Photography

A Saratoga Morning


Saratoga Springs, New York comes alive during the Thoroughbred racing season. Its streets, restaurants and parks are full of visitors. For a photographer, this is a great opportunity to practice your skills and get photos that may normally be out of your comfort zone. With three trips to the track this year, this blogger has got a lot of practice. My third trip was monday, August 11, 2014. If you get to the track about 8am, there is plenty of parking and not too much traffic.  If you are not planning on spending the day at the races, you can still visit the track for breakfast or just to watch the horses warm up on the track. There is no charge for this with your trackside parking fee ($12) refunded if you leave before 10am.  Leaving the track at that time gives you the opportunity to visit Saratoga’s other attractions. The following photos represent an inexpensive and enjoyable half-day trip. These photos are my intellectual property and may not be used or reproduced without permission.

 

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Categories: Entertainment, History, Outdoors, Photography, Sanford Stud Farm, sports, Travel | Tags: , , , , ,

Adirondack Animal Land


Located on route 30 in Vail Mills, New York is Adirondack Animal Land, a great place to take the family for an educational adventure. That is how a few members of the Amsterdam Photography Club spent their first day of Summer. With a large variety of animals to photograph and a Safari ride through animals roaming without cages, it was a fun photographic challenge.  If you are interested, their website is adirondackanimalland.com.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Outdoors, Pets, Photography | Tags: , , , ,

A Walk in the Park


It was too nice of a day to stay indoors, so I walked down to Riverlink Park. On the way there I saw the True Value Hardware store was converted to Ace Hardware with the entrance moved to the North side of the building, blocking what was a drive thru from Liberty Street to Church Street (You can still drive around through the parking lot). Riverlink Park was closed for construction recently but with the official opening of the Erie Canalway last week, I figured it would be open. It was open but there is still a lot of construction to be done. A generator is providing power at this point and both of the towers on the other side of the walkway are in the middle of some concrete work. Handicap access to the elevator is still closed off. The park still has a long way to go before it is fully operational. I walked under the rt. 30 bridge on the Mohawk and found a new dirt roadway to the Eastern bank where the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook is being built. I still can’t get used to that name and I’m afraid no one else will either. They will continue to call it the Pedestrian Bridge or the Bridge to Nowhere. Steel rebar is in place where I assume concrete will soon be poured for a bridge support on the East bank next to where the Chuctanunda Creek flows into the Mohawk. You can see the cranes in place working on the South side section. I continued taking pictures on my walk back until the light started to fade into a bright magenta sunset.

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Categories: Amsterdam, History, Outdoors, Photography, Riverlink Park | Tags: ,

Meet Laura Elmendorf


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The Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course has been local news for the past few months. A new Common Council with a supermajority vote and a Mayor used to getting her own way have stalled contracts for both the golf pro and the concessionaire at MUNI.

Laura Elmendorf is the concessionaire without a contract who has successfully run the restaurant and bar at the golf course.  Still negotiating her contract, Laura is busy planning for this year’s events.  Although the concession used to be open on weekends during the winter, this year it is closed because a contract was never negotiated or signed last year.

As a board member of the Amsterdam Waterfront Foundation, this blogger had the opportunity to meet and talk with Laura while planning a fundraiser to be held at MUNI in June. Every year the Foundation is tasked with raising money, organizing and presenting Riverlink Concerts to the public free of charge. Laura is very pleasant, knowledgeable and personable. She seems much wiser than her years. My visit to MUNI was to get a better idea of the layout and space. The AWF fundraiser will be announced as soon as we have a firm commitment, that being easier said then done.  Laura was ready with menu choices, reasonable prices and suggestions. The venue was larger than I imagined and the views were gorgeous, even in the winter!

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I sincerely hope the responsible parties take care of these contracts soon before scheduling opportunities are lost.

Categories: Amsterdam, Business, Celebration, Entertainment, Outdoors, Photography, Politics, Riverlink Park | Tags: , , , , , ,

MacEnvy


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Categories: Art, Photography, Technology | Tags: , ,

A Tale of 2 Candidates


Debra Baranello is a registered Democrat who is running for 3rd Ward Alderman in the City of Amsterdam, New York, while Diane Hatzenbuhler, a registered Republican, is running for 4th Ward Alderman. With all of the dysfunction in our federal government as a result of differences in political ideology, you may think these two candidates do not have much in common. Nothing could be further from the truth and that is a very refreshing fact.

This blogger had the privilege of photographing, designing palm cards and brochures for both well qualified candidates for office. The design process involved sitting with each candidate and coming up with a list of concerns they would address as Alderman. Both candidates gave me lists that were almost identical. They want to fight URBAN BLIGHT, decrease CRIME in our neighborhoods, increase COMMUNICATION between elected officials and our citizens and CUT SPENDING to keep property taxes at bay.

