Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Morning Plants

I really need to get out of this "macro" mode, but I am finding out so much about the possibilities of it that I hate to just move on to something else just to feel like I am moving on to something else. The philosophy of moving forward to things new seems empty when that which one is moving away from is not fully understood.

With that said, here are four shots from the many I took of the plants in the living room under the morning sun.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Takin' Down the Christmas Tree

So I took a ton of pictures while still in macro mode. Jen and I were getting ready to take down the tree and I had shot the ornaments the other night with the lights on, so figured I would try with sunlight coming in through the windows. I put the 75-300mm lens on my Sony Alpha and screwed a 2+ filter on the front of it, and then played with focal lengths (focus by camera movement) on the zoom as I looked for pictures.

I'm not really happy with the sharpness of the images, but they look alright and give me some good compositions, so I can't complain!

The other thing I did right from iPhoto, was to post them to my Flickr account. I haven't done this all that much, but with a bunch of photos like that (10) I thought they might do better in an album rather than in this scroll down blog. The link is:
and I will post one shot here so you can get the idea of what they are.

Monday, December 29, 2014

At the End of the Day, At the End of the Year

I know, I know... sunsets tend to be a cliche no matter how cool they are, but I took this one in very little light, with my phone, through a living room window and still got a great sky and the coolness factor of the lights of Bar Harbor under the shadow of Cadillac Mountain!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

As the Year Ends...

So does the life of a lowly fly. I got "buzzed" by this creature in Jackson's room Friday, and without thinking I reached out and grabbed it. I've always been quick enough to "catch" flies, but this one I crushed in my hand as I moved to the bathroom to toss it in the trash. I remember so distinctly thinking that showing a disregard for any life form was not the best thing to teach my grandson, but after all, it was "only a fly", so I wasn't too concerned with it.

I am now, I  truly think I shall remain so, although the battle with ants and wasps that has taken place around the "kid's house" may teat that resolve over the summer.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Another Christmas Gone

This one had two grandsons to celebrate with, and there will be many more to come; Christmas's, not grandsons. I have featured photos of our oldest grandson quite a bit on this site, so this post is for Emerson, who is changing daily and has developed quite a personality!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Three shots from our tree before we take it down. One green, one red, and one red and green.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wet Christmas Likely

I guess the guys on WTOS this morning called it a "brown" Christmas, but I don't think the rain is that bad, especially after the winters we have had in the past where there was no place to put the snow! I walked up to get the mail this morning and I noticed the drops of rain clinging to the branches. I realized that I still had the clip-on lens for my iPhone in my pocket, so I put it on and took these photos. I did switch around and use the "fisheye" when Vern came down the driveway to take a shot of the house, so I will post that picture first.

The details of taking a picture still fascinate me, and I catch myself on that "search" for the most interesting and best shot I can find whenever I am in "shooting" mode. There is something about where the "macro" shot takes you in terms of looking at the details existent in life and the myriad situations of form and color that we see without seeing every single minute of every day.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ice Crystals

Cold enough in New Gloucester this morning to create ice, and the resulting crystal formations were beautiful. No high quality equipment here, just an iPhone 5 with a macro lens attached. It never ceases to amaze me at the images which I've captured with that thing, and yet they are so much better than any of the first digital devices for making images. Carrying on!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Looking Closely

I screwed a +4 close up filter on my zoom lens and went out this afternoon (too dark, though - should have gone when the sun was out) and shot a few images even with the wind blowing everything around and making the focus hard to achieve. The act of moving the camera toward the subject to get focus created movement I'm not sure I liked, but the images always seem so unique when done with this technique. Compositions are so simplified that they tend to be difficult to mess up.

Here they are, also one from the studio with the more sensible +1 filter!

What is this third image? A blue compact fluorescent in my studio! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014


My "A" block class is an eclectic mix of students with a wide assortment of artistic skills and sensibilities, which makes the interactions I have with them all the more interesting. They were engaged amazingly well all this past week, and the work they are presenting is remarkable. I know this may come across as a brag, but it isn't me, never has been, and I give them full credit for the efforts and outcomes that result from their fascination with the arts and what can be done with some simple photographic devices and a bit of imagination!

I had to post this image of them working.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Zooming Toward Christmas

We do have the tree up, and there is a feeling other than humbug creeping into the air, but I had done this (look at previous Christmas time posts on this site - maybe a few years ago) before and thought that this tree is a little simpler and might make some interesting lighting shots! Here are a couple I "filtered" out to post. Not anything great, I'm just looking for something to post tonight!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas Tree Already

Our niece and her husband came over yesterday and stayed the night. They helped decorate the tree in the front corner of the living room and so it starts...

