Thursday, September 21, 2017

Haystack SBL 2017

Amazing that after helping to start the SBL program back in the 80's, that I would have a chance to bring students from my school to this amazing site to learn. Three days of more than eight hours in the studio helps students to realize what an intensive learning experience working in the Haystack studios can be. Even though I have worked in and on the campus dozens of times, each studio session is a magical experience. Here's the mosaic that i did this past few days!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sunshine Boys

Glorious days with my Grandsons give so much joy to Jen and I. Here they are "hamming" it up for the camera, which they are very aware makes for a more interesting picture. Shooting with the sun at their back is one of those "no-no's" I'm always telling students is a rule. But as with any "arts" rules, sometimes it is the breaking of those rules that gets you the images that are "creative" (unusual and purposeful). In this case, for me, the glow from the sun over their heads is the key to constructing meaning in this shot. I have several possibilities in mind, but won't take the time to elaborate these here, but rather let anyone that's viewing create their own "content".

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Happy Anniversary, Hunny Bunny!

Thank you Jen, for all these years of "sharing"! I think it's what got us through it all!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

3 Macros

Watering the "upper driveway garden" caused me to take the set of three lenses for my phone (which I now carry with me at all times) and take some close-ups of the flowers in that flower bed.The depth of field becomes so narrow that the thing I have the most difficulty with is making compositions interesting. I always am telling students to "push" for the shot that is not only unusual, but that also tells a story. I think I discovered that with this set of exploration shots from the "macro" viewpoint.

As a viewer, I will leave it up to you to decide if the last one is actually the better of the three. Here are some criteria for you to consider:  composition, originality, and subjective (content) interest.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Display Case

I visited the Lighthouse Gallery in Bucksport last week to place some of my fused glass jewelry (earrings) for sale. I met with the arts director and have completed the paperwork, and I am now setting up a display case to show my work.
It is a somewhat difficult process to choose the pieces that I should show, but hopefully if get a few sales I can get a better idea of what would be most popular pieces and the qualities/characteristics of those. Selling is a very different beast than making. It seems to be much more left-brained!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Youngest Son & Youngest Grandson

During a recent picnic  event I got this shot of Torrey and Emerson with a very similar look on their faces. I'm not sure of the context of those expressions, but it seemed to me they were pretty much responding in the same way to something that someone had said to them. Facial expressions are the most important aspect of portraits to me, and this one seemed to hit the mark!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Political State Park

This shot was taken at Lake St. George State Park on May 27th. There is obviously concern around our state government and how it will release funds to keep our park running. I struggle little with this because it seems so idiotic to close down the State Parks because of political infighting. What did it always used to say on our license plates? Vacationland, right?

Monday, May 29, 2017

Skittles; Old School

So this shot I got of an old "skittles" game, where the board held "pins" and a top was used to make its way through the openings and knock over pins. High score won.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Grandsons Again

I never really tire of posting images of my grandkids as it seems (still) we only see them once in a while, although we get down to New Gloucester every other weekend. They provide for me a never-ending variety of emotion and interaction with one another, which enriches my life greatly. I took probably more than 80 shots Saturday at our picnic at Lake St. George State Park, including one political that I will post soon.
What attracted me with this shot (telephoto) was that they were doing something together, and I'm not sure what, whether to figure something out or to simply make some sort of adjustment to the hardware and that one of them was looking at the camera.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


I saw this section of a piece of driftwood while I was cutting it up for a project around the house today, and it simply struck me as to the coloration, the range of values, and the "implied" imagery I found in it. I dragged the spruce tree, which had become driftwood a while ago, up the driveway and began to cut it to length for a post when this one section caught my eye. I pulled out my phone and here is the result. I love the image! Un-retouched.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Ink Jet Ink

Some papers are difficult to work with when printing digital photos, but I think among the worst I have seen is the National Geographic High Gloss Premium Photo. I have found it takes forever (figuratively)  for the ink to dry, but there is an upside to the paper; you can manipulate the ink and the image itself with simple water and a variety of tools. I've done some image "lifting" in the past with inkjet images using hydrogen peroxide, but this is very different paper, as it allows for smearing and moving in so much. Here's a resulting image with "sharpie" embellishment. Not really a finished piece.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


My NAHS group is working on their induction show for next Tuesday, and I put together a show poster for them to advertise around school. I have been having a lot of fun with my digital media class and designing with Illustrator. Here is the "header" for the poster.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Being Back on the Bike

