Sunday, December 27, 2009


I have always been intrigued by the steampunk movement that seems to have started sometime in the 80's. Its sort of a cultish thing but it has been catching on and growing in interest.

Basically, steampunk is high tech gear driven and steam powered technology cased and embellished in old Victorian styling. It is the fantasy of "what if advanced technology were introduced to the old Victorians" and what would it look like. Antique, high tech.

Have a look at the video which discusses the latest Steampunk exhibit taking place at the Museum of the History of Science.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Stress

This season, try not to get caught up in the stress and pressure that can be put upon us in these upcoming days. Remember, you won't do anyone any good if your down and out and not around (well, most of us anyway)

Remember to take a deep breath and relax when you feel the pressure coming on. Drink in moderation, especially if your going to be out and about in public like our friend Frosty here.

Happy holidays and a Happy New Year to all.

Oh, and don't forget to vote on my Self Portrait portfolio I'll need all the help i can get! :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Power of Self

I have entered an art/photography competition titled "the power of self" which is basically a self portrait competition.

I thought that since I had been doing a few as of late and already had a few in the collection to begin with I might as well go for it and see what happens.

The competition is being curated by some high profile guests including Guggenheim Museum curator Helen Hsu.

The entries are also being rated by the public with a 5 Star system and gives the curators and indication ofthe publics feedback on an artists work and so if you could find the time to drop by the site, have a look and give me a rating that would be awesome.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Self Portrait, December 2009

self portrait december

I was testing some new equipment and since no one else was around I had a go at another self portrait. I was in no condition for a serious take so i decided to have a go at a sort of self mocking look. A whimsical shot, all in good fun.
I thought in the end it came off pretty neat.
the equipment I was testing were Cybersync transmitter and receivers that are used to remotely trip my Canon 580EXll Speedlites. This was shot with two speedlites, the main in a medium size softbox and the hairlight in a smaller softbox. The triggers worked flawlessly.

Love them.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Water Towers Located!

Hey, so its official. They have been spotted on the set of V and are located in the hallway of character "Ryan" who is actually a V but is trying to leave and join the human race.
I have not been able to watch the shows on the Tele but have been looking at past episodes on ABC's website which has been running them in full in HD streaming format. Pretty cool.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Artists Lounge, my first selection!

I am involved in a partnership with Kim Crawford Wines in a program they started called The Artists Lounge. You can read more about it on their site and in my post "Lets Start something"

I am one of four artists that will be choosing ideas presented in the Lounge. Anyone can join and present ideas, discussion and even post their own art/photography.

I was asked to select the first idea, something that inspires me to create. There are so many great concepts and ideas being presented in the lounge that it was quite a challenge selecting in itself.

I finally selected an idea about traveling and planning a adventure and looking through maps in plotting out a trip. The idea/concept was posted by member Silverwoody in the lounge. I will begin working on a photograph that incorporates this idea of plotting a travel or adventure and looking through maps.

After being contacted by the staff at Kim Crawford Wines that she was selected as the first winner (one of seven) and accepting the prize (a matted and framed photograph of the finished piece) I was asked to contact her to share with her my ideas for the piece.

My plan for this photograph is to set up a table in a room in front of an old window. I will set up the table with some old maps I have acquired and various other items that will dress up the set-up appropriately. I decided to have maps of New Zealand as this is where Kim Crawford Wines are from as well as the grand prize being a trip there for two.

The location I have planned for this set will be in an old civil war era building with stone walls and old wood framed arch windows. The table will be set with maps as well as other interesting items such as reading glasses, magnifying glass, vase of dried flowers, jar of pencils and pens, old cameras and case, binoculars and various other interesting elements and items.

I plan on using the natural window lighting as well as some reflectors and flash strobes designed to highlight certain areas or objects on the table setting. I'm thinking already that the entire look should have an old and somewhat timeless feel and so post processing will likely involve b&w with very warm tone or perhaps just desaturated colors and selectively applied color. I will address that after the photos have been captured. To help make this a more personal piece for Katie (silverwoody) I have asked her to provide me with a photograph perhaps of her family or loved one that she might have laying out on a table in her own room. I would print it and frame it or perhaps lay it out on the table setting. In addition, she mentioned that she is a sentimental person and has kept some scribbled notes she wrote in planning some of her last trips. She will scan these notes over to me so that I can print them out and lay them in the set-up as well.

This I feel will make it a very personal piece of work and has me very inspired to get started.

