Respite

January 23, 2018

BW photograph looking downstream at Morgan Run after a relatively heavy rain.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

For as cold as it has been over the past few weeks, the past couple of days have been quite a turn-around.  Temps have been in the upper 50s-lower 60s, and, other than quite a hard rain this morning, brightly sunny.  As a result, Morgan Run was living up to its name, and it was quite pleasant to sit and enjoy a bit of shinrin yoku.

BW photograph of sycamore trees against a blue sky with some clouds in the background.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Not only was this a break from the weather, but getting outside allowed for a connection to the larger being…

BW photograph of a dried oak leaf laying upon some rocks.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

while simultaneously detoxing from a couple of very stressful, closely-focused, computer-heavy days.

Getting out and away, even for just a bit, helps to keep issues in (proper) perspective.

Take care.

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The Sound of Winter

January 20, 2018

BW photograph of Morgan Run after a recent snowfall in a cold spell.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

It was quite cold a couple of days ago-in the teens, even at mid-day.  At Morgan Run, it seemed much colder due to being in a bit of a hollow and close to the water.

BW photograph of Morgan Run after a recent snowfall in a cold spell.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

BW photograph of Morgan Run after a recent snowfall in a cold spell.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Under such conditions, sound seems to be magnified.  The running of the water is just that much more loud and crisp.  According to this source, that effect may be one of perception due to the relative lack of other ambient noise, or it may, in fact, be due to the lower air temps.

BW photograph of a lone tree against a large rock with layered snow.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Given that this area is also bracketed by a hill on one side and a large rock formation on the other-the slope of the former can be seen in upper left corner of the third photograph herein, while the latter is depicted just above-the sound waves are most certainly bouncing around a bit.

Whether the result of psychology or physics, the effect makes for an enhanced experience.

BW photograph of a rock covered in snow.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

BW photograph of layered rocks and roots covered in snow.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Then there is the unmistakable cracking of ice underfoot-that is enough to release a bit of adrenaline into the system.  While the edges of Morgan Run were not that deep, going through the ice into the water would be quite uncomfortable.  That would be a perception of a different sort.

Take care.

Incongruous

January 9, 2018

BW photograph of a Bissell vacuum cleaner laying in the leaves-front view.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The Sociological theory of Symbolic Interactionism is based on the meaning(s) that are given to words.  According to that theory, members of a given society must reach agreement regarding those meanings in order to communicate effectively.  This brief photo essay is a visual representation of the Oxford English Dictionary definition of incongruous.

BW photograph of a Bissell vacuum cleaner laying in the leaves-back view.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

BW photograph of a Bissell vacuum cleaner laying in the leaves-side view.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Are we in agreement as to the meaning of the word as represented here?

Take care.

Evidence

January 7, 2018

BW photograph of an icy Morgan Run and some rocks.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This is a follow-up to the previous post.

The bomb cyclone that tore up the East Coast over the past couple of days has moved on, but it is still frigid (single digit if not below zero ambient temps with wind chill factors that makes the air much colder) in many areas.   However difficult this has been, and this is not at all to minimize the loss of life and inhospitable conditions (which was the reason for the homeless statistics previously posted) created by the combination of extreme cold, snow, wind, and flooding, it is still a relatively isolated (chronologically speaking), short-term event.

In Alaska, the problem is a bit different.

In addition, all along the perimeter of the United States, residents are dealing with a much more longer-term issue: habitat loss due to sea and flood-level rise as a result of climate change.  Given the current administration’s on-going commitment to the extraction and burning of fossil fuels, this is a very real problem of the now, not the future.

BW photograph of a lone tree against a large rock with layered snow.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Given that mitigation is clearly not an option until there is a willful political change in thinking and action (the mid-term elections later this year?), adaptation becomes a “solution”.  However, as the above report (linked under “habitat loss”) indicates, the funding for such large-scale efforts is sorely lacking, particularly for the more fiscally challenged portions of the country.  Even in relatively affluent areas, the drop in real-estate values makes for an economic dis-incentive.

Economics aside, the need for re-location also creates a titanic change in the culture for coastal residents, particularly for those whose livelihood has been linked to the land and water for generations.

BW photograph of a snowy trail leading into the woods at Morgan Run.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

There are no easy ways to deal with climate change.  Having said that, this is a problem that will only escalate as time moves on and efforts at mitigation are ignored or “rolled-back”.

Take care.

 

 

 

 

Deep Cold

January 4, 2018

BW photograph of Morgan Run after a recent snowfall in a cold spell.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Yes, indeed.

BW photograph of a section of Morgan Run frozen by winter temps.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

And then there is this and this…take note of the use of the word “bomb” in this context.

BW photograph of a stick laying upon a rock surrounded by crystallized snow.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Given the content of the above reports, there are larger numbers also worthy of attention.  According to the 2016 Annual Report on Homelessness as prepared by Maryland’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, the PIT (Point In Time) count yielded 7,352 people experiencing homelessness in Baltimore.  The PIT is done on one night during the last two weeks in January.  According to the same report, the Annualized number (the number served in shelters and other types of housing between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016) grows the population experiencing homelessness to 29,670.

According to the 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, there were 549,928 people experiencing homelessness in the United States on one night in January when the count was made.  22% of those were children.  39,471 were Veterans.

Take care.

Exposure and Privacy

January 1, 2018

BW photograph of a toilet sitting in a store window.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Exposure in the age of digital, and especially when using a cell phone, photography has undergone a sea change.  Arguably, today’s technology has rendered this as a non-issue to the degree that many most likely have no idea what their devices are doing when a photograph is taken.  In the days of film photography, as a direct result of the nature of that medium, the resulting photograph was heavily dependent on exposure, especially when using slide film.  The photographer needed to be precise with regard to the interaction of ISO, shutter speed, and aperture setting in order to achieve optimal results.  Print film was much more forgiving in that regard.  While it remains a truism that there is no single ‘best” exposure for any given scene, there sure are multitudes of mistakes to be made when transforming light into pixel response.  Software applications can “repair” a great deal of this (the aptly named “fix it Photoshop” or “FIPS” approach) and automatically in many cases; however, it is still generally useful to start with the ISO, shutter speed, aperture setting for the desired effect.  Otherwise, one is just taking chances.  Of course, the photographer may be perfectly comfortable with the device being in charge and may not consider, or even be aware of, the risks.

The word “exposure” also has other meanings-more on that in a bit.

Privacy seems to be nearly as antiquated a concept as photographic exposure in this digital era.  EULAs (End User Licensing Agreements) are quite long, complex, and written in legalize that (almost) guarantees that they will not be read.  Just click “Yes” and move on.   The problem is, of course, that buried within the EULA is the language related to what a given company can do with the data mined from the consumer’s use of a product or service.  As such, it is important to recognize that the consumer is (generally) not the manufacturer’s/service provider’s customer-advertising companies are.  Such companies pay for access to the consumer’s data so as to be able to specifically target ads for products/services based on a consumer’s browsing/purchasing history.

Therein lies the link between exposure and privacy.  The more cavalier one is about accessing sites and signing EULAs, the greater the likelihood that, at some point, one becomes vulnerable to identity theft.  The recent Equifax breach is one such example.

One would do well to keep from having their privacy as exposed as the above photograph implies.

Take care.