Replied to Tuesday Photo Challenge – Age by Boathouse Row, Schuylkill River, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania %nameFrank Jansen (Dutch goes the Photo!)
With Age comes wisdom and, like many a great wine, things can get better with Age!
This image was captured in 2016 during a field trip to Philadelphia’s Boathouse Row with the Princeton Photo Workshop and instructor Richard Sherman.

My sensor must have been dirty that day. I removed at least ten of them using content-aware fill in Photoshop. I also removed a number of hot pixels. I then applied the Reflector Efex filter using Color Efex Pro 4. I didn’t do any tweaking beyond this and I like the result.

Sometimes it is worth it to go back to an image taken in the past, images that I didn’t get around to processing, images that I may have processed previously but could benefit from new techniques that I have learned. I think photography is one of those art forms where the techniques can be easy to learn in the beginning but it takes time to become skilled at its use. But even then, being skilled is not enough. The photographer must continue to experiment to hopefully develop the wisdom to what to do and when to do it. I am still on that journey and personal wisdom, the sort that comes with age, tells me that I must focus on the destination while also enjoying the journey. Modern psychology agrees, “those who focused on the future were less likely to be depressed“.

A balance between the past, present, and future is needed. And a balance between the self and others. Where you’ve been, where you are, and where you are going are all important. And who you’re with.

Doing this is especially important given my recent challenges with Graves’ disease and how it has impacted my energy and my ability to get outside with the camera. And perhaps this will allow me to rejoin Frank’s weekly photochallenge.

Boathouse Row, Schuylkill River, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NIKON D3 D3S7474 20131207 500

Husband, father, information security professional and avid photographer living at the junction of Montgomery Township, Rocky Hill and Princeton Township, New Jersey.

Replied to Tuesday Photo Challenge – Rain by Butterfly Orchid %namejansenphoto (Dutch goes the Photo!)
Rainy day moments!
I toured the Duke Farms Orchid Orchid Range in Hillsborough Township on Friday. The inside of the greenhouse is like a tropical rainforest; hot and humid. There was a heavy mist inside.

The subtropical and tropical orchid displays are stunning. These photos are of Psychopsis papilio commonly known as the butterfly orchid. It has long petals which look like antennae and its speckled brown and yellow sepals look like outspread wings.

Butterfly Orchid Duke Farms Orchid Range Canon EOS 5D Mark III 20180420
psychopsis papilio
Butterfly Orchid NIKON D3 D3S7474 20131207 500

Husband, father, information security professional and avid photographer living at the junction of Montgomery Township, Rocky Hill and Princeton Township, New Jersey.

Replied to Tuesday Photo Challenge – Rain by Spring has sprung on Blue Spring Road %namejansenphoto (Dutch goes the Photo!)
Rainy day moments!
Feeling bored, I picked up some camera gear and drove out to Duke Farms in Hillsborough. Just a few minutes from my house as I drove along Blue Spring Road, I noticed the pink blossoms on one of the trees. So I pulled over and captured a few images. I just love how all the pink looks against a background of green.

Even though I spend most of it indoors, with a runny nose, and itchy and watery eyes, and I can barley breathe, spring is my favourite season of the year. I grew up in the West Indies where there is no fall, no spring, and definitely no winter. But it’s not summer all year long.

There is the dry season and a wet season. The dry season runs from about February to June while the wet season starts in July and ends in January. During the wet season, there is less sunshine and more rain. Of course, there is also a hurricane season which starts in June and ends in November. Ignoring the occasional tropical rain forest shower, with blue sky weather and warm sunshine, the dry season is an ideal time for the islands.

During that wet season, the rains come more frequently and last longer. The land turns an even deeper shade of green. The islands enter a time of renewal when the fruit trees bear so much fruit — bananas, mangoes, java plums, cashews, plum rose, soursop, sugar apple, acerola cherries, coco plum, guava, guinep, golden apple, papaya, jamun fruit. The list of fruits is long.

Spring in the Mid-Atlantic of the United States isn’t as edible as the wet season in the West Indies but it’s more colourful. I have learned to enjoy the display. And the beer.

Spring is also a time of renewal for me. It’s when I come out of self-imposed hibernation both literally and emotionally. It’s time for me to be outside, go hiking in the woods or on long walks with Bhavna.

I have decided to release the images under a Creative Commons Zero license. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. You can download the images from Unsplash.

Spring has sprung on Blue Spring Road Signs of spring along Blue Spring Road Canon EOS 5D Mark III 20180420 3
Signs of spring along Blue Spring Road
Spring has sprung on Blue Spring Road Signs of spring along Blue Spring Road Canon EOS 5D Mark III 20180420 2
Signs of spring along Blue Spring Road
Spring has sprung on Blue Spring Road Signs of spring along Blue Spring Road Canon EOS 5D Mark III 20180420
Signs of spring along Blue Spring Road
 Credit Khürt L. Williams  Captured 20 April, 2018  Location 40° 23.4967′ 0″ N 74° 38.6288′ 0″ W 
Spring has sprung on Blue Spring Road NIKON D3 D3S7474 20131207 500

Husband, father, information security professional and avid photographer living at the junction of Montgomery Township, Rocky Hill and Princeton Township, New Jersey.

Replied to Tuesday Photo Challenge – Hills by Hills %nameFrank Jansen (Dutch goes the Photo!)
A gentle slope
  Canon EOS 5D Mark III  @ 200mm  , ISO 100  , 1/4000s  , ƒ/4  by Khürt L. Williams  on 6 February, 2018 

These migratory birds stopped to rest and eat. They swam in an overflow basin between two man-made hills created during recent construction of healthcare facility.

Hills Hill Canon EOS 5D Mark III 20180206  Canon EOS 5D Mark III  @ 200mm  , ISO 100  , 1/1000s  , ƒ/4  by Khürt L. Williams  on 6 February, 2018 

Hills Canon EOS 5D Mark III 20180206  Canon EOS 5D Mark III  @ 200mm  , ISO 100  , 1/2000s  , ƒ/4  by Khürt L. Williams  on 6 February, 2018 

Hills NIKON D3 D3S7474 20131207 500

Husband, father, information security professional and avid photographer living at the junction of Montgomery Township, Rocky Hill and Princeton Township, New Jersey.

Replied to Putting your best foot forward, even mother nature has makeup by Dan Jurak's (Dan Jurak's Alberta Landscape Photo Blog)
When taking photos, my eyes are always scanning the horizon, framing and composing in my mind. If something clicks, I stop on the side of the road and often have a half dozen DIFFERENT photos within the space of a few minutes. Would my photos be any better if I took longer and deliberately thought out and planned purposefully what I was doing? I will probably never know because while planning for one shot another three pop into my head and just as quickly they disappear.
  iPhone 6  @ 4.15mm  , ISO 32  , 1/180s  , ƒ/2.2  by Khürt L. Williams  on 10 February, 2016 

I get the attention deficit thing. I discovered that listening to music on my phone and wireless headphones can help focus my mind. But wearing headphones means being unaware of my surroundings in situations where sight and sound are important.

One thing that frustrates me about where I love is that I see these beautiful scenes on my way to and from the office or while driving around town but the narrow-one-lane-no-shoulder country roads don’t allow for stopping and we don’t have any sidewalks here either. It can be a strange site for other motorist watching a car slow-down and stop briefly while the driver rolls down the window and stick out a DSLR camera and lens. It works only when traffic is light.

Putting my best foot forward Princeton Battlefield State Park in the Fog iPhone 6 20141029
Princeton Battlefield State Park, Princeton, New Jersey
  iPhone 6  @ 4.15mm  , ISO 800  , 1/60s  , ƒ/2.2  by Khürt L. Williams  on 29 October, 2014 

Sometimes I get lucky and the scene unfolds before me, traffic is light, and the road actually has a shoulder. But still, there is no time to pull out a DSLR, set up a tripod, compose the shot, set camera settings etc. Sometimes, there is just enough time for a grab shot shot on the iPhone. It’s the best I can do in that moment.

Putting my best foot forward The Hudson from the HIghline iPhone 6 20140928
The Highline, New York City, New York
  iPhone 6  @ 4.15mm  , ISO 32  , 1/10000s  , ƒ/2.2  by Khürt L. Williams  on 28 September, 2014 

Being without my Nikon1 has forced me to use my iPhone 7. The camera on the iPhone 7 is much better than the camera on my previous iPhones. But I am less happy with recent images taken with the iPhone 7 and less willing to use it in general. But by using a DSLR for most of the images I captured over the last few years, I seem to have forgotten how to compose and think through capturing images with the iPhone. Looking back through my catalogue over the last few years, I have many old iPhone images of which I am proud.

Putting my best foot forward Rodanthe Pier iPhone 20150903
Rodanthe Pier, Rodanthe, Outer Banks, North Carolina
  iPhone  @ 4.15mm  , ISO 32  , 60s  , ƒ/2.2  by Khürt L. Williams  on 3 September, 2015 

Why am I so stuck now? Why am I not even trying? Why am I struggling to put my “best foot forward”? Have I become one of those people who think that a good photo can only be captured on expensive high-end equipment. I hope not!!

Putting my best foot forward Sunrise at Carnegie Lake iPhone 20151105
Self Portrait, Carnegie Lake, Princeton, New Jersey
  iPhone  @ 4.15mm  , ISO 32  , 60s  , ƒ/2.2  by Khürt L. Williams  on 5 November, 2015 

For the last few weeks, while driving along Mapleton Road on the border between Plainsboro and Princeton Township, I have observed the beautiful morning sun that illuminates the expensive homes on the western side of Carnegie Lake. There is no place to stop and take a photo. But I am determined and perhaps tomorrow I will arise before dawn, drive to the southern end of Mapleton Road, park my car at the entrance to the Delaware and Raritan Canal Park Trail, and walk the trail, with the tripod and iPhone 7, north toward that area. I expect the walk will be quite cold.

Putting my best foot forward Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve iPhone 20151031
Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve, Princeton, New Jersey
  iPhone  @ 4.15mm  , ISO 32  , 30s  , ƒ/2.2  by Khürt L. Williams  on 31 October, 2015 

  1. Dropped! Broken! 
Putting my best foot forward NIKON D3 D3S7474 20131207 500

Husband, father, information security professional and avid photographer living at the junction of Montgomery Township, Rocky Hill and Princeton Township, New Jersey.