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Opalotype, a harbinger of Spring

Historic Lanesboro

We’ve had feet of snowfall and icy cold for so long that it feels like a good time to warm up with thoughts of coming spring. Most of our Midwestern winter was spent indoors at the computer. In early January a Trojan virus hacked my firewall and opened the door to a new Exploit virus with full privileges granted to a hidden Administrator. Cleverly it looked like firewall protection was on and I was still in control–not so! Ultimately a hard reformat was the only option. On the way to that reluctant conclusion I learned to rewrite a registry and was reminded yet again that no education is ever truly free. I have a cast of helpful new friends around the globe, a fullsome respect for bleepingcomputer.com, and will be forever grateful that I keep backups current.

I’ve missed my Light Pixie alias and have big plans to post new work, including long neglected portfolio items forgotten in the busy pace of family life and creative work. Here is a first installment from a lovely, romantic autumn day in historic Lanesboro which calls itself the bed and breakfast capital of Minnesota. It’s a small town that straddles the Root River in the southeastern corner of the state and it welcomes tourists to cozy Victorian rooms, quaint shops and good food. On any normal, good weather day in all seasons, main street, quiet neighborhoods, and woodland trails will be filled with strolling couples, hiking and biking families, geocaching singles, cross-country skiers, the active and the sedentary. From the Stone Mill to the railroad bridge and everything in between and beyond will be the subject of countless vacation photos. Seats in the old St. Mane and Commonweal Theaters will be filled, as will the many shops, galleries, studios, and museums.

This was shot along Parkway Avenue outside the Lanesboro Arts Center in late October 2011, definitely heavy sweater weather. The English ivy was already tinged with frost dried leaves. The bicycle’s basket had been relieved of its summertime flowers and the wrought iron bench beyond was empty. My lens had a new 8x neutral density filter plus a UV protective filter; I’d chosen a longer exposure than the light required. The combination of old Lanesboro and the over-exposed image reminded me of an opalotype photograph printed on translucent white glass enhanced with pale, hand-tinted colors. It seemed tender and delicate like the day. Also called a milk-glass positive, opalotypes are a remnant technique, rare even from the mid-1880s when patented by Glover and Bold in Liverpool, England. My homage is not a true opalotype and was adjusted slightly in post-production. Expect to see more from historic Lanesboro in the coming days! Now available in a new Bluff Country post here:

Lens: EF-S17-85mm f/4.o IS USM; Focal Length: 24.0 mm; Exposure: 1/15 sec;   f/5.6;   ISO 200


  • Bluff country » %LightPixie% - […] Opalotype, a harbinger of Spring […]ReplyCancel

  • Jo Preston - Love this picture! I had to look very carefully to see if it was a painting or a photo, just the look of this bicycle and the effects make is sort of surreal. I for one will be glad to turn the calendar page tomorrow. My Dad died last week after a long illness, I lost a brother in February, 2009…let’s move on to March and thoughts of cycle with or without a motor!! I just truly love your work Sharyn.ReplyCancel

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