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!
Photographers at Work, Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Bristol, Maine
The 3-day photography workshop that I participated in with Downeast Maine Magazine illustrated to me how I could better capture sunrises and sunsets by using a method called HDR, high dynamic range. It is taking a series of images at different exposure levels (bracketing and best with a tripod) combining them to create a single image comprised of the most focused, well-lit, and colorful parts of the scene. In the past, I would have had to do a lot of post-processing work to bring out the shadows when shooting into a sunrise or sunset. So I was excited to learn how to better capture those scenes. In the above image, two of my fellow classmates where capturing the same sunrise. One with a tripod in the lower right corner and the other hand-held in the upper left corner. I shot 3 images bracketed at +2 stops but in post processing I realized that I should have captured at least 5+ images since I had to do a bit of processing to bring up the shadows in the rocks. That probably would not have been necessary had I given myself more images to work with.
Nikon d810, Tamron 24-70 lens, 26mm, ISO 200, f/11,
The King, Richard’s River Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya.
Although our wonderful safaris were back in February, I still enjoy reviewing my images, and editing them at my leisure. This handsome fellow was relaxing in an open field as we drove by. We stopped and watched him for a bit, taking dozens of photos and interrupting his siesta. (Male lions spend about 18-20 hours a day snoozing!) He sat up, looked at us with disinterest and turned away sniffing at the air. Soon he laid back down and continued his nap.
Nikon d810, Tamron 150-600mm, 460mm, f/6
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
Lighthouse and buildings, Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Maine.
One of my favorite Maine artists is Andrew Wyeth who painted the land and people around him in his hometown of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and his summer home in Cushing, Maine. I’ve always found his art of everyday subject matter filled with a haunting sense of urgency and foreboding dread, yet contemplative and silent. A few days ago, we went to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse for dinner with the hopes of some good sunset photos. The contrast light on the lighthouse reminded me of Wyeth’s work … a silent and lonely abstract of the stark landscapes of Maine.
On our recent Scotland trip, there were a number of iconic shots I wanted to get and one was of sheep. More specifically, a herd of sheep blocking a roadway. In the Scottish highlands, we only encountered that scene once, and it was only a few sheep that made us slow down to pass. So unfortunately, that image never materialized but along the way, I did happen to capture a variety of sheep and their lambs. In this image, the ewes were along the roadside and several cars had stopped to photograph them. They were quite curious of all the attention but soon went back to their grazing.