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Winter is Here (Again)!

December 12, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Foma Retropan 320, Mamiya 645 1000sFoma Retropan 320, Mamiya 645 1000sFoma Retropan 320, Mamiya 645 1000s My posts will now have a split personality right in sync with the weather outside. We've gone from winter to fall and right back to winter to wrap up the previously started winter adventure in the Southtowns of Buffalo, New York. If you'd like to get the full continuity, feel free to go back to Country Roads in Winter and Winter is Here!, which are Part I and Part II of this winter experience. Today's Part III is the finale.

You can see the choice of camera and film on the right and I will repeat, that Foma Retropan 320 in combination with winter landscapes is growing on me. Yes, the grain is the size that one could bite it, but it seems to suit the mood very well. Of course, feel free to disagree and leave me a note either way, I'd love to get your perspective.

I love the large barn in the first photo, which is just up the hill from me. Unlike many other barns you have seen on my blog this one is in a good shape and in active use with hopefully many years ahead. It's next to a larger and busier road making it harder to stop and photograph. But it all worked out on this occasion, and I am really glad. It looks even better in winter! And that grain!

Winter on Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park, NY. Mamiya 645, Foma Retropan 320, Kodak XTOL.Winter on Chestnut Ridge RoadOrchard Park Winter

Winter on Chestnut Ridge Road
Mamiya 645, Foma Retropan 320, Kodak XTOL

And then there are roads themselves. I am not sure when my obsession with roads began but I have my suspicions. I think our first long family road trip in 2013 had something to do with that. And I mean mostly narrow back roads, whether winding or straight as a shot. They have their charm and come with different moods. Or maybe they are accepting of my moods. I gave this one an ambiguous name of Southtowns Winter. The photo is not means as a depiction of a specific location. It's meant to express what the Southtowns of Buffalo, NY are known for, what it feels like to be there for about 4 months every year.

Southtowns Winter, Orchard Park, New York. Mamiya 645, Fomapan 400, Kodak XTOL.Southtowns WinterOrchard Park Winter

Southtowns Winter
Mamiya 645, Foma Fomapan 400, Kodak XTOL

Let's see what the weather has in store for us going forward. That may influence what the next post brings. Or it may not. Looking at the photo candidates I see a neutral opportunity as there has been too much of a break from cyanotypes on these pages and I have some new ones I've been holding back for a while. Is it time to get them out?

Thanks for visiting, ...

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

PS: I goofed up a little bit and the second photo is from the next roll of film. Thus it's on Fomapan 400, not Retropan 320. And the photo that was supposed to be here will be in the next wintery post making for another mixed film post. But you know what? That could be a good thing to show the comparison side by side. The Retropan definitely shows more grain and creates a different mood.

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! If black and white is your cup of tea, why not head over to the World without Color photo collection? And finally, if you enjoy looking at winter scenery, I have the Winter collection just for that purpose.

Through the Winter Landscape, Creek in Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, New York (NY)Through the Winter LandscapeWestern NY Winter Snow Covered Spooky Winter Wetlands, Orchard Park, New York. Rolleiflex Automat, Fomapan 400, Caffenol Delta.Spooky Winter WetlandsWestern NY Winter Snowy Birdsong Gate in Winter with a Reflection in the Creek, Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, New York (NY). Rolleiflex Automat, Fomapan 400, Caffenol Delta.Birdsong Gate in WinterWestern NY Winter

Longboards in Winter, Frozen Hamburg Beach, Hamburg, NY.  Nikon FE, Ilford Delta Film, Kodak XTOL..LongboardsWestern NY Winter Hamburg Kingdom of Ice in Winter, Hoak's Lakeshore Restaurant, Hamburg, NY.  Nikon FE, Ilford Delta Film, Kodak XTOL.Hamburg Kingdom of IceWestern NY Winter


Warm and Colorful

November 30, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

I think today is a good day to go back to fall and share some bright, colorful, and warm photos of a sunny day in Letchworth State Park. While receiving the 6+ feet of snow was a fun Buffalo classic the rain that we've had over the last several days has not been! Most of the snow is gone but a good amount is still hanging on despite a week of warm temperatures and the rain. But it's not the bright white and happy snow, it's wet and dirty and only contributes to the overall miserable weather.

Gardeau Overlook in the Fall, Letchworth State ParkGardeau Overlook in the Fall, Letchworth State ParkSlightly off-the-beaten-path in Letchworth State Park ...

