Showing posts from March, 2013

Five years ago today...

Sometimes it's fun to look back and see where we were on this day a certain number of days ago. So I thought, where was I ten years ago? I looked at my photos and realized that I hadn't even bought my first digital camera until April of 2003.

Maybe I've got some slides from those days? Who knows. Well, how about five years ago?

It turns out that five years ago today, I was down in Florida visiting my parents along with some other close family. Not only that, but my father had arranged an afternoon at the White Oak Plantation. The conservation center there cares for a number of threatened species in what seems to my untrained eye to be pretty nice accommodations.

I know my blogging has trailed off of late, and for that I apologize. No excuse other than to say March was an exceedingly difficult month, and here's hoping for an a great April.

A Common Sight

I'm a bit of a night owl and I often get to bed later than my wife. I don't think the dogs mind a bit.

Consolation Prize

I stay awake at nights thinking about shooting the aurora. I'm sure if I lived in Fairbanks, I wouldn't think much of it, but it's rare that an auroral event occurs when it's dark, cloudless, moonless, and a clear northern view.

Apparently, a huge display happened yesterday. Unfortunately, I didn't realize it was happening until the afternoon. The moon was out and was bright, so I just couldn't see it very well and I also think I missed the main event.

That being said, I always love night photography, and I decided an accessible northern view could be easily had with a short hike up the now defunct Ascutney ski area. Although the ski area is closed, the hotel is still open. The old chair still remains as does the snowmaking equipment.

I did wake up at 4am to see whether the aurora was still active, hoping to catch it over Dartmouth, but by then the activity had abated. Well, I did get a shot with the moon, a ski lift, some stars, and a touch of the aurora, so n…

Working a Composition

I'm finishing up editing and processing the images from the third part of the trip to South America.

While doing this, I ran across these images, taken in succession.

Here is an example where I feel digital photography can be instructive. You can play with compositions in the field and have an immediate review. The iterative process is ramped up a notch, and often you can come away with an image that has had some real thought go into it.

I'll use the captions to explain my thought process for this one.  My final image, the third in the series, is my favorite.

Let me know, which image do you like the best?

The Professor Rides Magic Mountain

Last Thursday (geez, has it been that long?!) we finally received a much needed dump of snow. Well, that's not quite accurate. The mountains received snow. The valleys...well, let's talk about the mountains.

Specifically, let's talk about Magic Mountain. Without a doubt, my favorite ski area in southern Vermont and one of the best in the east when the snow is right. Located in Londonderry, Magic mountain is a true New England ski area. Not a resort. With two slow double lifts, although they usually only run one, since they pretty much both go to the top, Magic Mountain is all about fun winding trails on natural snow, steep terrain, secret glades and no crowds. Not to mention tickets are cheap.

And you've got to love their philosophy. "Magic is open Friday-Mondays, plus all of Presidents Week and any future mid-week Powder Days when we receive 6"+ of snow."

There are hits in the trails, and even a small cliff here and there. We had almost three ru…

Another reason to love Electronic Viewfinders!

When backpacking for long distances, it's a given that unwanted things will happen to your camera. If you hike with the camera strapped on your front so as to always have it at hand, as I do, it can become the first point of contact when falling. (I always bring an extra compact camera and many lens caps on these trips.)

On the circuit hike in Torres Del Paine, I was packing up the camera in it's lightweight case and it slipped from about waist height. In the case, a rugged body, low drop height, I was sure nothing had happened. But when I opened it up, the rear lcd screen was smashed. Now I love that screen, especially since it's articulated. When hiking with a heavy pack, it's easy to shoot down low or up high without having to strain.

More importantly, if I had been using my last camera, the Sony a850 with it's big bright beautiful optical viewfinder, I'd be really out of luck. It would have been like going back to film, where I couldn't check the compos…