Jul 192010
Red, White and Blue in the Green Mountains

I haven’t been to a parade in a long time. After going to the Farmer’s Market in Londonderry, Vermont, I realized that the town’s Fourth of July parade was about to start soon, so I grabbed my camera and waited for the festivities to begin.

Londonderry, (where incidentally, snowboarding was invented) has a population of 1,709, and its annual parade brings out the community to participate and draws families from nearby towns to watch. It was interesting to see a celebration of Americana with homespun patriotic displays and reactions from the crowd who all seemed to know their marching neighbors.

Here’s a gallery with additional images from the parade.

 July 19, 2010  Editorial, Events, People, Travel Tagged with:  4 Responses »
Jun 172010
Dr. Anne Beal Editorial Portrait

It is always refreshing to do executive portraits away from the confines of office environments as in this image of Anne Beal, M.D., M.P.H., president of The Aetna Foundation in Hartford. The Foundation is an independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc.

She is a recognized authority in health disparities, quality of care and children’s health, a topic on which she has published several articles and a book.

Dr. Beal was photographed among the pillars of the main entrance to Aetna Inc.’s  headquarters on a bright day, with plenty of soft daylight filling the scene. Two additional portable strobes were used, a soft umbrella main fill on the left, and a secondary bare strobe aimed as a skim light on rear left.

The client asked for a full length or three-quarters view of Dr. Beal. In selecting the setting, I often like to work with strong architectural shapes that become a main element in the image, but in a way that hopefully does not overpower the subject. There was a choice of shooting on either side of the pillars, but I chose to have the natural ambient light come from the right which gave shape to the columns and also acted as a rear fill light. The subject being in the shadow, allowed for better control of the main light and then, it was just a matter of balancing the strobes to the ambient, to achieve a light, clean look that I envisioned.

The portrait was done for a feature in an upcoming issue of Black Enterprise magazine.

 June 17, 2010  Editorial, People Tagged with: ,  Comments Off
Jun 022010
Kayaking Amongst The Treetops

Joanne leads the way navigating around submerged treetops at Gale Meadows Pond in Winhall, Vermont.

Gale Meadows Pond is a hidden gem, a 195 acre man made pond which is part of a 707 acre wildlife management area straddling the towns of Winhall and Londonderry in southern Vermont. The trees are remnants of the damming of the area in 1964 to make the reservoir and wildlife preserve.

Kayaking on the first day, we had mirror-like surprisingly warm placid water, perfect air temperatures, beautiful blue skies with puffy clouds and Great Blue Herons fishing around.  Picture perfect, except I don’t usually take my Nikons on a kayak. However, I was determined to come back the next day with my camera to get a few pics.  Of course, that day we had contrary conditions, with a variable cloud cover presenting rapidly changing light and very windy.

Trying to maneuver the kayak while framing shots through the viewfinder proved to be quite challenging, especially since water and cameras don’t mix well!  Nevertheless, it was still a nice way to spend a late spring afternoon.

 June 2, 2010  Landscapes, Travel Tagged with: ,  11 Responses »
May 192010
Aegean Light

View from the balcony overlooking The Gate to Temple of Apollo on the island of Naxos, Greece.

I usually don’t take my pro cameras on vacation. Time off, for me, has always been about resting the eyes and brain, recharging the batteries and not having to experience the world through a viewfinder. Of course, I always take a point-and-shoot camera for the memories and yes, there are often moments when I wish I had my better cameras with me.

Over the years I’ve made very few exceptions, the most recent being an anniversary trip with Joanne to the the Greek Islands of Naxos and Santorini, with a short stop in Athens before returning.

The Cyclades are a photographer’s dream; clear blue-green waters of the Aegean Sea against dramatic landscapes and bright, colorful houses. Joanne had the task of choosing which islands to visit within a short time frame, but finally decided on two of the most picturesque and contrasting islands, Santorini on the rim of a volcanic caldera and one of the most beautiful natural settings I’ve ever seen and Naxos, with its terraced hills covered with olive and citrus groves, whitewashed villages and evidence of a fascinating Neolithic civilization.

The gallery has a sampling of images, many of which are the results of experiments with different raw processors and High Dynamic Range. HDR is a process involving several exposures of the same scene to maximize the tonal range. The intense daytime sun on white buildings posed issues with detail and some raw processors worked better than others. It’s always a learning experience.

Seeing the results made me glad I brought the cameras along. Even though capturing that magical Aegean light would never be like the actual experience, bringing back nice memories is the next best thing. Click here for a gallery of additional images.