May 31, 2013

Bar Harbor Main Street by Night


The week before Memorial Day we went to visit Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park in Maine. It is a good 5 hour drive north from Boston but no doubt worth the trip any time we make it. Mount Desert Island and the park always stand for good times, beautiful nature photography but also great outdoor adventures that includes hiking, biking, canoeing and more. Although this time the weather was not playing along and it was pretty much raining nonstop we enjoyed hiking around Jordan Pond and The South Bubble in the drizzle, having afternoon tea and the famous popovers at the Jordan Pond House and browsing the streets of Bar Harbor where businesses were buzzing and most of the restaurants, galleries and shops were open for business. As Memorial Day weekend was approaching the crowds became larger and people were flocking onto Main Street of Bar Harbor. It will only get busier from here when the summer crowds arrive and cruise ships with plenty of passengers stop for a day. The night before full moon when I was just driving back from a foggy photo shoot along the Park Loop road of Acadia National Park I realized the opportunity for a shot that I had on my bucket list for many years. The sky suddenly opened up for a few minutes in the evening, while twilight was fast approaching. Instead of turning right to our motel I made a quick left turn down Main Street towards the harbor. I immediately found a parking spot at the harbor parking area which made it very convenient. Only a few steps away I set up tripod and camera gear. I choose the Canon 28-70mm lens and composed a picturesque New England town picture of Main Street and its buzzing nightlife. I made it a priority to include the lit up moose on top of one of the restaurants. Switching to manual focus allowed me to pin point sharpness where I exactly wanted it, metering on the bright moose and deviating a bit off it provided the exposure for this image. Another challenge was to keep the cars driving up and down Main Street out of the picture. Breaks of passing by cars, multiple rounds of exposures and an aperture of f/5.6 at ISO 200 providing an exposure time of 3.2 seconds finally provided me with the photography image of Bar Harbor that I was hoping for, lots of ambiance at beautiful twilight.

More Reading:

May 30, 2013

Photography Tips for Magical Skyline Pics published by Apogee Photo Magazine

Learn from my photography magazine article and publication "Photo Tips for Twilight Cityscape Reflections" how to create magical skyline photography artwork with brilliant photo reflections. Take in the 16 photo tips and implement one , two or all at once and experience the magic of twilight with your your camera ~ published by Apogee Photo Magazine.

More Apogee Photo Magazine Reading:

Mastering the Art of Intentional Camera Movement

May 27, 2013

First Lupine Sighting on Bar Island

Bar Island is a small island across from Bar Harbor, Maine on Mount Desert Island, home to Acadia National Park. It is only reachable via a short walk across a shell covered sand bar and only at low tide. Make sure to check the tide chart before adventuring to the island ~ 1.5 hours before and after low tide a good time to go. The short and easy walk to the highest point of the island awards one with a beautiful view of Bar Harbor, Main Street, the fishing fleet and harbor and the Bar Harbor Inn and Spa. On the way to the top one passes a field of Lupines that make for exceptional flower photography when in full bloom. The lupines, which typically bloom late May/beginning of June, are just getting started now. We only encountered a few in the early blooming stage with some purple blossoms within. One can only wonder and imagine the sight when the wildflowers are in full bloom; so eager to get back soon!

More Photo Tips:

Acadia National Park Photography Guide 

Acadia National Park Photography Workshop and Tour

May 21, 2013

Behind the Scene of Tulip Flower Photography


I always love when I find a Floral Photography object that I can easily isolate against an attractive background. Some of my last pictures of this kind I found in the beautiful and inspiring Boston Public Garden. I always had this location on my bucket list but never timed it properly. This time I got it right and tulips in all colors were in full bloom. Overnight rain showers drenched the tulips in raindrops and the droplets added more interest and detail. I always welcome the rain and get exited when I am able to incorporate them into my compositions. For these 2 tulip photographs I set up my tripod and camera that was equipped with  a Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS USM lens and a Canon 1.4 Extender. The wind was a little bit of a problem but my persistence kept me shooting until I captured my vision. The camera aperture for the pink tulip tulip was set to f/4 and resulted in an exposure time of 1/500 second at ISO100. The large aperture setting (small f-stop number like 5.6 and lower) provided the limited Depth of Field to blur out the other pink flowers in the background nicely. The aperture for the yellow tulip was set to f/11 providing an exposure time of 1/60 seconds. During the post processing I minimally adjusted lighting, contrast and color saturation before sharpening both final floral photography images.

