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Spring is in the Air

May 10, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

We are only 6 weeks away from summer solstice and the longest day of the year but I still get frost alerts almost daily. That is not really unique to this year and one does not usually clear the frost safety until after Memorial Day here in Western New York. Other than the cold mornings, the days are warm now and nature has sprung to life with greenery and blooms everywhere.

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To acknowledge that, I have updated the slideshow on my homepage to be warmer and more welcoming especially for the locals who are probably done with winter at this point. And you can tell by everyone working on their yards or in their gardens. There's clear excitement for the lively season of spring.

Cherry Tree Blossoms, Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo, NYCherry Tree Blossoms in BuffaloBuffalo History Museum

Cherry Tree Blossoms, Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo, NY
Photographed with a Nikon N75 on Kodak Gold 200 film and developed in Cinestill C-41

For today's post, I have selected couple photographs from the Buffalo History Museum where the annual cherry blossom festival always provides beautiful views and summarizes what I tried to type up above into a single scene. It's a happy place!

Cherry Tree Blossoms, Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo, NYCherry Tree BlossomsBuffalo History Museum

Cherry Tree Blossoms, Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo, NY
Photographed with a Nikon N75 on Kodak Gold 200 film and developed in Cinestill C-41

I posted other photographs from this location in the past but these are more in line with my return to film over the past few years. These were captured on a consumer grade Kodak Gold 200 film with a Nikon N75 plastic fantastic camera that was released by Nikon in 2003 as their last consumer film camera model before the digital revolution killed off that product class.

Cherry Tree Blossoms on Kodak Gold 200 Color Negative FilmFilm StripKodak Gold While you are reading this blog post and looking at the two photographs on a screen of a digital device, know that it lived as analog for a little longer that usual these days. Light hit a rectangle of light sensitive 35mm color negative film and changed its chemical properties forever. Then, the developer continued that chemical reaction and brought the "captured" light back into life, and the fixer made sure the chemical reaction was stopped and the photo on the film became permanent. After that point, I scanned the photo in and converted it into over 400 million of ones and zeros :-)

Are you curious about the old-fashioned art of analog photography? I wrote an article for Emulsive a while back that should provide you with all you need to get started. And if it leaves you with questions, please, feel free to contact me via this website or on Instagram or Facebook.

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

Do you enjoy reading my photography blog? Would you like to see more photographs from Buffalo and Western New York? Visit my Buffalo Cityscapes and Buffalo & Western New York Landscapes and enjoy! For more travel photography, my Travel Photography gallery offers an interesting mix of places all around. 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 (commission earned) 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!

Pink-toned Daisy Flower in Letchworth State Park, New YorkLetchworth DaisySpring is in the Air Catkins, Green Grass Theme, Spring in Western New YorkCatkins, Green ThemeSpring is in the Air Common Yellow Dandelion at Swallow Hollow, New YorkSwallow Hollow DandelionSpring is in the Air

Spring Brought Nature Alive at Akron Falls ParkAlive!Spring is in the Air Lush Green Ravine, Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, NY (near Buffalo)Lush Green RavineSpring is in the Air


Picturesque Pískovna

April 27, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

We're traveling again today, this time to the north of the Czech Republic. There are a few fairy-tale rock cities over there. And that is both figuratively as well as literally as some Czech fairy tales were actually filmed there. And if anything is surprising to me it is that it was not even more. 

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However, the rocks are not the main focus of this post. The rocks are only in a supporting role here. The main character of today's story is a beautiful small lake called Pískovna, formed by the flooding of an old sandstone quarry. It's this lake that will both welcome you to the Adršpach-Teplice Rocks National Park as well as say goodbye at the end as it sits at the trail head into the city.

Stormy over Pískovna, Adršpach-Teplice Rocks National Park, Czech RepublicStormy over PískovnaCzech Republic

Stormy over Pískovna, Adršpach-Teplice Rocks National Park, Czech Republic

As you can see, we caught the lake as a rain storm was passing over turning this picturesque body of water with turquoise water a bit more dramatic, quite fitting the rock cliffs on the opposite side.

In a Fairy Tale, Pískovna, Adršpach-Teplice Rocks National Park, Czech RepublicIn a Fairy TaleCzech Republic

In a Fairy Tale, Pískovna, Adršpach-Teplice Rocks National Park, Czech Republic

The walk around the lake is only about 20 minutes and it's definitely worth it, at least in my opinion. You will get a few wonderful views of the lake as you circle it and it's a great complement to the rock city you are either heading into or have just left.

