White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A House on the Bluff, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA




I wonder when I see a property like this whether the dreamer or builder envisioned such grandeur when he/she thought about how it would look when finished. Would it gracefully and regally stand overlooking the bay? Would the trees be in the right place? Would it look like a family home that drew multiple generations to an annual summer pilgrimage to sleep on the floors and fill every nook with running, laughing, and shrieking children? It makes me want to write a bad novel..........and a bad novel starts with a bad sentence.

And bad sentences remind me of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest: “It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” That sentence was written in the 1830 fiction by the contest's namesake.

The tongue-in-cheek contest challenges entrants to compose bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. The following is a link to the 2016 winners. There are some true gems!

(Panorama - click on image to view in higher resolution).


Friday, December 30, 2016

Beach Walk, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA



Winter sometimes brings dramatic clouds to Manomet.  The batch that appeared today strikes  me as somewhat foreboding. (Panorama - click image to view full screen).



I wonder who this sign is for? I've always believed that people who litter, don't respect the planet and will litter regardless of signage. On the other hand, people who don't litter, don't need a sign to tell them. Ergo, the sign likely serves no useful purpose except to clutter the view. If there must be a sign, I'd rather it said, "enjoy this beautiful place." Just my unsolicited opinion.......


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Two Guitars, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA



Two guitars walk into a bar and one says to the other, "hey, you're not stringin' me along are you?"

I love these colors and contrast! The initial regular image was processed using the Prisma app to come up with this version.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Long Shadows, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA



My favorite local tree model was looking stellar on this morning in the early light. (Early being relative on a retiree clock - it was captured about 10:30 in the morning). Normal color and processing.



A black and white version with a little infrared processing added which lightens the greens and shadows.



Lastly, a black and white version with some pen and ink effect and high contrast processing added to darken the greens and shadows. I think any of the three would make a decent cover for a spooky book.


Monday, December 26, 2016

Out and About, Downtown, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA



The National Monument to the Forefathers in Plymouth was formerly known as the Pilgrim Monument. It was opened in August 1889.

These two images are one of the four seated granite figures that encircle the standing figure of "Faith." It looks delightfully dramatic when overexposed on a cloudy day.



Note how simply the eyeball and pupil were fashioned. Yet, it still creates the illusion of great depth and realism.



This brick walkway goes to the top of Burial Hill in downtown Plymouth. I love walking on the curved, scooped bricks that have settled into place over the past years.



Graffiti is not common in Plymouth but, this display off the beaten path has been here for a while. I'm not exactly sure what it means but, it looks pretty cool to me.



The golden dome on the Post Office building in downtown Plymouth is visible against the background of Plymouth Harbor and Rocky Hill on this gray day. We don't see many gold domes around here. It has been a mild winter season so far - no appreciable snow/ice and few days with bitter cold - but it is only December........


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Danger in the Woods, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA



I expected it to be just a regular walk. There had been a dusting of snow but it had quickly melted on most surfaces except...........



....not so quickly on the unpaved roads and shady yards.



Thus, my surprise that it was apparently enough snow to bring out another hungry critter from the wilds and woods of Manomet to prey upon an unsuspecting tourist. I can tell it's a tourist because she is not dressed appropriately for the location and weather. Seldom a dull moment in winter in Manomet


Friday, December 23, 2016

Long Shadows, Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA



Burial Hill in downtown Plymouth has served as a final resting place since the 17th century. In late afternoon in winter, the long shadows make for dramatic images - especially in black and white with just a few touches of color.



The strategically located hill overlooking Plymouth harbor served initially as the site for a fort shortly after the Pilgrims took up home in Plymouth in 1620. 


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Red, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA



'Tis the season for lots of red.



Or, just a little bit of red.

As shown above, very few working boats remain in Plymouth Harbor as the cold of winter approaches. But the good news is, the days are getting longer starting today!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Evolution of an Image, Scituate Lighthouse, Scituate, Massachusetts, USA



I didn't plan to go to Scituate today but, I had a spare hour, I was in the general area, the sky was glorious and I thought that maybe I could find a great image. As I approached the curve of the bay with the lighthouse at the far side of the arc, I knew there was a great image there hiding in plain sight - I just had to find it - the game is on.



My last visit here had been in warm weather and I had lucked out then with the serendipitous appearance of a woman in a colorfull dress to use as a subject. Not so today - it was cold and windy - nobody out and about except me.



This is a good angle but, the shady side is not quite what I had in mind although the red ribbon on the wreath was a welcome subject element.



The sun flare is a nice touch but, still not quite right.



I definitely like this sunny side view better but still, not quite right. The regular houses in the background are not desirable elements to me today.



Even by making the lighthouse whiter and brighter it is still not what I want.



I think I will focus here. This angle view has full light on the lighthouse, is not cluttered with other houses, but at first glance, it is somewhat flat and not strongly interesting.



Stepping back a bit, the flagpole without a flag is not good but I like the extra visual reach uncluttered on that side of the light keeper's house. I think I will try..........



.......bending the horizon with my super-human powers............



......then remove the flagpole and saturate the blue color in the sky a touch more......