May 19, 2013

Magical Twilight Poetry

I found this beautiful poem by Irish and Dublin born novelist and poet James Joyce ~ hope you like it too! 

"The twilight turns from amethyst
To deep and deeper blue,
The lamp fills with a pale green glow
The trees of the avenue.
The old piano plays an air,
Sedate and slow and gay;
She bends upon the yellow keys,
Her head inclines this way.
Shy thought and grave wide eyes and hands
That wander as they list -- -
The twilight turns to darker blue
With lights of amethyst.”


May 15, 2013

Photo of the Week

Every week I choose one of my favorite photographs of the week from my Fine Art landscape, seascape, cityscape, flower, abstract and macro photography collection and offer it throughout that week at a discounted rate. This week's photo of the week on sale is Yellow Tulip, a tulip floral blossom from my flower art galleries.

Starting today through this week and the week of 20 May 2013 this beautiful flower macro photography image from my Flower Art Gallery, available as art photo print, acrylic print, metal print or on canvas, is on sale.

May 13, 2013

Moth ~ The next superfood?

In some parts of the world, Moths are a major food source for people too. More than 90 percent of people in some African countries eat moth and butterfly caterpillars, according to a 2004 survey by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Caterpillars are packed with protein and healthy fats, and research shows that 100 grams of these insects provides more than 100 percent of the daily requirement of some vital minerals, such as potassium, calcium, zinc and iron.

Find out more things that you don not know about Moths at Our Amazing Planet Dot Com.

May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day to All Mothers

Celebrating mother and Mother's Day in this post of inspiring flower photography pictures and quotes, sayings and wisdom ~ enjoy!
“If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much.” ~ Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

“Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.” ~ Unknown

“A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.” ~ Irish Proverb

“Men are what their mothers made them.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher 

“A mom's hug lasts long after she lets go.” Author Unknown

“Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.” ~ Lin Yutang

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” ~ Unknown

“God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.” ~ Jewish Proverb

“Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs... since the payment is pure love.” ~ Mildred B. Vermont

“Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.” ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” ~ Sophia Loren

“A mother understands what a child does not say.” ~ Author Unknown 

“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

"Who ran to help me when I fell, and would some pretty story tell, or kiss the place to make it well? My mother" ~ Ann Taylor

May 11, 2013

I love New York ~ the City that never Sleeps

The other week we visited family in New York City. For quite some time I was planning to explore the skyline photography opportunities from the top of the Rockefeller Center. Before we left on Thursday I checked the weather forecast for clear or sunny to cloudy condition and since positive, I pulled the trigger and bought a ticket online for Friday at 6:30 pm. Equipped with my entire gear, except my tripod (not allowed), I made my way over the entrance to the Rockefeller Center on 55th street between 5th and 6th avenue. There was a small line for buying tickets which I was able to skip due to my advanced planning. The elevator line was small and after a 5 minute wait I made the 45 second trip to the viewing platform on top of the Rockefeller Center. I went straight for the second floor platform as there are no protecting windows in front of you and one has an open view of the midtown and downtown New York City. The cityscape views are amazing and one gets demanding views of the Empire State Building, midtown and downtown New York. To the other site Central Park and uptown lies in front. As I was way too early I checked out the views and once I decided I figured I make my way to the front row and see what happens. After securing the front row spot I never moved thereafter until well after sunset. Let me tell you, the location did not disappoint. Once the sun set and Twilight and City Lights became one the magic unfolded right in front of us. Since there are no tripods allowed I used the stone socket to rest my camera during the long exposures. Although I would have preferred my tripod this was a great substitution for higher quality photography images of this magnificent skyline and cityscape.  

In the first picture I choose a portrait format to solely focus on the Empire State Building in front of me. The aperture at f/11 resulted in a 20 second exposure time at ISO 100. I usually select the lowest possible ISO at 100 as it provides lower noise levels and better skyline photography results. The second cityscape photograph shows more of the New York City skyline icons and besides the Empire State Building, the Freedom Tower, Bank of America building, Condé Nast building and the Statue of Liberty are seen in this picture.  The aperture in this cityscape photo was set at f/11 providing a shutter speed of 13 seconds at ISO 100. No filters were used in both images. 

During post processing of both photographs I removed dust spots and minimally adjusted contrast, lighting and color saturation before sharpening the final city photograph of New York City and its magical skyline.