Showing posts from December, 2012

Beavertail at Low Tide: Photo Critique

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!

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

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:,  My lifelong impression about these old pillons and the boa…


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

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

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

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

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…