New England Blogs

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blacks Creek

Day 315/Year 2
Here's another image recently taken at Blacks Creek in Quincy MA. I liked the look of this image in black and white. more snow is forecasted here in the next week. In fact, tomorrow is going to be in the mid to upper 50's again. Although I'd like to see some more snow, I certainly will welcome tomorrows temps and won't complain, that's for sure!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Playing in the snow :-)

Day 314/Year 2
Well, not so much playing in the snow, but rather playing with a snowy image. This image was taken 10 days ago back when winter made a very short visit to us here in Southeast MA. I don't even remember how I did this, and I honestly don't even know if I like this all that much......but I think it is kinda cool so figured it could be shown as todays photo of the day.
Here's the original for comparison:

Just playing around. If you didn't like the version I posted first, at least I hope it gave you something to think about. Perhaps you liked it as is, or perhaps you can think of ways it could be better, or perhaps you think it should just go in the trashbin. :-) Either way, it is "art" and art is always subjective.
This was taken at Blacks Creek in Quincy MA.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Empty slips

Day 313/Year 2
These empty slips at Hewitts Cove Marina at the Hingham Shipyard are just waiting for Summer.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Day 312/365
I went back to Duxbury Beach this afternoon in search of the Snowy Owls. Ths time I went legally, with my cousin Maureen and her husband Dave in a vehicle with an over the sand pass. Diane accompanied us on this outing as well.
However, the owls did not accompany us this time. We couldn't find any. We did find a few familiar faces out there though........we ran into a few members of my camera club. :-) We exchanged cell phone numbers with them......we'd call each other if one of us spotted an owl.
We never got a call from them.
We did however stop at Gurnet Light. I have never been here before, and it was great to finally get out there. It's beautiful!!!! The lighthouse sits high on a hill. It was verrry windy and rather chilly up there, but honestly, it felt invigorating.

And one ocean shot taken from high up on the bluff

It was a beautiful afternoon and we had a great time....despite the fact that we couldn't find any owls this trip.
Thanks Maureen and Dave for the ride! We had a ball!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

A gull of a day!

What a foggy soggy day we had here in SE MA. I should have gone out picture taking early this morning because it was nice and foggy. But, I just couldn't get myself in gear. I went out late morning to deliver a box of popsicles to poor Miss J who was home sick with the stomach bug. :-( No matter how old our kids are, our Mommy instincts kick into high gear and we do whatever we can for our kids. right? Right!
On the way home from Miss J's house, I stopped off at Whitmans Pond in Weymouth and took some gull images. It was drizzly when I got there, but afer a short time, the rain became steadier and heavier. This gull didn't seem too happy with the rain. He looks quite PO'd, doesn't he???
Perhaps it was a female gull and she wasn't too happy with her appearance in the mirror.....

We all know that rainy days make bad hair days.........
P.S. Hope you feel better Miss J xxoo

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Hello everybody. Were you one of the unlucky ones to receive spam email from me at 2:00 this morning??? If so.......I'm very sorry!!! What a way to start my day! As soon as I got up I was informed that my email account was compromised and that everyone in my mailbox got spam from my account. UGH!!! I have changed my password, run a virus scan on my computer, and I am good to go now, thank goodness!
So, after a not so nice morning, I ended up having a very nice afternoon. I took the folks out to lunch (meaning I drove but my Dad paid :-) ) We went to Wahlburgers at the Hingham Shipyard. For those of you not familiar with Wahlburgers, it's a burger joint owned by the Wahlburg Family ( Mark Wahlburg from the movies, and Donny Wahlburg from the hit sensation The New Kids On The Block) :-)........their brother Paul is a renowned Chef and they opened the restaurant Wahlburgers this past year.
My impression: The burgers are very good. The folks LOVED their burgers and they ate every last bite.
The decor: Very cool! Wahlburg movie and television memorobilia.
The cons: It's LOUD in there.......meaning they play loud music. Fine for me but not so good for 89 year old people who both wear hearing aids. :-)
It's more of a place for a younger crowd, but my hip and happening folks both enjoyed themselves, are glad we went, and would like to go back sometime! :-)
After lunch, we went over to the waterfront and I took some shots. They have done a beautiful job working on this area, and it looks great.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Beach grass

Day 309/Year 2
We're back to the other morning at Wollaston Beach in Quincy MA. It's great to be out shooting at sunrise......not only for the sunrise itself, but also to look around and see how the low angle warm light hits more intimate areas around you.........such as this beach grass. And as the minutes go by, the light keeps changing.........

