I wasn’t into this week’s challenge. I’m tired of water. It rains almost every weekend. Last week it rained on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I brainstormed a few ideas but they all seemed to revolve the idea of the lack of water — deserts, drought. I guess internally I want to tell the universe I am done with anything to do with water … for a while. But … there are no deserts in New Jersey and we definitely do not have drought conditions.
This week, the governor of New Jersey and the state Jersey Legislature were at an impasse over the state budget. On Friday at midnight the governor ordered the closing of non-essential state agencies. Everything from state parks to motor vehicle services offices and the Administrative Office of the New Jersey Courts, will be closed until further notice. I work as a cyber security consultant to the Courts and many of the people I work with (including myself) are concerned.
Early on Saturday morning, after dropping my son off to the farmers’ market I drove over to the Rock Brook and parked my car along Hollow Road. The sky was partly cloudy but it seemed there was a chance of rain.
The underbrush was thick with some sort of grass. I thorough enjoyed the komorebi. The Japanese word, “komorebi” refers to the sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees. I find it fascinating that the Japanese culture has created a single word to capture that feeling.
I walked down to the “waterfall” enjoying the sound of rushing water and the sweet smell of the gentle morning breeze. Step by step, I made my way down to the water, stopping to snap some photos along the way.
“Shinrinyoku” (“forest bathing”) is a Japanese word which means to go deep into the woods where everything is silent and peaceful for a relaxation.
Between photos I stood or sat to enjoy the sounds of the wind in the trees and just take things in. My steps were slow. I wanted to enjoy each moment of my shinrinyoku. I dipped my shoes1 in and enjoyed the sensation of the water running between my toes. The water in the stream was clear and cool. I noticed some fish, about six inches in size, slowly swimming about. Smaller fish darted around between the pebbles.
My original vision was to create a macro shot of some object reflected in a water drop. We had a lot of rainfall in May and it seemed fitting to attempt to capture water. However, I soon discovered how difficult it is to shoot water drops. Shooting handheld down at the level of leaves was challenging. I was soon exhausted from bending over leaves and holding my breath to reduce camera shake. The slightest movement and the images are blurred.
I then tried using a tripod. This improved stability but presented a new challenge. Water drops on leaves are delicate things. Positioning the lens in the right spot for optimal focus often meant accidentally disturbing the foliage. In some cases, I lost the drop of water. It would fall off the leaf. Capturing a set of useable images was an exercise in patience with much trial and error.
Macro Moments was created by avid macro photographer, Susan Gutterman, to share the beauty of macro photography and learn from others photographers. A new challenge begins on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. The winner’s photo may be featured on her blog and used as the banner in the announcement for the next challenge.
It seems as though the state of new jersey is closed on days when all my friends are working. They are at work and I have a day to do whatever I like except spend time doing fun things with friends. Like, drive down to a lighthouse early in the morning to take photos at sunrise.
My original plan for an early morning trip to the East Point Lighthouse in Heislerville. Photographing the lighthouse has been on my to-do list all summer ever since I found a photograph on Flickr. I think the lighthouse would be great during the morning and evening golden hours. My plan was to get there about 30 minutes before the start of the golden hour, shoot for about an hour, and then go find breakfast. It would have been an interesting way to spend the morning.
Instead, I drove my son to the high school for “senior sunrise”. I saw the sun come up as I drove home. I just didn’t want to go if I didn’t have anyone with me. Thinking about it left me in a funk.
That feeling worsened as I sat at the computer reading email and checking out social media. I felt I was wasting the day. But of course, I was. I was just sitting here when I could be “doing” … something.
Bhavna called while I was out shooting in Kingston. We had lunch at Midpoint, a newish Middle Eastern restaurant in Skillman. We had a good lunch and chatted for a short while. I’m now sitting on the couch watching cheesy science fiction.
Maybe later, I’ll drive out to Clinton. I’d like some evening images of the Red Mill Museum Village. Maybe I’m wasting the day. I wish I had someone with whom I wish to share my day. I wouldn’t feel like it was being wasted.
Our family have been members of the honey brook organic farm CSA for several years. I think it may be over a decade. When the kids were younger, we thought it was a good way to teach them where food really comes from. That it wasn’t something that comes wrapped in a cellophane or a cardboard box. We wanted them to learn that farming was difficult hard work. They learned that by being out in the heat and humidity of summer picking berries and tomatoes. And they disliked being buzzed by bees and other insects.
I have photographed the farm for almost as long as we have been members. I have photographed everything including the fields, flowers, the kids picking in the fields, the farm stands, etc. At least so I thought.
I captured this image of the water pump this Sunday. I have seen this water pump many times before but I think this is the first time I have focused on capturing it in some form. There was water dripping from a hose attached to a pump in the back. I took three exposure bracketed images which I combined into and HDR image in Photomatix Pro. I then applied a preset which I created earlier this summer.
The priest is the following.
Contrast to 100
Highlights to 100
Shadows to 100
Whites to -39
Blacks to 24
and Vibrance to 33
I just like what it does to images. I created the preset while people king around in Adobe Lightroom. It really pushes the colours. What do you think?