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

Sunday, December 8, 2013

New Hampshire - White Mountains Fall Color!

Leaves, glorious, leaves!  For landscape photography you can't beat the fall!  The White Mountains National Forest of New Hampshire has it all: lakes, ponds, waterfalls, tiny picturesque villages and colorful foliage!
Again, I opted to join a few other photographers on another Slonina Photography tour.  I did not know the area well and after 4 days of driving the highways and byways of the White Mountains I mapped out a few of my favorite places to return next fall.  I purchased a map of the area and each day I highlighted our route with a different color highlighter.  This helps me do 2 things.  First, when I want to know exactly where I made an image, I just consult my map and easily remember the name of the lake, waterfall or town.  Second, I can re-create my route at another time for other great images.

Eaton, NH
Albany Covered Bridge

For this trip I upgraded to two essential pieces of gear.  First, I bought myself a bigger backpack with enough dividers and pockets to really organize my stuff.  I did a lot of shopping online and read many reviews before I ordered.  I was not disappointed!  I still used my little fanny pack for quick access to small essentials.  
Secondly, I upgraded my tripod with a quick release and an L bracket.  These two items allow me to take my camera easily on and off my tripod and to easily switch my shot from horizontal to vertical while maintaining the same viewing angle.  So easy and it saves my arms from stress!  Check out this online company: Really Right Stuff.

Silver Cascade Falls

Chocorua Lake 

Twilight north of Gorham

Next fall, I'll continue to explore the beautiful scenery of the White Mountains Nat'l Forest.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

End of the Summer Drive to Maine

Let's go for a lobster run!  We'll make a weekend of it!
Driving from the northeastern most corner of Massachusetts close to Interstate 95 and the city of Newburyport up to Maine is a short 20 minutes.
But the beautiful forests and coastline of Maine  beckons us to explore further.  There is the cheapest lobster for sale just around the corner and the most gorgeous views with storybook lighthouses and fishing villages to photograph!  It's what summer is all about in New England.

So we loaded the car with stuff our son forgot to take with him to Maine Maritime Academy and drove off to find the tiny town of Castine.
They say in Maine, "You can't get there from here!"  Exactly right!  Why, you ask?  Take a look at the coastline map and you will see a wilderness of fingers of land jutting out into the Atlantic with the rare bridge to connect them.  When one drives the coastline it is from west to east and back again only slowly inching north.
Needless to say, we took the faster inland route until the last few miles of spectacular ocean scenery.  We love the fresh salty air and seafood.  One variety store for miles might take some getting used to but I'll take it over not a single Dunkin's or McDonald's!  We got the lobster too!

  The one Castine Variety Store.

Organic lobster?  I hope so!

Picture perfect clouds!

  The State of Maine is a very large training ship shown in this photo and the one below.  You can make out the wannabe sailors in blue shirts.  Sailing and scuba diving classes are also offered as well as such majors as marine biology and international business.


  I'll leave you with this...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Destination Workshops - Why do it?

Acadia Nat'l Park - shooting beavers

This past winter I saw a brochure at one of Scott Kelby's Photoshop for Photographers live seminars in Boston for a workshop in Acadia National Park in May.  I had never been to Acadia despite 20 years of living in Massachusetts.  I was dying to go!  I was dying to photograph it all!  And I have learned that it is generally hit or miss when you visit an area like that for the first time - it takes years to know where the good shots are!
The brochure advertised 4 days of expert guidance and instruction in Acadia with a small group.  It looked good and wasn't too expensive - several hundred dollars- transportation, hotel and food not included.  I can drive the distance in 4 hours and I talked my husband into coming along for the fishing.

I am not kidding - this was the best decision I ever made!  After 2 days of shooting every sunset and sunrise I found my groove.  I became used to my tripod, which I used all the time.  I was becoming more adept at choosing which lens for which shot.  My composition improved and I was having a great time with nice people!  Our guide, John Slonina, was knowledgable and we felt like we were on the grand tour of Acadia.  I told John I had definitely gotten over a hump!

I learned about light, composition and setting up your shot correctly instead of depending on PhotoShop to rescue you later.
John encouraged us to keep shooting as long as the light is good.  He said that when you think you are done shooting, keep on looking for a new perspective.  There is always more to shoot.  He is right.

These shots are two perspectives of the same place shot minutes apart:

Schoodic Point - Acadia Nat'l Park May 2013

I learned to crop as you shoot by moving your body and your camera first and zooming second.

By following John around I learned a lot about composition.  I am happy to say that most of my shots are completely my own.  Many are compositions he pointed out to me as is this one of the birches:

Wild Garden - Acadia Nat'l Park 2013

I love this shot at sunrise on our 4th day near Oyster Bay.  I turned around and there it was!  I entered it into a show this summer at the Newburyport Art Association and it won an Honorable Mention.

Acadia Sunrise - 2013 by Kathleen Milstein
I have signed up for another workshop in October.  This one is fall in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  Who knows?  Next year it might be Tuscany or Provence!  Try it!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cadillac Mountain Sunrise Club

4:31AM June1, 2013
There are times when it is worth it to get up at 3:45 to join other sunrise enthusiasts on the top of a mountain.  This was one!
Between early October and early March Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is the place to go to be the first to see the sun rise in the United States! True and undisputed!  But you'll have to do it before the snow falls and the road closes.
Then you can buy yourself a bumper sticker that reads, "Cadillac Mountain Sunrise Club!

You won't be alone.  Contemplators and camera buffs alike will line the ridge overlooking the ocean and islands.
Alone I might never have done this but I signed up for a four day workshop at Acadia led by John Slonina of Slonina Nature Photography.  Six of us dragged our tripods and cameras out of the van at 4:15am and hoped for brilliance.  We were not disappointed.
I am a workshop fan now!  What a great way to learn, meet people and have fun!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Shenandoah National Park - Fog is Fun!

I was lucky!  Yes, very lucky to begin my drive through the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with a day of fog, clouds and misty forests.  True, I could not see for miles down into the Shenandoah Valley and we had to stick to the 35 mph posted speed limit.  But the fun I had taking pictures in the forest with logs and trees looming up out of the mist was worth it!

You've heard this before from other photographers I'm sure.  When Mother Nature does not cooperate and you don't get the weather you had expected it's an opportunity to stretch your creativity.  Go with it!  Embrace it!  Have fun!  Stop and think for a minute about your camera settings.  What is the ISO?  Should I change it?  What about white balance?  Do I want to shoot on automatic or possibly go with aperture preferred or shutter speed preferred.  A photographer makes a photograph.  A photographer does not take a photograph.

It was gloomy but also beautiful in the woods.  When I got home and was editing my images in Photoshop CS6 I decided to stay with gloomy.  However, I was not absolutely sure how the images would look on my blog because I have a laptop and the exposure changes as I tilt my laptop's top!  My next big investment will be a separate monitor so I don't have to guess.  More later!

This is a small but beautiful national park and frequently is foggy and hidden by clouds.  I highly recommend driving, hiking and fishing the length of it especially in spring or fall.  Pray for "bad" weather!