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Showing posts from 2012

Full Moon Ski on the Mt. Ascutney Auto Road

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For a night owl like me, a 1:00 am ski is just the ticket.


Over the past four or five days, our region has been blessed with abundant snow. At my house here in Windsor, Vermont we got about 10" the other day and another 5" or so last night. Many of the mountains picked up over twice that.


Yesterday morning at 1:00am, which was actually still a continuation of Friday for us, Dave and I decided to climb and ski the Mt. Ascutney Auto Road by moonlight. We went VERY leisurely with a lot of photographs and breaks along the way. By the end of the climb (we only made it about 3 miles) the amazingly bright moon, which had previously been so bright we could read under it, began to get obscured by the incoming front.


The snow was very nice. We skied down using our headlamps. Although the auto road isn't very steep, it's a fun downhill ride, and can be skied with very minimal coverage. During our descent, when we needed speed, we got in the track up and when we needed a littl…

Dude, where's my chairlift?

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A quick skin and ski of Mt. Ascutney
When I bought my house in 2003, I thought it would be so wonderful living just five minutes from a chairlift at the Ascutney Mountain Resort. Unfortunately, the ski area part of the operation went out of business three years ago.


For us backcountry lovin' locals, it's been pretty nice having a mountain all to ourselves. It seems however, after today's excursion to reap the foot of new snow we received, I realize that nature comes back quickly. I think backcountry skiers will find it difficult to ski there in coming years unless there's an effort to tame some of the growth.


Nonetheless, after deciding I didn't feel like driving very far, I decided a quick tour up the mountain with the dogs would be just the thing. After skiing in a snowtorm yesterday, this afternoon's weather was a beautiful sky, with wisps of clouds reflecting the light of the early setting sun.


I was excited to try out my new skis, Liberty Morphics along w…

My plow guy is nine years old & Pico + Powder = :-)

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Maurice, my awesome nine year old neighbor does a fantastic job plowing our driveway with his little John Deer tractor.

Well, we finally got our first snow storm. (In fact, it pretty much was our first winter snow storm here in almost two years!)

Dave and I got out to Pico this morning. Unfortunately the summit quad was closed due to wind (although I understand it opened for an hour at the end of the day) but we were able to make a number of quick hikes over to the trails off of the Outpost lift and were skiing multiple runs of 10"-14" of untouched pow.


What a great day. Still deciding where to head tomorrow.

Here's to awkward moments!

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When I used to ski race in college, we'd come back from training and watch video of our runs. Occasionally (well, actually frequently with me!) we would crash. The crashes were the most fun parts of the video, and Vince our coach would always stop recording mid fall. I would always look forward to these, and in still photography, you can get people in seemingly impossible positions that fly by in video.


From now on, I'm shooting all the falls I see...as long as they're not falling into me. Here's a great one from 2010. Not much snow there Jevan, ouch!

I expect a lot of falling tomorrow, when we get hit with a big storm.  Hopefully I'll be posting great powder shots from Pico tomorrow afternoon!

A Rainbow over Dartmouth on the Solstice

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Well, on Friday those of us in Hanover who happened to be outside around four in the afternoon were treated to a beautiful double rainbow. I rushed outside, ran through the Hopkins Center out onto the green, where there were no less than fifteen people taking pictures.

Anyways, each of these photos is composed of about a dozen vertical photos stitched together.

I can't say I'm happy to see rainbows (signifying rain) and green grass on the winter solstice, but it was a nice photo opp. Now, bring on the snow!

A Prayer to the Snow Gods

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Although I'm a fundamentalist agnostic (just kidding... sort of) I'm going to use Pascal's Wager as my guide.

Snow Gods, if you exist, please bestow your heavenly goodness upon this great Earth, or at least Vermont, so that we may be able to slide down the mountain, through the forests, to enjoy what you have so graciously provided.

And if you don't comply, well, see what happened to the last Snow God who didn't fulfill his responsibilities.




Best Camera Deal Ever! - Nikon V1 Two Lens Kit

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I thought I'd start off by saying that I don't have the Nikon V1. I'm also not an affiliate of any store (yet), so links are for your benefit only. I do however read incessantly about cameras, and "virtual shop" way too often. 

SO CHECK THIS OUT!!! At B&H, and other retailers, you can get the Nikon 1 V1 camera, with the 10-30mm and 30-110mm (27-81, 81-297 35mm equivalent) lenses for $399.95!!

Anyways, if you're not familiar with the Nikon 1 system, here's what it's about:
It's the smallest sensor, at 1" diagonal, of any mirrorless system on the market (with the exception of the Pentax Q, which you're better off ignoring)It has a hybrid autofocus system of phase detection and contrast detection. This boils down to the best autofocus for action of any mirrorless system, and performs as well as many high end dslrs.The lenses are tiny. Small and light. Very.The compromise of a small sensor? Resolution and noise. The Nikon 1 system raised…

Quick Reminder - Snow Please!

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This is just a quick reminder to Mother Nature, that it's mid December in Vermont!

I hiked over Mt. Ascutney today and even at the top (3,200ft) there wasn't a speck of snow to be seen. (At least other than the white trails on Okemo.)

Here's proof that occasionally we do get winter. It's supposed to get a little snowy starting tomorrow night. Fingers crossed!

Dartmouth Men's Hockey vs. UVM

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I don't know much about hockey. Dartmouth won 4-2. I enjoyed it.

I did however realize that I am not much better than a novice when shooting this, and other fast paced team sports.

Anyways, I don't have much info, but here are a few keepers.

I'd love to hear any feedback you may have about these shots. I take advice too!