....and lastly, add a texture overlay and vignette. Eureka! I like it. Creative photographic mission accomplished - and best of all was being outdoors in the bright sunshine - always a winner in beautiful southeast Massachusetts.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Closed for the Winter, Bartlett Pond, White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA



Like hundreds of small seasonal cottages throughout the northeast United States, this little place is closed for the winter - pipes drained, fridge emptied, beds stripped, electrical power off, liquids removed - hoping neither the weather nor the critters gain access in the winter cold months ahead. It's a pretty spot on the planet. And yes, that's Shadowman faintly visible in the lower right corner. He was following me that day. (Click image for full screen, higher resolution version).


Friday, December 16, 2016

Windy and Cold, White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA



In the distance, the mostly oak forest on Manomet Hill has shed its leaves and is peppered with the spikes of green pines. In the foreground, a deserted White Horse Beach enjoys a strong surf on a windy and cold day.



White Horse Beach in the foreground, Priscilla Beach in the distance.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Benches, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA



This bench occupies a beautiful spot on the planet. But it seems flatly two-dimensional by itself. It needs more context.



That's it in the center foreground. Now it's just a simple piece of wood near a storybook New England coastal home.



And farther along the bluff, these three benches are sitting in a row.



Nearby, another classic New England house stands in the sunshine.

Sitting on a bench can magically mark time as an extraordinary moment. I think that's why I see a lot of old people sitting on benches in the warm sunshine - they've spent a lifetime finding out that "benchtime" is an important component of "lifetime." It is a period of time to stop moving, sit down, and just BE for a few moments and simply enjoy the warm sunshine. It's worth noting that dogs and cats mastered the sitting in the warm sunshine concept very early in their lives. Hmmmmm.



Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tree Shadows, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA



Morning light this time of year creates great long shadows when the trees are bare of leaves and the sun angle is low. This view is pretty much right out of the camera. In my mind it is a quintessential southeastern New England view.

I wanted to manipulate it........



......by eliminating all color and applying an infrared filter to lighten the greenery and roadway.



Another version with just black and white and increased contrast.

This is a good illustration of the magic of photography - the ability to freeze a moment in time - in our ever-increasing pace of life,  I can make time stop moving and examine a piece of it at leisure - the light, shadow, color, angle, composition, expression, and, I can change some of those attributes if I want to. Stopping time is a powerful tool and god-like power.  All that from photography!


Monday, December 12, 2016

Reflections After the Rain, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA


We had quite a rainstorm during the evening previous to this photo and the resulting clogged storm drain afforded me a great image opportunity for reflections.

I am drawn to reflections, especially those generated by random puddles - must be a holdover from childhood - playing in puddles - floating little rafts made of popsicle sticks with an occasional captured insect as captain and crew.

Here are a few puddle images in recent years from Lucca, Italy and from Provincetown, Massachusetts.


Farther along the road, another puddle, another opportunity. Hmmmm, I wonder if there are any popsicle sticks somewhere in a dark corner of the basement?................


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Fresh Morning Light, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA



If the sky is bright blue, I'd prefer to walk in the morning. On this day, the world is freshly scrubbed clean after an overnight rainstorm, the raindrops still beaded up on this hand-lettered cardboard sign. I think the sign pertains to what the bees make rather than to a spouse/significant other.



The leaves are mostly down now which allows the early morning rays of sunshine to slice through the woods. And oddly, the grass is still very green in many places.



And so is the "green grout'" on these walkway stone bricks.



A quiet Manomet lane in the morning light.



And speaking of light, here's another of Manomet's many lighthouses. If I was clever enough, I would pose Ellie May, the resident Jack Russell terrier, right next to her lighthouse above. The juxtaposition of large scale small dog next to small scale large lighthouse could be fun. Maybe if she was dressed as a one-eyed pirate...........arrrgh  or, perhaps in blue jean shorts and a bandana like her namesake. (For the astute observer, the "mountains" on the distant horizon are actually a low cloud deck along the upraised arm of Cape Cod).

Pretty place, Manomet.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Fall Holdout, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA



I keep thinking that fall color is done for the year and then, I'll suddenly come upon a lone bush like this one. What a pleasant surprise. The undulating road stretching into the distance is also a nice element in this image. So, what life lesson can I derive from this bush?  How about, it is often not too late to experience something that wasn't expected. Yeah, that's a good one.


Friday, December 9, 2016

Lights of Hope Luminaria Display, Plimoth Grist Mill, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA



After the recent Christmas Tree Lighting and Winter Lights 5K race in downtown Plymouth, I wandered nearby to the Plimouth Grist Mill (yes, it is spelled with an "i") to see the lights and luminaria. I experimented with a few different processing effects in the following images.

The original mill, formerly the Jenny Grist Mill, was built on this site in 1636.  The current mill was built in 1970 on the same location. The Plimoth Grist Mill is a working mill that uses water power to mill organic corn into cornmeal on 200-year old French Buhr millstones.



Base image.



Color removed, contrast added, a touch of shadow lightening applied.



Color removed, infrared highlight added, diagonal graphic pen effect added.



Base image.



Lens flare added.



Color removed, shadows lightened, diagonal graphic pen effect added.



Base image.



Color removed.



Color removed, shadows lightened, vertical graphic pen effect added.

Handheld point-and-shoots are always a challenge in near darkness but, it is fun to try. (Shutter 1/125, f/1.8, ISO 12800).