Monday, November 29, 2010

Potential Bummer

Spent a nice weekend at my Mom's in St. Alban's Maine. Took the opportunity to get up early every day and take pictures. She has a beautiful peaceful place on a lake, and it gave me a lot of options. Was up at the crack of 6 and spent a couple hours each morning out in the cold till my fingers got numb.

Getting back to the house, I reviewed my pictures and was dismayed to see major dust on every picture, whether I used the standard or zoom lens. The spot was there. That means the dust was in on the sensor. Oh groan. That bummed me out bad. Tried brushing the inside of the camera with my camera brush, and I tried blowing on it. I later learned that that is a major rookie mistake. I could have scratched the sensor and that would cost big $$. Luckily, I don't think I did, but I did blow more lint on the sensor than I had to begin with. The immediate solution to clean up my pictures was Photoshop. Thank God for that. The pictures below show before and after using PS.



Farm on Big Indian Lake

Image was shot with Telephoto Lens from about a mile away at 8:20 am.

Speed 1/2s; Aperture f/25.8; ISO-200;

Yesterday I went to my local camera shop and picked up a Digital Bulb blower. For a while it just seemed to move the big particles in the camera around, but at last I got it out!

So lesson for the day is....keep a bulb blower handy. You don't want to touch the sensor, and dust is bound to get in your camera when switching lenses. It was only $8 as compared to the $65 and 3 weeks that the camera store quoted to clean the sensor for me. Luckily it worked.

And no, I did not use Photoshop to get any dust particles off of the blower. They are all there.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Almost done with the bricks

Hey gang. Hope you all stuffed yourselves sick yesterday, and enjoyed time with family. I did. Great day with family. Two delicious meals, and hopefully I can work of some pounds this morning while I battle the crowds during the Black Friday sales. The alarm is set for 4am, and then I'm off to Walmart. This is the only time of the year I like to shop. Sick, aren't I? It reminds me of racing through Boston traffic. Nothing like a good merge thru the Callahan tunnel to freak Sue out. Ah good times. But that's a story for another day.
Anyway, to complete this weeks' series of Boston's North End, here is a shot of a window in the Old North Church. Looked like original glass to me, but who knows? It was old, and very interesting to me. Great old brickwork. One of these days I'll have to do the whole Freedom trail in Boston. Beautiful things to see and a lot to learn about our past.

Window to the Past

Shot was taken on 10/16/2010 at 4:13pm. Speed 1/60s; aperture: f/5.6; ISO-400.

Well I'm off to Maine for the weekend to visti family, so I'll put on my thinking cap for next weeks posts. I promise....No more bricks...

Have a great weekend and stay out of my way if you are going to the Gilford Walmart Black Friday sale...


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Open for Soul Saving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Hope you have a wonderful day with your family, as I will. I have a wonderful family, and am a very lucky man.

Anyway, continuing on with our tour of Boston's North End, Ashley and I passed St. Leonard's Church on the corner of Prince and Hanover St. The church was built in 1873. Today's shot was of the Peace Garden outside the church. I got a kick out of the neon "Open" sign. It was a sharp contrast to the flower garden and statues outside. I was surprised not to see a hot dog or canoli vendor outside drumming up more business.

Open for Soul Saving

This Holy shot was taken on 10/16/2010 at 3:56 pm. Speed: 1/50s; aperture f/5.6; ISO-200. Standard Lens.

Well, we are going out for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, so we don't have to get up early to prepare dinner. So, I'll worship at the church of St. Mattress, and hopefully get a chance to sleep in. And if I'm not struck down by lightning, I'll be back Friday with some more shots.

Thanks for stopping by!


More Bricks - North End Alley

Adding on to yesterday's theme of Boston's North End...Here is a shot of an alley that intrigued me. Cobblestones, brinks, and granite, probably original from the 1700's. And a dryer vent probably installed much later than that. Ashley and I did a lot of exploring around the North End, and the rich colors and textures of places like this alley were beautiful. Fun to imagine Paul Revere, Sam Adams, Tedi Bruschi, and other Patriots possibly walking down these same alleys. (And maybe doing their laundry next door)

North End Alley
This shot was taken with a standard lens on 10/16/2010 at 4:53 pm. Speed 1/64s; aperture: F/4; ISO-400.

