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Start taking photographs that you like!
Hands on instruction: 1 person-$60/hour and a half; 2 persons-$100/hour and a half
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Friday, December 12, 2014

The Marsh - September and October

September 16

Autumn months arrive and the marsh colors are slowly desaturating.  Colors are a little browner and the cattails explode in fluffy beige seeds.  The foliage starts to fade away as birds fly southward maybe pausing at the marsh for a day or two.  The trees are beginning to turn to their fall colors and I am anticipating some bright fall photographs.

September 16
The red berries have popped out on the bush that I usually put in the foreground.  This shot at sunset shows how much of the grasses are starting to die away.  
In October I ventured into the woods that are off to the left of the shot above.  It's a little easier now to make my way off the path and explore what the marsh looks like farther away from the road.

October 3
This is fun!  A new perspective!  Yet I am within 5 yards of the water.  I wonder what it will look like back here in December.  I will have to wait.  

October 3
Here come the reds and yellows in the trees.  A nice contrast to the blue water.  It's amazing how different this shot looks from just 2 months ago.  

October 10
A week later the marsh looks almost exactly the same in the shot above but now look down to the foggy day five days later and the trees have lost many more leaves.  Fall colors are rampant!  The berry bush in the foreground turned to yellow and red.  I wonder why the birds haven't eaten the berries?

October 15

October 15

When it's a foggy day just grab the camera and go!  Easier said than done!  I have gone to work or appointments many times rather than shoot.  But I love to shoot on foggy days!
These are my last photographs for October.  I planned a trip to Acadia National Park to hike with the family.  We viewed the Milky Way from the top of Cadillac Mountain.  Fabulous!  I need a lesson in how to photograph stars! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Senior Portraits at the Beach - Plum Island, MA

Ever been asked for pro bono photography work?  It's worth doing if it's not your normal thing as a photographer.  Portraits are way out of my comfort zone.  But natural light is not.
I had a blast with my friend's granddaughter planning what kinds of shots she wanted.
We didn't know where to start until I found a great webpage that gave us 47 Amazing Senior Portrait Ideas at Buzz Feed by a Buzz Feed staffer!  She picked the ones she liked.  We planned shoots around those ideas.
This is our version of the beach idea we found in the 47 Ideas article:
I picked her up at 6am and drove to the beach as the sunrise was just beginning.  It was cold so we brought blankets and warm clothes for in between shots in and out of the water.

Did I mention it was cold?!  She thought so too!
We ended the morning with breakfast at Friendly's.  I had fun doing this with her and she loves her photos.  It was an opportunity for me to grow as a photographer.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Marsh - July and August

It's been a hot, rainy summer, which cleans growth periodically.  I have been spared taking photos of that dusty, gray, droopy look.  The lily pads, algae and cat tails are beautiful!
July 10
July 10

It was difficult to work up the motivation to keep looking for different perspectives on the marsh this month.  I want to show the transitions from season to season and find different views of this lovely area.  Can you hear the "but" coming?  Bored comes to mind and challenged!  There are only 2 July dates.
July 25

July 25

July 25

I regained some momentum in August!  It helped to start out the month with photographs of Canada geese.  The colors are starting to mature into darker greens with some dead or dying foliage.  August storms threatened the skies.
Aug 5

Aug 23

Beautiful sunny days with puffy clouds are beach days and give great reflections in the marsh waters.  
Aug 16
You know summer is ending in New England when the purple strife blooms.  Purple strife is an invasive species to our area and can change the ecosystem considerably.  Most people like it!
Aug 23 Purple Strife

Aug 27 sunrise
Fall is my favorite season.  I think I said that about spring too!  I have been photographing this place for 9 months.  Most of my photographs feature reflections.  There are two times of the day when lakes, ponds and marshes are still enough for reflections: early morning and early evening.  Prime time to get out there with a tripod and shoot!  I just wish I would figure out how to anticipate a beautiful sunset already!!

Regata Storica in Venice!

The Venetian Regata (Italian spelling) Storica is truly a festive and colorful race held every year on the first Sunday in September.  What a wonderful surprise to find out we would join local Venetians and tourists in watching the parade and races.

