Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Forget-Me-Not & Ferns

Photo quote for today: "When your mouth drops open, click the shutter." -Harlod Feinstein

I find the best way to enjoy a Forget-Me-Not is under a macro lens. These flowers are so small it's easy for the passerby to overlook these fragile beauties.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tiger Swallow Tail & Blue Flag Iris

Photo quote for today: "A picture is the expression of an impression. If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it?" -Ernst Haas

This image was taken while kayaking behind my home. Blue Flags grow in abundance along the river, and usually come into full bloom around Father's Day. They can be a challenge to capture because they grow in wet areas, and are usually well protected by black flies.

Garden Blooms

Photo quote for today: "Parks and gardens are the quintessential intimate landscapes. People use them all the time, leaving their energy and memories behind. It's what's left behind that I like to photograph." -Michael Kenna

It's hard for me to add any other words to today's quote, so please enjoy. -Mike

Monday, May 19, 2008


Photo quote for today: "Nothing is ever the same twice because everything is always gone forever, and yet each moment has infinite photographic possibilities." - Michael Kenna

As I was struggling to make my way down a foggy road one morning, I came to a fork in the road and was greeted by this composition. With snow on the ground and fog as back drop the tree just stood out as the perfect opportunity to make this solitary image.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Antique Center

Photo quote for today: "Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field." -Peter Adams

Not every image I make has a story to go with it, but this one does. I first say this building late one Sunday, on my way home with my wife and dog after a day of hiking in New Hampshire. At that time of day the lighting was all wrong so I decided I would return the next morning, before going to work, and shoot some film. Even though nature photography is my first passion, there was no way I was going to pass-up an opportunity to add this one to my files. I returned the next morning and shot about half a roll of slide film before the light started to change and it was time to head to work. For the rest of the week all I could think about was getting back there to finish off the roll, I really wanted to see the results on film. The following Thursday I again headed out early to complete my roll. When I arrived all I found was a bare wall; the building had been raised in order to straighten it out and add a foundation. It has never been returned to its former glory.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Photo quote for today: "On one hand you want to see your subject well. On the other hand, you want to be caught off guard to retain the spontaneity. If you know your subject too well you stop seeing it." -Harold Feinstein

I very much agree with today's photo quote, you do need to retain that spontaneity with your subject otherwise you can become apathetic. When I find myself in that situation, my cure has been to really work the subject hard, exploring every angle until you see that something that rekindles your interest. Back when I was shooting film that approach would tend to run up my tab at the processors, but now with digital imaging you can go nuts without breaking the bank. The Trillium below is a good example; after some stiff editing I probably have twenty slides of the same bloom from different angles. This one however is my favorite, it's the one that peaked my interest when stopped long enough to really see my subject.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fog over MDI

Photo quote for today: "A good photograph is knowing where to stand." -Ansel Adams

This is one of those images where less is better. Without some help from mother nature, it would have been an image cluttered with homes, but thanks to some early morning fog it became a very simple composition.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Spring Stream

Photo quote for today: "Perhaps most intriguing of all is that it is possible to photograph what is impossible for the human eye to see - cumulative time." -Michael Kenna

At this time of year Maine, like so many other places, has an abundance of seasonal streams, and once the winter snows have melted they quietly go to rest until the next year.

Spring Thaw

Photo quote for today: "Photography teaches that how well you see has nothing to do with how well you see." Anonymous Author

Took this image in an area near the Appalachian Trail. I had been photographing more broad landscapes, when the ice formations covering the rocks caught my attention.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Oak Leaves Under Black Ice

Photo quote for today: "I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn't photograph them." -Diane Arbus

This image is just one of those finds. I was walking down an old abandoned road near my home and came across a frozen puddle. The ice was exceptional clear, and just below the surface you could see the leaves frozen in-place.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Photo quote for today: "Art is not to be found by touring Egypt, Chine, or Peru: if you cannot find it at your own door, you will never find it." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ferns from along the river bank.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Bald Eagles at Sunrise

