The Start Of Something New


Vermont-Lake Champlain-Winter-sunset

Sunset and storm clouds over Lake Champlain. Charlotte Town Beach. Charlotte, Vermont

*All of the images here are available for sale on my website!

Experimentation can often bring about new changes and for awhile I have felt that I need to make some changes on my blog here. I have decided to give long form blog posts a try with more images and text rather than a quick, one image post with just a few words of description. I have been feeling like making this change because as a Dad with a two year old I am finding it increasingly difficult to find the time to share my work. I love sharing, I love my small blog and I want to continue to share my work but whipping of a quick five minute image post just isn’t doing it for me or my work. I do prefer to be out shooting as much as my schedule allows and it’s easier for me to set aside an hour for one blog post a few times a month than  five or ten minutes multiple times per week. I wanted to add more of a story to my images and some depth to the posts plus I have a lot of images to share!

The Winter here in Vermont had a terrible start….Very warm conditions and very little snowfall. Winter did not really get going until mid January and when it did we went through 42 days where the temps never got above freezing. This was the third coldest stretch ever recorded for Vermont. The above image was shot on January 4th and was the first time in weeks that the sky opened up with some decent conditions for making landscape images. I had been watching the skies all day and could see some small breaks in the clouds and I had an idea that the weather would make for some great landscapes. I had never been to this beach before but I was rewarded for a month of sitting inside with some nice color in the sky. A small amount of snow and ice dominated the foreground but the sky opened up for just a few moments with nice color in the clouds and a great reflection in the shallow shoreline water.

Vermont-Lake Champlain-Sunset-Charlotte

Tree silhouette and sunset over Lake Champlain in Winter. Charlotte, Vermont.

This image happened a few moments later as the sun started to go down and I really had to scramble to get it! As I was shooting in the other direction out of the corner of my eye I could see a small window opening up above this tree and I raced over to get some shots before the sun went down. This beach is rocky and the slick conditions were no match for my quick feet! The tree silhouette and the opening in the sky were aligned and the color here lasted less than five minutes. I was able to make several frames with these beautiful clouds and color before the light show ended. After not shooting for awhile it was nice to get the rust off and I was quite pleased to have witnessed this sunset! It’s times like this that I realize that you need to go out no matter what because you never know what conditions will present themselves.

Vermont-Winter-Lake Champlain-Boulder-ice

A large boulder and icy shoreline that is part of a thrust fault running under Lake Champlain from the New York side of the lake.

On a scouting mission along the Lake Champlain shoreline at Rock Point I was really looking for some ice but on this trip the lake had not fully iced over yet. The main ice at this time was from waves hitting the shoreline but what ice there was made for some otherworldly images. This boulder is quite large but you wouldn’t know it from all of the ice that is surrounding it! I really liked this scene but the clouds did not have much shape to them and the light was grey and overcast. Oh well this spot is so close to where I live that returning here at another time is quite easy.

Vermont-Lake Champlain-Tree-boulder

Lone tree detail image on a boulder in Lake Champlain.

This image was a detail shot of one of the trees which sits on top of this giant boulder. The white skies made for a nice contrast with the tree and boulder and I really liked how the diagonal line of the boulder cut through this frame at a high angle. I thought that this image would make a nice study of form and texture and the black and white treatment really made this image stand out. Stripping the color out of the image wasn’t a detriment as there wasn’t much color in the sky and the rock color wouldn’t have added much to this one if I left it in color.

Polaroid-Spectra-Vermont

Double exposure of flowers on Polaroid grid film shot with a Polaroid Spectra camera.

I finally after many tries on EBay managed to snag an unused police issue Polaroid Spectra camera! It cost me more than what I wanted to spend but it came in fantastic condition so I bought myself a little birthday present in January. I am working on embracing the mistake side of film photography both with my Holga toy camera and the Polaroid Spectra. I bought this type of Polaroid specifically because it is the only one that you can do double exposures on and it offered some control over the final image. The Spectra will allow you to do timed exposures as well as offering a limited exposure compensation. There are tons of these available online and the optics are superior to some of the other more hipster, popular Polaroids. The camera came with some grid film that was used mostly for medical and police work. With the expiration date in 1999 I did not have much hope for this film and this was the best shot out of 20. I had to merge this image with a second one that I shot on some Impossible Project film in Photoshop and the end result was pretty cool!

Vermont-Polaroid-Instant Film

Polaroid self portrait with a texture newsprint overlay shot on a Polaroid Spectra.

I shot this self portrait on some Impossible film and it came out a bit blurry. The minimum focus distance on the Spectra is three feet so its a bit of trial and error when shooting a selfie. I wasn’t going to do much with this shot but I thought better of it and added some newsprint texture to it in Photoshop and it came out really nice. I also added in a grid film emulsion that I had shot that just never fully developed due to it’s age.

Vermont-Holga-black and white-tri x 400

Tool shed and trees shot with a Holga 120n and Kodak tri-x 400 black and white 120 film.

I finally had a chance to develop some film that had been sitting in my Holga for quite some time and I really liked how this one came out. On the Holga camera is a setting switch to shoot 12 or 16 shots and to get the full square crop image you need to set that switch to 12. I mistakenly set it to 16 so there are underexposed bars on either side but I think it adds to the effect here anyways. The tool shed here is on my brother-in-laws property out in the country and the way the sun was hitting the area I thought it would make for a nice black and white still life sort of image.

Vermont-Photography-print

A test print of an image I shot at sunset in early January.

I was able to order a test print of this image that I made in early January to check for quality and it came out very nice. Winter was very tough here this year and to get colors like this and have a composition come together nicely deserved to be seen in a nice, giant print. I really did get lucky with this shot and I am glad I was there to witness the scene unfold. You can see this image on my original blog post right here!

Vermont-Burlington-buildings-blue skies

Buildings and cloudy blue skies in downtown Burlington shot on an IPhone 6.

We have a lot of interesting old buildings here in Burlington, Vermont and I really liked the shape of these two against the cloudy blue skies. This was mostly a test shot with the IPhone 6 but i think it came out nicely…after all when these kids of skies come out after seeing nothing but dreary clouds for weeks on end it was a welcome change!

Vermont-IPhone 6-square crop-shapes

Geometric shapes made on an IPhone 6 with the Leonardo, Matter and Fragment apps.

Just for fun over Christmas I purchased a suite of IPhone photography apps and this was one of the first pieces I came up with. I sued the Leonardo, Matter and Fragment apps to create this piece….I am a big fan of geometric shapes and it was fun to create something from nothing entirely within my phone. Maybe not fine art but a nice meditative practice anyhow!