View 359: Walt, the Loch West Monster

Wooden and metal art sculpture of a serpent named Walt, the Loch West Monster, found along the Creekwalk in Syracuse, New York.

Wooden and metal art sculpture of a serpent named Walt, the Loch West Monster, found along the Creekwalk in Syracuse, New York.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm Focal Length, Intensify Pro.

Walking on the Creekwalk near West Fayette Street in Syracuse, New York, I came upon the blue serpent sculpture you see here. An example of public art.

I got curious as to the serpent’s origin, I did some snooping on Google. I found out the sculpture was given the name Walt, the Loch West Monster after a naming contest back in 2011.

I used the Soft HDR filter in Macphun’s Intensify Pro to pull out the texture and shadows.

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View 358: Spring, Finally!

A couple takes a break on a bench to enjoy the view of the Syracuse skyline at Onondaga Lake Park near Liverpool, New York on Saturday, April 18, 2015.

A couple takes a break on a bench to enjoy the view of the Syracuse skyline at Onondaga Lake Park near Liverpool, New York on Saturday, April 18, 2015.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 400, EV 0, 180mm Focal Length.

While upstate New York have had some warm Spring days over the last couple of weeks, last weekend was the first since the Fall of 2014 when both days were warm and dry. Many people took advantage of the weather to visit Onondaga Lake Park near Liverpool, New York to enjoy being outside without heavy winter coats.

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View 357: Syracuse Nationals

On April 10, 1955, the National Basketball Association (NBA) finals went to a seventh game. The location was the Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse, New York. Built less than four years prior, it was to host the biggest sporting event in its young history.

The teams playing the game were the Syracuse Nationals and the Fort Wayne Pistons. Each team had won their three games on home courts. As it turns out, the seventh game was no different but it went down to the final seconds and a comeback by the Nationals who were down by 17 points in the third quarter.

Members of the 1955 NBA champion Syracuse Nationals  (from left to right) Dolph Schayes, Billy Kenville and Jim Tucker presenting their championship rings given to them by the Syracuse Crunch at the OnCenter War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Friday, April 10, 2015.

Members of the 1955 NBA champion Syracuse Nationals (from left to right) Dolph Schayes, Billy Kenville and Jim Tucker presenting their championship rings given to them by the Syracuse Crunch at the OnCenter War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Friday, April 10, 2015.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 800, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length, flash.

Last Friday was April 10, 2015, 60 years to the day the Syracuse Nationals won. The Syracuse Crunch, along with its owner, Howard Dolgon, celebrated the 60th anniversary at center ice where the wooden basketball court had been. I had the honor of photographing and meeting three of the four living Syracuse Nationals players Dolph Schayes, Billy Kenville and Jim Tucker after they received their rings. You see, back in the NBA of the 1950’s, players got commemorative water buckets. Rings are so much better.

For more about how these men enjoyed and appreciated the gifts, read Syracuse.com columnist Sean Kirst’s article: After 60 years, rings and thanks for the Nats, our NBA champions: ‘This is what Syracuse is’

While I would not be born for another fours years later, I do have a personal connection to to the game. My father and uncle attended and was part of the 6,000 plus spectators on hand to witness the Nationals winning the NBA championship. Over the years, my uncle and father often talked of being at the game.

To see how the Syracuse Nationals did it, view the video below. Did I mention that in the 1954-1955 season the NBA used the 24 second clock for the first time and that it was developed in Syracuse?

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View 356: Flying Pucks

When photographing ice hockey games, I try and get the puck in the frame. Lately, the puck has been acting like a prima donna. Always trying to hog the shot over the players.

The puck flies right at the author when Adirondack Flames goalie Brad Thiessen (39) fired the puck around the boards against the Syracuse Crunch at the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Friday, March 13, 2015.

The puck flies right at the author when Adirondack Flames goalie Brad Thiessen (39) fired the puck around the boards against the Syracuse Crunch at the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Friday, March 13, 2015.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/800s, f/4, ISO 2800, EV +1.7, 24mm Focal Length.

In the above photo, I am safely behind the safety glass at this end of the OnCenter War Memorial Arena ice surface. On the other end, I have a photographer hole which gives me better and sharper images and an opportunity for the puck to leave the playing surface and into me.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers goalie Kevin Poulin (60) flips the puck past Syracuse Crunch Yanni Gourde (37) and towards the photographer hole at the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Friday, March 27, 2015.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers goalie Kevin Poulin (60) flips the puck past Syracuse Crunch Yanni Gourde (37) and towards the photographer hole at the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Friday, March 27, 2015.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/1000s, f/4, ISO 2800, EV +1.3, 24mm Focal Length.

If that wasn’t enough, a few minutes later another puck was directed towards me. In both cases, the puck missed my location.

Syracuse Crunch David Broll (15) takes Bridgeport Sound Tigers Kevin Czuczman (24) into the boards as the puck again flies towards the photographer hole at the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Friday, March 27, 2015.

Syracuse Crunch David Broll (15) takes Bridgeport Sound Tigers Kevin Czuczman (24) into the boards as the puck again flies towards the photographer hole at the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Friday, March 27, 2015.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/1000s, f/4, ISO 4000, EV +1.3, 32mm Focal Length.

I know someday the puck will hit me or my equipment which is why I always have a backup lens and camera with me at the games.

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View 355: Springtime for Oswego

A couple enjoy a meal from Rudy's Lakeside next to ice locked Lake Ontario near Oswego. New York.

A couple enjoy a meal from Rudy’s Lakeside next to ice locked Lake Ontario near Oswego. New York.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/80s, f/16, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 63mm Focal Length, Intensify Pro.

At a balmy 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4C) with sunny skies yesterday, cabin fevered people did not mind eating outside next to tons of ice and snow at Rudy’s Lakeside near Oswego, New York. After the coldest February on record, March has been unseasonably cold, too. The ice on Lake Ontario still goes right to the horizon in all directions.

Ice and snow on Lake Ontario as seen from Rudy's Lakeside near Oswego, New York.

Ice and snow on Lake Ontario as seen from Rudy’s Lakeside near Oswego, New York. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 24mm Focal Length.

The air was crisp, cool and clear enough to see both the Oswego Harbor West Pierhead Lighthouse and Nine Mile Point Nuclear cooling tower.

The Oswego Harbor Lighthouse and the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Power Plant cooling tower as seen from Rudy's Lakeside near Oswego, New York.

The Oswego Harbor Lighthouse and the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Power Plant cooling tower as seen from Rudy’s Lakeside near Oswego, New York.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.6, 120mm Focal Length, cropped.

How is Spring where you live this year? Maybe the next time I share photos from Lake Ontario there will be open water.

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