Category Archives: Travels

The Elements… 111/365

Elements... 111/365

I don’t do too many things like this…collage I think it is called…but after I was finished processing the images from Saturday, I noticed a bit of a pattern…other than they were all water drops on a leaf…they sort of represented all the elements…well the ones of old that is…

It had rained Friday night…a storm that was pretty close as I tied down the airplane and hurried to pack the bags into the car…and the next morning the yard was littered with leaves full of water droplets…

IMG_1974-Edit

This is a macro of some floor cover slash mossy plant hat is rampant in the yard…it is very soft despite its spiky appearance…I liked how upon closer inspection, the tips of the leaves are red…

Oshkosh At 3500 Feet… 112/365

Oshkosh At 3500 Feet... 112-365

The flight home, other than being a blast, was uneventful…we made our way south with the wind yet again at out tail, listening to the other aircraft around us…at various stages of landing patterns, approaches and departures…we even caught a “jumpers away” over East Troy airfield and could see over our right wing, the silhouette of the diver and parachute as they drifted to the earth again…sorry, no image that time, I did have to fly the thing on occasion…

Wind Farms.. 

South of Oshkosh is a huge expanse of wind generators…not that they generate wind, but rather electricity from the wind…somewhat creepy to me in their gargantuan size with impossibly huge blades slowly rotating…the chart showed nine…I think they ran out of ink…

In the interest of not getting too lengthy in post, I will leave it here tonight and post today’s image with tomorrows and then I am back on track gain…until tomorrow…

Thanks for Visiting…

Marginal VFR… 110/365

Marginal VFR... 110/365

This was the view from the side of the windscreen on out flight up to Eagle River this Friday…the scene is a rather deceptive one in that the clouds, while dark, were rather benign, there was no turbulence, in fact it was rather smooth, and although it was hazy and the light was falling, the visibility was still over 10 nautical miles…

I have Saturday’s and today’s images all set to go, but I am tired from the weekend and the flight home and will post a triple play including tomorrow night’s image.  I wanted to give all of you that visited while I was “on vacation” something for today, and rather than just slapping on the last three day’s work, I want to spend some time putting it all together nicely…

Marginal VFR... 110.5-365

Both of these images are straight from the camera with no processing…something I rarely do, but I thought it worked well with these..OK actually when I tried to process them, they started to look like crap, so in their own way they were telling me to lay off…so I did…

(By the way…the instrument panel only looks like it was a bouncy ride…the exposure was too long and I moved…a shot that I would normally throw away, but in this case there was something about it I liked…)

Thanks for Visiting…

New York, New York…

Intro…

This was my first visit to “The Big Apple” and while I was excited to visit our friends who live about an hour and a half north of there, I was a little apprehensive about going into the city itself.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am not very fond of large cities (even though I went to school in downtown Chicago), and have chosen to visit but not stay if I even visit at all.  I have to admit, though, that New York has quite an endearing property to it that I find less oppressive for a large city, a lot of that having to do with the landscape (and seascape) surrounding the city and the fact that to me it has a more settled feel to it…meaning that it has been around for so much longer than any of the other large cities I have visited and the inhabitants and scenery feels more “in place”.  That all may only mean something to me if it makes sense at all, but that being said, because of that “sense” I was not only less apprehensive about being there, I actually enjoyed it and dare I say felt comfortable there.  Call it the excitement of new scenery, but I was thoroughly impressed and would not mind going back there someday…not to live of course, lets not fly off the handle here.

 Manhattan

The plan for the day was to get to the city, visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and finish off the fourth with a birds-eye view of the fireworks display on the Hudson River…so as any with any trip in a new place…

Route 9 Inbound…

…We took the long way, following Route 9 and the Hudson River, stopping at a scenic overlook near West Point military base.  The cloud ceiling was right at the tops of the hills and appeared in places like smoke rising rather than the sky meeting the ground. 