Gardeau Overlook in the Fall, Letchworth State Park

May these photos bring some sunshine to our dreary days!

We usually take southern backroads and enter Letchworth via the Castile entrance and then focus on the southern part of the park. Once in a while to stir the pot a little bit we take the 20A, circle around the park's northern tip and enter from the northeast. That allows us to enjoy the sights around route 20A and then drive through the full length of the park, pick some stops we normally do not get to enjoy, and hike some new trails. Indeed, we still have not hiked quite a few.

The first picture here is one such example as we rarely stop at the Gardeau Overlook and enjoy the plains where the Genesee River flows out of the Letchworth gorge. The cliffs are replaced with more vegetation here, which works well with the seasonal foliage. I was really glad to find a vantage point that was not too overgrown, and it was possible to spot the river. And even better, it was one of the many river bends.

Wolf Creek Trail in the Fall, Letchworth State ParkWolf Creek Trail in the FallWhile the main attractions in Letchworth State Park ...

Wolf Creek Trail in the Fall, Letchworth State Park

Further south the Wolf Creek area is very popular, and I was glad this was not a weekend. The creek flowing under a bridge, the surrounding forest, and the tall waterfall into Genesee River all make for quite a picturesque location. The trail that starts across the creek from the parking area is a gem too, though. I really like the stairs, the rock walls lining the trail, the forest, and the gorgeous views one gets rewarded with after a very short hike.

The rock walls are a beautiful add-on to a lot of the viewpoints and trails in Letchworth State Park and I hope people's stupidity does not force a change to thick tall steel railings or worse, some plastic monstrosities. Every time I see people on or behind the walls these thoughts go through my mind. Every time someone gets hurt in the park the chances of negative changes grow. I hope future generations will still get to enjoy thsi park in its current form with the rock walls adding beauty rather than taking away.

Back at Hog's Back in the Fall, Letchworth State ParkBack at Hog's Back in the FallWhile not one of the three main attractions in Letchworth State Park ...

Back at Hog's Back in the Fall, Letchworth State Park

The day ended up on a two for one deal for the northern part of the park. We decided we also wanted to take 20A back home and thus had another chance to fill in the blanks. I like the Hog's Back area quite a bit and have photographed there many times in the past and if you go back through or search my blog or the Buffalo & Western New York Landscapes photo gallery you will find more photos to compare. Sometimes, the Genesee River can be a small creek that's hard to find and other times, the whole floodplain down in the valley will be flooded. I enjoyed how it looked on this day! But even here, finding an unobstructed view was unusually difficult. My usual spots were so overgrown with shrubs that I could not believe they were the same spots. In the end, standing on my tippy toes, I found this last view shared today.

Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you! (#etbtsy)

Autumn Reflection, Sinking Ponds, East Aurora, New York (NY.Autumn Reflection at Sinking PondsFall Abstract Fall ColorsFall ColorsFall Abstract Fall Abstract Reflection at Moss Lake, Autumn Nature in Western New YorkFall Abstract at Moss LakeFall Abstract

Stone Wall in the Fall, Letchworth State Park, New YorkStone WallLetchworth State Park Colorful Morning Inspiration, Middle and Upper Falls, Letchworth State ParkColorful Morning InspirationLetchworth State Park


Winter is Here!

November 21, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Foma Retropan 320, Mamiya 645 1000sFoma Retropan 320, Mamiya 645 1000sFoma Retropan 320, Mamiya 645 1000s I had a completely different post in mind for today. I was going with a warm and colorful fall post from our annual fall time in the woods expeditions. However, that seems rather inappropriate as we had to dig out from over six feet of snow on Saturday. Since I have not heard any official names for this event, I termed it Snowember 2.0 in loving memory of that 2014 winter storm.

As a result, I am going with a winter theme. Right now, the forecast calls for a warm up during the week and a significant snow melt, as it often happens when snow arrives this early. On one hand it is quite a waste as this would serve as a super snow base for the season but on the other hand a thaw can provide the needed relief for maintenance crews as well as our roofs. There have already been a number of collapsed structures and having so much snow above my head does not make me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.

To get a dose of happy winter mood we're heading just a little bit south to the rural Southtowns on Buffalo, New York. There are some roads I really enjoy exploring and visiting repeatedly in different conditions. And sometimes the equipment or materials contribute to the difference. I've posted winter scenery captured on Foma Retropan 320 before but the more I look at this combination the more I like it. I think the grain combines very well with the mostly high key images. And I will admit, I have also been moving more and more away from perfection full of detail. I enjoy many forms of photographic imperfections. And a grainy film like the Retropan 320 fits the bill quite well.

