saratoga snapshots blog

October 2011 Archives

New York Barns.

As an architectural photographer I find barns incredible structures. Most built before electricity and power tools they stand all alone against the elements.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Peters Road Barn glow.jpg
barn 6.jpg
barn 9.jpg
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R001 Barn Corn 1.jpg
WrR Barn (3).jpg
george barn 1.jpg
Drop me a note if you come across any special looking barns. I'm happy to take a road trip!


Image and Sound


If you only go to the track in the afternoon on race day....there is something important that you miss. It is something that every true horse person will tell you, stirs the blood like nothing else. It is something that as an image maker is nearly impossible to convey. But I have decided to try.

Picture yourself, standing at the track rail in the very early morning light. You are distracted by the cold, by your breath showing in the air, by the colors of the sights around you. And then, you hear it.....da-da-dah.....da-da-dah.....thundering towards you. It is the sound of a lone horse, coming from your left, running in a full out gallop to come past you on the track. As the horse passes you, you hear the rhythmic sound of their breathing to accompany those hoof beats. NOTHING I have ever known makes me as excited as that sound.















Perfection....Can you hear it?.........







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When I moved to Saratoga Springs ten years ago, riding a horse probably wouldn't have cracked the top 20 items on my bucket list (if I actually had such a thing).

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a little trail ride at win$um ranch

Now 10 years later, not only do I own 2 horses and ride them every day, but most of my friends are also "horse people". I have come to know them as "The New Cowboys". These Cowboys are regular people, with regular jobs, who ride, rope, chase cows and anything else horse related, whenever they can. 

5.15.10 Horse Show Grain 10 small.jpg
george peters-horseman extraordinaire-retired school teacher, owner win$um ranch

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george 1-2.jpg
alex morency-high school student

burt schwab-owner-union coachworks, auto repair/saratoga springs

5.15.10 Horse Show 28.jpg
carol moon-retired Director of Greenwich Chamber of Commerce

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carissa brunelle-college student

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3 moms at cattle drive time

mark & P mcwayne.jpg
and that's me-architectural photographer- and mr. peabody

You'll be meeting many more "New Cowboys" in future posts. I'd really appreciate it if you can leave a comment below!

Thanks for looking.

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Down on the Farm

We used to live in Greenfield on a 10acre horse farm. The house was alleged to have been built in 1819, and was the 4th house built in that area. We lived there for 3 years. It was so peaceful and quiet. Except for the ghosts. We had many events during our time there. Footsteps, shadow figures, doors slamming, voices. It was pretty amazing. Luckily, we are not afraid of that kind of stuff, and the spirits, who ever they were, were not malevolent. I suspect they were the original owners of the house, since they are buried not far from the house. Perhaps they were just not done living there! Anyway, it was a pretty cool place to live. Here are some shots I took while I lived there.

Bee on FlowerA bee on a flower.

DSC_0326.JPGOne day a flock of turkeys came to visit.

DSC_0339.JPGOne of the fences. There were a lot of them!

One of the many sheds on the property.

DSC_0341.JPGWhile we lived there, we had chickens. It was nice to have fresh eggs every day. This is one of the roosters. (No, they don't lay eggs. They just make noise!)

DSC_0353.JPGDandelion. There were lots of them!!

DSC_0380.JPGHere are a couple of the hens with the rooster.

DSC_0423.JPGA run in shed for the horses.

DSC_0438.JPGThis is the cemetery near the house. Known as the Wood Cemetery, and named for some of the inhabitants. The earliest graves date from the late 1700s. I think some of these folks built the house we lived in.

DSC_0445.JPGOne of the inhabitants of the cemetery.

Cengage 820.jpgOne of the horses grazing.

DSC_0012.JPGThere were lots of butterflies.

DSC_0456.JPGOne of the pastures and the rock wall.

So it was a very cool place to live. A little far out for me though and it was up on the Palmertown Mountain, which was a little dicey in the winter. A lot of history in the area, and a lot of wildlife. Deer, turkeys, coyotes. It was cool to lay in bed at night and hear the coyotes howl. I heard there were bears in the woods behind the farm, but I never saw one. I kind of miss the place.

Just a random shot that kind of captures the essence of fall. Colors, reflections, and a feeling of peace and tranquility.


The Colors of Fall

Here, in upstate New York, people are looking for the Peak Color on their trees. I'm not sure when that will be, and no one really knows how much color we will get after all the rain this summer, but be sure, we will be watching. Here are a few images to wet your whistle, and  inspire you to get those cameras (or iphones) out!

Post 2 fall Colors01_.jpg a sure sign of fall

DSC_0010.jpgbroadalbin, new york

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lake luzerene, new york

Post 2 fall Colors03_.jpgPost 2 fall Colors04_.jpg
2 from north umberland, new york

farm_2.jpgjohnstown, new york

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lake vanare, new york (thank you swans!)

Post 2 fall Colors06_.jpgft. ann, new york

Post 2 fall Colors07_.jpghudson river, new york

So get outside, for the next couple weeks, and enjoy the sun and the color. 

E-mail me any great shots you take and I'll show off your best.

Happy hunting!


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I think Fall might be my favorite season. There's the crispness to the air. There are the pumpkins, and apples, and fall feasts. The heat of the summer is gone. The mosquitoes aren't, but nothing is perfect right? The nights are cool. The light is different too, due to the earth's rotation, the sunrises are more colorful, as are the sunsets. Then there is the foliage.

I enjoy the wispy greens and bright pink and white colors of spring, and it's the season of hope and renewal.But to me Fall is almost like the last hurrah before we go into the deep freeze of winter. Kind of like Nature's Mardi Gras. So here are some shots of the party:




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For years I have heard people wax poetic about the morning light at the Oklahoma training track. I guess I was kind of jaded as I did not quite believe them. But yesterday...this cynic became a believer. Although I had to leave home at 5:30 to get there at 7:30am - I have to tell everyone who will listen - the light in the early morning at Oklahoma - is AMAZING. 









And the ponies keep watch over it all






There is less of an age gap in the mornings.....


And those who love their jobs, freely show it....



They were right, you know, there is nothing so beautiful as Oklahoma in the early mornings.



As a new contributor to the Saratoga Snapshots Blog  I thought I should introduce myself.

Thumbnail image for Mark Pea Feet.jpg

that's me on the left and mr. peabody on the right

I've been an architectural photographer for 25 or so years, making a living photographing houses all over the county. If you'd like to see some of that work it's at I've also had much of my work featured in national magazines, books, and in local galleries.

26. River Ext.jpg

our renovated farmhouse

I live on a small farm, in a 220 year old Farmhouse on the Hudson River (we just finished the renovation), just outside Saratoga Springs, with my lovely wife Lu, and our 2 horses, Mr. Peabody & Leroy, and Jerry the Goat.  

Here are the official portraits of all of us. Yup, OFFICIAL!  More about "official portraits" somewhere down the road.

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 me and lu (this our official wedding portrait-25 yrs ago)

 Post 1. Official Portraits 03 .jpg

mr. peabody

Post 1. Official Portraits 05 .jpg

leroy & jerry the goat
"where's mr. peabody?"

I'll be sharing with you, on a regular basis, some of my photographs, and thoughts, and might even throw in a photo lesson every now and then.

Mr. P and I will be scouring the land, making some interesting photos to share with you.

Post 1. Official Portraits 04_-2.jpg

 my little slice of the hudson river

Let me know if you have anything specific you'd like to see, and feel free to comment (good or bad!).

See you next week!


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Saratoga Snapshots Bloggers

Mark Bernard photographs Saratoga scenes and events and will be adding compelling photos from the area. To see more of Mark's work visit his Website.

JT Gilbert loves to photograph the world around him. From long exposures to HDR, color burns to black and whites, you never know what you are going to get. Website.