 Overlook...61.5/365

We continued south, following the river as it led us through the small communities cut into the hillsides and forests including the home of the headless horseman…Sleepy Hollow…(as a foreword to the images following, I took them all from the front passenger seat of our trusty chariot…a 1987 GMC Safari Van…I think maybe one of the last ones on the road…)

Downtown Sleepy Hollow, NY

One can almost feel the history in the towns as we rolled through them

Into Sleepy Hollow...

A beautifully old cemetery that seemed to go on for miles in all directions…If we had the time I would have loved to stroll through it looking at the age of the monuments, but we had an agenda to follow so onward…

Heading into Downtown

The rolling hills begin to fade a bit and the small towns begin to grow and then suddenly you are in Yonkers in a flash that almost feels like someone threw a switch. A few stoplights later we were on a highway bordered by rocky channel walls on our way into the city…

IMG_9208

 

IMG_9195

Next up…on foot and on the water…

Thanks for Visiting…

Overnight in the Racine Zoo…

 Sunrise on Lake Michigan 

…See the whole set of images from the visit here…

Black and White Colobus Monkey… 97/365

Black and White Colobus Monkey (Colobus guereza)... 97/365

(Or Skunk Monkey s the scouts and their siblings liked to call them…A little bit about them here…)

That’s right, we spent the weekend on a camp out in the Racine Zoo with the rest of the scout pack.  After setting up camp, we went on a scavenger hunt through the Zoo looking for the answers to a list of questions handed to us by volunteers at the zoo and visiting the animals…after the scavenger hunt, we broke into groups and headed off to visit the zoo behind the scenes which included a visit to the lower level of the main building and also an opportunity to feed the Black Rhinoceros…after the after hours fun, we headed back to camp to make “enrichment” for the animals in the form of paper-mache balloons and painted cereal boxes and cardboard tubes (the enrichment comes from the fact that they will contain food for the animals as well as provide some fun after the food is gone)…  after the creative session, we created smores and drank hot chocolate and then tried to get the sugar rush to subside enough to maybe catch a couple of winks…all in all it was quite an experience and one worth looking into if you have a group that is looking for something to do one weekend…

Julie… 98/365

Julie... 98/365

On our first outing into the zoo (the scavenger hunt) we learned all about this little creature…Julie here is the oldest Patas Monkey in captivity in North America at 28 years old.  Her kind also claims fame for being the fastest monkey in the world with a run of about 34 MPH.  Unless told wither of these facts, one would never know it.  Of course it is hard to build up speed in a closed space, but she certainly did not act her natural age, running right up to the side of the exhibit as we approached to check us out…

Be sure to check out all of the images I uploaded from the trip…I will also be uploading them to my Smugmug account for the parents of the scouts and the scouts themselves to download from…just email me at jonosay@gmail.comand I will send you the link (in your email to me, make the subject line the name three of the women there shared (and one of the three it was her birthday as well) to verify that you were there)…for everyone else, just click on the link at the beginning of the post to go to my Flickr site and enjoy…

Thanks for visiting…

On a Sunday Afternoon Walk… 91/365

On a Sunday Afternoon Walk...

Of all the images I captured today, this one was the winner overall in the voting…OK so my wife was the only one voting but who am I to argue?

The image was pretty much good to go from the camera raw file, but I decided to add my special sauce to it as I normally do including a Lab color treatment to really pull the green out of the image. The Lab color process I used is outlined on the Flickr page and the Orton Effect technique I use will be outlined in a later post…just as soon as I figure it all out for myself…

On a Sunday Afternoon Walk...

 

On a Sunday Afternoon Walk...

These are  actually images of three different frogs in the same green water, just sitting there watching me and my daughter stand in the mud off the trail…

Limenitis Arthemis Arthemis

Earlier this morning, I went on a mini hike through the back yard and caught a decent one of a Limenitis Arthemis Astyanax…say that five times fast…the name of which I only know through exhaustive on-line research (OK so I spent about two minutes)…I am still looking for a more pronunciation friendly name for this one.  “Red Spotted Purple” is what I think it is, but even that feels a bit strange on the tongue.

