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Showing posts from 2013

Sakonnet, Reacquainted

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I have a long "To Do List" of things to shoot and places to go.  It's a self assigned Project List to keep me busy and preoccupied during the winter months.  One of the items on this list has been to photograph more Rhode Island Lighthouses and to visit Sakonnet Point.  I hadn't visited Sakonnet since my junior sailing days back in high school when a couple of Laser events were hosted out of Sakonnet Yacht Club.  I remembered it being a terrific place to sail, ocean-like conditions, big swell, strong breeze, with none of the boat traffic of Newport Harbor.  This visit to Sakonnet was a little bit different.  It was during a week of freezing weather in December instead of the steamy month of July.  It was at dusk instead of high noon.  I was bundled with at least 3-5 layers of clothing plus hat and gloves instead of my previous attire of just a bathing suit and hiking pants.  I was armed with a camera and tripod instead of a boat and rig.  It was certainly a differen…

Early Morning Chill

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It's been a chilly December thus far, and luckily we've actually had some snow!  I have a hard time appreciating frigid conditions unless there is some fluffy white snow to beautify the scenery.  While it's only been a couple of dustings so far, I'm still glad to have a proper winter compared to a couple years ago when there was no snow to speak of.  I made my way to a couple of Wickford locations for a morning shoot in mid-December.  First to the Town Beach where the waters were calm and reflective.  Then to Loop Drive, a small neighborhood on Wickford Cove which I used to walk through everyday for Elementary and Middle school.  
The sunrise wasn't anything overly spectacular.  I captured one shot at the Town Beach before making my way over to Loop Drive for the early morning soft pastel sky.  I was spending time with my new B+W #110 filter, creating very long exposures and playing with my new piece of equipment.  If long exposures enhance the colors of a scene, …

Photographer's FAQ: What sets you apart?

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A crucial question every photographer must be able to answer:

What sets you apart?  What makes you different from all the other photographers or parents with cameras?

As a marine photographer specializing in coastal locations and activities, I take quality and relatable imagery of coastal life, transporting people to the environments from which I draw my inspiration.  My imagery is focused on coastal beauty and is organic and approachable in style.  It is my hope that my photography not only invokes the smell of salt air, the sound of ocean waters and sensations of salt spray, but also an appreciation and respect for our Oceans to which we owe so much.

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." –Jacques Yves Cousteau

Through a thorough understanding of natural light and practiced skills to capture the alluring quality of coastal scenes, every frame I take, whether it is a seascape that took an hour to get right or an image of a young sailor out…

Seascapes & Selections

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One of my biggest challenges has been critical selection.  Too often I will take dozens of shots during a shoot, completely enthralled by the light and compositions, when I really only set out to capture one or two frames.  And then, back in the editing room, I struggle to pick out just a couple of final shots.  Sometimes I'll come away with 5 shots that should really have been narrowed down to one, and I share and post all 5, compounding an already enormous catalog of imagery available for prints.  Being extra critical of one's work and extremely selective about final pieces seems to be an unattainable talent, but I'm working at it.
Over 6 months since my first visit to a new seascape location, Qeba (Quonny's), I had only 30 minutes to take shots, 15 minutes before and after sunset.  I was stopping in during a drive to Connecticut and I couldn't linger for fear of missing my appointment.  As any scape photographer may know, sometimes looking away from the sun can …

Water Panning Green Hill & Gansett

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After my first successful attempt at this water panning technique, I set my sights on other beaches to try out this new found interest.  First up was Green Hill, the southern shore that plays host to so many of my winter seascapes!  It was a golden afternoon with broken clouds slowing moving in from the west.  I played with the water as the sun sank lower and moved over to some buried driftwood (which might be an entire buries tree) for the closing sunset seascape of the day.  
Just a couple days later the swell had picked up as storms moved in, bringing in large surf to Narragansett Beach and other nearby surf spots.  There was a light rain but I sat on the seawall of Ocean Road and captured some shots of angry murky waters rumbling towards the beach.  I found that if I sat half cross-legged and rested my elbow on my knee I could keep the camera still enough that I didn't need a tripod!  
And the day after Thanksgiving I made a third trip out for some water panning.  The storm h…

Photographer's FAQ: What makes a good photograph?

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I am often asked by my students a very simple and often overlooked question that I feel doesn't always get properly addressed in educational settings.

What makes a photograph successful?  Is my image any good?

Too often people can be caught up in the gadgets, gizmos and technical features of a camera.  Yes, technical knowledge and skill is a necessity in photography, but people often forget that it is both

science + art


It is one of the only industries that I feel melds both of these criteria so well.  We are scientists behind the camera, manipulating our technical tools, but we are also artists using the camera as a medium for creative expression and communication.  Therefor, in order to make a good photograph you much excel at both of these aspects to achieve your goals!

