Showing posts from November, 2012

Quick Shot #2

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)

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. - 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

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

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!

Seventy Years Young - Happy Birthday Dad!

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…

My Newest Book - Basic Illustrated Snowshoeing

Although I've photographed eleven books for Globe Pequot Publishing, it was not until this twelfth book that I took it a step further, into the realm of writing. My book Moosilauke - Portrait of a Mountain was totally mine, but I only wrote about 3,000 words in it.

Containing one hundred photos and 20,000 words, it was a good challenge figuring out both what to write, and then actually doing it. All this during last year's totally epically crappy winter. (Well, that is anywhere besides AK and WA in the US.) I got to include my wife and most of her family as well as my father. To finish up the book, with no snow for miles around, I went to the Dartmouth Skiway and put the automatic self-timer on go and acted out the final photos myself!

This was my first book for Falcon Guides as well, but it won't be my last. Currently I'm working on two more books for them. The first is called "Best Easy Day Hikes in the Green Mountains" and the second one is "Hiking t…

Slideshow & Reception Tonight - A Journey Through Nagorno-Karabakh

In the summer of 2011, my wife Julia and I spent about a month in the self-proclaimed autonomous region called Nagorno-Karabakh (N-K). This is a contested region between Azerbaijan and people of Armenian heritage and was the location of a vicious war in the early 1990's.

We were attempting to map and photograph a hiking trail through the region called the Himnakan Janapar. This literally means the "backbone trail."

The trip didn't go according to plan, but that was expected. Nonetheless, it was a great experience and we got some nice photos from the adventure as well. We used to fund the trip as well, and we're about 2/3 done with our work and about 2/3 done with fulfilling rewards.

I don't have the time right now to go deeply into our adventure, but if you happen to be in the Upper Valley tonight, we'll be hosting a presentation at 5pm in Haldeman Center (room 041) followed by a reception next to a number of prints hanging in the Russo C…

Remembering our Veterans

In honor of the sacrifices of our nation's veterans, Dartmouth College had a service on the green precisely at 4:45. The service included a tune on the trumpet, a firing of a half-scale old style cannon, a few words by a cadet and a formal flag lowering and folding.
I can't say I'm the biggest fan of the role of our military in international conflicts, but I have the utmost respect for those who dedicate, and risk, their lives to preserving the values of our country.
Thank you veterans.

Lobster in Obama's Brain!

Since today is the first day of the next four years with Obama, I thought I'd share my only experience seeing him in person.

It was just over two years ago. I was shooting my college roommate's wedding in Bar Harbor, Maine. After the rehearsal on Friday, we went to the rehearsal dinner. Or so we thought. Apparently, the Obama family was in town and were eating at the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner was supposed to occur.

After waiting over an hour to get in, we were all scanned by super secret agent men and women. That included everybody; men, women and babies! We were finally let in to a room right next to theirs. On the President's exit, he stopped briefly to say congrats to the bride and groom and headed on his way.

I didn't get much of an opportunity to shoot him, but I think the "Live Lobster - Come and See" sign pointing to the Pres. is pretty funny. Who knew our beloved President was...gasp...a crustacean!?

Did you vote?

I voted!

Apparently, when I was a little kid, the principal called my parents into the office to discuss my troubling results on my standardized tests. I failed miserably. Only later did they find out that my obsession with filling out the bubbles perfectly prevented me from finishing the test! Thank goodness there was no time limit on this even more important test!

I've got a question. If you don't know the candidate, how do you vote?

Personally, I prefer to leave the bubbles blank if I don't know anything about the candidates. I don't vote along party lines. (Although if there's a line for a party, it must be a good party!) We had to vote for 12 of 20 candidates for local justice of the peace.

How the heck am I going to know who to vote for here? I mean, I'm all for peace, but who's going to do the role justice? 

Meet Otis! He's the newest (furry) member of the Burakian clan.

Five weeks ago we lost Milton, our beloved dog who passed away at the age of five. We were so used to having two dogs, and felt responsible for making sure Tigran had company, so we decided to get another dog!

Otis is a rescue dog from Tennessee. He was almost put to sleep due to a bronchial infection, but a rescue organization got him and with meds he was better in no time. He's partly a flat coated retriever but he's obviously got something else in him. (I'm thinking it's either  great dane or a Chihuahua)

He's super friendly and is learning quickly. We're so happy to have another dog. The house felt so empty without Milton. Tigran and Otis are getting along well. Otis is a little smaller than we thought he would be, but he's probably ~ 6-7 months, so he still will most likely grow.

Not the best day for photos, but wanted to catch the puppy stage before he's a grown pooch.

Angels in America

I love shooting dress rehearsals. From a photographer's point of view, it's usually just as visually stunning as the real performance, but I can walk around and get great angles.

Anyways, the play at Dartmouth this term is Tony Kushner's "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" which won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize. I can't say that I understand the play completely but I can say that I was deeply moved by it.

The production quality was top notch and I got to learn a little bit about what it takes to put something like this together from the folks behind the scenes.

And the acting? Holy shnikies batman! I was blown away. I really thought the actors and actresses did an incredible job. I'm not much of a theatrical connoisseur, but the students really convinced me of their characters. Particularly, I think Talene Monahan is an exceptional talent and I wouldn't be surprised to see her make it big.

In the next few days I hope to use this blog as…