Scene of the Crime

A chance encounter in a parking lot

I like to put a little humor in my photography and I always keep an eye out for something unusual that might make an interesting subject that fits that bill.  Staying in the moment and not being too serious helps with this.

Such was the confluence of events this Thursday morning.  I had just received my caffeine-fix from my local Starbucks dealer and walked back to my truck.  Next to my truck, I found this crime scene; a clear case of hit and run with two victims, whose contents had been spilled across the pavement.

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Scene of the Crime

A lovely couple of Diet Coke cans had been violently crushed and left without a second thought right here, just moments before I arrived on the scene.  I was too late to catch a glimpse of the perpetrator, so this crime will likely end up in the cold case file…

The Yoga Tree

A tree for all seasons tells a tale

A couple of years ago, I chanced upon this amazing tree that throws this amazing pose, as if she is reaching up to the sky in a perfectly balanced asana.  The Yoga Tree, as she became known, projects a serenity, grace and indomitable spirit that many of us strive toward.

At this point, I have several thousand images of this amazing tree ranging through the seasons with a wondrous variety of skies and light conditions.  My favorites among them will become part of a coffee table book that I plan to put together during 2016.

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The Wise Tree

In this image during the Autumn season, she stands with supreme grace and wisdom, backed by the morning light and a cloud-cover that speaks of a day full of hope and beauty.

A twist to this tale is that the Yoga Tree sits at the edge of a farm, where they have been dumping significant amounts of waste soil in the field behind her.  This may mean that her lifespan could be shortened, so I visit her regularly to capture her every mood.

Creating a bit of magic

Technology and mood combine into photography

The combination of technology and photography have allowed for some rather interesting advances in what we can capture and the ease, with which images can be created.  As a result, we have created a generation of ‘mad snappers’, who, at times, appear to be more intent on photographing or recording an event than experiencing it.

As a photographic dinosaur, I tend to be somewhat careful in my shooting, as if there is still film involved.  Mind you, that doesn’t mean that I won’t make use of the immediate feedback that the LCD panel provides on the back of my camera; it’s nice to get some fast feedback on image composition and to use the histogram for exposure details.  However, I tend not to photograph everything that I see.

Standing against the approaching weather, Nubble Light provides a beacon of hope and safety.

Nubble Light on Cape Neddick, Maine, is one of the subjects that I had avoided photographing for a long time; I have seen so many photographs of this lighthouse, many of which are very good, that I found it hard to imagine that I could do something to contribute to the Nubble Light oeuvre.  Maybe it’s a little pretentious, but I like for my images to have an impact and emotion to them.

Until this fine June afternoon, when my mother and sister were visiting from the Netherlands.  Something clicked in my mind, when I saw the interplay of sea, clouds and light, which urged me to take several series of varying exposures from this lower angle.

About six weeks later, when my mood was dark enough, I created this image from those exposures, infused with sufficient drama and dark emotion to make me happy with the end product.

Hopefully, you find something that strikes a chord in you within this image!

What lies at our feet

The Pond

BY AMY LOWELL

Cold, wet leaves
Floating on moss-coloured water
And the croaking of frogs—
Cracked bell-notes in the twilight.
—-
During those moments when we look for the grand landscape to capture, it may lie at our feet.
During those moments when we look for the grand landscape to capture, it may lie at our feet.

—-

Photography is a funny thing: All too often, we wander around with our fancy cameras with this preconceived notion of what great landscape we are going to capture, only to come up wanting.

This image was captured at such a time during a photo trip to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

Our group was looking for the  perfect spot to do some sunset photography; most were looking for landscape features that would complement the light of the sun, as it descended toward the horizon.

As I trailed the group, I took a moment to look at the pond in front of me.  A bit of experimentation with the composition of what I saw resulted in ‘Pondscape’.

Oh, and that sunset never panned out for us.

Happy New Title and Tag You’re It!

As this blog didn’t evolve much over the past couple of years, today was a perfect time for the second daily task in the Blogging 101 course from WordPress’ Blogging University: Take Control of Your Title and Tagline.

It was time to rid this blog of the old title of ‘jansenphoto’, as my name doesn’t truly reflect me.  The new title ‘Dutch goes the Photo’ actually tells you something about me, my background and approach to photography.

Angleic Butterfly emerging from Vines
Cryptomorphosis 1

The new tagline ‘Focus Hocus Pocus’ is a nod to one of my favorite Dutch bands, Focus and one of their great songs ‘Hocus Pocus’.  Music like that never gets old, just like novel approaches to photography keep things fresh and exciting.

Another link back to the ‘Focus Hocus Pocus’ is on view in the image here, which I captured in the Netherlands about 5 years ago.  All the magic in this image titled ‘Cryptomorphosis 1’ was done in-camera with only minor touch-ups in Photoshop…

Instant Grammar – page 43

The railroad that runs through West Boylston does not carry a large amount of traffic.  The occasional cargo train will rumble through town at a rather slow speed; if one gets caught by the train at one of the two grade crossings in town, it is best to turn your car’s engine off and relax, as it will be a while before the crossing clears again.

Past meets present, as we reach infinity.
Past meets present, as we reach infinity.

When I am fortunate enough to meet a train in this way, I enjoy the time to take a closer look at what is passing in front of me.  There is much to learn by watching a train pass by.  The railroad is a veritable history collection on steel wheels.  Ranging from the collection of freight cars and their owners to the cargo that they haul, each train tells a story.

The train may be made up from a large variety of rolling stock from carriers, such as Green Mountain Railroad, Boston and Maine, Pan Am Railways, Bangor and Aroostook, Maine Central, Providence and Worcester Railroad, and the list goes on.  Each of these railroads has their own background and current state of success or trouble.  Some railroads do well financially, but many small railroads’ fate often hinge on consolidation.

The types of the railcars tell another part of the story: what is being carried.  Usually, I see a mix of tankers, car carriers and loads of building wood on center beam cars.  One part that is always a mystery, is where the cargo originated and what its final destination is.

Additionally, the train is a rolling canvas for graffiti artists.  Often just a stylized writing of the artist’s chosen name or some clever message; occasionally, there is a true masterpiece that rolls by and you cannot help, but be amazed by the talent.

By the time the train completes its passage of the grade crossing, I have been entertained, puzzled and stimulated.  It’s time to fire up the engine once more and continue the journey.

I hope you enjoyed my musings about page 43 and feel free to take a look at the entire book at the following link for the softcover versionInstant Grammar 2013 by Frank Jansen or for the hardcover version Instant Grammar 2013 (Hardcopy) by Frank Jansen

Instant Grammar – page 11

During my (then) rather lengthy daily commute, I always opted for the scenic route, which, albeit 10-15 minutes longer, was much more relaxing than using the highways.  And it had the added benefit of providing some interesting scenery to enjoy!

The Cows are Hamming it up!
The Cows are Hamming it up!

One of the points of interest is a set of farms near the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border, one of which literally had a road right through the property of the farm.  This did make for slower travel and the occasional scent of true farm life, such as organic fertilization; from time to time, I would stop here and capture something or other.

On this fine day in April, I wanted to get a bit of a wider image of the cows feeding in the very New England farmland (read: large rocks intersperse grass and mud).  However, the cows had a completely different idea!

As soon as the cows saw that I had pulled over, they decided to come over and find out what I was up to…after all, there may have been food involved!  So rather than getting the wide shot, I got this wonderful close-up of the cows vying for attention.

I hope you enjoyed visiting page 11 and feel free to take a look at the entire book at the following link for the softcover versionInstant Grammar 2013 by Frank Jansen.