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Shenandoah: Hiking

June 19, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Previously from Shenandoah: Trouble with ColorThe Details or the Wide and Grand? - The Skyline Drive View in Autumn - The Lonely Tree - Dark Hollow FallsCozy at ShenandoahSkyline Drive of ShenandoahShenandoah SunsetDifferent Look of Shenandoah at Big MeadowShenandoah is Waking UpOn Skyline Drive - Colorful FlashbackLuray CavernsLuray Valley MuseumFox Hollow Trail - The Treasures of Shenandoah - Distant Views - Hiking

A Tree on the Big Meadow, Shenandoah National ParkA Tree on a MeadowShenandoah National Park Now that the previous post wrapped up the 2013 Shenandoah series let's step out and explore the fall in that national park a year later. The first day, our hikes were different than before. One flat with no elevation gain and loss and one up the hill on the way out and then back down, very different from the waterfall chasing hikes down into the valleys of Shenandoah.

For the first one, we actually took a ranger led hike into the heart of the Big Meadow to learn about the area that is so different from the rest of the mountain park. At first, I struggled finding photographic compositions, probably due to preconceived notions of what I was going to photograph - mountains, valleys, distant views, waterfalls, etc. After a while, I got in tune with the meadow and its beautiful colorful grasses lining up patterns all around. And eventually, I found what to aim the camera at. The few randomly scattered trees photographed against the meadow patterns looked excellent with the final result looking a bit like a painting. Nothing wrong with that!

Stony Man Trail, Shenandoah National ParkStony Man TrailShenandoah National Park Once satisfied with the meadow and a bit tired of the cold breeze we headed into the woods to get a few more miles under our belts. But we did not head down into one of the many valleys to find waterfalls. Instead, we selected a trail that headed slightly up the hill before looping around and back down to the trail head. It was a wonderful short relaxing hike, perfect as an add-on to a previous activity.

Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you! (#etbtsy)

Did you enjoy this post and the enclosed photographs? Visit the Landscapes Faraway gallery for natural landscape beyond Western New York to see more. Please, let me know if you have any questions about photo products offered, or not offered. Looking for a present? I offer ready to hang solutions like canvas gallery wraps, prints on metal, and matted and framed ready to hang photographs. You can see the photo and product offering on the Products page.

Do you like my free content but are not ready to buy a photograph for your walls yet? Using my links to do your shopping helps me share more photographs and write the stories behind them. And it costs you nothing. You just need to start your shopping by clicking on an advertised product or use the Amazon search box in bottom left. It does not matter what you eventually buy as long as you start here. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how small. Thank you!

Would you like to see my photographs printed, matted, and framed? Visit Picture Your Walls in Hamburg, NY (184 Buffalo St, Hamburg, NY 14075).

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Through Czech Countryside

June 13, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Previously from the Czech Republic: Of Trains & StationsA Stroll through Moravian CountrysideSunset Stroll through Southern Moravian CountrysideRolling Hills and Poppy FieldsThere are as many pubs as there are poppy seeds ...More Travel Treasures, Drying GarlicTreasures of TravelsThe Power of Simplicity (of the iPhone)Take Me Home, Country Road ...Sound of Music Induced Moment of NostalgiaTravel in Space & TimeOf Trains & StationsRock Cities, Mills, History, and MoreAll About the Rolling HillsAn Irresistible Urge to StopCzech Countryside

There is a beautiful hill over the village of Mouchnice in Southern Moravia, Czech Republic. And this afternoon, I decided to defeat that hill on a bicycle. It just feels better that way. Of course, I had my camera pack around my waist and was on a lookout for new scenery. Once at the top of the hill, I did not focus on the usual direction towards Koryčany down in the valley. Instead, I made the right turn along the main road and found this road. An old road, fields on both sides, beautiful rolling hills in the distance. What a combination! What more could one ask for!

Road through Fields & Hills, Southern Moravia, Czech RepublicRoad through Fields & HillsSouthern Moravia, Czech Republic

Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you! (#etbtsy)

Do you enjoy reading my photography blog? Would you like to see more landscape photographs from places beyond Western New York? Visit my Landscapes Faraway gallery and enjoy! Please, let me know if you have any questions about any photo products offered, or not offered, I will be happy to help! For a quick reference to all photo galleries and collections as well as all photo products currently offered through my site, please, visit the Products page.