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 or Travel Photography galleries 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!

Ballooning above Špinka, Červený Kostelec, Czech RepublicBallooning above ŠpinkaCzech Republic Squeezed Between Rocks, Czech RepublicSqueezed Between RocksCzech Republic Path through Fields of Gold, a Rolling Hill Dirt Road in Nemotice, Czech Republic, Europe.Path through Fields of GoldCzech Republic
 

Chvalkovice Wind Mill at Dusk, rolling hills of Southern Moravia, Czech Republic, Europe.Chvalkovice Wind Mill at DuskCzech Republic Winding road through rolling hills of Southern Moravia, Mouchnice, Czech Republic, Europe.Rolling Hills of Southern MoraviaCzech Republic


Sleeping Farm

April 20, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

I know that most people look towards summer for warmer days after the cold winter we had but with winter making a (hopefully) brief appearance tomorrow I figured I would sneak in a few more winter themed photographs.

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I really enjoyed our 2020/21 winter. While hesitant to arrive in December it showed up in January and stayed with us for many weeks. What I liked the most was that despite the few warmer days our snow did not melt several times like in the past few years.

Snow is the key winter ingredient to me. It coveres the land, the dirt, the mess and everything looks clean and neat. Add some nice freezing air and the experience of hiking or just walking outside becomes more intense. And cool it down further and the sound of snow creaking under one's boots makes it just about perfect.

Farmhouse in Winter, Knox Farm, East AuroraFarmhouse in WinterKnox Farm

Farmhouse in Winter, Knox Farm, East Aurora, New York
Photographed with a Zorki 4 on Kodak Double-X 5222 black and white film and developed in D-23

Winter also dresses up the landscape for a completely different look. Colors disappear, ground gets covered in a white blanket and why even bother with color film? This winter, I placed all of my color film either in th freezer or on a basement shelf and went 100% black and white. That has a wonderful benefit. Other than sharing the scanned photographs here and on social media I can take my black and white negatives to the darkroom and make traditional wet prints without a single step passing through a computer or a smart phone! And to me, that is a wonderful feeling during these times filled with technology and everything around us going digital.

Fence in Snow, Knox Farm, East AuroraFence in SnowKnox Farm

Fence in Snow, Knox Farm, East Aurora, New York
Photographed with a Zorki 4 on Kodak Double-X 5222 black and white film and developed in D-23

Knox Farm is one of those places that look great all year round. Every single season brings its special look and winter is no exception. Look at the photo above. That fallen fence just would not look the same with green grass under, would it? Or the hay bales below. The snow just beautifully sets them off!

Hay Bales in Snow, Knox Farm, East Aurora, NYHay Bales in SnowKnox Farm

Hay Bales in Snow, Knox Farm, East Aurora, New York
Photographed with a Zorki 4 on Kodak Double-X 5222 black and white film and developed in D-23

There may be another benefit to winter, at least for me. All of the beautiful places have fewer people as they choose to stay warm in their homes. And that is just fine with me. I have always enjoyed natural places without crowds and they are harder and harder to come by.

Battle Lost, Knox Farm, East Aurora, NYBattle LostKnox Farm

Battle Lost, Knox Farm, East Aurora, New York
Photographed with a Zorki 4 on Kodak Double-X 5222 black and white film and developed in D-23

I hope you have enjoyed today's stroll through a simplified winter landscape and will come back to my blog for another visit soon. It will gradually turn to spring and summer themes but who knows, there may be one or two more cold posts.

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

Do you enjoy reading my photography blog? Would you like to see more photographs from Buffalo and Western New York? Visit my Buffalo Cityscapes and Buffalo & Western New York Landscapes and enjoy! For more travel photography, my Travel Photography gallery offers an interesting mix of places all around. 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 (commission earned) 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!

