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!

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.

Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor 1980-1983 by Tim Lawrence

I first discovered this book from the Benji B. radio show on BBC Radio 1. I guess the author, Tim Lawrence and crew put together an LP compilation of the music that is part of the subject matter in this book. Benji played a bunch of tracks from the compilation (which were awesome) and talked up the book enough that I had to check it out. I still haven’t finished “Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor 1980-1983” yet. But I’m enjoying every chapter. If you are a sucker for NYC’s cultural history like I am, I would definitely recommend this book, whether you are a music fan or not.

Muji House Slippers

Some of Japan’s Finest Slippers, Together with the Author’s Veiny Scarred up Ankles.

First of all, everything Muji is awesome. Britt got us matching pairs of these for like $4 each. I was never the type to wear slippers around the house until these ones came along. They were one of the last items to go into the duffel when we were packing to get out of dodge. Man, am I glad I brought ’em.

Garmin 645 Music


I have had a few different GPS running watches. One was powered by Tomtom. The rest were all Garmin. This is my favorite, to date. I picked it up last year on Prime day when Amazon had it for like 50% off. The beauty of the Garmin 645 Music, is that it pairs with bluetooth headphones and I can listen to my Spotify playlists without having to bring a phone with me. This is also the first Garmin that I have owned with a built in heart monitor. Heart rate has been a fun new metric to track. The watch has all of the regular smart watch functions as well for those who want to get alerts on their watch, count steps, etc..

As far as the GPS system is concerned, it works the best of any that I’ve owned. When I have GLONASS enabled (this allows it to talk to the Russian satellites as well the GPS satellites), I rarely have to wait more than a couple of seconds for the GPS to link up when I start an activity. I use it predominantly for running. But when I was recovering from surgery I used it on the bike quite a bit. It has also been fun to wear on some hikes that we have done here in the Catskills. The only drawback is that the battery life is not great compared to other models I’ve used. But I don’t mind charging every couple of days, so whatev. It is an awesome device that I have really enjoyed using.

BR Chinos

The Author in One of His Daddest Getups | Photo: Britt

Business casual gets a bad rap for being boring, and rightly so. Boring or not, I find nicely fitting khakis to be much more comfortable than jeans. This was part of the reason that I brought these along with me. I would get sick of wearing jeans every day, and unfortunately it has not warmed up enough yet to wear shorts (other than when running). At this juncture I still have too much self respect to wear sweat pants all day (except for those days when I have been sick). Not ruling out the possibility that could change in the near future if current status quo persists.

They are super boring pants, for sure, especially when paired with dad shoes like in the photo above. They do look pretty decent with boots though. I don’t have any special affinity for Banana Republic, but they do seem to be what I usually buy. It is mostly because I know exactly how their various cuts fit me without having to try them on. Also, the perpetual 40% “discount” makes them the right price for a person who goes through as many pairs of chinos as I do.