Draudt Road Barn and Silos, Orchard Park Winter. Mamiya 645, Retropan 320, Kodak XTOL.Draudt Road Barn and SilosOrchard Park Winter

Draudt Road Barn and Silos, Orchard Park Winter
Mamiya 645, Foma Retropan 320, Kodak XTOL

The first photo shows my favorite angle on the old barn and silos. I like that the structure is fairly prominent while still showing the surroundings, the charming narrow road running by, the utility poles, and of course the trees. Lately, I have been more and more of a fan of wider views though allowing my main subjects fall further into the background and leaving plenty of room around them in the frame, when such a photo is possible. I was glad that for this scene I chose to do both, the closer angle as well as the wider one.

Winter On Draudt Road, Orchard Park Winter. Mamiya 645, Foma Retropan 320, Kodak XTOL.Winter On Draudt RoadOrchard Park Winter

On Draudt Road, Orchard Park Winter
Mamiya 645, Foma Retropan 320, Kodak XTOL

And then there are views that speak to me all of a sudden. I passed them as many times as the sights photographed lot more often, yet, I may not have raised the camera and clicked the shutter before. That is the case with the photo below. Somehow, this winter scene was what I needed to change that.

Farmhouse in Trees, Orchard Park Winter. Mamiya 645, Foma Retropan 320, Kodak XTOL.Farmhouse in Trees in WinterOrchard Park Winter

Farmhouse in Trees, Orchard Park Winter
Mamiya 645, Foma Retropan 320, Kodak XTOL

What do you think? A worthy trade off of fall and winter photos? Or would you have preferred I went with my original colorful plan. If that is the case you won't have to wait too long, I have that post planned next and the weather will determine when that is.


Thanks for visiting! 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! If black and white is your cup of tea, why not head over to the World without Color photo collection? And finally, if you enjoy looking at winter scenery, I have the Winter collection just for that purpose.

Farmhouse in Winter, Orchard Park, Southtowns, Buffalo, NY. Mamiya 645, Retropan 320, XTOL.Farmhouse in WinterWestern New York Winter Winter on a Country Road, Orchard Park, Southtowns, Buffalo, NY. Mamiya 645, Retropan 320, XTOL.Winter on a Country RoadWestern New York Winter Utility Poles Lining a Snowed In Country Road, Orchard Park, Southtowns, Buffalo, NY. Mamiya 645, Retropan 320, XTOL.Utility PolesWestern New York Winter

Beautiful Barn in Winter, Back Roads of Orchard Park, New York. Pentacon Six, Fomapan 400, D-23.Beautiful Barn in WinterWestern New York Winter Railroad Crossing, 3 Tracks, Back Roads in Winter in Orchard Park, New York. Pentacon Six, Fomapan 400, D-23.Railroad Crossing, 3 TracksWestern New York Winter


Southtowns Gems

November 15, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Mamiya RB67, 90mm Mamiya-Sekor, Fomapan 200Mamiya RB67Mamiya RB67, Fomapan 200 One of the Southtowns Gems that gave a name to today's post is located on a loop I like to circle quite often, recently mostly on a motorcycle. However, it's also a great medium difficulty bicycle ride, which unfortunately I have not done in a long while.

The house is located in West Falls, NY and at some point, I noticed how great it looks in sunrise light. Its facade is facing east and when the sun clears the terrain to the east and illuminates it with its warm rays it lights up like a light bulb. And of course, the wonderful variations go from there, whether a sunny morning with clear skies paving the way for a fitting filter or cloudy skies with the clouds getting a similar sunshine treatment from below as the house itself.

One of these sunny mornings it was time to go back to the target location with a camera. The tool of choice was a Mamiya RB67 loaded with Fomapan 200 black and white film. To enhance the sky behind I fitted an orange filter on the lens. I had three lenses with me for this expedition: a wide angle 65mm, normal 90mm, and a short telephoto 127mm.

How did things go in the end? I started the day with the 90mm lens at the primary location. As hoped for, the house was lit wonderfully and all that remained was a choice of a perspective. I settled on the 90mm and an angle that would include not only the house but also the leaning utility pole across the street. I decided to go hand-held to keep things simpler. The camera is so heavy that its inertia helps with steady photos. And as I mentioned, the scene was brightly lit.

