Showing posts from October, 2013

Dickens Preserve & New Harbor

Continuing with my recent photography workshop on Block Island as part of Profundo Journeys, after our first sunrise shoot at North Light, we had a few hours of down time and then it was back to business!  Shortly after lunch we took a field trip to the Dickens Preserve on the western side of the island.  This sprawling landscape provides hiking trails throughout a large portion of preserved land, and I walked down the part of the preserve that was absolutely overflowing with golden rod!  I guess this is one of the benefits at coming at this time of year, you get to see some color.
I never have considered myself much of a landscape photographer but I really gave myself the challenge of deep depth of field and composing with nothing but the lines created by the hilly landscape.  The complimentary colors of yellow and blue were just wonderful and while I broke my rule and first played with some shallow depth of field which you can see in the first frame.  I was rather pleased with the …

Photographer's FAQ: Lenses

So I've talked about what cameras I use, but there's another component to my equipment.
What lenses do you use?
I have a camera kit that currently employs all Nikon Nikkor brand lenses.  I figure if I'm going to buy glass, I should get the best kind I can, take care of it, and pay for it once.  There are other good off-brand lenses out there such as Tamron and Sigma, but like I said, I just went for broke.
I have a number of lenses for different purposes.  My most used lens is probably my 70-200mm f2.8 VRII which falls under the telephoto zoom category.  This big boy has never let me down and I use it for just about everything out on the water when my subject is further away.  It can get all the way down to f2.8 and VR refers to Nikon's Vibration Reduction technology (Canon calls it IS or Image Stabilization).  VRII is the second generation of this technology and is perfect for helping keep images sharp when handholing (however, this technology is not perfect and will n…

Block's North Light

As part of my recent trip to Block Island with Profundo Journeys, we had several early morning shoots to make the most of our short four day workshop.  First up was a sunrise shoot at North Light out on a spit of beach that protrudes northward towards the mainland.  Between Southeast Light, tall and covered in red brick, and solitary North Light tucked out of sight with it's smaller building and pale granite structure, I really did prefer the latter.  Something was just a little more quiet, a little more reserved, but incredible mysterious and serene. 
We arrived as the dark sky was turning milky gray.  With every minute the sky was getting lighter and we barely had time to explore the area and set up for our shots!  My first set up was a nice landscape from the eastern side of the point, incorporating the sand dunes and vegetation against North Light in the background.  (Tip:  You may want to shoot towards the sun during sunrise and sunset shoots, but shots with your back toward…

Photographer's FAQ: What is it you do? Pt. 2

So continuing from last week's discussion about what I actually do (Read Pt. 1 here), here are two more big questions that I get asked all the time as a photographer.

Can you teach me?

Absolutely!  I pride myself as a private instructor in everything from the camera to the computer.  I can help you with basic camera principles, the technical aspects of shooting, creative vision and effective photographic techniques, plus camera file management and post-processing software like Adobe's Lightroom and Photoshop.

I have taken on students age 14-50+ and can accommodate just about any beginner to intermediate photographer's needs.  Whether it's for your point and shoot, DSLR, or film camera, as a hobbyist, amateur, or semi-professional... we can design a lesson plan specifically for you!  If you're just starting out behind a camera, want to enhance your basic camera skills, or if you have a specific photographic project in mind, I would be happy to help and instruct you i…

Sail away on the Block Island Ferry

I recently made a trip to Block Island as part of a Profundo Journeys photography workshop hosted by Cindy Wilson & Eileen Muldoon.  It was a great group of twelve and we spent four days and three nights on the island.  Cindy has a lot of local knowledge and we were able to get about three photoshoots in each day.  Between sunrise shoots starting at 6am, afternoon hikes around the island, and sunset shoots before late dinners, it was a jam packed couple of days and well worth it!  The autumn storms and rains held out for us and we were blessed with almost summer-like weather.
Our first day on the island started in the afternoon with a visit to Mohegan Bluffs and the Southeast Lighthouse.  We were granted special permission to explore and photograph the interior of the lighthouse, which was just incredible.  I found myself focusing on vignettes of rooms, with draped cloth and old relics, photographing in a style I hadn't really explored since my first years behind a camera.

Photographer's FAQ: What is it you do? Pt. 1

More from your new blog segment.... Photographer's FAQ!  This discussion:  What I actually do with my time and how it all works.  Featuring the simple as well as the complicated answers.  First question:

What is it you do?

I am a photographer.  I take pictures for a living.

Photographer comes from "photo" meaning "light" and "graph" meaning "to draw", so you put it all together and I am one who draws with light.  My camera is my tool and light is my medium!  My service is photography and my products are photographs.  That's right people, it's a service and a product.  I do it to earn my living.  I am not a hobbyist.

That must be a great job!  (not a question, but a Frequently Occurring Statement)

Oh absolutely, it's one of those "Love what you do and never work a day in your life" sort of things... to a degree.  It's like any other small business in a creative field with you and ONLY YOU doing every little bit to ke…


So I love shooting moonrises now, I've been bit by the twilight bug.  I love those soft dusk colors and gentle light, with a bright near full moon coming up over the horizon.  You may remember my shots from Qeba over the winter, and although this first one was taken in much warmer weather with a very different color palette, I really enjoyed shooting.  It's about capturing the very critical few minutes when the light of the moon and the sky balances each other out perfectly.
With this first shot I experimented with my 50mm prime lens and a shallow depth of field to bring focus just to the boat and the moon.  I didn't have my 70-200mm telephoto (zoom) lens with me so I had to get creative!
I went to shoot the moonrise the next day too, but before moonrise there was sunset on the other side of Sauga Point.  So I played in the shallow incoming waters as the sun sank and the sky darkened.  More at!

Photographer's FAQ: Cameras

Welcome to your new Photo Blog segment, Photographer's FAQ!  Our first discussion:  Cameras (specifically the ones I use)

So one of the biggest questions people ask me when they realize I'm a photographer and I use cameras is:

Canon or Nikon?!

As if this is actually a life or death question...

Well, I use Nikon, but not out of any serious disappointment with Canon.  It's simply the camera I started using the most when I delved into digital photography in high school.  I became most comfortable and familiar with it, and I found the button placement and menu navigation the most comprehensive for me.  So it really came down to an ergonomics preference, and I'm still buying Nikon to this day. 

Things may change in the future.  There are plenty of photographers who, for one reason or another, switch their whole kit to another camera brand.  But for now, I use Nikon.

You can explore the respected Ken Rockwell's discussion of Nikon Vs. Canon over on his website too.

So, w…

Bullseye Nationals

So at the beginning of September I was invited to shoot the Bullseye National Regatta hosted out of Saunderstown Yacht Club here on Narragansett Bay.  Bullseyes are the fiberglass equivalent of the Herreshoff 12 1/2, wonderful little daysailers with a competitive edge.  
After some rainy weather, the sky cleared up for a wonderfully warm and sunny weekend of sailing!  It was most likely the last truly summery days of the season and we were all so happy to be out on the water.  Competitors came from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and even one from the midwest to compete in this friendly competition of 17 boats.  After a weekend of sailing and socializing, the regatta winner was the Collins family, proudly representing their home & host yacht club, SYC! 
Complete gallery can be found here!  Enjoy!