Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Polar Prince

Fair be it to say that i like boats. Big boats, small boats, sail boats and steamers, it doesn't really matter. If it floats, i find it interesting. If it's run aground, perhaps even more so. I suppose this is perhaps a bit odd since i have never really spent much actual time on boats. Mostly i just admire them from the shore. As with all things i suppose, i am especially interested in boats that show the years of their sea-bound journeys proudly on their hulls. I also really enjoy finding abandoned, half sunk vessels along the shoreline and documenting the ravages of environment, the process of decay.
Whenever i am in Lunenburg, N.S. i always make sure to pay a visit to the docks. And while i might well pay a visit to the newly refitted Bluenose to take in its beautifully refurbished and maintained wooden decking, it is the old rust buckets that really draw my eye. There is one public pier down by the Dory Shop where i always pay a visit. The Lady Jane was a favorite subject of mine for a time, but she is long gone now. This summer i found the Polar Prince docked there. Her quick and dirty paint job couldn't hide her aging hull. Behind the rouge it can faintly be seen that she was previously the Sir Humphrey Gilbert, a class 100A medium-duty icebreaker, built in 1959 in Lauzon, Quebec. She was rebuilt in 1980, only to be sold as scrap very soon after, but for some reason she stayed in one piece long enough to be given new life in 2009 and put back to work.

(Please click on image to enlarge)

Polar Prince; CCGS Sir Humphrey Gilbert; Lunenburg; Nova Scotia; Ice Breaker; Boat; Ship
Polar Prince ©David Sorcher 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Colors for the Dead

So often i have let the autumn color season slip away without making nearly enough of a photographic effort. Well, i'm afraid, that has pretty much happened again this year, though i did get an opportunity to step out last Sunday on a beautiful balmy afternoon and sneak a couple of hours of shooting in. As we approach my favorite holiday of the year Spring Grove Cemetery seemed the perfect place for a photo walk. I simply love this cemetery. If you are not from Cincinnati you might find it strange that this is a favorite destination spot whenever friends from out of town come to visit, but Spring Grove is so much more than just a graveyard. It is also an arboretum and a National Historic Landmark, the second largest cemetery in the country. And it contains some of the most magnificent sculptural monuments and mausoleums anywhere.
Enjoy these autumn days…winter is coming…

(please click on images for an enlarged gallery view)

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014


Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn
©David Sorcher 2014

Spring Grove Cemetery; Cemetery; Graveyard; Tombstone; monument; mausoleum; Cincinnati; Autumn; Chreubs
©David Sorcher 2014







Monday, October 20, 2014

Black & White Nova Scotia

Here we are already deep into autumn and i don't feel at all done with the summer yet, at least not photographically. Perhaps i simply need to lock myself away for a few weeks and process so i can catch up with the present. Too many things that fall by the wayside…
Anyway, in the meantime, here is a little diversion to keep the blog juices flowing. Nova Scotia is such an incredibly colorful place. It is not often that i stop to re-envision it in black & white. In fact, i tend to celebrate that color, to revel in it. Of course, color itself can be a subject unto itself, but there is always so much more beyond the color of this place that it is my intention to capture. When i eliminate the color from the scene i am able to reassign the emphasis of an image and see its compositional elements more clearly. I have always tried to impress this idea upon my students, that your images should still hold up compositionally even after removing all the color. But then, some images actually call out for this treatment, making this more that just an exercise in seeing structure. Sometimes colors only distract from the essence of a photograph. Sometimes taking away the color actually adds to the mood and tone i am trying to put forth.
If you have been following my past blogs you will no doubt recognize a few of these images. I am not sure that these black & white treatments necessarily make them "better" than the originals, but they do certainly make them different.

(click on image for larger gallery view)

Nova Scotia
©David Sorcher 2014

Nova Scotia; Hirtle's Beach; Seaweed
©David Sorcher 2014

Black & White doesn't always mean exactly that by my definition. I usually add some kind of subtle tone when i am converting my images. The above image received a somewhat warmer treatment than usual, reminiscent of the more sepia tones of Afga's Protriga Rapid, an old printing paper which i was quite fond of for many years. 

Nova Scotia; Boats; Sloop; LaHave River
©David Sorcher 2014

Nova Scotia; Boats; Sloop; LaHave River
©David Sorcher 2014

I find that B&W helps emphasis the mood of this gray and foggy day at the LaHave schooner races. Colors were sparse in the original file anyway so pushing this to B&W helps simplify the images.  

Nova Scotia; Hirtle's Beach
©David Sorcher 2014

The ominous feel of the dark clouds in this iPhone pano seem even more foreboding with the removal of color. 

Nova Scotia: Spiders; Web
©David Sorcher 2014

Nova Scotia: Spiders; Web
©David Sorcher 2014

Nova Scotia: Spiders; Web
©David Sorcher 2014

Nova Scotia: Spiders; Web
©David Sorcher 2014

The form and structure of these early morning spider webs stand out much more clearly once converted to B&W. 

©David Sorcher 2014

This solitary moment seems to play much better in B&W for me, elevating and enhancing the mood. 

Nova Scotia; Hirtle's Beach; Drumlin Cliffs
©David Sorcher 2014

Nova Scotia; Hirtle's Beach
©David Sorcher 2014

Nova Scotia; Boats; Lunenburg
©David Sorcher 2014

I may eventually publish the above image in full color. It had some nice hues working for it and frankly the subtle tonal shifts of faded and chipped paint on the stern of the dory are fairly downplayed despite working the color channels in the conversion for the best contrast of tones. But i do like the way the B&W version unites the image so that the eye is no longer drawn to the colors of the flora and the over all composition can be viewed better. 

