November Portraits, Part 2

Another session, this time more family, less kids (at least young ones), but well beahved 2 dogs (and a few cats that were not really into photography). I also took 4x5 in black and white and color. Here is an example of a B&W, it is Trix 320 developed in HC-110B.


November Portraits, part 1

Kelly and her family were gracious and let me take portraits - and let me practice my patients taking pictures of toddlers and small children, which were very gorgeous but not always too happy to be in front of a camera! Here a few examples, shot with a Nikon D700 nd a 35-70 or 105 f2.5 lens.




Clear Night

Amazing how many stars you don't see, but they show up on photographs. Here are a few long exposre shots (15-30 s, 800-1600 ISO). YOu already begin to se the star trails at these times, but just close up.

ISO 800, f/4, 30s

ISO 800, f2.8, 15s

ISO 1600, f5.6, 30s

Fall Foliage

OK, I do not THE shot this fall. The shot of the white new england church amidst misty meadows and bright red foliage. I went south to teh Belgrade Lake area on a clear early morning but by the time I got down there, the sunrise (6:30'ish) was hidden by clouds. Fiddling with the camera at below freezing temperaturs is also not so easy. I shot film (Mamiya RZ 67 and Mamiya 7) as well as Nikon.

It finally cleared up so I can share some photos with you. The light actually turned out to be beautiful for an hour or two.

Railroad bridge Fairfield, ME

same, converted to Black and White

Messalonskee Lake, Oakland, ME

Messalonskee Lake, Oakland, ME

Messalonskee Lake, Oakland, ME

Cemetary, Rome, ME

Augusta Road, Belgrad, ME

Near Belgrade, ME


Desktop Image for October

Almost overdue.. I finally took some time to shoot some foliage. As the area around Bangor is past its peak, I travelled down the Belgrade Lake area. I'll be posting some photos soon, but probably the best suited one for a desktop is here (right click image to download):



Desktop Image for September

A trip with family and friends to Mt. Kineo on Moosehead Lake yielded a few nice frames of some Echinacea plants. I thought the vibrant colors were nice going into September so I made it a Desktop image. Shot with a Nikon D700 and 105m Nikkor-Micro.


Senior Little League

For quite a few years now, Bangor has hosted the Senior Little League Worldseries. I went for the first time, attending the finals (Texas vs California). Texas won, 9 to 7, and everyone had fun, including the winners as seen below. I took my Nikon and 70-300VR lens, mostly set at Shutter priority. Here are a few examples. I do not shoot much action, so it was a learning experience - I certainly appreciated the cameras fast autofocus and tracking, which worked very well.
















Senior Pictures

Last weekend I had the honor of doing a photo shoot with a handsome young man for his Senior Pictures. We shot in Grotto Cascade park, just before sundown. He had brought his Cello and played some, too. His mother was in my employ, holding backgrounds and reflectors.






August Desktop Image

So someone wondered where this month’s image is. It is here (click it):


Now that the weather here in Maine has changed, we all deserve a sunny image. It was taken recently at about 6 AM. My neighbors were fishing out on the lake, adding an interesting element to the golden light.

Bucksport Fireworks

I am glad that my assistant Kelly pointed out to me that Bucksport, ME, would have fireworks as a finale to their street festival on July 25th. So I packed up tripod, my Nikon and a few lenses (14-24mm, 35-70mm, 70--300mm VR) and set off. Even before the show started there were some nice shots to be had. The crescent moon was setting (you’ll see it in some of the fireworks images, too), and I captured it and the last colors of the day to over the hills to the North West.

Then the show started, enjoy some of the keepers. Note to self: steady wind and soft grass make long exposures a little shaky, but the tripod up on something solid next time!


It had been foggy all night, which made for a nice finish: the Verona Island bridge in the fog, the clouds are lit by lights coming from town.


On my way back to the car, I came by this house, which was obviously abandoned. Does anybody else think of “Psycho”? An opportunity to play with the 14-24mm lens at the widest setting! It was lit by a single street lamp. The lamp was a sodium vapor lamp, which makes everything look deep yellow. Kudos to the software, which corrected the white balance on the RAW image quite nicely. One more reason not to shoot JPEG images.


Another Wedding

Just a few examples from Morgan and Bill’s Wedding













May Desktop Image

One advantage (maybe the only one) of being called out in the middle of the night is returning home to an early sunrise. As I pulled into the driveway, I saw the sky light up pink. I ran inside and grabbed my Nikon D700 and a tripod. This months desktop image was taken around 5:15 AM - it actually does not do the colors justice (maybe some film like Velvia would have been better). Click on the image to download.


