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Showing posts from 2012

Beavertail at Low Tide: Photo Critique

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It seems I've forgotten about Jamestown a lot recently.  I'll either be shooting in South County or in Newport, but not very much on the island in between.  One of the greatest spots on the island is Beavertail Lighthouse, a popular stop for tourists, locals, photographers and the like.  I remember going to Beavertail with the family when I was little to watch the storms blow in.  Last year I captured one of my favorite images during impending rainy weather at Beavertail (see previous blog posts for the awesome blue panoramic!).  On this venture I was at Beavertail during low tide.  The tide was still going to be receding about an hour while I was down there so I would be chasing the edge of the water for my entire shoot, not to mention the rocks would still be wet where I wanted to stand.  Climbing down the rocks is especially hard bundled in winter garb, camera bag on your back, and tripod with camera attached clutched with both hands!  But I made it down to a particularly …

Happy Holidays!

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Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

I recently made a pit stop on the way home from Newport to photograph a local spot lit up every year by christmas lights and always visible from the Newport Bridge during holiday season!  This private dock is decorated by a Newport homeowner happy to light up the night.  I met the owner who mentioned he also installed port and starboard lights this year for those nautically inclined!  This was actually the first frame I took all evening and it was the best of the bunch.  I managed to set up JUST before the sky turned completely black.  I'm also quite a fan of the bridge/dock symmetry.  And a couple of stars in the sky to top it off!

A very Happy Holidays to everyone!  Hopefully everyone here in the northeast managed to stay warm over the weekend, and everyone in warmer climates can enjoy the sun for us!  No white Christmas this year but a great holiday nonetheless.  And it isn't over yet!

Old Narragansett Pier

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I've done shoots in Narragansett for surfing, at twilight and dusk to capture the Towers, but I had never gone for a sunrise seascape shoot until recently.  These were two separate visits to Narragansett Beach during low tide.  The first was at dusk as the clouds rolled in and the sky turned pale pink.  With extra sand removed from the beach after the hurricane, the old pillons and remnants of Old Narraganset Pier seemed more exposed.  
For a little background and history:  Narragansett Pier and Casino was a thriving area in the early 1900's.  The casino tragically burned to the ground on Sept. 12, 1900, leaving nothing but The Towers which are still a Narragansett icon to this day.  These pillons were part of the "Landing of the Providence Boat" on the "Bathing Beach at Sherry's Pavilion".  You can find some great historic postcards at various websites:  CardCow.com, Shorpy.comDrawRM.com...  My lifelong impression about these old pillons and the boa…

Sepia

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I am a traditionally trained photographer, having spent my first years with film cameras and hidden away in darkrooms developing prints.  I truly adore and admire the analog processes that may be slipping away from us, and the black and white medium.  But every now and again color remains too distracting and a black and white counterpart comes up lacking.  I have never done sepia printing, but I was curious to use sepia tones on some of my digital images of more classic vessels.  Below you'll find some of my first explorations into sepia, the first being one of my favorite images, "King Haakon" which I have developed and printed in black and white.
The intentions for using sepia where to inject these images with a sense of antiquity, grace, and perhaps a little more character than a black and white would allow.  I was selective about the images I used, selecting classic boats with wooden hulls or canvas sails, looking for some contrast I could boost and enhance slightly…

Seascapes and Sunrise Tides

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Mid November we had a string of nice warm days (and by warm I mean around 50-60° midday).  Of course, it was still below 40 most mornings, but we were predicted to have partial cloud cover and above freezing temperatures so I went to Narragansett Beach for some sunrise shots!  I was walking along hoping to find something partially submerged by the water to anchor the foreground of my composition  but the beach was as bare as could be!  The stretch of beach I was wandering had one sole rock that I found substantial enough for my purposes.  I took my time as the sun rose, clicking away and trying to capture the water as it receded back from the beach.  The cloud cover was perfect, giving enough cover to keep the sky interesting while allowing the blues to show through.  And the light just kept getting better and better, backlighting the water with greens and yellows!  The lower clouds also provided some relief from direct sunlight and allowed me to keep shooting about 20-30 minutes pas…

Nor'easter Surfing in Newport

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We aren't unaccustomed to brutal winter weather.  I'd like to think New Englanders can actually be rather resistent to the constant flux of weather patterns we experience.  But at the end of October we met Hurricane Sandy face to face, and many people we surprisingly unprepared.  (I still can't believe just a Category 1 could cause so much damage.  I guess size does matter!)  Then only a week or so later we had our first Nor'easter of the season, dumping about a foot of snow in some places and wind gusts over 60 mph!  
I went over to Newport to see some of the surfers who decided to make the best of such frosty weather.  Hurricane Sandy had brought some decent swell our way, but hurricane force winds ruined most of it, although that didn't stop everyone from trying!  When the Nor'easter blew in, the offshore breeze in Newport created much cleaner waves.  I decided to snap shots over at Second Beach where the surf was about 4-5 feet, with occasional sets around…

Sandy Aftermath: High Surf at Monahan's

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I tried to go out during Hurricane Sandy to shoot, but one thing after another and no power meant I had to stay at home.  I did, however, make it out the day after Sandy had left to see some of the destruction. The Jamestown Bridge was still closed so I couldn't get over to the islands, but I did make it down to Narragansett.  Navigating around closed roads and downed trees I managed to get to Monahan's Dock just to the south of the town beach and seawall.  The beach had about a century's worth of sand removed, a crater like hole in the main parking lot, and a 15 foot section of the seawall blown out.  Utility and clean up crews were already working to remove rocks and sand from the road but there was a place to park down at Pier No. 5 at Monahan's.  The entire pier was blown to bits with asphalt ripped up and missing.  Boulders from the pier had been moved from the storm surge and there was no telling when the pier would be repaired.  You could walk on it by carefull…

Two Days at Brenton Point

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There are a couple of items necessary to capture long exposures, first is dim lighting conditions.  We can't control the sun but we can control when we go shooting, so for dimmer light I go on overcast and cloudy days and during dusk hours around sunrise and sunset.  Along with a carefully picked time of day, I also go into the field with a couple of filters known as Neutral Density Filters, which cut the amount of light that enters the camera by varying degrees.  You may have heard me mention them before, but there are a couple different kinds.  Individual ND filters can be purchased at different densities, i.e. each filter prevents a certain amount of light from passing through.  There are also Variable Neutral Density filters which utilize two polarizers together to can give you a range of densities, minimizing the need to cary multiple standard ND filters that can only cut a fixed amount of light.  Another handy tool for landscapes and seascapes is the Graduated Neutral Densi…

Sachuest Point at Sunset

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Well here it is, my second attempt at a seascape at Sachuest Point.  And this time I went for a sunset instead of sunrise, so I was able to navigate the terrain in bright sunlight in order to find my preferred photo spot!  Of course it was high tide, which posed a problem, and it was an incoming tide with high surf from a low pressure system swirling somewhere offshore.  I walked all the way to the point in order to see the setting sun.  I know shooting into the sun isn't alway ideal but given the light cloud cover that day, I liked my chances.  It's hard to predict when the sunsets will be lackluster versus brilliant and vibrant.  Or perhaps this kind of prediction is an acquired skill... either way, I'm practicing my sunset prediction skills!  Like I said, the incoming high tide posed a problem, and I wasn't able to set up as close as I wanted to a big rock with swirling water and crashing waves.  I had to set myself much further back from water's edge, but at l…

Oceanview

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I've been thinking about producing a new photobook for a few months now.  I've been very happy with some of the work produced this summer and my new seascapes, and I really wanted to incorporate them into an approachable medium before the year was out.  The answer:  a softcover photobook offering over 20 pages of wonderful photography in an non-intimidating and nicely portable 7x7" medium.  I put together a collection of my favoriate images, about 75% from this year alone, and Oceanview was born!  I also wanted to incorporate some quotes I've found throughout the years that have deeply inspired me or forced a deeper reflection upon myself, my work and my subject matter.  I've included quotes from notable photographers and minds such as E.E. Cummings, Dorothea Lange, and even John F. Kennedy.


I wanted to keep the book small and approachable, starting with a 7x7" softcover reasonably priced at $23.36 ($25 after RI sales tax for any of you here in state!).  But …

More Summer Holgas

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Hurricane, Nor'easter, first snow... We've had a rough transition into November and I'm sure everyone can feel winter around the corner.  I've been breaking out winter coats and boots, but I long for the warm summer weather.  Well, in the spirit of warmer weather and summer sunshine I took a look back at some of the Holga film I took towards the end of the summer.  Although all three of these frames exhibit cooler tones and color casts, I hope you can still remember that warm and sunny summer that just passed us by!  The following are best enjoyed sunbathing in flip flops, perhaps with a cool cocktail in hand... but if such conditions are unavailable, a warm blanket, cozy fire and piping hot chocolate will do.