Photo quote for today: " A photograph does not speak, it does not smell, it makes no sound, it does not move, it is just a two dimensional piece of paper, but a good photograph can do at least one if not all of the above." -Eryk Fitkau

This image is from a page in a book of self-published work that I did on Maine back in 2006. When I arrived, only a few minutes before sunrise, both birds were in total shade. At that time I was thinking it was going to be an uneventful morning, then the sun made it's appearance and illuminated just the head of the Eagle facing my direction. With light being such an important part of any image, timing can sometimes mean everything to an image.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Photo quote for today: "A painter works with color as the medium, a photographer works with light." -Carlotta M. Corpron

Photographed these Loons from my kayak on a nearby lake known for its large loon population.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Bald Eagle

Photo quote for today: "There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." -Ansel Adams

Grabbed this shot one morning while paddling down river from my home near an island with an active nest. Look forward to seeing the Eagles every season, and this year did not disappoint. Last week, after John and I set the dock, we launched the kayaks for our first paddle of the season. Went across the river to explore a large cove, and as we came around one of the islands noticed one perched on a branch above the water.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fun in the Sunflowers

Photo quote for today: "It matters little how much equipment we use; it matters much that we be masters of all we do use." -Sam Abell

I took this image on the same day as my earlier post of the sunflower field. This little guy seemed to be really enjoying himself among all those flowers.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Photo quote for today: "Let us first say what photography is not. A photograph is not a painting, a poem, a symphony, a dance. It is not just a pretty picture, not an excercise in contortionist techniques and sheer print quality. It is or should be a significant document, a penetrating statement, which can be described in a very simple term - selectivity." -Berenice Abbott

How does one standout in a crowd? With flowers, such as these Lupines, it would be easy to loose the impact of the three individual stems if everything was in focus. So in this image I opened up the lens, and let the rest of the field go soft against the main subjects.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tiger Swallow Tail

Photo quote for today: "I work from awkwardness. By that I mean I don't like to arrange things. If I stand in front of something, instead of arranging it, I arrange myself." -Diane Arbus

When I looked out the window this morning I noticed the new buds on the Lilac bush. With that in mind, I remembered back to an image I had made of a Tiger Swallow Tail on that Lilac bush.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Spring in the Garden

Photo quote for today: "The virtue of the camera is not the power it has to transform the photographer into an artist, but the impulse it gives him to keep on looking." -Brooks Anderson

The first flowers to make an appearance in our garden every spring are the Pulsatillas. So last weekend, while cleaning up the beds, I dragged around my camera and macro lens and made these two images. I'm attracted to both the fuzzy texture of the new blooms and colorful centers, which in macro appear to me like an explosion of color you'd see a fireworks display. Once they've past the seed heads make for great abstract images.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lone Sentinel

Photo quote for today: "No place is boring, if you've had a good night's sleep and a pocket full of unexposed film." -Robert Adams

When does ordinary become something special? On this day it was when the light and fog turned an ordinary field into a rather interesting composition. As a boy I grew up a five minute walk from here. As an adult I've driven past this field every morning on the way to work for twenty years, never giving it a second look until that day when it all came together.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Destination Little Whaleboat Island

Photo quote for today: "You learn to see by practice. It's just like playing tennis, you get better the more you play. The more you look around at things, the more you see. The more you photograph, the more you realize what can be photographed and what can't be photographed. You just have to keep doing it." -Eliot Porter

This weekend's images are from a day trip that John Theberge and I took out of Harpswell Neck, which is located in the northern end of Casco Bay. Our plan that day was to paddle south to Little Whaleboat Island.

We started our trip at a place called Lookout Point. Off on the very distant horizon to the right is Shelter Island, which was to be our first stop of the morning. With a clear blue sky, we were able to navigate this leg by line-0f-site, and not have to spend time looking down at the compass or GPS. We put in at around 8:00 am, and if we caught all the lights, figured we'd make it to Whaleboat around mid-day.