It feels great to get outside, and after the initial chance to ride it is especially nice because the weather is cooperating for the first time in weeks! This image tells the story of the ride, but sort of indirectly. I went in close for this shot mainly for compositional reasons. The helmet on the bike seats seems to be a preparation before the ride rather than after, where the helmet might have been hanging off a handlebar or on the ground.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Friend's Daughter

Sometimes, in capturing a portrait, it is the less that is said which is the better road to take. I find that the telephoto lens (100-200mm or so) is a great tool for capturing people not only inconspicuously, but also with a variety of possibilities for framing and for background. While this portrait doesn't reveal a great deal, it does give forth an expression of curiosity and preparation to speak. I also like the light and the framing by the closer person out of focus.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Grandsons Weekend

I know I'm doing portraits with my Digital Photo class this week, so I thought I might get a head start with that by taking some photos of the "boys" this weekend. Here are some of my favorites using the criteria of "cuteness"! In no particular order!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Overcast day and I was moving some mulch into the compost pile, when I noticed the spruces by the house and all the roots that were exposed. It had been a few years since I really examined that part of the woods near our house, and it seems like new every time. I took my phone and tried to capture not only the root system, but also the branches at the lower part of the trees. I like the "busyness" of this shot!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Drama Through Contrast

The sun was setting tonight and I got a great glimpse of the fantastic things in my studio through that special sunset light. I'm always telling students how important light is to the images that they capture, but I am also in awe of the certain times and situations where it is so striking as to draw my attention profoundly. The subject is an old tattered t-shirt on a hanger. No adjustments to the image.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Worldwide Pinhole Photograph Day

So here it is, shot with the "pinhole" lens in my Hipstamatic app, this is an approach to the idea of shooting a pinhole photo, but lacking the "edgy" quality that is found in most pinholes. Digital seems "forced/forged" and less natural to me as an artistic process, but I am so often delighted by the results!


I also have included a shot of the front of my camera!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Back on the Road Again

I had some problems with my bike at the end of last season, the front tire didn't seem to want to hold a tube. I took it in and had it checked, and sure enough, I needed a new tire! Got it ordered and got it on at the end of April break, and this afternoon was my first ride of 2017. It seemed great to be out in the "real world and moving.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Edge of Water Bubbles

This project sprang from the hot day last Saturday that we spent in New Gloucester. The grandsons were playing outside so we got the water table out and gave them some water to play in and maybe help them cool off. The next day brought out the "bubbles" to play with, and some of them ended up in the water table, so I started snapping pictures. The patterns began to evolve as a concept, and the large on is my favorite, with the contrast tweaked a bit and the sharp edges of the bubbles reflecting everything in the visual sphere.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Early Easter

That Easter Bunny must have his clock or calendar wrong because he came to the house and dropped a bunch of eggs around the living room. They were brightly colored with golden flecks throughout their surfaces... they seemed almost magical. I'm not sure what they had to do with the Christian version of Easter.

Here are several images of them.

Saturday, April 8, 2017


Matt and I just came out of Bull Moose in Bangor and saw a "dollop" of an oil slick just kind of sitting in a puddle, so I dragged my foot through it to make it move a bit. As it swirled around on the surface of the puddle, it began to take on some interesting shapes, and as Matt moved to the other side of I saw this shot come into "existence", and took it. He was just starting to light a cigarette, and I thought the shiny oil shapes made an "altered" view of smoke swirling around him.

I flipped the image too.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Young Artist

 Of course I'm proud of my youngest grandson's proclivity for all things artistic, and he is willing to take on almost any task around the use of materials, but things happen quickly in his world. It can take less than a moment for him to get from point "A" to point "B", and the mischief is an innocent interpretation of the world around him. His mother has taken marvelous pictures of him over the past two and a half years, and this is another one to put in the "forever" album. The gesture of that left arm, the apparent "cover up" of his work seems to say; "Mom, I was caught up in the moment"... and I am sure he was!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Waiting at the Car Wash

Jen and I have tickets to the Penobscot theater production of "papermaker", and so we thought we would get her car washed after filling up. I suppose "reflections" is not anything new in terms of photographic theme, but I didn't even notice these until after I looked at the shot on my phone. I was wearing sunglasses with polarized lenses and the reflection was minimized.
The shapes of the cars in the curved line across the image was what drew my eye, and the reflections of my hat just add interest to the open areas of the sky and parking lot.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Books and Baseball

 In looking back at the times in my life where my students are now; the end of high school and thinking about "new" directions for life experiences, I can see things boiling down to a couple of choices. The academic side seemed obvious, where my father had always encouraged my brother and I to go to college and get an education that would help us in life the push was toward learning. The athletic side, in hindsight, was much less so, even though I had a cousin that became a professional athlete I realized that the odds were against the average young person. School became important and photography became more and more a part of my artistic endeavor. I feel like I took the right path for me.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


 Here's an image from B&W Photo class that works in the distortion and disfigurement of a human female face. Women around our country feel this as real every day. The image was a mishmash of materials intended as an example of process, but I just couldn't get away from seeing this as a topic here.

