Got Milk?

Burke Road, Sutton, Vermont

Today's image is from a small farm in Sutton, Vermont. After shooting the Vermont countryside from the farm, I was walking back to my car and I spotted this milk sign on a weathered side of a barn. I was taken with it's color against the weathered wall with it's bright red color. For whatever reason, I immediately thought of the Got Milk? advertising campaign which is probably better than the "Drink Milk" sign.

Wild Horses

The Durango-Silverton Train, San Juan Mountains, Colorado

I've previously posted images of one of my favorite train rides, namely the Durango-Silverton Train that travels the rugged San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The trip has everything from mountains to streams to gorges to valleys. One of my favorite recollections though was this group of wild horses that were just beginning to gallop as the train rolled past. Given the movement of the train and the moving subject, I was just hoping to get one decent shot of them before we sped by them. All of my shots were pretty bad except for this one. All things considered, I am pretty happy with this one shot.

Walk in the Park

Everglades National Park, Shark Valley, Florida

One of the national parks that I have always wanted to visit is Everglades National Park. It is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and encompasses about 1.5 million acres. I was hoping to visit the main part of the park before a cruise leaving from Fort Lauderdale but the main part of the park was too far away to visit in the time that I had. As I was researching the park, I noticed a small entrance on the northern edge of the park named Shark Valley. Shark Valley is located along Tamiami Trail near the Miami Dade-Collier County line. While it is a small section of the park, wildlife abounds such as alligators, raccoons, deer, lizards, snakes and and all sorts of birds. Visitors can either hike a 15-mile trail or take a tram. There is an observation tower, seven miles down the trail that gives a great view of the surrounding area.

What amazed me the most when I entered the park was how close the birds and alligators were to the entrance. You could literally walk up and touch an alligator if you wanted to (but why would you?). This bird was having a nice leisurely walk in the park right next to the entrance to Shark Valley and I thought it's colors would make a great image.

Spring is Coming

Enders Falls, Granby, Connecticut

Looks like spring is almost here in the northeast. The forecast is for the mid to high 60s all week. I spent some time this weekend reviewing some of my images and spotted this abstract of a fern that I shot near Enders Falls in Granby, CT. The fern's color reminded me of the transition from brown to green that happens every spring. I hope that I am not celebrating it's return too soon.


Spaceship Earth, Epcot, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Quick post and run for today. This image is an abstract taken during my trip to Florida last month. I'm sure that fellow photographer and blogger, Jim Nix, will recognize this immediately as it is one of his favorite places. This abstract is of Spaceship Earth in Disney World's Epcot. Epcot to me is the park most designed for adults in the Disney complex and it was great to visit after a 17-year hiatus. It was great to see all of the new things they have added there since my last visit. The Test Track and Soaring rides quickly became my favorites. Have a great weekend everyone.

All Aboard the Durango-Silverton

Durango & Silverton Railroad, Durango, Colorado

This is an image of the Durango-Silverton train that I captured right before boarding it in Durango, Colorado. The train makes round trips daily to Silverton, Colorado to the north, a 3.5 hour, 45 mile trip trip through the rugged San Juan Mountains. The train is a narrow gauge, which is better suited to navigate the sharp curves of the mountain terrain. Once used to haul silver and gold ore from the Silverton area, it now serves as a tourist attraction. The ride itself is a spectacular trip passing open ranges, herds of horses, beautiful streams, waterfalls and spectacular mountains. The train often winds onto the "highline", a famous section of the railroad where the train crawls along the face of high cliffs. The engine crew will usually "blow" the engine on a railroad bridge to clean sediment from the boiler. It also stops for water at Tank Creek water tank for it's engines.

I highly recommend taking this train for anyone visiting southwest Colorado.

Taking Flight

Misty Fiords National Monument, Alaska

As many of you who follow this blog know, I am primarily a landscape and cityscape photographer. I rarely take photos of people although I do snap a few family and friends portraits, usually when on vacation. I do take shots of animals and birds which I did on last year's trip to Alaska. I was determined to get some shots of Bald Eagles in flight during our trip as they can be seen just about anywhere in the state. What I didn't realize, however, is that bird photography is HARD (either that or I am really bad at photography). I have more blurred shots of Bald Eagles that I do of in-focus mountains. Perhaps shooting them from a moving boat didn't help or that I only had a 28-300mm Nikkor lens which is much too short and slow. I think that even on firm ground with the right lens, I still would have been challenged. Anyway, my hat is off to you bird photographers out there. I have a much greater appreciation for your photographic skills. Oh by the way, this is probably my best Bald Eagle shot of the trip.

One at a Time

Zook's Mill Covered Bridge, Lancaser County, Pennsylvania

Today, I will be headed to Florida for a week or so to get a little warm and to visit Disney for the first time in over 10 years. Our good friends from New Jersey invited my wife and me to stay with them at their time share. As a result, my time spent writing posts and viewing blogs will be limited. Thanks to all of you who visit and comment on my blog. It is very much appreciated. I will try to catch up when I return. Today's image is from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. While Lancaster County is famous for it's Amish people (over 50,000 live in the area), it is also home to 29 covered bridges, many of which are in operation. The one in this image is the Zook's Mill Covered Bridge. It is typical of covered bridges in the area, many of which are located near farms on back country roads with only one lane allowing only one car to cross at a time. Lancaster County is a great place to visit and I would encourage anyone that is passing by the area to stop and spend some time there.

Straw Protection

Roatan, Honduras

New England's winters can usually take a toll on people living there. Not being a "snow" person, I like to get away from the cold and ice and head south to the warm climate of the Caribbean. This past winter was no exception and we took a cruise out of Fort Lauderdale to visit the Western Caribbean for the first time. One of the destinations of the cruise was Roatán, Honduras. Roatán is an island located near the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea (second largest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef). We opted to take a tour of the island which took us to various parts of the island including a beautiful resort on the north end. We stayed at the resort for about an hour and I was fascinated with the straw umbrellas that protected visitors and residents from the rain and sun. I thought the textures in the umbrella would make an excellent subject.

Ready to Ride?

Pudding Hill Road, Lyndonville Vermont

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Just a quick post and run today. This is a fall Vermont scene highlighting these three horses looking for a place to run. Either that or trying to figure out why the 20 or so photographers are taking their pictures.

I Like That Old Time Rock and Roll

Route 66 Restaurant, Bar Harbor, Maine

Today we revisit the Route 66 Restaurant in Bar Harbor, Maine. As I explained in this earlier post, the owner of the restaurant was nice enough to allow 20 photographers to photograph the place. As I looked around the place, I was immediately attracted to this old time jukebox, namely the "Seeburg Selectric Symphonola Jukebox". The JP Seeburg and Company was a family-owned business founded by Justus Sjöberg of Gothenburg, Sweden. In the late 1940s, Seeburg manufactured its popular and distinctive "trashcan-shaped" series of jukeboxes.

When I spied this jukebox, I could only imagine the fascination people had when the first jukebox was introduced. It must have seemed to them a new and exciting invention. It's interesting to contrast the jukebox with today's iPod and iPhone. Wonder what they would say now.

The Old Book

Antique Store, New Hampshire

Just a quick post and run today. This image is from an antique store somewhere in New Hampshire. The store owner was nice enough to allow us in to photograph whatever we wanted. While there were so many possible subjects, I was attracted to this old book. I could just imagine seeing this scene a long time ago with the old-time typewriter in the background and the old pewter cup in the foreground. Have a great weekend everyone.

Bubble Net Feeding

Humpback Whales, Juneau, Alaska

This past summer, I was fortunate to revisit Alaska. For those of you who have never been there, add it to your bucket list and place it pretty high. Of all of the great memories I had there, our whale watch cruise was something I will always remember. The weather that day was quite miserable. The tour that we had signed up for started with a hike to Mendenhall Glacier and finished with the whale watch cruise. I was pretty excited as it was led by a local photographer and the boat we took was designed for photographers. The boat had windows that went outward and up, so that you could lean out of the window and have your camera stay dry. I've been on whale watches before, but not like this one. Shortly after we left, we found 13 humpback whales (at least that is what we counted) that were participating in a bubble net feeding. This feeding is unique to humpback whales but is only practiced by certain humpbacks in limited locations in the world. Bubble net feeding is a foraging behavior used to capture small schooling fish. Humpbacks have an elaborate way they use the bubbles to manipulate prey. The bubble blowing whale seems to know where the fish are because it changes depth of bubble deployment depending upon how deep the prey is positioned in the water. The process begins with the whales at the surface, diving as a group. Once the group is under water, one whale within the group initiates a series of vocalizations known as feeding calls. As the prey come close to the bubble wall, the bubble blowing whale encloses the wall of bubbles around them, creating a cylinder with the fish trapped inside. For more information click this link where you find an expanded description of the feeding.

This image shows four humpbacks starting their dive. The spray from other humpbacks can be seen in the background. I will further expand on the challenges of photographing this type of feeding in a later post. Suffice to say, it was quite an experience.

All Tied Up

Bernard, Maine

Just a quick post today. I took this image on the docks of Bernard, Maine on the way to shoot some images of the Bass Harbor Head Light. Sorry to post and run. Have a great weekend everyone!

