Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘photography

Recent Scenes

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Thanks to Cyndie for capturing these views of the last few days. Enjoy these visual examples of the world as it was revealed to her.

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Written by johnwhays

October 14, 2021 at 6:00 am

Unintentional Art

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Cyndie borrowed my phone to take a picture. She took three. When I got the phone back, I showed her the last one and asked if she meant to take it.

She hadn’t.

I like it. It’s got an aesthetic that appeals to me.

A happy accident.

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Written by johnwhays

October 11, 2021 at 6:00 am

Looked Up

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I looked up and this is what I saw:

It was one of those days when the sky doesn’t look cloudy, it just looks white.

That is all today. This writer is plumb writered out. Enjoy the variety of leaves.

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Written by johnwhays

September 27, 2021 at 6:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

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Long Approach

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Cyndie was walking Delilah on the perimeter trail and paused to take a picture of the latest version of fall colors developing along our landscape. Then the horses noticed her. Cyndie kept taking pictures of the next few moments.

“Hello there!”

Of course, it was Mix and Swings who approached to see what Cyndie was up to. Light and Mia just kept grazing where they were.

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Written by johnwhays

September 24, 2021 at 6:00 am

Swings Photographed

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I didn’t set out to capture portraits of all the horses the other day. Moments after capturing the image of Mix that I posted yesterday, I turned to find Swings uphill from where I was standing. I had to change my position a couple of times to remove my shadow from the frame. The result provided a shadow of Swings that, for me, makes up for the other aspects of the shot I don’t like so much.

The background robs some of the definition her outlines deserve but I’m not discarding the image just because of that.

I like the way her shadow stands up against the wall behind her.

I like how the shadow appears to have its own personality.

I like how the outline of the head of the shadow is better defined than her actual head.

I like how Swings’ physical features and coloring come through looking totally defiant of her actual age.

Swings’ full Thoroughbred racing name is “Gate Swinger.” She was born in Kentucky and started racing as a two-year-old. Over her four years of running she earned $116,812. Swings is currently 26-years-old. That is approximately 75-and-a-half in human years. She is the oldest of the four now living with us.

When the horses arrived at Wintervale last April, one of the things we noticed about Swings was anxiety that led her to pace back and forth along a short distance of the paddock fence, from the barn overhang to the gate through which they arrived. At one point, I tried walking with her from outside the fence. She gave me a look like I was weird, but kept pacing.

I changed my tactic and switched to walking opposite her direction, back and forth so we passed each other in the middle. It caused her to give up for a while, but then she soon returned to pacing. I saw the other horses occasionally interrupt her pacing, as if to break the spell she was under.

After a few days her anxiety and that habit of pacing seemed to dissipate. Now she seems like the calmest of the four of them. As the eldest mare, she could easily take the role of herd leader because she presents herself as the most regal, but she doesn’t show a need to hold that complete dominance over all the others.

In fact, the order of hierarchy among the herd is a little complex. Swings will take over Mix’s feed pan in a gesture of dominance and Mix holds command over both Light and Mia, but Light is able to move Swings off her pan without any fuss.

The average life expectancy of Thoroughbreds is 25-28. Swings looks so good and has settled into such a zen-like calmness now that we will be very surprised if she doesn’t thrive well beyond the average range.

I will have plenty of opportunities to capture a picture of her that properly reveals how gorgeous all her features really are.

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Written by johnwhays

September 22, 2021 at 6:00 am

Mix Photographed

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I didn’t set out to write about Mix today. It’s just that I took this picture of her over the weekend that I really like looking at and I wanted to use it in a post.

There is no specific story to go along with this image. It was early in the morning and the sun had just risen over our horizon. The horses had finished chomping their servings of feed and she was probably contemplating what to do next. As Mix turned her head, this moment was captured.

I like the way the sun highlights her tail, but with the addition of the fence shadow breaking it up.

I like how she is pointed toward the open gate to the hayfield.

I like how the hayfield is illuminated by the low-angle sunlight.

I like the two directions of fence line that accent the scene.

I like how attentive her ears look.

Mix’s full Thoroughbred racing name is “Pleasant Mix.” She was born in Ontario and started racing at age three. Over her three years of running she earned $213,420. We were told all four of the horses became broodmares after they were retired from racing, but we don’t have any of those details. Mix is currently 17-years-old. That is approximately 53 in human years. She is the youngest of the four now living with us.

When the horses arrived at Wintervale last April, one of the things we noticed about Mix was how she demonstrated food aggression. When feed pans were being prepared, she would chase off the others and paw at the ground. They all continue to work on their comfort level around feed time and are showing good progress about moving beyond any issues.

