My favorite type of photography is macro, these two images were taken a few years ago during warmer times. I used to do this type of photography a lot in my film shooting days. I still do a lot of close ups but not so much the early morning dew variety. Mainly because my favorite areas are no longer accessible. Houses have gone up blocking my favorite place in Sabattus. Across the street from my home was a big meadow but the property changed hands and now the new owner keeps it mowed. Not much wildlife is attracted to a huge lawn.
This image was taken at Reid State Park. I created the panorama by combining four images together in Photoshop. In this case I took the photos horizontally but I should've had the camera in a vertical orientation, that way more of the foreground would've been included. That's how you get better, trial and error.
Here's an image I took on the same night I shot for my star trail photo, I saw a few shooting stars this night but most of them were behind me. Most of the time when I see them it's between exposures but I finally lucked out and one went through the frame while I had the shutter open.
Sunday night I went to Sabattus River to try my hand at Star Trail photography. This was my first attempt and it wasn't that difficult. The first thing I did was download some free software that combines all the images called Star Stax, a Google search will find the free download website. Afterward, I just went to Youtube and watched a video on how to use the software, pretty easy. This photo happens to be a compilation of 90 images taken in a 45 minute time span. I would've taken more but I got cold and a bank of clouds was moving in from behind me so it would've obscured the stars. I made sure to point my camera north so I would get the circular pattern, another section of sky and the streaks would've appeared as arcs.
This photo was taken on top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. I had never been to the top before despite being in Acadia a few times. I must say it was the least favorite part of my trip. In the past, just about every photo I’ve seen taken from the top of the mountain does not include people so it gives the feeling of solitude. Well, that’s far from reality. The top of the mountain has three or four parking lots and I actually had to drive around a bit to find a place to park, it was like being at the mall. After parking you discover there are hundreds of people milling about all over the place, far from the solitude you’d thought you’d encounter. This photo was taken at sunset so I’m sure at sunrise there would be less people, not everyone is an early bird. On the drive back down I pulled over at one point and walked a little way off the road and I found this spot which I had all to myself, so for a little while I could imagine I had the whole mountain to myself. You could also say I’m just as guilty as all the photographers before me by posting this photo, I’m contributing to the myth of peace and quiet on top of the mountain.
Here's another Acadia photo taken at sunrise on Boulder Beach. The name is informal, you won't find it on any maps but this beach has turned into an iconic spot for photographers and it's way "over" photographed now. The morning I was there, there were 5 others. One of the photographers I follow on Facebook was there the following week and said there were two dozen photographers on the beach. I would've left. I remember my first visit in the 90's I had the whole area to myself for hours. Oh, the good old days. The one thing I had forgotten was how small the beach actually is, most folks photograph it with wide angle lenses giving the illusion of a much larger area. I just can't imagine two dozen photographers in that small space.
Here's one of many photos I took while in Acadia. I had gone to Jordan Pond and The Bubbles to do some night photography and was on my way back to the motel. The Milky Way wasn't visible over The Bubbles, like I had hoped but when I drove through this open area it was in view in all it's splendor. I recently purchased my first full frame sensored camera so I was finally able to take full advantage of my 16-35mm wide angle zoom at its widest. On my crop sensor camera I was only getting the equivalent of 28mm at the widest, (the camera geeks will know what I'm talking about). Now I can get so much more of the sky than before, I'm loving it.
This past week I spent three days in Acadia National Park, I had been there before but it had been nearly 20 years. the purpose of the visit was to get new images for my upcoming calendar. The park offers a wide variey of photo subjects, from forests to mountain views to sea side cliffs and everything in between. On Tuesday I went to Otter Point to photograph the sunset and the crashing waves, hurricane Joaquin was far out to sea but was causing some very high surf. I took a lot of images of the waves crashing against the rocks, some of which I'll post at a later date. At one point I turned around and saw some fellow photographers taking pictures of the sunset from a different vantage point. I thought the three folks and the unique cloud above would make for a nice compostion and this the photo I came away with.
It's that time of year again when I start attracting birds to my backyard. I took this photo of a white breasted nuthatch a couple of years ago, as it paused a moment before going to the feeder. I'm looking forward to more bird photography in the coming months.
My last trip to Reid State Park to photograph the Milky Way did not produce any Milky Way shots. I went back at the beginning of the month to attempt it again. At this time of year the Milky Way doesn't appear over the Atlantic like back in June and July, it's more west, although if I was at the same spot as the last Reid post it would've been over the beach. However it was clearer the night I was there and I think the lights of Portland would've been an issue. The trees in the background of this image helped block the lights because I was down low looking up. This image is a combination of two. The milky way was exposed at ISO 3200, f2.8 for 30 seconds
focused at infinity. For the foreground I focused on the rocks in the front and exposed that at ISO 1600, f2.8 for 6 minutes.
