I came up with the idea to shoot this image last year but before I did I saw a photo like it on someone else's website. I didn't want it to seem like I was copying an unoriginal idea so I never took the photograph. This year I reconsidered because even though it's the same subect, everyone has there own way of seeing things. Last Monday after work I drove to Land's End to take the picture. This is a blend of two images, one with the lens focused at infinity for the milkyway and the second focused on the statue. For the statue I used live view and zoomed in on the head and by lighting it up with my flashlight I was able to see to get a sharp focus. Both exposures were 30 seconds at f2.8, there's a building right behind me and behind the building there was a street light providing enough ambient light to illuminate the statue.
Last weekend I took a walk on the Papermill Trail in Lisbon Falls and discovered huge masses of trout lilies but they were unopened. I went back on Wednesday morning thinking they may have started blooming, but again, nothing but buds. The weather has been cool and rainy all week so maybe that has something to do with it. I'll check them out this weekend to see if they're progressed any further. I did find this marsh marigold in bloom.
I have thousands and thousands of photographs that either sit on a hard drive or are in a filing cabinet in slide form. A very small percentage have seen the light of day, I decided to change that. Recently I've started working on a 30 year retrospective book project and I've been going through my archives, here is one the photos I found taken on Fuji Velvia film. I used to be obsessed with macro photography but in recent years I've strayed away from that, I think it's about time to go back to my roots.
A couple of weeks ago Google announced they were making the Nik software suite free to download. You can't beat free so I downloaded the software and here is one of the first images I processed using Silver Fx Pro. This image was made by opening up Silver Fx and just playing around with it. There are a lot of how to videos on Youtube that cover the use of all the different aspects of the Nik suite, I plan on watching some so I can take full advantage of the program.
This image shows why I wasn't able to get a clear photograph of the milkyway during my last visit to Popham, which would've been behind me. This is facing west and the glow on the horizon are the lights of Cape Elizabeth and Portland. Even though they're miles away the long exposure really makes them show up, the 30 second exposure also causes the clouds to streak as they head east.
Here’s another example of when sometimes plans don’t go according to plan. Last Sunday I drove to Popham Beach for 3 AM hoping to get photos of the milkyway over Fox Island. Well, despite clear skies when I left the house there was a thin cloud cover at the coast. I did spend a couple of hours photographing the night sky because stars were still visible, I just couldn’t clearly see the milkyway. It was almost 5 AM when I decided to call it quits on the stars but figured there might be some potential for a good sunrise. The clock sprung ahead that morning so the sun was not due to rise until almost 7 AM. I went back to the car to kill some time, I wanted to be back on the beach by 6 because on the coast, the sky starts to brighten at least an hour before the sun actually gets above the horizon (nautical twilight). This is the first image I took after walking back to the beach. It was still very dark and I could see no color in the sky with the naked eye. I exposed for 30 seconds at f/8, ISO 400 figuring I'd get a blue hour type of image but this is what showed up on my display after exposure. I knew then I made the right decision to hang around and my guess for a good sunrise was correct. I spent the next hour taking photos of the sky as it really lit up, this is one of those times where I was glad I decided to hang around.
My book is hot off the presses at Blurb! Take a sneak peek and place your order if you're so inclined by clicking on the cover photo above. An eBook version for download to your iPad or iPhone is now available in the iTunes store.
I live in Lewiston, Maine and have for most of my life. I've always had an interest in nature; as a kid I read books by Edwin Way Teal, Rachael Carson, among others, and I used to love studying the Golden Nature Guides. When I got into photography it was natural for me to take pictures of the natural world. A few years ago I got into kayaking and that allowed me to get to places I would never be able to by hiking and of course this gives me more photography oppurtunities. I realized years ago you don't have to travel to exotic locations to get good photographs. I have to admit I'm lucky to be living in a beautiful state with a lot of natural diversity, but I've taken good pictures right in my own back yard and neighborhood.