Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for May, 2011

Lake Monroe flooding

Monday, May 9th, 2011

As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve had a lot of rain this spring. So much so now that some areas are experiencing flooding. In particular, Lake Monroe reached nearly 20 feet above normal pool level, setting a new all-time record. Normal pool is 538 feet; the lake level went as high as 557.28 feet. Despite widening the floodgates, the lake overflowed the emergency dam and flooded Valley Mission Road (among others), which is a common cycling road. According to the local newspaper, Valley Mission Road is being washed away by the flooding.

I headed out late last week for a ride and decided to check out the flooding, though not in the area described above. I thought I’d check a couple of other spots.

On my way there, I saw a pond that is normally fairly small. It’s noticeably bigger than usual.

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A closer look showed quite a few turtles sunning themselves on logs, including a couple of rather large snapping turtles (though I was not able to get a good shot of them).

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After a while, I was at Moore’s Creek State Recreation Area, on Lake Monroe. Below you can see a lamp post that’s partially under water.

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This little road normally goes through to a picnic shelter and a popular fishing area.

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Here’s the picnic shelter.

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This sign gives you a good idea of how much higher the water is than usual. The sign reads “Road ends in water” 300-700 feet, but yet the water is just a few feet behind the sign. This is at a boat ramp.

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This next shot is not relevant to the flooding, but I was inspired by Alfred Stieglitz’s “Equivalents” series, which we studied in my photography class.

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I rode a bit more …

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And eventually made my way over to Moore’s Creek Road, where I expected to see some more flooding.

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I thought I would be able to make my way over to Swartz Ridge road and climb up that way, but I hit flooding sooner than I expected. I couldn’t even make it to Swartz Ridge.

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I thought about trying to cross the water, but it looked like it was at least knee deep, probably deeper than that. I decided to turn back.

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I’ve seen this barn several times but never got a satisfactory photo of it before.

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The trees and grass look so lush and green.

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For the most part, the creeks didn’t seem overly deep. I guess most of the water had already rushed down to the lake by this time.

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Sometime after my visit, the lake levels began to get lower. Hopefully the flooding will subside soon. I’ve read about a number of other roads being underwater. I haven’t heard about much or any damage to homes yet, but newspaper coverage has been a bit spotty. I do know that many local cycling routes are affected.

 

Another photography assignment

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Finals are over now. One  by one, my grades are rolling in. So far, it looks like my hard work is paying off. I’ll post an update about that when I get all my grades.

For now, here are the 10 images I turned in for my third photography project. I actually took these shots in early April, but I haven’t really had time to write about them. Note: Some of these are from the burlesque set I posted before, so once again, they might not be safe for work.

The assignment had five categories: directional force, texture, repetition, color, and symmetry.

Directional Force

The effect of having lines or shapes that draw the viewer’s eyes along a particular path is known as “directional force.”

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The following image was inspired in part by Henri Cartier-Bresson’s amazing (and famous) cyclist photo (though of course I can’t compete with his shot).

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Texture

I chose two contrasting shots for this topic.

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Repetition

I don’t think this next shot is one of my stronger ones, but it does communicate the theme.

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This one I like a bit better. They’re just flowers, but it’s a little different angle than you usually see, and the B&W definitely works for me.

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Color

I really like the bold blue against the softer flesh tones in this photo.

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This one is nothing special — just more flowers — but the colors are nice.

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Symmetry

I took some liberties with this one. The first shot really has diagonal symmetry. I don’t think it came across as obvious symmetry, but I like the stark shot and the sparse composition … and the subtle symmetry.

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I was really lucky the ladies were seated as they were, in the next photo. Perfect for my assignment.

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I’m happy with most of these shots, but I am trying to push myself further and some of these don’t really stand out. In particular, the flowering tree and the large building I used for repetition are nice photos, but not as interesting as they could be. Also, I feel like I’m still trying to discover my own, distinctive style. I am taking more photography classes, so I look forward to further developing my style and technique.

Making the most of it

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

I had hoped to get out for a long ride last weekend. I didn’t have as much time available as I had hoped, but I did get out for about an hour and a half. I made it count — I rode one of the hilliest 21-mile routes around, with something like 1700 feet of climbing. This is a route I’ve only ridden once before — my Ison-Harmony-Victor route. Fun stuff.

Spring is definitely here and everything is beautiful and green. I love it! The downside has been the rain — we got over 11 inches in April, setting a new record, according to the local paper. Maybe that’s making things extra green.

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As is often the case, the turkey vultures were buzzing all around on the ridgetop on Victor Pike, by the Victor-Oolitic quarry.

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It was a beautiful, and very fun, ride. The plentiful hills required a lot of climbing effort, but it felt like every downhill was more fun than the last.

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