Photographs From the Circle B Bar Reserve

Last week we did an overnight trip to Lakeland’s Circle B Bar Reserve. It’s one of the few reserves where there is activity all day long thanks to an abundance of wildlife. You don’t have to get up early and be out there at sunrise, though that is still a good idea, to capture nature’s beauty.

Anhinga and Fish - CW-2196
Anhinga with Fish

Back Bellied Whistling -Duck ala Tree Duck-2572 Black-bellied Whistling Duck 

Great Blue Heron CW-2498

Big Blue Heron

Anhinga-2296

Anhinga Taking in the Sun

Barred Owl Cirlce B-2332

Barred Owl

Photographs from the Demarva Peninsula

Photographs from the Delmarva Peninsula

Wild Horse - Chincoteague NWR CW-1126

Wild horse at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

 

Sunrise2 Bombay Hook NWR Delaware CW-1571

Sunrise at the Bombay Hook NWR

 

Snow Geese in Flight Bombay Hook NWR B&W - CW-

Snow Geese Silhouette  Bombay Hook NWR

 

Snow Geese Honking - Bombay Hook CW-0845

Snow Geese – Bombay Hook NWR

 

shorebird - chicoteague nwr -0964

Shorebirds at Sunrise – Chicoteague NWR

 

 

Bitter Ends: Making of a Book Cover

In an earlier post I wrote about how I designed my own book covers for my previous books using my own photographs. In this post I focus on the book cover for Bitter Ends my forthcoming collection of short stories.

Part of the thrill for me in creating a book cover is digging into my files and discovering that one photograph that expresses what’s in the pages in between and expressing it in a way folks who see the cover will be interested enough to take a peek inside and maybe even buy the book.

Like my previous book of short stories, Devious TalesBitter Ends is a collection of tales filled with murder, revenge, greed, and other mayhem along with a couple of slightly less deadly yarns. That said, the cover needed an ominous look informing the potential reader what they are getting.

In digging through my files I first focused on a few images taken in New Mexico back in 2013. One in particular was of a deserted highway with its colorful mountains in the background. I felt it reflected a feeling of vast emptiness and a bit of dread. I saw bodies potentially buried everywhere.

Below is the original image followed by a series early versions of the book cover.

Book Cover NM -2013 Pt2-2354

We were on our way to visit Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch located in Abiquiú, New Mexico,when I pulled over and took the above shot that was my first choice for the cover.  Cropping it was the first step followed by the lettering. I tried various fonts  and colors before settling on the image on the right.

I spent some time reviewing the image, asking myself was this what I wanted. Did it visually express the stories and entice potential readers. The more I looked at it, the more I wasn’t satisfied that it did.  I went back to digging into my photographic archive.

I next found a photograph taken just two months earlier in Yellowstone National Park. We were on a photo tour and came across this area  in the park that had burnt. We stopped and took a series of photos, one of which is the first photo below.  Looking at it, I thought it projected a dark, eerily, end of life feeling.

Bitter Ends2

Some cropping followed and then some software experimenting resulting in the two early versions below.

I still wasn’t completely satisfied and kept working at it. Finally, I came up with what I envisioned visually expressed what I wrote. Below is the final cover.

Bitter Ends will be available in January from Amazon and Barnes and Noble as a  paperback and ebook.

 

Bitter Ends2-009

 

 

Sunrise Photographs From Blackwater NWR

We were fortunate enough to get a great sunrise (November 30th) at The Blackwater NWR is located in Cambridge, Maryland.

Check out my photography website.

https://1-john-greco.pixels.com/index.html?logout=true

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Blackwater NWR Sunrise No.3 - CQ-0752

 

Blackwater NWR Sunrise No.4 - CW-0750

 

Blackwater NWR -No. 2 Sunrise CW-0731

Shelburne Museum: The General Store

If you are ever in Burlington Vermont, drive over to the nearby town of Shelburne where you will find the Shelburne Museum. It’s not your typical museum. Located on 45 acres of land there are 39 exhibition buildings consisting of a wide variety of art, prints, folk art, and plenty of Americana.

The General Store dates back to 1840 and was a fascinating look back.

Gen Store IMG_2206-001

Gen Store Shelves CW-0584

 

DeWitt's CW-0587

Haugee’s Cod Liver Oil, Renne’s Oil Compound, and Hanford’s  Balsam of Myrrth were some of the health aids available back in the 1800’s, but the best or at least all-purpose was DeWitt’s Stomach Bitters, an all-everything concoction for improving your appetite, invigorating the system, regulating the bowels, Liver and Kidneys, curing Dyspepsia,  heartburn and a sour stomach.

The label goes on to say, it’s an invaluable aid to persons in delicate and feeble health. Restoring strenght (that’s the way it is spelled on the label) and vigor to wornout constitutions.

Directions: a wineglass full before or after each meal.

A  wineglass is most appropriate because most of these types of “medications” contained quite a bit of alcohol.

Durkee's CW-0590

One of the brands on the above shelf are still in business..Durkee’s.

Harvey's Female Pills CW-0592

I have no idea what or how these pills were meant to help. The  web revealed nothing when I typed in the name other than lot’s of hits on Harvey Weinstein and pills that will enhance your sex life. I doubt this Harvey had much to do with either.

Hats CW-0599

Men and Women’s hats of the day.

Bottels IMG_2199-002

Some of the products sold in these bottles include Citric Acid, Gylcerin, Sodium Bicarbonate, and Antimuniun Crud. The last word most likely should be read as Crudum.  The bottle’s label is worn after the “Crud” so likely it was spelled correctly as Crudum.

Reflections

One of my favorite subjects to photograph are reflections.  Reflections are all abstract versions of life. Using water, mirrors, windows or any reflective surface can transform an image into something richer,  unique, and even artistic.

Tennessee Near Smoky Mountains

Fall Reflection_DSC6289-CW-6301

New Hampshire

Autumn Reflection -CW-6360

Macy’s NYC Easter Window – 2008

NYC Macy's (1 of 1)

Skyscraper Reflection

Seattle Reflection No.1+DSC4336-Dup-1 CW

Sandhill Cranes Sunset

Sandhill Cranes NM Sunset-DSC2137-CW

Grand Tetons

49F31B19-132C-4947-A6EE-2A468CF0A183

Ghost Ranch – New Mexico

Ghost Ranch Reflection_DSC_2394 CW

Dorothy

Dorothy Reflection Final-

Untitled

Bar Harbor Reflection-4441

Water Reflection #1

Impression No.2-CW-

Water Reflection #2

Impressions No.2-DSC0876-1-004