Friday, July 4, 2014


I just scanned some of my old 35mm slides, not wanting them to fade into obscurity.  I put a lot of effort into creating these transparencies, imaging that upon retirement I would have a collection of "stock photos" that would have value.  These days, photographers who collected stock images on film are finding it easier, quicker and cheaper to go remake the images in digital format.  Sounds like fun, but I do not have a lot of free time these days.  I was not ready to part with some of these images and memories, so I have here converted them for web viewing.

This picture is the caterpillar of a Cercropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia, North America's largest moth.  A fascinating creature in its own right, but observe, to the right, the tiny spider.  Cool.  The spider has a mite, most likely a parasite, attached to its leg.  The mite is the red creature.  So, there are three creatures in this nice macro image.  I took this photo in my back yard in Maine.

Speaking of Maine, and thinking of fresh Atlantic lobster ... .

College was in Massachusetts, and I had interests in photography and plant natural history.  I watched the seasons change, and the photo above is taken in the spring as the maple trees pushed forth new buds and flowers.  Though I was a fan of Kodachrome, the above image was exposed on 35mm Agfachrome film.  It has a marvelous grainy texture and warming tones.

The New England woods are dense and cool in the summer.  This image was taken near dawn in the late summer.  Sunrise, sunset, a hazy day after a rainstorm ... there, now I've given away the secret to an excellent photograph.  "f8 and be there."

I used f8 as little as possible, aiming more in the f16 to f22 range.  Ansel Adams was a member of the f64 group, but my Fujica camera didn't stop down for that kind of depth of field.  I closed it down as much as possible, using a tripod and in the above photo a sunset breeze gently moves the autumn leaves in front of white Birch trunks.

It's Ektachrome in this image.  It was the first roll of color film I ever developed.  Title:  After the Fall.

My college education included a January Term class called "Backpacking in the Slickrock Desert."  About 10 of us drove in a van across the country to Utah and spent 2 weeks backpacking in the Escalante Canyon.  We visited a few nearby parks and vistas.  This one, above, is the Goosenecks of the San Juan River.

In the summertime I was employed in Central City, Colorado ... see my earlier post for some images of that town at 8,500 feet elevation.  I watched the aspen leaf out in the spring, and turn yellow in the autumn.

This is a melting snowbank in Rocky Mountain National Park.

I took this image while visiting my buddy Eric in Chicago.  I believe it works because yellow and blue are complimentary colors.  Title: White Collar Worker.

I traveled to Scotland during my college years and took this photo of the ocean waters encroaching on a sandy beach.

The reason I went to Scotland is because I was the recipient of an Earthwatch scholarship to participate in an archaeological excavation of neolithic stone circles on the Isle of Arran in Scotland under the direction of Dr. Aubry Burl from the Hull College of Prehistory.  There is a low circle made of rounded stones in the foreground and a taller circle made of flat stones in the distance.  The excavation is taking place toward the mountain.

After graduation from college I moved West, finding myself in the Wood River Valley at the base of Bald Mountain, in the ski resort town of Ketchum, Idaho.  This frost was on my window, when I woke up at dawn.  As a kid I slept in an unheated bedroom in Maine.  During a snowstorm the cold, dry flakes would blow through cracks around the windows and melt against my face like tiny pinpricks.  So, it was not impossible to live the frugal life of a ski bum, sleeping in an unheated bedroom.  It was a royal pain, though, when the pipes froze and burst inside the house.

I moved West with my college buddy Murray.  That's him.  We hiked a trail we were later told was called, "Poison Oak Loop."  Kids, what morons.  Well, I don't think this was Poison Oak.  We didn't itch afterward.

As we worked our way West, we stopped in Salt Lake City for a while, where Murray's brother Spencer lives.  We climbed Mount Olympus for the view.  Murray is in this photo, too.  He is seen against the hazy inversion covering Salt Lake City.  I later saw a Japanese woodcut that used a nearly identical composition.  I was very influenced by Eastern art and philosophy.

I traveled around Idaho often, ranging far and wide.  This image shows a Whooping Crane.  As part of the attempt to save them from extinction, some Whooping Crane were placed in the foster care of a flock of Sandhill Cranes.  I went to the Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge to see one.  It is a white speck just a bit left of center.  The first snows of fall are dusting the autumn hills.

The Wood River Valley is home to many very active folks, and there are many sporting events.  I was very partial to cycling, and even entered one race with my clunky Schwinn Continental.  Mostly, though, I was a spectator.

This last image is a beautiful waterfall in the Olympic National Park.  I had a strong desire to see the temperate rain forest, so after a winter of working in the ski resort I hitchhiked from Idaho to the Olympic peninsula and hiked into the forest and camped for a few days.  As I look back and reflect upon it, I am always thankful that I'm still alive.  Hitchhiking alone is risky business and scrambling up steep, wet, mossy hillsides for that perfect vantage point is problematic, too.  It was all worth it, and if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't change a thing.  These are the experiences and views that create a lifetime of memories.

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