As this piece gets underway, I may post some of the set and environment but the actual finished photograph will be presented in the spring on the Artists Lounge during the unveiling of chosen works.

Six more winners will be chosen by us over the course of the program. The next one being selected by the end of this weekend. So get in there now! This is a fantastic and exciting program that supports the arts and artists and I am honored to be a part of it.

Please come in and share your ideas and let us know what inspires you. You have an excellent chance of winning a personal piece of art as well as a trip for two to New Zealand!!

The Artists Lounge

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Girl with big chest

So here it is. The girl with the big chest. Probably not what you thought it was going to be, but then whose fault would that be, eh?

Girl with big chest was shot at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My water tower series on V

The ABC network will begin airing the remake of the epic series entitled V. Four of my N.Y. water tower series prints were purchased by one of the set decoraters working on the show. The prints have been framed and will be used to decorate the apartment of one of the New York characters, so I was told.
I hope to be able to catch the premiere which airs this Tuesday, November 3rd at 8PM EST.
Some of my friends will be "water tower spotting" for me and hopefully during the course of the series (they hope to have four seasons run) I'll have some airtime :)

It actually looks to be real good and I hope to be able to watch sometimes.

Here are the four they purchased from the series.

N.Y. water towers 1

N.Y. water towers 3

N.Y. water towers 5

N.Y. water towers 14

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Let's Start Something!

I was asked by Kim Crawford Wines to partner with them in a program they have started called "The Artists' Lounge"

In the spirit of supporting the arts, Kim Crawford Wines launched The Artists’ Lounge online community as a place for artists and those who appreciate the arts to share inspirations and/or artwork with each other. Members get the chance to inspire and win original artwork and a trip for two to New Zealand! All of the artwork displayed within the community will be a true living anthology, reflective of the times.

I was chosen by Kim Crawford Wines to be one of the community’s “Artists in Residence,” and will be searching for inspiration within the community to create original artwork. From now through January, myself and three other artists from different art mediums will select ideas and create new works of art. Share an idea now if you want to inspire artwork for me or the other artists!

Kim Crawford Wines views winemaking an art as it strives to capture the true aromas and flavors of New Zealand in each bottle by combining a passion for excellence with a vision for exploring new boundaries.

I’m excited about this program, and encourage you to join the community and participate in sharing artwork and/or inspiration with its members!

Artists Lounge

Friday, October 23, 2009

Self Portrait 2009

self portrait 2009

This is a self portrait I had been working on for a bit. I had scouted the location and went back a few times. The first time I attempted this I had only an on camera flash which i tried bouncing off a back wall for fill lighting. It looked ok, but I was not quite illuminated enough and too much of the interior became lit as well, taking away from the dark and moody ambiance of the area. So, I went back with a few flash heads and a light stand and came up with something I feel is close enough to what I was trying for.
So, anyway, here it is. Would love to know what you feel about it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Some old windows

Grungy window

Window and clothes rack

Window and red fire escape

Here are some old windows I found in my archives while sorting through some images. These were taken this past summer from the Manhattan Bridge. The windows are level with the bridge at this point and are from an old building in Chinatown. I always find it interesting what people keep inside, and outside of their windows. . .
Sheila, I thought about you when I found these. :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fathers for Justice!

This is a place I venture through once in a while. The grafitti always changes as new people wander through here and tag about. I thought this little section was interesting and even conjures up some stories in my head about the significance of the words and the burnt car seat.

Restrooms, a bit of dark humor

Just a bit of dark humor. . . this is something I found in my archives from a few years back. Enjoy!

Once upon a time

once upon a time . . .

This is a photo from my "View from within" series. While displayed at a gallery, poet/writer S.David was inspired to write his thoughts on it.

Once Upon a Time
by S. David] [art by Gary Heller]

Tragedy after tragedy
Finally she just
Picked herself up
Packed up
Walked away
Abandoned the house
Abandoned the furniture
Abandoned her
Once upon a time
Filled with joy home
A widow burying
Her young child
Time time time
She never sold
The house just
Left it then now
Twenty years and
She can face it
Again does she
Want to

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Historic Ithaca's 2009 Barn Survey photo contest

Red barn in Groton
Red barn in Groton framed print

It was announced that I am the Grand Prize winner of this Barn Survey photo contest! I get to sleep in the barn for the duration of the winter,in the hay, free!! ;)
Shown above is the winning entry. It is an old barn with various additional add-on structures. I was told by the owner while I was shooting this scene that they plan on burning down this wonderful gem by the years end. hopefully, the county can intervene and help keep this preserved. It would be a shame to lose such wonderful pieces of our great agricultural history such as this.

