Monkey balls, that is.
It seems like this is a banner year for monkey balls, or hedge apples, bowwood, bois d’arc (French for “wood of the bow”), bodark, geelhout, mock orange, horse apple, naranjo chino, wild orange and yellow-wood. Offficially the Osage orange tree, has been quite noticeable for me this year as I drive around the rural regions of southwestern Pennsylvania. They are always around every year but I don’t remember seeing sooo many as I have this year
I find the trees quite picturesque, with their scraggly branches and the bright yellow fruits glowing in the autumn sun. After all of the leaves have fallen is when they really stand out. I’ve seen a number of good ones that would have made for a good photo but unfortunately I was usually doing my day job and I couldn’t simply stop to take a photo, let alone trespass on someone’s property. But the other day I was able to grab this photo and although I like the composition I can’t help but wonder what it would have looked like with more balls. Just a few weeks too late.
Maybe next year.
Sticking with the southern exposure photography. I know this work isn’t very creative but I don’t have anything else to show at the moment and I’ll have to get creative through the winter, so there’s still a chance. :-)
Here are few low light photos that just ooze with color. I’m thinking they are a nice change from my black and white work.
Notice the lack of people in the photos? For a place as vibrant as South Beach can get the crowds were definitely small during my visit. Maybe the weather, which was warm but super windy with showers blowing in and out, was a factor or it was just a slow time of year, regardless it was kind of nice to spread out a little. Plus, since I’m not much of people photographer I enjoyed photographing without thinking or waiting for people to get out of my way. I know, I know, people are a big part of “travel” photography but you have to remember, I’m not a travel photographer, just someone on vacation. :-)
I was on a much-needed vacation getaway last week to pause and refresh. A little trip down to Miami to get one last blast of summer before facing the dreaded winter in Pennsylvania. It was just that, a vacation with my wife, and I tried my best to keep photography to a minimum. I even kept my DSLR at home and traveled with a smaller camera, the EOS M, in order to keep it on the lay-low. The camera is frustrating to use because of its touch screen interface but it provides decent results if you don’t inadvertently change settings while shooting, which is very easy to do and I did plenty
Next trip I’m taking my normal camera and will just deal with the extra weight and size. Although I was able to snap a few decent pics this time, I lost out on just as many photos because of equipment restraints. I’ll throw a few colorful South Beach themed photos up this week but I’ll start today with a black and white life guard shack.
That’s the way I feel about old abandoned rural buildings. I want them to stay standing as long as possible. Old barns are as simple as a building can be yet there is a timeless quality about them that a new pre-fab steel building can never have.
I feel the same about urban buildings if they have some character or history but they tend to get tampered with a little more often. Worse of course, especially in USA, is too many old buildings are torn down in favor of a “new” structure that totally lacks any design. I’m just glad that Americans don’t own Europe or all of the great old architecture there would have been replaced long ago with nice concrete block boxes with aluminum window frames. :-(
Another geese photo. This time with textures and a bold color cast. Not sure where I am going with this but considering I don’t get out in the early A.M. too often, I would guess not very far.
And in another bold experiment, an unsuccessful in camera double-exposure. I thought the concept was good but perhaps the subject matter isn’t quite right. Again, I added some textures to ease the pain. ;-)
My wife made a doctor appointment for me a few weeks back and since I always like early appointments so I can go without taking time from work, she made a 7:00 a.m. for me. When she told me the date and time we both realized that was my day off and the early time wasn’t necessary. She wanted to change the appointment but rather go at a later date I decided to get it over with and keep the appointment.
The office is around a half hour drive from my house so it was still dark and a little on the cold side when I headed out. A typical fall morning really. Being that I knew it was going to be a nice day ahead I took my camera and figured I would visit a park with a lake after my appointment that is practically around the corner from the doctor’s office. It was still on the dark side when I left the doctor’s office and I headed to the park knowing that it was weekday and still fairly early so there shouldn’t be many people at the park.
With the exception of a few nearby residents walking their dogs the park was practically empty. I set out to shoot some woods, details, and fall scenes as the light level began to rise. The lake area was still foggy, almost too foggy to get any detail in the shots so I avoided it for a while. After I thought I was done shooting I circled my car around the parking area near the lake one more time. I noticed the sunrise starting to peek out behind the trees and thought it would make for a good photo so I parked the car and walked over to the lake for a good vantage point.
Once I started shooting the foggy scene I heard the distinctive sound of geese echoing around the lake. A quick glance to my right and I spotted the geese flying right into the scene that I was photographing. Hmm, perfect!
Not my usual type of photo, and not a wow photo either, but it’s always nice when things work out without even thinking about it.
Sticking with native or standard crop ratios is the norm for me. For my 3:2 ratio images I generally stick with that ratio when I do need to crop. On occasion I will crop to 1:1 or 4:3 for portrait oriented photos. Since I try really hard to compose in camera my crops are basically to tighten up a shot or get rid of a distracting stray element that snuck in the picture on me, such as the end of a branch, a car coming into the shot, or something else to that effect.
Once in a while, and I mean once in a while, I get bored and do a free-form crop such as this photo of dew drops on some leaves. I took this shot last summer and never looked at it gain until this evening. I marveled at all of the tiny dew drops but the remainder of the photo was a blurry distraction. Since I had to stop the lens down to get a bit more depth of field the bokeh kind of fell apart. The higher contrast black and white conversion helped some by darkening the background but I still found it lacking.
As I looked at the limited depth of field and the narrow line of in-focus drops I began to wonder, hmm, if I cropped just around the line of in-focus drops that would eliminate the distractions. At first I did a 16:9 crop and that helped but I had to push it more and go all free-form. So I did and I was left with a photo of the line of drops but maybe an even more distracting narrow window of an image. Certainly not standard. ;-)
Maybe it would be a good banner photo for the blog!
It wasn’t until I started at my current employer that I started to hear the phrase “low-hanging fruit”. Apparently it’s a big corporate business world catchphrase.
My previous jobs kept me out of meetings so that’s probably why I didn’t hear it before. But I’m in meetings quite often now and I even had a few assignments that fit that description.
I don’t make assignments for my photography but I know a piece of low-hanging fruit when I see it. ;-) A few apples singing their swan song always makes for a good autumn theme photo. And when they are low-hanging, all the better!
To complete my One Lovely Blog Award, here are a few blogs I like: