Being There

August 26, 2018

BW photograph of the moon setting between the trees in the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg.

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

As evocative as photographs are, or at least aspire to be, they are no substitute for being present in the environ in which they are made.

BW photograph of the moon setting over a picket fence.

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

BW photograph of a fog shrouded tree across an empty field.

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

BW photograph of fog enveloped trees.

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

BW photograph of a foggy field with a barn and house in the background.

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

While one might imagine what it may have felt like to be out on such a morning, or have memories from similar experiences, they are, however, not the same as being there in the moment, today, to physically feel the cool moisture from the damp air; to watch the moon slip away and the fog come up only to be subsequently burned off by the rising sun; and to hear the stunning sound of…nothing.  It was perhaps the muffled quiet that was so remarkable.

This particular morning will never happen again.

It was nice to be there.

Take care.

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Greys

August 23, 2018

BW photograph of an overcast day in Mercer, ME.

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

Having deep distinct blacks and bright white highlights provide the end-point contrast for striking BW photography.  However, the gradations throughout the middle-tone greys are necessary to provide the full range of tones for this medium.  Otherwise, you would have what BW photographers refer to as the “chalk and soot” look.

BW photograph of an old Ford tractor with a front end loader.

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

The black-grey-white transitions, combined with the absence of colour, which is often overworked via the Saturation controls in photo-editing software, provides a sense of purity, a sense of “completeness”, to the imagery.

Take care.

Quietude

August 15, 2018

BW photograph of wrought iron chairs and tables.

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

It is fun to play with language as a means of describing and/or representing a feeling or experience.  In this particular case, the circumstances were a cup (or two) of excellent coffee, a relatively cool morning, and the time to enjoy both.

Here’s to that.

Take care.

Relativity

August 15, 2018

BW photograph of the early morning sunrise just outside of Graceham, MD.

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

Everything is relative.  For example, someone asks “How are you doing?”  The answer depends on several factors:  is the person asking the question a stranger or your therapist?  Someone you do not know or someone you know implicitly? Is it a reference to that particular moment, that day, week, year?  One of my psychology professors in college said the best answer to any question was “It depends.”  That is relativity.

BW photograph of Cat Rock looking down into the fog and trees.

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

Saturday August 4, was Summit Day as per Backpacker magazine.

BW photograph of the base of Cat Rock.

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

In honour of that, a hike/climb to the top of Cat Rock seemed to be in order.  At 1562 feet above sea level, it is not quite 20x lower than Mt. Everest in the Himalaya.  It is about half as high as El Capitan in Yosemite.  Getting to the top is nowhere near as technical a challenge as either of those monumental climbs.  (For the record, I have climbed neither Everest or El Cap.)  So, no real big deal…unless you consider relativity.

BW photograph of the joints between the cracked blocks that make up Cat Rock

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

This had previously been one of my most favourite hikes, and I had been there countless times over the past decades in all seasons.  However, Cat Rock was out of consideration for the better part of the past two years due to a variety of issues.  Taking on such a hike was just not in the plan as it is about 1.25 miles up the side of the mountain to a rock scramble, which then has to be reversed for the way down.   Psychologically, that 1562 feet loomed large in my thinking-it may just as well have been Everest or El Cap (which is, of course, an exaggeration).  Therefore, being able to do the out-and-back successfully was an achievement of sorts when properly scaled (pun intended).

BW photograph of a large rock on the trail from the descent of Cat Rock.

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

As an absolute standard, this hike is not such a big deal.  However, absolutes often fail to take mitigating factors into consideration.

Take care.

Climate Change

August 9, 2018

BW photograph of the Nisqually Glacier path with the low flow of the Nisqually River.

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

The cover headline of this issue of The Economist reads “In the line of fire: Losing the war against climate change”-inside are several articles that amplify the concern.  It is worth a read.

Take care.

 

BW photograph of the Hurricane Jose's flooding of Bethany Beach.

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

PHOTOGRAPHER NOTE:  The above photograph is from Bethany Beach following a tropical storm.

Yesterday, NPR’s 1A had a discussion about Tangier Island and it is worth a listen.

Climate change does indeed present an unpleasant reality for many.  The notion that a way of life lived for generations may no longer be possible is very difficult to contemplate, let alone actually face.  Years ago, I learned a definition of denial that I came to appreciate:  “Denial provides a sense of security or buffer against an unacceptable reality.”  (Unfortunately, I do not recall the source of the definition.) In that sense, denial is a coping mechanism-an ineffective one in the longer term, but it does take the sting out of the short-term.  However, to continue to deny the existence of climate change and its human basis in the face of scientific evidence, or worse, to support politicians, ideas (which include the questioning of the fundamental scientific processes resulting in the data), and policies that will exacerbate the problem, is a willful refusal to accept things as they are and are becoming.  Meanwhile, fires burn, floods inundate, and droughts bake in the time of now.

It is important that one caller advised Mr. Johnson about his mischaracterization of Tangier Island as the initial population to be relocated.  Here is an article regarding Isle de Jean Charles from two years ago-please also give this a read.

Climate change and the need for mitigation and adaptation cannot rationally be denied regardless of how uncomfortable that may be.

Take care.

Detour

August 6, 2018

BW photograph of Detour with Double Pipe Creek flooding its banks onto a road.

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

Between here and there is the small town of Detour, Md.  My first recollection of Detour was when it flooded in 1972 as a result of Hurricane Agnes.  At the very western edge of the town is the Double Pipe Creek, which has left its banks multiple times over the decades flooding and/or endangering the homes and businesses there.  The above photograph was made at 9:13 a.m. on August 4, 2018…the date of the most recent flooding.

In comparison to many other parts of the world, which are experiencing extraordinarily high temperatures and often accompanying droughts, the local area has been inundated by rain.  This report provides an explanation for the seemingly contradictory weather patterns produced by the overall changing of the global climate system.

BW photograph of a fallen sycamore tree against an overpass.

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

As a reminder, the above photograph was posted to this blog on May 24, 2018 and shows the water level of Double Pipe Creek just beyond the tree roots in the foreground-a period of very heavy rain had preceded this event.

This past Friday and early Saturday morning brought yet another series of drenching rainfalls.

BW photograph of Detour showing the elevated water level of Double Pipe Creek-debris is against the bridge.

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

The above photograph was made at 9:17 a.m. and shows the resulting water level of Double Pipe Creek-the debris pictured here is just about at the point where the sycamore tree trunk is laying atop the bridge in the previous image.

BW photograph of Detour with Double Pipe Creek flooding its banks onto a road.

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

9:21 a.m.

BW photograph of Detour showing the elevated water level of Double Pipe Creek-debris and a flooded fence are in the foreground.

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

9:26 a.m.

Double Pipe Creek had once again broached its banks.

BW photograph of Detour showing the elevated water level of Double Pipe Creek-a moving truck has water to the half-wheel height.

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

9:29 a.m.

BW photograph of Detour showing the elevated water level of Double Pipe Creek-a moving truck has water to the two-thirds wheel height.

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

11:10 a.m.

Importantly, the water level had not as yet crested when these photographs were made.  Look closely at the wheels of the truck in both:  the water was still rising across that time span.

Meanwhile, today 1A aired this discussion regarding the current administration’s efforts to freeze the standards for fuel economy and emissions-it is worth listening to the disagreements and points made by the various guests, which highlight both the complexity of this issue as well as the conclusions drawn from particular data points.  The environmental impact of auto emissions is the connection to this post-it is also another example of the U.S. withdrawal from longer-term active measures to address climate change, which is the fundamental basis for the patterns of such extreme weather events.

Take care.