White Trail of Wonders in Winter, Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, New York (NY)White Trail of WondersBirdsong Park Through the Winter Landscape, Creek in Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, New York (NY)Through the Winter LandscapeBirdsong Park Snowy Birdsong Gate in Winter with a Reflection in the Creek, Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, New York (NY)Birdsong Gate in WinterBirdsong Park

Snow Covered Winter Entrance to the Wetlands Woods, Orchard Park, New YorkWinter EntranceWoods in WInter Snow Covered Spooky Winter Wetlands, Orchard Park, New YorkSpooky Winter WetlandsSwamp in Winter

 


At the Edge of Kalalau Valley

April 13, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

As 2020 put an end to all travel, or at least travel to faraway places, I also stopped several of my blog series, specifically from the Czech Republic and also from Hawaii. It was not intentional, it just happened. And looking back at it now I am not sure why. Either way, I am restarting those series again and here's to 2021 being a better travel year than 2020 despite the continued challenges.

Support this blog: Do you like my free content but are not ready to buy a photograph yet? Using my links (Amazon) to do your shopping helps me share more photographs and write the stories behind them. Thank you!

In the last post from this series (in 2019; Further up Waimea Canyon), I offered views into the beautiful Waimea Canyon, or the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Today we are going to look down a deep coastal valley, the best known valley of the gorgeous Na Pali coast of Kauai. Its name is Kalalau Valley and the view you can see here is the only one you can get somewhat easily. Why?

The Na Pali coast at the northwestern part of Kauai is only accessible by kayaks (only in summer) or on foot. On foot, the Kalalau Valley Trail is a very difficult hike (feel free to search Kalalau Trail). By sea, it is a 3-hour kayak paddle to get there plus getting back or traversing the rest of the coast between Ha'ena Beach and Polihale Beach.

The next best thing is two fold. You can drive to the Kalalau Lookout on Kokee Road and enjoy the view from there, or drive as far as the road will take you followed by a short hike to the Pu'u O Kila Lookout. The latter option is more rewarding. Based on how much it rained recently expect to get dirty with the special Hawaiian red dirt that may leave you with a souvenir forever. Both lookouts are a subject to weather conditions. Sometimes, you can get wonderful clear view and other times you may not see anything at all as the valley below you gets covered by clouds. If that happens don't give up easily. Sometimes, even minutes can make a world of a difference, other times, more patience will be needed. But chances are you will get a glimpse of the valley below even if the break in the clouds is short lived. Have the camera ready.

Rainbow over Kalalau Valley, Kauai, HawaiiRainbow over Kalalau ValleyKauai, Hawaii

Rainbow over the Kalalau Valley, Kauai, Hawaii

That was the case on this particular hike. It was drizzling, all covered with clouds, and the ground wet. But the view did open up briefly and we were rewarded with a rainbow too. Just before this moment, the rainbow was actually stronger but I ended up selecting this photo because of the hints of sunshine hitting the valley floor.

And don't forget to look closer. Some of the most beautiful things may not be thousands of feet down a valley but literally right at your feet.

Paradise Ferns, At the Edge of Kakalau Valley, Kauai, HawaiiParadise FernsAt the Edge of Kakalau Valley

Ferns at the Edge of Kalalau Valley, Kauai, Hawaii

Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you! (#etbtsy)

ReferencesKayak the Na Pali CoastEpic NaPali Coast Hike

Previously from Hawaii: The Beginning - Seaside Pinhole Photography - Tropical Clichés - Windy Drama of a Tropical Morning - Quite an Ad - Searching for Sun and Warmth - Not Your Sunrise Cliché - So Peaceful - Some Morning Drama - Farmland in the Canyon - Further up Waimea Canyon - At the Edge of Kalalau Valley

Did you enjoy this post and the enclosed photographs? Visit the Landscapes Faraway gallery for natural landscape beyond Western New York to see more. If you are a fan of nature's fall colors, I have an Autumn gallery dedicated to that season for you. 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.

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!

Pololu Valley Beach from high up, North Shore Big Island, Hawaii (HI).Pololu Valley BeachBig Island Sunset on rocks by Ke'e Beach, Cliffs of Na Pali Coast, North Shore Kauai, Hawaii (HI).Ke'e Beach SunsetKauai, Hawaii Pololu Valley from Above, North Shore Big Island, Hawaii (HI).Pololu ValleyBig Island

Misty sunrise and a totem pole at Secret Beach, north Shore Kauai, Hawaii (HI).Secret Beach, Kauai, Hawaii.Kauai, Hawaii Stormy sunrise at Secret Beach, Kauai, Hawaii (HI). Sand, lava rock, Pacific Ocean Waves, and dramatic sky.Secret Beach, Kauai, HawaiiKauai, Hawaii


Kingdom of Ice, Part 2

March 09, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Continued from Kingdom of Ice

I was planning on a slightly bigger gap between Part 1 and Part 2 but since it is supposed to warm up this week and I don't know what fate awaits this winter here it goes today so that it does not end up being a year apart. It's strange but when people start looking forward to spring they don't enjoy looking at winter photos much anymore.