Camera malfunction, an abstract roadside photograph from West Falls, New York. Mamiya RB67, 90mm Mamiya-Sekor, Fomapan 200, D-23.Camera malfunctionWest Falls, NY

Camera malfunction, an abstract roadside photograph from West Falls, New York
Mamiya RB67, 90mm Mamiya-Sekor, Fomapan 200, D-23

What do you think? Exactly as planned, right? I was quite surprised when I developed the roll a few days later and found that the 10 total frames were divided into three groups. The first group, like the first photo here, had an alright exposure but lots of motion blur, the second group were blanks, and the final third group looked as intended.

This was only my second or third outing with the camera and the first time I decided to pay attention to the camera and lens combination. I also decided to go hand-held and forgo the mirror lock-up mode to simplify. When I saw the results, I was able to tie the three groups to the lenses used and carefully inspect each to see what was happening.

The 90mm lens showed visibly lazy shutter blades that closed fast at first but then took extra time to fully close, explaining the motion recorded on film. The 65mm lens was in an even worse shape with the shutter blades fully seized not opening at all. And finally, to provide at least some happy relief from a total failure, the 127mm lens operated perfectly. Over the years oil must have seeped over the blades rendering them almost motionless.

I already had repairs quoted and it's not looking good. One can buy 5 - 10 secondhand lenses on eBay for the repair price. The repair tech is very good, and the lenses would be like new. But with the price of the used lenses being so low it may be better to gamble on those, even if I have to buy a handful before finding one in a solid working order.

Mailboxes, West Falls, NY. Mamiya RB67. 127mm Mamiya-Sekor, Fomapan 200, D-23.MailboxesWest Falls, NY

Mailboxes, West Falls, NY
Mamiya RB67, 127mm Mamiya-Sekor, Fomapan 200, D-23

In the second photo we are still at the first location. After the overall photo I decided to get closer with a tighter lens and focus on the mailbox trio on the corner. And I am glad I did, at least location number one was not a total bust.

From West Falls, I continued along my favorite loop while often deviating to find other nearby photogenic sights. And after the 30% success rate of this roll of film it sure looks like I will have an opportunity to revisit many of the locations.

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.

Passing Storm over Buffalo with a Mamiya RB67Passing Storm over BuffaloMamiya RB67 Dock D, Erie Basin Marina with a Mamiya RB67Dock D, Erie Basin MarinaMamiya RB67


Tropical Sunset

November 07, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

It's been a while since I added to my Seascapes photo gallery. It appears the last post was from a sunrise so why not balance things out with couple photographs from sunset.

Waiohai Beach Sunset, Kaua'i, Hawai'iWaiohai Beach SunsetKaua'i, Hawai'i

Waiohai Beach Sunset, Kauai, Hawaii

Yes, I am fulfilling a promise from the last post to post from somewhere warm. I am not sure I timed it all that well though as the beginning of November 2022 does not feel all that different right here in Buffalo, NY. Yesterday's temperatures reached a crazy 76°F and today did not lag too far behind. While a very pleasant summer extension it makes me think how we are going to pay for it with Lake Erie staying this warm. A fun lake effect snow in the making?

Lava Rocks at Waiohai Beach, Kauai, HawaiiLava Rocks at Waiohai BeachKauai, Hawaii

Lava Rocks at Waiohai Beach, Kauai, Hawaii, Kauai, Hawaii

Which photograph do you prefer? The first one with a shorter exposure time freezing a moment in time close to what one's eyes would see or the second with a long exposure moving us just slightly outside of reality?

Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you! (#etbtsy)

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 - Tropical Sunrise - Tropical Sunset

Sunrise over Makawehi Lithified Cliffs in the tropical Pacific paradise of Kauai, HawaiiSunrise over Makawehi Lithified CliffsKauai, Hawaii Stormy Pacific Daybreak over Lava Filled Coastline of Kauai, HawaiiStormy Pacific DaybreakKauai, Hawaii Lava & Water and a Leaving Storm, Kauai, HawaiiLava & WaterKauai, Hawaii

Colors of Sunrise at Shipwreck Beach, Keoneloa Bay, one of Po’ipu beaches, South Shore Kauai, Hawaii (HI).Colors of Sunrise at Shipwreck BeachKauai, Hawaii Stormy sunrise at Secret Beach, Kauai, Hawaii (HI). Sand, lava rock, Pacific Ocean Waves, and dramatic sky.The Start of a Beautiful Day at Secret Beach, Kauai, HawaiiKauai, Hawaii

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