Here is a bit of the letter informing me of my photograph entry.

"Dear Mr. Heller,

Congratulations! I am pleased to inform you that one of your entries has been selected for Historic Ithaca’s 2009 Barn Photo Contest. Your photograph was selected as the Grand Prize winner, for a photograph with artistic merit that captures vital information about the barn’s use, construction, or relationship with the landscape. Your photo beautifully shows the growth over time of the barn complex. The winning photographers will be recognized at the 12th Annual New York State Conference on the Preservation of Historic Barns, on Saturday, October 24, 2009. Over 70 photographs were submitted and all of the entries will be displayed during the lunch break at the conference."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Brooklyn Tale. . .

A Brooklyn landscape

While venturing through the lovely and seemingly tranquil Salt Marsh Nature preserve a little while back, I had the good fortune to be presented with this lovely commentary and so of course I immdediately thought to share my good fortune with my blogging community.

And so here is the story of Fitz, brought to us on a stone tablet to be remembered and revered until the end of days. . .

Monday, October 5, 2009

Double Exposure

Prior to 2007, I was shooting with film. One of the things I liked to do when shooting film was using a technique called "Double Exposure" or sometimes called multiple exposure.
Basically, this is when you expose the same frame of film more than once. To do this, you would set the camera up so that it does not advance the film after the first exposure. Most mid-level to advanced film SLR camera bodies had this function. Most were able to be set from about 2-9 exposures.

Mostly I liked to do this technique at night when shooting scenes with the moon.
If you ever tried shooting a scene at night with the moon, you will know that the moon blows out (over exposes) looking like a small white circle with no detail. Thats because the bright moon requires much shorter exposure time than would the rest of the scene you were shooting. If you were to expose for the moon, then you would have pretty much a dark and way too underexposed photo. Also, the moon would usually be very small as you are using a wider angle to capture the rest of the scene for the image.
Double exposing would allow me to get a larger moon that was properly exposed with some or all detail intact.

First, I would compose the scene in the viewfinder making sure the moon was not in the frame but leaving space in the composition to later expose the moon into. Exposing properly for this scene, I would focus and make the first exposure. Now, while the camera is standing by waiting for the next exposure I change lens to a longer focal length, zoom into the moon and place it in the frame where I left room for it in the previous shot. focus and expose. The moon records onto the film in the area I had left open for it, but the rest of the sky being dark records nothing over the previous scene. So, the result is a well focused and exposd moon in a well focused and exposed scene. Thats it. It does take a lot of tries and experimenting to achieve a good consistency with this technique but it is much fun a rewarding.

Sure, today I can just take another photo of the moon and then digitaly composite it into my photo later (which I have never done so far since shooting digitally) but it would just not be as exciting and does not give you the same sense of accomplishment as it did doing it with film.

So, here are a few examples of images I have shot using this technique.

moon over brooklyn rooftop
Moon over Brooklyn Rooftop

moon over marina ll
Moon over marina 2

moon over Marina l
Moon over marina 1

moon over Marine Parkway bridge
Moon over marine Parkway bridge

moon over steel
Moon over steel

moon over stone
Moon over stone, Brooklyn Bridge

moonlit stalks
Moonlit stalks

Moon over marsh
Moon over Marsh

and no one was there
And no one was there

Monday, September 28, 2009

Canon 5D mk2 - my thoughts

The Canon Rebel Xti was my first DSLR. Up until I made that plunge in 2007, I had been shooting with film and scanning the negatives into high resolution files to edit digitally. The Xti was and still is a pretty decent camera and I have many good images in my catalogues to testify to that. I eventually moved up to the 5D after seeking better iso and image quality as well as wanting a full frame sensor. The Canon 5D is an excellent camera and will surely go down as a classic in years to come. Even after its release a few years ago it is still considered one of the best around.