For the more dramatic, here is a version in Black and White (with a digital red filter applied)



A while back, I went on the auction site (aka feebay) and paid a few dollars for a Nikon PB-5 bellows. Basically, while dedicated Macro lenses (such as the Nikkor 105 mm Macro) let you take ‘life size’ pictures (1:1 ration of the real and virtual picture), a bellows extension lets you blow it up even further. In my case about 4:1, i.e. a 1/4 inch in the real world projects as one inch on the sensor/film, making for some really blow up shots. This is the way I took a picture of the seashell a few posts below, here are some more examples. It is fun, but cumbersome, as you have to focus well - even at small apertures the DOF is shallow, refraction becomes a problem and the object sits right in front of the lens, making lightening challenging. These were taken with an old 55mm Nikkor f3.5 mounted and the bellows almost fully extended.


Fern Spores

A Penny


Kenduskeag Canoe Race

No matter f you saw the race or not, you’ll enjoy these pictures. Who knows, it was fun taking them (thankfully the weather was nice), but maybe next year I’ll be in the race. IT looked like people were definitely having fun! Pictures were taken at Six Mile Falls - nomen est omen. I packed my Nikon D700 and a Tele zoom (I was a little envious, looking at the man next to me with a Canon 300mm f2.8 L, which I am sure took some great pictures). I was there for most of the race, so if you or someone you know were in it, send me the start number, maybe I can find them.

Bangor High School Dance

Back in March, I had the opportunity to see some stellar performances by the Bangor High School Students and their teachers. They truly did a magnificent job and I though I’d share some impressions. I was too far away for a Flash (which was not allowed anyway), so I had to rely on my Nikon’s high ISO performance, which did not disappoint.







February Desktop Image

OK, folks, here is the desktop image for February. This is taken with a Nikkor Micro AF 105mm lens, which is capable of 1:1 magnification. This is a droplet that just bounced off the surface of water. I used flash, exposure is at 1/2000th of a second, f/5.6 (Nikon’s creative lighting system has a trick to “sync” the flash at such high shutter speeds). The reflections you see at the right and upper edge were not indented, but I think they add to the picture.


You can download it here (1440x900 pixels). Here is another shot:


Too Early for an Eulogy

Is film dead? If you go to online forums like, you get very different, and passionate opinions. The digital revolution has been amazing, and new cameras like the Nikon D3X or Canon 5D Mark II, even the D700 and the like, beat 35mm film by far - not only in resolution but also in light sensitivity. There are still some that will dispute that, but at least in my hands that is true. Furthermore, they approach the dynamic range of black and white film. But I sure hope film stick around. For one, unless you have $10,000 to $50,000 to spend on a digital medium format camera, taking 120 roll film and scanning it will still give you quality unsurpassed by digital any SLRs. You can get a professional medium format camera and a few lenses for $500, and for the remaining $9,500 you do not spend on a modest Mamiya 654ZD with a 22 MPix back, you can get and develop 1300 rolls of film, that is ~ 15,000 pictures, which a roll of film every day for the next 4 years. If you were to compare it to the $39,995 Hasselblad H3D, you probably could not shoot enough film in your lifetime.... Sure, the Digitals will get cheaper. But then there is Large Format. A 4x5 negative, scanned at 4800 dpi (that is what mot modern flatbed scanners are capable of) would give you a 460 (fourhundredandsixty) MPix image that you can print at high quailty over 6 by 7 feet! Good luck trying to prcess it on your home computer though...

Holiday Hiatus

Those if you who thought this will be another dead blog...there! Here is my entry for the new year. Happy New Year, belated, to everyone! The holidays have been busy and I have had a few things happen on the photo-front. First, a new addition to my stable, the Leica D-Lux 4, bought on a trip to New York, as “my old lady”, which should have come with me , unfortunately had her Rangefinder adjusted. The D-Lux is a little gem with superb image quality (for a point and shoot), and it shoots RAW images, which was important to me and limited my choice in camera. I took it to the city for some street photography (something I have to get used to, and any P&S will not be ideal for that). Here are a few examples:
City Island, New York

Grand Central, New York Now mind you, any P&S is not going to get good quality images beyond ISO 200 or ISO 400, but noise levels are very very good at ISO 80 or 100, as seen here:

JFK, Terminal 3, NY at ISO 80
And the same image “pushed” 5 stops in Photoshop (mind you these are JPGs):


Getting Ready For X-mas?

Everyone is getting ready for X-mas, this includes photographs. I had been asked to shoot festive pictures of the children of a co-worker. So I grabbed my Nikon gear, including a recent find, a Nikkor 105mm AI-S f/2.5, which did not disappoint. It also gave me an opportunity to field test my “portable studio” setup (strobes, background etc). How did it go? Well, see for yourselves.