Pine Barrens

Republish / A New Old Home

I'm slowly moving all of the content from my old blog Pine Barren Man to this new one.. which happens to be my old one, as you can tell from the “Archive” sidebar to this page. (It’s on the bottom if you’re on mobile browser.) In most situations I’m simply moving the images and text over and backdating the posts to reflect when they were published on the other blog. To make a long story short, due to some file errors  caused by “My Great Macbook Pro Meltdown of 2017™”

Actually, screw it... It's a new year and I feel like writing. Time to make a long story...the length it should be.

 Im going to pop the hood on this blog and give you all a little insight into how some of it functions. The site itself is hosted by Squarespace and I've had this site running continuously in one form or another for the last 3-4 years. 

I've always used the built in image hosting via Squarespace and it had been great. Nowadays I have a Smugmug account which acts as an archive for all of my finished images. As an archive it's awesome. It syncs with Lightroom, I can access it via an app on my phone, and would you believe it...it can host images. As of 2019 all of the images on this site will be hosted via Smugmug. From an organizational standpoint it's just works for me. I don't have scientific proof but I think the images look better too. 

While attempting to add the images below to Smugmug I realized that they were living on an external hard drive that was formatted for MacOS. Now that I'm a PC guy I had essentially lost those edited photos. I tried to save them but the intricacies of how the different file systems work is not something I'm familiar with. I was lazy a year ago and forgot to backup my files.  I messed up....or so I thought. 

As a photographer, I'm constantly changing or improving the way I approach making and editing photographs. Inspiration comes from new sources and software gets better. Something that wasn't possible a year ago is now a cornerstone of my workflow. 

I’ve decided to re-process the images below. I’ll include the original story here for context as well as backdating the original post to satisfy my archival needs. You can see the original post from 2017 here.


The original post:

Yesterday we decided to brave the cold and Victoria's cold, to take the pups out for a little walk somewhere new. Tori knew of a dog run in the next town over in Washington Lake Park so we packed the dogs up in the car and set off. I brought my X-Pro2 & the Fujinon 23mm f1.4 lens to snap some photos while the dogs ran around. The park was virtually empty so the whole trip was nice and relaxing. I wasn't feeling particularly inspired but it was nice to use my camera in a different setting and capture something new.

A Fire Rages

After The Storm

As a late afternoon storm rolls Eastward across the sky, the Sun peaks out from the cover of temporary darkness to illuminate the adjacent clouds with its last rays of daylight. The formations now resembling gradients, rather than clusters of moisture, slowly change their shape. They are aided by a gentle breeze, a remnant of the passing storm. There is a great juxtaposition at this moment. The surface of the Earth is calm and quiet, interrupted only by the occasional birdsong. Up above, a fire rages in the stratosphere.

The Nikkor 105

I photographed this series of images using an adapted Nikkor 105mm f4 lens that was given to me by my grandfather. The focal length of this telephoto prime provided the right amount of reach to photograph all the clouds intricate details while not getting too close as to misrepresent the scale of these structures. These older lenses, manufactured for use on film SLRs lack all of the hi-tech coatings and glass that newer lenses have and therefore give digital images a "film like" quality. In the case of these images, I think they have a softness to them while still remaining sharp where it counts. All of the photos were taken at ISO 400 or higher. The subsequent noise adds grain and texture, in some ways it mimics the lingering moisture present in the air at the time.

Foggy Mornings, Twenty Years Later

Foggy, condensation filled mornings are a common occurrence at our homeDrenched 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.

Washington Lake Park

Yesterday we decided to brave the cold and Victoria's cold, to take the pups out for a little walk somewhere new. Tori knew of a dog run in the next town over in Washington Lake Park so we packed the dogs up in the car and set off. I brought my X-Pro2 & the Fujinon 23mm f1.4 lens to snap some photos while the dogs ran around. The park was virtually empty so the whole trip was nice and relaxing. I wasn't feeling particularly inspired but it was nice to use my camera in a different setting and capture something new.