A Warm Saturday Evening

I made the decision yesterday morning to keep my camera by my side at all times throughout the day. My personal photographic output had decreased over the past few months so I was looking for something to jumpstart my creativity. To sum it up, the idea was a great success. I was able to capture a handful of images that I am truly proud of. Below is a sample of some of the photographs I made as the sun was setting on the lake. Some family had come over for the evening and paired them with some golden hour light. Enjoy.


A larger selection of photos from the day can be seen in my Photo Archive

 
 

Hot, With A Chance Of Storms

Hazy Afternoon

We just finished a wild week of seven straight days of rain here in the Northeast. These photographs were taken this past Tuesday when we had a small break in the rain. It was a particularly hot day, and a thick haze blanketed the area. I tried to capture that in the photos below. It was one of those afternoons where you just knew a thunderstorm was going to roll through, and sure enough it did.

What The Weather

Somehow all of my posts tend to mention the weather in one form or another. If it gets to be too much don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. My fascination with meteorology comes from the idea that you have to spend your time observing the current conditions and taking note of them. I can make a correlation between that in photography but I’ll save that for another day. I should mention that I used to watch the Weather Channel as a kid, tracking severe weather as it happened, I was borderline obsessed. I used to be afraid of storms as a child and I remember many a sleepless night as the flashes of light and cracks of thunder would keep me awake. These days I enjoy watching storms roll across the landscape from the west. It’s an interesting process that creates all kinds of atmosphere and drama, prime conditions for good photographs. We are fortunate to have a great big view of the sky from our dock, something I elaborate in greater detail here.


Foggy Mornings, Twenty Years Later

Foggy, condensation filled mornings are a common occurrence at the Pine Barren Man World Headquarters. Drenched windows make for an interesting subject, and I tend to stop and photograph them whenever the opportunity arises. I'm hoping that by the time I'm fifty I have enough misty window content to publish a photo book on them. I can see it now... Moist (Gl)ass: The Michael Mroczek Story. I know I have your interested piqued however,  the book is still a little over twenty years away so, for now, the foggy photographs below will have to suffice.


Early Spring Thursday

A few photos of the pups from this past Thursday afternoon. Everything was captured with the Fujifilm X-Pro2 + Fujifilm XF 27mm combo. 

Autumn Lake Winery

Last Thursday, Victoria and I visited autumn lake winery with our friends Shannon & Brandon. We're fortunate that the winery is right next to the lake we live on. We arrived around 2pm and were lucky to be the only ones there. At the present moment, Autumn Lake's tasting room is in a greenhouse on the property while they begin building a permanent building at the winery. A cool thing about the greenhouse is that during the day the plastic diffuses all of the sunlight that pours into the room. All of that soft light is a photographers dream! I had a great time sampling the wine on offer as well as taking a few photos of our afternoon.

I find it exciting that we have places to explore (and photograph) right around the corner from our house. One of the advantages of living a rural area as opposed to where I grew up is that there is a greater abundance of small farms, breweries, wineries etc. Many of these establishments take great pride in the product that they produce and there is often a deep connection to the local area. Having pride in your community and the people is a big factor in helping call a new place home, at least for me it is. We will be back to Autumn Lake in the near future, I can guarantee it.

First Snow

We've had snow on three separate occasions this week here at the Pine Barren Man World Headquarters. The surface of the lake has been frozen for the past couple of days. Here are some photos covering all of the meteorological events of the last week. Enjoy! 


A Light Morning

Light Inspiration

The other day we were having a little discussion in the Fujifeed Slack group about the Fujinon 27mm lens. We were trying to figure out where they lens stood between Fujifilm's other offerings of the 35mm and 23mm lenses. I have to admit that it isn't a lens that I use often despite owning it for the last 2 years. As a result of that discussion, I've been inspired over the last couple of days to incorporate this lens into my photographs on a more frequent basis. This morning I decided to put on a jacket and hat to take some photos off the dock at sunrise. What makes this lens easy to use is that it is equivalent to what the human eye sees. My goal this morning was to keep a narrow aperture and try to capture what I consider "normal things".

