I was there to capture the sun setting behind Mt. Mansfield, not the cow. While setting up for what I thought was going to be an iconic Vermont sunset, dozens of cows came running over to me to see what I was doing (they were on the other side of an electric fence). As I moved to reset my shot, they would follow. Eventually, it was just me and this one curious cow. Move, reset, follow. Move, reset, follow. After about 10 minutes of her following me and me getting more frustrated, it then hit me that my subject was not the iconic Vermont sunset over Mt. Mansfield, but it was my new friend. I reset my camera to shoot handheld from an low angle and captured this shot while she was still curious. I would love to say that that I planned for the color of the sky and the flowers to match, and for her to tilt her head a bit to give a bit of a quizzical look, but truthfully, it was "right place, right time" and taking advantage of the opportunity that presented itself.
This image has been my top grossing image.
While driving around the picturesque town of Rye, NH, I came across this scene and just had to stop. The "Posted" sign, barbed wire, and stone wall coupled with the maple tree in full foliage were so quintessential Yankee New England, that it needed to be captured. The fog rising behind added a bit of drama to the scene.
Memorial Blue Hour
The Memorial Bridge carries the iconic route 1 from Portsmouth, NH to Kittery, ME. Recently reconstructed, the lighting on the bridge often provide stunning colors, especially during the "blue hour" when it contrasts nicely with the cooler blue colors that exist shortly after sunset. On the left side of the image is Prescott Park which provides a summer home for the thriving Portsmouth arts scene to flourish. This image was one of the first long exposure images I published and has been a favorite for past and present Portsmouth residents. The 30x10 metallic print has been a consistently popular choice.
It's commonplace for people to tell me that this wagon has a special place in their heart. Whether it be the location of a first date (several UNH graduates have told me this was the case), where a mom and dad first took their kids sledding, or where they used to take their beloved dog for a walk, people have an emotional attachment to Wagon Hill Farm in Durham, NH. On this evening, the colors of sunset provided a nice contrast to the deep green of the grass and wagon.
The Guardian won honorable mention in the AAA Northern New England Journey Photo Contest in 2016, and as I wrote in my entry, I almost missed it. Portland Head Light is an hour north of my home, so to get there for sunrise means an early wake up call. On this morning, I could see the colors in the sky exploding as I approached Portland, ME. In order to get to Cape Elizabeth, where Portland Head Light is located, you have to go over the Casco Bay Bridge, a drawbridge, which on this morning was just rising as I got there. So, there I sat as a large tanker slowly entered Portland Harbor thinking that I had just gotten up early for no reason. The five minutes I waited for the tanker to clear the bridge felt like an hour as the sky continued to blow up. I don't remember driving the 5 miles to Portland Head Light from there, but I do remember running, with my gear, to this location to capture the moment. Catching my breath, I set up the camera for a 1 second exposure to catch a bit of the wave action, and captured the shot.
Salisbury (MA) State Park is a great place to visit in the winter. Dunes, grasses, and a wide empty beach provide ample opportunity to find great compositions. On this morning, a passing storm and a beached lobster trap were just the ingredients needed for a moody New England image. Lobster traps wash up on New England's shorelines commonly, but this one was in pretty good shape (probably because it washed up on a beach, not a rocky shore).
This is the same lobster trap as the previous image, just at a different angle. The storm that moved offshore at sunrise created incredibly deep purple and red colors in the sky and provided a perfect contrast to the gentle wave action of Salisbury (MA) State Park.
This dory is found at the base of the footbridge to Ogunquit Beach in Ogunquit, ME. It is a place that I have visited on several occasions. I've always gone to shoot the footbridge, but low tide gave me closer-than-usual access to the dory. Couple that with the rain from a recent storm filling the craft, and the bridge was no longer my target. Knowing that the clouds provided drama, I wanted the water in the dory to mirror the sky, so I put my wide angle lens on and placed the camera just a few feet away from boat and waited for the colors of sunrise to show themselves. The result is this image, which quickly became a top seller.
Winter on the Squamscott
These types of winter days don't come along often, so when a blue sky morning followed a wet 5 inches of snow in Exeter, NH I had to go find this shot. The Squamscott River flows through the historical town of Exeter, NH. A good portion of the river hugs Swasey Parkway, replete with its walking paths, full growth trees, green grass and park benches, Swasey is the perfect place to spend some free time. This image is my number 1 selling "winter" image and having printed this on both metal and high quality photo paper (with a brown wooden frame!), this is a personal favorite of mine.
Into the Blue
Hampton Beach (NH) State Park has this wonderful jetty that extends several hundred yards out into the atlantic ocean. There to protect Hampton Harbor, it makes for a great subject, especially for a long exposure. This shot, taken on an overcast day in January of 2017, was a four minute exposure, more than enough time to smooth out the tides and allow the clouds to blur into monotone. Although recently taken, this shot has become a favorite on Instagram and Facebook, with it becoming the cover shot of the official Facebook page of Hampton Beach, NH.
I didn't expect this to become a top seller, but it has. Taken the morning after a blizzard, the surf along North Hampton Beach was as active as I had ever seen it. With no clouds, the sun turned the churned waters of the Atlantic Ocean different shades of blue and green and the mist off the waves created a dreamlike look to Boar's Head in the distance.
Taken in Newcastle, NH, this dory just sat in the still waters of Portsmouth Harbor. Add the thick fog, lack of wind, and a moderately long exposure and this scene made for a wonderfully simple minimalist image.
Inside Tip: There are times when photographers "create" their scene a bit. We move a leaf here, roll a rock there, and place a seashell here. It isn't done to grossly misrepresent a scene (at least I don't), but to enhance it appropriately. There are times when I have purposefully "created" footprints in the sand, but this is not one of them. Yes, those are my footprints, but when I walked to the water on Ogunquit Beach on this day, it was in search of a different composition. I walked up and down the shoreline looking to capture the the morning's color on the wet sand. It was only after I walked back to this location did I see my footprints. Similar to some of my other images, this capture wasn't totally planned, but more me keeping my eyes open to new possibilities while on location.
It is said that Nubble Light on Cape Neddick (York, ME) is the most photographed lighthouse in the world* and, like many New England based photographers, I have visited the Nubble many, many times. The reason I go back so often is because I rarely see the same thing twice. Different lighting conditions coupled with tide conditions make Nubble an ever changing landscape. This was the third image from a recent sunrise shoot at Nubble. The forecast was for an explosive sunrise, but the cloud bank arrived a bit late allowing the sun to rise uninterrupted behind the light. Knowing the color would not be as explosive as forecasted, I chose to capture the sun as a slowly rose over the island and used this Wild Rose plant as a bit of foreground interest.
*I've also heard the same of Portland Head Light.
If you haven't been to Plum Island on the northern shore of Massachusetts, you need to make the trip. Open year round, I prefer going in the winter when there are no crowds and you can take your time without getting in the way of others. Approximately half way down the island there are a series of boardwalks that bring visitors into the marshland of Plum Island. This is Hellcat Trail, which brings you through head high reeds. This image, a long exposure of 3 minutes, captures the energy of the clouds flying by overhead, the calmness of the reeds on both sides, and strength and texture of the boardwalk as it burrows its way through the marsh.