Monday, February 24, 2014

Winter Foray

Escaped the house yesterday to explore some icy waterfalls for material to use in my next video.  Along the way, I saw a few late winter scenes to capture with my smartphone. On the path up Havana Glen towards Eagle Cliff Falls, I found the record of an earlier walker and his dog.  One footprint for each.

The huge sycamore trees along the creek often hold on to their leaves until late winter when snow and ice build up on them. Then, a strong wind finally pulls them free to litter the snowy field.  These leaves were virtually the only colorful objects to be found on this late February morning. 

The leaves along the way were only a diversion from my goal to see what the lower part of Eagle Cliff Falls looked like after a cold winter's season. It was running muddy brown-- after all, February is the beginning of the fifth season - mud season.  There were huge mountains of ice on the drops.

The main falls is up around the bend and the trail up there is closed for obvious reasons.  It must be a wonderful scene that I can only guess about.

Note:  All of the above images were made by iPhone 5S (handheld) and processed on my iPad using Laminar Pro editing app.


Paul Schmitt

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Passing the Wintertime

There are those winter days when getting outdoors is just too much work.  The winter of 2013-2014 has been a tough one, and given me plenty of those bitterly cold days. I've learned to fill those days with a bucket list- great books to read and new skills to learn for my photography.  Another entertainment for those cold days was the activity at our bird feeder just outside the kitchen window. There is a nice sheltering Weigela bush nearby where the small birds take their sunflower seeds to safely open.  (We've lost no birds to the hawks this year.)  January went quickly as a result of these three subjects.

Learning to shoot and edit video is on my list.  It has proven to be a complex subject. The camera must be rock steady and setting the aperture and shutter speed for a smooth flow of moving animals is often difficult. Further, you need a plan before you shoot so that the final product seems to have continuity. I learned that those are actually the easy part when I stepped into the editing.  Fades and picture within a picture seemed unfathomable for days.  

So, I now have my first attempt at a short video that shows a cold snowy day from the perspective of my kitchen window.   I hope you enjoy it.

Here it is:

I noted January went quickly.  February seems a little slower as I build up plans for an active spring of bird photography and hopefully some added videography.  (Did you know that "videography" is not in all spell checkers?  Seems an oversight.)  I hope to have some more videos to share in the coming months and hope to gain added finish as I progress. Your interest is appreciated.

Kind regards,

Paul Schmitt

Monday, February 3, 2014

Two Views of Seneca Harbor

I visited one of the iconic scenes of the Finger Lakes this winter.  The cold wind driving straight down Seneca Lake made my eyes water, even though there was barely a breeze. I only had my little Canon G9 point and shoot camera with me and was struggling with the controls.  Glove liners really change the tactile feel of a small button. I rushed to finish this and retreat to the warm car.  With modest editing, the image does capture the feeling of cold. Doesn't the blue seem cold when in the context of ice?  I do make different associations with blue in a summer setting.

Looking at the image a few days later, I thought there was another way to work this image and make more of it.  A little voice kept saying to go monochromatic.  Off I went into editing wonderland.  At some point,  however, I longed to recover the lake house and it's simple red, and I did.

What moved me to go to this?  Well, the red lake house seemed the only thing remaining warm -- red is warm, right? -- and I wanted it to be holding out against the bleak cold.

I welcome your reactions to the two renderings of the scene.

The eighteen day forecast for the region says below average cold and average precipitation, so I guess this image will be timely for a while.

Paul Schmitt