Shown above is the 5D mk2 with optional battery grip

The reason I purchased the newer 5D mk2 was to have a good back-up camera which will now be the 5D with the mk2 being the main.I now have it for a few months and am becoming more familiar and comfortable with it. I shoot dance performances at times which is mostly in low light conditions and so the improved high iso quality and slightly faster FPS of the mk2 will be a good advantage. The huge increase in resolution was welcome but more importantly the increased DR (Dynamic range) Overall, this is a camera with all around better image quality than its already great predecessor. I have not used the HD video capabilities with this camera, and honestly really have had little interest in that aspect of it at this point. The 5D mk2 is a lot more than just an improved version of the older model. It really is basically an entire new camera from the bottom up. Obviously the 21 mp sensor is different and much improved but we also have a new and more durable shutter, new and more powerful processor, new and improved battery and battery management, larger LCD screen, automatic sensor cleaning (which is something we missed on the original 5D) seemingly better build quality, and a host of new features in layout, function and control... Oh, and yes the HD video capability and live screen LCD. First, the IQ (image quality) is fantastic and noticeably improved over the already capable and fantastic original 5D. I was able to shoot a flower in hard sunlight (just for the heck of it) and was shocked to look at it later on the computer to see that nothing blew out and the sensor handled the tough contrasty condition. There was no out of gamut color blow out,(purple flower) highlights were intact as well as detail in shadow areas. I was impressed. I am afraid now though that I may be tempted more often to shoot in poor conditions. . .not a good practice. The resolution enables amazing detail within detail. Oddly enough though, capturing a sharp image seems to be more of a challenge. It is thought that perhaps because the resolution goes so deep, that it is more critical for focus to be dead locked in or details will appear a bit soft. So, do not expect to buy this camera and be amazed that everything is so sharp! Quite the opposite, you really have to think about your technique and make sure everything is right to ensure the potential of the resolution and IQ. You would also want to be using the best glass to squeeze all the IQ out of this box.

High iso quality is amazing. I tried 1600, 3200 and 6400 and while 6400 certainly has evident noise and lower IQ it is very usable and welcome to have there if needed. 1600, and 3200 is very impressive. It is expandable to 12,800 and 25,600 but I would suggest only using these for absolute necessity. There is a good deal of noise and image quality loss.

What I like very much about this mk2 is the fact that I do not have to look at the digital display on the top of the camera (which is now slightly larger than the previous model) to make adjustsments to ISO, WB, focus and drive, as well as other settings. I always found it difficult to see what WB icon I was setting in that little display and to make iso adjustments, etc. Especially in a dark room or theater it was so difficult to see even with the little backlight that is has. Now, everything can be viewed and set and adjusted from the large LCD display screen at back. Simply press your funtion button on the back and the display will pop up large and clear on the lcd. Then you can scroll through the various setting and make whatever adjustments you need, quick and easy.

settings displayed on rear lcd

This was something I missed when I went from my Rebel Xti to the 5D. Everything was easy to adjust from the lcd screen and now so it is again with the mk2. Also, the iso is now seen in the viewfinder as well and by simply pressing the iso button easily with the index finger I can make adjustments to iso while never looking away.

Here is another huge plus - I can now make all adjustments on my 580EXll speedlite from the menu on the cameras LCD. Even in a complete wireless setup, which is what I use at times. The digital display of the speedlite was sometimes a challenge to navigate through. Selecting funtions and making the setting changes could be quite a task especially in a darker room. So now having all the speedlite funtions shown on the large lcd in clear display with the ease of the dials and toggles of the camera, making setting changes is a breeze. This is great. I can even go into custom functions as well as being able to adjust the power of the slaves in a wireless set up. Everything can be done on the back of the camera. Perfect.

Speedlite function controls on rear lcd menu

This proved to be very handy and a pleasure when I was working with artist David Jon Kassan in his studio on an upcoming project of his. Have a look at his site, he is an amazing talent and great person as well.

Another thing to mention, due to the extremly high resolution, RAW file sizes are huge. Approx 25-30Mb depending on setting and conditions. It may be that we don't need such large files for a particular assignment/task but would still like to shoot RAW to have the full IQ potential there for post processing. Canon has made it possible to shoot in one of three different RAW settings. RAW, RAW1 and RAW2. RAW is full 21 MP, RAW1 is approx 10MP and RAW2 is approx 5MP. All yielding the same great IQ but just reduced resolution and file size. Very useful and a welcome feature. FPS (frame per second) has increased by almost one to now nearly 4fps which is nice, but also amazing considering the huge files this processor must work with at that speed. I was amazed to fire off 11-15 bursts at this speed in full resolution. There is an indicator in the viewfinder that tells you the available bursts to be had at any given moment. Once you have reached the limit, there is a few seconds pause during which no shots can be fired as the processor is busy writing the data to the card. You would absolutely want to use a memory card of very high read/write capabilities to handle the load the processor will be giving over to it. I have been using the Sandisk Exteme lll and lV cards with no problems.

