A Life Worth Living

Floral, Midday, Macro

A week ago I took a walk around the building during lunch. It was as much about enjoying the sun as it was escaping the office. It amazes me how a thirty minute walk around the building exploring the edges of the parking lot with my camera can change the whole day. It is my therapy…

As I was photographing the fresh blossoms I chanced upon a few daisies on the backside of the bloom. There is a different quality, beauty to these images that captured my attention. I was on a mad hunt to capture all I could find. Their story wasn’t over…

Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8, 1/6400s, f/2.8, ISO 200
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8, 1/1600s, f/2.8, ISO 200
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8, 1/1600s, f/2.8, ISO 200


Union Station, Utica, NY

After my flying adventure on Saturday I had a plan to get a bird’s view of Utica at sunrise on Sunday morning. I thought I could get the drone up from Sherrill Brook Park off Route 12 and line up the taller buildings of the city with the sunrise. I should have checked the town park’s website, it doesn’t open until 7am. Now what do I do?

I opted to drive to Union Station and see what the morning light would bring me. There was a good layer of clouds in the sky to catch the light and I was able to get a few interesting compositions out on the platform. I also tried a panoramic view, which you probably shouldn’t do with building so close to the foreground, but I do like how it turned out.

This is a seven image panoramic shot with the camera in portrait orientation. I used Lightroom to merge the images and then tweaked it in Luminar. It almost has a fish-eye lens quality as I captured about a 100 degrees of view and the buildings have some distortion to them. Still an interesting view…

Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mmm f/2.8, 1/13s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200

Harbor Lock

Barge Canal

My original plan was to drive to Utica and walk from the trail parking off Genesee St. to the harbor lock on the Barge Canal to fly the drone at sunrise. The clouds had other plans. By 6am there were glimpses of the sun trying to poke through so rather than sit on my butt all morning I packed everything in the car and took a chance I would find an interesting view.

It was a longer walk back to the lock then I remembered and I met a few people on their way back to the parking area. The sun was still trying to make its presence known but I wasn’t worried the clouds were going to give me what I was looking to capture. My new “fear” was the abundance of power lines in the area. I estimated a safe height I could fly at and still get an image or two. This was going to be interesting.

The one video I captured is not that great. The movements are very mechanical and stilted. I still might post it later. The one image I wanted to capture was a view of the lock with the canal, the harbor and hopefully Utica in the background. When I attempt this again I will try for a higher perspective…

Harbor Lock
DJI Air 2S, 23mm f/2.8, {1/160, 1/240 & 1/350s bracket}, ISO 100

Strawberry Moon

Delta Lake State Park

On Thursday the Strawberry Moon made an appearance. It was also a supermoon, depending on which interpretation you follow. A supermoon is when the full moon coincides with the moon’s closest approach to Earth. I’ll leave that debate to other people, me, I wanted to try to photograph it.

June’s moon is known by other names as well; Berries Ripen Moon, Blooming Moon, Green Corn Moon and the Hoer Moon. The one I found interesting is the Honey Moon, which is a European name. June was traditionally the month of marriages, with the month being named after the Roman goddess of marriage, Juno. Following a marriage comes the “honeymoon” which may be tied to this version of the Moon’s name (from The Old Farmer’s Almanac).

I didn’t want to capture the moonrise as I thought it would be too bright against the night sky. My best opportunity would be when it sets on Friday morning and I could go to Delta Lake for a few interesting views. Luckily for me I can work from home if I need to so I would be able to explore Delta Lake for this event and still be online for work at my usual time.

I arrived a little early to the park and I was worried my plans were going to fall through as there appeared to be a layer of thin clouds above the horizon causing a fairly bright halo around the moon. I walked down to the beach to survey my opportunities. I grabbed this first image before deciding I would ride out this event with my finger’s crossed…

First Look
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 6s, 15mm, f/11, ISO 200

I was using my 12 – 100mm lens knowing I wanted the extra compression to bring the moon closer, and bigger, into the frame. Now I needed to find the right foreground element. As I walked up and down the beach the cloudy haze was beginning to dissipate and my hopes for a clear view of the moon were growing. I backed away from the water and extended the lens to its full 100mm. The next image was better…

Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 1/10s, 100mm, f/11, ISO 200

Behind me the sun was starting to rise but there was a large layer of clouds in the eastern sky and they were turning a brilliant pink color. This color was being reflected into the western sky. My chances for something good were starting to increase. I continued my search for an interesting foreground. The high winds we experienced recently toppled a few trees in the park. One, on the right side of the beach alcove, was leaning into the water. I couldn’t get far enough back to utilize the full zoom on the lens but you can see how the colors were staring to change…

Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 1/13s, 61mm, f/11, ISO 200

Alright, it was getting interesting. My best view was going to be back on the beach. The lifeguard chair will have to be the foreground. The sky was at its peak colors and the sun light would be bleaching out the moon very soon. I double-timed it back to the beach and was rewarded with this image…

Strawberry Moon
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 1/25s, 100mm, f/10, ISO 200

Mission accomplished! It was great being out early in the morning. I need to do more of this type of adventure. I don’t know why I always feel like I’m doing something wrong if I’m not one of the first people at work. I need a brain reset… and maybe some strawberry shortcake…

Hear Me Sing

Floral, Midday, Macro

It was a good day for another walk around the building at work. We had a few days of cooler temperatures and the sun shining down on me as I explored the edges of the parking lot felt good. A few co-workers were out walking laps and at first wondered who that guy was squatting in the weeds. They wondered if everything was alright but once they realized it was me with my camera they knew what was going on. I was able to find quite a few interesting subjects for the macro lens.

Hear Me Sing
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro, 1/250s, f/2.8, ISO 200