Arctic Blast!

The last month or so has been pretty interesting with all of the snow in New England. A lot of people seem frustrated with the weather, but these winters are what we've come to expect in this part of the country. It can be a little discouraging knowing these mounds of snow are going to be here for what seems like an eternity, but it's also pretty exciting to see the consistency of this whole thing. It seems that just about every Monday we're hit with some new pile of fluff from above.

I guess what has made this winter a little more enjoyable than some of the long, cold winters of the past is the adventure that has been given to me. I moved to Providence from Boston a little ways back, so this is my first winter in this city. I really love Boston, as I enjoy meandering through the streets and find it to be a tremendous walking city. I'm still trying to get a feel for Providence, however. I like it here, but I haven't yet developed a deep connection with this place. The storms are beginning to change my feelings. I've seen what normally appears to be a quiet city, finally come to life. It's been so great to see people snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing (see below), and out walking on the streets during and after the storms. I've also seen people opening up more by smiling and saying hello, something we should all do anyway, but doesn't seem to happen in this part of the country too often. This place is starting to grow on me!

Each of these arctic blasts has provided anyone who is interested with the aforementioned adventure. My muse (Angie) and I have gone on countless, mostly nighttime walks through the untouched snowy streets of the city, just sliding along and playing. No cars on the roads, walking in the streets and abandoning sidewalks is a really fun way to continue to discover a new city. I'll be happy when the warm weather arrives and we can get back to hiking and enjoying the rest of the outdoors, but for now, I'm going to make the most of these snowy adventures.

Sometimes I bring a camera along for these journeys. Here are a few photos. Enjoy the day! -Josh

song of the moment: "Happy Idiot" by TV On The Radio

Hola Luna!

Sometimes we get lucky and get a second chance at something. Sometimes we get even luckier and are given inspiration. Today was one of those days for me. As many of you know last night was a lunar eclipse and the best time to see the action on the east coast was between 4:30AM and a little after 7AM with the latter being even better, but unfortunately the weather had different plans. I set my alarm to wake up around 6AM. Seeing something interesting in the sky other than a caked wall of clouds was not going to be possible. There will be another lunar eclipse next April, but the rain clouds shut this party down.

Tonight, however, we still had the privilege of clear skies and a (99%) full autumn moon and this is where both my second chance and my inspiration enter. My fiancée, Angie, was going out with a friend tonight and she asked me what I was doing. I told her I was planning on going for a run (the full moon had slipped my mind at this point). She was driving to her friend's place about an hour later and gave me a call and told me how huge and low the moon was tonight and that I should go out with my camera. I still had not run at this point as I had fallen into one of those YouTube rabbit holes where I was watching stupid comedy videos while wearing my running clothes and delaying leaving the apartment. I was happy to get her call, both for the normal reasons of talking to her and for getting a kick in the pants to do what I had set out to do.

I began my run and started to doubt my knowledge of anything. I was running in the dark and looking all around like an idiot, as if being chased by somebody. In reality, I was trying to find the moon. I knew where the moon should be, but it was hiding, and I really thought I didn't understand anything anymore. Angie was right though! It was low and it was HUGE! Finally, as I looked off to my right, I saw the moon almost resting on the roof of a house I was running past and it was enormous. Well, really it's always the same size, it's all perspective, but you get the point. I knew I had to get a shot of it before it rose too high in the sky and got back to a normal looking size. It was then that my running pace tripled and I cut up a few side streets, looped around, and ran a four minute mile to get back to get my gear and go off shooting. Most of that is true. I'll let you believe what you want.

I sprinted up to my apartment, grabbed my camera bag and tripod, and ran down to the car to get to a location. I knew generally where I wanted to create the photo, but not specifically.  Fortunately, I was able to find my spot very quickly while the moon had not risen all too high yet. I set up next to a boat house on the Seekonk River on the east side of Providence and made the shot below. It was a fun photo to create and I'm thankful for Angie's inspiration and having a second chance to photograph such a beautiful moon after the clouds ripped the opportunity away just half a day before. I hope you enjoy the image! -Josh

moon seekonk river

song of the moment: "Luna Sea" by Vetiver

Sun Drop

This winter seems more unbearably cold than I can remember recent winters being, but every now and then you get a glimmer of hope and the temperature doesn't start with a 0, 1, 2, or 3 and it hits the 40s! We had one of those days recently in Boston. It may have even hit 50 at one point in the day. Needless to say, I was excited and got to wander the city with my camera and my incredibly patient girlfriend, Angie.  She knows I like to look around and see how the light is playing off of a building, or through a tree, or (her favorite ... right?) shining on her face. On this particular day we were walking midday through dusk and I was really enjoying how the harsh sun was beaming down on the city.  I've included three photos below; all very different from each other.  Angie proved her high level patience once again while we caused a detour on the sidewalk of Boylston Street.  The sun was shining directly through the street blinding everyone walking westward and creating a silhouette of everything.  Typically, one wouldn't want to be photographing a whole lot in this situation, but with using Angie's pretty head as a light shield, I was able to create a nice, heavenly, warm glow around her with the wind blowing and have a "sun star" emerge from her head.  We had a lot of fun and laughs creating the shot.

The other two shots were all about shutter speed. If anybody has seen much of my work, you know I'm a bit obsessed with trees, particularly those that are dead or have lost their leaves for the winter. The sun was a bit higher (midday sun) for the second photo and shining directly through the branches of this hibernating tree.  On these days, I like to experiment and even though I didn't necessarily have to be at a shallow depth of field for this shot, I wanted to be in order to shoot at very high shutter speed that I wouldn't normally have the option of shooting at. 1/6400 of a second was the resulting number and created a nice little flair from the sun and a natural framing from the branches.  The final shot also came from a very faster shutter speed (1/3200 of a second). This time the shallow depth of field was important for my finished product and I wanted to create a shot to look as close to night as I could even though there was still about an hour and half of daylight remaining.  Hopefully you like the result as much I did creating it. Enjoy the day! - Josh

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song of the moment: "Love Like A Sunset" by Phoenix