Growth by jansenphotojansenphoto (Tuesday Photo Challenge)
Gathers not on a rolling stone…

This morning I convinced Bhavna to take a walk with me along the Raritan and Canal Park Trail. The sun was out, the air was … well cold, but I wanted to find some images for Frank’s challenge keyword, “Growth“.

We slid on a few layers of clothing and drove over to the park entrance just off Mapleton Road on the border with Princeton and Plainsboro. I fully expected to find nothing but leafless trees and my first image was just what I expected.

Bridge between the Millstone, D&R Canal and Carnegie Lake — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (30.2 mm, f/5.6, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-10 Khürt L. Williams
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (16 mm, f/5.6, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-10 Khürt L. Williams

We walked along the inner trail closest to Carnegie Lake and talked about our youngest going off to college this fall, our future travel plans, life etc., while I kept an eye out for “growth”. We passed a young Asian couple going the opposite way. The man wore a Michigan beanie hat and we spoke briefly. It was a gift from his brother in Michigan. I mentioned that I completed my master’s degrees at the University of Michigan.

The man with the Michigan hat — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, f/5.6, ISO1600), Copyright 2019-02-10 Khürt L. Williams

Bhavna and I walked past Harrison Street to Washington Street then turned around for the walk back.

 

Washington Road, Princeton, New Jersey — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (30.2 mm, f/5.6, ISO1600), Copyright 2019-02-10 Khürt L. Williams

We found the young couple still wandering near the water’s edge. I heard what I thought was a bird so I approached them where they were standing. I was hoping I might get a photo of the bird.

Making fozen lake sounds with rocks — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (28.3 mm, f/5.6, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-10 Khürt L. Williams

They were tossing rocks onto the frozen water of the lake. The rocks bounced around making this very cool noise that sounded like a laser or chirping bird. The sound seemed to depend on the size of the stone and where he threw the rocks.

Underneath the ice, the water of the lake isn’t solid. The ice vibrates up and down, similar to a drumhead or cymbal vibrating after being struck. The lake amplifies the sound which we heard as chirping.

I found this video on YouTube showing what it sounds like. It’s so cool!

Extant Lifeform — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (37.6 mm, f/5.6, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-10 Khürt L. Williams

Bhavna saw some holly shrubs so we stopped so I could take some photos. We continued on our way. That young couple must have walked past us because they were in front of us taking some of something in a thicket of fallen tree branches. They called out to me excitedly. They had discovered some interesting mushrooms growing on the fallen branches.

Fan Blades — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, f/5.6, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-10 Khürt L. Williams

I had finally found the growth of photography I was seeking!

The mushrooms were growing in clusters and stuck out from the sides of the dead tree branches like little shelves. According to my research, these shelf mushrooms are a parasitic wood tree rotting group. However, the infected trees provide nesting sites for birds and squirrels. These rots attack the top of a tree, the heartwood inside, and the base of the stem. The tree stem often breaks as a result even though the tree is still alive. The mycelium, body of the fungus, decomposes chemicals in the tree cells.

Steps — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, f/5.6, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-10 Khürt L. Williams

After photographing our find we drove to the REI store to get some hiking shoes for me and Bhavna. In the past we have “hibernated” for the winter, staying inside to avoid the cold. I wanted to find ways past that to enjoy the outdoors even in winter. That means dressing in layers so we could take hikes in the Sourlands Mountains or along the D&R Canal towpath. Last month, I bought some clothing for this purpose.

I hope that being outside during winter, pushing past my discomfort and loathing of the lifeless grey of the skies and the tree line, will help me grow my photography skills.

Dead Growth — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, f/5.6, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-10 Khürt L. Williams
Other signs of growth on the lake — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (24.9 mm, f/5.6, ISO1600), Copyright 2019-02-10 Khürt L. Williams
Jolly Holly — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (19.4 mm, f/5.6, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-10 Khürt L. Williams
Nature Trail — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (31.1 mm, f/5.6, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-10 Khürt L. Williams
FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, f/5.6, ISO200), Copyright 2019-02-10 Khürt L. Williams
Millstone River — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (16 mm, f/5.6, ISO1600), Copyright 2019-02-10 Khürt L. Williams

The Tuesday Photo Challenge is a weekly theme-based challenge for photographers of all kinds to share both new and old photography.

This was an unplanned shot. I read somewhere that one can find a good sunset following rain. It rained intermittently all day. The pavement was wet when I looked out my bedroom window this morning. Perhaps that was in the back of my mind when I walked out of my doctor’s appointment and noticed that it had rained slightly during my appointment. I looked up at the sky and then quickly drove up Route 27 along Carnegie Lake to the Kingston end of the D&R Canal trail.

I wasn’t sure I would find a good place to shoot the sunset. The dam is under repair so the area I thought I might use was not accessible. I walked along looking for a clearing in the trees. The golden light was fading fast.

I had some challenges with the tripod. I recently changed to an Arca Swiss style clamp and camera bracket. In my haste, I brought with me only the tripod, camera remote, and level. This proved to be a mistake. The Arca Swiss bracket was loose. The Allen wrench was in the camera bag in the car. I tightened as best I could with my keys. I had to do this several times in between shots.

I didn’t realize it but the battery in the camera was almost exhausted. After about four sets of bracketed images, the battery gave out. Good thing too. I was so engrossed in focusing and composing the shot I did not notice that the light was fading fast and the sunset was almost ended. I had a long walk back to the car.

The image is a three exposure HDR from Photomatix. I applied a filter I created in Adobe Lightroom. What do you think?