Saturday, January 30, 2016

All Eyes On

I find it entertaining to attempt a "background of spectators" while photographing alpine ski racing.
Today offered the opportunity mostly because I couldn't find a "clean" gate to shoot.
In hindsight I'm glad I didn't find one.  The characters would change up throughout the mens run….

but the eyes were still all on.

Makes me think it would be fun to shoot a race of just "spectator" observations.  Could be a fun idea to tinker with at some point.

Either way I shoot it - it's always a fun day on the hill!



Thursday, January 28, 2016

Life's Illusions

In the dead of winter
I love how this photograph
can make you feel
like you are looking
out at a summers' day

Leavitt Beach
Meredith, NH
January 2016



Time Honored Traditions

Annual Ice Harvest with the crew of Rockywold-Deephaven Camp  Holderness, NH

A "wonderful" time honored tradition!



Tuesday, January 26, 2016

One Word ~ Depth

                                                                       dedicated to tw


Monday, January 25, 2016

Paint Your Canvas

Each photographer or artist is unique.  
Our heads wrap around things that interest us whether that be visual, emotional
or preconceived concepts. 

 Life is not always a clear definite path that you walk with surety….
more often than not it is a path that shows not the end but a foggy glimpse of what lies ahead.
Tempting you to explore into the unknown that lies beyond.

 My friend Carole asked to join in on the nature challenge.  As with each day prior I selected a photo that had a connection with the person I was nominating.  So for this 7th and final day my photos have a painterly feel.

I have enjoyed this challenge.  Upon first being nominated I had every intention to go shoot a new image each day after my initial day 1 post.  Work and life are full and instead I pulled from my archives.  In looking back over the week I'm glad that I did.  Not only did I revisit images throughout the past 8 years I also learned a little bit about myself in the process.

It's great to go where the wind takes you.
Just be sure to bring all the parts of who you are along on the journey….



Sunday, January 24, 2016

One Cog in the Wheel

Facebook is a great place to share photos and conversations with friends.  "Friends" including people you've known for years, those you have just recently met and those that you only know through the channels of social media.

This photo of Mount Washington as viewed from Bretton Woods depicts the Grand Dame of New Hampshire in all her glory.

I met Gina through a mutual friend at a recent Patriots game and chose her for the challenge not only for her love of hiking and the great outdoors; but also for her comments on previous images within the challenge.  We all "scroll" through other peoples lives through the jungle of social media.  I appreciate those that stop and take notice with a comment.  Especially one with feeling - whether it be humorous, bearing a critique or simple kindness.

So to all the "cogs" in my small wheel I say thanks.  Those short comments connect us and take us to the top of the mountain side by side.

A much prettier view when enjoyed together.



Friday, January 22, 2016

Up With the Sun

I'm an early riser.  More so now as I'm getting older.  I laugh for all those years I needed an alarm clock set for 6am and now that I don't have so many early morning commitments I still rise before the sun unassisted.

When I travel I have always been of the mindset to get up and go.  This trip was no different.  A workshop in Maine on Light Work.  More of the strobist kind but during my personal time I would rise early and be in search of pretty light in its natural glory.    This is the view from my room on one of those mornings.  Luckily I was only minutes from the sea and was able to scramble in time for one of the most beautiful sunrises that I've ever witnessed.

Sunrises wake you not only with their visual splendor but they also wake up your inner self.  They allow your day to start peacefully and with a calmness difficult to describe.  They put a spring in your step!

This next photo was from a Trail Work project I did a couple of years back.  Again an early morning walk in the woods.  It was a foggy, warm day and the light and colors were spectacular all around me.

I found these delicate little flowers along the rivers' edge.  The trees above them looming.  They caught me in a way to make me stop, lay down on the ground and spend a few minutes with them.  Memories of my boys when they were younger bringing a handful of these delicate blooms to me came to mind as I lay in the cool moss.

Small things that make you happy…..



Thursday, January 21, 2016

Around That Bend

An impromptu trip to California to meet up with my friend Cathy who was on a two week business trip.  Our weekend was an opportunity to travel the coast of Northern California outside of San Francisco down to Big Sur along the rugged coastline.  

We made a pack - if you see something say something and we'll stop.
Needless to say we stopped "frequently" and our walkabouts lasted for hours.

Beautiful countryside that sits precariously along the rocky shore.  As lovely looking towards land as it is looking towards the sea.

