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.

Boardwalk Sunrise

For me, 2014 will probably be remembered as the year of not so much shooting.  Between craziness at work, a busy schedule with my family, and a general lack of sufficient motivation, I just didn’t get out to shoot nearly as much as I would’ve liked.  I’m under no false illusion that 2015 will be prolific in terms of photography, but I’m resolving to at least make a concerted effort to get out there more often.

This effort began this past weekend when I set my alarm for a sunrise shoot.  I decided to head to a familiar go-to location on Plum Island, hoping for a nice sunrise at a location I know well. And thankfully I was rewarded with a pretty decent sky full of pastel color and clouds.  This image won’t win me any awards, but it was very gratifying to have made the effort and to come away with some good images.

Happy new year everyone.

Boardwalk Dawn II

Today’s image is another shot from my sunrise shoot this past weekend.  This angle is looking in the opposite direction on the same boardwalk as yesterday’s image.  It’s amazing how the light can change so much in the pre-dawn hours, both in terms of time and direction.  Looking at the two images, it’s hard to believe that they were taken on the same morning within 30 minutes of one another.

Fun O Rama

There’s something about coastal New England resort towns in the offseason that’s very appealing to me.  This is from last winter in York, ME.  During the summer this place is packed with people, but in the winter it’s just you and your thoughts.  And your boots.  And your hat.  And your…

Good morning, happy Tuesday, and I hope everyone enjoyed your Labor Day weekend.  It’s hard to believe the summer is over, but I have to admit that I’m already looking forward to the fall and the wonderful New England foliage season.

Today’s post is another image from Salem Willows Park.  This pier is a popular fishing spot, and is one that I hope to try my luck at someday soon.  The morning I grabbed this shot I had arrived well before sunrise, and there were already a few people there fishing.  As I like to get up to shoot at sunrise, and many people like to fish at sunrise, maybe next time I’ll bring my fishing gear and my camera.  There’s time for both, right?

I couldn’t decide between “Red Dory” and “Dory Dory Hallelujah” for the title of this post.  Did I make the right call?  🙂

Anyway.  This past weekend I participated in a photo safari in Gloucester sponsored by Sigma, Hunt’s Photo & Video, and the Gloucester Maritime Center.  It was led by professional photographer David Fitzsimmons, and was a great opportunity to photograph parts of the area that I hadn’t been to before.  And more importantly, I got to try out a variety of Sigma lenses during the event.   While I certainly had fun playing with the 15mm fisheye and the 70-200 f/2.8, I really enjoyed using the 8-16mm ultra-wide angle lens the most.  I hadn’t used a ultra-wide before and was very pleased with how this one performed.  It’s wide angle of view, incredible sharpness,  and manageable distortion even at 8mm definitely put this lens on my wish list.

This red dory seemed tailor-made for an ultra-wide lens, and I spent a lot of time trying different angles and vantage points with the 8-16.  So far this image is my favorite, but I still have many more to review and process.  I was drawn to the colors of the boat and the lines in the dock, and I just love the perspective that this lens allowed me to create.

I can’t seem to get enough of these boardwalks that lead down to the beach.  While they are all typically made from wood or composite, that’s where the similarities among them ends.  Each has its own personality in either its age, color, its chosen path to the beach, etc.  It seems that no two are actually alike, and that means plenty of great photo opportunities like this one.  For this shot, the colors were a little flat and muted, so I decided to process it in black and white.  I think I like this version better than the color one as the focus is now only about tones, textures and lines.

Camera settings: ISO 200, f/13, 24 mm, 3 brackets tonemapped in Photomatix and processed in PhotoTools 2.6 and LR 3.

Happy Tuesday, and I hope everyone had a nice long holiday weekend.  Have you ever had one of those times where you keep trying to find the right composition at the right moment, but each time you set up you wish you had stayed in the spot you were just in?  That’s how my morning on Plum Island went this past weekend.  Each time I moved from the wide angle shots of the boardwalk and sky to some abstract shots of the waves and sand, and vice versa, the lighting conditions kept making me wish I stayed put.   Finally, long after the sun had risen, the light and the clouds conspired together and presented me with this shot.   As for processing, I blended two exposures – one of the boardwalk and grass, and one of the sky – in PS to balance the contrast of the scene.

Camera settings: ISO 200, f/13, 24 mm, 2 exposures blended in PS

For today’s post we go back to Plum Island.  This is one of the many boardwalks that leads down to the beach in the wildlife refuge area of the island (here is another one).   It’s a bit of a long one, but well worth it when you arrive at the beautiful beach just beyond the dunes.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-70, f/16, 18 mm, 1/160 sec