About Steven Perlmutter

 

Jenne Farm

This is the Jenne Farm in Reading, VT.  You may know it as one of the most photographed farms in New England, if not the United States. And you know what? I was thrilled to finally get there and make some images, exactly as many, many photographers have done before me.  There was a time when I wanted to avoid the most photographed ______ in the country or world, thinking that how could I possibly create something that no one else has before.  What I’ve discovered is that I don’t always need to create something new and different from everyone else’s images of a location.  These places are the most photographed _______ for good reason, which is typically the sheer beauty of them.  So why not get there and make some magic.

The Jenne Farm is no exception.  It is the quintessential New England farm – especially in the fall – and I couldn’t be happier with the images I made there, regardless of how similar they may be to others.  Now after saying all that, I was fortunate to have the cows feeding right in front me, which is an added bonus that I haven’t seen in too many other images.  A happy accident I was happy to come across.  Had the cows not been there, however, I would’ve been just as satisfied with the shot.


 

Vermont Foliage From Above

As I’m sure is the case with many photographers, fall in New England is my absolute favorite season.  Both for photography, and for just about everything else.  Cool, crisp air and beautiful foliage makes it an enjoyable time of year to be outside exploring. And Vermont is one of my favorite places to be during the season.  I spent two days in north central Vermont last week taking in as much of it as I possibly could, and came away with some images I’ll be sharing here on the blog.

Some online scouting resulted in the location for today’s image.  It’s a fantastic spot with unbelievable views of Cabot and the surrounding area.  The hike up is reasonably short, but is definitely a bit strenuous, climbing 300-400 feet in elevation over roughly half a mile.  Once at the top, however, the climb up becomes totally worthwhile.  To get this specific vantage point requires standing on a narrow rock ledge with a sheer vertical drop to the forest below, and is definitely not for anyone with a fear of heights.  I had hiked up hoping for a colorful sunset, but unfortunately the clouds were not present that evening.  With that said, the foliage below was stunning (and almost at peak), and the setting sun added some additional interest.  This will definitely be on my list to visit in the future whenever I get back to Vermont.


Back Bay Blues

Boston’s Back Bay area is loaded with wonderful architecture and landmarks that can provide a wide variety of photo opportunities.  And for some reason, I hardly ever visit there with my camera.  I finally made some time this past summer, however, to come into town and create some images, and set up camp at the Boston Public Garden.  There are great views of the city in several directions here, along with the signature pond, hundreds of trees, winding pathways, a bridge and more.  I wanted a shot of the former John Hancock Tower (now 200 Clarendon) and thought the pond would make an excellent foreground subject against the building and the Back Bay skyline.  I was not alone.  The place was packed with “pro” photographers sporting all manner of iPhones and iPads trying to capture the scene.  I think my X-T1 and tripod were probably the right call.

 


Transition

This image is another from the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells, ME from my vacation in late August.  As I mentioned in my previous post, this part of the refuge is a beautiful 1 mile loop that meanders through forest and salt marsh along Maine’s southern coast.  This particular spot is one of several boardwalks along the loop that provide incredible views of the surrounding area.

Typically on sunrise shoots, I’m packing up my gear once the sun rises high enough above the horizon and the light becomes too harsh to shoot towards it.  Thankfully on this day, I had a scene behind me worth shooting, and simply turned around from where I was capturing the sky to the east and was treated to beautiful warm light hitting the trees and boardwalk to the west.  This location is really quite amazing, and I was taken by the transition of marsh to forest, while also witnessing the transition from dawn to daylight.  And did I mention that I was the only one there the entire time?  An awesome morning all around.


Morning BeautyI just got back from a family vacation in southern Maine, and managed to get out for sunrise on a couple of occasions.  This particular morning presented an absolutely beautiful display of clouds and color with zero wind; perfect conditions for some long exposures.  So where is this, you ask?  It’s the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in York, ME.  It was my first time visiting the refuge, and I can guarantee I’ll be back again soon.  It’s an impressively large place, with thousands of acres of protected land spread out from Kittery all the way to Cape Elizabeth near Portland.  I chose to explore the southern part, and the trail I was on is an easy 1 mile loop through the refuge that provides several lookout spots along the salt marsh and woods.  Although the tide was low, this little estuary made a great leading line through the image towards the rising sun.  Morning beauty indeed.


Boston Waterfront

I have worked in the city of Boston for the majority of my professional career, and I feel as though I know the city quite well.  It’s buildings, streets, etc. are all very familiar to me.  Yet when I have the chance to take in the city from an elevated point of view, it always seems to take on a new look for me.  The view from the observation deck of the Custom House is no exception.  This was taken a short while before the sun set to the west of where I was standing, and I love how the last of the warm sun was lighting up parts of the various buildings that make up the Boston skyline.

There are pretty amazing views from all four sides of the observation deck, and I ended up moving around more than I probably should’ve trying to get the “shot” of the city at sunset.  Fortunately I spent more time before sunset at this specific location, and was able to frame the image exactly as I wanted, and could wait for the light to be as I wanted it too.  This is definitely a spot I plan to revisit soon.


Sunset Over Boston

The sunset over the city of Boston last night was spectacular.  I had chosen a new vantage point for some skyline shots, and was on the observation deck of the Custom House tower.  This building is a Boston landmark, and appears in many if not most images of the the Boston skyline.  Aside from being a beautiful structure on its own, its observation deck provides some great views of the city and surrounding area.  The only challenge here is the fact that the deck is surrounded by a serious fence, and you need to conduct tripod gymnastics to get your camera to point through the fence.

This image is looking to the north towards the North End and Charlestown further in the distance.  The sky put on quite a show, and added great mood to this city skyline image.  I’ll have more images to share in later posts.


Pastel Sky

There are certain colors that you seem to only see in the summertime in New England, and the colors of the clouds at sunset are a perfect example.  Incredible pastels can light up the sky when the sun rises or sets.  On this particular night, the sunset I was hoping for didn’t materialize at my original destination.  So I decided to jump back in the car and head to the salt marsh house in Essex to see if the post-sunset sky would have anything to offer.  And as you can see, it certainly did.  The 500+ mosquitos and gnats per square inch was a steep price to pay for this shot, but definitely worth it.


 

Back Bay Storm

After the stormy weather moved through Boston this past weekend, we were left with windy conditions, and plenty of leftover clouds just as the sun was getting ready to set for the night.  In other words, ideal conditions for some long exposure photography.  While the sky was on fire to the west – the vantage point of my post from the other day – it was more pastel to the southwest where I was now aiming my camera over the Back Bay skyline.

Now the price you pay for having the streaking clouds and smooth water is of course the crazy movement in the trees.  And while some may disapprove, I actually really like this effect.  The contrast of the sharp buildings against the movement of just about everything else in the frame is a look I’m constantly searching for.  And on this night, I was treated to a brilliant opportunity to create such an image.


Fire Over the Bridge
On Saturday afternoon, some significant storms were moving through eastern Massachusetts, and it looked as though there could be potential for a nice sunset as the storm cleared out. Our plans for the night had kinda fallen apart, so I decided to head into Boston to see if the sunset would indeed materialize.
 
It certainly did. This is the bridge at the Boston Public Garden, and the sky behind was absolutely on fire. I had come to primarily shoot the city skyline, but the color was concentrated in the sky a little more to the west, so I quickly moved my position to get this shot. It was amazing how many people suddenly broke out their iPhones and iPads to get a shot of this incredible sky. Thankfully I was a bit better prepared than just my phone.