There are a host of other little features that are mixed in now with the custom fuctions such as "highlight tone priority" which puts emphasis on the highlights and tries to avoid blowing them out during exposure, but at the same time you will have less detail in the shadow areas to work with. . ."Auto lighting optimizer" which aids in getting your subject exposed correctly, "peripheral illumination correction" which adjusts for the light fall-off at the edges of the frame especially with wider angle lenses. "Long exposure noise reduction" and "high ISO noise reduction". All these functions seem to work fine, but I prefer to do all my post processing later in LightRoom/Photoshop. Basically, thats what these features are, post processing. I have them off most all the time. "Long exposure noise reduction" I might switch on if using a long exposure on a tripod for a night scene, etc. Well, so far I love the mk2 and welcome all the little changes in layout and funtion that I missed with the 5D. There are some other neat little features packed in here such as having the camera automatically switch ISO for you according to conditions, etc if you set it. Too many other little things to get into, but all in all this is a fine piece of work especially considering the price.


Image quality, resolution, features and functions, HD video, live view screen, large LCD screen, battery and battery management system, heavy duty shutter mechanism, powerful and fast processor with 14 bit analog to digital conversion, price. . .

I still wish Canon would place a mirror lock function switch on the back or side of the camera so as not to have to scroll through custom functions menus to get to it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Some things heard. . .

While sitting in a public space, a woman leans down near my ear to my right side and says "We WILL be gettin together , you know that right?!" I turn to look at her trying to think of a reply and not wanting to look so obviously taken off guard when I notice she is picking something up near me and talking on a hands free set up. She looks at me while continuing on as if nothing happened. I guess in her mind nothing did. I was still recovering. . .

While driving along a city street in the car with my son Kyle, windows half rolled down on a nice afternoon we stop behind a car waiting at a light. Another car pulls up next to us on Kyles side and from the corner of my eye I see a woman lean out the window toward us and say "Now, do you think I can tie your shoes while I'm drivin" in a very sarcastic tone. I turn to her and roll the window all the way down. She is looking right at me as if she is waiting for a response. Kyle looks at me to see what I'm going to say. I then notice she is talking to a child in the back seat of her car, but she still is making eye contact with me! I was about to say, "Yes, I believe you can but I'm perfectly capable, thanks" when she turns completely around to look at the child. She then looks at us again and then turns forward. Kyle and I look at eachother like "Huh?" Kyle says "What happened, Dad?" I told him the woman was talking to her child in the back and that she might have been unaware that she was seemingly addressing us. Oblivious.

While walking along the street yesterday a couple of young girls, maybe 14 or 15 years old are walking right behind me and talking about boyfriends and this and that. One says" OOO here it is, I got a text"! "Let me see, let me see" says the other. "Oh man, its Dad." She reads the text to her friend, "I need the model number of the coffee maker as soon as possible. Get it, should be on the back." The friend laughs, and the girl who recieved the text says " Yeah, like thats gonna be on my top priority list today". Poor dad.

Oh, and I am constantly hearing from people that I look like Jon Stewart from The Daily Show. Never heard that before, but hear it often in the last year or so. I think it has to do with the gray hairs I'm getting. . .

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Hamerkop, a new addition to the series.


Here is a latest addition to my bird series. It is a Hamerkop (Hammerhead) and found mainly in Africa. It gets its name from the shape of its head when its neck is extended. The tuft of feathers at the back of the head stick out straight like a beak. The long thin neck with the beak and tuft of feathers at the back give the birds head the shape of a hammer.I will be trying for another shot eventually with its head extended to show this attribute and hope to have it to add in the series.(easier said than done!)It was once thought to be a Heron or Stork but it is widely considered to be in a genus all its own.They are known for building massive nests, as much as 3 or 4 feet deep and just as wide. A pair of Hamerkops may build a dozen of them throughout an area, but might only use one and for only a short time. This is a blessing for other species however. Various other birds will eventually make home in a discarded Hamerkop nest, even some snakes and reptiles might find refuge in them. So here it is, the Hamerkop and hopefully I'll be able to capture some more.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy Family!

From Blogger Pictures

Looking back through some older photos I came across this shot of a bunch of happy ducklings on a log with mom in the background. Somehow this shot makes me think of the importance of family and being together. I come from a rather small family. I had some cousins and uncles and aunts growing up although they are not around anymore. The one thing I always missed was having a brother or sister. I remember asking my parents at a real early age for a brother. God, I must have put them through hell with my requests especially on rainy days when there was no one out to play with. So much so that they eventually bought me a huge Gorilla (stuffed animal, Blue!) hoping it would susbtitute as a companion. What were they thinking. . .lol. I used to use it as a punching bag, it just had an expression that was asking for a good beating.