That reminds me, I gotta do my laundry tonite.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Textures - Bricks in Boston

One thing I have found as I have really gotten into this photography hobby, is that I like textures and lines. I am really starting to see beauty in things that I may have overlooked before.

I think it started a number of years ago (5 or 6?) when my daughter Taylor took a picture of a brick building in Boston. It had a fire escape, and icicles, and windows, and wonderful colors. It was beautiful. I love that picture and have a copy hanging in my office (and one at home). It is amazing what you can learn from your kids.

Another thing I have learned about is the North End in Boston. When my daughter Ashley and I were in Boston last month for a geneology conference, she took me to Boston's North End. To be honest, I thought I knew Boston. But before that day, I never had ventured more than one block into the North End. I figured once I found the first pizza restaurant that was good enough. Uh-uh. There was so much to see. Ashley knew her way around like a pro. What a beautiful part of town. And I never realized that the Old North Church(made famous by Paul Revere) was there.

So I think over the next few days, I am going to post some scenes from the North End.

Today's post is a walkway next to the Old North Church. Great textures and colors.

Old North Church Walkway

Picture was taken on 10/16 at 5:12pm. Speed: 1/64s; Aperture: F/4.6; ISO-400.

Thanks girls, for all you have taught me!

Dad (Em)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Peanut Shells and Patriots

I had a crazy great busy weekend, and to be honest, did not have time to do any photo experimenting, so I am going to rely on some old pictures.

Sue and I, and Jordan and Shelbie were watching the Pats take on the Colts. What a nail-biter. I can't stand that Peyton, and luckily the Pats hung on.
That whole football-watching, yelling, eating experience reminded me of 12-16-2007 when I took Jordan to see the Pats take on Eric Mangini and those dreaded Jets. This was back in the Spy-gate times. It was Jordan's first time at a Pats game and I was going to show him the time of his life. We were going to tail-gate, and eat everything, and just have a good ol' time. Well, the game was at 1pm, and there was a blizzard that day. We left at 6 that morning, and what is normally a 2 hour ride, took 6. The highways were treacherous. Cars off the road, driving at 20 mph on the highway, it was nuts. We had peanut shell throwing fights in the truck on the way down to pass the time. But we made it. We brought our grill and I was going to make Jordan some breakfast omeletes. Wanted him to get the tail-gate experience. Do you know how hard it is to keep a grill going in 30 mph wind and sleet storms? It's tough. The food didn't come out very good. We threw the football around but the wind kept taking it, and out fingers were frozen. So we gave up on grilling, and playing football and just went inside the stadium and ate there and watched the game.
The good thing about a football game in a snowstorm? There is snow to throw. Everytime the Pats scored, we'd throw snow in the air. With thousands of people doing that, it looked like fireworks. What a blast. I think that made the day special for us. Can't remember the score except that the Pats won. Didn't even remember who the Pats played until Jordan reminded me last night. What a great day. Took us 8 hours to get home. Didn't matter. Great time spent with my son. And every now and then I find a peanut shell in some crack in my truck and it serves as a fond reminder.

Fond, Frozen Memories

Good times!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Capture the Moment

"Capture the moment". That is what my photography teacher Lee would say. Yeah, he has that right. Time goes way too fast. And you gotta do all you can when you get the chance. Nothing deep going on here, just trying to come up with a subject for today's post.
I was driving by Pheasant Ridge golf course today. Had too much work to do to golf, but as I was driving by, I noticed the reeds, or maybe they are split cat-o-nine tails. Not sure what they are but the light was hitting them just perfectly. Raced home and got my camera and returned to capture that moment. It was hard, because the wind was blowing like crazy. So I cranked down the exposure and think I got the reeds frozen. This was taken about 40 feet away with my zoom. Exposure 1/250s; Aperture: f/6.3; ISO-100

I know this doesn't do justice to what I was visualizing as I first drove by, but I did my best in a wind storm.

Ok, taking the weekend off. Try to relax and learn some new tricks for next weeks' posts. And spend lots of time with the family and capture some other moments. Started that tonite by bowling with the kids. As tired as I was, I went. And Sue came to cheer us on. We had a blast. The weekend has begun!

