This has been a strange winter, a delayed winter, with nearly no snow in the Willsboro / Essex area. Most of the lake is still open, just freezing around the edges. And this is where I found an area with interesting ice.
A favourite but private section of shoreline, there are many stones of different colours, mostly small and roundish and smooth, beaten by waves all the time. I love going there, sitting among the stones, fascinated by all the colours and shapes. The only kind I recognize is a strong blue which is granite. But reds, pinks, yellows, browns, mottled, occasional green……….
So 2 days ago, I took my camera and went over to see what the shore looked like now. I stood on the bank above the shore since it all looked really slippery. And, Wow, so interesting with the ice buildup with help from waves and wind. This year has been really windy, perhaps more than in other years.
There must be an inch or so on each stone, with some evolving into shapes with darkish enters, some clear through, showing no stone. And stones aren’t all that has been touched, or encased, by ice. I found leaves and bits of plants, also with an inch or so, without even crushing the leaves.
It is that time of year when most water around us is frozen. Not so this year as it is the middle of December and we still have relatively mild temperatures outside. Even so, I have been thinking of water, or liquid, which does not appear to be liquid. Glass!
I know it sounds strange as you can touch glass with strength and it is hard. You can cut it into pieces. You can shape it with heat. Did you ever look at a very old window pane? If it is very old, it will appear lumpy at the bottom, or out of focus as you look through it. this is because glass is a unique sort of liquid that flows with gravity, very, very slowly.
This is actually considered to be a myth. There are arguments for both sides, the one against being a highly viscous liquid gaining higher evidence. It is likely that this is right and glass will be officially considered a solid. It is fun, though, to picture it moving, very slowly……
Glass shapes can be really interesting. I encountered some as I was waiting in a dentist’s office. At first I saw plain glass blocks in frames and here and there in the walls. Then I saw them in a different light, really in a different light. Each block took on its own persona, colours, shapes within each frame. Fascinating! the colours came from the lights, clothing, wallpapers…….
This summer has been a bit different from most summers in the past, as far as my memories go. So much rain. We have always had rain and high heat coupled with high humidity. I can remember one July, maybe 1985, where it rained daily for the whole month, made worse by having 6 young boys with me the whole time!
Photography has been a bit difficult by the heavy air, not as light and clear as I would like. But I have managed a few, one in fog and one at night in the heavy air.
Fog is an interesting condition when doing photography, at least for me. This time I managed to be on the outside of the fog which meant my lens stayed dry, giving a clear picture. One can see the ferry pylons past the boathouse, surrounded by fog, which was blowing off fairly quickly. As it was disappearing too fast for me, I turned my attention again to distorted images and found a great one right below the boathouse, the reversal of a hammock, seen in a previous photo of mine with the owner in it. I have often taken photos of the Rosslyn Boathouse in Essex, NY, a less abstract subject though still connected with water. One aspect of this is its hammock. A good friend of mine, George Davis, has posted some of them on his website.
Eve Ticknor’s Boathouse Photos
Moving on to heavy air, all that humidity, or water, makes us feel heavier. And all that water can distort your target when shooting. This happened when shooting ferry lights on a humid night. It put an interesting fuzziness on the whole photograph.
Sultry Summer Lights
Amazing what water can do when not in a container. Remember, lakes, rivers, etc are all in containers of sorts, albeit unconventional ones.
It is finally spring and yet, it still does not seem to really be spring. The winds are strong and cold, and our ground is relatively dry. We should have had much more snow and rain to top up the water table. Looking at the Lake, we can see that the level is low. I worry about our trees. Drought takes a toll on trees, not always showing the damage until later.
You should not be surprised at my take on the weather, seeing that my main interest in photography involves water. Recently I enjoyed another aspect of water. I went to the new aquarium in Toronto ( Ontario ). As much as I enjoyed the exhibits, I enjoyed the colours in the water just as much.
Nature never ceases to amaze me with her artistry. At this time of year my medium is frozen, water that is. Ice. So many different forms.
Very recently I went to view the marina at Brockville, Ont. It is along the St Lawrence Seaway. Surface ice had formed in several textures. At first, seeing buildings reflected in water, turned out to be reflected in really clear ice. So clear, that In places I could see the bottom of the marina.
Next I decided to take some closeups in those reflections. And suddenly the ice looked differently to me, and I realized that it was all covered with designs formed from crystals, streaking here and there in many different directions that had captured the colours seen in the reflections.
I continued to take photos here and there, fascinated with the colours and designs. But then I moved on to another area, a river running through a marsh. Much of the river was frozen with white ice, but here and there were clear areas, again with the same kind of crystalline designs as in the marina.