Mix takes multiple deep inhales to learn people’s scent. She is now showing a propensity to be very present with whoever shows up to visit. She loves attention and demonstrates a kind of quirky sense of humor about ways to get it.

For those of you who remember our old herd leader, Legacy, there is no denying that they share a very similar appearance, both being Grays. We feel they share a little bit more than just color.

I think that is one more reason I like this picture of Mix so much. I think I see some of Legacy’s spirit coming through.

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Written by johnwhays

September 21, 2021 at 6:00 am

Wild Sky

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The sky was alive with energy last night when I took Delilah out for her evening walk.

It feels like that energy is going every which way.

Delilah’s energy was a little off-kilter when I decided to take her out. Cyndie left yesterday for a trip with her mother to visit Barry and Carlos in Boston and Maine for a week. Cyndie had been gone for under a couple of hours when Delilah started waiting at the door to the garage for her return.

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It’s going to be a long week if she keeps up with this perseveration.

Of course, after about six days, I will be joining her at the door, similarly pining for Cyndie’s eventual return.

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Written by johnwhays

September 9, 2021 at 6:00 am

Sun Spot

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While walking through the woods late yesterday, Cyndie and Delilah came upon one specific spot that was lit up by a ray of sunshine breaking through the otherwise thick and hazy overcast.

Is that cool, or what?

Our trees have been shedding more branches lately than humans shed hair.

It’s as if there was a time-delayed reaction to the thunderstorm last week. I had to pick up a lot of tree branch shrapnel before mowing on Monday. Two days later, we have been finding additional branches on the ground almost every time we go out.

Some of them are much larger than the usual little ones frequently shed.

There is one other phenomenon occurring across our trails lately. Spiderwebs! And not just the usual single invisible strand that we normally encounter when walking Delilah. These have been full-on webs. One even made a sound when Cyndie walked into it. Must have been strung tight like a guitar string.

The thing is, we have been encountering these after having already walked the same path earlier in the day. These spiders are industrious.

We tend to react with the typical flinching and flailing to free our bodies of the remnants and possible attached arachnids.

I suffered one entanglement last week that occurred when I had both hands full of tools, as well as Delilah’s leash. I felt the single strand impact right below my nose, across my mustache.

What the heck. I decided to forge ahead so I wouldn’t have to set down everything I was carrying and pretended I was ignoring the strand while thinking about it the entire way back to the house.

Oh, and also, stepping over all the branches littering the trail.

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Written by johnwhays

September 2, 2021 at 6:00 am

Inverted Perspective

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Looking down to look up toward the sky by way of reflections on water.

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I like the similarities and the difference between the two images. They were, in fact, reflecting the same overhead view, just from different distances.

That break in the clouds never materialized yesterday. It wasn’t non-stop rain all day, but it was gray, damp, and cloudy enough to squelch motivation for outdoor adventures. Having Delilah up here this trip forced some walks outside which led us to the bridge where I captured these images.

Here are the un-cropped versions that reveal how I achieved the two different depths of focus:

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This morning appears to be picking up where yesterday left off, in terms of cloudy sky and potential for rain. I am very curious to find out how much of the precipitation of the last two days has also fallen on our Wintervale property. Reviewing the radar images leaves some questions because of the spotty coverage of rain.

Here’s hoping our parched land received a respectable dose of the moisture because it was sorely needed.

We are heading home today, so we will soon find out. Happy to have gloomy weather for our departure. It is always a lot harder to leave the lake place when the weather is gorgeous on a Sunday.

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Written by johnwhays

August 8, 2021 at 8:12 am

Rain Coming

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Looks like the morning will be a wet one for us. Weather radar indicates a decent-sized band of precipitation closing in on our location in Hayward, WI.

The blue marker that looks like it is pointing at Red Wing indicates our home, approximately between River Falls and Red Wing.

I’m ready to hunker down and be an indoor couch potato for a few hours. Cyndie wants to play the local version of Monopoly board game she found in town this week: Hayward-opoly. The properties are local businesses like our favorite Coop’s Pizza and West’s Dairy.

I’d rather find sports on the television. Aren’t there some Olympic games finishing up this weekend?

Before we know it, there will be a break in the clouds and everyone will hit the beach.

I will be plenty ready for that.

Did you notice there was a bird in that image above? I hadn’t noticed it when I was rushing to capture the sun rays as they changed by the second. After looking at it a few times on my computer screen, I wondered if it was actually an insect that was close to the phone instead of a magnificent high-soaring bird of prey up near the cloud.

Perception is everything.

Happy first Saturday in August everyone!

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Written by johnwhays

August 7, 2021 at 8:57 am