Have some awesome moments yourself!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Leaves and Bokeh

Almost missed out getting my daily post in. Busy at work, and then had camera class tonite. That is done. Really enjoyed the class and instructor, Lee Holliday. Thanks Lee!

Was wondering what to post today as I haven't had much time to experiment lately. And I was talking to my daughter Ashley, and was thinking about all the bags of leaves she had to rake and bag at her place. I'm thankful that I have woods all around me and can just blow my leaves there. Raking leaves is right up there on the fun meter with scraping paint.

Anyway, that got me thinking about a bunch of pictures of leaves I'd taken recently. Wasn't sure what to do with them, and then thought I'd get all artsy on ya. So with the day winding down, I put them all together in a little mural. Got some great bokeh lighting going on here.

Allright, how did I do it?

These are pretty much all taken the same way. Exposure: 1/60s, aperture: f/5.6, ISO-200. Got short depth of field so the background lighting is blurred to create the bokeh. And the secret is the pictures are taken inside during the day, taped to the window frame, shooting out the window.

Well the leaves are gone from my yard, and I hope yours are too.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Catch up Day - Country Views

Ok, ya got me. I missed a day yesterday. Been very busy taking care of "Lefty" and helping her recuperate, and a day slipped away. So for your visual enjoyment, I'll post two shots today.

One is a horse farm in Gilford, at the top of Cotton Hill. I'd been visualizing it for awhile, and one morning when I woke up, the light just seemed right. So I hopped out of bed, grabbed my camera and drove up the road. There is a feeding shed that just seemed ripe for a shot. Beautiful fall morning with Belknap Mountain in the background.

Gilford Horse Farm

Shot was taken with a wide angle lens on 11/1/10 at 6:30 am. Exposure: 1/5s; Aperture: f/18; ISO-100.

And the 2nd shot is at my father-in-law's sugar house (at Bolduc Farms) in Laconia. This sugar house is the longest continuously running one of its kind in the US. It has been operating since 1779. That's a whole lotta syrup. If you get a chance, stop by there in the spring and watch the Bolducs in action. They love to explain the process and serve their fresh syrup on pancakes. Mmmm.

Bolduc Maple Sugar House

Shot was taken with a wide angle lens on 11/14/10 8:12 am. Exposure: 1/32s; Aperture: f/5.7; ISO-160.

Ok, lunch time is over and I'm all caught up. Back to work now...



Monday, November 15, 2010

The Perley Oak

Went for a nice leisurely Sunday Drive yesterday with my honey. No place to go, no place to be. It was wonderful. It reminded us of day trips with our parents when we were kids. These days, it is hard to find the time to just relax. There is always some chore to do, or thing to fix, or place to be. Sometimes we long for the simpler days of yester-year. We had a great day reminiscing to each other about our respective childhoods. She in NH, me in Mass. And it is funny how similar our memories were. What a great day!

As we got near home at the end of our ride, we stopped at the Perley Oak in Laconia, NH. Speaking of yester-years, this white oak is estimated to be 400 years old. Lately, there has been much debate about whether or not to cut the tree down. The city is afraid of some branch falling and hurting someone. You know-afraid of liability. There are warning signs, so I hope that will be enough to keep people away and enjoy it from a distance. It's a beautiful tree, that still has leaves, with much history. Let's hope it makes it to 500 years.

And so, the Shot of the Day...

The Perley Oak

Shot in B&W, Exposure: 1/50s; Aperture f/5.6; ISO-100. 11/14/2010 1:10pm

And here's hoping we make more time for leisurely drives.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Nov 12th and Still Golfing!

Oh yeah baby! Haven't golfed in a few weeks due to the rain and 30 something degree temps. But that changed today! Was about 60 degrees out today. Oh man, just when I thought we were at the cruddy pre-winter stage, the golf gods smiled on me and sent me outside for 9 holes. Shot a 40, which is pretty good since I haven't played in a while. The air was fresh, the grass was still green, the lake and mountains looked gorgeous. Life is good. And this makes me smile!

Pheasant Ridge 2nd Hole

This shot was take with a wide angle lens, behind the hole facing the pond with Lake Winnisquam in the background. Taken at 3pm. Exposure 1/200s, Aperture f/16, ISO-400.

