Saturday, July 30, 2016

Wild Center

You would think that in 9,375 square miles of (primarily) wilderness in the Adirondack Park, there would certainly be room for, but not a need for 2 major world-class museums. But two it is.

The Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake has been around for many years and is primarily focused on history. It is an impressive collection of buildings, each presenting an aspect of the park.

And the newer museum is a forty-five minute drive away in Tupper Lake.  The Wild Center is dedicated to natural sciences. It is equally impressive, with indoor exhibits as well as outdoor activities including the Wild Walk, an elevated trail across the treetops. Pictured above is the main entrance lobby that features a pond view. What is unique is the pond is almost level with the window sills allowing a near eye-level view of the waterfowl and turtles as they swim about.

Both museums are highly recommended.

View of the Adirondack High Peaks from the tree-tops.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Adirondack getaway

This year we were able to get away for a long weekend in the Adirondacks, staying at Blue Mountain Lake. I will have more to post this week.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Stone schoolhouse

This old schoolhouse was built in the mid-1800's but today it has been restored and tastefully enlarged to serve as a neighborhood bank office. I like to see history preserved this way while retaining the value of a solidly built and historic structure.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Corn flower

Of course this is not really a cornflower... but it is a sunflower that has somehow invaded a corn field.

In fact last season this was a sunflower field, and apparently this one plant has self-seeded itself.

Who needs conformity?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The HDR question

There are people that love HDR, and there are people who hate HDR.

I guess I place myself somewhere in the middle but closer to the dislike camp. On first seeing HDR it can be quite seductive: bright colors, over-the-top detail, seeing into the shadows, no blown highlights... and an almost surreal vision. Of course, like many things, a little can go a long way but people into HDR tend to go a lot longer than needed. There are some famous photographers who have created a personal empire based on their talents with HDR.

Generally I stay away from multi-exposure HDR but Lightroom now has built-in capability so I though would give it a try. Certainly not a great example, but it is fun to try different approaches realizing it is only a diversion, not a direction.

Of course, strictly speaking, I actually use a bit of HDR in most of my images by manipulating highlight and shadows using controls and curves. But that can be done without the full HDR give-away look. It is also possible to use multi-exposures and masking to obtain HDR, and that can be done very successfully.

Monday, July 11, 2016

International spectacle

All my life I have lived within 65 miles or so of Niagara Fall and have visited there dozens of times since I was little. However, over the last 10 or 20 years... not so much. I had occasion to again visit over the weekend and was surprised how much things have changed. No, the falls still look about the same, but what was different was the crowd that was doing the looking... I heard almost no English and I think the majority of tourists were oriental. Even the rain did not dissuade them.

Which I guess explains why there were so many Indian and Pakistani restaurants within walking distance... of course in addition to the obligatory Hard Rock Cafe.

On the dusky scene below, feel free to click for a larger version.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Standing guard

While waiting for the fireworks on the University of Buffalo North Campus, I walked down to Baird Point to have a closer look at the repurposed greek architecture. The ionic style columns are actually from a former Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Buffalo. Rather than heading to the landfill, a philanthropist with vision saw the value, and the "ruins" ended up here.

The actual podium was closed off to the public and a police officer in bullet-proof attire was watching over the crowd as were a number of his associates from various vantage points around the park and lake... signs of the time I guess.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Built in 1857

That's pretty old for this part of the world, at least for the Town of Webster. Back then Webster was only a teenager, having split from the town of Penfield only 17 years earlier.

And speaking of splitting, it is appropriate that the American flag is displayed as we celebrate our independence from England, and the birth of our United States of America.

To all my American friends, have a happy and safe 4th.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The shape of leaves

There must be a reason that most leaves have a ragged yet nearly symmetrical shape. Nature does not do things without purpose.