Our cat, "Pooter", helped some by chasing dropped decorations around the floor, and I took a few pictures of him. I chose this one to post as it was the third of a quick series and it felt like I truly had his attention! That directness with the camera seemed precious in describing his personality!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Two Golden Angels

All sorts of Christmas objects have come up from the basement after the Thanksgiving Holiday. The reflections, the content and the shiny surfaces that remind me of the PhotoShop "chrome" filter all contributed to my wanting to take a photo of these two. The process started with a straight shot of what I saw to finding a "cleaner" background, and then finally to this shot where I moved the two figures closer together! My brother had an FV called the "Two Angels", named after his two daughters.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sunsets and Old Fall Apples

Electricity, or the lack thereof, has cancelled school for the third straight day today, so of course I went in to work anyway. Amazing what you can get done when there is nobody around. I took a few pictures in my travels today, but I'm always inspired by the ever changing world around me right here at home.

Here are a couple of shots of the sunset tonight and of the fruit still stuck on the tree in the West shoreside corner of the field.

The apples are so interesting with the blemishes (the trees are not well kept, unfortunately) adding a texture and additional visual information. I really liked the saturation (no touch-up) of the color in the bottom shot!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Geese Are Back

We have had Canada Geese visit all summer, but towards the end of the fall and the beginning of winter they show up less and less often. They can be heard "honking" from quite a distance away as they fly over the field or bay and circle to see where there might be a good spot to land and graze for a while as they move on toward their journey southward. Their size, their distinct coloration and their habits of movement all contribute to their familiarity and the beauty they bring to the day!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fishing Shack

Here's an image that I captured in "Sunshine" (Deer Isle) and it just caused me to consider a variety of metaphors about the lobster fishing industry and how it has changed over the years, how it has been a part of my life, and how time moves on and changes almost everything!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Jackson's Feet

I don't know why, but I just find my oldest grandson's feet so interestingly expressive. One can almost tell by these shots what his level of interest in things was at the moment the pictures were taken.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Bug in the Road

Jackson and I went for a walk this afternoon, not a long walk, just down the street from the house, but everything seems to be an adventure! We found a cricket in the road and I managed to get a close-up lens on my phone and get this picture.

The texture of the gravel in the road really seems to come out in this shot, and in contrast to the complexity and color of the exoskeleton of the bug it does provide an interesting background.

We followed the cricket for a while until he got into the grass and became elusive, and then Jackson moved on to other "observations".

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Our Geese

One of several flocks of Canada Geese visited the "front" lawn today, swimming to the edge of the water, and then walking up onto the lawn to feed. They spent a good hour and provided plenty of "photo ops"! Here are four of the shots I took. If you would like to see more, please comment on this post and I will post a Flickr link!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Jackson on the Schoolground

I took these a while ago in July, but I thought it would be nice to post them as I begin to prepare for another school year to start. Many things are changing, but the constant is a young child's joy of learning! We should strive to keep that joy alive as students move forward in our public school systems!

These are of Jackson peeking into the school and on the slide at the playground. All taken with iPhone.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Shooting in the Intertidal Zone

I went down to the shore in front of the house this afternoon and thought I would do something and look for something different, so I put my telephoto (75-200mm) lens and a 2X closeup filter on my Sony Alpha and went searching. For some reason I set the camera in shutter priority mode and these should have all been 1/125th of a second, but in hindsight I wish I had set a deeper aperture instead. "Maybe next time!"

I did play with them in iPhoto as they were a bit overexposed, but I liked the result with the bright sun creating textural shadows and such. I am also going to link to my Flickr Album (7 shots) which I don't think I have ever done on this blog before! Here's the link:

And here's my favorite from the bunch, I like the composition, lighting, and the flow of the bubbles around the half submerged shell!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wise Beyond His Weeks

I can't take credit for this image post, because either my son or his wife took the shot, and they both have taken great images of the grandchildren!

What is so fascinating about this image is that it is of an infant only two weeks old, a young man who I am told has already developed a mind of his own. I'm so excited to watch him grow!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

One Week Later...

... and little Emerson celebrates (well at least the adults in the family do) his first week birthday. This has been a full week as far as focus around him and his needs, watching him and holding him very carefully as he is such a fragile life. He changes every day, and seeing his expressions develop in both intensity and variety is so precious. Jen and I are so fortunate to be able to spend this time with our grandsons and family, and I'm sure these moments (we have taken plenty of pictures) will last us a long time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Emerson Allen Johnson

He has finally arrived! His poor Mom was becoming tired of waiting, but that's all we could all do until he was ready to be born, which was early; 12:30 a.m. on this morning! Welcome to the world Emerson!

Friday, July 11, 2014

New Gloucester Blueberries!

Probably it made sense that we would find a treasure trove of blueberries on a street named "Berryfield Lane", but it never occurred to me until yesterday when we found ourselves out in the field by the lawn picking blueberries for all we were worth!

The lighting on these images was just about noon, and when I got them back and uploaded I felt my Sony Alpha had captured what was actually there, so I didn't change a thing on them for this post. I had been playing around with shooting "RAW" images, but really see little advantage except for certain lighting and exposure conditions, and, as it clogged up my laptop pretty well, I am sure I will only use that format when absolutely necessary!

I used a 10X closeup filter on my 28-75 mm lens and played around mostly with the f-stop to control depth-of-field. There are certain images that work well with deep focus and others that don't, but shooting in aperture mode lets me see the effect as soon as I view the shot! Here are three "blueberry" shots I got this morning!