Winter/Spring 2018

March 26, 2018

BW photograph of a low stone wall at Culp's Hill in Gettysburg, PA.

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

The sun was out, the winds calm, and the temp was relatively warm, so I took a drive around the battlefield in Gettysburg, PA.  While doing so, there were two thoughts that kept bouncing around in my head.

BW photograph of a tree casting a shadow on Cemetary Hill in Gettysburg, PA.

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

The first was that my perception of “winter” has changed.  Before explaining, though, it is useful to remember the difference and relationship between “sensation” and “perception”.  Sensation is the data-the stimuli that the brain converts to impulses for processing.  In this case, the sensations are the calendar date, the recent snow, and the ambient temperatures.  Perception, on the other hand, is the meaning given to the sensory data.  Given that March 20th was the first day of Spring, the perception is that Winter was supposed to be over.  It also seems that climate change has altered the timing of the weather patterns, but not the celestial movement:  that March is now the February of the past in terms of cold and snow.  Indeed, it was painful to watch robins trying to cope with the snow as it was falling a few days ago.  Their biological imperative has also not as yet adjusted.

BW photograph of a tree at Cemetary Hill In Gettysburg, PA.

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

The other thought was the irony of listening to NPR’s coverage of  March For Our Lives while being within the geography of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.

We can do much to alter the forward trajectory of both climate change and gun violence depending on the choices we make.

Take care.

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13.5″

March 23, 2018

BW photograph of snow the first day of Spring 2018 at Morgan Run.

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

BW photograph of snow the first day of Spring 2018 at Morgan Run.

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

BW photograph of snow on the second day of Spring 2018.

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

The above photographs were made on March 20, 2018.  This was the first day of Spring.

BW photograph of snow on the second day of Spring 2018.

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

This photograph was made on March 21, 2018-the second day of Spring.

BW photograph of snow in trees on the third day of Spring 2018.

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

This final photograph was made on March 22 once the snow had stopped and the sun had returned.  It’s good that Spring has arrived-it would be hard to say what would have happened with the snow totals if it were still winter…

Take care.

(Brief) Road Trip

March 15, 2018

BW photograph of some of the rocks at the entrance to Harpers Ferry.

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

The eastern portion of the U.S. was hit with three nor’easters in a bit under three weeks recently.  New England felt the brunt of most of these, especially the most recent, but the Mid-Atlantic has had colder temperatures, higher winds, and periodic rain/snow showers over the same period.

BW photograph of trees and a lampost at the Harpers Ferry Visitors Center parking lot.

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

So, when there was a bit of a break in those three conditions, it was a good time to squeeze in the facsimile of a road trip.

BW photograph of a barrel a the entrance to the Harpers Ferry Visitors Center.

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

This was certainly no epic, but being on the road for something other than the commute to work provided a nice interlude and a sense of the getting away.

Take care.

 

BW photograph of the snow on pine trees during the second March 2018 nor'easter.

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

What started as rain late yesterday afternoon is now snow, which is quite beautiful given the absence of wind.

Take care.

BW photograph of blurry trees blowing in a nor'easter wind against a cloudy sky.

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

Another nor’easter blew into town this past Friday ravaging the Mid-Atlantic up into New England-the consequences of which proved to be quite severe.  As per The New York Times (the second link), this turned out to be “…the second “bomb cyclone” in two months.”  That this post follows the one preceding is demonstrative of the fickle nature of weather in the Anthropocene Era.

Aside from the opening photograph, the remaining images herein are from the Delaware and Maryland coastal area.

BW photograph of the surf looking out of the door of the Turtle Bay Cafe.

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

Above is the view looking out from the Turtle Bay Café (great coffee, which was especially welcome on a chilly, windy day) toward the ocean in Bethany Beach, DE.  Merchants along the boardwalk there gave conflicting reports with regard to which day’s surf was more intense (Friday or Saturday),  but all agreed that the storm had made an impact.

BW photograph of the roiled surf at Bethany Beach.

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

BW photograph of the roiled surf at Bethany Beach.

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

The surf off Bethany Beach was still roiling, and the wind was still howling on Saturday.

BW photograph of sand washed onto the boardwalk at Bethany Beach.

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

The combination of a full moon, high tide, and the storm led the surf to rise far enough so as to deposit sand on some parts of the boardwalk.

While browsing in Bethany Beach Books, I bought a copy of Diane Ackerman’s The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us, which was published in 2014.  Ms. Ackerman uses short chapters to discuss her point-of-view on the Anthropocene Era.  Several of the chapters deal with climate change as that is one of the hallmark issues of the time in which we live.  It was interesting to be reading her account of SuperStorm Sandy while a nor’easter was pummeling the same areas of the East Coast as did that infamous storm.