Of course Cathy will always throw a bit of fun into our day - "Karen, go lay in that hole in the rock"
Made for good laughs and fun memories
with a little Thelma and Louise twist!

On this day Cathy had to go back to work.  I was on my own.  I've traveled solo during my time working with Penny Pitou Travel and honestly I am usually not 100% in my comfort zone.  I like a buddy with me.  I think it's more to share the experience with than the fear of going it alone.  But certainly there is an element of fear and reserve when I'm solo.

Off I go in my rental car to the coast starting at Half Moon Bay.  Car warning lights go on and I ask where the closest gas station is and am directed just down the road.  The gas station was closed so on I went in search on the next one.  Pulled in to find another gentlemen putting air in his tires.  We chatted he helped me we said our goodbyes and were both on our way.  A quick phone call home to "check in" and a renewed feeling of confidence as I was back on my way exploring.

First stop that caught my eye was San Gregorio State Park.
It had a small parking lot that opened up to what looked like a river coming in and a bridge in the distance.  Nice photo opportunities I thought ~ so I gathered my gear and took a walk towards the beach.

Never could I have guessed this scenario.  The upper part of the cliff (that looked flat from the parking lot) opened up around the corner to this beautiful expanse of beach and rock.

This photo speaks as to how I was feeling.  I was rounding a bend with a feeling of freedom and wonder.

I didn't think it could get much better than this

…Oh grasshopper   ;)

As I walked along the beach area there were dozens of students from the Academy of Art school in San Fran working on a photography project.

 I was not alone at all.  Had a blast talking with these folks and taking photos of them working.

I was meant to stop here.  We get pulled in a direction during our everyday lives - not knowing why and what the outcome will be.  Sometimes when we stay the course the rewards are beyond measure.

This was one of those times…..

Click to see more from our      California Tour



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Stormy Weather

2/7 Landscape challenge
"Coming Through the Fog"

 Photographers are not fair weather friends ~ that's what I love about us.  This is a photo that really has to be looked at to be seen.  It was taken from a fireworks display on Hampton Beach.  The fog was thick - so much so that my camera and lens were dripping wet and had to be wiped off frequently through the bursts.  What I love the most about this photograph is the people stretched along the beach.  As I said you have to look closely - the depth of the crowd comes only when you focus in on them.  The fireworks were lack luster and the weather deplorable but we were still all there enjoying the evening together.

This second image shows an interior of a restaurant in the North End of Boston.  When I look at it I find Etta James song "Stormy Weather" wafting around in my head.  The color - the mood - the style all bring it forth.  Her sultry style brings the photo of the woman at the bar to life.

Photos do that they bring a moment to life.  I recently watched a video with Sam Abell and he talked about photos in this way.  Not all photos have a life ~ and some have a long, deep life.  Some may not have a life until you revisit them years later.

You trust people -- you trust life -- if they invite you and it seems strange you go anyway….



Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Landscape On the Fly

I have been asked by fellow photographer Ian Raymond to join in on a Landscape Challenge.  Posting a series of landscape photos for seven days and joining another photographer in on the ride each day.

I do not consider landscape photography my forte.  I struggle with it.  Don't get me wrong ~ I always enjoy going out and shooting landscapes.  We live in such a beautiful area that offers lovely vistas around every turn.  This is more me - my lack of patience.  I tend to shoot "on the fly"

So for Day 1 I offer this photo named "On The Fly"

Taken from a bus bringing us from Grand Junction to Aspen Colorado in 2010.  We were flying into Aspen to meet our son and watch him compete in the Junior Olympics for ski racing.  Flights into Aspen were cancelled due to high winds.  A frequent occurrence at this small airport in the Rocky Mountains.  A quick divert to Grand Junction followed by a three hour bus ride back to our final destination.  Made for a long day of travel.  But the plateaus and rugged country of the high desert were gorgeous and caught my eye.

This was another shot that caught my eye.  A day of flying up in Plymouth, NH with friends.  Flying above offers a different perspective and allows you to see things you would miss from the ground.  While above I noticed this river winding around with a lush crop of trees in its center.  It looked lovely to me and was worthy of a photograph.  I was drawn to the beauty of the greens and their simplicity balanced by the depth of texture from the trees.