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Thoughts on the Fujifilm XF 27mm

One of the benefits of this lens is that it is much smaller than anything else Fujifilm has in his lineup. It's a great piece of kit to take out with you on a day where you want to keep things light. The beauty of this lens is that it is able to keep things in a relatable perspective but also capture intricate details that you might miss if you were looking at them in real time. The focal length of this lens has the distinction of sitting right in between wide-angle and telephoto. If you want one lens to put on your camera that is going to challenge you throughout the day it's this one.

Let's Take A Walk

We woke up around 7 am yesterday morning and the lake was covered with a thick, dense fog. The surrounding area is usually covered in fog most mornings so by now I have become accustomed to it. At first, I had brushed off the idea of going out to take a few pictures. I even went as far as to make myself a cup of coffee. After another quick look out of the windows, I decided to drag Victoria out of bed, grab my camera, and take a walk to the dam. The second we stepped out of the door I was glad we were outside. Not only was there a thick layer of fog everywhere, but there was also a nice coating of frost on every surface from the night before. As soon as we got to the lake the sun started to peek through the clouds and create some interesting light. After ten minutes we were getting a bit chilly out on the water and decided to head back home and make a second cup of coffee.

I suppose I can't complain about not progressing as a photographer while brushing aside the opportunity to go and make something new. One of the things my brother in law Chris and I, talked about over Thanksgiving dinner was the idea of breaking through the procrastination that comes along with photography. In order to have great photos, you have to put the effort into making great photos. It also helps to capitalize on opportunities when they arise. For example, the light in any given day is just right for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. Why not use that time to go out and make something instead of checking social media, playing video games, or watching TV?

10/21 Weekend Adventures

Hello friends! First, apologies for the confusing blog schedule this week. I know it's weird reading a weekend review on a Thursday, seeing as we're so close to the following weekend. Being exhausted from the eventful weekend and losing our power yesterday morning didn't make things any easier. I'm breaking some blog rules with my erratic schedule but as one of my coworkers would say: “Why do you care, on your site, you make the rules.. so don't be afraid to break them.” So with that said, let's review the weekend.

We had two new visitors to the lake house this past weekend. Tony & Jen made the long journey down from Jersey City on Saturday. They arrived in the early evening and stayed in the guest quarters until the late morning on Sunday. We tried to pack as many fun activities as we could into such a small amount of time. We went out for dinner at one of our new favorite places to eat, the Harley Dawn Diner, make a quick stop at a new brewery called Vinyl in Hammonton, and finished off the morning on Sunday with a brunch buffet at the Scotland Run golf club right here in Williamstown. Our guests also got to experience one of my favorite things here in the lakes, that early morning fog. below you can see a couple of photos that I snapped before they had woken up… to show them of course.

After the lovely couple left us on Sunday, Victoria and I spent the rest of the day doing little things around the house. She mowed the front lawn, I washed my car, and we started our long-term project of trying to grow grass in our front yard by laying down some seeds! You can read all about that fun project here. I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated as much as possible too. So now, on to the photographs. They are a mix of styles and processing techniques all taken on my trusty X-Pro 2. I’ve been trying to use the XF23mm lens more over the last couple of days. You can see some of the photos have a wider feel to them. Omit I’m happy with the weekend’s catch, and I hope you enjoy them too.

Michael

Details, Minor Details

Yesterday morning I decided to take my cup of coffee outside and play with Scarlett. Mornings like this are just perfect for photography. The air is thick and humid. All of the greenery around here is covered in a layer of dew. Perfect little subjects for my camera.

Forcing myself to write on a more frequent basis has caused me to start focusing on all of the tiny details that surround me on this giant rock that orbits a ball of flaming hydrogen we call the Sun.


Slight correction to my post from Monday evening. I have no clue why I titled it as a "Wednesday Walk" when it was quite clearly a Monday.. I'm surprised no one caught that. 


A Monday Walk

Below are a few photos from a quick walk Victoria and I took with Scarlett this evening. Surprisingly this was the first time that I have been down some of the side streets in the neighborhood. Without sounding too smug and snobbish, I'm quite happy that we moved here. The community is one that I've always dreamed of living in since I was a teenager. Sorry Mom and Dad, Roselle is a nice place but it was never for me. Things are much quieter here, the air is a little fresher, and the nature is I little more er...natural. I don't want to make this as long as my last two posts so I'll stop it here. 

On a side note, I'm beginning the tedious task of cleaning my music collection up and moving it to Google Music. Its safe to say that my strong bond with iTunes is dying a slow death.