Nostalgia for Summer

As Hurricane Ian bears down on our Florida home, I’m trying to stay calm and think back on those carefree summer days when we enjoyed brilliant sunshine and several days of boating off the coast of Sardinia, Italy.

We passed these lovely sailboats and tried to photograph them with a steady hand. With the movement of the waves, it was a challenge to keep the horizon level.

This sailboat, seen near Sardinia, is registered in Malta.
Sailboat near Sardinia navigates the Tyrrhenian Sea in August 2022.

Ending this blog post with a prayer for everyone in the path of Hurricane Ian. Stay safe.

Afternoon Lightning, Grand Canyon

Why do I specify “afternoon lightning”? Because evening lightning is coming soon in a future blog post! You can see in this photograph that the canyon is well lit by afternoon light. I was standing on the porch of the North Rim Lodge, watching the darkening clouds for a stroke of lightning over the South Rim when this image was captured. A custom-made lightning trigger helped.

Warmly lit Grand Canyon beneath a dark and stormy sky, seen from the North Rim looking Southwest. Lightning reaches from the cloud to the ground on the right above the Oza Butte.

Enlarge this image on your screen to see the lightning best.

Lightning at the Grand Canyon

My first attempts to capture lightning in a photograph have met with success, thanks to some spectacular storms firing across the Canyon from my vantage point, and a sophisticated device that triggers my camera shutter in time to capture it.

It was after sunset last night, and the canyon below us was getting quite dark. Check out these lightning forks.

Lightning at the Grand Canyon, seen from Hopi Point after sunset.
Lightning pierces storm cloud at the Grand Canyon, west of Hopi Point after sunset.

Good morning, Grand Canyon

Walking out to Bright Angel Point on the North Rim, I paused at this burnt tree trunk. I wondered, imagine what this scene would have looked like when the tree was burning.

Along the trail to Bright Angel Point on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, a tree you can nearly reach out and touch, and the canyon beyond, vast and mysterious.

USA: East to West

My summer travels are taking me from the Atlantic coast of Cape Cod to the Pacific coast of California. As I write today from San Diego, I am sharing the scene from atop a high dune in Wellfleet, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. It’s a sunny and very windy morning. The dune fence in a state of disrepair tells the story of surviving the harsh winter weather.

Cape Cod, dune, ocean
Spokes of the dune fence have fallen like dominoes in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

What do you like best about this image? Are your eyes drawn to the ocean?

Stay tuned to this photography blog, as I’m headed to the Grand Canyon tomorrow.

Baltimore Photography Exhibit

Summer gets busy, and I’ve been busy choosing photos, printing and framing for a solo exhibit at Roland Park Country School in Baltimore from September 24 until October 21. The exhibit will be titled, “Grand Landscapes and Intimate Wildlife.” Let me know if you would like to attend the reception on Friday evening October 21.

While reviewing my recent work, I’ve come across some nice images that I had never processed or printed before. One of those hidden gems is this scene in Grand Teton National Park after sunset. This horse enjoys a piece of prize real estate.

Grand Teton National Park
Horse flicks his tail in the gentle light of dusk in Grand Teton National Park.

Cape Cod Memories

Back in the good old days, we rented a cottage on Cape Cod near this salt marsh. In those days, we biked the trails and spent our days on the beach and some evenings at the drive-in movie theatre. Returning to this land of great memories last week, I focused on a new aspect of the area — the quiet salt marsh at sunset.

In this stage of my life, I have devoted my time to landscape photography, and I’ve become intrigued with the artistic possibilities of Infrared photography. I drove past this marsh earlier in the day, only to be drawn back for a second look before the sun set.

blackandwhite, landscape photography
Salt Marsh in Eastham, Cape Cod, Massachusetts at sunset, an Infrared Super Color photograph by Cathy Kelly. Prints available upon request.

Back to Infrared Photography

My recent trip to New York City and Little Island inspired me to capture some new infrared images. Before I pull out the infrared-converted camera, I look for dynamic compositions that are simple and feature strong shapes. I also like to include both foliage and sky, if I can.

Looking from Manhattan’s Lower West Side toward New Jersey, I liked the composition framed by the concrete supports of Little Island and featuring the converging lines of the pilings in the Hudson.

I processed the Super Color image today to render the water in blue and the foliage in a golden yellow. What do you think?

From Little Island in Manhattan, looking across the Hudson River to New Jersey, an infrared Super Color image.

The Rainbow Bird

It’s fun to spot the Purple Gallinule tiptoeing through the freshwater stream, pecking around for food. When it steps into the sunlight, its brilliant colors delight the birdwatcher.

purple gallinule bird
From purple to blue to shades of green and yellow, the Purple Gallinule’s feathers look electric in the Florida sunshine. Shark Valley, Everglades National Park.

The Cornell School of Ornithology describes the Purple Gallinule’s behavior:

Purple Gallinules forage near the water’s edge, where they walk nimbly on muddy margins, or on aquatic vegetation. They hunt a bit like domestic chickens, walking slowly and investigating the vegetation with outstretched neck, or pecking at fruits or tubers. Like most rails, Purple Gallinules swim well, and they sometimes perch high in bushes and trees, where their long toes make them agile climbers.

Everglades in Infrared

Processing a digital infrared image requires experimentation. Once the image has been captured, it can be rendered in many different ways. I adjust the hue, saturation and lightness of each color one at a time and make several other technical changes — like channel swapping, levels and curve adjustments. Let’s just say that processing is a lot like cooking. The chef adjusts according to taste.

Everglades
A colorful and unrealistic infrared photograph from Shark Valley, Everglades National Park.
Everglades
Infrared photograph rendered in black and white, depicting wind in the Everglades.