Old Orchard Beach

This past weekend I decided to make the drive up to Old Orchard Beach in Maine to photograph its famous pier.  The forecast looked promising for a nice sunrise, with some clouds arriving at dawn and temps in the low 30’s (that’s pretty warm for Maine in February).  Well they got it half right.  It was a balmy winter morning, but the clouds failed to materialize.  Again.

So what does one do when the clouds you expected don’t show up?  You covert your images to black & white (this is of course after you’re finished cursing).   I also went a little further with this shot giving it a darker processing treatment, while still leaving some nice light on the side of the buildings.  Although I like using plug-ins for most of my B&W conversions like Silver Efex Pro or Perfect B&W, I was able to coax out the image I wanted this time by just using the tools in Lightroom.

It wasn’t the sunrise long exposure I had hoped for, but still an image that I like.


4th Floor

Anyone who’s followed my blog over the past few years knows how much I like to photograph the stairs and stairways in the old mills.  Inspired by the original stair whisperer, Mr. Bob Lussier, I always seek out the stairways when I photograph a new mill for the first time (well the mill is old, but new to me).

The Pacific Mill complex in Lawrence has many of these beautiful stairs to photograph, and I’m sure I’ve only found a small number of them so far.  This scene is in one of the main buildings there, and has many interesting landings throughout its six floors.  This is of course the fourth floor, and although you can’t see the stairs themselves, I was drawn to all the parallel lines in this scene including the walls, the pipe, the doorway, the strange wood case, and even the columns in the background.


Standing Silent

It’s been several days since my last blog post as my new job has been keeping me quite busy.  But I’m back today with a shot from the archives that I rediscovered the other day.

This was from a fall visit to Ogunquit, Maine a few years back.  Anyone who has ever visited this wonderful coastal community knows that the shoreline all along the Marginal Way is filled with scenes like this one.  The endless array of photo opportunities here is one of the reasons that I keep coming back time and again.


Twist

Just a quick post for today with an image of one of the stairways at the Pacific Mill in Lawrence.  I was about to head home from a quick shoot there when the visual intersection of these two handrails caught my eye.  I quickly unpacked my camera and tripod and grabbed my last shot of the day.  It also happened to be my favorite.

Have a great weekend.


Winter Chill

Another image today from Portland Head Light in Maine.  No sun at sunrise usually means I’ll convert most images to black & white, especially long exposures like this one (yesterday’s post was an exception).  It was a cold 5 minutes waiting for this exposure, but ultimately worth the wait.  When it’s still early and the light is low, my 10 stop ND filter can make for some very long exposure times.  One of these days I need to get myself a variable ND filter so I can better dial in the right (read: shorter) exposures, especially for these cold winter mornings.  Be sure to click on the image for a larger view.


Everett Drama

This black and white exterior image of the Everett Mill in Lawrence was actually taken during a beautiful summer sunset, but for some reason I just felt that the B&W treatment was more appropriate.  The clouds were really moving, and I used a 3+ minute exposure to draw out as much of the movement as I could.

 


Facade

I’m honestly not sure what I was originally trying to create here, but ended up with this image which I like quite a bit.  This is the part of the exterior of the New England Aquarium, specifically the IMAX Theater building, and the image was taken during the Kelby Photowalk this past fall.

After trying some full view shots that just weren’t working, I got in close to play with the interesting patterns on the exterior, and ended up with this kinda abstract shot.  Because it was night and I was so close to the building, a 30 second exposure was needed.  Which worked out great because the movement in the clouds ended up adding some additional interest.



Pacific Spiral

I thought I’d continue the spiral stairs theme from Friday’s post with this shot from the Pacific Mill in Lawrence.  What I really love about this image is that it could be from a 19th century mill, or just as easily the stairs in a New England lighthouse.  Which by the way happen to be my two favorite subjects to shoot.


Ayer Mill Clock Tower

I’ve always considered it a privilege when granted access to photograph any of the old mills in Lawrence.  The mill owners are generous, trusting, and they allow me to do something for which I have a true passion.  This past weekend, however, a privilege became an honor.

My good friend and fellow photographer, Bob Lussier, had been asked to create some environmental portraits of the man who has served as the keeper of the Ayer Mill Clock for the past 22 years.  As you know, Bob and I share the same passion for the mills, and he was kind enough to allow me to join him for the shoot.  In exchange for acting as a light stand for some off-camera flash for the portraits, I was able to shoot the inside the clock tower, and more importantly I got to know Charlie.

Charlie has incredible stories to share, and is an encyclopedia of facts about the mechanics and history of this special landmark from his many years maintaining and rebuilding it.  It was a pleasure and an honor to meet him, and in the process, I also got some pretty cool images to share.  I’m starting today with a shot of the exterior of the clock tower taken from the roof of the Ayer Mill before we went inside.  Images from inside will follow in later posts, along with some interesting information about the mill and clock tower.

And please check out Bob’s site for some of the photos he captured of Charlie.  Really great stuff.