Tuesday Photo Challenge – Layer by jansenphotojansenphoto

Explore the layers around you!

The only photographs I captured this past week are from dinner at Rocky Hill Inn to celebrate my nephews ninth birthday. The weather was cold and wet this week, through the weekend. It snowed on Thursday night, and Friday morning, a layer of snowfall and rain made the roads slick. The second layer of snow fell on the driveway very early on Saturday morning. I bundled up in layers of clothing to clear that layer before the hail on Saturday evening. In fact, just as I was creating this post on Sunday evening, my iPhone weather app just alerted me with a winter storm warning. Heavy snow is expected.

This image is of the more formal dining area of the Rocky Hill Inn. It was made by running it through Nik’s Dfine 2 to remove some noise. Then it was passed through Nik’s Silver EFX Pro 2 to convert it to black and white. Then finally it was processed through Topaz Lab’s Clean 3. I layered one image processing task after the other to create the final result.

Since it’s the only image I have from my “camera roll”, it will be submitted for both challenges.

Best Photo of the Week is personal photography project where I post the best image captured that week. The picture will be posted at the end of the week. That will be a Sunday. I can take one or 100 photos for the week, but I will post only one, the best one.

*Created by photographer Frank Jansen, the Tuesday Photo Challenge is a weekly theme-based challenge for photographers of all kinds to share both new and old photography.

I found these curious frozen puddles in the parking lot of the Rocky Hill section of the Delaware & Raritan Canal towpath last weekend. Earlier last week we had some rain and warm temperatures but the temperatures rapidly plummeted over the next few days. This puddle’s diameter was just under a meter.

Even though some sections of the puddle appeared white, the ice wasn’t completely frozen. I could see the middle section of the puddle.

According to Douglas Smith of the Universities Space Research Association:

The shallowness of this puddle suggests that it rapidly froze; only a thin water layer remained below the puddle. Then the fast-falling temperatures likely caused the ice to contract, which produced the cracking. Continued cooling widened the cracks. The ring pattern shows that the main direction of the stress force was radial, but the scalloped pattern along the rings shows that some stress varied with angle around the center. The small amount of water that didn’t freeze rose into the cracks due to the hydrostatic pressure of the ice above and capillary action. Water in the rings then froze and expanded, and as it did it widened the rings and also directed the remaining small amount of liquid to the top of the ice. The slight bulges on the bottom of the rings were remnants of its last contact with the deepest water. In other words, the unfrozen water at the bottom of the puddle was, in essence, pushed and suctioned into the cracks.

I didn’t know that at the time I saw the puddles but I was fascinated by the shapes.

Last weekend I walked through Van Horne Park looking for interesting things to photograph. I normally visit the park in the spring and summer when the air is sweet with the scent of flowers and aroma of backyard grilling. I thought that perhaps it would be different in the winter. It is.

Van Horne Park spans Rocky Hill and Montgomery Township and features walking trails, baseball and soccer fields, and two large climbing structures for children. The park is accessible from Route 1 via the Princeton North Shopping Center. I chose to enter via the gate on Princeton Avenue.

Stepping from the car, a harsh cold wind blew mercilessly against my face. I could feel it penetrate my long wool coat. I stopped to photograph the grasses and brush.

Van Horne Park — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (16 mm, f/5.6, ISO400), Copyright 2019-01-06 Khurt-Williams
Van Horne Park — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (53.3 mm, f/5.6, ISO400), Copyright 2019-01-06 Khurt-Williams
Van Horne Park — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (51.6 mm, f/5.6, ISO400), Copyright 2019-01-06 Khurt-Williams

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, it is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress., Charles Dickens

Van Horne Park — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, f/4.0, ISO400), Copyright 2019-01-06 Khurt-Williams
Van Horne Park — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, f/4.0, ISO400), Copyright 2019-01-06 Khurt-Williams

When the cold was too severe, I walked around the pathway hoping that the movement would warm me. Along the path, I saw a sign that the park was not maintained over the winter and that I should use at my own risk. I could see the wind agitate the top of water puddles. I turned my back on the wind and captured some images of the farmhouse in the distance.

Van Horne Park — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, f/8.0, ISO400), Copyright 2019-01-06 Khurt-Williams

When I had had enough, I briskly walked back to my car. It was time to go home to the gentle warm caress of my fireplace.