Thursday, June 26, 2008
Purple martins almost exclusively exist in man-made martin houses placed in open fields near water. They are a joy to have around.
I hope you enjoy these shots.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Tonight we had a great weather pattern set up. Usually when I go out at sunset, I’m in the wrong place, don’t have enough time or just can’t get the image. Tonight was different.
When shooting at sunset, I always look around. Facing the sunset, behind me were a partial rainbow, dramatic clouds and unbelievable lighting caused by the nasty weather getting pushed out by cooler, dryer air. No matter where I was, there was something to capture. Always look over your shoulder when the sun is setting. Look to the left and look to the right. These picture were all taken within a 200 yard radius.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
We live in an area were lobsters are fresh, plentiful and relatively inexpensive. We picked up two 1-1/4 pound lobsters, some little neck clams and decided to open a bottle of Riesling. This will make a good posting for our wine blog Smells Like Grape.
When purchasing lobster, make sure that they are still frisky. If they are frisky, their tails will flop back and forth when they are picked up. In other areas of the country, the tails should at least tuck back under if they are pulled straight. If the tails are limp, you don’t want them. Lobsters can be stored in a moist paper bag in the refrigerator for a few hours without harm.
The secret to boiling a lobster is to get a large pot tall enough to hold your lobsters. Bring the pot to a rolling boil. Take your lobsters and plunge them into the water head first and cover with the lid. Be sure that there are no little children around that could get scalded.
Boil the lobsters 10 minutes for the first pound and one minute more for each additional pound. Just so there is no confusion, ten minutes and thirty seconds for a pound an a half lobster. Two pound and a half lobsters in one pot will receive the same ten minutes and thirty seconds (not 11 minutes) cooking time.
What's lobsters without some clams?
We picked up some little neck clams to go with the lobster. We only had a dozen so the easiest way to cook them was to take a shallow frying pan. Place the clams in the pan with some chopped up garlic. Clams should be closed before cooking. Clams that are open are probably dead and should be discarded. Fill the pan about one third full with water and bring to a simmer. They should be opening up after about five to seven minutes.
Wine with Lobster
We tossed a couple of ears of corn in the lobster pot three minutes before the lobsters were done. While the lobsters are cooking, wedge some lemons, melt a stick of butter and pop open the chilled Riesling.
Life is good. You can read about the Riesling on Smells Like Grape
Visit SmellsLikeGrape for additional wine and lobster ideas.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Eastern Point is a rocky outcrop in East Gloucester, Massachusetts. This lighthouse has many moods.
These two fog shots were taken a year ago when the DCB-224 beacon was still used. Earlier this year, the beacon was replaced for a modern light.
In this photo you can see the green moss forming on the north side of the the light tower.
Standing on Dog Bar Breakwater at dusk on a cold March day with the sunset to my back. I often wonder about the storms that have hit the breakwater. The breakwater is about ½ mile long and makes for a pleasant walk. In the summertime you will find fishermen all along the granite structure.
We see that the tower has been freshly painted and is stunning against the blue sky.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Fitz Henry Lane was a 19th centry Gloucester artist painting in the Luminism style. The colors of the ever changing Gloucester Harbor are often subtle and stunning. I thought I’d put together a little group of photos to show the light conditions of Cape Ann that may have been Fitz Henry’s inspiration.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I really like the way the timothy bobs in the breeze. I decided to use a slower shutter speed to add interest. Hay fever suffers beware!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Dories are small fishing boats with flat bottoms. These boats are built for work. They were stacked on the decks of the schooners here in Gloucester and lowered over the sides at sea. The dory would typically hold two men and could hold two thousand pounds of gear and catch fully loaded.
Today, you will see recreational dory rowers on Gloucester Harbor keeping the tradition alive.
Post Script, 22 June 08: The International Dory Races were held in Gloucester on June 21st. I have augmented the slide show to include some photos from the races. There are lots of recreational dory rowers in Gloucester. We also have a club of serious athletes that compete with a group from Maritime Canada. Enjoy.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Many folks ask me what gear I shoot with. I’m packing two Nikon D80s, one with Nikkor 18-200mm and the other with a 70-300mm lenses.