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wooly Coats

Day 308/Year 2
Welcome Spring! Who would have thought when I was out shooting these sheep on Sunday morning, that 2 days later the temps would be up near 60 degrees, and the snow would all be melted away? What a winter.
Look at the snow and ice stuck on their wooly coats. I bet they were very hot today, compared to being very comfortable on Sunday.
Isn't the little one precious???? Especially with the snow covered nose. Too cute!

Monday, January 23, 2012

High Key barn

Day 307/Year 2
High key photography seeks to eliminate harsh shadows and create a bright environment.
I have never shot a high key image, although I do like the look of some high key shots I have seen. I have done some research on making high key images, and this is what I found out:
If you want to shoot high key indoors, it’s best to have some studio lighting available, preferably 3-4 flashes: two on your subject, two on the backdrop. Also, make sure your camera’s settings are optimized to let in lots of light. Make sure there’s enough to brighten the scene considerably without blowing out the subject.
The other method to make a high key image is to do it in Photoshop. There are many steps involved in doing this, so I will refer you to the following link with a tutorial if interested:

How did I make this high key image????? I used the high key filter from Nik's ColorEfex Pro. I then converted the image to black and white and then gave it a very subtle vignette. I hope you like it!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

We're going to the Super Bowl!!!!!!

O>M>G!!!!!! Did you survive that football game???? Talk about anxiety!!! What a game, huh???? The title of this blog may be misleading. We aren't "physically" going to the, we aren't going to Indy, we will be watching from home. :-) BUT, The PATRIOTS are going to the SuperBowl. Again. As my Dad would say, when the Pats go to the playoffs and make it to the SuperBowl, it helps the winter to pass by and not seem so long. I agee!
So, this morning Mr. S and I went out to capture some snow scenes. We headed Southwest and ended up in Halifax and Middleboro. A few of the images were converted to black and white (I'm really having fun with this) If the Pats lost the game, I was going to only post the black and white image because I would have been in a dark mood for sure. BUT, seeing as though they won, I will post both the color and the black and white for a victory celebration. :-)
I chose a slightly different composition for the black and white image:

Day 306/Year 2
I'm really liking the contrast and sharpness I am getting with the new 17-55 mm lens. Oh, by the way, this image was taken on Thompson St. in Middleboro MA. I have driven by this barn dozens of times, but the light and conditions weren't right.......but this morning the light was just right and the snow was added an extra bonus.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A lazy day

Happy snowy Saturday everyone! It's been snowing all day here and I've spent a good amount of time today working on my computer. I finally cleaned out my mailbox......(yes Diane it's finally done!) I had over 1400 emails in my inbox. I also have been playing around with one of my Christmas gifts that I got from Mr S........which is a bundled pack of Nik Software for processing my images. I've been having a great time playing around with it. The most productive thing I have done besides sitting on my butt with my laptop was making a delicious banana bread. Snowstorms=baking or cooking, right??
So, I think I'll show you an image that I worked on today. This image was taken yesterday morning at Black's Creek in Quincy. There are 3 different versions that I made from this image, using Nik's ColorEfexPro.
Version 1 is the color version:
Version 2 was processed with the Old Paper filter:

Version 3 is a black and white. I am really pleased with the tones I was able to get with the black and white.

Do you have a favorite? I can't decide.
I'm looking forward to heading out into the winter wonderland with my camera tomorrow morning, followed by watching the Pats game at 3:00. I hope you all are enjoying your weekend.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Oh what a beautiful morning

Mother nature has finally decided that it really is winter here in Southern New England. She gave us another little dose of snow overnight. The timing was perfect. It snowed while we were sleeping and it was out of here in time to give us a beautiful sunrise. I met up with my cousin BettyAnn at Wollaston Beach in Quincy MA at 6:45 this morning...........hoping to get a nice pre-dawn sky.......and Mother Nature didn't disappoint!
That's the Squantum Yacht Club you're looking at, with a low cloud bank on the horizon.
Wasn't sure how the actual sunrise would turn out, but Mother Nature did her thing again and this is what we saw:

And this:

More snow coming tomorrow........what a way to make a girl happy! Thanks Mother Nature!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hanging around the water cooler

Day 303/Year 2
Well, it wasn't a water cooler......but it was a rhododendron bush where I caught these 2 as I wandered around down the cemetery the other day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's never too late to learn!

Day 302/Year 2
My mother, at the age of 89, decided she needed a computer, and needed to learn how to use it. Seriously. She felt as though she was missing out on my blog, and she wanted to be able to check it out everyday. Sooooooo, we got her a laptop for Christmas.
We've been giving her some simple Computer 101 lessons......and she's catching on!!! How cool is that??? You go Mom!!!!!!!!
By the way........I love you Mom!!! :-) Tell Dad I said hi! **smile** :-)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reflection Connection

Day 301/Year 2
It's like goes full circle........

Monday, January 16, 2012

Let Freedom Ring

Day 300/Year 2

"And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
                Free at last! Free at last!
                Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
                                                 ------Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Going out on a limb

Day 299/Year 2
So, how tired are you today? Oh, you're probably not too tired because it's Sunday and you got to sleep in this morning after the Patriot's game last night. Not me. No sir-ree. Up and out by 5:15 this the 12 degree what felt like 80 below zero windchill. Now THAT will wake you up after a late night of watching football. (Okay so 80 below is a big stretch but was coooold!)
You're probably wondering how much longer you are going to be seeing pictures taken from last Tuesdy's minor snow event, aren't you? Well, my favorite thing about this partiular image is that little drop of snow that I caught dripping off the very bottom branch.
It's the little things in life that make us happy, huh????
GO PATS!!!!!!!!!!! Woo-hoo!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Slice of Light

Day 298/Year 2
The little bit of snow we got on Tuesday has provided me with some much needed photos to post this week. It's a good thing I went out when I did that morning, because the snow was gone after a few hours. It sure has been a strange winter this year........

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Peaceful Meadows

Day 296/Year 2
Today's post shows another image taken the other morning after the snowfall we received. After I left Island Grove in Abington, I headed down Rte 18 to Whitman. I have had this image in the back of my mind for quite a while. I was waiting for the right conditions to make this image, and everything came together for me this particular morning.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Winter's Woodland

Day 295/Year 2

A few more from yesterday's snowfall.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A welcomed dusting!!!

Wasn't it a wonderful surprise this morning to wake up to some SNOW??? It was totally unexpected, but it sure was pretty. I almost missed it......slept in and didn't get up until 8am. My first thought was......why didn't anyone wake me up to tell me there was snow out there????? :-) I threw on my dirty jeans and sweatshirt from yesterday and off I went with my camera gear.
I headed down to my usual stomping grounds.......Island Grove in Abington.
The light was amazing. There was a fog and the sun was trying to break through. Just beautiful!

Day 294/Year 2

More to come tomorrow......

Monday, January 9, 2012

Powder Point Bridge

This post is going to be a good example of how lighting can change the look of an image. These were shot on Saturday morning at Duxbury Beach. This first shot was taken just after we took the sunrise shots that I previously posted. I cropped it into a panoramic.

Pretty light, huh???
This next shot was taken maybe 20-30 minutes after the first shot. I was standing by the end of the bridge. Notice how the light is still warm, but not as warm and colorful as the first image:

This last shot was taken about 3 and a half hours after the second shot. Notice how cool the light is......there are no longer any warm tones:

THAT'S what is meant by "it's all about the light".

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Snowy Owl Continued

Sorry for the abrupt ending of my last post. I got hit really hard with this virus. Has anyone seen the Mac Truck that has run over me????? :-) I got up at 2:30 this afternoon. Not how I was planning on spending my weekend, but thank goodness I'm feeling better now.
So, let's go back to yesterday morning, shall we? Diane, our friend Leah, and my cousin Betty went to Duxbury early in the am. Our quest: find a snowy owl!!! Snowy owls live in the arctic circle, and in the winter, sometimes migrate down to Eastern US. Owls like airports, because the wide open space at the airports reminds them of the arctic tundra. This poses a threat to both the owls and the aircraft. Norman Smith, director of the Mass Audobon's Blue Hills Trailside Museum, has the snowy owl prject going. See here:  So, as you see, he moves the owls to Duxbury Beach where it is safer.
So, we arrived at Duxbury Beach just in time for sunrise. It was a beautiful sunrise!!!

I was thrilled to get such a beautiful sunrise. I had promised you some good pictures this weekend, so at least I knew I had a decent sunrise to share. For one thing, I wasn't sure if we would even find an owl, and for another thing, I wasn't experienced with the lens that I had rented. There is a learning curve. Diane and I spoke about the learning curve with this lens on the drive. Shooting with such a long lens requires practice, and any error is magnified. Any camera shake or movement will effect the image quality.
The weather: The weather was INSANE. I mean insane in a good way. This was January 7th?????? Temps were in the 50's, there was NO WIND. No wind at the beach in January???? Come on......insane!!!!  It was a perfect day in every way. We were blessed, and we knew it. What an amazing morning we had.
So, after we shot the sunrise, we got back in my vehicle, and started the drive out along the peninsula in search of the snowy owls. An over the sand permit is required to drive out there, but we were misinformed, and were told that "they don't patrol that area in the winter, so you can just drive out there." So, we were about a mile or two in, when we were approached by the HarborMaster in his 4 wheel drive pick up truck who informed us we needed to turn around. Turn around? Are you kidding me?
So, back we went to the parking area where I shamelessly was trying to get us a drive back in. Our Harbormaster "friend" came along......I offered him 20 bucks for a ride out there in the back of his pickup, and he refused my offer.........even after I told him I was the mother of a Police Officer!!!! :-)
OMG....the laughs we had. I also solicited myself to a boy in a pick up truck who couldn't have been more than 16 yrs old. I think I frightened him.........
So, off we went using our legs, lugging our gear.......until we came across a vehicle along the road  where we met our saviors!!!! I stopped their vehicle and asked if they had seen any photographers gathered or any owls out there. They said yes!!! I asked how far......he said a few more miles back........I offered him 20 dollars if they would turn around and drive us in.......he said get in the car, but I won't take your money. :-)I was just afraid by the time we got there if we walked that the owl would be gone. Who knew if we would ever see one! Our saviors!!!!! LOL........His name was Ed and we forget her name, but they were soooooo kind. They drove us in and dropped us off at the spot where the owl was sitting perched on the post. A Peregrine Falcon was there as well, but as soon as we got out of the vehicle, the Falcon took off, and we never saw it again.
The owl was at least 500 feet or more away from us. There was no way we were going to get any decent shots with the equipment we had. The 300 mm lens I rented was not going to give us enough reach. We would have needed at least a 500 mm lens with a teleconverter. We were informed by a young boy and his Dad who were photographing as well that this was probably a female owl because of the markings. Her back was towards us the whole time, but occasionally she would turn her head towards us.....especially if she heard any noise such as any approaching wildlife. Her head could rotate 360 degrees, so in my shots when you see her face, you are actually looking at her from behind, but her head is rotated all the way to her back. Pretty cool!!!!!

We spent a long time out there with her. She never once got off her perch. We had a long walk back to the car, but it was a pleasure. As I stated, the weather couldn't have been any better!!!

What a morning!!!! What an awesome adventure!!!! What a lot of laughs we had along the way!!!! I have had a few photography "goals". My first goal was to photograph a Bald Eagle.
Got a Bald Eagle in Bar Harbor 2 years ago.
My next goal was to photograph or at least "see" an owl in the wild.
Got the owl yesterday.
What will my third wildlife photography goal be? Beside the elusive bull moose in a picturesque pond lifting his head out of the water, with pond grass hanging off his antlers, water dripping off his beard, as he's looking straight into the lens of my camera...........I would have to say my goal would be to invest in the gear that I would need to accomplish these goals in a better way. It will take a lot of saving so it won't be coming anytime soon, but it is a goal that some day I hope to reach. In the meantime, I am happy with the memories and the thrill of just seeing such beautiful creatures. I feel blessed for sure!
PS....a special thank you to Ed and his wife for so generously giving us a ride. :-)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Snowy Owl!!!

Had one of the nicest mornings today. Not so good rest of the day. Sick with stomach bug.
Thanks Jay.......
More tomorrow.........