Tag Archives: reflections

The Blue Hour

Usina Bridge, St. Augustine FL, night shot

The Blue Hour.

A friend, an expert photographer, led a photo shoot to St. Augustine, FL for the last evening of the Night of Lights. Each year the city adorns itself with white lights for the holiday season through January.

Though the rest of the town was beautiful, I was particularly taken by the lighted Francis and Mary Usina Bridge over the Tolomato River that fronts the historic city. My friend loaned me his tripod, enabling me to shoot this photo. It was my first serious attempt at nighttime photography.

The blue hour is the time after sunset that the sky remains blue before it suddenly turns to all black. Even with a layer of clouds, the blue showed through.

“The Blue Hour” is my Photo of the Week.

© Bruce Stambaugh 2017

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Filed under architectural photography, friends, holiday decorations, holidays, human interest, Photo of the Week, photography, travel, weather

Industrial sunset

2016-01-21 19.22.36

When shooting photographs, I usually try to exclude anything that might be distractive to the main subject of the photo. However, I do make exceptions from time to time. This sunset scene on the Amelia River in northeast Florida fit that bill.

The glowing lights of the active paper mill accentuated the warm and cool colors of the clouded sunset. The gray clouds matched the venting steam of the mill’s smokestack. The orange reflection of the security lights balanced that of the setting sun’s on the river’s quiet waters.

“Industrial sunset” is my Photo of the Week.

© Bruce Stambaugh 2016

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Filed under architectural photography, nature photography, Photo of the Week, photography, weather

Reflections on a rare sunny fall day

Amish farm, wash day

Wash day.

By Bruce Stambaugh

I couldn’t resist. I had plenty of inside chores to complete, but the golden brightness of the glorious fall day drew me outside. With the sun dazzling in the clear blue sky, it would have been sinful not to soak it in. So I did.

Sunny days in late fall in northeast Ohio are rare. November and December are historically our cloudiest months. I wanted to take advantage of the beauty. I soon discovered that I wasn’t alone.

Of course, preparations for the holidays ahead already had people out and about. Folks seemed to double down on this beauty of a day. Traffic of all types kept the byways busy.

Amish buggy

Going home.

It was a day of contradictions. I passed an Amish man eating an ice cream cone while cruising along in his black buggy. It wasn’t even 10 a.m. It was 47 degrees Fahrenheit, proving once again that temperature is not a prerequisite for enjoying yummy ice cream.

Congestion reigned at the square in Mt. Hope, not an uncommon sight on sale day at the livestock auction. The sun spotlighted a farmer on a tractor chatting on his smartphone. The conversation must have been agreeable. He grinned like a Cheshire cat.

sheep grazing

Grazing sheep.

Up the road a piece, a flock of sheep grazed in the hollow of a broad, bowl-shaped field. The wooly coats glistened against the straggly spent vegetation that still stood above the close-cropped grass of the pasture.

Amish farmsteads turned uncharacteristically patriotic. A curtain of Navy blue sky served as the backdrop for the starched white clapboard houses and coffin-red barns.

faded barn

Faded and not.

The sun bathed everything everywhere. Even long-neglected faded siding begging for a proper coat of paint stood out. Rusty windmill blades glinted in the brightness.

A pair of Red-tailed Hawks circled and soared low over a woodlot and disappeared. Pigeons claimed barn roof ridges, white and gray backs to the radiant warmth.

By afternoon, sunbeams streamed in on a factory office desk. The busy boss himself beamed in the glory of the day’s beauty.

A pair of Amish preschoolers, probably brother and sister, fearlessly coasted their wooden wagon down the gently sloping township road. It may have been late November, but their joy said summer.

An Amish worker skillfully wrapped a finished piece of machinery in clear plastic to protect its fresh coat of paint during shipping. He was more than glad it wasn’t snowing.

Windows on a passing school bus were all down where the students sat. I doubt the jolly driver cared.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker.

Near dusk, a stand of hilltop trees filtered the southwestern glow. Nevertheless, the sun’s strength still outlined a downy woodpecker’s fine feathers like an angel’s halo. The usually nervous bird seemed to relish the moment unless it simply wanted to pose for a cameo photo.

The sun set too soon and unspectacularly. On the opposite horizon, November’s frosty moon rose full. Its soft illumination stunningly highlighted thin wispy clouds, a pale but dramatic imitation of sunrise.

By day, the sun radiated more than welcomed warmth. It energized humans, Holsteins and wallowing hogs. By night, the recycled solar rays washed the earth in a rich beauty not often seen without a sparkling snow cover. I hated to do it, but I had no choice. I pulled the bedroom drapes.

I wasn’t shutting out the light so much as keeping the bright beauty of the day internal. Its brilliance still burned within me, an immeasurable, lustrous love that lulled me to sleep.

frosty full moon

Frosty full moon.

© Bruce Stambaugh 2015

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Filed under Amish, photography, weather, writing

Morning reflections

morningreflectionsbybrucestambaugh

Morning reflections. © Bruce Stambaugh 2014.

I usually carry my camera with me wherever I go. Yesterday was no exception. I was on my way to a meeting when I passed through Walnut Creek, one of the oldest settlements in Holmes County, Ohio. The morning sun was straining to filter through on-rushing clouds, part of a cold front bringing in some welcomed rain.

When I stopped to take a photo of one scene, I saw this one, the mirror reflection of this nicely kept farm, known as the Jonas Stutzman farm. An official historical marker notes that Stutzman was the first white settler in the eastern section of the county, arriving from Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1809.

The details in this photo, coupled with the farmstead’s history, made “Morning reflections” my Photo of the Week.

© Bruce Stambaugh

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Filed under Amish, Ohio, Photo of the Week, photography, Uncategorized, weather, writing