Gonna be another great day tomorrow, but I think I'll take my honey for a ride. Get her out of the house since she's going shack-wacky after her elbow surgery. Maybe take a long ride around Winnepesaukee.

And of course, I'll take my camera...



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank you Veterans

On this Veterans Day, I wanted to give thanks to the Men and Women who have served our great country. I never did go into the service myself. But I do appreciate the sacrifices of those who have.

Unfortunately, I was a dumb, immature, rebellious kid who heard from his father from the time he was young “You ARE going into the service when you get out of school”. Never a why, or what it could do for me, but just “You ARE”. And so, as much as I loved my father, I DID NOT. He tried a different tact and encouraged me to go to Mass Maritime. I did like the ocean and thought that would be cool. Despite having good grades, passing all of their tests, MM said, “Your eyes are too bad. If you’re glasses fall off the ship, you will be helpless”. “BUT!- If you contact your congressman, maybe you can get him to pull some strings.” And I said “Screw that” If you don’t want me, I don’t want you”. Instead I went to college for years till I finally figured out what I wanted to do.

Anyway, I got off on a tangent I guess, but the point is that maybe I should have gone into the service, or maybe it is just as well. But for those who did, God Bless you and your families.

And God Bless the United States of America.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Guitar - And some Bokeh?

When we left off last night, I was on my way to go play my guitar for awhile. It had been a couple of weeks since I picked it up last. So I played a few riffs and my fingers just weren't co-operating. Then I noticed that it was getting kind of dusty, so I polished it all up. And then tried to play again. By then, my fingers were warmed up and things started to click. Played a little Dave Mathews, and then over to AC/DC, and admired the shine on my Aria Pro II.

At that point, my mind switched over to my camera and wanted to get a picture of the guitar. I took a few shots and was getting some good reflections. So I got an idea to try a Bokeh* shot. I got out a couple of small Christmas lights and got this Shot of the Day:

Aria Pro II

* From Wikipedia; Bokeh (pronounced bou-ke) is a subjective quality of out-of-focus areas of an image projected by a camera lens. It is the blur or aesthetic quality of the blur. The term comes form the Japanes word boke, which means blur or haze..

This shot was taken with the guitar over a black blanket, with the small lights at the end of the neck, and a touch of natural light coming in from windows on the left. Although it was 5:30pm, and it is NH, so there is practically no light. There is no flash. Exposure is 30 sec; Aperture is f/13, ISO-200.

Rock On!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who dunnit?

Jeez- Lots of murders on the news lately in NH. Especially that one around the corner from us. Crazy times we are living in. Why can't we all just get along? There is speculation on the killer for the woman around the corner, but I'm sure it will be awhile before anything is announced.

Just another mystery...Which led me to this shot of the day... I wanted to experiment with some colored pencils in my lightbox, and came up with this whodunit.

All Signs Point to...

speed 1/8s;
aperture f /18;
ISO: 200

Well it was a productive night...Got my newsletter done for the Gilford Clickers photo club. And got my daily posting done. Now I think I'll go get out the guitar and play for awhile before I hit the hay.

Till good to each other


Monday, November 8, 2010

What a long week...And its only Monday

Glad last week is over..Busy. Had Photography club, Photography Class, Billing time at work - All nighters with that...then a tons of yardwork (Leaves finally all picked up), And I've got a ton more work to do...Photo assignments, work assigments, and now I've got to step up and take better care of my wife Suzy. She had elbow surgery today. It's been killing her for 3 years and she was finally able to get some work done on it today. Hopefully, the surgery will work and she can get back to doing all the things she likes to do. Crafts, Golf, and taking care of me ;-)

I took today off to take care of her, but tomorrow I guess I'd better get back to work. Hope Sue will be ok. Here's the Shot of the day...But I didn't take it. Taylor took it of Sue and I when we were in Philly last year visiting.
Feel better soon babe. Love you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Before and After - Japanese Maple

Yay, my truck is out of the shop. Let's knock on wood.

So what's new...I've been taking a night class in Digital Photography..Enjoying that. Had class tonite, and one more class to go.

It's my busy time of the month. Billing time, so I'll be doing an all nighter Friday night. And somehow squeezing in participating in a commercial that a friend is doing for a game he developed. I'll be glad when this week is behind me.