It Withstands the Cold!

Route 66 Restaurant, Bar Harbor, Maine

As part of the photography workshop I took in October, we visited the Route 66 Restaurant. The restaurant was decorated with memorabilia on the walls, hanging from the ceiling and everywhere else you looked. The owner was nice enough to allow the 20 or so photographers to have the run of the place as long as we came for dinner later in the evening. After eating dinner, we swarmed everywhere with tripods. It was quite the scene as there were still a few customers left and the waitresses were trying to serve them. I felt pretty bad for them as they dodged photographers wherever they went. Anyway, this is a shot of an old and rusty motor oil can that was on the shelf above our booth. It was a relatively small place and setting up for shots was almost comical. Regardless, it was a fun night of shooting.

Enter at Your Own Risk

Brooklyn, New York

Off to Bill Fortney's New England Photo Workshop tomorrow. I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to it. Hope to learn tons as well as shooting parts of New England where I've never been. That's always exciting. I may post a few next week but I am not sure of the schedule and internet accessibility. If I am unable, I will be back to normal the week of October 17th. And now for today's photo. Every time I walk around New York City, I come across something different and unusual. This is one of those times. I was walking around Brooklyn and came across this at the entrance to a restaurant. While it is unusual and funny, it didn't entice me to enter and try the food. When I was in business school, I never learned to warn potential customers of the risks of visiting my business.

Blue Hour at the Pier

Edgecomb, Maine

This is one of those very unexpected photos that we sometimes discover and become one of our favorites. When booking hotels for my lighthouse scouting trip with my son, I found this relatively cheap hotel within 25 minutes of Pemaquid Point. When Greg and I checked in, the hotel was the typical hotel room you would expect. We headed to Pemaquid Point to scout out the location for the next morning's shoot. After the scouting trip, we drove to Wiscasset to grab a quick dinner. Getting back to the hotel at about 8:30 pm, we walked around the hotel property and found this extremely long pier that was lit up. After seeing the pier and the great blue hour light, I ran back to the car and grabbed the tripod and camera. This was one of the images that I shot. It was a beautiful night and we spent a long time just hanging out on the pier. It was one of those totally unexpected moments and images.

Tribute in Bronze

London, England

Walking around the cities in Europe often serves as an informal history lesson. There are monuments that everyone recognizes and then there are others that commemorative some special time or event that may be less known. I came upon this monument on a street in London opposite the London Eye. It is an amazing tribute to the men and women who fought in the Battle of Britian which, in essence, saved England from being overrun by the Nazis. Not only was England ill-equipped for the battle (4,000 planes vs. 1,660 planes for the Allies), but their pilots were inexperienced and not well trained. It was through their sacrifices and efforts that England won the 3-month battle for air superiority over England. The victory led to Winston Churchill's famous quote, " Never was so much owed by so many to so few." Unveiled in 2005, the monument is a granite structure that has bronze panels that depict various aspects of the battle in the air and on the ground. While the sculpture contains a number of scenes, the most amazing one is this section that shows a group of pilots scrambling off to their planes. I was quite taken with the textures and details of this monument and think it pays great tribute to the airmen.

Looking for Nuts?

Washington Square, Manhattan, New York

While walking around Washington Square in New York City, I spotted this squirrel coming down this tree. It was late in the day and the sun was just beginning to set. The tree was in shadow except for this small patch of light. As I approached on the sidewalk, the squirrel stops in the sunlight and just poses for me, daring me to take his image. I move closer but the squirrel doesn't move at all, not even a twitch. So I figure the squirrel is an out of work actor and needs a shot for his portfolio and take it for him. I'm not exactly sure why animals in NYC seem to give me these looks (see my post with the annoyed cat) but I am guessing that he was looking for nuts and found one.

What's All That Racket?

Brooklyn, New York

As you may have noticed, I shoot primarily landscapes and cityscapes. Once in a while, I will shoot different subjects. As I was looking through images that I have pegged to be edited, I came across this shot. Now, I'll bet the last thing you would expect from me is a photo of a cat but this cat reminded me of a great couple of days I spent with my son, Greg, in New York City. He was attending the New York Film Academy and had written a story of a young girl whose mother had passed away. This mother was a photographer who was in the middle of a project. Greg needed some photos of New York City to use in his film so he asked me to come to the city to shoot different areas with him. After a long day taking photos, we ended up in Brooklyn where we passed this window. The cat stuck his head out and looked at us as if we were bothering him. He had this great expression that I couldn't resist.

The photo reminded me of the great time I had with Greg on his movie short. My photos can be seen as props in his movie, The Theory of Everything that can be watched on YouTube.