Posts Tagged ‘water’

IN THE FIELD: Yup, Got Wet

July 23, 2012 24 comments

I love the movement that is captured when photographing waves. Especially waves crashing against rock outcroppings or jetties. Whenever I am in a place where the surf is especially active, I like to sit down on a good rock and just listen and watch. The sound and movement is mesmerizing. I will then get the camera out and scout for a good location to capture the power of the sea.

Getting close to the action can yield spectacular images. When using a short or wide angle lens versus a telephoto or zoom lens, it’s a good idea to have a spotter nearby to alert you of a rogue wave. While waves tend to follow a pattern, there is always a chance one wave will be larger and more forceful than previous waves in the series. You don’t want to be caught off guard and lose your footing and take a tumble, and have your equipment getting swept out to sea.

Timing is another aspect that needs to be considered. Use a fast shutter speed if you want to stop the action of the waves. In order to capture the perfect moment in time, I set my camera to fire a burst of shots. If you are shooting on a sunny day, and want the water to have a silky appearance, using a neutral density filter or a polarizing filter will restrict the amount of light through the lens, which in turn can help achieve a slower shutter speed.

This photo was taken hand-held at the water’s edge of Schoodic Point, Maine. While I was shooting a series of waves crashing on the rocks, I was warned that this incoming wave was larger than the previous four or five waves. I fired off a burst of shots, and quickly got up to get out of the way, but I still got soaked. Luckily the rest of my equipment was several yards behind me, safe and dry next to my spotter.


IN THE FIELD: Sailing School

July 18, 2012 26 comments

Some of our favorite places to visit in Maine are the small quiet harbors away from the tourist areas.

One of our recent stops was a place named Sorrento Harbor. It is a small cove where both working boats and pleasure boats share the same anchorage. We arrived at the waters edge in late afternoon, just as the sun was beginning to cast a golden glow.

I was taking some shots of the boats in the water when a small school bus pulled into the parking lot. A dozen children and two adults got off the bus and walked out to the end of the floating dock which is just out of view in this photo. They paired up and got into several dinghies and rowed out to small sailboats moored throughout the cove. We heard the adults give some instructions to the children and they began to navigate their vessels around the obstacle course of the anchored boats.

Apparently this was the last class of the school day for these kids. How cool is that!


IN THE FIELD: No Peeking

July 16, 2012 22 comments

Among all the glitz and glamour of the casinos currently lining the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, you can still find things from yesteryear in this beach resort. There were several of these old style changing tents on the beach between the boardwalk and the water’s edge to provide a little nostalgia, and privacy if needed. I liked the bright yellow of the tent with the ocean and sky as a background. And the birds on top were the icing on the cake.


IN THE FIELD: Shiver Me Timbers

July 13, 2012 20 comments

In a previous post [] I described a small bit of my adventure on the Intercoastal Waterway. We saw watercraft of all shapes and sizes during our travels, but when we saw this ship early one morning we joked about how it looked like a pirate ship.

Since our youngest crew member was an eight year old boy and was totally fascinated with pirates, we pretended the buccaneers were still sleeping off the previous nights pillaging and rabble rousing. We told him no one was keeping watch and they would not notice our passing. But if someone had seen or heard us they would have sounded the alarm and subjected us to the pirates’ colorful language and less than civil behavior. And then they would have boarded and raided our boat

We pretended that the pirates most likely would have taken all our provisions consisting of seven pounds of fresh shrimp, three dozen eggs, some packages of carrots and celery, several jars of peanut butter and jelly, four loaves of bread and the multiple jugs of wine. And if we were really lucky they would not find our stash of numerous packages of Pecan Twirls and the full case of family size cans of Dinty Moore Stew. We kept up the fantasy going for quite sometime…after all, what would a boat trip be without make-believe pirates?

IN THE FIELD: We’re having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave…

July 6, 2012 23 comments

For those of you experiencing the extreme temperatures that have swept the nation, I thought I would show an image to help make you feel a little cooler. Myself included.

I photographed this sailboarder while he was racing around in the Great Egg Harbor Bay. The bay is between Somers Point and Ocean City, New Jersey.

This guy had the right idea by going for a sail around the bay on a super hot summer day. When the heat would become too much to take, all he would have to do was let go of the sail and jump off the board into the cool water. Ahhhhhhh


June 27, 2012 22 comments

A number of years ago I was invited to take a trip down the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW), located on the eastern coast of the United States. The Intercoastal is comprised of waterways including rivers, bays and sounds that are inter-connected with locks and canals, and in some locations the open ocean.

My wife’s brother had been a sailor for years and he always wanted to make this voyage. Since he was moving to the Gulf Coast of Florida, this was the perfect time to cast off the dock lines and shove off. And I got to be first mate, cook, assistant navigator, and deck hand.

We met many interesting people along the way who were all heading south for various reasons. A number of folks were sailing the ICW and retiring to points south, and others were making the trip just because they could.

Some individuals were in sailboats or small powerboats and others were in mega-sized yachts. Our boat was 33 feet long which was adequate for the trip. Although, we felt rather puny compared to the military vessels, freighters, and cruise ships we passed by.

We ate and slept onboard, except for one night when we found a marina that served family style meals. We met up with a lot of the boaters we had been seeing along the way, and hung out together for hours telling stories about experiences and sights of our adventure.

The journey started in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, and 11 days and close to 1200 nautical miles later, we pulled up to the dock in Florida.

This is an ocean going tugboat I photographed in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, which is really like a small ocean. I was especially drawn to the the colorful paint on the boat with the background of blue sky and water.