Nova Scotia; Hirtle's Beach; Drumlin Cliffs
©David Sorcher 2014

Nova Scotia; Hirtle's Beach
©David Sorcher 2014

©David Sorcher 2014

I set my tonality in the above triptych using a blue palette to push my blacks to a more blue/black appearance. The colder tone seemed more appropriate for the subject matter. I would encourage folks who are making B&Ws from color files to explore all their options in photoshop. Don't let default settings guide your final results. 

Nova Scotia; Hirtle's Beach; Drumlin Cliffs
©David Sorcher 2014








Monday, October 6, 2014

Flood Wall Street

On the heels of the largest environment march ever staged (The People's Climate March) came a civil disobedience action on September 22nd that attempted to disrupt Wall Street and point out its responsibility for global warming issues. Though the numbers at the Flood Wall Street demonstration were certainly dwarfed by the previous day's massive turnout (400,000) seeing more than 1000 protestors willing to risk arrest for this cause should at least make it a noteworthy event. I do believe that the People's Climate March was the more powerful action though, bringing together such a massive amount of people from all cultures and walks of life to shout a demand to the world for environmental action under a clear and common banner. Diversity was far less present at Flood Wall Street, though still somewhat in attendance. Unfortunately neither of these actions got the national news attention they deserved.

(Please click on images for an enlarged gallery view)

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

The action began in Battery Park near the Vietnam Memorial with a rally featuring speeches by dignitaries and some instruction on how the planned sit-down protest near Wall Street would operate. 

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

The Carbon Bubble balloons that made their appearance in the previous day's march were back for this action, though in need of some patching of holes and refilling with air. 

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

I'll just let the Lorax speak for himself… ;-)

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Various speakers greet the crowd and talk about issues of global warming and the actions for the day.

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Journalist Chis Hedges shares the stage with other speakers.

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

I first noticed this young woman at the Climate March. Along with this tribal hat she also wore a beautiful matching cape of the same natural fibers that day and i regret not getting a better shot of that.

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Detective Rick Lee, who earned the name "The Hipster Cop" during the Occupy Wall St. demonstrations, speaks with march leaders before the move towards Wall Street from Battery Park. 

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

The group heads out of Battery Park towards an arranged protest area near the infamous Wall Street Bull statue. 

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Where police had pre-arranged that the group to turn right the leaders of the march made a sudden sharp turn to the left, heading uptown into the flow of traffic. Here the march funnels between two buses.

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

The two Carbon Bubbles were carried over the tops of oncoming traffic. They were soon to become the focus an impromptu game of "Capture the Bubble Ball" between police and protestors.

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience; NYPD
©David Sorcher 2014

This officer obviously didn't know yet that the game was afoot and lends a hand to the protesters helping to keep the ball aloft.

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

But it soon became a battle for the ball. It seemed the police had gained control at one point only to have possession wrestled back by the demonstrators a moment later. 

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Demonstrators gather under a large, long Flood Wall St. banner which was to become a ramp to run a Carbon Bubble along later.

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience: NYPD
©David Sorcher 2014

Police finally did get a hold of one of the Carbon Bubbles. The ballon was immediately sliced, deflated and destroyed. First score to the NYPD. 

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

The second bubble eventually made its way to the makeshift ramp and traveled along it through the crowd. NYPD - 1 ~ Protestors - 1. 

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

A woman holds up a banner and a card adding a feminist perspective to the debate. 

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience; NYPD
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience; NYPD
©David Sorcher 2014

Police lines at the bottom end of the demonstration watch and wait for orders. Though over 100 protestors were eventually arrested late in the day i was not able stay that long since i had a 10 hour drive home ahead of me.  

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Protestors briefly scaled a building wall to give their banners higher visibility. 

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience; NYPD
©David Sorcher 2014

Capt. Simonetti casts a suspicious eye on the surrounding demonstrators. 

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

A stilted protestor repeats one speaker's words across the crowd during a "mic check" moment. This "mic check" technique began during Occupy Wall Street as a way for a single speaker to be heard in a large crowd by having those close enough to hear the speaker's statement repeat it en masse in repetition until those at the back of the crowd finally hear the words. 

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience; NYPD
©David Sorcher 2014

Capt. Simonetti assesses the actions of the demonstrators with suited superiors. 

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

This young man got on top of a phone booth to make a speech to the crowd.

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience; NYPD
©David Sorcher 2014

When the phone booth speech-maker got down from his tele-soapbox he was immediately targeted for arrest, the first of the day i believe. It was impossible to get within actual sight of this as both demonstrators and journalists surrounded the arresting officers in a melee of lenses and shouts to "unarrest" the man. I am not convinced that the photos i was able to capture of this justified the loss of the sun shade off one of my lenses in the push of the crowd, but if i didn't publish at least one of these images that loss would be totally in vain. :-)

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Benny Zable is an Australian gentleman who i first encountered in 2004 at the protests for the Republican National Convention in this same apocalyptic get-up.  

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience; NYPD; TARU
©David Sorcher 2014

A member of TARU (Tactical Assistance Response Unit) records demonstrators, a controversial activity which has been repeatedly questioned over the years. I have always believed that turnabout is fair play. ;-) 

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

A theatrical group performs a political puppet show for the protestors. 

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

What are the well-dressed protestors wearing these days? 

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

Flood Wall Street; Climate Change; Demonstration; Protest: Civil Disobedience
©David Sorcher 2014

As i stated before, i had to leave the protest around 2:30 so i missed out on the mass arrests that took place later in the day. If i still lived in NYC i'm sure i would have stuck it out, but with that long drive looming ahead of me i had to take what i could get and go. When i left the mood was still festive…and the band played on…