Anyway, gotta get some shut-eye and I'm not sure if I'll have time to blog later. So here are the pictures I meant to post before my truck died.

This is a picture of a Japanese Maple in my yard. In the morning, the tree was full with leaves, although covered in frost.

In the afternoon, the leaves were all on the ground. A nice red blanket. What a difference a day makes. But a beautiful tree for sure.

Japanese Maple - Morning

Japanese Maple - Afternoon

Speaking of leaves on the ground...any takers for helping me rake? Didn't think so... you've all got your own. Well if work has me too busy to post the next couple of days, have yourself an awesome weekend. And stay thirsty my friends...


Thursday, November 4, 2010

@#$%^&*()! Vehicles Suck

Well I planned on posting a nice fall scene, but I'm posting something that I am seeing too much of lately. Second time in 2 weeks that my truck died. The alternator this time. $%@#^@~!

On my way to work this morning, after just getting a new engine put in 2 days ago... The dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree. Engine light, ABS light, Brake light, Airbag light, nite light....You name it. Oh man.

So, luckily I had AAA. Got the sumbitch towed back into town and it is now getting a new alternator. But my motto is Life is Good. So my buddy said I need a bumper sticker..."Cars Suck, but Life is Good". Ain't it the truth?

Anyway, here is my Shot of the Day.

Hoods Up
rrow is gas.
Let's hope that the only truck expense I have tomorrow is gas.
pray for me...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Too Close!

Holy smokes...Guess I'm not going golfing today.
For one reason, a woman was found dead under suspicious circumstances on the road to the golf course. The state police have the road closed. That's too close for comfort in our cozy little town. The paper says that she and her husband were going thru a messy divorce. That's just sad.
Anyway, the other reason for not golfing is that it is 22 degrees out today! Yikes. There was frost on the pumpkin this morning, as we say around he-ah. And there was frost on my truck. The cold weather is coming and it's way too close for my liking.
Which brings me to my shot of the day. With frost on my sideview mirror, the message seemed appropriate.

Too Close for Comfort
Well, I hope your day is warm and sunny..
Over and out...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nov 2 - Election Day

Hey - I'm here again. As Promised..2nd day in a row for blog posting.

It's election Day...Big whoop. There are no choices that I can see. They're all liars and thieves anyway. But I'll go and try to pick the best of a baaaddd lot.

So whoever you vote for, just go out and do it!

On another note, got my truck back out of the shop yesterday. Only 60K miles on it and the head gasket blows. Cripes. Well, now I have a new engine, and let's knock on wood and hope it stays running.

Well can't chat for long, I have a photography meeting to go run, but here is my Shot of the day:

It is a shot of a hill east of Gilford Village. Just looks very cozy to me. Only thing missing is smoke coming out of the chimneys. Shot was take from about 1 mile away on Labonte Farm Road in Gilford. Speed 1/250s; f/5.6; ISO-320 with Telephoto Lens.



Monday, November 1, 2010

I'm baaaack!

Hey - Didn't I promise to keep up with my blog? Been very busy finishing up the golf season, (and winning the OSML trophy for the 4th year in a row), also getting a new camera (Canon Rebel XS 1000), and trying to figure it out...I've been actively trying to build up a good portfolio on Flikr (, taking a digital photography evening class, and becoming president of the Gilford Clickers Photography Club...and I've been working on the EmerysIsland website. I've been to a seminar with my daughter Ashley, in Boston.. (great day-and lots of pics). I've also got some things in the works to get some pictures published.. (got a picture published on the Gilford Library Website too in October) See -wicked busy...

Maybe to commit to this blog I should start to post a "Shot of the Day" listing...

Ok, here's my Shot of the day....

It was taken at 7:55 am from Belmont Beach looking north, about a mile away on Lake Winnisquam. Good fog, the lake had a really cool silvery color. Exposure was 1/160s, Aperture: f/10; ISO: 200. Used a .45x wide angle lens

Was driving down Union Ave in Laconia, and the lake looked beautiful. So I ignored the "Belmont Residents Only" sign, the "No Trespassing" sign, and the "No one before 9am" sign to go take some pictures. It doesn't look that great shrunk down, but you get the idea.

Alright, mission accomplished....I've gotten back to posting....

Till tomorrow?