Blue Barn

Blue Barn, Roxbury, Connecticut © Steven Willard

The Blue Barn in Roxbury has been a landmark for at least the twenty odd years I’ve lived in the area. It used to be a bit brighter and better maintained; the sign for the  Blue Seal Feed Company-hence the color-was easier to read. As with all things, time has taken its toll.

Olympus OMD EM1 with 40-150 f2.8 zoom lens.

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The Burgher*

The Burgher © Steven Willard

 

He’s greeted with diffidence when he arrives, shown respect and a measure of envy.

His is a manner of polite interest in those he meets.

Some people feel that in some indeterminate way they work for him.

That they are beholden to him, and are even beneath him, though he would never agree.

His place in society is one of elder even though he may not be older.

He is born of elite families, the good schools and close relationships with those who share his experience.

His influence is out of proportion to his one vote.

When he speaks important people listen.

If we are fortunate, he will speak for us.

*I have no idea who this gentleman is, nor anything about his background. My impression may be completely wrong, but he fits my visual ideal of a modern burgher, and they certainly exist. I intend no disrespect.

Olympus OMD EM5 with 42.5mm f1.7 Panasonic lens.

Pretzel Princess

Pretzel Princess © Steven Willard

I hope those she looks up to are worthy of her trust.

I hope they teach her to set her goals high, and work to reach them.

I hope that she has the chance of equal pay for equal work,

I hope that her gender is never a hindrance for whatever she wants to do.

I hope that by the time she is ready she will have freedom of choice.

I hope the world will be a better place for her to raise a family-if that is her wish.

I hope she never wants for something to eat or a place to live.

I hope people will be kind and fair to her, and when not, that she will show forgiveness and understanding.

I hope that her beautiful eyes see the beauty in the world around her.

I wish the same for all children. Bless them, for they are the future.

 

 

A sad end

Home

This was once an artist’s studio and home. But the economy went in the toilet a few years ago, and since art isn’t a necessity (please spare me the philosophical arguments to the contrary), and artists frequently exist on the edge, it was no surprise the endeavor failed. I didn’t know the guy, so it was a while before I realized he had packed it in, but over time I saw the weeds had taken over, and that the windows had been broken; there were never any cars in the parking area.

Finally today I took the time to find a spot to park my car and have a look at what is left of one artists failed attempt. The place looks pretty sad. The little sticker on the door that says “home” serves as a sad reminder that someone once lived here.

Window decorations

Did the artist leave this little bottle as a farewell offering?

Keep out

Looking through the window, I couldn’t see why anyone would want to venture inside.

 

Shattered hope

At this point I don’t think anyone will ever live here again, the building is too far gone.

Olympus OMD EM1 with 40-150mm f2.8 zoom, processed in Snapseed.

 

Along the Shepaug

 

Along the Shepaug © Steven Willard

There is something almost counterintuitive about choosing the 40-150mm zoom (that’s the equivalent of 80-300mm on a full frame camera) for a stroll along the Shepaug riverbank. It’s a trail tight on the river, which at this point is only about twenty-five yards across. I have carried a wider lens here before, probably the little 20mm Panosonic, but the long zoom was already mounted when I got out of the car, and I was too lazy to change it. Besides, I thought it might be fun to tighten up on the compositions; reach out and isolate if you know what I mean.

It is nearing the end of September, and there are leaves on some trees that are in the first blush of showing their Fall colors, but it was hot today. I spent the warmest part of the afternoon inside with a glass of iced coffee, and waited for the light to improve. When I got here there was no other car in the parking area, but as I got out of the car a woman pulled in and proceeded to leash a small pug mix dog for a walk. By the time I had gotten the camera out and locked the car they were out of sight. I ankled along at a slow shuffle, looking for little vignettes that I could pick out with the longer end of the zoom, using it to isolate and simplify compositions.

Along the Shepaug © Steven Willard

The late afternoon sun, finding its way through the trees in narrow shafts, was a challenge for accurate exposure, and I found myself dialing in -2/3 of a stop to hold detail in the highlights and was pleased that the Olympus still managed to give me just enough information in the shadows.

As I was on my way back to the car, the woman with the dog stopped to ask me to keep an eye out for the dog’s tags which had managed to come loose from his collar. I never saw them, too many leaves on the trail.

 

Along the Shepaug © Steven Willard

By the time I got back to the start of the trail the sun was at a nice angle to pick out the textures and tool marks on the stones of this old bridge, a subject I’ve photographed several times before. The woman appeared and asked me if I had seen the tags, and then in passing asked if I had had any luck finding pictures. “Today was a good day”, I said. She took that as yes, and got in the car. As I thought more about my casual response to her question the more I realized it was right on the money, today was a good day.

Olympus OMD EM1 files processed in Snapseed (running in IOS11 on the iPad Pro)

 

Just Friends

Just Friends © Steven Willard

 

 

I’d like for you to have a look at my first effort using iMovie. Some of the images may be familiar to regular visitors. When I see these images I am reminded how fortunate I am to have such good friends, and that I should spend more time with them and photographing them more often. I’d like to encourage you to do the same.

Please take a moment to set the quality setting in YouTube to 1080 for the best image quality by tapping on the three dots in the upper right hand corner.

<a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixiy1PTcK7k&amp;feature=share”&gt;

Music by Michael Hedges, Bensusan from Ariel Boundries.     

The photographs were made using a variety of cameras and lenses from Pentax and Olympus.