4.15.2016

Sunrise and a photogenic lobster boat

Over the past year I have printed several of my favorite Maine coast sunrise photos. Below are a six of my sunrise favorites.

No. 4 was printed for a photo club contest last month, no. 2 was printed 18" wide and mounted and framed for a colleague entering retirement, and no. 5 was printed 20" x 30" and framed for my office.

Let me explain why all the images have the same boat it them.

My wife and I spend a couple of weeks each summer in a cabin on the edge of Maine's Penobscot Bay. The cabin faces east, which is perfect for sunrises. We're on a cove that has one photogenic boat in it. It's the "Sea Keeper", a classic Maine lobster boat. And I seem to find a place for it in many of my images, not just sunrises.

I suppose I should spend more time roaming the coast looking for other sunrise viewpoints, but at that hour in the morning I think I'm doing pretty well just grabbing my camera backpack, a fold-up chair, and a big travel mug of coffee... and making my way down to the rocks at water's edge or to the fisherman's wharf a hundred feet away, and fighting off mosquitoes as I await the sunrise. 






This richly saturated sunrise is printed 20" x 30" and is framed in my office:


This final image was taken from a slightly different perspective.  As I recall it was low tide and I was able to walk along the rocks.  I was intending to take pictures facing east, but when I looked north I saw this scene and was quite pleased:



4.03.2016

The ski season is almost over. What a bust for us in New England

It was a terrible ski season here in New England.

In reviewing my pictures (all taken with a cell phone or little point and shoot), I see that my first day out was not until February.  And now it is April 3, and most areas are closed.

During the past week I did get two fine days of skiing under my belt, however.

Last Sunday (a week ago) it was at Waterville Valley. There were 40+ trails open and the morning skiing and views were made memorable by a thermal inversion. Waterville was closed Monday through Thursday, and reopened for its $1 lift ticket, April 1st celebration on Friday. Yesterday (Saturday) was their final day, and they were only able to run one lower lift and had just 3 trails open. The three days of 70 degree temperatures this past week didn't help.

Waterville Valley last Sunday: fog at the bottom of the mountain
Waterville Valley last Sunday:  breaking through the fog

Waterville Valley last Sunday: Sun at the top!

My favorite from Waterville last Sunday.  I would have waited for
people on the lift. The silhouettes would have been nice.
But this lift wasn't running.




Before the 70 degree weather arrived, I skied a nice day at Cannon on Tuesday. There had actually been snow on the upper mountain during the prior 24 hours which provided some winter conditions, with spring skiing on the lower half.

Cannon this past Tuesday: winter conditions on the top half.

Cannon last Tuesday.  Spring conditions on the lower half.
Shot looking down Gary's trail.
I don't think I have ever skied Cannon without ice on Echo Lake.


Cannon is open today (Sunday) but will close Monday through Friday to conserve snow, to then open again next weekend. I'm optimistic because it looks like we'll have cold weather this week with a wee bit of snowfall.

RANDOM SKI PICTURES

Some of the pictures I have included below show how little snowfall we had. You can see bare ground in the woods. Waterville received only 58" of snow this season.  Cannon I believe received the most in New Hampshire at just under 100".  I'm not sure what is normal, but I see that Mad River Glen (closed most of the season because they do not have snow making) normally gets over 200".

Next three images are from Mt. Sunapee:

Add caption



The remaining images are from Waterville Valley:



My favorite rest stop: Schwendi Hutte.  Waterville has the best sweet rolls and cookies. (Well, perhaps tied with Sunday River). A big mountain cookie is mandatory during an 11:00 coffee break.Waterville's coffee is also the best.





3.05.2016

challengeofnaturephotography Part II: A week of posting images of "larger" animals

Not all of these would be thought of as large animals.  The two ducks in particular.  But during this past (and second) week of posting nature images on Instagram and Facebook, I chose to pick animals that were "larger" than the prior week when I self-imposed a restriction to post only closeups and macros.


Bottoms Up.  Two mallards feeding in the pond right behind my office.

One of three grizzly bear "cubs" hanging around with its mother.
Near Banff, Alberta Canada

Elk cow cleaning calf. Photo taken on the outskirts of Jasper, Alberta Canada

Bald Eagle portrait

Mule Deer. (Ears as big as a mule.)
Photo taken at dusk inside Mesa Verde National Park

Buffalo and calf.  Jackson, Wyoming.





2.28.2016

challengeofnaturephotography Part 1: seven days of small animals and plants

I was recently challenged by a friend on Facebook to post a nature photo per day for a week.  It was all about fun and I have been enjoying seeing many existing (and a few new) friends posting their images as well.

I learned from my daughter how to post images on my Instagram page while simultaneously posting images to Facebook. That makes it really easy to be on both.  At least for me it is easy, because all I post is photos and perhaps a few remarks about a photo.

My Instagram thumbnails from last week:



It was fun to go through my Lightroom catalog looking for nature images.  This was helped by the fact that all my nature images are outlined in green borders.  So, all I needed to do was to use the Lightroom filtering mechanism to isolate all the images with green borders.

I love macros and closeups so I chose seven from the catalog.  (And I am currently posting a second set of seven images on Instagram and Facebook... this time larger animals.  My Instagram page is open for anyone to view.)








2.21.2016

Olympus FW 4.0. Focus Stacking. 60mm macro. F4 with interval at "4"

The other day I reported (here) on using the new focus stacking feature available on a couple of Olympus cameras.  I used the EM-1 and 60mm macro (120mm equivalent) with a focus interval setting of "2" (range is 1 to 10) and an aperture of F2.8 (maximum lens aperture) to keep the background as blurry as possible.

Yesterday I tried the above gear at F4 and an interval setting of "4".  The "4" places a greater distance between focusing planes for each of the 8 bracketing shots. To prevent blur lines between focusing distances I experimented with F4, rather than F2.8, for the greater depth of field provided by a smaller aperture. The backlit palm frond (picture #2 below) shows sharper focus throughout compared with the image taken with with F2.8 at interval "2".

Since I want the blurriest background possible, the next experiment will likely revert to F2.8, but perhaps with an interval of "5", as I have seen "5" recommended on the internet somewhere.










2.09.2016

First Snowfall in Historic Concord

Last Friday, was the area's first snowfall and the day ended with some beautiful post-storm light that made for awesome picture-taking, as I reported in my prior (yesterday) post.

Saturday morning was a beautiful day-after-the-storm.  The sky was a deep blue when I had my morning coffee, so I thought it would be a good idea to go exploring for pictures.

I ended up walking through Concord's Minute Man National Historic Park, which includes the Old North Bridge.  By then the sky had become a bit milky (off and on), but I did get four images I like:





2.08.2016

After the First Snowfall... A Golden Evening

I'm sure not everyone is thrilled with a foot of heavy snow.  But as a snow lover, it made me smile last Friday when the first storm of the season came and Laurie and I could hunker down, have a fire in the fireplace, and drink hot chocolate. (Plus we did not lose electricity like some 35,000 others in the state!)

Things got even better by about 4:30 when the storm slide by and we had some beautiful golden light. I was reading when Laurie called out that I should grab my camera and go outside.  I am so glad she noticed what was happening to the light!

Lots of people saw a similar light show, as there were many images sent into local television stations and several of my friends posted similar images on Facebook and Instagram.

I captured these views across wetlands surrounding (on two sides) our house: