Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sittin' on the Sidewalk

Torrington, Connecticut

The building is a restaurant and bar. Not sure what the symbolism is here.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Thomaston, Connecticut

Yesterday was get the salt off the car day. They used so much salt on the roads in the recent storm, it was hard to say what color the car was.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Trumps in the Windows

Thomaston, Connecticut

I couldn't figure out what business the small Main Street store front engaged in.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Artists and Revolutionaries, Plus, Web Site Notes

Hudson, New York

Artists and Revolutionaries is the name of the store. Don't know how accurate the name might be as a description.

Before the storm and power outage interrupted, I was just finishing an overhaul of my website at The frontend of the site is set up in Muse and has pretty nice navigation features, but the content heart of the site is the Online Galleries page, which is another matter. It's a Muse page, but mainly consists of links to pages I made over the past nearly twenty years in at least half a dozen different web page generation programs. I don't want to remake all the pages, not just because I'm lazy, but also because they're kind of a history of my web presence over two decades. For example the earliest pages have scans of platinum prints that aren't up to my current standards (I mean the scanned files on the web page, not the original prints). The earliest galleries are ones that I made by hand in programs like PageMill, and many had broken links that I've managed to fix now, I think. The pictures in the galleries go back as far as forty-eight years ago.
More recent galleries were generated from within Photoshop using the Bridge Output Module. I'm very disappointed this been discontinued in the current PSCC. A pale imitation of it is available in Lightroom (which I dislike, though of course I have it as part of the CC suite). 
I've added several new galleries to the Online Galleries page. At the top is the first of a "Four Seasons" portfolio from a local forest preserve. I shot the pictures in the gallery/folio with digital capture, then made enlarged digital negatives and printed them in platinum/palladium at11 inches wide on 11x15 sheets. Then I made copy photos with the same digital capture equipment (much better results than scanning) to make the files for the web gallery.
Next, there are two new "Month By Month" galleries. Each of these is a tight edit of the pictures posted to my Working Pictures blog—twelve from each month. It's largely an editing exercise, with the monthly collection of twelve establishing a goal for the editing. Perhaps because digital capture leads people to overshoot, I see a lot of complaints about all the time people think they are wasting, editing their pictures. I disagree that this is time wasted. Editing is an essential tool for understanding our own work. David Vestal said that your contact sheets are your photographic autobiography. He also said that people shooting color (at the time that automatically meant slides—color transparencies) suffered from the lack of contact sheets. They lost the learning experience of keeping, and returning to view/edit, all of the exposures made. Over the years I have returned to my contact sheets of 35mm work and found pictures that I now liked better than the ones I printed at the time. Now that I've been doing digital capture as a part of my serious work for fourteen years, I'm finding the same thing; returning to pictures made several years ago, I not infrequently disagree with my original edit.
One of the best ways to improve our next photographs is to study the ones we've already made. In the process of editing, the rejects may be more informative, may teach us more, than the most successful pictures.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Here We Go Again

Woodbury, Connecticut

Not predicted to be a deep fall, but at 9:30 in the morning it's dark and heavy enough.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Green House

Hudson, New York

A great stormy looking sky over Hudson a week ago Saturday, but no storm developed. I guess the building is actually a garage or carriage house.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

More Damage

Woodbury, Connecticut

This is what the super-heavy snowfall looked like at dusk Wednesday, around six o'clock. Sadly, here's what that beautiful pine on the right looks like this afternoon:

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Improved Situation Update

Friday late afternoon when we checked the house there were lights on in both directions on Washington Road, except for half a dozen customers clustered right around us. It was about 48°F in the house and we gave up. Packed up the cats and overnight gear and drove to an on the market family property half an hour away—where we'd determined the electric service was on. We turned up the heat, coaxed the cats out of their travel boxes and set up to camp out. We were just settling in when we saw flashing lights in the driveway. A "helpful" country neighbor had called 911 because there were lights on in the house. After a pleasant conversation with the constabulary, we tried to get some sleep for practically the first time since Tuesday night. With limited success.

Before turning in, I got the utility company's phone/computer emergency reporting and response mechanism to let me laboriously enter data (and only if you have your account numbers! I'll have to place them in a file saved to iCloud, and maybe a slip of paper in my wallet! Who memorizes their electric account numbers because you might need them?). Along with obviously out of date responses, it confirmed that it was registering this report at eight-something Friday evening, and that the estimate for restoration was before six o'clock Sunday evening. Oh, great. Nothing about the system gave me any reassurance that they knew about the small island of special customers still with no service. We had, however, seen crews in the general area before making the transfer for the night, so we hoped they did know the details.

We drove back this morning and found nothing changed, drove to the senior/warming center and found it closed, making us think nobody knew about the little cluster of abandoned customers. After pulling my car up really close to the building we were able to catch their wifi signal and check email and the other now-essential things you have to be online to do. I got out the utility bill with the account number and went through the whole routine again on my iPhone, was again told that the report was being registered, but this time they said it would be fixed by six today—Saturday.

When the town library opened at ten, we moved there, got online, and did this and that, but couldn't stay awake. So back to the house—still cold but not frozen—then drove to our hideout with the heat turned on, where we spent the afternoon trying to catch up some sleep. With the stressed-out cats. When we returned to the house just before six, there were no signs of lights, but after parking the car in the small hand-cleared area and carefully walking the rest of the ice-covered drive, we could hear The Dragon. The high-powered burner of the state-off-the-art steam boiler that heats our antique house. It was toasty inside. An electric clock on the stove let me estimate the power had come back on about 4:30 PM, making the utility's prediction pretty accurate, and my suspicion that they'd been ignorant of our little pocket, a little unjust. We special few are just, for some unknown reason, at the extreme back of the line.

Being cold is debilitating. For anyone, but especially since we're not young anymore. I feel like I need a week off—from everything—to get back on keel. But we have to deal with insurance about the tree on the barn, and damage it did, sooner rather than later to make sure any damage doesn't get worse.

But not tonight.

Friday, March 09, 2018

More Update

Woodbury, Connecticut

Here's the storm late Wednesday.

And here's the barn with the split off maple leader, early this morning. Power still out and the utility is not being responsive about timing or even outage maps.

Thursday, March 08, 2018


Logged on from our town's senior center, which also serves as a "warming center" during weather emergencies.

The big storm dropped several inches of very heavy wet snow. Not only did our power go out about six last evening, but a huge leader of a maple tree snapped off and landed on our barn. Punched a hole in the wall siding, and I can't tell whether there's damage to roof with the top of the tree siting on it, on top of the snow. Power's been out for over 24 hours, reports are that it cold be two or three days, and it's supposed to be 20°F tonight. The snow was so heavy our snowblower couldn't move it and we had to shovel by hand, enough to get a car out the driveway. So things don't look good at all.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Ducks in a Row

Milford, Connecticut

Foggy winter morning at Long Island Sound.