- I been a professional photographer since I worked for the US Government documenting Test and Evaluation of Research and Development projects for the US Army and US Navy in the later half of the 1980s. I came home to Maine to finish my Marketing Degree at USM and began to work full time in Market Research and Marketing for many years while documenting weddings and occasional photojournalist and commercial jobs on the weekends. In 2001 I again returned to photography as a full time trade and have never been a happier man. I love working with creative individuals, couples, small businesses and select Non-Profits and can’t imagine working in any other trade. In 1987 I was lucky enough to wed my high school sweetheart and we now live in a cozy little solar powered, recycled bungalow a mile deep in our woods in the Western Hills of Maine with our two brilliant home-schooled teenage daughters and our three cats.
Halfway between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice, is Samhain (pronounced Sow-en).
As our Celtic Ancestors did, first as Pagans celebrating Samhain and then as Christians celebrating All Saints Day and All Souls Day, we hold a small ritual feast in order to close out our year and to honour and remember those who have gone on before us.
In one modern tradition of Druidry, from now until Yule as the land settles down for a long winter's nap and the light of day is noticably less present than any other time of the year, we take special attention to thank our Ancestors (of blood and of spirit) for all that they have passed down to us through the long passing of time. We thank them for both the good traits that we can recognise and adopt in our own lives for use and for the bad habits that we can acknowledge and recognise to learn from without adopting. As this is the Celtic 'New Year', many of us take these things we learn from contemplating our Anscestors and use this time to make resolutions for our self growth for the coming year.
The Blood Leaf Moon waning just two days past full.
Not much for spectacular foliage this year. This is one nice tree on the 'heater piece' up on hill but it you look closely you can see the damage that it sustained during the 1998 Ice Storm is still evident. The forest will recover pretty quickly on its own schedule in tree years, but it seems like it is taking quite a while in human years.
(Nikon D70 24-120VR 1/1000 @ f/5, 200ISO.)
"What it means to be from Maine" Poland Spring Water formerly a Maine owned company, is now owned by the Waters division of the multinational conglomerate Nestle. Nestle wants to pump 105 million gallons a year out of our aquifer via Cold Spring in West Denmark via pipeline across 7 private lots to their station in the neighboring town of Fryeburg. (Nestle has obtained written permission from all 7 land owners.)
Denmark doesn't have a 'town water' system. We are a town of just over 1000 residents and not everyone in the town even has running water, but if you do, it means that you have a dug or artisian well or a 'point' driven into the ground that draws from our common aquifer at the very edge of the Sebago Lake Watershed.
The town doesn't currently have anything in its zoning regulation to address a large commercial enterprise coming in and draining everyone's wells and it isn't certain that this will not be what happens. (It may not, but the hydrologists don't know for sure.) So the town called a special town meeting to place a 180 day moratorium on any such actions until the situation can be studied further.
The interesting thing here is that in spite of a full meeting, the whole thing took about 5 minutes and no one wanted to even discuss the question once it came to the floor. The vote was unanimously in favour of the moratorium. I've uploaded audio that I gathered thinking that this was going to be a long meeting. I only got to take about 5 photographs before it was over!
I edited out the minute or so of Moderator Jim Stacy being sworn in as Moderator, but left everything else in tact. It is a ~3mb WMA file that may be downloaded here. I apologise up front...I haven't got anything but a lavalier mic yet, so this is from the built in mic on my recorder that I sat on a desk in the middle of the room. (I was expecting more audience participation.) In the future I will also make a better effort to get the mic up to where the podium is...This multimedia stuff is going to be quite a learning curve!
I think that one of the most wonderful quirks of living in small rural Maine towns all my life is that during a normal town meeting, we can argue for 40 minutes on whether or not to send $100 to the local area agency on aging, but when we are faced with these 'big questions' they tend to get taken care of pretty quickly.
(Nikon D70, Tokina 12-24/4, toned in PS.CS.)
It has been raining here like crazy all week and has been very unseasonably warm.
This is a branch from a maple in front of our home which has finally started to turn. I'm sure that I'll post more classic New England colour in the next few weeks as we approach a late peak season.
While fall foliage may seem definitive of a Maine cliche image, it is one of my abosolute favourite things about my state. Everything in this season gives up its last breath of life for the year by going out in a blaze of colour that holds us through the dark and grey times in winter
(Nikon D70, 24-120VR)
We attended the 154th Annual Fryeburg Fair on Woodsman's day this last week. Other than the four years that I was away from Maine while enlisted, I've never missed going to the Fair. (It usually coincides with my birthday.)
A flower auction in one of the Expo buildings.
This guy is a Fryeburg fair staple. He's had a presence at the fair for as long as I can remember. He also used to have 'infomercial' selling his very well made stainless steel cookware on local TV when I was very young.
We stopped to have a bite to eat. Evil food is half of the fun of any fair.
Beth having fun on one of the kid's rides.
Both Nick and Beth as they leave the funhouse.
My friend Joel Tripp is a curious artificer and cunning worker in metals. He gives a demonstration of his considerable skills at the forge every year as his brother does the same in the woodworker's lot just out side of the forge. All in all it was a good fair this year. The weather was a bit too warm for a harvest season fair, but I'm anxious for a killing frost soon to kill out the remainder of the mosquitoes which may be carrying EEE this year.
All of these photos were made on a sample roll of Fuji's new Pro160S in my ancient 1949 Leica IIIc and a Summarit 50/1.5 lens.
I like working this way as I meter a scene with my handheld DigiSix meter and then set the camera up for the next average shot. If the light changes appreciably, then I modify my exposure otherwise, I concentrate on getting a good focus and composition. The IIIc is not a fast use camera so I'm particularly proud that I was able to get the shots of Beth on the fast moving ride in tight focus even after all of these years now of relying on fast auto focus to do the work for me!
A Traffic Tunnel, Boston, MA.
I attended the National Press Photographer's Association "Flying Short Course" on Friday at the Boston University College of Communication.
I had to be there at 7am and as I was shooting a wedding on Saturday, I could only stay for the first of the two day event.
It was an interesting day overall, and I am really excited about trying my hand at 'mixed media' photojournalism soon because of the presentation by Brian Storm of MediaStorm: A Multimedia Production Studio. I've got to get some sound equipment and experience in the new digital AV editors, but look for my first attempts here in the next few months. Basically, I want to produce documentary stories with still photos and voice over narative. I think that photos and words can go well to tell a story and using audio instead of text makes more sense when it is available. (at least here on the web)
The day's presentations were over at 5pm. I live only about 150 miles north of Boston. It took me well over an hour just to get to Danvers (a suburb of Boston) because of the friday afternoon rush hour egress. I like getting stuck in Boston at such times because it reminds me how much nicer the comparitive lack of congestion is here in Maine. (even when it is peak tourist season.)