Now that we just had some snow, all that will change, and those lovely designs won’t be seen anymore. Both the moisture and change in temperature in the layer between snow and ice, will delete the designs and it will become more like white ice as you may have seen when skating rinks are cleared off. The ice then, used for skating, will be thick and white.
Top of a waterfall
By Eve Ticknor
Swan Taking to Wing
By Eve Ticknor
By Eve Ticknor
In all the photos I have been taking over several years, I know if the conditions are right for me, I will see images in the pictures after they are printed out.
The fun is in asking others to look at a photo and tell me what they see. Obviously my interpretations and others’ interpretations can be different. Still, many do look at my photos and see nothing. It used to bother me, until I realized that I could teach others how to look, how to see.
Take a photo, preferably one that is more on the abstract side, but with substance, as in not just 3 lines. Focus on 1 section and see if anything comes to mind. Then shift your focus to another part and do the same. Turn the photo upside down or on 1 side, and do the same you did with the first side. Continue for the remaining sides. Did you see anything that made sense? Anything that made you look at it differently after that?
I have a photo which made perfect sense the way I took it. However, in showing it around, it was immediately turned around and declared to be an entirely different subject. After a while, it was turned onto its side and, surprise, surprise, it was again something entirely different.
Top of a waterfall
By Eve Ticknor
Floater by Eve Ticknor
Autumn has snuck up on me and I just realized I have been remiss with the lack of blogs. Such is life.
Autumn is a wonderful season, full of colour. The past few weeks has seen me leaning over all sorts of bridges. Why? Falling leaves. Leaves floating by, leaves sitting on the bottom of whatever waterway I happen to be leaning over. Some look just like paintings. The ones floating on the surface may look like little boats or a piece of oriental art while the ones below the water often look full of life, rushing by faster than I can snap the shutter. There is a whole different feel to them, different texture, perhaps changes in colour.
As the season progresses we will see less colour, but make up for it with ice. Ice is pretty amazing, creeping bit by bit. But look closely. Do you see bits of colour on a sunny day? What about designs? How many kinds of ice do you see? But enough of this. Let’s stick to leaves for now.
With full force, spring is here, as you know. Now I will probably annoy anyone driving with me as I am constantly stopping by every waterway I come across, ponds, rivers, streams, ditches, etc.
On sunny days I can be found next to any of the above, camera at hand, searching for that elusive “the one” that is out there somewhere. So I go around to favourite spots snapping photos everywhere to be sorted later.
Lately I have been photographing grasses in ditches and small streams. These make for interesting shapes. I search for small stones with water running shallowly over them. The sun is key to the stones as it enables me to get some wonderful colours.
Life has a way of interfering with my plans. A brief hiatus turned into more. At this point, summer is here and with it Art Shows and opportunities for photography. In Essex, NY, we have a wonderful home for our Gallery, the “Yellow House”. It makes hanging the art much more interesting, in a better setting. I have some of my photos in the 4 shows here, plus a larger solo show at Valour Imaging in Plattsburgh.
reflections in a roadside ditch.
It has been a while since my last blog, but so has winter. for me, too much snow followed by too much rain. Flooding has begun and I hope it isn’t too bad this year.
On the other hand, rain means melting. Streams are finally opening up and, although there is an over abundance of water in them, rushing about, I can finally see what is under all that water. Rocks, big ones, little ones, rocks. Add in the sunlight and I get very interesting designs and patterns. I could take hundreds of these and probably never be sated.
Another source of water photos is the drips in spring under bridges. With lots of snow still on the ground, I find my best was to take photos is to lean over the railing, half lying on it, to be able to get decent colours and markers of the patterns.
Spring is also a time to gear up for Art Shows, and the harder job of choosing what to put in the shows. So stay tuned. You never know when I’ll add more here.
Winters are changing, and not to my liking. Too cold, too windy, too much ice. Well, ice underfoot and sealing car doors shut. But there are other kinds of ice, more to my liking. I wish I were able to watch the ice sculpting itself, to learn how it decides what shape to become.
One kind of interesting ice is that formed in a flat sheet over a puddle, It seems to have etchings or layers or cracks, etc. One had lines as if sketching a person’s silhouette, to me looking like Charles De Gaulle.
Then last March, I found a patch of ice along the side of a gravel road by a wetland. Here I took several photos of ice in an area smaller than a square foot. The result is ice looking like 2 kinds of bottles! I have yet to find this kind anywhere else.
Along the sides of streams partly open, I can find several kinds of ice. The most interesting is a sort of bubbly ice as if someone were there with a large straw blowing bubbles. One photo I took of this kind is ice looking like a pair of feet, complete with toenails.
How is it that ice can resemble familiar things to us? Why can we be looking at the same photo of ice, yet see different things?