We were lucky to get seats with a view to the right of the beginning of the races near San Marco Square (below) and a view to the left of the Ponte dell' Accademia (bridge above).

The Regata Storica is the main event in the annual "Voga alla Veneta" rowing calendar. Rowing has been practiced in the Venetian lagoon for thousands of years and today it is particularly well-known for the spectacular historical water pageant that precedes the race.  It commemorates the welcome given in 1489 to Caterina Cornaro, the wife of the King of Cyprus, who renounced her throne to live in Venice.  Scores of typically 16th century-style boats with gondoliers in period costume carry the Doge, the Doge's wife and all the highest ranking Venetian officials up the Grand Canal in a brightly colored parade. The golden winged lion of Venice appears on numerous flags displayed on boats and villas lining the Grand Canal.

The races follow the parade.  There are five races beginning with young rowers in twin-oared pupparini.

Next is the women's twin-oared mascarete race.

Then the six-oared caorline race followed by the international universities boat challenge.

And finally, the most popular race of the twin-oared gondolini! What an exciting afternoon!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Marsh - May and June

Spring arrived in May.  This is the month all us New Englanders wait for - soft breezes and and pale green.  Earth smells alive.  The marsh is alive.  What a joy to photograph this season.  Sunrise is early - darn it!  Let's begin with May1st - foggy and still and moody.

May 1

I drove out early the next day to catch a sunrise and was rewarded with this beautiful scene.

May 2

A week later the marsh is greener.  It smells greener and a little softer but the rotting stumps in the marsh are still spiky and offer great contrast.  This photograph so far is the only one I like in black and white.  Thanks to Nik Silver Efex Pro, which pays particular attention to each color channel and renders a beautiful black and white version.

May 8

Here it is in the original color.

May 8

Two weeks later the marsh is wearing a completely different look!  The green takes over and the trick is to contrast green growth with blue sky.  

May 27

The water flowing through the marsh is now murky and full of algae and new growth.  Interesting in its own way because the marsh flora seems to be falling over itself to get a drink.  There are now many sunny days and I avoid those for photography.  The light is too harsh and the shadows too deep.  Better a softer cloudy day.  Hint: if the sky is boring (grey) then don't include it in your photograph! Look at this one, no sky!

June 4

I cannot see the sunset from my house.  I also cannot figure out what conditions make a good sunset.  So I have asked my friends to call me if it looks good.  This evening I was sitting in a friend's gazebo and suddenly it was happening!  Raced to my car and I caught the color just in time.  Luckily my camera and tripod were in the car.

June 16

June 16

The last photo for June is to show you the street I am standing on when I photograph this marsh.  Pretty crazy right?!  Cars whizzing by and me trying to set up my tripod right on the bridge!  

June 24

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Lighthouse Day in Maine

 There are 37 historic lighthouses in Maine!  It's going to take me a few years to visit them.  This summer day in July I joined a group of photographers to drive the coast from Portland, Maine south to York, Maine.  We started and ended with 2 of the most iconic lighthouses of the coast of New England.  Above is a photograph of Portland Head Lighthouse.  Built in 1791, it is the oldest lighthouse in the state of Maine and sits on a head of land at the primary shipping channel to the entrance of Portland Harbor.  The midday sun was bright (2pm) but the clouds were wondrous!  Below is my wide angle photograph from the other side of the lighthouse.  In the span of half an hour the wind had transformed the clouds.

We drove south to Prout's Neck Bird Sanctuary.  Lovely pebbly beach and lots of ducks in the water.  I experimented further with my wide angle and I like the results.

Further on south to stop at Biddeford Pool.  Hiking out onto the East Point Sanctuary affords a nice view of Wood Island Light.  The wind came up and the sky filled with clouds.  No golden light yet as it was only 4:30.

Cape Porpoise, a lovely little town just north of Kennebunkport is a nice stop also where I took this picture of the leaning tower of lobster traps.  No lighthouse but a lovely little bay and a good restaurant.  

The weekend traffic through Kennebunkport conspired to almost make us late for a glorious sunset at Nubble Light.  Nubble Light is the nickname for Cape Neddick Lighthouse near York, Maine.  We caught the light and it was a stunning end to our lighthouse day.