Sometimes while traveling, I'll slip a point-and-shoot into my pocket. A recent addition to the gear pile is a Canon PowerShot SD960 IS.
15 Jan 2012 Update.
Some time ago, I picked up a Nikon D5100 with a 18-55mm kit lens. I dropped my 18-200 and the repair bill was $450. I couldn't justify dropping that much money to repair mediocre lens, so I spent the extra $50 to get the 18-55 kit lens with the D5100.
Do I like the D5100? Well, it’s “okay”. It does some things that my D80s don’t do. It has a great display on the back that shoots live. It has better resolution, shoots cleaner and has faster recover so I can rapid-fire in RAW mode.
On the flip side, it does not have ISO and Metering Mode buttons. It doesn’t have a Release Mode button. The Release Mode button is the one that you use to select single, multiple, remote or timed shutter release. These functions are all handled through menus on the display. This is a bit of a drawback because as a wildlife photographer, I do not always have the luxury of time to scroll through several menus to adjust my camera’s metering and ISO. So the lack of these buttons is a bit of an ass-ache.
A cool feature that the D5100 has is an interval timer. I can set up time lapse photo shoot and walk away. That is cool.
90% of the time I use my 70-300mm lens on the D5100 leaving my 18-55 and 18-200mm lenses on my two D80 bodies. Yeah, I can still shoot with the dropped 18-200, it’s sticky and grindy at long focal lengths, but when it comes time to shoot in crappy weather, I’ve got a lens and a body I don’t have to stress over.
30 May 2012 Update
I just picked up a Nikon 300mm f/4 ED-IF AF-S Nikkor Lens with Built-in Hood & Detachable Tripod Mount. I did this because I was constantly throwing the 70-300 zoom out to 300mm and as with all kit zoom lenses, the image quality falls off. So I took the plunge and I’m quite happy with the initial results.
7 Jan 2013 Update
I sold one of my D80s. So now I’ve got a D80 that I keep a kit 18-55mm Nikkor on, the D5100 is used with the 300mm F/4. When I travel, I’m inclined to take the 70-300mm on the D5100.
The real reason for this update is that I’ve just purchased the Nikon D600 + 24-85mm full frame kit. I’m just loving it. Since I got a darned good price on the kit, I took the plunge. The 24-85mm is not a bad lens and we are good friends. In 2013, I hope to pick up some primes for the D600.
If you want to see some of the initial results, check out Circumflatulating. I did this photoshoot to put the Expeed 3 image processing system to the test. You’ll see why if you check out the post.
The D5100? It’s taking some pretty good photos, but I’m still fettered by the lack of buttons. The D600 has a lot of buttons and features that are helping me take control. Since the D600 is a full frame camera, a 300mm lens is a 300mm lens, so keeping the D5100 for now is the thing to do. But if Nikon comes out with a D7100 with that Expeed 3 image processing system, I’ll be all over that camera like a goose on a June bug.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
After studying at the University of Vermont, work took me away from my Vermont home and dropped me in Los Angeles. (“Toto, we’re not in Kansas any more.”) I became active in the El Dorado Audubon Chapter, Long Beach, California, serving on the Board of Directors.
A job opened up in Boulder Colorado in ’89 and took me from palm trees to ponderosa pines. I became active in the Boulder County Audubon Chapter, lead bird walks, worked on bird population studies, kept the county bird records, did Bird-a-thons and continued photographing.
In 1993 I entered my one and only photography contest at a local art museum. I had a stunning photo of a Western Tanager. It took second place behind a snapshot of three little bunnies in someone’s front lawn. Following the advice of another well know photographer, I don’t enter photo competitions any more. “You enter you photos in contests only to lose to pictures of kittens with hats falling out of a basket”. I presented the photograph to my mother and it remains one of her prized possessions.
Children came along and the cameras went on the shelf.
Work brought me out to Massachusetts in 2006. This is my first time living in Maritime New England. Now the kids are gone and the technology has changed. It seems that the digital world has made it easy to pick up photography again.
I’m just out walking about with my camera, shooting my universe. That's what I do.