Showing posts from January, 2014

Green Hill Surf through Fog and Mist

Gray and cold, gray and cold... will there be no relief?  Some more snow might help spice things up!  I don't mind snow when it's bitterly cold outside.  We did get an entire week of unseasonal 50 degree weather, though, and I found myself heading down to Green Hill (again) to catch some of the winter storm surf that was rolling up the coast.  
It was incredibly foggy, more-so on this day in particular.  It was wonderfully temperate in the sun, which took until 1pm to show up.  All morning I couldn't snap a single frame because I couldn't see 5 feet past the water line!  My camera had nothing but gray mist to try and focus on, and anyone who understands how Autofocus works knows that didn't go over so well.  It was beyond New England Pea Soup fog.  It was I-can't-see-my-hand-infront-of-my-face fog.  But luckily the dense fog began to lift and slowly but surely the sun was peaking in and out of the low lying clouds.  By 1pm it had cleared up almost entirely and…

New Favorite Seascape? Green Hill

In an effort to explore some new seascape locations I have been slightly neglecting one of my favorite winter beaches, Green Hill of South Kingstown.  But mid-January I found myself driving there about 3 times a week, sometimes for shooting and sometimes just for beach combing.  With some finicky weather and a slim opportunity to shoot seascapes with broken clouds instead of a dreary gray overcast sky, I made my way down to Green Hill for an impromptu seascape-turned-moonrise shoot.  I think the second frame here is a new favorite (I seem to be saying that a lot lately)!  
View at, prints available for purchase!

Polar Freeze

Well I learned a new term this January, "Polar Vortex."  That's right, a vortex of circulating polar air that sat right on top of most of North American for over a week.  It was cold.  It was windy.  It snowed.  Did I mention it was cold?  While I mostly tried to keep all of my appendages in working order, I did manage to go outside a couple of times to photograph.  No, I did not make it out as many times as I would have liked but when it's -10° with windchill of -20° or thereabouts, it was admittedly a little hard to get motivated.
The first two images are from a walk at Black Point in Scarborough, where I set up the tripod and took some shots.  Luckily I was below a ridge of land so the frigid westerly winds couldn't reach me.  I managed to stay outside for about an hour.  
White balancing snow is probably one of the hardest things to do ever.  And while this first frame of snow sitting in shade is pretty accurate, once I put that really dark B+W #110 Neutral …

Off the Beaten Path: Old Woonsocket Mill

It's good to go and shoot unfamiliar subject matter.  Break up the routine with a different location.  I don't usually shoot mills or rundown locations, although I have a couple times in the past, particularly during college days in an old mill town.  But late in December I found myself with good photo company and I was invited to shoot old mills along the Blackstone.  They  never know where they're going or what they'll end up shooting, so I decided to join, liking the idea of spontaneity and a different subject to photograph.  
My company was Cindy Wilson and David Pinkham, both photographers having spent time since June on this personal side project of exploring and shooting old mills.  We set off for Woonsocket to a mill they had visited and been eyeing to explore further.  It was cold outside but luckily parts of the building were heated as it served for commercial rental space and storage.  We later learned this was the Taft Pierce Mill, originally involved in s…

Ruggles - Last Swell of 2013

Just before the new year, some swell arrived.  Brought on by a cold storm this time, instead of the warm tropical moisture that had been visiting regularly all November and part of December.  It was the weather just before the Polar Vortex decided to sit on most of North America.  It wasn't 0° with wind chill around -56° but it was still cold and windy!  I was down on the beach at the surf spot known as Ruggles because it is located off Ruggles Ave by Salve Regina University in Newport.  Luckily, I was below enough of a ridge that the blustery WNW winds didn't freeze my face.  I hung around for a little over an hour, watching the waves and the surfers.  Another cold gray day during the New England winter.  It was the last swell of 2013, and little did we know we were in for a Polar Punch before long!

The Power of Long Exposure

There's a couple of reasons why I love long exposure photography.  It forces you to take your time.  It softens elements like water in a way that makes them gentle and approachable.  It also enhances the color of a frame.  Even if the color of the scene is hard to see with our human eyes, somehow colors are boosted and saturated as the camera shutter stays open longer.
While on a recent shoot to Black Point in Scarborough, Narragansett, I brought along several of my long exposure tools:  a tripod, Gradual Density Filter, Neutral Density Filter and B+W #110 (extreme) Neutral Density Filter.  As I composed my shot by a tidepool and photographed the moonrise, I played with my filters and settings to experiment with different exposure lengths.
The image on the left was taken with the B+W #110 ND Filter, the darkest densest filter you can get.  It looks almost solid black in your hand, but it still allows some light through so you can photograph long exposures at midday without overexp…

2013 in Photographs

Another year in the books.  2013 started out with surf, snow and seascapes, which moved into spring flowers, high school sailing and Wickford Regatta in May.  The summer was full of activity from the Sail Newport Youth Challenge kicking off the summer sailing season in June, to the junior sailors, beercan racers, and Newport Regatta among other events.  The summer drew to a close with a cruise through the Elizabeth Islands, NBYA Race Week, Bullseye Nationals, and a trip to Block Island.  October saw my first attempts at water panning as I shot more surf and seascapes, closing out the sailing season with a chilly college event, the ICSA Singlehanded Championship in November.  And these last few weeks have seen new winter seascape photography as I've experimented with my new filter.  Here are some of my favorites from the entire calendar year.  I can only hope that 2014 will bring as many great photographic opportunities!  Happy New Years everyone!