Monthly Archives: January 2015


150130_Framed Tree by . Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 52mm, f/11, 1/300 sec, ISO 1600

Walking around our back yard, I always look for different perspectives.  The weight of the snow on the foreground pine opened up a frame for the background leyland cyprus.  We planted these two trees when we first moved into the area to break up the open pasture of our back yard.  Fifteen years later they have changed the feeling of our back yard.

A Little Winter Color

150129_Bench in Snow by . Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 83mm, f/11, 1/170 sec, ISO 1600

The red twig dogwood adds a little color to the cold winter scene in our backyard perennial garden.  Of course, when I see red, I shoot.  During our walks in our backyard, Karen and I usually stop here and spend a quiet moment or two.  The bench is tucked in between shrubs and trees.  It is a nice private place in the middle of our wide open area.  Each spring I prune the dogwoods down to about 12 inches above the ground.  New shoots pop up to create a 5-6 foot bush each year.  Along with our winterberries, the dogwood provides a bright red contrast to the winter landscape.

Not Too Inviting

150128_Chairs in Snow by . Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 31mm, f/11, 1/180 sec, ISO 1600

These chairs, which are our Spring, Summer, and Fall hangout in the early mornings and late afternoons, did not look too inviting on this day.  Many hours during the year are spent here relaxing and enjoying our backyard pond and stream.  I am afraid it will be a while before we will be enjoying them again.

This photo looks like a B&W image, but is not.  The winter haze along with the snow and weathered wood of the chairs create the monotone.  If you look hard you can see a little color in the trees in the background.

After First Snow

150127_Mailbox_1st snow by . Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 35mm, f/5.0, 1/300 sec, ISO 1600

My leaning mailbox looks like the weight of the snow is pushing it over.  It adds interest without tilting my camera.  As I write this post, we are in the middle of a major winter storm.  Once over, I will get out and trundle through the snow to get new perspectives of our yard.

Winterberry in Snow

150126_Winterberry in Snow by . Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 39mm, f/11, 1/210 sec, ISO 1600

When I see bright color (especially red) contrasted in fresh snow I feel like I have received a gift.  These winterberries provide a treat all winter to both to my eyes and the local bird population.  Several years ago, we transplanted these out to our perennial garden to be our winter highlight.  The three flower supports wait all winter long for our mountain sage to emerge in the spring.

Lesson Remembered:  “When You See Red … Shoot!”

Good Morning America!

150124_Front Door Looking Out by . Fuji X-T1, XF10-24mm @ 10mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO 800

Good Morning America!  Looking out our front door, this is what we woke up to yesterday morning.  We had a beautiful snowfall overnight.  Fresh snow is such a delight, even if it makes getting around difficult.  I got up before the snow plows hit the roads and everything was fresh.  It was a nice way to start the day.  Looking out the back door, we had another nice view.

150125_Deck Door Looking Out by . Fuji X-T1, XF10-24mm @ 10mm, f/5.6, 1/120 sec, ISO 800

Rather than fighting the mess on the roads, we spent the day sitting inside by the fireplace reading books.  It was a nice way to spend a winter day!

Ice Patterns

150124_Ice Leaf by . Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 135mm, f/11, 1/125 sec, ISO 800

I love to walk along the edge of a stream and explore the ice configurations that have been formed.  My imagination wanders as I visualize different shapes created in the ice.  This particular image reminded me of the tip of a maple leaf.  The basic shape formed the edges of the leaf.  I could also see the veins of the leaf within the ice crystal.  I become hypnotized as I watch the water flow under and around the ice.  The reflections create patterns of their own.

At times I get so intrigued by what I am seeing, I do not pay attention to some of my camera settings.  For instance, this was shot at ISO 800 on a tripod.  I could have easily reduced the ISO down two stops and still captured a nice image.  Also, how would this image have looked if I would have slowed the shutter speed down to blur the water passing by the leaf.  However, this was a walk in the woods enjoying the solitude and silence of nature.  If I would have spent a lot of time working this image, the spontaneity would have been lost.

Lesson Learned:  Maintain the balance of wonderment and the mechanics of capturing images.  Many times it is best just to put the camera down and enjoy the moment.

Winter is Here

150122_Neshiminy Creeek by © 2014 Karl Graf. Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 31mm, f/16, 1/180 sec, ISO 800

Looking at Neshaminy Creek as it enters Lake Galena makes me feel cold and realize that winter is really here.  I already long for Spring to come.  However … I do enjoy walking in the countryside on a bright crisp winter day.  Beauty abounds in its own way.  I guess winter is not so bad after all.

Lonesome Leaf

150121_Ice Crystals & Leaf by . Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 88mm, f/11, 1/160 sec, ISO 400

Ice crystals covered a little runoff stream in Peace Valley Park, I saw this one leaf fall on the ice.  It looked out of place, hoping for a breeze to blow it off into a warmer bed of fellow leaves.

I started out processing this image in B&W.  I could not make the leaf pop out like I wanted, so I added subdued selective color.