I'm still trying to improve my night photography techniques. I took this photo a couple of weeks ago at Popham Beach. As the season progresses the milkyway slowly moves west across the night sky. The lights of Portland show up on the right of this image, if I had been in this same spot earlier in the summer the milky way would've been more south and to the left, so directly over the ocean and I would not have picked up any lights, the lights reflecting off of the haze in the distance didn't help. All I would've had to do is move my camera position to the right so the milkyway would've still lined up with the life guard tower. That's the challenge with this type of photography, finding an area there is truely dark, in this day and age it's difficult but not impossible. Maybe next month I'll go further north and away from city lights.
The days are getting shorter and the nights are cooler, it won't be long and autumn will be here once again. A couple of years ago I grew some sunflowers and let them go to seed and here is one of the visitors they attracted.
Here are a couple more photos I took at Reid State Park and Mile Beach. This is on the opposite end of the beach from the previous night photo. For the night pic I was standing on the rocks that can be seen way off in the distance in the first image.
I took this photo last Saturday night at Reid State Park looking down Mile Beach. I was hoping to get a shot of the Milky Way over the beach but the conditions were less than ideal. Along with the clouds, the lights of Portland (believe it or not) and the milky way not being in the right position this is what I came away with. This photo is a combination of two images. The sky was exposed for 30 seconds at f2.8 and the beach was the same aperture but a two minute exposure time.
I paid another visit to Pineland farms flower garden last weekend. I only took a few photos because the sun ended up coming out and the wind picked up. Anyone who shoots macro, wind is the macro photographers biggest enemy and I also don’t like photographing flowers in bright sunshine.
Sometimes plans don’t go according to plan. I originally had the idea of taking photos of the milky way with black eyed susans as a foreground subject. Well, the lights of Freeport and clouds washed that idea out. Instead I just pointed the camera to a darker section of sky (the west) and got this photo instead. This image is a focus stack of two photos, one focused on the sky, the other on the foreground flowers and blended in Photoshop. The sky exposure was 25 seconds at f2.8, ISO 1600 and the flowers, 30 secs @ f2.8 and the same ISO but for the flowers I used my headlamp to skim light onto them. The lens was the Canon 16-35 2.8L on my 7D Mark II. After shooting the daisys I learned not much light is needed, I just move the beam from my headlamp across the flowers for about a second or two. I discovered if you shine the light for too long on one area you tend to get a too bright, spotlight effect. I like the way the long sky exposure cause the clouds to streak, adding a little something extra to the photo.
Here are some of the puffin photos I took during last months vacation. This actually made the seventh time I've been on the island, the first time being back in the 80's. The downeast area has a lot to offer in the way of photography so puffins are not the only attraction. The birds were still incubating the eggs so if I do this trip again I'll go later in the season. The puffins will be feeding the young and there's a better chance of getting photos of the adults with fish in their bills.
This photo was taken during vacation. It was a very beautiful sunset in Lubec and of course there were tourists there taking photos and selfies with the sun setting in the background. In typical tourist fashion though, as soon as the sun set below the horizon, everyone left. The best colors of sunset usually happen 20 minutes to a half hour after the sun disappears. As you can see here, waiting it out paid off.
The other night the northern lights were visible in Maine. I wasn't out with my camera that night but I read some Facebook chatter the lights were going to make another appearance on Wednesday night. When I got out of work I grabbed my camera and took a drive to Sabattus River, the aurora was a no show but I did get this image of a batch of daisys. There was a half moon out so the milky way didn't show up as brilliantly as it did last Friday. This time of year and the time of night I was out, the milky way shows up best looking south, I was looking north hoping to spot the northern lights. As for the daisys, I used my headlamp to skim a little light onto the blossoms.
Every year I have birds nesting in the nest box I built. I’ve had tree swallows nesting in it but most of the time it’s chickadees. This year a pair of titmice took up residence. Right now they are actively feeding their young. I took this photo a couple of days ago as the adult paused before going into the box to feed the little ones. I’m loving the 7D Mark II.
A place I like to visit is Pineland Farms in New Gloucestor. They have a wonderful flower garden, it's very accesible and a good place to practice your flower photography. These images were taken last summer and I'm looking forward to going back again.
I took this image a couple of years ago at Reid State Park, it was taken during my favorite time to go to the beach, when no one else is there. This was the morning after a full moon and you can just make out the moon, through the haze, on the top of the photo just right of center. It was a very hot and humid day so later on this beach had wall to wall people on it.
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.