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Friday, 23 November 2018


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Yeah, mountains are hard enough, holes in the ground (at Grand Canyon scale especially) are even harder. But random constituents of normal landscapes, like those two sycamores, may be the hardest. I suspect part of it, especially for familiar landscapes as that one is to you, is that your brain is combining impressions from a number of viewpoints; probably in ways we can't combine them in photos, either.

I can relate to your thoughts about scale. One of the reasons I stopped taking landscapes years ago was the impossibility of conveying the scale and perspective that made you want to take the photo in the first place.

Having said that I've relented in recent years, but the landscapes I take now tend to be inspired by other things, for example a sense of place, or just pure compositional motifs. Mostly they avoid things like horizons and skies.

In science (I am no longer involved in research as a geologist) any photo we take to illustrate what we are describing needs to include a scale (usually whatever is handy - lens cap, pencil, coin, finger, person etc). Unfortunately the scale in the photo detracts Fromm the art of the photo (meaning you need 2 take 2 - one with and one without a scale).

It is very hard to reproduce scale in photographs, it's not only your problem, it is mine and it is for every photographer. No picture from Timothy O-Sullivan, William Henry Jackson, Ansel Adams, etc, etc, prepared me for the shock I experimented the first time I was in front of the Grand Canyon. My jaw dropped to the ground.

Love the moon shot! I can't clearly explain why, though. :-)

Three sycamores played a major role in the first half of my childhood, shading me from the Central Valley sun in California, surrounded by grapevines producing grapes for raisins (set on paper to dry between the rows). I spent a good part of the summer climbing on or playing under these trees, especially the big one. Easier to see the scale when they are isolated but still have some frame of reference, like the grapevines. Forty-five years ago you would see a run-down house under them as well, and a garage, and a couple cars, and clothes hanging on clotheslines, and a giant bamboo patch.

Well if you think of it as 'Faked -up' , chances are it will be.
But if you seek out a subject who's best most truthful rendering happens to be larger than your canvas, you just may get one.

Regarding Wegmans, I think they are great too.
We have both Wegmans & Whole Foods. We shop at both because their strengths are different. Wegman's prepared foods always seem better, and no one seems to beat overall depth of selections they have.

Wegman's is still privately held by the Wegman Family.

What beautiful place you live in. Enjoy.

I absolutely love that picture of the waterfalls

Mike: Now I'm off to...well, fake up a composite image. Me?! Really. I'll tell you about it if I manage to pull it off. (One problem about never faking up images is that my faking-up skills are poor.)

The most important “skill” required is patience.



Indeed it was cold, but the thought crossed my mind "I am so thankful that I have the option of keeping warm - whether in my house, car, place of work, wherever. Millions don't, so I don't take it for granted.

That said ... Wegmans. Have you noticed that over the last couple of years the product choices for many mainstream, everyday items has shrunk? Now if you want choice for something as ordinary as pasta sauce in a jar, there are typically only a few choices. And the most prominently displayed, and the large majority, are WEGMANS branded. This extends to all types of groceries with the exception of some of the deli items, especially cheeses. Even there if you are looking for something very specific, it isn't carried or at least not at all Wegmans stores.

For example, I went to the flagship store in Pittsford (where I can't afford to live, but live vicariously when at the huge Wegmans,) looking for French feta. Yeah, I know that's pretty specific, but when I was in Paris I had some French feta that was by-gawd the best feta I had ever had. Most of the feta we get in the US and Canada is far inferior - overly salty, low in flavour and boring. At least to me.

So imagine my smile when I found yes, French Feta! at the Pittsford Wegmans. I got it home and ... nope. NOT what I had. Not even close. It was certainly different than domestic, and better. And yes, I'm being picky (not to mention snobby) but my points are that it was the ONLY choice for the well-heeled Pittsford clientele, and it wasn't even well researched. It was like Danny said "Oh, it's French so this will sell here.

To be fair, their French butter from Normandy is to die for - I'm not the only one that calls it "crack butter"; all the Wegmans staff does as well.

Don't get me started on the design of Wegmans pharmacy departments. Before they "improved" it under direction of consultants (ugh) I was a Wegmans pharmacy customer. No longer.

And if I want something unusual and high quality, I'll go to Trader Joe's in the same plaza, or a specialist shop.

Sorry fore the rambling rant, but I find the Wegmans worship too much. My name is Earl and I'm old enough to be a curmudgeon.

I have felt the same thing about the wet cold.

-14C! Holy crud, we don’t get that around here, and certainly not in November.

Here in California on Thanksgiving day we went from wildfire season to landslide season. At least the smoke is gone most places.

I faced the same issue of perspective when trying to photograph Himalayan peaks while standing at their base (around 14,000 feet) some years back. These peaks, none of which was less than 22,000 feet in height, just went up and up and up as I tilted my head back. Taking them with a fish-eye or extreme wide angle didn't make sense because they just shrank and flipped over on their backs.
So later I just shot some of the tallest ones (like Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nag Tibba) from an elevation of 8,500 feet and a distance of 70 miles using a 300mm.
End result: a series of beautiful but not exceptional shots of a range of lofty, snow capped mountains (with great sky colours and cloud formations) shrunk by distance and 'brought down' to my elevation due to the curvature of the Earth.
The only solution that I can see is to isolate individual peaks, including some of the foothills in the foreground to indicate scale. Otherwise, one has to just go climb them and shoot detailed shots looking down. I'm too old and it's far too cold for me to try, in this lifetime.
Your 'waterfalls with snow and leaves' photograph was stunning, unique--a collector's item.

The most success I’ve had in trying to get trees to appear in photographs in a similar way to my eyes, is to process a merged photo of several different shots, say 2x2 or 2x4, and then crop to suit. Seems to change perspective in a pleasing way.

You are just trying to rub it in that you live in a beautiful area.

Gordini Gauntlets. Northern MN tested, says the wife.

Regarding mittens -

Check out: https://gearjunkie.com/world-s-best-winter-mitts

If you need a budget option, take a visit to your nearest "farm supply" store (e.g., Tractor Supply Co, Orscheln Farm and Home, etc). I wear a pair of Carhartt-brand mittens from a farm supply store that are plenty warm for central NY.

If you have especially cold hands and need to supercharge your mitten experience, add a lightweight wool or silk liner glove.

The leaves-on-snow scene is wonderful.

Get a nice pair of fleece gloves that you can wear while operating a camera, driving g a car etc. and then a nice pair of overmitts to wear while walking, hiking skiing or throwing the ball for Butters. I went the glove/mitten route when I started to teach Nordic skiing to young kids. It works wonders.

Hand warmers; you could try them if you haven't done so already...


If you're after Really Warm Mittens, and prefer natural materials, the sheepskin mittens from The Sheepherder in Colorado are awfully nice.


My only complaint is that they're sometimes too warm, but Diane also sells gloves.

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