Quick Shot #3 - Takeoff from Logan

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It's okay to crop.

I know some people would look at this image and immediately notice that it is cropped. He messed up and felt the only way to save the image was to crop it.


Well, the answer to this is both yes and no. Did I get home and bang my head in frustration that I'm just an idiot and think why did I compose the shot that way? No. I liked the original image, but I like this crop better. That's all there is to it.

Each time you self-impose limitations, you are limiting your possibilities that much more. Sometimes when I compose a shot, I know that I'm going to crop it. Whether it's because I have a shorter lens than I need and the resolution allows me to use crop as a faux telephoto lens, or I see an amazing panoramic but only have my typical 3:2 aspect ratio sensor, I think cropping should be used as a tool in achieving your best image.

In the real(ish) professional photography world, a client may want to use an image for an advertisement or feature photo, …

Our New Dartmouth President - Philip J. Hanlon '77

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After our President Jim Kim left this summer to become the head of the World Bank, the search began for a new President of Dartmouth College while Carol Folt (the Provost) took over for this year as the Interim President.


The search committee, led by Bill Helmen '80, gathered input from students, alums, faculty and staff to inform their decision. Well, after meeting him this past Friday, I have to say I'm very pleased with the decision.

Philip J. Hanlon '77 is currently the Provost at the University of Michigan. There's no need for me to go into all the details, as you can find better information on Dartmouth Now. He's an alum, which I like because it means he's already familiar with the area and the culture. More importantly, he seems like a genuinely likeable individual.

I had three opportunities to photograph him, albeit only for a few minutes each time. As I was heading up the stairs to the Parkhurst building, he was too. He stopped and introduced himself …

Quick Shot #2

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Landscape Photography in the Between Seasons

Shooting between the seasons in New England can be a challenging thing. With brown and ... brown, the colors don't call out and say "shoot me!" November is probably my least favorite month, unless of course we get a big unexpected snow storm.


Anyways, it's helpful to look for subtlety in your image. Shades of a color can be as interesting as multiple colors. It's a good time to work on image fundamentals. As a color photographer, we can get overwhelmed by the role of color in the image. Challenge yourself to create images that rely solely on composition to achieve impact.

Without leaves on the trees, it's often easier to get tack sharp images in a forest. November is the greyest month, but if you don't include the sky in your composition, you can achieve incredible detail in places that would otherwise be too contrasty in a brighter situation.

Snow Prediction Addiction! Part 1 (winter weather resources for those who love snow)

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If you're like me and you love playing in the snow, you probably search the internet looking for any sign, any glimpse, that the next big storm is just around the corner. Well, I'm here to share my favorite sites for my snow prediction addiction.

1.National Weather Service Hydrometeorological Prediction Center - Probabilistic Winter Precipitation Guidance - What a mouthful! But this is MY FAVORITE, I mean it's from NOAA for goodness sakes. What I love about this is the fact that it shows the probabilities of certain amounts of snow over specific time frames. It's just three days out, but that's all I really trust anyway. It is also very graphic yet the view is customizable by the user


2. Snow-Forecast.com - This is another site where you are able to view the amount of predicted snowfall over a certain time frame. This site let's you view the snowfall for a six hour period and also shows where it is expected to rain. Having this info in one graphic can help dec…

Quick Shot #1

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So I'm thinking about starting a series on this blog called "Quick Shot." It will feature random images from my personal collection. The images may serve as a photographic lesson, or may just be a shot that I particularly like. It may be from yesterday or ten years ago. It is my opportunity to share and discuss images, and I hope you will join.
I just sold my trusty Canon S95 to help pay for a portion of my new pocket camera, the Sony RX-100. As I backed up a card the other day, I found this image which had somehow never been downloaded. It's a photo of the stream about fifty feet from my door.

I really like images like this. It's a truly simple image. Water and ice. And yet the designs made by the edges of the ice over the water encourage the viewer to wander the around the photograph. The contrast between the smooth dark flowing water, and the sharp bright jagged ice appeals to our sense of tension. Additionally, purposely not including anything in the image t…

Amazing Deal on CrashPlan Cloud Storage

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Hard drives fail. It's not a question if your hard drive will fail, it's a question of when. If you don't have your photos (and other digital assets) backed up on at least one extra hard drive, you've got a ticking time bomb. You can now by 3TB drives for just over $100 bucks. Recently however, cloud backup has become a realistic way to be guaranteed that you won't lose any data.



Right now, CrashPlan is having a huge deal. Thanks to my photo intern Jacob (check out his amazing photography here) I was told about this plan. From now until Monday, there are huge discounts. It started off as free and every two hours the plan discount goes down by 1%. A 1 year plan is 95% off. I got a family plan (2-10) computers for less than 8 bucks!

So head over there and get some backup!

https://www.crashplan.com/bigsale/

Seventy Years Young - Happy Birthday Dad!

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As I continually come to grips with the fact that I'm getting older, things hurt, hair has migrated, bills are due, I need look no further than to my father for guidance on how to age gracefully. No, he cannot run a sub 6:30 mile for thirteen miles anymore, but he's still out there most days putting miles in on the beach. (Albeit with a starbucks coffee and iphone at a leisurely pace!) Maybe he's not doing a residency as a physician while enrolled full-time in law school, but he's writing books, seeing patients and pursuing a number of goals in brain research. He hasn't slowed down, at least in the things that really matter.


At seventy years old, my father is always thinking and always has new ideas. From his quirky habits, such as never wearing matching socks and putting his neoprene knee braces on the outside of his pants to his creatively titled book on our dysfunctional healthcare system Assholistic Healthcare it's clear my dad is an out of the box thinker…