I'll be inviting my friend Sandy to join in on the challenge on day 1.  I met Sandy a couple of years back at a workshop with Jay Maisel at Maine Media.  We delved into the world of "street photography" for the week and had a blast.  Last year she took a workshop dedicated to architecture and her work is just beautiful.
Oh!  the places we will go…..



Sunday, January 17, 2016

Ski Racing Action at the Rock

Finally back on the hill for alpine ski racing action.

Between Mother Nature and a few scheduling conflicts this was my first "race day" at GSC.

Great action on the hill in the slalom gates….


with a little creative color thrown in for fun! 

I've often thought of photographing the flush - could never quite get it how I wanted….until today!

High speed needle threading  ~

Always drawn to goggle reflections ~ especially when accompanied by such a warm smile ~

Happy Day!

First run photos are uploaded to my website   Second run coming soon!



Saturday, January 16, 2016

Good Balance

The balance between shooting and
seeing my work in print.

A Good Balance!



Cardinals on a Winters' Day ~ not the bird the Team

I had a request from my editor for some "art".  Didn't have a direction and I wasn't automatically coming up with an idea so I went about my day figuring something would come to me.  Took a walk over at Ramblin' Vewe with a friend.  Did a few errands in town and drove by a couple of options that didn't present anything that tripped my trigger.

An idea crossed my mind from seeing some cardinals just after the first of the year and thought they would be beautiful to photograph.   Sent a message to my friend Bill to see if I could stop by and see if, by chance, the red birds would be visiting their yard today.    We watched a few nut hatches and a squirrel but not a cardinal in sight.  Then the idea came to me to see if Bill would be up for some photos in his "Fenway Room".  He instantly obliged and we headed to the basement.

This room in Bill's basement is dedicated to the history of American Baseball.  Personal memorabilia dating back to his childhood days up to a present day visit last Spring to Cooperstown with a few of his baseball buddies.

The more we talked about items in this space the more Bill's demeanor elevated.  His eyes were shining, his mood happy and his smile grew wider.  This is not just a room in the basement - this is a room filled with photos, memories and games that have filled Bill up for most of his life.

I can honestly say thank you to the "bird" cardinals for not making their appearance today.  My visit with Bill amongst the St Louis Cardinals and their fellow teams made my day a home run in a much more personal way.

Play Ball,


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bringing Ideas to Light

Ideas swim around in our heads all the time.  Some come to the surface while others are pushed down into the depths never to see the light of day.

This is the year to pursue those ideas that normally would get pushed to the depths.  Seeing the "light" is so much kinder than following the "darkness".

Feel free to share an idea that you would like to see "come to light…"



Monday, January 11, 2016

Into the Land of Fairy Dust

Emily, Kim and I have done multiple projects together over the years.  You could say we've grown together in the love of our crafts.  During our last shoot Emily threw out the idea of a fairy shoot.
Didn't take me long to have concepts starting to brew inside my head and in that process I came up with a couple of pairs of "fairy wings".  That was about as much as I got nailed down.  The rest was a wonderful collaboration between the three of us.  Kimberly does Emily's hair and finishing touches on her makeup.  We work together to come up with an outfit and then I style the lighting and props to pull it all together into a photograph.

I couldn't be happier with this series.  I'm not saying that I perfectly executed each photograph ~ but I'm learning and adapting and coming up with artistic renditions combining the creativity from two wonderful women.  My basement looked like a cyclone went through it.  But during these two shoots we had fun….laughed and made our ideas come to life.

Emily is a natural in front of my camera.  She's watched me grow in my confidence as a photographer and I've watched her grow as a model.  I'll present something crazy like a corset using birch bark and she'll accept it with enthusiasm as well as patience as I build it piece by piece.   I enjoy the fact that we don't have everything thought out ahead of time.  Working together is what makes these sessions flow so well.  

 So into the Land of Fairy Dust we traveled.  It was an adventure unlike most others - curiosity with an eye for color and mood - with a bit of fog thrown in for intrigue~ !

Discussion that came about for our next outing   ~~~  mermaid !



In a Smoky Room

One Word ~ Smoke

This preliminary photo was to see how I would capture smoke billowing up.  I set up a candle with a backlight gelled blue.  Thought I had it all figured out for when I was ready to start my "smoke" photo.  Oh grasshopper how little you know….

The lighting setup  ~  I had a medium soft box directly overhead to shed some light on me - keeping the feel of a smoky room.   Second light was set to camera right.  A Speedlight with a blue gel doubled up and set to 105mm zoom.  I was pleased with the blue cast and was on my way to lighting up and having a smoke.

