Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Industrial Photography has its own Challenges

The Capital Area Camera Club had the opportunity to tour and shoot the Otis Paper Mill in Jay, Maine. The owners allowed us to go anywhere we wanted and photograph whatever we fancied. The mill is quite large on several levels. We began in the bowels of the mill where the water from the river would turn the machinery and generate power. Lighting is always an issue, especially when natural light is at a minimum. Flash was almost a necessity, as was shooting with an ISO of 800. The shapes and angles of the old equipment, gears and rubble created some interesting images. It was fascinating to see how 11 people could create such different images of the same place. One thing I would like to mention is processing some of the images in Black and White. The photo above was taken in the lower levels of the mill. It was nice, and I love the atmosphere down in the depths, imagining the folks that used to spend much of their lives here. But, take a look at the same image, in Black and White.

What do you think? A little more atmosphere to it? Does it look more like an older, antique image? Sometimes, it is all about shapes and angles, and Black and White photography seems to bring that out and emphasize it.

Saturday, it seemed like a good day to take in the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, Maine. A great place for looking at the animals and birds that are, or were, indigenous to Maine. The park has had a lot of work done to it, since I was last here about 15 years ago. The exhibits have been developed to more like the natural habitat of the occupants. The resident animals were mostly rescued, and can not be returned to the wild, or were raised by humans, and could not survive in the wild. A couple of these stood out as their pens were more open for photography than others. One of these was the Brown Bear. It was in an area with a smaller Black Bear. They were occupied eating the food that children were purchasing to feed them. 

The other was this magnificent Mountain Lion. The shot of this cat turned out better than I had hoped. It was shot through a thick glass, that was less than clean.

I hope you enjoyed the photos. The best advice I can give is to get out and shoot. In this age of digital, shoot often, and shoot a lot, the price of film does not limit us. Only by using that camera will you become familiar with what it will do, and how to use it to your best advantage.

It's off the Georgia in a few days, and a chance to see my daughter, grandchildren, great grandson. Needless to say, there will be a lot of family photos in the next week. Have fun, keep shooting.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Kayaking, hiking and Industrial Ph0tography

It was a perfect day for Kayaking on Runaround Pond in Durham, Maine Thursday. The Lake was like glass, and all you could hear was the sounds of nature. Birds calling and Frogs croaking. Turtles are a challenge to photograph. The hardest part is to get close enough to click the shutter without them slipping quickly into the water. There were five turtles on this log, and I just let the kayak slowly glide through the water. I must have posed no immediate threat as a couple of them even looked at me and appeared to smile. At least smile as much as a Painted Turtle can smile. Just as I focused on the turtle on the end of the log, another one crawled out of the water, as if to say, "me too, me too".  As I glided away, they were still sunning themselves and soaking up the heat. The second difficulty with photographing turtles is balancing the light between their dark shells and the lighter log, as well as looking out for the sun reflecting off their shells. That can cause quite a glare and blow out the highlights. That day was another gift of nature. Little did I know that when I got home, I would have another little "gift of nature" waiting for me.

As for that other gift, sitting in the driveway when I arrived home was this Monarch Butterfly. One of two conditions occurred to me, it was either at the end of its life span, or just beginning. The wings looked so fresh and whole, I believed it had just emerged from its cocoon and was trying to dry its wings before being able to fly. Not wanting it to be run over, I put my hand down and it clung to me. I then put it on these Black-eyed Susan's and watched. It sat there for about an hour before showing its complete wing span, and flew off. It posed nicely for some photos and then began its new life in earnest, probably the beginning of its migration to Mexico. Patience is a virtue, especially dealing with insects and Macro Photography.

A photo shoot had been arranged for members of the Capital Area Camera Club on Saturday. We began by hiking to White Granite Quarry in Jay, Maine. It was a nice mile hike through an Apple Orchard, with antique farm equipment at the side of the trail, then through a nice woods with trail signs, and on to the Gazebo that looks over the Quarry. The morning began with heavy rain at times, and settled into fog. Though challenging, fog can add some very nice looks to your photos. Too much light shining through will be highly reflective, and care must be taken to constantly check your histogram to prevent burning out the highlights and getting a photo of nothing but fog. All in all, an interesting start to a Saturday morning. I will elaborate on the the afternoon portion of the CACC shoot next week. We left the Quarry and headed to the Mill Cafe in Jay, for a well deserved break and food, good food. More next week, and keep shooting.....

 More photos of the Industrial Shoot, of the Quarry, Farm Equipment, and the Otis Paper Mill in Jay can be seen on my web site:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A trip to Vinalhaven Island was last weeks highlight.
It has been a busy week. It takes a lot of time to process all the photos taken at a wedding, and I am now working on the album. I took a day off from the wedding photos to drive to Rockland and take the Ferry to Vinalhaven Island. The trip is about 1 and 1/4 hours each way, and we stayed on the island for a couple of hours. Just walking and taking photos, and before you know it, the return Ferry is boarding. Island communities abound in photo ops. I really like this photo of lobstering from a dory. I was amazed at how many Lobster Traps were on board, and they were still pulling more.

Take notice of the Left Time and Right Time at the Gawkers Market in Vinalhaven. A very unique market and cafe. The menu was surprisingly extensive, and the ice cream sundae delicious. 

The trip also afforded nice ocean views of Owls Head Lighthouse and the Rockland Breakwater Light. The day was slightly overcast, but you can not always depend on blue skies and clear weather. The sea was calm, but horizons still have to be straightened in PhotoShop. This was my first attempt to make the sky a little more interesting than nature provided.

Spent some time in Rockland before the Ferry trip, and in Camden after the excursion to Vinalhaven Island. There is always time to sample some of the local eating establishments. Had a great Clam Chowder at Clan MacLaren's in Rockland and some great Mexican Food in Camden.

This evening is the first meeting of the Capital Area Camera Club for the new club year. We meet in Augusta, Maine on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month, from September to May. The club tries to plan photo shoots and day trips, throughout the year. CACC will have a show at the Lyceum Gallery in Lewiston, Maine in January of 2013.
Check out our web site at:

My photos can be seen at: 

Hope you all have a great week.....