Theres nothing better to eat in the summer than a fresh bowl of berries with a little bit of cereal on top! So today, my Dad and I went over to Henckle’s Berries in Baldwinsville. The raspberry season had just begun so there were thousands of great big juicy berries everywhere and we practically had the whole field to ourselves! It was a hot muggy afternoon picking berries and we were interrupted by a big 15 minute rain storm. One of my favorite parts of picking is that you can feast out on the berries as you eat, although you run the risk of eating a few spiders and inch worms, but its worth it! We ended up picking almost as many as we ate! Then we headed over to the other side of the road and tried picking a few gooseberries. I had never eaten or seen a gooseberry before, but learned to like them a bit. They are really fun to eat! Now we’ll have a good amount of berries to feast on the next few days!
These were shot using my Nikon D600 and my 28-70mm f/2.8.
One festival that I always look forward to each summer is the Jamesville Balloon Fest! As miserable as it may sound, I have always had these fond memories of waking up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning to drive out to Jamesville to see these colorful, wondrous balloons float above the horizon. Its remarkable to me that filling those bags with hot air will be able to pick up a few people hundreds of feet into the air.
So this morning, my Dad and I left the house at 5:30 to catch the launch at 6. It was one of the earliest mornings I have had all summer. The morning was so beautiful. There was this thick fog that just engulfed parts of the city and the surrounding hillsides. Above the fog was a beautifully clear sky that was slowly being warmed with the color of the sun. I knew then that it was going to be a perfect morning for a launch and some good pictures! And I wasn’t the only one with that idea. When we got there, just about every other person was running around with DSLR. Apparently they all too had aspirations of catching these beautifully colored shapes floating against the morning blue sky. We had come at a perfect time too as most of the balloonists had just unrolled their prizes and were opening them up by filling them with air from a fan. You can see in some of these shots the scale of these balloons as you see some people keeping that hole open to let the air in. They were massive. Once the balloon was filled with enough air, they were safely able to fit the burner in there which would inject all of the hot air and cause the balloon to become upright. Once it was upright, 4-6 people would pile in the basket and they would float away! The first few times the balloons launched, my dad and I thought they had failed because after only a minute, they would start to sink right beyond the trees. We learned later that they were sinking just to skim the bottom of their basket on the lake. Once we hear of that challenge, we ran over to the lake to try to find a few balloons attempting this. It was cool to see them do this in the early morning because the water was so still that the balloon cast a perfect reflection on the water!
I hope you all enjoy the vibrant colors of these balloons and try to make it out to the last launch tonight at 6!
These were shot with my Nikon D600 and my 28-75mm f/2.8 lens.
Urban exploration (often shortened as urbex or UE) is the exploration of man-made structures, usually abandoned ruins or not usually seen components of the man-made environment. Photography and historical interest/documentation are heavily featured in the hobby and, although it may sometimes involve trespass onto private property, this is not always the case and is of innocent intention. Urban exploration is also commonly referred to as infiltration, although some people consider infiltration to be more closely associated with the exploration of active or inhabited sites.
This is an activity that has recently inspired Ryan Krahmer, and he even more recently got me excited about it. Since neither of us have full time jobs currently, and therefore have some extra free time during the day, and we live in Syracuse, NY, a city that has some incredible history and potential, and has unfortunately seen more thriving days, we decided to take on this hobby. Yesterday was the first day that I had gone out with him. We drove into the city with our bikes a tow on the back of my Cruze, and once we got to the inner harbor, we parked and the rest of the day was spent on two wheels or two feet. Our first stop is seen here at the corner of Spencer and N. Clinton. It was an old Furniture warehouse. A man there collecting bottles told us that it only went out of commission about 12-13 years ago. It has since then been completely abandoned and certainly shows some aging as you can tell by the photos. We looked around the building for anyway to get inside and explore what used to happen inside, but could not find anything, at least in broad daylight. Might be a midnight project sometime…
Photographing these old buildings is quite fun. There is so much gritty detail in all of the decay of the building. Editing them is even more fun. For these, I simply bump up the contrast quite a bit to accentuate the sharp detail in all the cracks and damage, and then take down the vibrance in all of the colors except an orange and red to keep the old, dingy bricks alive. One of my favorite shots from this building is the one of the cracked windows. I love how you can see some of the rocks still lodged into the windows cracks, left from people throwing them.
Stay tuned for more of these urban explorations from Ryan and I. We hope to hit a lot of the old abandoned history of Syracuse. If you have any suggestions of abandoned buildings to check out, leave a comment!
These were shot with my Nikon D600 with my 28-75mm f/2.8.
Its been a while since I had done a photo post because of the craziness of the end of school and graduating. Thats not to say I wasn’t taking pictures, because I did take a bunch of really cool ones, but I didn’t have the time to sort through them and organize them into posts. So now that it is summer and I have a little extra time on my hands, I will hopefully put a few together documenting some of the photo projects I have done in the last month. I will also hopefully have some fu opportunities to shoot some cool things.
This past weekend, I went to the farmers market with my mom and dad really early in the morning! We grabbed some breakfast at the market diner and then went over to the market. There is a wide variety of things being sold at this market, but the fresh produce is always the most interesting to me. The veggies always look as if they were picked that morning and they bring such great, natural smells and vibrant colors. Thats what grabbed my attention Saturday and so I decided to focus on grabbing the closeup texture and vibrant colors of all the produce in the market. I love how they came out and I think that the pretty consistent crop of the food allows direct comparison of color and texture across all the different foods and together as a set they look great together. It also gets me really excited for all of the fresh veggies and fruits to be had this summer!
Elephant rock was one of our stops on our third day of the road trip my dad and I went on. It was about an hour before we reached the high point of Missouri. It was a really unique piece of landscape and reminded me a lot of places out west where theres a lot of bare rock and gigantic land forms. We began our hike in a forest, but it slowly wrapped around this big mass of rock that stuck out above the surface of the forest. There were really cool views from up there and some sweet rock formations to climb around. It was a fun place to do some interesting photography. In some shots, because all you see are rocks, it is hard to even tell the scale of them or how large they were. Hopefully with the one with my dad jumping across a gap between the rocks you can get a better scale of how big these giant rocks were. It was about midday and very sunny when we were shooting giving very harsh like, but as long as you shot with the sun, this brought out a lot of great, sharp texture from the rocks. It also brought out some very vibrant colors both in the rock and with the nice clear sky, I was able to pull out some very deep blues. With these vibrant colors and harsh light and interesting rock, I took some time capturing some of the unique textures and colors found on the different rocks as you can see on some of these bottom shots. It was a really cool stop and just reminded me of the beauty of the earth. I still dont really understand how or why these random, elephant sized rocks were just hanging out in this forest, but they were certainly a pleasant sight!
These were shot with my Nikon D600 with my 24-75mm f/2.8.
The last guest post from my dad on our last day/hike of the trip:
Our fourth high point in as many days was Mount Magazine in Arkansas. Once again we were blessed with a beautiful day. Starting in Harrison, we drove south through the Ozarks, seeing many cows, dilapidated houses and barns, and even a few elk! We took a side trip to Alum Creek to hike down to the natural stone arch, which was very interesting. On Mount Magazine, the hike was relatively brief to Signal Hill, the top of Arkansas. There were no other humans in sight. Wildlife included only insects. We had heard about the Lodge and their good hamburgers, but even the good reviews did not prepare us for just how nice it was! We then took a side trip down to the “edge of the ledge,” where dead and half-dead trees overlook a spectacular drop-off to the valley far below. Mount Magazine marks my 33rd high point- 32 for Zach. For now, our next will have to wait. It was a great trip, spending lots of time with my son doing something that we both love!
These were shot with my Nikon D600 with a 24-75mm f/2.8 lens.
After a very foggy Easter Sunday morning, the sun came out in the afternoon, and we had a very pleasant day of hiking. Our first stop was Elephant Rocks State Park. Those were very interesting and fun to climb around, but not the subject of this post. From Elephant Rocks, we went to Taum Sauk Mountain, the high point in the state of Missouri. Located in the St. Francois section of the Ozarks, Taum Sauk reaches 1,772 feet above sea level. The trail from the parking lot is a very easy concrete trail, barely gaining any elevation. In fact, out of the 32 high points I have now visited, Taum Sauk would have to be the flattest one of all. So, we felt a more difficult hike was in order, and proceeded to take the three-mile loop to Mina Sauk Falls. In places, the trail was quite rocky, and almost everywhere it was very wet from yesterday’s rain, not to mention poorly marked. Along the way, however, we were treated to some beautiful Ozark vistas. The waterfall was a nice reward for the hiking, and we could climb a lot of the rocks real close to the main drop. Altogether, the falls has a drop of 132 feet, and was well worth the trip. We were amazed at the clarity of the water! On the way back, we were treated to a couple of herpetological treats- First, we saw a number of lizards sunning themselves in the late March sunshine. I was surprised to see them at this latitude, altitude, and time of year, and they had a beautiful blue underside! Secondly, back near the almost-level “summit” the spring peeper frogs were almost deafening in their jubilant song in a very shallow swampy area. It was our third state high point in as many days!
These were shot with my Nikon D600 with my 24-75mm f/2.8.