Of course I don't smoke so I put a match head into my cigarette holder to create the illusion of a lit cigarette.  Each time I blew out the match the smoke would only last for a couple of frames at best and did not go straight up with all my activity and movement.

Still I was able to come away with a photo that worked out.  Found it quite enjoyable working with the gels to create mood.  In lieu of setting off the smoke detectors I refrained from using the small smoke bombs I got.  I can see this one revisited in warmer weather when I can shoot outdoors….
It'll be smokin'

….in a smoky room.  The smell of wine and cheap perfume…..

My journey is continuing to evolve ~ feeling like I'm on a good path.



Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Final Final ~ Story #6

Story #6

Spending time with friends - we have a saying - The Final Final - one last stop before heading home.
Before leaving Maine my "final final" was a visit to Rayr Wine Shop in Rockport.  I found this little gem last summer and it will be a staple for me each time I return to Maine.

I enjoy wine ~ I'm certainly no connoisseur ~ but I do enjoy trying something different.  Walking into a liquor store I get overwhelmed and usually choose on the basis of the physical bottle (aka label) which sometimes works out okay and other times is a bust.

At Rayr, the owner Jason greets you upon arrival.  I will tell him what we like and he'll offer recommendations along with brief descriptions of each wine's characteristics.  His enthusiasm for his product is engaging and makes the visit a fun experience.  "you'll love this one…this one is bold and funky…. "  We have a fun exchange.  This is his business but you can tell it is his passion as well.

I enjoy people that speak with passion in their voice.  That spark that comes to their eye with engagement from knowing someone else is interested in what they have to offer.

Four bottles wrapped and bagged for a future "Final Final"

Salute!                              … to be continued



Friday, January 8, 2016

Right Out of the Gate ~ Story #5

Story #5

I've come to realize as a photographer I'm quirky.  What I find amusing is just that ~ it's what I find amusing.  It may not amuse or appeal to you and that's okay.   Different strokes for different folks and all that hullabaloo.   Something sparked inside of me as I opened the shutters of our room and noticed this smoke stack in early dawn and one window with the light on.  I had just gotten out of bed and resisted the urge to grab my camera right off.  But I will admit it was just moments later when I again looked out the window to see a man sheet rocking the walls in that one lit room.  I couldn't grab my camera fast enough.  That was a trigger if I ever saw one.  Might not have triggered everyone but it triggered me.  Heck - who wouldn't be triggered by watching a guy slinging mud!

After watching him pass by the window a couple of times I packed up my gear and we headed off to breakfast.  It gave me that feeling that it's going to be a good day.  I was dropping Jim off at the mountain for 815 and didn't have to be back until 430.  Wasn't sure how I was going to fill my day or where it was going to unfold so off I went with a sense of adventure, that "good day" feeling and my trusty GPS.

At the end it was just that ~ meeting new people and sharing  ~ connecting and creating stories ~ a good day indeed!



Visit With A Friend ~ Story #4

Story #4

Stopped in to see my friend K who I met last summer.  It was a work day for her so we kept it brief and made plans to catch up this summer when I revisit.   Her suggestion was to head over to Beech Hill.  A short walk that opens up to an expansive view of the ocean above Rockport.

K asked how my infrared work was coming along.  My response - sadly - was that I wasn't making the time for it as I should.  I don't like to say that response.  If you want to do something you will always "make" the time.  So even before I parked the car I knew I would be taking the infrared camera on this walk up Beech Hill.   The best way to learn is to try ~ I've got so much to learn combined with a great willingness to try.

K described it as a short walk that opens up to views of the ocean.  It was simple yes but spectacular in its simplicity.  Stories of photographers walking up with headlamps at night to view the Northern Lights.  I'm optimistic that this summer will present itself with an evening up on the "hill".

Once you crest the hill you are treated to this most lovely stone structure.  A wraparound porch with stone archways and moss covered roof.  It fits perfectly and offers a place to sit and relax and breathe in the view while enjoying each others company.  

A I was walking down I thought to myself this is just as lovely.   The mountains in the distance offered a more familiar view like home.  Jim was over on Camden Snow Bowl participating in a coaching course.  This was the catalyst that brought us to Maine.  Not my photography this time - although my day was filled with doing just that on this small hill while Jim was doing what he loved over on the big boy hill!