The Way Back Machine

Backyard Creek
Utica Train Station
Delta Lake State Park

I still have a few images from my recent excursions to process but I thought it might be fun to look back on my journey.

Wait! Hear me out…

It won’t be as bad as you think. I’ll keep it short.

Well, as short as my rambling mind will allow… 🙂

I decided to select an image from ten, five and one year ago. At least as close to the end of March as I can manage. Ten years ago I had barely begun this journey and was learning my new DSLR camera. I had a Nikon D5100 and my trusty Sigma 17-70mm lens. We had a ton of good times and I believe (or at least will firmly state) that I learned quite a lot with that first camera.

The image I found to process was a scene from the creek behind my house. Surprising to me, considering the image is from March 31st, there was still a lot of snow. Over the years I explored every twist and turn of that creek. I learned the beauty of long exposures with flowing water and tuned my approach to a series of images I coined “Slow”. This one brings back great memories of my playing in the creek.

Wandering Through
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 3s, 35mm, f/16, ISO 100

Five years ago I was a few weeks away from upgrading my Olympus E-M1 camera to the Mark II version. I had switched from Nikon to Olympus back in late 2015. For my type of photography I didn’t encounter any issues moving to the 4/3rds sensor and the reduction in weight was welcomed especially when I traveled.

I ended the month of March, five years ago, at the Utica train station searching for the sunrise. I find myself returning to the station periodically and generally I’m rewarded with a few keepers. On this morning I experimented with capturing a moving train but was unsuccessful in my attempts. Luckily, the sunrise light was worth the trip.

Waiting on Track 9
Olympus E-M1, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/10s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200

Last year it appears I did not venture out once in the month of March. I chose an image from my first outing in April, which of course, was to Delta Lake. By this time I was using the Mark III version of the Olympus E-M1 camera and had added a walk-around zoom with a little longer reach than my favorite 12-40mm lens. The 12-100mm lens is as good as its older sibling but only stops down to f/4, which for this landscape photography works for me 95% of the time.

The ice on the lake was mostly melted but a good wind out of the West had pushed piles onto the beach. I spent most of the evening photographing the chunks of ice with the sunset as a backdrop. As the sun reached the horizon the colors in the sky were being reflected in the calm waters of the lake. I ended my time running back and forth along the beach capturing as many reflections as possible.

Hold the Light
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 1/25s, 29mm, f/11, ISO 200

When I look back at images I often cringe at the choices I made, either in what/how I captured the subject or how I chose to process it. I don’t think I’m making those same types of choices today but who knows, in ten years I might look back and cringe at what I’m doing today. I did notice that my experimenting and playing with the camera does not happen as much today as it did ten years ago. I want to believe it is because I know better today what I want to photograph but I think it is because my curiosity is less.

Hopefully my rekindled interest in picking up the camera is also an increase in my curiosity… time will tell…

Golden Blues

Delta Lake State Park

I returned to Delta Lake Sunday evening for another chance at the sunset. There were very few clouds in the sky and the wind was creating ripples on the exposed water. I did not have high expectations I would find anything worth bringing home. I was wrong…

I found a small section of ice and water not affected by the wind. The sun was poised to slip beneath the trees on the opposite shore and the golden glow was illuminating a chunk of ice beautifully. Well, I couldn’t let this scene get away from me…

Golden Blues
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/160s, 17mm, f/11, ISO 200

Canal Moods

Bellamy Harbor Park

Sunday morning I decided I was not going to take any chances with missing the sunrise like I did on Saturday. My prospects were not looking good as I drove to Bellamy Harbor Park but regardless of the clouds and wind I felt there would be an image for me. At some point last year I forgot you have to be out exploring the possibilities in order to find what you are feeling. A moody morning definitely was for me…

Canal Moods
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 2s, 28mm, f/16, ISO 100

Ice Breaks

Delta Lake State Park

I ended up distracting myself so completely yesterday morning with getting the image posted, I totally neglected any chance for a sunrise image. By the time I realized the color in the sky was worth my attention I had about five minutes before the sun broke the horizon. Ten minutes after that, the color was gone and the morning settled into the coming storm (by the way, it was nothing like the advisory that popped up on my phone. I wouldn’t even call it a storm… lol).

I’m currently keeping one eye on the sky and the other on the keyboard as I write this post. There is another advisory this morning, for high winds, but I would like to capture a sunrise down at the canal. I better hurry and finish this up…

As the sun settled into the clouds on the horizon Friday evening I found a nice section of the lake where the ice was thin and disappearing faster than the rest. This allowed for some interesting reflections and everyone knows I cannot let a good reflection escape my camera. I was especially intrigued with the layers of highlights and shadows in this view when I turned the camera on its side.

Ice Breaks
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/320s, 14mm, f/11, ISO 200

Spring, Sprang, Sprung

Delta Lake State Park

I suppose it is only fitting the first image I capture is at the same state park for my last image. But, considering it is Delta Lake State Park it should not be a surprise. It has been roughly seven months since I picked up my camera. During the summer months last year photography was not fulfilling me. I struggled with those feelings and decided to put the camera away. I focused on another interest and buried myself in it.

Recent conversations with friends at work have stirred my creative desires. Last evening after dinner I drove to the park for the sunset. I practically had the place to myself and it was wonderful. I wandered the “beach” finding plenty of images and soaking in the vibe. I left the park feeling rejuvenated.

Below is the first view I found, and yes it is a familiar view but it doesn’t change how it can make you feel…

Spring, Sprang, Sprung
Olympus E-M1 MK III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/400s, 12mm, f/13, ISO 200