IN THE FIELD: Forecast…Fog

June 20, 2012 27 comments

Early one morning while vacationing on the coast of Maine, my wife and I went down to the docks to see the boats and ships off for their daily sail. The fog was thick, but for the folks there, it was nothing unusual. There were lobstermen, fishermen, and deckhands bustling about, getting ready for a day out at sea.

We hung around the docks chatting with the fishermen, but kept our conversations short since everyone wanted to leave port before the tide went out. The fishermen gave us inside information on where the locals shopped for fresh seafood. And later in the day we did visit several of those secret places.

This is an older photo I shot on slide film before the digital age. Due to the low light levels, the telephoto lens I was using, and the floating dock I was standing on, the use of a tripod was necessary. Any bit of motion would have been magnified. Luckily the seas were calm. I was able to hand-hold shots when I was using shorter, brighter lenses, which is much easier when on a busy dock.

The ship in the photo is a historic three masted wooden schooner built in 1941. She spent over 40 years fishing offshore, most notably the Grand Banks and George’s Banks in the Atlantic. After her fishing career, she was converted to a passenger vessel for the windjammer trade in Maine. At the time I photographed the ship, she was named the Natalie Todd. She has since sailed to the west coast and been renamed American Pride. Her new home port is in Long Beach California as part of the American Heritage Marine Institute.


IN THE FIELD: Lake McDonald

February 8, 2012 31 comments

On our last trip to Montana, we spent several days in Glacier National Park touring, hiking and horseback riding. On our last day there, we went on a half-day horseback ride in the pristine wilderness. The trails were not too difficult, although we did travel up and down some rather steep slopes and traversed a few mountain streams. No other horseback riders or hikers were seen the whole time we were on the trails.

The last few hours of our visit were spent resting on some benches near the main lodge until our weak-in-the legs feelings subsided.

A young couple and their dog approached us to say hello and ask us a few things about the park. I guess judging by the photo equipment and the clothes we were wearing, we looked like we had been there often. The nine month old puppy they had with them was more like a full grown dog. And a big dog at that.

I can’t remember what it’s name was…something like Lakota. He was a friendly fella and we marveled at how soft his fur was. The pup was quite fond of my wife and licked her face as if he had known her all his life. At first we thought he was some kind of sled dog such as a Husky or a Malamute. Turns out, he has a full blooded wolf.

The couple explained that his mother was found injured and pregnant in Maryland, expecting to give birth in a few days. The woman who found the female wolf was a vet, and nursed the expectant mother back to health. The pup we met was one of her offspring. The couple told us they were on their way to Alaska to habituate the wolf to a more wild and natural surrounding. After chatting for about a half an hour, we all parted ways.

My wife and I then headed down to the shores of Lake McDonald to do a little more exploring since our legs were now feeling close to normal. We found pieces of driftwood, wild flowers and polished stones on the lakeshore that made for interesting photo subjects. When the light was getting too dim for photos of land based items, we found a gravel beach to sit and watch the sunset. It was a great ending to a great day.


IN THE FIELD: Brrrrr It’s Cold Outside

January 4, 2012 42 comments

Winter is here for sure. We had a light dusting of snow this morning and the temperature will not get out of the 20’s. The wind is gusting to 40 mph and the wind chills are somewhere near…well, let’s just say it’s a bit brisk. Since it is the winter season, I thought a photo reminding me of warmer times would be a nice treat, and this waterfall scene fits the bill.

My wife and I had been to this location several times for picnics and hiking and photo excursions, but on this day I had something else planned.

It was a beautiful warm summer day and the conditions for photography were just about perfect. We got some shots of the falls and then ventured downstream to photograph the water tumbling over the rocks in the stream bed.

We took our shoes off, clambered onto some larger rocks to sit and cool our feet in the mountain stream. We sat there for a while listening to the sound of the water and enjoyed the woodland surroundings. The air was refreshing with a light mist from the falls and the wild rhododendron bushes were in bloom, covering the banks of the stream.

We agreed this was one of the prettiest places we had visited together. I decided this would be the perfect time for my surprise. So, I pulled this little velvet box that you get from a fancy jewelry store out of my pocket, opened it, and asked her if she would like to spend the rest of our lives together. She looked at the “sparkly” resting in the box, and almost fell off her rock.

She told me later that she had an idea I was going to ask her to marry me soon…just not when she was teetering on a rock in the middle of a cold mountain stream.

This waterfall is named Silver Thread Falls and it is located in the lush woodlands of northeastern Pennsylvania.


IN THE FIELD: Discovering The Light

December 12, 2011 39 comments

Capturing the light is a huge part of what photography is all about. Whether it be a sunset, light filtering through leaves on a tree, or reflections on a pond.

I was drawn to the light shining on the golden pebbles at the bottom of this small, but swiftly moving stream. A large flock of Mallard ducks was riding the currents from one pool to the next. They would swim back upstream and then ride the swift water back downstream to the next calm pool. I don’t know how long they had been doing this or how long they continued after I left, but I enjoyed watching their antics.

The light was perfect that afternoon as it danced across the ripples in the water and reflected off the stream bed. I was able to hide behind some large boulders with the sun at my back, and photograph a few of the ducks as they came out of the shadows and swam into the sunlight.

Stumbling across this stream at this time of year paid off. This location during the summer would have yielded a different result. The sunlight would have been blocked be the leaves on the large trees surrounding the stream and I wouldn’t have had all the reflections. And who knows where those ducks may have been.