Sunday, March 5, 2017


A photo taken from an older post around the concept of food, but here food as presented as perhaps not all that tasty. There is more to this, but the fact that I had a plate full of scallops for supper tonight may very well be the reason my palette (pun intended) is not working quite like it should. Here are a couple of variations of the same piece of work.

Friday, March 3, 2017

3D Painting

Working with the new virtual reality painting system at our school was quite an experience yesterday as I was able to spend about twenty minutes exploring the tools. While I have worked with 3D image constructions, being "inside" a 3D environment is a totally "unique" world, where the dimensions of reality exist within the work. The tools are reminiscent of the early stages of Photoshop or Painter, where the early simplicity was forgotten by the fifth or sixth iteration. This is an early and spontaneous structure with a single "brush", but I am really enjoying all the realms of this new experience.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Receding Snow Line

Looking for a winter with some snow led me to placing my "snowshoes" into the back of my car and getting ready to do some snowshoeing, but after the February break from school, I discovered that there really wasn't enough snow left to actually use them. Disappointment is haunting all my dreams... not truly, as I went out in the courtyard to shoot some "background" images for composites that my students are working with right now. These are a couple that I liked for showing the "edge" and giving the sense of snow receding. Lighting was great early in the morning and the textures really worked for me here.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Belt Rack

We just got through February Break, which I like to call, this year in particular, the “fake president” break, and Torrey and Jen and I took the boys to Goodwill in the beautiful city of Auburn. Well, seeing those boys in the toy section was almost enough, but watching them find “other” things was even more satisfying. Here, Em found a belt rack to play hide and seek in, so I snapped a few pictures, put them together, converted them into grayscale, and tacked on a little “drop shadow” to give the image some depth and separate the “poses”. There is something about how he is “revealing” himself in this series that I just find fascinating!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Backgrounds & Inversions

To me, this is an interesting concept in that it is a straight inversion of color and yet has a presence that feels like an echo of reality. A self portrait, this colorless background is so full of joy for me, with my grandsons held close and a smile on all the faces.

My inverted face at the bottom, along with the somewhat dour expression, in my mind represents the sorrow I feel during the times I'm away from those boys and the times I have to say goodbye to them after a weekend visit. All is not, and perhaps can never be, joy at every moment.

I do like this image for the structures and the composition, for the odd color of the foreground and the colorless and high contrast background, for the expressions on the faces, for the understanding of the processes that went into it's development, and especially for the spontaneity of those processes. That's the way I like to work.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Shadows Q3 2017

I was working with the concept of "shadows", an assignment i give to my Digital Photo students each term, and I thought I might use some transparencies that my darkroom class has been working with to produce photograms. The enlarging of an ink washed piece of film was amazing to me.

Playing with the effects of the shadows on not only the wall, but my face and expressions are seemingly leading me toward a re-examination of how expressions and background may relate to one another.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Too Much Snow

The East patio door is pretty well blocked, and I suppose that a trip outside will be required to begin shoveling out this mess, but not really looking forward to it! The last storm we were about three hours getting out, and this one I'm sure will be about five hours. A snowblower is a great tool, but when the snow is so deep and blowing, it has to be done in sections!

The front door is no exception, and for some reason, no matter how the wind blows, the biggest drifts are right in front of the doorways, both to the residence and to the garages. Oh, well.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Slow Shutter Lighting

Before I turned in for the night I thought I might put the light sticks I had made this weekend to use. I have seen cars used in light painting, and it occurred to me that Jen's car was in the driveway, so I gave it a go. After thinking, I would have liked to have had a much broader and deeper background than the house, but I do sort of like the window showing in the upper right as an accent rather than a distraction.

So the structure of these is all the same, but the lights are what kind of "make" the images and it is interesting to think of a photo in terms of time. The way an image is not locked in a split second, but has a sense of action and movement gives it another dimension.

The green light gives the imagery a sense of the natural and although it is at odds with the usual sense of night in a deep blue, I like the way it becomes a theme of color through the entire image, with a cast that is bright and subtle simultaneously. I am posting four of these images that I like for their sense of movement.