Both candidates want to fight urban blight by increasing code enforcement through inspection and prosecution. Diane Hatzenbuhler would like to see annual inspections of rental properties and a workable complaint procedure for tenants. Debra Baranello would like to increase the number of demolitions of condemned properties. Diane Hatzenbuhler wants to fight crime by improving our Neighborhood Watch and increasing patrols in known high crime areas. Debra Baranello wants the Amsterdam Police Department to start neighborhood foot patrols as a deterrent and increase recreational activities for our young people. She is grateful for the work done by Amsterdam Recreation and Wishful Thinking at the Clara Bacon School. To improve communication Debra Baranello plans to listen to the concerns of the residents of the 3rd Ward and take positive action. Diane Hatzenbuhler wants to improve the flow of communication by increasing transparency of all municipal transactions with an emphasis on finance. To help cut spending, Debra Baranello wants to increase our economic development by working with our elected officials to help revitalize an aging infrastructure to support new business ventures. Diane Hatzenbuhler wants to cut all unnecessary spending and increase revenues by prosecuting code violators.

There are negative campaigns being run against both candidates for Alderman. Their opponents must have run out of solutions or viable candidates. Both of these women would make a great addition to the Amsterdam Common Council. With them we have the hope of a bipartisan solution that will bring us out of the standstill that we are stuck in. The Council has been spinning its wheels for much too long. There is power in unity and together the Common Council can move Amsterdam in a forward direction.

 

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Debra Baranello, candidate for 3rd Ward Alderman

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Diane Hatzenbuhler, candidate for 4th Ward Alderman

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Division Street resident Ed Battistini and Debra Baranello in the 3rd Ward

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Debra Baranello at Riverlink Park in Amsterdam, NY

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NYS Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk, Debra Baranello, candidate for 3rd Ward Alderman

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Debra Baranello, Dan Peluso, NYS Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk in Amsterdam’s 3rd Ward

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NYS Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk and Debra Baranello, candidate for 3rd Ward Alderman

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Elks Club, 4th Ward

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Holland Garden Apartments, 4th Ward

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Peddler’s Wagon at 5 Corners in the 4th Ward

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Polish National Alliance, 4th Ward

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Pulaski Bridge, 4th Ward

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The Rao Center, 4th Ward

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St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, 4th Ward

Categories: Amsterdam, Photography, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Greater Amsterdam Riverlink Park


A formal acknowledgement of accomplishment celebrating the conceptualization, design and implementation of Riverlink Park, is what the email invitation described. On Wednesday, August 20, 2013, at 11am, elected officials and representatives from local organizations celebrated the fruition of 30 years of planning and development resulting in Amsterdam, New York’s beautiful Riverlink Park.

Like proud parents seeing their child off to college, Congressman Paul Tonko and Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane were beaming with smiles as they talked about the hard work involved in turning a brownfield contamination into the Jewel of the Mohawk River. Phase one and two of the park development are complete and soon phase three construction will begin. The third phase is the much debated curved pedestrian walkway that will span the Mohawk River as a park lined with benches, plantings, trees and pictographs describing the history of Amsterdam.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Outdoors, Photography, Politics, Riverlink Park | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Springtime in Cooperstown


The weather provided perfect lighting for photography last weekend in Cooperstown, New York. Beautiful landscapes, flowers and Otsego Lake provide great subjects. This time of year the popular summer tourist attraction is relatively devoid of crowds. With just the small Canon EOS-M (mirror less) camera, I was able to enjoy the day without lugging around the usual 30 pounds of camera gear and still get some great shots.

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Categories: Outdoors, Photography, Technology, Travel | Tags: , , ,

Vertigo


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Feeling a bit embarrassed and sore today as I write this blog entry. With forced hot air heat and no humidifier, it tends to get a little dry in my bedroom on the second floor. About 4:30am I got out of bed to get a drink of water in the downstairs kitchen, the good filtered water from the refrigerator dispenser. Still half asleep, my disabled left arm reached for the handrail as my right foot missed the top step on the back staircase. The stairs are rather narrow, steep and (thankfully) carpeted. My arm never quite got a hold of the handrail as I began traveling down the fourteen steps laterally, bouncing my left buttock and right scapula alternately off each stair until I reached the bottom. My first planking experience was sort of surreal. My mind whirled as my naked body hurled towards the bottom of the staircase. Was this the end? What a dull way to go! I could have at least put some clothes on. I left my phone in the bedroom, how can I call for help? Then that 70’s commercial started playing in my mind, “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

Thankfully, the worry was for naught. A little soreness, some carpet burns and this blog entry are all that remain to remind me never to do that again!

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Categories: Amsterdam, Pets, Photography | Tags: , ,

Snowshoeing It


Three members of the Amsterdam Photography Club went on a snowshoeing photo adventure today in a gated land preserve near Johnstown, New York. The beautiful preserve provided many photo ops and the weather was perfect for our four-hour hike. My legs reminded me that I should be doing this kind of thing more often! Our gracious host provided the land and some pizzas and coconut water to recover from the strenuous hike. It was well worth the trip!

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Categories: Amsterdam, Outdoors, Photography | Tags: , , ,

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