Reflections: To Polarize or Not

Based on what I have read, a polarizer is a “must have” filter when near water or when the sky is blue and filled with puffy clouds.  Or, at least that has been my “take away” when reading various articles by the experts.  Near water and other reflective surfaces (automobiles and foliage, for example) the polarizer cuts the reflections.  And when it comes to blue sky and clouds, the filter can brighten the blue and keep details in the white clouds.

In the two examples below, the polarizer was able to simplify the composition in photo #1 but cutting out the reflections being created by the surrounding vegetation.  

But just because you have a polarizer in the camera bag doesn’t mean it must be used!  I actually find them to be cumbersome to use, as the more times you screw one on and screw one off, the more likely it is that you will drop it or at the very least smudge it or the lens. In the situation below it would mean potentially dropping the polarizer in the water, so I didn’t bother with it in photo #2.

These two images are very different.  I don’t know which I like better, but my current favorite is photo #2.  That’s because it seems kind of artsy and abstract.  I guess any time a photo makes me feel like an actual artist, I like it.  YMMV.

Photo #1: With Polarizer

Photo #2: Without Polarizer


1958 Jaguar XK150 3.8L Red Convertible Coupe

This 1958 Jaguar two-seater coupe was the first thing I keyed in on at a recent "British Car Day" at Larz Anderson Auto Museum.  It would have been impossible to miss this beautiful red sports car.  And red is so photogenic.

Here are the photos I took as I strolled around the Jaguar.


Visiting Bailey Island, Maine

[Photos taken on three days in July 2016, December 2017, and July 2018]

When in Maine (along Maine’s “mid-coast”) we frequently drive south from Brunswick to explore many of the little fingers of land that protrude into the Atlantic Ocean, more specifically into Casco Bay.  One such “finger” is made up of two islands that are attached by bridges.  The first is Orr’s Island and the second is Bailey Island.

This photo was taken at the end of Orr's Island, just before
the Bailey Island Bridge

H2O Outfitters.  On Orr's Island, next to the bridge

The bridge that connects Orr’s to Bailey was built in 1928.  It is called simply Bailey Island Bridge; but it is far from a simple bridge.  It is what is know as a cobweb or cribstone bridge, and is said to be the only such bridge in the world. It is made with slabs of local (Yarmouth, Maine) granite.  The unique design of laying the slabs in a stacked and criss-cross pattern gives support while at the same time allowing tides to rush through the entire 1,150 foot length of the bridge. I have read that 10,000 tons of granite were used in the construction.

The four photos below were taken from the property of Cook’s Lobster House. In the first two images you can see the Bailey Island Bridge in the background, with the granite slabs stacked like Lincoln Logs.

Two popular photo opportunities I have found are (1) The Nubble, a bait house adorned with lobster buoys, and 

The Nubble

(2) Mackerel Cove.  We’ve enjoyed picnic lunches at Mackerel Cove in a small park next to the water.  However, as nice as a picnic can be, it is sometimes difficult to pass up Cook’s Lobster House where the fish and lobster cannot be any fresher.

At the very end of the island the road comes to a dead end at a large gift shop and parking lot.  It’s a nice place to walk along the rocks and see the view.  This bronze statue, called The Lobsterman, is a replica of one created for the 1939 New York Worlds Fair.  There are several replicas elsewhere, and I have seen one in Portland, Maine.


A Summer Visit to Bath, Maine

Laurie and I spent a few days in Bath, Maine this summer.  We visit often, usually staying at Mulberry House, a bed and breakfast on Washington Street.  

Our hosts: Bill and Diane Racine

This location gives us an easy walk past many beautiful old homes and to the downtown area for the shops and restaurants, to the magnificent library, and to the Waterfront Park where concerts are held in the summer and where the Farmer’s Market sets up on Saturday mornings during the warm months (and indoors nearby during the cold months).

This is a panorama I did of the Patten Free Library.
It is situated right at the edge of the downtown area. 

Below: Saturday morning Farmers Market at Waterfront Park

Below: Gathering for a Friday night summer concert (also on a few Wednesdays)

I like to walk in the morning and, with my camera in hand, it was nice to head downtown early Saturday and Sunday morning before the shops opened and while the traffic was negligible (about 7 a.m.-ish).

Bath is a coastal town with a rich seafaring history.  It is commonly known as “The City of Ships”.  

One of the first ships built in the "New World" was built here in the 1600s. Shipbuilding began in earnest in the 1700s, and at one time there were more than 200 shipbuilding companies lining the Kennebec river, the river providing access to the sea.  In the mid-1800s Bath was the nation’s fifth largest seaport. So much has changed, as today’s population is less than 9,000.  

Still operating is the Bath Iron Works, founded in 1884. Most of the ships built there have been for the U.S. Navy. Recently completed for the Navy was the stealth destroyer USS Thomas Hudner.  Bath Iron Works operates as a division of General Dynamics Corporation.

Route 1 is the main artery along the coast, and it crosses the Kennebec River in Bath.  On the ocean side of Route 1 is the Bath Iron Works.  On the other side is the center of Bath.  It is beautiful and classic.  I’ve tried to show that in the early morning photos below, taken on Saturday and Sunday one weekend in July.