Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Posts Tagged ‘photography

Reflections on a Reflection

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Many of my favorite photographs were accident and/or happenstance. Such was the case with this image of a reflection of the former Erie Railroad passenger station in Kent, Ohio, in a pool of the decorative dam on the
Cuyahoga River.

The story behind this image begins with a walk down to the observation platform that can be seen toward the right middle of the image.

My intent was to get a close up view of the late day sun hitting the station, which is now an Italian restaurant named Treno, which is Italian for train.

The dam used to be functional, but several years ago the river was channeled away from it and into the remnants of the Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal. What had been the river became dry land that was transformed into a park while the dam was renovated to become, in essence, a giant water fountain.

The top of the dam is quite high, about at my eye level. I happened to notice the station reflecting in the pool at the top of the dam and thought it would make a nice photograph.

I made it but all you see was the reflection in the water. I lifted my camera above my head and head it over the railing in the foreground.

A Canon 60D has a foldout screen that can be angled up or down. That came in handy in being able to see what the lens was seeing. The result was, perhaps, my best image of the day.

What appears to be a reflection from a flash toward the right end of the station is actually the sun reflecting off a window.

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Not What I Thought

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When I saw this bird soaring overhead I thought it was a hawk. It had a wingspan like a hawk and was riding the thermals as hawks are known to do.

But then I went online to try to identify what type of hawk that it is. To my dismay, I determined that this bird is a turkey vulture.

Turkey vultures have an image problem with many people. That is rooted in a number of things including the belief that the bird carries disease.

Another thing working against the turkey vulture is that it is a scavenger, not a hunter. It forages for dead animals and doesn’t kill any on its own. Hence, turkey vultures are not seen as warriors as are hawks, which attack their prey.

A January 2016 National Geographic article concedes that vultures may be viewed as the most maligned bird in the world even though they play a necessary role in the environment.

Then there is the term “vulture,” which National Geographic said many consider a  living metaphor for greed and rapaciousness. It cited Charles Darwin who in his 1835 diary wrote that vultures are “disgusting,” with their bald heads that are “formed to wallow in putridity.”

Such is the power of an image that a bird that I viewed as majestic when I made this image I now see as something else.

Somewhere in this anecdote is a lesson about the power of reputation and beliefs and why something can be seen as desirable in one context but repulsive in another.

Written by csanders429

September 18, 2017 at 8:02 am

On Second Thought I Understand Why It’s There

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When I first saw this sign I thought that it would be obvious that a snow plow would not go beyond this point.

Of course, when I made this image it was in August and anyone could clearly see the water at the end of this boat launch on the Vermilion River in Vermilion, Ohio.

But I have also been here in the winter when the ground was covered by snow making it a challenge to determine where land ends and water begins.

I guess it is just more convenient to leave the sign up all year ’round than to put it out and take it in.

Written by csanders429

September 17, 2017 at 7:03 am

Admiring the Fall Colors From On High

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I live in region that is neither prairie or mountainous. Northeast Ohio is a transition region between the flat lands of Midwest farming country and the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania.

There are a few fields and farms interspersed among acres of trees, which gives the area that the area is more flat than it is rolling.

Yet, the geographic of my home region can surprise you. For years I had heard about the ledges overlook in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Much of the park sits in a valley carved by the Cuyahoga River. Hills can be seen on each side, yet they are not dramatic.

Last autumn I finally decided to find ledges and its view, which I had seen in photographs.

Many who go to ledges will spend a little time admiring the view, but then move on. Other sit on the rocks and take in a view that seems unlike what you would expect to find in Northeast Ohio.

 

Leaf and Asphalt

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Some things just catch your eye as you are out and about. Such was the case with this solitary leaf sitting on the asphalt of the Portage County Hike and Bike Trail.

Images such as this invite you to study detail that you would otherwise not see or view only casually.

The leaf itself seems to be a tale of two sides. On the right side the colors of autumn have given way to the browns of winter.

But the left side still has some color left, even some green. It wasn’t ready to give in to the inevitability of autumn death.

The asphalt also offers something to linger over. Paving is an aggregate made up of many different compounds, including petroleum products and gravel.

To the eye, asphalt appears to be a sea of black. But once the top coat wears away, it reveals its underlying parts, which themselves are of varying shapes and sizes.

My the things you can learn if you take the time to view it in detail.

Written by csanders429

September 11, 2017 at 7:06 am

Guide Dogs

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I was sitting on the shore of the Vermilion River when this small boat passed by headed more than likely for Lake Erie.

The owner had brought his two dogs with him and as their trip got underway both canines moved to the bow to see where they were going.

The way they are point forward gave me the thought that maybe they are guide dogs helping their master navigate the open water ahead.

Written by csanders429

September 6, 2017 at 7:00 am

Where the Wind Takes Him

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It was rather windy on Lake Michigan at Grand Haven, Michigan, on the day of my visit. That made for good conditions for parakiting.

I watched this guy with his kite as it took him to and fro, back and forth, all over the water not far from the beach. In time he was joined by another skier. Or are they called kiters?