Do you like my free content but are not ready to buy a photograph for your walls yet? Using my links to do your shopping helps me share more photographs and write the stories behind them. And it costs you nothing. You just need to start your shopping by clicking on an advertised product or use the Amazon search box in bottom left. It does not matter what you eventually buy as long as you start here. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how small. Thank you!

Would you like to see my photographs printed, matted, and framed? Visit Picture Your Walls in Hamburg, NY (184 Buffalo St, Hamburg, NY 14075).


Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2017 - The Final Six

June 06, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Previously on pinhole photography: A New Chapter, a New Book - Pinhole PhotographyFilm Pinhole PhotographySeaside Pinhole PhotographyLake Erie Lakeshore on PinholeErie Basin Marina on Pinhole, Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2017The Final Six

Zero Image Pinhole, 35mm Wooden Film Pinhole CameraZero Image Pinhole35mm Film Pinhole Camera Each last Sunday of April marks the Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. And 2017 became the first year I participated. The whole journey started at the beginning of 2016 when I went back to using a film camera again, loaded with a black and white 35 mm film that I would develop myself. Shortly after, I got a pinhole cap for my digital camera to try that technique out but it did not feel right. Thus, I bought a true pinhole camera that would shoot on film. For now, I am sticking with the 35 mm format just to keep things simple and to benefit from the equipment I have to develop and scan the film. But who knows, new things may be in store for 2018.

In my last post about this year's event, Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2017, I shared a bit about how the day went and one behind the scenes photo of the camera in action by Buffalo's Richardson Olmsted Complex, or Campus, or Hotel Henry.

Today, I would like to share the results of that day: six photographs from one roll of film. They're all just scanned in, and contrast adjusted to provide a full range of tones (using levels adjustment). I have not applied any additional processing. That is part of what attracts me to pinhole photography: its raw nature.

Cargill Pool Grain Elevator, Buffalo, NY, 2017 Worldwide Pinhole Photography DayCargill Pool Grain Elevator2017 Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

Cargill Pool Grain Elevator

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, 2017 Worldwide Pinhole Photography DayAlbright-Knox Art Gallery2017 Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Bridge Symmetry, South Grand Island Bridge, Buffalo, NY, 2017 Worldwide Pinhole Photography DayBridge Symmetry2017 Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

Bridge Symmetry, South Grand Island Bridge

Path to South Grand Island Bridge, Buffalo, NY, 2017 Worldwide Pinhole Photography DayPath to Grand Island Bridge2017 Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

Path to Grand Island Bridge

Main St. Buffalo at Shea's, 2017 Worldwide Pinhole Photography DayMain St. Buffalo at Shea's2017 Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

Main St. Buffalo at Shea's

Shea's Buffalo, 2017 Worldwide Pinhole Photography DayShea's Buffalo2017 Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

Shea's Buffalo

Enjoy the Beauty that Surrounds You! (#etbtsy)

Would you like to see more pinhole photographs from Buffalo and Western New York? Visit my pinhole gallery on timelessbuffalo.com and enjoy! Come back often as that gallery will grow over time. Please, let me know if you have any questions about any photo products offered, or not offered, I will be happy to help! For a quick reference to all photo galleries and collections as well as all photo products currently offered through my site, please, visit the Products page.

Using my links to do your shopping keeps me sharing more photographs and writing the stories behind them and costs you nothing. You can also use the Amazon search box in bottom left for anything at all. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how large, no matter how small. Thank you!


Roadside Treasures

June 02, 2017  •  1 Comment

Old School Bus & Harley, Buffalo SouthtownsOld School Bus & HarleyBuffalo Southtowns While exploring new Southtowns roads on a motorcycle, I came upon this beauty of a roadside treasure. It just shows one should never stop exploring as new opportunities are all around. And as here, one often does not have to venture too far from the back yard.

I did not have my camera with me as I was riding light, carrying an empty knapsack with just a water bottle. So I stopped, grabbed a few reminders of the scene for a later visit with my phone, and continued my mind cleansing ride.

The very next day, I headed back. Weather changed quite a bit and it was overcast solid, thus I would not get the light of a low rising sun. But I banked on the gloomy diffused light working well with the decaying beauty.

