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.


Dawn at the Pier

Every so often I’ll be out shooting sunrise, and the sky will magically take on this eery orange glow before the sun comes up over the horizon.  While I still prefer a sky full of illuminated clouds, sometimes these single color sunrises can be quite impressive.

This one comes from Martha’s Vineyard from a trip a few years ago.  As the light was still low, I needed a 90 second exposure which added that nice smooth quality to the water.  Maybe not my best composition, but the color certainly made up for it.

Have a great weekend.


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?


Well I’m back after a week of vacation at home and time away from the blog.  I had a fantastic week with my family full of fun day trips and some much needed R&R.  While I certainly love to take vacations to new and interesting places, sometimes a staycation at home is still the best.

Last week we were fortunate here in Boston as the city hosted Boston Harborfest, the War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations, Navy Week, and OpSail Boston.  These overlapping events meant that Boston played host to numerous ships and boats, including some of the Tall Ships.  These two ships, the Guayas from Ecuador and the Gloria from Colombia, were docked at Fish Pier, and are just incredibly impressive and beautiful ships.  The Guayas is a 257 foot long Ecuadorian Naval Academy ship, teaching seamanship and navigation skills to naval cadets.  The Gloria, at 249 feet, is the official flagship of the Colombian Navy, and was commissioned in 1968 as a sail-training ship, similar to the Guayas.  I woke up real early to grab some shots at sunrise before the crowds, and was pleasantly surprised with both a nice sunrise, as well as finding the lights still lit on both ships.  I’m endlessly fascinated with the Tall Ships, and will post some more images in the near future.


Today’s post comes from Gloucester, MA.  This is one of those places that I’ve driven past several times, and finally decided to stop and grab a few shots.  It’s also a place that looks much better against a stormy sky than a sunny or colorful one.  Or at least to me it does.

Camera settings: ISO 200, f/8, 18mm, 10 second exposure


It’s a quick post for today with a visit back to my trip to Martha’s Vineyard last fall.  For this shot I tried some brackets for an HDR shot as well as some long exposures, but wasn’t happy with the results.  After much playing around, I ended up blending one of the brackets with one of the long exposures to get the look I wanted.  I’m still working on my masking skills, but certainly had fun working on this image.  It’s something I definitely plan to keep on practicing.

Camera settings: ISO 200, f/13, 18mm, 2 exposures blended in CS5


Today’s post is another image from my trip up to Rockport, MA in late November.  As it was my first time there, I was trying a variety of different angles and perspectives on Motif #1, the famous fishing shack you see in the background.  When I was done, I came home and started reviewing the shots to see how I did.  I immediately processed the shots I thought were keepers, and left the majority of them for another time.  

So I was revisiting these shots the other day, and when I saw this one, I was so glad I had hung on to the non-keepers.  I immediately saw something in the original files this time around which I hadn’t seen before, and processed it with that vision in mind.  You hear it all the time, but there’s definitely something to be said about coming back to images a while after you shoot them.  You’re almost guaranteed to see something different the second or third time around.

Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-70, f/13, 29mm, 3 brackets


It’s back to Kittery Point, Maine for today’s post.  This is the same pier from this post, just taken from the other side.  It was a freezing cold evening, but with a beautiful sunset.  It’s amazing how we can tolerate such extreme conditions when Mother Nature puts on a show.  There’s no way I would’ve been standing out there in that cold and wind if it was overcast or rainy.

Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-70, f/11, 18mm, 3 brackets


Here is another image of downtown Boston from Lo Presti Park in East Boston, taken on the same day as yesterday’s post.  This was the last shot I took that frigid night, and the exposure was shorter than I had wanted due to my desire to get back in my car before my fingers fell off.  So although I had envisioned a much brighter image, I was actually quite pleased with how this came out.  The dark and deep colors of the sunset in this long exposure created a compelling mood in the image.  Well at least for me.  I hope you like it too.

Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-70, f/8, 22mm, 180 seconds