An austerity of angles sprouting from wild grasses

A beach house in the Pines

Along windswept edges of town
amid stern midcentury angles,
a bright unsunny light filters and glances;
limns the geometric emptinesses between things
on a weekend in shoulder season
on a slip of land off the coast of Long Island.

The color of the wood sea-silvered— salt boxes
beheaded, re-envisioned by exacting minds,
rise out of a low wild landscape to divide,
bisect, and generally make sensible for city dwellers
the unfathomed abundance of sky above the breakers.

No quaint adornments, no flower boxes, finials,
no lacy curtains dance on ocean breezes, flutter out open windows.
Floating panes refract the vast surround until at dusk velvet dark
the reflected scrims inverse— reveal interior stages of we-scale dramas;
unveil views on strict styled stages beneath linear precise prosceniums.

In the deeper hours, silhouettes of deer move among the low pines
grazing, and foxes chase along the sanded strand beneath a
dull-bright moon, unfettered by the intrusion of angles in the
wild grasses, unheeding of stories not their own.

A Fire Island Pines beach houseFire Island Pines houseA Fire Island Pines beach house

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Deeds and misdeeds

He was long ago sealed into to the wall— made part of the wall— with a spell. All the years since, visitors and passersby have presumed he’s just another sculptural embellishment of the palazzo. His consciousness remains, though— eyes, frozen, he still sees; his ears still hear. 

Being a mute and immovable witness is a torture for obvious reasons, yet his tenure has shown him the full breadth of human existence in miniature— from the most touching moments of affection between two people, to vivid misdeeds perpetrated against one another. 

He’s bone weary. Part of him wishes for an end to this helpless consciousness, but he remains ever alert for the next tender moment. It’s his undying hope that the tally of deeds v. misdeeds will always remain well out of balance.

The conversations among windows that happen in the fading light

photo colorization of windows by Elizabeth Daggar
“Rhythms”

I had a little meander through the fourth and third avenue corridors of lower Gowanus last evening as the light struck things at angles. I added some strategic color to these images; some storytelling.

Shooting in color with a phone at that hour is dodgy at best, yet shot in black and white they lose a little something or maybe just feel so different to how it looked in person. These contrivances, then, to inject some of what was lost (or was never there).

photo colorization of windows by Elizabeth Daggar
“Communications”
photo colorization of windows by Elizabeth Daggar
“A nostalgic accord”
photo colorizations of windows in Gowanus by Elizabeth Daggar
“Morse Code”

From a stroll on an overcast day in early spring

Here are some images from a few months ago that I came across recently. Serene, the bright kind of overcast with a fine mist or drizzle. It’s a lovely thing to wander through neighborhoods I’ve wandered so many times before and see something in a way I never noticed before; or, literally, in new light.

I’ve still been drawing more than writing these days, though it’s not for lack of words. Things are percolating; they’re not ready yet. Day to day concerns and occupations monopolize, and everything less greedy or immediate must wait below decks. Cargo all but forgotten until the bills of lading come out and the crates are hauled up into daylight.
Some of what’s below the surface traces back to winter and early spring. The day I shot these was a fine one, but there was so much going through my head and I wanted none of it, was sick of it, so I gave over control to the senses, and found new details in things I’d walked past and even photographed many times before.

I think I’ve not been walking enough lately. Long wanders always help— to quiet the mind; to solve or to resolve, if only for a little while.

Returning from Riis Beach after a light rain warned of a coming storm

The rain was very light, but the skies were darkening. After learning what the satellites warned, we broke camp— packed as quickly as possible, ran to the boardwalk and rode fast to beat the real rain at our backs. Made it to a bayside pub to wait out the rain then another quick dash to the ferry dock.

By the time everyone boarded the rain had stopped. Later, as we rounded the bend toward the Verrazano Narrows, the divide between the portside storm and clear skies ashore (starboard) was dramatic, and those of us on deck got a little of the rain. (Still, better to be on deck in rain and wind than below in the too-chilling air conditioning.)

The situation of the weather in these photos brings to mind the original meaning of the word POSH: Port Out; Starboard Home. On a larger vessel, posh seats would have been just the thing in this case.Back in Sunset Park, cycling northward on Second Ave, the post-storm light was too good, so I had to stop to take pictures a few times. 

Have you tried the the Nik Collection for photos?

Brugge canal houses
Brugge canal houses: A photo from my Canon Powershot with some curves applied in Photoshop. This is what I used for testing out the Nik Collection; it’s a lo-res version of original image).

Google has a set of photo filters that are really pretty powerful. There are loads of presets, and with ranges of layers that can be selectively controlled.

They say the filters work with Photoshop, Lightroom, etc, but you’ll see that they are installed as stand alone apps; I presume they draw upon Photoshop‘s engine to work their magic.

You will suffer from option paralysis!

Below are a few samples, with names of filters within each set. Captions note which are presets, and which have been modified. One of the most impressive tools in all of these is the integration of control points, with which you can affect specific areas of the image, when a global change isn’t optimal.

Analog Efex

Classic camera 2 [preset]
Brugge canal houses
Classic camera 4 [preset]
Silver Efex

Classic camera 5 [modified settings] Continue reading

What Stella looked like

Brooklyn in snow
Here are some quiet scenes from my neighborhood yesterday, after the thundersnow and wind calmed. The storm never really reached any kind of pitch, but many cancellations were planned, so it was a peaceful day. I spent all but 30 minutes of it indoors; worked an 11 hour day. My wander through the snow was pretty pleasant, however brief.
Brooklyn in snow
Brooklyn in snow
Brooklyn in snow