And of course here are the gratuitous flower shots of the day…

Cone Flowers

Field of Black-Eyed Susans

All in all, this was a perfect weekend, the weather was great and I got to do a lot of playing…let’s hope that this is a great sign for the work week to come…

Thanks for visiting…

 

Severe Clear… 90/365

Severe Clear... 90/365

OK so maybe not entirely severe with the whispy clouds up there, but darn close. When I saw that the weather was going to be perfect, I rented the plane for the day and headed out to Platteville Municipal to have the $100 hamburger with my sister who lives close to there…dragged both the kids with me too…

Elevation 1024

The flight out was smooth as glass…the flight back…not so much, and I had a couple of green passengers as we plowed through some mild turbulence. Good news is, I still have all three of my air sickness bags so I chalk that one up as a successful flight too…

Death of a Salesman

On the drive home, I could not help but notice the irony in this image as the quintessential car lot salesman lay dead on the roof overlooking his inventory and seeming to reach out to the “Bank Asset Sale” sign…or maybe it’s just funny because it is…in any sense…

Thanks for visiting…

Catch Up Time…

At the rate I was going, I figured it would be best to just make one large post, otherwise, I would never get caught up, so here we go…

NY Sunset… 63/365

NY Sunset... 63/365

This is a three exposure HDR of the sunset as seen through the row of trees in the backyard of our friends house in New York.   It was yet another hazy, grey day, but the HDR brought out a sort of spectrum in the scene, and the processing using lab color in Photoshop further refined that.

In Search of… 63.5/365

In Search Of... 63.5/365

I mean no disrespect to anyone who feels otherwise, but these things were all around the yard, living under the shed, coming out to feed on the grass and run away when you so much as thought about them.  I am sure if I was as hunted by so many creatures as they are, I would be a little skittish too, but I now see why they are afraid of their own shadow,  They are Nature’s wuss.

Heart of the Black Dirt Region… 64/365

Heart of the Black Dirt Region... 64/365

Pine Island, New York.  Home to what has got to be the blackest dirt I have ever seen, and apparently the best soil to grow onions in as their field numbers rival that of corn fields in my neighborhood (Norther Illinois, Southern Wisconsin).  The soil is so coveted by many and so important to the local economy, there is a public official in charge of making sure none of it “walks” away during construction projects.

Into the Night We Drove… 65/365

Into the Night We Drove... 65/365

On our way home…

Annabelle… 66/365

Annabelle...66/365

Upon our arrival, the garden had a lot to show us, not the least of which were the huge poms of the Annabelle flowers in the front gardens.  This is merely a portion of one particularly large flower.  Beautiful they are, and without the strong perfume one would expect them to have…

Approaching… 67/365

Approaching... 67/365

The drive home from work and into the clouds I drive…

Poised… 68/365

Poised... 68/365

I started working on a contest shot for the Redbubble “Macro Untouched” group.  The theme this time around is “patterns” and I was trying to get a vanishing point macro of the chessboard fading into the horizon, but nothing seemed to be working very well for me, so I just shot how I felt instead and here it is…

Outreach… 69/365

Outreach... 69/365

Like those worms that live at the bottom of the ocean near the hot springs…that’s what this reminded me of, but I don’t think “Worms” would have made a good title to it…

That ought to do it…all up to date…

Thanks for visiting…

Statue of Liberty… 61/365

The Statue of Liberty... 61/365

My first visit to the big apple and Liberty Island since Microsoft’s Flight Simulator does not count.  I have to admit though, the statue seems a lot larger on TV and in the movies than in real life…Still an awe inspiring sight to stand at her base and absorb the history of Ellis Island.

Manhattan…

Manhattan 

Overlook… 61.5/365

Overlook...61.5/365

On the way to NYC, there was a scenic overlook we had to make a stop at.  This is a 3 exposure HDR of the view looking over the Hudson River.  I particularly liked the way the cloud dipped into the hills on the horizon.

