Photo of the Week

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. 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.

Paint by number

Inadvertently I was being taught that art was about following rules and that I was not good at it.

I am old enough to remember the paint by numbers books. I disliked them. I struggled to keep the colours within the lines or use the right colours to match the numbers and was often admonished for not "following the rules". Inadvertently I was being taught that art was about following rules and that I was not good at it.

It wasn't until my early college years while attending Drew University1, that I dared to try my hand at creating art. I took a summer photography course. The instructor was "artsy" and pushed us to explore light and composition with my Pentax P3. I still have the camera.

I learned how to develop film and make prints, mostly black and white. By the time I had finished my engineering degree and graduate school I had forgotten the craft.

  1. Drew University is a liberals arts school in Madison, New Jersey where I majored in Physics and minored in Mathematics (of course!). 

Intensive Yellow

On Saturday — before the storm broke — we had a bit of family hiking fun. Bhavna had registered for use to go on a geocaching hike in the Sourland Mountain Preserve as part of a fundraising event planned by the Sourland Planning Council.

We arrived early and were briefed for 30 minutes on the basics of geocaching by Eric Lemon. Eric and his sons are avid geocaches who go by the moniker “Twisted Lemons” on

Once we were acquainted with the terminology (apparently we are muggles) and had entered the cache coordinates into our iPhones — I used MotionX GPS and Bhavana used the free Geocaching app, we set off into the woods. The trail was easy enough and about 20 minutes into it we, a motley crew of about a dozen adults and kids, found the cache.

Bhavna was disappointed. She had expected we would be out for some strenuous hiking and exploration. Eric told a few of us more ambitious hikers about several other caches and Bhavna was resolved to find one more.

We followed the gas pipeline up the hill before “bushwhacking” our way through a tall thicket of yellow flowers, grass and burr weed. The kids complained about being hot and hungry but we persisted. Kiran found the second cache after about an hour. We were triumphant but exhausted, sticky and hungry so we headed back down the hill to the base of the event where we dined on delicious pizza from the Nomad Pizza truck.

If you look closely you can see that I have passed the image through a texture. In this case, Topaz Clean.

The original image. | Saturday 8 September, 2012 | Nikon D40 | 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6