BW photograph of the Days Inn sign at Ocean City, MD.

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

BW photograph of the destroyed awning of the Days Inn in Ocean City.

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

BW photograph of the drywall debris from the Days Inn in Ocean City.

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

BW photograph of the drywall debris from the Days Inn in Ocean City.

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

BW photograph of the drywall debris from the Days Inn in Ocean City laying against a bench.

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

The above series of images is from Ocean City, MD, which is seven miles or so south of Bethany Beach.  The debris shown here was from the Days Inn-an exterior stairwell was blown apart and strewn about the boardwalk.

BW photograph of the Ocean City boardwalk looking north.

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

BW photograph of the Ocean City Fishing Pier with the roiling surf.

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

A walk along the entirety of the boardwalk revealed no other obvious major damage-the Fishing Pier appeared to still be intact.

BW photograph of a blown off lid and sand on the boardwalk in Ocean City.

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

BW photograph of a downed water spout and gutter on the boardwalk in Ocean City.

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

The sand and other incidental damage did give evidence to the wind.

BW photograph of a downed "Reserved Parking" sign in Ocean City.

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

It was, however, not clear if the above sign was downed by the wind or some other impact.

BW photograph of the main intersection in Chestertown, MD.

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

By Sunday, the sky had mostly cleared, the sun had come out, and the winds had abated just a bit.  The above photograph was made in Chestertown, MD.

There are still thousands without power in parts of Maryland.  Parts of New York are digging out from feet of snow.  Parts of Massachusetts are cleaning up from flooding.  There is no coming back from the loss of life.  Those same areas of the East Coast are now awaiting the storm referenced in the above links that hammered parts of California and pounded the Mid-West.  It is forecast to be the second nor’easter to occur within a matter of days.

Take care.

Stay safe.

 

Here Came the Sun

February 20, 2018

BW photograph of trees on a foggy evening.

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

This is a grammatically incorrect play on words referencing a most excellent, lyrically applicable, George Harrison song.  The fog from the night before and morning of burned off into a glorious 78 degree day…

BW photograph of a sunlit southern pine at Morgan Run.

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

BW photograph of strong tree shadows raking across some small rocks.

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

BW photograph of sunlit sycamore trees against the sky.

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

that created a strong, STRONG case of Spring fever.

It is alright.

Take care.

Pretty

February 16, 2018

BW photograph of trees silhouetted at twilight.

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

After having made two trips in New Orleans in post-Katrina 2008, I had decided that making pretty photographs was a waste of my time.  There are two very subjective aspects in that sentence:  the first, “pretty”, is open to interpretation.  My initial photographic interest was the natural world-grand scenics and the intimate microcosm of mountains, flowers, and critters.  Having been to the Lower 9th Ward and other areas that were still wrecked three years after the storm had made an impression-“pretty” images were of much less interest.  The second, “…waste of my time.” is not saying “a waste of time period“; it was fine for others to make such photographs.   I wanted to make socially relevant photographs to illustrate a number of concerns that I felt were important-they could be largely grouped under the heading of the human impact on the natural world.  Hence my emphasis on trash, for example.

A decade later, I have found myself to be increasing frustrated and disillusioned, and, yes, angry, at the state of the world; particularly U.S. politics and the role it plays in local, national, and global events.  We have had yet another mass shooting in a school.  That makes something like 30 such events since the start of 2018, let alone what came before.  Previous posts have detailed my concerns over the political response to climate change.  Trash continues to proliferate.  And so on.  While Steven Pinker does have a point, as does this article, the examples cited here dull the shine of such information, especially when they have a direct impact on a given individual.

BW photograph of trees silhouetted at twilight with clouds in the background.

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

All of which leads me back to “pretty”.  That is still very much a subjective term.  The photographs included here fit that definition for me.  I very much like B&W photographs that have a full range of tones from deep blacks to bright whites.   It is also helpful to remember the emotions experienced at the time the shutter was pressed.  Watching the clouds move across the sky and the manner by which the light changed in response to that movement induced a sense of calm and wonder.  For a few moments, the info in the paragraph above became irrelevant.

That does not mean those issues can be ignored or obfuscated.  Doing so is, after all, what allows them to worsen.  I will most certainly continue to make photographs to illustrate that which is of concern to me.  At the same time,  I am returning to my roots (which seems to be an appropriate phrase for the intent here, literally and figuratively) as it is quite useful to one’s well-being to find some beauty and peace when possible.

Take care.