Roughly and hour out of Lookout Point, we were on the approach to Shelter Island. The ledges in the foreground seem to be a favorite spot for various sea birds. The granite shoreline made the landing a little challenging. The island turned out to be totally tree covered and fairly steep, so after a quick break it was back in the kayaks. Because Little Whaleboat Island was still somewhere over the horizon, the next leg of the trip would need to be navigated by chart and GPS. The next group of islands on route would be The Goslings. The challenge with finding your exact location in Casco Bay is that there are three-hundred and sixty-eight islands to choose from. If you miss your target island you end up wasting time getting back on course.

This area of Casco Bay is dotted ledges, which is great for the birds, and keeps the boat traffic to a minmum.

The Goslings is a grouping of three small islands, with the larger of the three below a favorite destination point for boaters. On this day we decided to pass on a landing and paddle through to our final destination point.

After about fours hours of paddling we beached the kayaks on Little Whaleboat Island. 

On the back side of the island we observed another kayaker who had paddled in from the south.

On our way back to Lookout Point we chose a more westerly route with more favorable winds. The image below is from the west side of Lower Goose Island. Once we cleared this island the wind came up strong, so the cameras packed for the day, and we had to focus on keeping the kayaks on course.

Bas Harbor Headlight

Photo quote for today: "Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter." -Ansel Adams

What would Maine Coast week be without the obligatory lighthouse photo? This is the sunny-side-up version of the reflection I posted earlier this week. Even though this lighthouse has been photographed more times then anyone can count, and that I was using the same tripod holes as the previous five-hundred photographers, it was still worth my time. All things being equal, if you were to put a group of photographers in the same location, it should be no surprise that no two images would be alike. An image first starts to come together (to quote an old cliché) "in your minds eye", and as one continues to grow their photography, their style starts to emerge.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bass Harbor

This morning while sorting through my work desk, I came across a collection of photo quotes that I have on occasion re-visted whenever I've felt the need to jump start my creative juices. So starting today, I'd like to share some of this food for thought. This first one is my favorite.

"What we do during our working hours determines what we have: what we do in our leisure hours determines what we are." -George Eastman

Sunrise at Bass Harbor. Located on the souteast end of Mount Desert Island, this working harbor sits in the shadows of Acadia National Park and the more well known Bar Harbor. Whenever I go to a location I try my best to explore every corner to make sure I've made the most of the trip.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Kayaking Camden

Here's a view few tourists get to see. Curtis Island Light sits outside of Camden Harbor but is only visible from the water, or the top of Mt. Battie in the background. A small portion of Camden Harbor can be seen on the left. My wife had dropped me off at the launch site them went off to go shopping, while I made my way to Rockport just a few miles down the coast. My wife often expresses concern when I'm out in the open water by myself. I kind of feel the same leaving here alone on main street in Camden with the credit card; at least I have a life jacket.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Reflections from Bass Harbor Head

Bass Harbor Headlight is popular with both tourists and photographers. While vacationing on Mount Desert Island, I visited the headlight and came across this reflection while climbing along the shoreline rocks, and found the view from this angle rather interesting. I displayed this image in a physicians office and was told by the manager that by the end of many a work day they would find the frame had been rotated by patients, thinking it was up-side-down.

Sunset on Cadillac Mountain

With summer fast approaching I thought I'd spend this week posting scenes from the Maine Coast. This first image was taken on the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A taste of Italy

Thought for the weekend I'd take a break from my usual nature images and give you a little taste of Italy with some photoshop thrown in.

Street artist at the top of the Spanish Steps in Rome

Shoppers and Artist in Rome's Piazza Navona

This image and the next 4 below were taken in Florence in Piazza Di Santa Croce

Sky Watch Friday

This is an image of the lunar eclipse from February 13th. Shot in single frames then layered back together in PS. The night was cold  and crisp, and the lunar detail was at its best.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Water Lily

Water Lilies are a somewhat of a challenge to photograph because they only open from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, which is not considered prime time for photography. Took these using a circular polarizer to control the glare and increase the saturation.

On the Wing

While I was out exercising the dog this morning I could hear the geese honking up a storm in the open water. Reminded me of an image shot from the kayak in the backyard.