Daisy… 62/365

Daisy... 62/365

The family we were staying with our east lived across the street from a forest preserve that had a little bit of everything…including poison ivy…no one was affected but there was some question for a couple of hours…

More to come, and I may even double back and add some more from the trip as I finish them even if they are not in chronological order with the image of the day ones…my game…my rules…so there, haha.

Thanks for visiting…

Panorama of a Small Town… 59/365

Panorama of a Small Town... 59/365

My apologies to Ashley, Ohio but your downtown does pretty much fit in one frame…

I am grossly behind in getting my images of the day posted as we were on vacation last week and while I was still shooting and processing, I took a bit of a vacation from the Internet as well, so they all have backed up a bit. I will be posting a couple a day until I am back up to date so as to not flood the works with a week’s worth of images all at once. If you are impatient, however, and would like to see them all now, they are all uploaded on my Flickr account for your viewing, but if you can wait, I will add a bit more description here as I post them…

Into PA… 60/365

Into PA... 60/365

While a lot more interesting than the first portion of the trip, Pennsylvania seemed to be a never ending ribbon of freeway of ascending and descending, downshifting and coasting, punctuated by the occasional city or town nestled into it’s hillsides.  This image pretty much stands for the quintessential view of the state on the route we took (pretend you are looking out the back window to get an idea of the ascending portion of the trip, haha).

Thanks for Visiting…

Saturday Afternoon… 20/365 and The Hodag… 21/365

Saturday Afternoon… 20/365

Saturday Afternoon... 20/365

You all get a two for one today as I was in the great white north this weekend and was not able to post there as the access to the Internet was rather limited.  I was able to get a couple of images uploaded to my flickr account through the use of my cell phone, but I have a feeling that probably cost about a small fortune…

“Saturday Afternoon” is a six exposure HDR of the view off the end of the dock at the cabin we stay at in Eagle River.  It was created using my normal methods with some Photoshop editing and layering to give the water more of a reflective quality.

 Lakeside Cabin

 Lakefront Cabin

This one is a six exposure as well with a lot of the sliders in Photomatix at the full max or full minimum settings to create a rather drastic HDR that almost resembles a pencil drawing that has been colorized.  Not my normal HDR and normally I do not particularly care for too drastic of an HDR, but in this case I liked how the texture was pulled out of the wood grain so there may be some use for this in other images to come…

 

Hodag… 21/365

Hodag... 21/365
On the way home, we had to make a pass by the famous Hodag sculpture in front of the tourist office in Rhindlander.  A little history about the beastie here.  This is a “drive-by” shooting that I did some layers multiplying and Orton Effect to not only to make the face and claw stand out more, but also to mask the blurring from being in a moving vehicle when I took the shot.  

Sleeping Fly

 Sleeping Fly

Last one for the night….while sitting next to the garden, shooting some of the flowers my wife and daughter planted today, I caught a sleeping fly resting on a dandelion stem.

Thanks for visiting…
 

Back From Vegas Part II

The Bellagio was one of my favorite subjects when I was out there as I like the classical layout of the hotel and grounds.  The water show is an attraction I could watch for about the entire trip and still not get tired of it.         

Vegas

   

No trip to the Las Vegas (or any area for me at least) would be complete without a trip to a national landmark.  Yet another place where I could have spent the entire day, but the tour bus guide was pretty adamant about leaving the tardy behind.

Hoover Dam

              

I have hundres more shots and will try to get them into a slide-show or something later on, but I think these do nicely for the time being. Thanks for visiting.

-James

Back From Vegas Part I.

Some pictures from the SEMA show and the strip in Las Vegas.  While I work in the automotive field, my interests are more on the technical side over the fascination with the art of the machine itself.  But even still, one has a hard time passing by $100,000+ vehicles without some appreciation for them.

SEMA Show

                         

This was my first visit to Vegas.  My coworker did a good job of pointing me in the right directions and I just followed the lights.  There were a couple to follow.

 More to come……….

-James