Friday, August 30, 2013

Blooms & Bugs

Another single day off that's being eaten up by errands. I cut along the Dykeman Walking Trail on the way to the grocery store and got some interesting macro shots. It's still Summer. it's hot and it's humid, and this makes the wildflowers bloom and fills the air with bugs. Here's the proof. Enjoy!

Yellow Ironweed with a visiting Bumblebee
A mystery white flower growing along the trail
I think this might be a male Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly. But don't quote me on that
Back at that earlier Yellow Ironweed, with a different, unidentified, visitor.
© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Scenes

Another single day off with lots to get done because my work schedule doesn't provide much extra room for errands this week. So there are only two photos today, shot on the way to the grocery store. Enjoy!

A young Muskrat foraging along the shore of one of the Dykeman Spring duck ponds
Clouds over South Mountain
© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Rain, the Park, and Other Things

So here I was, errands all done yesterday and ready to hike up Baltimore Road to the Chambersburg Reservoir (really just a pond) halfway up South Mountain today. So guess what I woke up to? Yup, you guessed it - rain! Granted, it's a gentle rain with no wind behind it, but still nothing I wanted to hike 5 miles up and 5 miles back in. So to console myself I walked over to the Dykeman Spring Nature Park and took pictures of the wetlands in the rain. The best are posted below.

Swamp bridge, Dykeman Spring wetlands
Dripping Black Walnut leaves, Dykeman Spring wetlands
Duck pond in the rain, Dykeman Spring wetlands
A dripping Dogwood, Dykeman Springs wetlands
Heh, heh! And of course anybody who knows me well knows I didn't title this post what I did out of the blue. Yup, this is a Cowsills alert! I can't help it, whenever we get a gentle rain this song runs constantly in my head. Of course, having lived in Newport, RI - where the Cowsills are from and where they're still a major cultural icon - doesn't help matters any. So as you wander through this Pennsylvania park in the rain with me, you can also listen to the Cowsills wander in the rain in another park. Enjoy!

Photos © 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Scenic Route

I took the scenic route to the grocery store today and got some shots; these two actually worked. Tomorrow I plan to take a decent hike, so there'll be plenty of pretty to look at!

Bouncing Bet growing along the Dykeman Walking Trail
"Green grow the rushes, ho!" Pond scene in the Dykeman Spring wetlands.
In case anybody doesn't recognize the quote in the caption above... It's an old, traditional song, a "counting song" like "The Twelve Days of Christmas". We used to sing it when we were out hiking when I was in Boy Scouts; we especially used to sing it when we were marching from our campsite to the general meeting area at jamborees and at summer camp. Our senior patrol leader at the time, Woody Woodward, taught it to us, and since he was studying Russian at school I assumed it was a Russian thing. Imagine my surprised when I learned that it was used by American troops as a cadence count when marching to war against the Mexicans in the 1840s. In any case, I found a very humorous version on YouTube for your enjoyment.

Photos © 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Friday, August 16, 2013

This 'n' That Around Town

Some shots taken with the cell phone walking home from work the last couple of days. Two of then I messed with in Photoshop to convey the mood those particular places create for me. Enjoy!

A bright patch of flowers on Orange St.
The new home of Vigilant Hose Company #1
The old home of Vigilant Hose Company, a building which was originally the town hall. I "antiqued" it in Photoshop™ because I always get an "old" feeling from this building
Creamer Ave. looking up from Neff Ave. The buildings on this back alley are shabby and peeling, so I gave the shot an antique look.
© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rainy Day

Another rainy day off, and I was stuck indoors. I decided to play with the cell phone camera again, this time shooting the everyday objects in my apartment in black and white. Hey, it keeps boredom at bay, you know?

My personal altar on the bedroom bureau
Terracotta dragon candlestick
A medieval-style sun wall ornament
My workstation, the digital hub of Roy's World
Here's a little rainy day music from Jimi to brighten the day:

© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Thursday, August 08, 2013

More Macros

I went walking in the Dykeman Spring Nature Park again today. Still a threat of rain, but so far today it's held off. The dominant life form in the park still looks to be butterflies, although I did manage to sneak in photos of a Deptford Pink and some mushrooms to break things up a little. Most of these are macro shots, although the Silver-spotted Skipper and the Clouded Sulphur were shot with the zoom and manual focus because they didn't really want to let me very close. Enjoy!

Deptford Pink in the Dykeman Spring wetlands
A Silver-spotted Skipper butterfly in the Dykeman Spring wetlands
A Little Wood Satyr butterfly in the Dykeman Spring wetlands
Mushrooms growing under the trail map sign on Dykeman Rd.
A Clouded Sulphur butterfly on the Meadow Trail
A Long Dash skipper butterfly on the Meadow Trail
© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Playing Indoors

Two days off, and this day was errands day with rotten weather, so I decided to amuse myself indoors. I shot the photos below in 1600 ISO to get a lot of noise and then processed them in Photoshop, tweaking the contrast and white and black balance and adding a little posterization. I've worked with this effect before, about 4 or 5 years ago, and I like it. And it's always fun to play on a rainy day!

Study - Raccoon Skull
Study - Laughing Buddha
Study - Self Portrait

© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

Friday, August 02, 2013

Cellphone B&W

Another singleton day off, so pictures were taken while on the way to and from errands. I decided to play with the Samsung Galaxy S4's camera some more. Today went a long way toward getting a feel for its limits. Basically, I've determined that distance shots are not its forte; it doesn't shoot in anything but 72ppi, while print standard these days is a minimum of 150 ppi. Yes, I know; web standard is 72 ppi, but I think web standards for a lot of things - graphics, movies, music - pretty much suck anyhow. 72 ppi doesn't allow room for nuance, and you lose a lot of detail the further away from the lens surface you get. That's okay for the average person just posting snapshots, but for a photographer that's just not acceptable. But for closer subjects this camera does a very good job. So I'll leave the landscapes of mountains and fields for my regular camera.

The Samsung is also pretty good at black & white, as I discovered today. After the first shot of the day in the laundromat I decided to play with b&w. The four shots posted below are the best of the lot. Enjoy!

It's laundry day again. I try to get in before the crowd builds.
God's Acre cemetery on Prince St.
Back streets - a view of the back side of King St. from Neff Ave.
Another back street - looking down Creamer Ave. from Orange St.
© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger