Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lighthouse Mania

Last Saturday, I woke up early and checked to see if it was clear outside--it was, so I loaded my Canon S3 IS and the tripod into the car and headed over to Fort Williams, in ape Elizabeth, to try to get a nice shot of the Portland Headlight.

By the time I got there, there were already six other guys with nice tripods and even nicer cameras (or big guns, as I prefer to call them) set up in pristine shots pointing everywhere from out at the horizon to at the lighthouse.

I boldly set up with my little camera, and as the sun began to rise above the ocean, I snapped away and caught the image you see above. with a little noise reduction help from my dad, it came out quite well, although truly only a very classically framed shot.

I am so excited though, because I just ordered my first dSLR on Monday night! I'm getting a Pentax K10D and I can't wait to get my sweaty little hands on it and start shooting away1

The image above is another one I captured at Fort Williams--the Prince of Fundy, Portland's own "cruise ship" that sails up to Canada and back and a tiny fishing boat, going in opposite directions. Nothing brilliant. . . But hey. . .
More when I get the Pentax!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Infrared Mania!

I realized in the last week or so that once the leaves had fallen off the trees in September, all my infrared opportunities would be over until May 2008! That lit a fire under my butt and I drove over to Eastern Cemetary, Portland's oldest graveyard, dating back to the 1630s, and got three good images of graves with my Hoya R-72 infrared filter. The one above is titled Here Lyes. The one below is called Sacred, and I love the cotton candy effect in the whiteness of the trees and the beautiful wispy clouds in the sky.

I am submitting the above two images along with a third to the Spirits Alive gallery showing of artwork inspired by Eastern Cemetary. I just got the 8 X 10 prints in the mail yesterday and am really excited to take them and get them matted and framed!

I was so happy with the Eastern Cemetary shoot, that I headed to the West End, another big historic district dating back to about the 1850s in Portland, the next day around Sunset. The following three images were taken with 15 second exposures on a mini tripod set up in the grass across the street from the houses. I was amazed at how much ambient IR (infrared) light there still was at almost eight o'clock at night! The first two pictures are what I call the Gatsby Mansion, and the third is a beautiful Federal Style with a hip roof.

Once I got such favorable results at the west End, I thought, "Maybe I should go back to the East End and try to get some images of houses there!" But the one below, is the only one that seemed worth photographing, even though it was a beautiful day. There just weren't that many clouds, which are an important part of getting an interesting IR image. I like the sun flares in this image, and the low perspective it was taken from though.
For all of these photos, I decided to try something new to me--I set my camera on Sepia, so I didn't have to put each photo I liked into Photoshop, convert the brilliantly red photo into grayscale, fix the levels, contrast and sharpen it. The finished project is a lot more interesting to me, and I wish I had tried it before!
And finally, last night, after my writers group in South Portland, I set up my tripod in a parking lot right next to the bay, that looks across the water to Portland's skyline and took this image. I like how the lights of Portland are reflected on the glassy waters of the harbor, but I missed the jewel-toned post-sunset sky by about 10 minutes, AND some of the buildings are just a hair out of focus. But it's interesting, nonetheless!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Princeton University at sunset

After leaving our friends, Ross and Julie's wedding reception on Saturday the 4th of August, we changed into comfortable clothes at our hotel and then headed back in to Princeton, where we walked around the campus and I took a bunch of pictures.
It had been stinking hot the day before and it wasn't too pleasant earlier in the day, but by the time we were walking around Princeton, it was pretty nice and the air was really drying out. (In fact, the next morning, it was cool and dry!) The photo above is a view of one of Princeton's many libraries--can't recall it's name and I really wished it had been open b/c I understand it's beautiful inside too.

The photo above is the clock tower/cupola on top of the building that faces the street in the town proper. The one below is another view:

Below, is a detail of a very ornate, majestic-looking building. I liked the sunset light on the stone.

Another tower from a different, ornate building. The deep blue of the sky is a nice counterpoint to the tower.
All in all, we had a great time walking around, and I got a lot of nice pictures, but I'll leave you with these, as none of them are very "special." It was just fun to have time to walk around together on such a quiet university campus with a big history. I believe F. Scott Fitzgerald was a princeton man, along with many other famous people. I've always been a Fitzgerald fan, though, so it was cool to imagine him going to the library and penning whichever novel it was that he wrote in college. . . Over and out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Spencer Pond Memories. . .

Wow--Maya and I had such a good time visiting my mother's rental cabin on Spencer Pond last week! (The bullfrog above was our pal--he hung out by the edge of the water the whole time, catching mosquitoes and ribbiting mournfully every so often.)

Maya had a sailing lesson from Rufus:

She also did a lot of diving off the dock:

And of course, I did some night photography and early morning photography as well. This is a photo of sunset on Spencer Pond, on July 13, 2007: And below, is a picture of sunset on the 12th. I also got shots of the stars over Spencer Pond, which are kind of cool:

And this one:

I got a couple of nice images of the mist on the lake in the morning:
And this one was from the canoe ride we all took before breakfast:

We had some delicious dinners, played a lot of hands of Uno and scrabble one day because it rained, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves all around. (Ummm--Except for that spider that ran across my arm and book while I was lying in bed.) But other than that. . .
I'll leave you with one final image--this is how much fun we had:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fruit Shoot!

Yesterday, I had a fruit shoot. Maya and I had walked up to the Rosemont Market for lunch and I bought some local strawberries and raspberries for dessert (actually, I really just wanted to take pictures of them, but I knew we'd all be happy with eating them later, too. . . I used my macro function and came up with these images, which I'm quite happy with:

I call this one Fruitiverse 1 and the one below it is Fruitiverse 2. . .

I also took a couple of pictures of other vegetables that I like, although not as much as the berries. Below, you'll find The Onion Family and Worth its weight in gold. Hope you like them!

Misty morning at the Portland Farmer's Market Ends in Insult!

Okay, so I just used the headline to grab your attention, but it did end with an insult. Read on to find out. . . This morning, Maya and I headed out to the farmer's market in Monument Square. I got a bunch of pictures I liked.

It was really misty and cool but there were tons of people buying strawberries, new potatoes, shelling peas and root vegetables.

When we were walking out to go back to our car, I saw this great big BEAR of a man with a really awesome dSLR of some sort slung carelessly around his neck and I pointed to my own camera and said, "Hey, looks like we're doing the same thing!" He took one look at my camera and sneeringly said, "Yeah, but I'm probably making more money. . ." What a wanker, right? I thought afterward that I probably could've gotten away with a snappy, "Yeah, but I'm probably having more FUN!' But of course I didn't say that. . .

I call this one: "Oh waiter, there's a bug in my salad!" Well, it was a fun morning anyhow, and we bought local!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Night Photography Expedition ends with Spider Attack!

I went out last night to have some fun with night photography after I put my daughter to bed (don't worry--dad was with her!) I drove about five minutes away to what I like to call Airport Bay, which overlooks the highway (I-95) and the Portland International Jetport runway. It was about 9:10 pm when I propped my camera up on top of my Honda CR-V on its little tripod and did about an 8 second exposure to get this jewel-toned shot. Not award-winning, I know, but I like the colors and the clarity of the water, and the way the car headlights on the highway made one long white line. Here's another from the same series below:

Like it? It's a bit simpler. . . Still not rocket-science though, I know. . . Next, I headed to one of Portland's historic districts, Stroudwater, to capture a shot of Stroudwater Bay. This is where the "King Pines" were loaded onto ships to go back to England and be made into masts for King George's boats back in Colonial days. I looked for ghosts, but only caught the lights of a plane trailing across the shot in the upper right hand corner. Check it out below: The first is the original, the second, the original lightened in Photoshop: I would've kept trying different shots if I hadn't noticed a gigantic WHITE spider crawling on my foot. That pretty much killed anymore excitement I had about getting "the perfect shot." And finally, today, I trotted back out to Stroudwater (once again only five minutes away) and took Infrared pictures of the falls with my Hoya R-72 filter. I like the one below the best:

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Our trip to Moosehead Lake

We camped at Lily Bay State Park last weekend (June 29th to July 2nd, 2007.) This was the view from the edge of our campsite, #34W, just after sunset. It looks really peaceful, and I thought we were in for a lovely stay at that campsite--but the next two days were so windy and cold our tent blew down five times during the day! (Fortunately, never while we were in it.) I was really happy with this picture though. I put the camera on its mini-tripod on a rock a foot or so in the lake and set it for a 30 second exposure. The long exposure picked up the fading sunset light and made the lake look silky and smooth. Believe me, it was the last time it looked like this!
The next night, we drove down the Lily Bay Road to Kokadjo. There's a sign at the edge of town reading, "Kokadjo, Population: Not Many!" And it's true--if you blink too long, you're past the bulk of the town, which seems to consist of a general store and a few houses. Very cute. We drove a little beyond it and stopped at Lazy Tom Bog (above) near sunset. It, like the picture above, looks so peaceful and serene, and I am very happy with this picture, too. But what you can't see is the MILLIONS of black flies and mosquitoes buzzing around my head, which was covered with two hoods and cinched tight around my chin to keep them out! Maya was fishing below to the right, which you can't see in this picture, and she stood still and let the bugs eat her alive. The poor kid is still covered with red bites on her back, head and ankles! But she was thrilled to get to use her little fishing rod and we all watched the fish jumping out of the water to catch the black flies over and over.
On the way back from Kokadjo, we saw this moose calf, nestled by the side of the road, while its mother grazed and drank from a stream. We saw 9 moose throughout the trip, which was quite the thrill! We also saw pheasants, geese, ducks and a bunch of brown hares, that ran away every time we even looked at them.
The picture above is sunset the second night. As you can see, the water was MUCH choppier, and it was really cold out and of course, super windy!
This was the view of Moosehead Lake from a really ritzy neighborhood that was being built high up on a hill in Greenville, Maine, near Lily Bay State Park. It was a great vacation, cold, wind and all!

Friday, June 15, 2007

How to build a better lemon drop

So yesterday, my brother gave me some suggestions on how to improve my high speed captures. Even after I got the images I posted yesterday, I was still possessed with the idea that I could get the ultimate SPLASH! So I set up again, thinking about the physics of the burgundy glass I'd used before. I wondered if the inward curve of the burgundy glass had been diminishing the amount of splash I could achieve, so I switched to the glass above, which has an outward curve. VOILA! That was all I needed to get the image above. Now, my brother has suggested that a black backdrop would be even more dramatic. When I get back from my writing conference next week, I'll have some work to do!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

High Speed Photography

This morning, I decided to experiment with high-speed photography. At first, I was trying to capture limes and lemons dropping into a wine glass at 800 ISO and 1/3200 second speed. The effects were super grainy. After talking with my brother, he suggested turning the ISO as low as it could go but keeping the shutter speed up. So I turned the ISO down to 80 and kept it at 1/3200 second. These are the photos I came out with.

To the right is another effort at 80 ISO, but below, is what would've been my favorite photograph because of the amazing wall of water surrounding the top of the glass, but it was taken at 800 ISO and therefore, super grainy. I include it because I couldn't throw it away! It was Maya's last day of 1st grade, so I decided to devote most of the morning to photography before I lost my daylong "freedom" for the summer.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fun in the garden

I was inspired by a photo of a dandelion clock I saw recently, so I decided to do my own experiments with the macro function and a dandelion. I kept trying to catch one of the seeds blowing away in the wind, but the only one I managed to get came out blurry. Still, I love the blue sky background and the rainbowy effect of the silky seeds. I also got pictures of some amazingly brilliant single flower peonies next door to my house. (See Below) The crazy colors haven't been augmented by me or photoshop in any way.

When Maya got home from school this afternoon (there are only 2 more days of school left before summer vacation!) she let me take a couple of pictures of her in the dress we bought her for her school talent show that happened this morning. She played Ode to Joy on the piano. Below is one of the pictures.


welcome to my world!

Blog Archive

cfw photography store