Some of my friends growing up had lots of brothers and sisters that they did not always get along with. They would fight like hell at times. I would hear "your so lucky to not have to deal with your asshole brother or sister". I still thought to differ. . .

This photo always warms my heart and I hope these ducks are still around today to share their good times and bad.

Then there is this Squirrel monkey who was looking out of his cage the way i would look out my window on a rainy day. . .lol.
(really just wanted to include this as I always liked this shot ;)

From Blogger Pictures

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

From Blogger Pictures

Hopefully, after visits from relatives including the "flirtatious aunt" and the rest. . .

From Blogger Pictures

the kids playing and enjoying the last weekend before school for most. . .

From Blogger Pictures

Moms short tempered mood swings in dealing with preparations for getting the little ones ready for the new season. . .

From Blogger Pictures
You get your much deserved relaxing moment after enduring it all. . .

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

If looks could kill. . .

. . .I would have been dead a long time ago. In all fairness, I would have killed quite a few as well before my demise. . .

It seems that no matter where I go or what I'm shooting I always come across the "dirty look" or the look that could kill. Some people become very suspicious and even defensive when they see me walking around with a camera, particularly one with a huge lens attached. Its as if they feel I'm about to steal their very soul or violate them in some way.

Perhaps it is all the stories about the wild antics of papparazzi going after celebrities? I could certainly understand why someone would dislike a photographer after some of the things these nuts do to get a shot.

Perhaps it is me. . .I've been told on occasion that I look mean, and cold at times. I think it comes from some childhood experiences that had me build an icy bubble around myself to keep people at distance. It works but I don't always want it there. Too late for that now. . . anyway I'm usually able to soften people up a bit once I talk to them. I guess they begin to realize that I'm not what I seemed. I know of lots of other photographers that go through this as well. Just something about a camera that sets some people on high alert.

But c'mon, do I have to go through this while taking my son Kyle to the zoo!

(good thing for the plexi-glass partition between us)
If looks could kill

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The little Red Shack on Tucker Road

red shack on tucker rd

This was a little red shack I discovered off Tucker Road in Trumansburg, New York. It was standing beside a barn that had collapsed and reminded me of a child that had lost its parents. Certainly a lot of character in this little one but I'm afraid its days are numbered.

Photography Prints

Thursday, August 13, 2009

.New York State, Fingerlakes region

morning and haybales
Haybales in the field early morning

in the morning mist
In the morning mist

tree stump and barn 1
Tree stump and barn 1 (Seneca county)

tree stump and barn 2
Tree stump and barn 2 (Seneca county)

barn on Seneca Lake
Barn on Seneca lake (Senca county)

big barn on rt 227
Big barn on Rt 227 (Tompkins county)

Red barn in Groton
Red barn in Groton (Tompkins county)

barn on Windborne way
Barn on Windborne way (Tompkins county)

old car and barn
Old car and barn (Seneca county)

I have been away for a few days on a venture around the Fingerlakes region of New York. I stayed in Ithaca and mostly ventured around Seneca and Tompkins county. Tompkins county basically surrounds the bottom 1/3 portion of Cayuga lake while Seneca county covers much of the upper half of Seneca lake, both of which are the largest lakes in the region.
I love old barns and everything to do with country living, but unfortunately much of these things and agricultural structures are fading quickly with the times as their owners are finding them too costly to maintain especially if it is on a non working farm.
Governor Paterson has recently signed legislation that will enhance tax credits for historic preservation. I had learned that Tompkins county has been conducting a survey of barns and agricultural structures to help create a public inventory of the historic agricultural buildings that are a part of our rural history and disappearing from our landscape.
In addition to the survey they have included a barn photo contest and I thought it would be fun to enter since I love shooting these subjects and was there anyway.
The three from Tompkins county I have entered, but having only been there a few days I think my chances are slim against some of the locals who know the sweet spots and times. . .but I'm happy to be part of it nonetheless.
In particular, I had met the owner of "Red barn in Groton" and learned she intends to burn the structure down at the end of the year because it has become unstable and I assume would be too costly for her to repair. Maybe, it will be saved in the end thanks to the efforts underway to preserve these great landmarks of our countries history.