Blue Hour in the Catskills (Part 3)

I’ve been doing some evening rides. Not always staying out until blue hour, but I did on Tuesday. Blue hour rides can be kind of sketchy because of all the deer that are out that time of night. But I can take it easy on the throttle around here since the traffic situation is basically non-existent. I usually do on backroads anyway, since I’m still learning all of the routes up here. Saw plenty of deer Tuesday night, but no close calls.

I like this set a lot because even though I put a super warm wash on them, the blue hour vibe still comes through pretty strong (in my opinion anyway). These were all shot on my Fujifilm X100S. It is a nice lightweight piece with good glass and a long enough strap that I can sling it cross body and shoot from the saddle. Since I have to use my right hand for the shutter, I usually just pull the clutch and snap a couple of quick ones while the throttle is closed. Anyway, here is some stuff I saw Thursday evening.

Catskills Moths

Every morning there is a residual selection of moths grouped around the porch light that is left burning all night. I have been cataloguing them in crappy cell phone photos for several weeks. The other morning I finally got out a real camera and snapped these. There are a couple of shots in this set that appear to be duplicate species. But I liked each of these images for different reasons. Perhaps others will as well.

Blue Hour in the Catskills (Part 2)

Continuing with installment No. 2 of this series, here are some photos from Friday night. I’m pretty sure this is the last set I will post of images shot around the yard (don’t hold me to that). The top two photos in this post are my favorite from this set. In the top photo, I really like the contrast of the warm bokeh from the pathway lights next to the ethereal cool tones of the dandelion seeds.

I like the photo below for the super shallow depth of field. Normally I think it would be overkill on an image where the subject is so close. But when shooting after nightfall, there aren’t a lot of options other than to have the aperture wide open. It this case, it almost creates the sensation of being submerged in water. Further, I shot all of these at a much higher ISO that I would normally ever use. The resulting effect is a grainy look (often referred to as “noise”). Aside from photos shot on film, I’m generally not a fan of noise in my images. In this case, I feel like the texture actually adds something to the overall vibe of these images.

Blue Hour in the Catskills (Part 1)

People rave about photos taken during golden hour (also called “magic hour”) and for a good reason. They are beautiful. It is almost impossible to take a bad photo in golden hour light. And when you see a really good one, you can feel the warmth from it pouring straight into your soul.  The time of day that seems to take a back seat to golden hour in terms of photog popularity, is that of blue hour. I think that part of what makes both of these types of photos special (as is true with any really good photo) is the emotional reaction that they evoke in the viewer. Seeing a golden hour photo that has been done right, is like being wrapped in a fleece blanket that just came out of the dryer. For blue hour photos, the sensation is typically much different. Similar to the project I gave myself in April, I’m going to spend the month of June practicing blue light photography here in the Catskills. I won’t be posting every day, but hopefully a couple of times per week, depending on if I get anything worth sharing.

The shots in this post are a few that I took the other night. None of them are amazing, but I feel like they set the tone nicely. Here goes!

Isolationist Vibes (Cont’d [Cont’d])

The weather turned from snow and bare trees to mid-80s and full greenery in the span of about 10 days. I’m welcoming the warmer temps, even though it would have been nice to have a bit more gradual of a transition. Despite keeping very busy, there has been plenty of time for introspection. I’m starting to wonder if I don’t miss being around other people as much as I thought I did. One thing is for certain– I have a profound amount of gratitude for the good fortune I have encountered from the outset of these uncertain times. That’s not to say that I don’t still find things to complain about (I do). But I also realize that those banal annoyances are inconsequential compared to what they could be. For this, I am truly grateful.

I have also been lucky enough to get back on two wheels. I spent the majority of Memorial Day weekend exploring country roads. There isn’t really anything else that I find quite as satisfying this time of year. Here are a couple of snaps I took along the way:

May 2020 Playlist

[Photo: Britt]

In the words of Mike D. from Professor Booty: “I’ve been through many times in which I thought I might lose it; The only thing that saved me, has always been music”

Britt and Lola

The Subjects of this Post Hiking Through the Snow.

This is the final entry for my series about stuff that I brought with me into isolation. I saved the best for last. Even though Britt and Lola are not gear, they have certainly been the factor during all of this craziness that have made things bearable. Britt and I joked at the outset of this adventure that it would either make or break our relationship. I’m happy to report that she hasn’t dumped me yet. Transitioning from the inflatable mattress to a real one certainly aided the cause. In all seriousness, this has been an experience in team building like we have never experience with each other. I don’t often publicly share many details about our personal life, but I would be remiss to finish this series without nodding to Britt as the amazing partner that she is.

Burton Glove Liners

Burton glove liners are awesome.  As a person who prefers mittens over fingered gloves when participating in winter sports, I have found these glove liners to be nearly essential on very cold days. It enables one to remove the mitten while on a ski lift in order to shoot off a quick gram or two without getting frostbitten fingers. I also keep one of the heavier weight pairs (seen above) in my jacket pockets to use as commuter gloves. Back in the days of riding the subway, they kept my paws toasty and enabled me to be a strap hanger without having any actual skin contact with the strap. Both index fingers and thumbs are outfitted with touchscreen friendly material. Seeing how it has been snowing almost every day since we have been in the Catskills, I’m really glad to have brought these with me. A wintertime must-have, in my book.