Monday, July 15, 2019

Storm chasing

So I tried to do a little storm chasing on Saturday afternoon. The forecast was ominous, the sky was dark and I could hear thunder in the distance.
I headed toward the storm. My goal was to get dramatic photos before the rain started. The Black Dirt area is very flat and wide open, so I thought I'd try there first. This photo was taken on Onion Avenue as the rain started to fall. The storm was moving from right to left across the frame.

I drove away from this location to get away from the rain. Looking west, the view was thunder clouds in the distance.

The rain seemed to be moving away, so I returned to the first wide-open location. Here's a wide-angle shot of farm fields with rain in the distance. The sky was brightening, as you can see on the right side of the image.

Hoping for a break of sun that would produce a rainbow, I headed for higher ground. The sun appeared, but no rainbow. Here are two photos looking toward the Pine Island area.

I drove toward Warwick in search of a rainbow, but found nothing. Driving back to Middletown, I noticed more storm clouds to the west. Maybe I'd get a second chance.

Dark clouds moved across the sky, but there was no rain and I didn't see any lightning. The photo above and the photo below were taken by Randall Airport.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Saturday night flights

Warmer weather brought me to Randall Airport recently. While raking leftover leaves in front of my house, I could see planes towing gliders into the sky and decided to make the short drive to the airport.

I did not have to wait long to get pictures of  a plane and glider taking off.


Glider at Randall Airport in Middletown, N.Y.

This pilot flew low over the airport before coming in for a landing.

Single-engine airplane over Randall Airport

I saw this ultralight flying from by house. But when I got to the airport the pilot was finished flying and just lifted a few feet off the runway once or twice.

Ultralight aircraft at Randall Airport
A hot air balloon crew had started to set up on the side of the airport. But they waited a while, I think for the winds to die down, before inflating the balloon.

The photograph I really wanted to get was the balloon and the moon, which was in the eastern sky.
The problem was that I was so close to the balloon that I had to use a wide angle lens. A telephoto lens would have made the moon larger in the frame.The first photo below is with a wide angle. The second and third photos are with a longer zoom lens.

Here's a slideshow of more photos from the airport that evening:

Saturday night flights - Images by Tom Bushey

Monday, January 27, 2014

Wallkill River Ice

Like almost everyone else in the northeast, I'm getting  a little tired of all the extreme cold weather this winter. But I also decided to take advantage of the cold and get some photographs of ice on the Wallkill River at Benedict Farm in Montgomery, N.Y.

A couple of  weeks ago I stopped there on one of the few relatively warm days we've had in January. Although ice still covered the river, the park was covered in fog.
Last week the scene was completely different. Instead of dealing with light rain and clouds, I was facing bright sunshine and temperatures in the single digits. Blocks of ice were piled up on the river banks in some areas. And the smooth surface of  ice was interrupted in places with jagged pieces.

Here's an overall look at ice on the shore with the river in the background. I used a wide angle lens to take this picture.

After shooting many photos from right next to the blocks with my wide angle, I backed up a bit and switched to a telephoto lens.

Here's another shot with the longer lens.

 For the next photo I moved behind the blocks of ice for a detail shot.

 All of the photographs so far were taken fairly close to where I parked my car. Next I decide to take a walk along the river toward the back of the park, an area I had never checked out. Walking helped me stay warm, but I did not find that many spots along the river to take photos. I was, however, rewarded with the photo of the bald eagle at right. I heard the cries of hawks, and I had seen hawks at Benedict Farm before. But this was my first time seeing an eagle there.
On my way back to the parking area the sun was lower in the sky. The shards of ice were now more backlit, which made for more interesting pictures.

Here's a slideshow with these images and more:

Wallkill River Ice - Images by Tom Bushey

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Friday night flights

Friday night flights of gliders, hang gliders and ultralights at Randall Airport had been on my list of things to photograph for the Times Herald-Record for a long time. Friday is my day to work late, starting at 1 p.m., but I usually have assignments to shoot that evening.

A few weeks ago I was finished with my other assignments by 6 p.m. and headed to the airport to see if any balloons were preparing to take off. I saw no balloons but I did notice one ultralight coming in for a landing.

 Luckily for me, the ultralight was preparing to tow another tandem hang glider into the sky. He actually towed the hang glider four times, which allowed me to figure out how to get the pictures  I wanted.

My later photos were also helped by a beautiful sunset. I really like the scale of the ultralight in this picture:

Finally, here a picture of the hang glider approaching the airport.

The images above and others were published in a photo gallery at The Times Herald-Record also published four of  the photos on Aug., 28, 2013.

 In case you're interested in taking a flight, the tandem hang glider rides at Randall Airport are offered by Hangar 3.

Friday, November 16, 2012


These lyrics by Carole King from "Up on the Roof"  describe how I feel about climbing Schunnemunk Mountain.
When this old world starts getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space

Lately I've been hiking the Trestle Trail by the Moodna Viaduct in Salisbury Mills. The area is part of Schunnemunk Mountain State Park. The summit of Schunnemunk, at 1,664 feet, is the highest spot in Orange County, so you could call Schunnemunk Mountain the roof of Orange County.

The trail is steep, especially once you climb past the train trestle, but the views are beautiful. Last Sunday was warm for November, and the afternoon light made for nice photographs.
 Here's a are a few views from the climb:

On the way back down the mountain I stopped at another spot with a great view and a wooden bench. The bench has a plaque: "In memory of Sharon Guilfoyle". There were roses on the bench, probably placed their on  Oct. 22, the anniversary of her death.

The bench has been at the spot just off the trail for years. But I discovered another memorial nearby for the first time. What I first thought was just a pile of wood was a remembrance for deceased pets. A small plaque on a tree read::" DEDICATED TO: The Animals Who Share The Trail & Life With Us."

Here's a slideshow of these and other photos from my hike:

2012 November Schunnemunk Mountain Hike - Images by Tom Bushey

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chasing the moon

My plan was to find a good location to shoot the full moon as it was setting, which is when the lunar eclipse would be starting. Although I've taken moon photos through my telescope, I usually like to include something that gives the photo a sense of place. My idea was to frame the photograph to include the High Point Monument in New Jersey. Here's an image to show what I had in mind:

I used a program called "The Photographer's Empheris" to figure out where I needed to be to get the moon and monument together. I found the right spot in the darkness but could not get the picture I had planned.

My first problem was that the lights were not shining at the monument, which made focusing on the monument difficult. My second problem was the clouds were obscuring the moon. By the time I got everything set up, the moon was slipping behind the mountain.

Then I drove to another location with a better view of the western horizon: the scenic overlook off Interstate 84 above Port Jervis. I'd shot the moon from there before. But this time the valley was covered in fog, which I love to shoot. The lights of Port Jervis were even shining from beneath the fog.

Since the moon was still fairly far from the horizon, I drove to Port Jervis and then back east on 84 to shoot from the eastbound overlook, which is higher. Unfortunately there were clouds near the horizon that I did not see. Here's the moon just visible above the clouds:

By this time the sky was getting lighter, so I concentrated on the fog for a few photographs.

Look carefully and you can see the white base of the flagpole at Elks-Brox Park above Port Jervis. Here's a photograph I took from near the flagpole in October of 2006. You can see High Point Monument in the background, which brings us back to where we started, photographically.