Monday, October 11, 2010

Calling a Distant Animal

Here it is once again this one note
from a string of longing

tightened suddenly from both ends
and held for plucking

tone torn out of one birdsong
though that bird

by now may be
where a call cannot

follow it
the same note goes on calling

across space and is heard now
in the old night and known there

a silence recognized
by the silence it calls to

~W.S. Merwin

The photograph above was taken during an outing I made alone to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Maryland.  Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, located 12 miles south of Cambridge, Maryland, was established in 1933 as a refuge for migratory waterfowl. The refuge includes more than 27,000 acres, composed mainly of rich tidal marsh characterized by fluctuating water levels and variable salinity. Other habitat types include freshwater ponds, mixed evergreen and deciduous forests, and small amounts of cropland and managed impoundments that are seasonally flooded for waterfowl use. The Refuge has walking and driving trails.  I was lucky enough to capture this blue heron, as well as some ospreys.  It was a great way to spend the afternoon.

Birdhouse - Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge - Still Pond Photography
Marsh - Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge - Still Pond Photography

The photos have been sitting on my hard drive for several months.  I don't have a telephoto lens and this makes getting good photos of wildlife very difficult.  I used my 55-250mm lens for these photos; however, it still doesn't capture the details very well.  For the blue heron at the top, I played around with layers in photoshop adding a little motion blur at the edges and throwing on a couple of textures.  I feel that it gives the photo a painterly effect - which makes it a more "artsy" type of photo rather than a good wildlife shot.  

Osprey feeding baby - Still Pond Photography

I have been reading The Shadow of Sirius by the Library of Congress's seventeenth Poet Laureate, W. S. Merwin.  It is a wonderful collection of a multitude of poems which explore the mysteries of light, darkness, temporality and eternity.  The words are so meaningful and thought provoking. I enjoy thinking about the
words when paired with my photography.  I have always been a "challenged" writer, so to have these remarkable words coupled with image is another form of interpretation.

The Shadow of Sirius    Migration: New & Selected Poems

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hearing the Light

"Hearing the light" is a phenomenon that occurs on an intuitive level when you feel that the photographic image is right and that the moment has come to record it... Invariably, a moment arrives when everything feels right; when the image sings. I hear the light and then proceed to record the image."
~Wayne Rowe (Zen and the Magic of Photography)

Zen and the Magic of Photography: Learning to See and to Be through Photography

I am enjoying reading and contemplating on Wayne Rowe's book, Zen and the Magic of Photography.  Mr. Rowe has put into words the way that I feel about photography.  The first part of the book discusses experiencing Zen through photography and photography through Zen.  Mr. Rowe believes that if one is drawn into the light, one will then focus better and become more open and aware to one's surroundings.

"Open yourself to the light, images and reality around you."

"Experiencing real moments will lead you to a culminating moment of satori - a moment when you hear the light; the image sings ; and form, content, and feeling are one."

"looking with the capacity to feel"

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rainy Day Pleasures

My creation

Rainy     days            
are                     for
                                cooking             joy    
and finding pretty new things to look at...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

the view from here

the view from here, originally uploaded by poketypatch.
I was driving along our country roads and the tops of these silos popped out at me as they were reflecting the bright sunlight in a sea of green. The silos are several stories high and are used to story grain. The green is actually corn which is about 7 feet tall. I actually had to drive a ways until I got to a spot along the road where you could actually get a good view of the tops of the silos. The corn is so tall this year that it was hard to find the right spot. I took this photo with my 55-250mm lens whilst parked on the side of the road.... otherwise known as a "drive-by shot"!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties"

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

s e e * t h e * w o r l d

"Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories."
— Ray Bradbury

Or just listen...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I Heart Faces - PLAY!

T G I F, originally uploaded by poketypatch ~ away....

Play Along!

Friday, May 28, 2010

b r e a k ~ t h r o u g h

b r e a k ~ t h r o u g h, originally uploaded by poketypatch.

"If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), "Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?" chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death."
— Steven Pressfield (The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles)

More Fix It

It is already Friday?  I need an editing fix....

here it is!

Fix It Friday!



I edited it in
 Lightroom and CS5.

I added a texture by Skeletal Mess - The Fauxlaroid!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

FiX It!

I am always looking for fun ways to improve my photo-editing skills.  My usual routine is to shoot in RAW format and then upload to Lightroom for initial edits.  I then export it over to Adobe Photoshop - I use Elements 6.0.  I have been contemplating moving up to Adobe CS and recently downloaded the trial version of CS5.  CS5 has much more "power"; however, I am finding that it will be a long learning process.

