Since I retired I haven’t been taking pictures as much as I would have liked. I just haven’t been focusing on it enough. I’m going to try to set aside a little time every day. Then at the end of the week I’ll look back on the week’s pictures and pick a few I like most. This post is the first installment.

I was walking the dog when I came across this wreath. It’s been getting colder of late and seeing this really brought home to me that fall is now upon us. The wreath was hanging within a stone surround and I liked the contrast between the inorganic, rather dull stone and the organic, colorful wreath. Unfortunately when I included the stone the wreath was too small to have any impact. I still like the colors and the textures though. And there’s still a little contrast with the iron grill.

This one was a complete surprise. I was at a place called Tompkins Corners, about 10 minutes from the house. There’s a little deli there and I’d stopped to have a coffee and to chat with some of the regulars (usually found sitting outside the deli early in the morning also having coffee). According to a sign next to the deli: “Tompkins Corners was settled in the 1770s by four Tompkins brothers. A turnpike here passed store, church, mill and tavern. F.D. Roosevelt spoke here”. The mill and tavern (unfortunately) are no longer there, but the church (presently for sale if you fancy living in an old church where you can’t change much because of its historical significance) and the store remain. I was standing near the store drinking my coffee when in the distance I see a horse and cart – not something you see everyday. The horses are just fantastic and the driver (who gives hayrides in the fall) was kind enough to stop for a while so I could take the pictures. No deep message here. I just liked the look of the horses and felt that the event (horse and cart coming down Peekskill Hollow Road) should be recorded.

Another dog walk. Stepping down from a boat dock at one of Roaring Brook Lake’s beaches I saw this rock with interesting patterns of moss and/or lichen or whatever it is. I liked the contrasting patterns and textures. However, something was missing. Then I noticed some colorful leaves lying close by so I picked up a couple and put them on the rock. This added additional contrast between the largely monochromatic rock and the color of the leaves. It also provided some contrast between the organic and the inorganic.

When we first bought the lake house I tried to take some photos including both interior and exterior. I was rushing and of course what happened was that either I got a well exposed exterior and dark interior or vice versa. The contrast was just too great. The Sony Nex 5n has an in camera High Dynamic Range (HDR) capability. So I thought I’d try it. I’m not usually a fan of HDR. I find it to be too extreme. However, in this case I liked the result. It didn’t work too well in color so I converted it to black and white. The subjects are my wife, Eirah and our dog, Jackson sitting beside one of the windows in the living room. The lake is in the background.

The Chuang Yen monastery is a Chinese Buddhist temple near the town of Carmel, NY (Putnam County). It’s about 10 minutes away from our lake house. The main hall contains the largest Buddha statue (Vairocana Buddha) in the United States. The complex also incudes an important library and research center, primarily for East Asian religious studies. The temple was dedicated in 1998 in the presence of the Dali Lama. I went there twice last week. This picture is from the first visit. It was a gloomy, cloudy day – a bit depressing. I was taken by the bright, cheerful colors (the yellows, reds and purples) of the lanterns and I liked the way that they receded into the distance. My first attempt didn’t work too well. It was at the front of the temple and the lanterns were too high and I couldn’t get as close to them as I wanted too. As I walked around the side I came across more lanterns, this time at a more useful height.

I’d been driving by this abandoned Carvel on the corner of Oregon Road and Westbrook Drive every few days. It always made me feel rather sad. I could imagine days gone by on a hot summer day with lots of happy kids clamoring for their ice cream. All of that now gone. Because the two buildings were of a similar style and color scheme I thought they were both part of a small Carvel complex. However, a long time resident of the area told me that the small building in the background was the remains of the Westbrook Inn. Possibly they both originally belonged to Carvel and then later one of them became the Westbrook Inn – who knows? The forlorn look of the place seemed to cry out for black and white. Having said this I should also point out that Carvel has not disappeared entirely from this location. Across the street is a small Carvel store. It’s just another store front in a small strip mall. So the children can still get their ice cream, but somehow it’s not the same.

Back at the Chuang Yen Monastery. This time the second visit. A I was leaving from the first visit I noticed this view of the temple from a lower point of view. It seemed to ‘loom’ over its surroundings. When I returned I noticed these small stone statues and was struck by the contrast between the grey stone and the colorful temple. This was late in the day and the light was a bit better, although some parts were in bright light and others were in the shade. It seemed like a good time to try HDR again.

Ozzie and owner. Taken at our favorite coffee shop (Moonbean) in Briarcliff Manor. I go here a lot because they have a nice covered porch; I like their Hawaiian coconut coffee; and they have no problems with our dog Jackson (or any other dogs for that matter). On this occasion another dog was there: Ozzie, a cockapoo (if that’s how you spell it). After his usual initially aggressive reaction Jackson quite warmed to Ozzie, who was described by his owner as ‘skittish’. At one point he was behind his owner looking through is legs. This would have made a great picture, but I wasn’t quick enough to get it. So instead I settled for this: a slightly perplexed looking Ozzie still not quite sure how to react to Jackson. Securely nestled behind the his owners legs.

One thought on “Some recent pictures, end September – first week of October 2012

Leave a Reply