Shooting through Darkness

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Night is always so mysterious, especially the darkest nights when the moon is absent.  I've always been intrigued by night time shooting.  I idolize and admire the galactic photographers capturing incredible images of the night sky and Milky Way from the remote regions of desert where light pollution cannot reach.  Those pictures always make you stop and stare, thinking about life elsewhere in the universe or your small role to play in everything out there.  As part of my recent seascape project I haven't discounted nighttime shooting.  And no sooner had I set this assignment upon myself that a new moon arrived and I had the perfect opportunity.  So I drove down to Black Point Park in Scarborough and began my shoot with a precarious climb down rocks and trails in the dark.  
Camera on my back, sturdy tripod in hand, small flashlight in the other, and no moonlight to see by.  I could hear the childhood me wide eyed and breathless at the sound of every leaf and breaking branch,…

PJ Sunrise

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Also on my list of places to visit has been Point Judith Light for a morning long exposure shoot.  After coming across, greatly admiring, and then meeting seascape photographer Ed King of 02809 Photography, I have been deeply inspired to further practice and refine my own seascape shooting.  I headed to PJ the morning after our first frost.  I headed down the beach to find my best vantage point.  Although I would have preferred low tide, it was unfortunately peak high tide when it was time for the sun to break the horizon.  Here's my happy result though!  I'm waiting on my Graduated ND filter in the mail so this was a composite to combine sky and foreground exposures.  I was using my 16-35mm at the lowest ISO possible!  By the time the sun was breaking the horizon I was well into fractions of a second instead of the preferred 1 second or longer.  I'll be sure to revisit for low tide and with a new filter and see how different of a shot I can make!

Early Morning Sachuest

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Fall and winter are my seasons for shooting landscapes and seascapes.  This means rising before the sun the catch those brilliant sunrises, heading out during storms to see some wicked weather, and timing it just right to catch sunsets and vibrantly illuminated clouds.  I've given myself the task of shooting scapes about once a week for the next couple of months.  My first stop:  Sachuest Point and Beach over in Middletown.  Although I didn't plan properly to catch the sunrise and predawn light, I went over to Second Beach for the early morning.  It was a gorgeous day with a slight chill and fog in the air, but I was pretty happy with my first morning assignment for the season!  I hope you enjoy these shots as well!




Panoramics

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The off season brings opportunities for clear waters, clear haze free skies, and low light scenis shooting.  As I get into my full swing for off season seascape shooting, I thought I'd share some of my panoramics from last year!  These are my favorite seascapes dating from last October-December, and I'm sure you'll recognize some beloved Rhode Island landmarks like Beavertail and the Narragansett Towers.  I love these shots so much they've all become Limited Edition Fine Art pieces (available as Limited Edition Posters too).  I hope this season can produce as many terrific seascapes as last year!  I'll keep you posted as I go shooting when the light, weather, sun and tides are all perfectly aligned and I can produce those terrific coastal landscapes images.




Hurricane Nadine

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We've had some interesting warm wet weather lately, then some more storms rolled through.  As I was going through some images I had set aside to edit, I found some dusk shots I took during Hurricane Nadine.  Just something quick before it was too dark out.  But I thought I'd share as we all enjoy this wet autumn that's happening!  I do love seeing a storm roll through.
More to see at my website Photography Catalog!

Surfing Nadine at Point Judith

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Hurricane Nadine came to town!  And although she didn't leave too too much rain, she passed some heavy breezes, overcast skies, and storm swell our way while she churned offshore.  I headed over to Point Judith again to get shots of the waves and surfers.  I'm starting to get much more comfortable with my new Nikon TC-20e III teleconverter, both during shooting and editing.  I went to Point Judith early in the morning while the surf was highest, but the sky was gray and cold so many of the shots emote the same feelings of gray stormy chills.  I was in the area later in the day as well so I swung through for any of the sunset sesh surfers.  
For my second visit the skies had cleared and the sun kept everything seasonally warm and golden!  I didn't have too much light, but I started to play around with motion blur and panning.  This can be a tricky technique, used to keep an action subject sharp and create a motion blur around them.  The trick is to find a slightly slower s…