Today, I ran across the website I Heart Faces.  They run weekly contests for editing fixes.  The "fix-it Friday" challenge was to "fix" this photo.

I decided to try, and here is my result:

Here is what I did:

1.  I sent the photo to Lightroom where I applied a sepia toned preset.  I also used the adjustment brush presets to lighten up the eyes and soften the skin.

2.  I cropped it down so that the baby's face aligned up at the far side of the photo.  I use the Rule Of Thirds Grid to make sure I get it right in Lightroom.

3.  I sent the photo to Adobe PSE.  There I worked on the eyes a littler more with the dodge/burn brushes.  I added a pink toned fill layer to give it the pink tint.  And, I added a texture.

It was a fun exercise, and I have entered it into the thread on the website.

Friday, May 21, 2010

rose worship

rose worship, originally uploaded by poketypatch.

"It may be that our role on this planet
is not to worship God--but to create him."
— Arthur C. Clarke

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

welcome to my world

welcome to my world, originally uploaded by poketypatch.
I used to watermark my photos - then I stopped because I felt it was just another distraction. Being a fairly trusting person, I believed that my images would not be stolen or misused without my permission. Unfortunately, the reality of the world today is that anything posted online has fallen prey to people who are dishonest; people who are thieves; people who lack the artistic creativity to be able to produce their own work; and, worst of all - people who are predators. Recently, some of my photos have ended up in places where I did not intend for them to go. I honestly doubt that watermarking will deter criminals from stealing something that they desire; however, at least if it is there, I am officially making the statement that my photographs are copyrighted by me, and any use of my photos without my permission is in violation of copyright law. I know that many of my contacts are experiencing similar issues. What a shame it is that a few bad apples can victimize so many...

wildflowers with texture....

I will now get down off my "soap box"... and welcome you to my world - the magic I found this weekend when I took a Walk in the Woods!

Jack in the Pulpit - one of the last blooms of this species left in the woods!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

tgiff - saturday edition

tgiff - saturday edition, originally uploaded by poketypatch.

Take a Walk...

Follow a Fence...

The ordinary

Can become


If you give it a


Friday, May 7, 2010

horse farm fences

horse farm fences, originally uploaded by poketypatch.

This is a "drive-by" shot taken last week of a farm in Queen Anne's County, Maryland. I actually got out of the car to get this. The grass was so deep It that it make getting good DoF with the flowers in the foreground much easier. However, I was a bit worried about ticks!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

b l o o m

b l o o m, originally uploaded by poketypatch.

"Let all of life be an unfettered howl. 

                          Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. 

  Don't stop to think, don't interrupt the scream, exhale, release life's rapture. 

                                                                        Everything is blooming. 

d r a g o n f l y

Everything is flying.

                     Everything is screaming, choking on its screams. 


run twice as fast as that


               Let-down hair. 

                                          That is all there is to life. " 

                                                                                     — Vladimir Nabokov

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays

Rainy Day Mondays, originally uploaded by poketypatch.

It is raining and cold again. Last night it actually hailed here. It was so bad that we ran outside to check the cars for damage! It sounded like rocks were being thrown at our windows.  The plants have really taken a beating too from all the rain.  It is so ironic that a few years back we were struggling with drought conditions and now we have had so much snow and rain in the last six months.


This morning I woke up with "Rainy Days and Mondays" by the Carpenters on my mind. The only problem was that I couldn't remember the tune. Thanks to You Tube, I got the full video version.

Then I thought of Karen Carpenter and what a beautiful voice she had. It was so pure and perfect.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Puddle Ducking

More Puddle Ducking, originally uploaded by poketypatch.

"Jemima Puddle-duck became quite desperate. She determined to make a nest
right away from the farm.

She set off on a fine spring afternoon along the cart-road that leads over
the hill.

She was wearing a shawl and a poke bonnet.

When she reached the top of the hill, she saw a wood in the distance.

She thought that it looked a safe quiet spot."


We have had a cool spring and everyone, people and animals have been enjoying the beautiful weather. Last week, I spotted these little ducks crossing the road as I headed back in to Still Pond after a long day's work. I pulled over and grabbed for my camera. I wanted to get them crossing the street but I wasn't fast enough.

By the time I had my camera ready the threesome had crossed a big puddle and were heading off into the field toward the forest.  They really looked like they were off on some big adventure.

When I looked at the images I had captured, I was reminded of Beatrix Potter and the wonderful personalities of all of her characters.  Jemima Puddle-duck came to mind.  I was so glad that I took the time to stop so that I could capture these images.  This is why I always have my camera with me - even on my days commuting to and from work.  You never know when the opportunity will present itself and you will have the perfect photo opt in front of you!