Support this blog: Do you like my free content but are not ready to buy a photograph yet? Using my links (Amazon) to do your shopping helps me share more photographs and write the stories behind them.

In Part 1 I focused on Hoak's Lakeshore Restaurant. In Part 2, let's take a look around. The immediately adjacent areas did not get spared the storm's fury either and got coated with ice resulting in some cool shapes and a true winter wonderland.

Hamburg Kingdom of Ice. Photographed with a Nikon FE on Ilfod Delta 100 black and white film and developed in Kodak XTOL.Hamburg Kingdom of IceKingdom of Ice

Hamburg Kingdom of Ice, Hamburg, NY
Photographed with a Nikon FE on Ilfod Delta 100 black and white film and developed in Kodak XTOL.

Using color filters in black and white photography is quite common. Well, at least when using black and white film it is. With digital, capturing photos in color, and converting to black and white later, the effect can be dialed in after the fact. But with black and white film the color information is not captured and thus filtering must be done at capture time. To avoid a plain light gray or white sky, different filters can be used to achieve a different level of darkening. With a yellow filter, the effect is subtle, with orange, a bit more pronounced, and with red, the sky can go really dark, even black.

Hamburg Clock Tower, Kingdom of Ice, Hamburg, NY. Photographed with a Nikon FE on Ilfod Delta 100 black and white film and developed in Kodak XTOL.Hamburg Clock TowerKingdom of Ice

Hamburg Clock Tower, Kingdom of Ice, Hamburg, NY
Photographed with a Nikon FE on Ilfod Delta 100 black and white film and developed in Kodak XTOL

What a strong blowing wind and water mist can do in really low temperatures is quite amazing. Surfaces get coated with a layer of ice and icicles grow in weird angles, sometimes almost horizontally. Look below. Can you guess what served as the foundation for the ice claw?

The Ice Claw, Kingdom of Ice, Hamburg, NY. Photographed with a Nikon FE on Ilfod Delta 100 black and white film and developed in Kodak XTOL.The Ice ClawKingdom of Ice

The Ice Claw, Kingdom of Ice, Hamburg, NY.
Photographed with a Nikon FE on Ilfod Delta 100 black and white film and developed in Kodak XTOL

For the final photo, we're heading just a short distance south along Route 5 to Hamburg Beach. Unlike most, for me it's a place where I end up more often in winter than in summer. And on this day I really liked the juxtaposition of seasons with the longboards sign against the frozen beach in the background.

Longboards, Kingdom of Ice, Hambug Beach, New York. Photographed with a Nikon FE on Ilfod Delta 100 black and white film and developed in Kodak XTOL.LongboardsKingdom of Ice

Longboards, Kingdom of Ice, Hamburg, NY.
Photographed with a Nikon FE on Ilfod Delta 100 black and white film and developed in Kodak XTOL

So there you have it. Winter at it's creative finest. If you're in the northern hemisphere, enjoy the arrival of spring and the days getting longer. While I like winter I definitely appreciate the longer days both for just getting more fresh air as well as more opportunities for camera time. And with daylight savings time just ahead of us the evenings will definitely be better!

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

Do you enjoy reading my photography blog? Would you like to see more photographs from Buffalo and Western New York? Visit my Buffalo Cityscapes and Buffalo & Western New York Landscapes and enjoy! For more travel photography, my Travel Photography gallery offers an interesting mix of places all around. 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 (commission earned) 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!

Ice Wrapped, Hoak's Lakeshore Restaurant, Hamburg, NYIce WrappedWinter Wonderland Icicle Formation, Lake Erie Shore in Winter, Sturgeon PointIcicle FormationWinter Wonderland Cart and Wheelbarrow in Ice, Hoak's Lakeshore Restaurant, Hamburg, New YorkCart and Wheelbarrow in IceWinter Wonderland

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