Do you have a good camera and don't know how to use it?
I can teach you all the buttons, dials and menus you can handle.
Start taking photographs that you like!
Hands on instruction: 1 person-$60/hour and a half; 2 persons-$100/hour and a half
Contact me: klmilstein@aol.com

Friday, November 14, 2008

Torrey Pines State Park, California

There is nothing like exploring and photographing desert like environments in the spring! It is so exciting to see the color in naturally brown and dry places like Torrey Pines State Park. Just north of San Diego yet still within city limits is this breathtaking natural reserve right on the California coastline. This state park is home of the rare Torrey pine tree and offers miles of beaches and walking trails. The views from the overlooks are stunning. I hope you can feel and see some of the beauty of this place as I experienced it in March. For more information check out their website at http://www.torreypine.org/

I only have space for five photographs per post. If you want to see more pix of Torrey Pines then go to my Flickr site: www.flickr.com/photo/kathleenmilsteinphotography/

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Deep Sea Fishing off Plum Island

I love to bring my camera on family outings! It keeps me participating even if what we are doing is not my favorite thing in the world.

What can I say about deep sea fishing? My husband and my son love it! It can be peaceful, frustrating, boring, and exciting! A photographer is always welcome to come along. That's the good thing about photography - even if the activity is not really your "thing", if you bring your camera you are never bored!

We had all the "right stuff" for a potential catch-it-yourself dinner: the boat, the bait, the fishermen, the patience... But somehow we ended up with lobster for dinner!

When you are shooting on the ocean don't forget to bring your lens hood to combat solar flare, a circular polarizer and I suggest fast shutter speeds because everything is always moving. Also, remember that the ocean spray has salt in it, which can be potentially hazardous for cameras. You could use a rain sleeve and you'll find yourself wiping off the filter you use to protect the lens quite often.
If you want to see more shots of Plum Island, Mass. go to my Flickr website:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Canobie Lake Park at Night

My kids have grown up with Canobie Lake Amusement Park. It is a small, beautifully landscaped and fun, family atmosphere park that feels a lot like Disney World. It began as a pleasure park at the end of the trolley line in Salem, New Hampshire in the very early 1900s. The original roller coaster is still there as well as an exciting new one with a loop de loop! Now this is not on the scale of a Busch Gardens but over the years it has grown to include some really scary rides! And the food is as bad as any amusement park you have ever been to!

Last month when Pearl (http://www.photographybypearl.com/ ) suggested we try it as a night shoot I immediately loved the idea. We headed up there with our tripods and cameras in tow for an evening of fun!

This was the first time I had ever done anything like this. I have not even tried fireworks. I recommend it, though, because there is nothing that will teach you faster about capturing movement with long shutter speeds. The lights are amazing and give some wonderfully abstract effects! If you use an aperture of about f22 the bright white lights will automatically give you a star effect. Try zooming in or out at the same time as the shutter is open for light trails.

So I think I'll head over to the midway at the Topsfield Fair this October and do it again. Happy shooting!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse, Maine

I have a friend who lives just south of Portland, Maine. Mary knows all the picturesque places to go for a day on the coast of Maine and enjoy a lobster lunch. We decided to drive to Two Lights State Park which features Cape Elizabeth Light and The Lobster Shack!

After lunch we set off on foot to explore the unusual geological formations of the coastline. Rock ledges rise steeply from the ocean in a jumble of huge broken boulders and slabs. What a playground! The ledges are metamorphic rock, which is deep sea sediment (sand and mud) hardened through pressure and heat into layers of rock. These layers have an interesting wood grain quality. Minerals in the rock recrystallized into mica, chlorite, phyllite and quartzite. What powerful stresses caused the fractures and threw it all up into a jumbled mass! This is a great place to scramble and climb and, of course, to photograph. The four of us enjoyed the unusual landscape and each other's company.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Newburyport, Massachusetts

On a lucky Monday evening during a break between thunderstorms I was in the seaport town of Newburyport, which is located at the mouth of the Merrimack River. Yes, this is the Merrimack River of the Industrial Revolution in our old history books! Newburyport was first settled in 1635 and became a town in 1764. It is now a thriving, picturesque tourist destination north of Boston with the nickname of Clipper City. Any evidence of the docks and ship building industry are gone today replaced by a beautiful water front park and whale watching boats.

I shot the city from across the river as the sun went slowly down. Then I climbed up the Highway 1 bridge and kept on shooting. This bridge is a great place to watch the fireworks of Yankee Homecoming! The light was warm and reflected off the shiny surfaces of boats and water. It was so much fun that I think I need to do it again!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sunday River, Maine

Sunday River is a beautiful place in all seasons. The ski area borders Grafton Notch State Park through which the Appalachian Trail passes on its way to Mt. Katahdin. A hike can take longer than planned when you bring your camera! Make sure your family and friends are the patient type!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Along the Great Bay in New Hampshire

On my way every week to visit my parents I drive up to Portsmouth, NH and inland to where the Piscataqua River meets the Atlantic Ocean. A large inland body of salt water has been created there called the Great Bay, which is tidal. One can view salt marshes as well as great expanses of water dotted with islands and boats of every size.

The bright summer day that I shot these images presented an exposure challenge. How does one strike the right balance between fluffy white clouds in a very blue sky and the shadows of the foliage? I have always heard: Expose for the highlights and let the shadows fall where they may. That is good advice but some work in PhotoShop is always required.

That day I really experimented with locking the exposure on one part of the scene and recomposing the image before shooting. I had much more control over exposure. I have also learned to lessen the brightness of my LCD and to use my histogram as I'm checking my images.

When I first started using my digital SLR I used the auto mode exclusively. The auto mode is very limiting but it took several classes to learn how to use the aperture preferred and shutter preferred modes. My goal is to become proficient enough to use the manual mode often!

I'm happy with the two landscape images above. The image of the shells was fun to play around with in PhotoShop and I used the posterize filter to add depth and contrast.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

This month I acted as TA to my favorite teacher in a class she taught at the Newburyport Art Association. The class was an intensive 4 hour a day week long class for teens. It was so inspiring to watch them work and create. I came away with renewed creative energy and a few images of my own.
Every photographer benefits from taking a class or teaching a class now and then. I found myself brushing up on my skills and adding to my creative bag of tricks. I have never done any abstract work before and I found that I have an interest in it! Take a look.