One Photo: Backlit Lobster Boat

This image was quite a surprise to me.  I wasn't sure I liked it at first, but a week or so ago I posted it on Instagram and Facebook anyway. I was pleasantly surprised at how many people liked it and took the time to comment.

I do enjoy taking backlit photos from time to time, as they are challenging.  However, in the back of my mind I keep hearing my father instructing me not to aim toward the sun.  The trouble with that is that if you avoid shooting into the sunlight, you miss the shot!  Especially with digital cameras, isn't it better to "take the shot" than to not take the shot.  You can always dump it later.

I do actually find the lighting on the inside of the lobster boat attractive, or at least appealing.  What you see here was helped by the Shadows Slider in lightroom as it otherwise would be a bit dark in there.  But it's the reflections off the water that annoy me, as being distracting.  Nevertheless, most of the comments on Facebook were about how they liked the sparkles on the water.

Backlit Lobster Boat
Panasonic GX80/85 with 100-300mm zoom @ 228mm
1/2,000sec, F5.6, ISO 200
In Lightroom I made ample use of shadows slider
and added some dark vignetting


One Photo: I just emailed this photo to LLBean, 50 years after its purchase

One Photo:  I just emailed this photo to LLBean, 50 years after its purchase

Boots for my birthday!  This is a photo of my classic LLBean “Hunting Shoes”, bought fifty years ago this past week, on my 18th birthday. I was a freshman in college “just up the road a piece” from the LLBean Freeport store. That was the only LLBean retail store back then. 

Because it was open 24 hours a day, we college students loved visiting it at all hours.  I remember that the sales people wore plaid flannel shirts and had Maine accents.  Mostly I remember camping, fishing, and hunting gear. Some clothing was also available, but none of it was the “fashionable” clothing that is sold today. 

The Freeport store today occupies the same spot in town… plus some.  But it has been so significantly redesigned that it is hard to remember how it was set up way back when.  I do remember a long set of wide stairs that brought you up to the one-floor showroom on the second or third floor.  I may be imagining that the first (and second?) floors were for warehousing or even manufacturing (shoes?).

I remember fifty years ago this past week, as a newly minted 18 year old,  taking my birthday money to Bean’s for boots. This is the pair I returned with. Not a winter goes by that I don’t wear them. They are my favorite boots for snowblowing and shoveling.  The leather uppers are still in great shape. I have replaced the rawhide laces several times. The bottoms are a bit slick and ought to get re-soled. I’m guessing that LLBean still provides a resoling service. My workaround for the slick soles is to pull on a set of YakTrax, which work like adding chains to vehicle tires.

All I can say is it’s amazing how fast fifty years has gone by.  Life seemed so simple back then as a student in Maine.  Jeans, flannel and wool plaid shirts, hunting shoes, no cell phone, no calculator, and pay telephones that swallowed quarters.

"LLBean's Maine Hunting Shoe" 
Purchased in 1967
Panasonic GX80/85 and Olympus 12-40 F2.8 @ 40mm
1/60sec, F5.6, ISO200
Olympus 36R flash via TTL


Pastel Colors At Sunrise

A 6:00 a.m photo at the edge of Penobscot Bay, Maine, moments before sunrise.

I generally like sunrises with a bit of drama, such as cloud formations that pick up the morning colors.  But I nevertheless found this more subtle sunrise to bring to me a certain calmness and tranquility.  I think it's all about the range of colors here, and the gentle gradients created by the shifting colors and tones.  It makes me think of pastels... and orange sherbet.

Olympus E-M1 with 12-100 F4 zoom @ 54mm
1/10, F4, ISO 400

After this image, the colors began to fade and I thought the show was all over.  It was my time for a second cup of coffee and I put a couple of more logs on the fire in the cabin.  But 45 minutes after this shot, I looked out on the water again, this time just to the right of the small sail boat, and saw the scene below, with the starboard side of the lobster boat facing east into the sun.

Panasonic GX80/85 with 100-300mm zoom @ 162mm
1/200sec, F5.6, ISO300


One Photo: A Glass Of Ice Water

We were having a candlelight breakfast at the Mulberry House B&B in Bath, Maine.  The presentation of all the food is beautiful there; however, this glass of ice water caught my eye the most on this particular morning, with the back lighting coming from a candle behind the glass.

"Ice Water"
Panasonic GX80/85 with Olympus 14-40 F2.8 zoom @40mm
Aperture Priority with Auto ISO
1/100sec, F2.8, ISO 320
Vignette added to darken the background


Schooner "American Eagle" out of Rockland, Maine

After taking the photo below I wanted to identify the schooner.  I couldn’t quite make out the name across the bow even when zooming in on my computer monitor; but after spending some time with google and photos of the various cruising schooners around Camden and Rockland, Maine it became obvious that this is the “American Eagle”.

The American Eagle was built in Gloucester in 1930 and was the last fishing schooner built there, this being an auxiliary schooner as it was (and is) powered by both sails and engine.  She is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places (as of 1991) and is a National Historic Landmark (1992).  I have read that she is the last known surviving vessel of this type.  She is 92 feet long on deck and about 20 feet wide.  Outfitted for passengers, looking at the schematic diagram on the Web site http://www.schooneramericaneagle.com, I counted thirteen double-occupancy passenger cabins.

She was purchased by John Foss in 1984 and converted for cruising, spending summers in Penobscot Bay (where I took this photo) on 3-7 day cruises.  I have included below some details from the Web site.  Interestingly, I read in “Yacht World” (I can’t figure the date of the posting) that the schooner is (or at least was) for sale for $750,000.


Moody's Diner For Lunch, Waldoboro, Maine

Moody's Diner started as a lunch wagon on old Route 1 in Waldoboro in 1928.  (However, Moody's started operation the prior year when Percy and Bertha Moody began offering three cabins to travelers for $1 per night.)  The lunch wagon has expanded over the years to its current size.  Even today, it is family operated and employees include children, grand children and great-grand children!

We find more and more that our trips to Maine are timed to reach Moody's for lunch.  There is usually a line but it moves quickly.  Often there are spots at the counter available for your immediate occupancy.

Sometimes I get a basic hamburger and fries.  On this day, it was a bowl of fish chowder and warm biscuit.  A slice of fresh pie is mandatory, with wild blueberry being a staple.  (Though the slice shown here is 4-berry pie, as I decided to be a bit adventuresome!)

If you are driving along Route 1 north of Bath, you simply must stop at Moody's.  It's a classic.


A Visit to the Farmers' Market, Bath Maine

On our drive up the Maine coast a couple of times a year, we have taken to spending a night or two in City of Bath (population 9,000).  Known for the Bath Iron Works, Bath has a quintessential Maine downtown area on the north side (upriver side) of the Route 1 bridge, with BIW being on the south side (ocean and downriver side) of the bridge.  

The nearly 3,000 foot long Sagadahoc Bridge over the Kennebec River as viewed from Waterfront Park.
On the far side of the bridge is the town of Woolrich, Maine.

Our stops in Bath have usually coincided with the Saturday Farmers' Market, which sets up at Waterfront Park, from 8:30-12:00, May through October.  (The winter indoor venue is about a block away, November through April.)

Though the veggies always look great, we are more likely to leave with local cheese and bread. So far, I've avoided the pie vendors.  Maybe next time... I can't hold out forever.

All photos below were with the Olympus E-M1 and 12-100mm zoom.


A Quick Visit To Reid State Park, Maine

Reid State Park is Maine’s first state-owned saltwater beach, having been given to the state in 1946 by Walter E. Reid. Its sandy beaches and sand dunes are rare items in Maine.

My pictures were taken on and around Griffith Head, looking north along Mile Beach.  I’m looking forward to returning in warmer weather to explore Half Mile Beach and the Little River.

This is my favorite image today.
Panasonic GX80/85 with Olympus 12-100 @ 100mm
1/6400, F4, ISO 200

The Lagoon (see map) looks like a great place to play for children, as the water is quieter and warmer than the open ocean.

I’m not a birder, but I understand that there are many nesting areas for several species of endangered birds. Least terns and piping plovers were mentioned in several references.

Also fun to watch would be surfing.  The Boston Globe Magazine rated Reid State Park as #1 (in 2015) in New England for surfing. We did see one surfer way in the distance.

The best looking beach plums I've ever seen!

Saw this mismatched set on the beach.  I wonder who has the other pair?
Mile Beach

So very healthy
Looks like it might be good for surfing.


Lightroom Continues To Amaze Me

There are plenty of things which frustrate me about Lightroom.  Mostly it's about the slow downloading speed and the need to wait (lag time?) before you can see each of the changes made with the sliders.

Nevertheless, every time I move the highlights, whites, and shadows sliders I am amazed with the results you can get from a RAW file.  These sliders were added to Lightroom in 2012, I believe, and to much acclaim.

The two images below are 800 pixel wide files I exported from Lightroom as jpgs.  The scene is that of stacked lobster traps.  I took the picture because I liked the pattern of grids and ropes.

The first image is based simply on the "Adobe Standard" profile that is applied by default on import. The second is the result after using the sliders in the basic panel, in particular the highlights, whites, and shadows sliders... with a bit of clarity, vibrance and saturation to taste. A touch of straightening was applied.

The basic panel adjustments really brought out the colors of the lines and ropes.  Perhaps it looks a bit "over the top", as I don't think I really saw all those colors while I was squinting in the bright light.  Nevertheless I like the look of the processed image.

As far as gear goes, the camera and lens combo was the Panasonic GX80/85 and Olympus 12-100 F4 zoom.  The image was taken on a bright sunny day at about noon, so the light as you can see was very harsh.  Nevertheless, the histogram in Lightroom shows that all pixels were within the dynamic range of the sensor... except the tops of some of the white ropes which were overexposed.


Panasonic GX80/85 with Olympus 12-100 @28mm (56mm equiv)
1/80sec, F8, ISO200