I tried a few different angles starting with a head on view and then experimenting with both sides for a more angled view. In the end however, mostly due to the surroundings, I liked the initial head on perspective the best.

I already look forward to finding new gems wondering about. Let's head out and find some!

Old School Bus, Buffalo, NY SouthtownsOld School BusBuffalo, NY Southtowns

Old School Bus, Buffalo, NY Southtowns

Enjoy the Beauty that Surrounds You! (#etbtsy)

Would you like to see more urban photography from Buffalo, NY? Visit my Buffalo Cityscapes gallery and enjoy! For more travel themed photography, you can hop over to my Travel Photography gallery. Please, let me know if you have any questions about any photo products offered, or not offered, I will be happy to help! For a quick reference to all photo galleries and collections as well as all photo products currently offered through my site, please, visit the Products page.

Do you like my free content but are not ready to buy a photograph for your walls yet? Using my links to do your shopping helps me share more photographs and write the stories behind them. And it costs you nothing. You just need to start your shopping by clicking on an advertised product or use the Amazon search box in bottom left. It does not matter what you eventually buy as long as you start here. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how small. Thank you!

Would you like to see my photographs printed, matted, and framed? Visit Picture Your Walls in Hamburg, NY (184 Buffalo St, Hamburg, NY 14075).

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16th Annual Letchworth Red, White & Blue Balloon Festival, 2017

May 30, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Previously from Letchworth Balloon Rallies: Balloon Festivals, ... Third Time was The Charm13th Annual Letchworth Red, White & Blue Balloon Festival13th Annual Red, White & Blue Balloon Festival, Letchworth State Park 201414th Annual Red, White & Blue Balloon Festival, Letchworth State Park 201515th Annual Letchworth Red, White & Blue Balloon Festival16th Annual Letchworth Red, White & Blue Balloon Festival, 2017

Colorful Ballon Abstract, 16th Annual Red, White, and Blue Balloon Festival in Letchworth State Park, 2017Colorful Ballon AbstractLetchworth 2017 The Memorial Day weekend 2017 marked the 16th run of the Annual Red, White, and Blue Ballon Festival in Letchworth State Park. It brought a lot of excitement and expectations as we have been following the event for several years. And each year brings a new experience! How many of the six scheduled launches would be successful? Only time would show. Ballooning is very weather dependent. The wind has to be just right, not too slow, and not too fast, and worse, it also needs to take the balloons in a direction where they can safely land a short while after launching.

The forecast looked really unfriendly from the first time I checked it on Friday. Clouds, rain, and an unusual wind anywhere from northeast to southeast, which would take the balloons away from the gorge, a hallmark of the event allowing the balloons to dip close to the Genesee River before continuing east. However, for that one needs westerly wind, which is prevailing in the area, but clearly not guaranteed. There was, however, a glimmer of hope as Sunday morning looked promising before the weather would turn bad again.

Unfortunately, the forecast was dead on and the weather remained very hot air balloon unfriendly this year. It looked so miserable that we actually did not even drive over to Letchworth to try our luck on Friday night. Instead, early to bed it was for an attempt on Saturday morning despite the forecast.

In the Fog by Big Bend, 16th Annual Red, White, and Blue Balloon Festival in Letchworth State Park, 2017In the Fog by Big BendLetchworth 2017 The alarm was supposed to go off at 3:45 a.m. Instead, I woke up on my own at 5:15 a.m. (the alarm was set for p.m.), hopelessly late to catch a sunrise but still alright to see the balloons should they fly. The forecast remained iffy but it seemed there was a chance. Within 15 minutes we went from waking up to sitting in the car and heading east. We drove through some fog that was not just at ground level but hanging down from the cloud layer. As we crept closer and closer to the park it was becoming clear  this would not be a ballooning morning. When we did not see any balloons in the air approaching the park entrance, yet, met a few chase vehicles leaving the park, the news was clear.

What now? Our backup plan kicked in. There were other events happening in the park and one could always hike. We hiked trail #3 and a small portion of trail #2A and discovered some wonderful bogs. More on those another day as I had a blast photographing those off-the-beaten-path areas that did not scream Letchworth but were beautiful in their own way. Afterwards, we joined in for the Learn to Catch a Fish, a family picnic event featuring games, activities, educational workshops, and free fishing (no license required). We managed to stay all throughout the day and headed back to Archery Field for the 6:30 p.m. launch time.

Ballons over a Field, 16th Annual Red, White, and Blue Balloon Festival in Letchworth State Park, 2017Ballons over a FieldLetchworth 2017 Getting to the area and parking was a bit tough as more and more people come see the event every year. It was really crowded. But hope was in the air! The heavy clouds scattered and we could see spots of blue sky with light puffy clouds floating about. In the end, it was a no go nevertheless due to bad wind direction that would take the balloons southwest over wooded areas with nowhere to land. The crews still put on a show though and set up many of the balloons anyway to lower the crowd disappointment. A gigantic dragon balloon, probably twice as tall compared to the other balloons, was the center of attention.

After wandering about for a little bit and checking out who we knew and was new we headed home knowing it would be another early morning the next day, with Sunday morning forecast still looking very promising.

Having corrected my alarm setting error we were up at 3:45 in the morning on Sunday, forecast still looking good, just the wind direction instilling doubts. This time, we arrived well ahead of the actual sunrise and could enjoy the wonder Mother Nature often sets up in Letchworth.  Again, a topic for a future post, hopefully soon. When the sun rose, back to Archery Field it was for us. The first captain meeting resulted in a go but with a delay due to dense fog. The second meeting, maybe 20 - 30 minutes later confirmed the go despite the wind mostly blowing towards northwest. The test balloon showed various wind directions at the lower levels before heading NW once higher.

Ballon over a Shed, 16th Annual Red, White, and Blue Balloon Festival in Letchworth State Park, 2017Ballon over a ShedLetchworth 2017 Balloons came out of their bags, got spread out, inflated, heated, and off the ground they launched. Only very few, maybe four, managed to clear the tree line and get over the gorge, which is to the west from the field. Normally a hallmark of the event, the gorge did not get filled with hot air balloons this morning. And the few that made it in were hard to see as the fog was really thick. All the other balloons got blown right out of the park towards Castile, NY and over farm land.

Into the car we went to chase the balloons and see them land, preferably CT Ballooning, another tradition established over the five years of following the event. There was a really nice view of the balloons over the fields right by the park entrance with many of them visible in a fairly constrained area. Observation and reading the map on our GPS became our next activity as we tried to catch up with the balloons. What can normally take quite a while was a rather short activity. After one right and couple lefts we saw CT Ballooning and other ballons very low to the ground and by the time we got there they were firmly landed. No drama of finding an acceptable spot this time, as several landed on a large parking lot of a church.

Over the years, we have met several of the balloon crews and they were always nice, ready to share their experience with us, complete strangers, answer our questions, and let us be part of this fun event. Special thanks go to Jim Regan of CT Ballooning who we have successfully chased to landing for five straight years now and also to Sean Quigley of Balloons over Letchworth for organizing this whole fantastic event!

Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you! (#etbtsy)

ReferencesBalloon Events Calendar on Balloon Federation of America - Letchworth State Park Map (South) - CTBallooningBalloons over Letchworth

Would you like to see more photographs from Western New York? Visit my Buffalo & Western New York Landscapes and enjoy! Please, let me know if you have any questions about any photo products offered, or not offered, I will be happy to help! For a quick reference to all photo galleries and collections as well as all photo products currently offered through my site, please, visit the Products page.

Do you like my free content but are not ready to buy a photograph for your walls yet? Using my links to do your shopping helps me share more photographs and write the stories behind them. And it costs you nothing. You just need to start your shopping by clicking on an advertised product or use the Amazon search box in bottom left. It does not matter what you eventually buy as long as you start here. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how small. Thank you!

Would you like to see my photographs printed, matted, and framed? Visit Picture Your Walls in Hamburg, NY (184 Buffalo St, Hamburg, NY 14075).

12th Annual Red, White & Blue Balloon Rally, Memorial Day Weekend, Letchworth State Park, Western New York. Hot Air Balloon over Great Bend.Balloon over Big Bend of LetchworthLetchworth 2013 Bright and Happy Abstract Colors of Hot Air Balloons, Letchworth State ParkBright and Happy ColorsLetchworth 2015 15th Annual Red, White & Blue Balloon Rally Festival, Letchworth State Park, Castile, NYSky Riders at 15th Annual Red, White & Blue Balloon RallyLetchworth 2016

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