Greetings. For this in New England, I want to pass along an invitation to join us this coming weekend in Grafton, Massachusetts for the Small Stones Festival of the Arts (access the link for more information and directions). This represents a cooperative effort on the part of a number of area arts organizations as you can see.
I am grateful to the photography jurors (Nancy Burns, Scot Erb, Donna Dufault and Robert Ring) for choosing a number of my images for exhibit. They represent a fairly electic display, so we’ll see how that all works. I’ll be there on Friday night and again on Saturday afternoon.
We had a fairly nasty winter storm covering much of New England yesterday. Inland, it was just another snow storm. On the coast, the seas sadly became a lethal hazard. My home is blessed with a back yard that faces conservation land just twenty feet or so from our back windows. Until the snow covered the windows, we could see into the forest and experience the storm in a way that was very intimate. I don’t do well with enforced staying at home, but the forest offered some considerable solace.
You have to admire the ability of nature to withstand it’s own barrage. Were we all so resilient.
Technical Note: These images were made with 6K photo on a Panasonic GH5. It is perfect for capturing action like this. You hold the shutter down for several seconds capturing thirty 18 mp. jpgs. You can review the individual images in capture and save those that may have appeal. It’s a fascinating strategy that I suspect has a great deal of utility for a variety of situations, particularly family and sports.
As I mentioned in the last post, we had a delightful family time in Grafton, Vermont, a locale that really epitomizes that part of New England. However, a casual drive through central Vermont reveals the challenges of making a go of it, given the problems facing the dairy industry and agriculture more generally. The cost of producing a quart of milk in Vermont is now greater than the price that quart will bring on the open market. On the other hand, this is the type of situation that really calls for some creative thinking. There’s something very valuable here as everyone knows who has given the area any thought. A substantial amount of the land in Grafton (I don’t know how much) is actually owned by the not for profit Windham Foundation. There mission is to “promote the vitality of Grafton and Vermont’s rural communiities through philanthropic and education programs and it’s subsidiaries. The Foundation owns several significant businesses, including my favorite, the Grafton Village Cheese Company. (Disclaimer, I have no financial interest here, though I do love to eat their cheese.) This is a working farm, integrated with their cheese factory. They also own the Old Tavern Inn as well as the land on which several independent businesses sit. This is an organization that builds on both philanthropic and business activities in order to support the preservation of rural life in Vermont. If you’d like to know more hit the links above, but suffice it to say that I applaud their efforts to think outside the box. Click for a better view.
Interestingly, the Foundation was founded by an investment banker, Dean Mathey who had family ties to the region. Here’s to creative leadership and creative experimentation. That’s the way ahead.
Just returned from a wonderful few days in Grafton, Vermont. Grafton is a fascinating and beautiful town. Just sings Vermont. The weather however, was, shall we say, mediocre. Obviously I can’t complain in light of the terrifying weather in the middle of the country or the flooding that is commencing in Burlington. But photography in what is the equivalent to a giant soft box (a soft box is a very large diffused light source used in portrait photography) is less than inspirational. I will post a few images of Grafton in my next blog, just for the sake of trying to communicate something about the area’s beauty. The challenge for me is to come up with interesting imagery under such circumstances. There are many approaches to the problem but the one to which I am increasingly drawn is that of focusing on interesting details, the kind of thing that is right under your nose, but often goes unnoticed. In this case, I happened to be standing next to a very old and interesting barn, one that served several purposes.
No longer a home for horses, etc. (it’s actually now a bar:) it does serve as a stop over for our feathered friends. This isn’t just decorative. The noise coming out of this little bird highrise was deafening, telling me that my hanging around was not too welcome. Nevertheless, I happened to notice the wood. The patterns started to jump out at me and I worked quickly so as to keep piece with the birds.
There’s a lot of history in that wood. More about Grafton the town next time.