Pemaquid Point Light, Bristol, Maine
One of my most favorite places to visit is the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in mid-coast Maine. The rock formations are the most famous and with raging seas, a fantastic sight to capture with the lighthouse in the distance. For today’s blog, it isn’t about the rocks or the lighthouse but summer’s end approaching and nature’s preparation for the winter ahead. I thought this image through the window for this week’s theme “dried” illustrated the end of the beautiful flowers and grasses that grace this amazing property.
Union Fair/The Maine Wild Blueberry Festival
I’m not one for crowds or carnival rides or the midway when it comes to county fairs but I’m always game for walking the barns and watching kids show off the animals they have been grooming for this annual event, the Union Fair and Wild Blueberry Festival. As advertised, “….. The fair is a major hub of 4-H activity. There are beef shows, dairy shows, dairy goat shows, horse shoes, rabbit shows, sheep shows, working steer shows, and even small domestic animal shows.” What’s not to love!
And of course, one must feast upon their famous blueberry pies!
This week’s theme is ‘circles’ and it seemed fitting to use one of the fair’s rides to illustrate the theme. As I looked around, it seemed that all the rides seem to go in some sort of circle, around and around and around they go. And then there were the pies … baskets full of freshly baked single serve round pies waiting to be devoured! And they were free!! Sigh ~~~ I love Maine’s Union Fair and Festival.
I was wondering how I would capture the theme ‘hard/soft’ until I happened on this image I took the other morning from our deck. The fog or ‘sea smoke’ was thick and nothing was visible in the harbor. As I enjoyed my coffee, the fog began to lift and as it did, I noticed one of our resident ospreys sitting in the tree. He was either one of the parents or a sibling but I guess I’d like to think it was a parent, keeping watch in the early morning before beginning his day.
I found the starkness of the osprey, tree and foreground striking against the soft fog and water and not wanting to lose the scene (sea smoke moves quickly!) by rising and getting my big camera, I snapped the image with my iPhone. Since it wasn’t the sharpest image but still liking the scene, I post-processed the image in Topaz Texture Effects which added a soft pastel effect in the background. Sometimes, memorable moments captured don’t have to be ideal!
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Pemaquid, Maine.
This past week, I participated in a 3-day Downeast Maine Magazine photography workshop led by Benjamin Williamson and Kurt Budliger. We had amazing weather and beautiful skies in our ‘quest’ for sunrises and sunsets. The days were long, beginning at 4:30am and ending well past 10pm with afternoon classroom time to preview photos and lightroom editing techniques. Ben and Kurt are awesome photographers and their insights and instructions on landscape photography was superb. I chose the above image for this week’s theme of ‘Quest’ as a representative of the quest for amazing sunrises and sunsets. It was the blue hour of the morning around 5am and I had just arrived at Pemaquid Point Lighthouse and began shooting before losing the skies to the morning sunrise.
Nikon d810, 24-70mm, f/10, 24mm, 1/4 second
George Square, Glasgow, Scotland
The couple of days we spent in Glasgow, we would do the half-mile hike from our hotel to downtown George Square to catch the Hop-on-Hop-off bus which provided a great way of getting around the city and stopping where ever we wanted. Every day as we approached George Square, the above building came into view with awesome reflections of its surroundings. I thought it made for a good image for the theme “squares”. Although I took several photos with my big camera and my iPhone, it was the iPhone image I liked the best (sorry Nikon) and cropped and edited a bit in Lightroom.
Common Zebra, Lewa Wildlife Conservation, Kenya
I thought a zebra was a zebra was a zebra. But on our safari this past February, I learned that Kenya has two types of zebras … the Common Zebra and the Grevy’s Zebra. Both are endangered species and most of the world’s population is in Kenya. Their populations have drastically gone down in places like Kenya due to poaching and loss of habitat. Each zebra’s pattern is unique, like fingerprints. No two are alike. We came upon this mixed herd of Commons and Grevy’s one morning and they all took a moment to check us out. Once deciding we were no threat, they went back to their grazing. I thought this guy looking at us would be a good illustration for the theme “High/Low Contrast”.
Captured with Nikon 810, 150-600mm lens at 240mm, f/8. Cropped, converted to B&W, and edited in Lightroom.
Bells Bridge/Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, Scotland
Often times when I first encounter a big city, I like to use the Hop On Hop Off bus to get an overview and then later visit the sites that interest me. We did this in Glasgow, catching the 2nd bus of the day with only a few people and a good, informed entertaining guide. With only 2 days in Glasgow, I had to pick and choose what I wanted to see and photograph and one particular site was this cool old bridge with the armadillo-looking structure just across from it. We caught a taxi to the site who alerted us that the area across the bridge might be quite busy that evening due to a concert at the auditorium. Lo and behold, it was the Backstreet Boys (I own none of their music!) and the average age of the concert goers was probably 22. We also learned later that evening as we had drinks at our hotel, that the band group was staying there as well! We just couldn’t shake those guys!
I really wanted to get this shot because I loved the juxtapositon of the building from across the walkway. I had to frequently wait as folks came and went across the bridge but finally got this image. I thought it would make a good one for the “leading lines” theme. I used a Nikon 24-70 at 1/160 sec at f/22, ISO 1400 due to the evening clouds and edited it in Photomorphis.
Cape Buffalo, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya
On one of our evening drives in Kenya looking for wildlife, we came upon this old Cape Buffalo, lying in the open, alone. He looked tired and lethargic and took no heed of our jeep as we pulled near … just calmly chewing his cud and watching us unalarmed. No other buffalo was around which seemed unusual, since they tend to stay in herds. Our Masai Mara guide explained to us that old bulls, like him, have been kicked out of the herd by younger, more virile males and lead a solitary existence. Unfortunately, without the protection of a herd, old bulls commonly fall prey to lions. I wonder if this ended up being his fate.
Impalas, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya
One wildlife animal that was plentiful on the Kenya plains were Impalas. We saw so many, we began calling them “McDonalds” due to their rear-end markings that looked like the McDonald’s logo. And secondly, because they are the fast food item for lions, leopards and cheetahs. So it became a standard joke every time we saw an impala herd we spoke out “Oh look, there’s some more McDonalds!”
Most baby impalas are born mid-day as this is the safest time to give birth since most of their enemies are resting. Unfortunately, half of newborns are killed by predators within the first few weeks of life. A fascinating fact that our guide shared was that impala mothers can delay giving birth for up to a month if weather conditions are harsh, such as during the wet season. But upon looking up this fact, it is more a myth than reality. It is believed that to cope with poor conditions, impalas may choose to abandon or abort their young rather than risk their own lives to look after a lamb whose likelihood of survival is marginal at best. A sad reality on the plains of Africa.