Now, that brings up another very important aspect of photography, what is your photographic goal?  Only when you can tell me what you were trying to achieve can I provide critical feedback to help answer the quest…

College Sailing: Laser Nationals

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About a month ago Sail Newport hosted a national college sailing event out of Fort Adams, the ICSA LaserPerformance Singlehanded Championship.  This event hosted college sailors from across the nation as they competed in cold and wind for the women's and men's division trophies.  It was early November but it was one of the first truly brisk days of the season, with temps barely reaching the 40s and winds 20+ knots making it feel like it was below freezing.  The sun helped keep everyone's blood warm, but as soon as those clouds rolled in, it was another story.  
I don't know if I saw a single drysuit out there!  Mostly fleece layers and a few spray tops.  Some weren't even sailing with hats, gloves or boots!  I don't know if these kids were brave or downright crazy, but it was tight competition for the first half of both fleets.  
Sailors from the Northeast, Georgetown, Stanford, and Charleston commanded most of the racing.  Sunday saw some of the busiest saili…

Photographer's FAQ: Where's the value in a professional?

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Where's the value in a professional?

With the advent of the affordable pro-sumer and crossover professional-amateur cameras, plus the addition of decent quality cameras to most smartphones, a lot of people have a hard time finding the value in a professional photographer.  But here's a little secret... just because you have a camera doesn't make you a photographer.  And even if you do consider yourself a photographer, that still doesn't make you a professional!



A professional photographer derives the majority of their income from their photographic services and products.  Whether that means being a wedding photographer or a fine art photographer, a professional will make their living off their imagery.  That means they must support themselves, their business, all those expenses including equipment, utilities, gas, food, mortgage... just from their services.  And because of that they tend to have certain qualities that go beyond being able to hold a camera and snap the …

Happy Thanksgiving in Instas

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A celebration of New England and some autumn wanderings at local farms courtesy of my Instagram feed.  Fresh and local produce, the best you can ask for!  Respect your food, grow your own and buy local!
What are you thankful for this year?





Happy Thanksgiving!

Follow me and get more at instagram.com/catebrownphoto.  

Windsurfing Salty Brine

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Winter storms and winter swell means cold days at the beach for me and cold days in the water for water sports enthusiasts like Andrew, here.  New Englanders are interestingly adapted to sports of every season, from the warm summer days of sun and small swell, to the winter days of 50 something degree water, 7mm wetsuits, and heavy storm breezes.  This day in particular was one of the windiest I had seen in ages, blowing about 30+ knots steadily.  
I went down to Salty Brine Beach where some windsurfing was happening, and kitesurfers were attempting to go out (but actually didn't make it because it was too windy!).  Sitting on a dry sandy beach in those winds made me feel like I was in a sahara / tundra, and sand began to bury me up as soon as I sat down.  I didn't stay for more than an hour or so as the wind was unbearably cold and the sideways sands were downright annoying.  Chewing on bits of sand is probably one of my least favorite sensations ever.  But, it was a good da…

Water Panning

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I didn't want my winter photography to become stale.  As exciting as it is getting up before the sun in the dead of winter, I needed a new project to work on.  After seeing photography of individuals like David Orias and Bryce Johnson, I came across a photographic technique that piqued my interest. This is called water panning, where the camera moves for a fraction of a second with the wave as it forms. This slightly longer shutter speed (mine was at about 1/10th second) can create some beautiful smooth effects as the wave builds and moves towards the shoreline.  A tripod can help stabilize the vertical movement of the camera, allowing for only lateral movement and motion blur, just like the wave.
Here is my first attempt at the technique, during dusk hours at Second Beach in Newport.  I love it and I can't wait toget back to trying this water panning during different times of day, with and without surfers in frame, and with different colored light. Stay tuned as I explore…

First Seascapes of the Seasons

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Summer's gone and the cold weather is moving in.  But while the weather was pleasant enough to venture outside without a third coat, I made a trip through South County to shoot my first seascapes of the season.  First up was Matunuck beach on a cold and windy day.  Even though sunset was a couple hours away, the cloudy conditions reduced the sunlight enough to allow me to shoot some long exposures.  I'm still hoping for that B+W #110 though!
Then, on the way home, the sky cleared just a little bit and turned a beautiful royal blue just after sundown.  I stopped by Narragansett Beach to capture some of the wonderful lighting conditions.  With little time to set up and shoot it's not necessarily my favorite work but I'm still very glad I made the stop!
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