creek... Made a lightning visit to the boat on the hard and talked to the various craftsmen who are or have been working to make her ready for prime time again, and now a hopeful date certain to have our Washington home back in the water and home in Washington at the end of August. I took panoramas from both sides of the bridge, and they're fine, but I think this single frame image actually captures the feel and interest of this boat commmunity better.

Currently on the long run up the Northeast Corridor... No trains or buses in this Time of Plague. Just me, my metal box on wheels, and highway I-95.



Street, Cars, and the Back of the Fisherman's Memorial, Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Smart Car

Gloucester, Massachusetts, 13 July 2020   An odd day. We're still in the midst of the pandemic but I've now had two or three good walks with the infrared camera, and feel like I'm returning to the photographic groove, though the non-photographic things are as distracting as ever!

One can't avoid the Fisherman's Memorial if you're photographing here. It's very much the iconic symbol of the City of Gloucester, installed on the waterfront in 1925 to commemorate the 400th aniversary of the first (unsuccessful!) settling of the area by Europeans. When Salem, a bit to the south, was settled three years after Gloucester the survivors immediately decamped to it. But the area was resettled by Europeans by the 1640s and Gloucester has been A Place ever since. Fishing remains a dangerous occupation, but when the memorial went up there was living memory of years when scores of fishermen had been lost at sea in a single season.

This is the view from the back of the statue, which faces out to sea, from the other side of Western Avenue and Stacy Boulevard. How could you not love a street that has one name westbound and another name eastbound? And how could you not love this delightful road and esplanade? The photo is a two frame vertical panorama in infrared. A panorama because I didn't have the wide angle lens, but I've now been shooting wide angle photos with this cheat so long that it's easier than carrying the extra lens, and much easier than swapping lenses mid-walk. See below! I waited for the motorcyclists to come into the picture...



Long Infrared Photo of Sea Grass with Groove.
Salt Wetland Grass

Gloucester, Massachusetts, 10 July 2020   We are (carefully, and with social distance) getting out. Earlier in the week I went to Gloucester Marina to explore the possibility of putting my little inflatable boat in the water. Saw the light on the surrounding wetland and made plans for return. The sun was out yesterday, so I grabbed the big cameras and made the trip. It was different... The tide was in, instead of out, and I really didn't expect much, but I'm very happy with this one (a three frame panorama, in lieu of wide angle lens, and infrared, of course) and a scattering of others I captured. Later that day I took the infrared camera with me when I went walking with Julee, and am very happy with some of those photos too. A good day!


Gloucester, Massachusetts, 6 July 2020   Busy today, though as I write this I haven't gotten out of bed. Will now, though!

Breakfasted and busy! Some photo, much other stuff. I'll check back in on Friday...



Dramatic Shadows, Lace Curtains, Window, and Edge of Armchair Back.
Glosta Gothic

Gloucester, Massachusetts, 3 July 2020   I've been mostly indoors, so my pictures continue to be mostly indoors too. Generally of windows, because that's where the light is. I'm still allowed... A very few, like this one, stand out a bit. Meanwhile, great progress is being made on such things as finalizing our income tax return (deadline delayed due to Covid) and writing out a fairly large check to the IRS. Unpacking and putting away is going great guns, along with consolidating those boxes and things not to be unpacked just yet. Rooms that were full of boxes and their exploded former contents are either back to normal or looking much emptier. Next week I think we'll be re-stabilized with one room for storage, and fully available guest rooms. But when will the pandemic allow us to have guests again?

Unlike the southern and western states, Massachesetts is doing pretty well with the Covid-19. But the numbers of new cases, although low, 53 yesterday , is not zero. That being the case I think Gloucester is pretty crowded this 4th of July weekend. By the standards of a normal year, not at all, of course! Most people seem to be pretty careful... But I do want to shout at a few "Wear your mask!" and at a larger number "Wear your mask properly!" The pandemic is the background to everything these days...



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