\" />

Tag Archives: silhouette

Making an island glow

Glowing islandAt Chittenden Reservoir in Vermont there is a pretty little island about 300 yards off shore. It is a favorite  place for photographers and I’ve photographed it on many occasions at different times of day and different seasons. I decided to try it at night and use a large flashlight to illuminate the island using a technique called light painting, where you pass the light over the subject many times during a long exposure, I usually do 30 seconds.  So tonight I started about 30 minutes after the sun went down and shot for the next hour. There was only a slight breeze which gave me the nice reflection on the water. Then I was lucky to have a shooting star which gave me a beautiful final touch. This is one exposure with only minor adjustments in Lightroom. As the sky got darker I needed to bump my ISO up to 400 and I was shooting at f/5.6.

Posted in Classes & Workshops, My life, Photo adventure, Photo tip, Scenic, Showcase Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Vintage cameras from a friend feel right at home

cameraCollectionI don’t know how I got so lucky to have great family and friends.

My wife Robin and I had dinner tonight with our friends Brian Horton and Marilyn Dillon. Marilyn was Robin’s editor back in the day and helped get Robin going in the right direction as a writer. Marilyn continues to be a strong inspiration for both of us.

Brian was a longtime photographer and headed sports photography for the Associated Press. He set up AP’s coverage for major sporting events all over the world, whether it was Super Bowls, Olympics or World Series. You name it Brian had it covered.

I met Brian when both of us were working in Ohio. I was at a small newspaper in southern Ohio and he worked for the AP photo bureau in Columbus. Ronald Reagan was coming to my little town two days before being elected president in 1980. It was a huge deal in town so Brian came down to cover it and then to help us. Those were the days when most newspapers didn’t have color photos and Brian brought one of AP’s new color transmitters so we’d have a color photo on the front page the next day. A few years later I got a photo editor job in New Jersey and Marilyn had just started as the newspaper’s metro editor and Brian was working for the AP in New York City.

Brian and Marilyn have a beautiful home down on the Jersey shore and they’re in what they call a slow process of moving there from their longtime home in Fanwood. Combining two houses into one is never fun and one day when I was at their house I was admiring Brian’s collection of old cameras. Brian offhandedly said I could have them when he got them all packed up. I didn’t think he meant it and forgot about it.

When we went to dinner tonight, Brian said he had a surprise for me in the car. Of course I love surprises so I begged him to tell me what it was. Brian said it was the old cameras. I was elated and pretty shocked. Robin could tell by the look on my face that is was something special but she didn’t really understand the significance of what I was getting.

After dinner Brian pulled a cardboard box out of his car and handed it to me. I looked in his eyes and could tell he was more than a little emotional about passing on the cameras. I was honored that he entrusted them with me and I knew I had the perfect place to display the cameras in my new Jondo U office. So Robin and I ran over there right after dinner, I opened the box and gently pulled out all the cameras that Brian it carefully wrapped in newspaper.

My office is in a building built in 1892 and it has incredible woodwork. There’s an old fireplace at the end of the room with little wood shelves perfect for my new camera collection. I carefully put each camera on the shelves starting with old box and Brownie cameras, a twin lens reflex camera, some Kodak Junior cameras with bellows and finally a couple old 4X5 press cameras.

I’m thrilled to have the cameras part of my new office, they really add to the atmosphere. I will admire them, remember their history and think of Brian every day. It is the perfect home.

Posted in equipment, My life Also tagged , , , , |

Loving those bald eagles

The Catch

I am continually entranced by seeing bald eagles so today was nearly an overload. I hosted a workshop in Maryland where dozens of eagles nest and migrate. There is a large dam with a hydro-electric plant that is in the perfect location for eagles heading south as waters freeze up north. Of course, this year the north isn’t frozen yet, so there were only about 35 eagles flying around. Usually there is over 100, but I can’t complain about 35.

Eagle Eye LevelThey come to the dam because when it is generating power it sucks fish through the turbines which pulverized them or at least stuns them and thus they are easy targets for the eagles. It is such a thrill to see an eagle circling around and then diving down and grabbing a fish out of the water.

Since I was running the workshop, I didn’t take much time to shoot but I did get a few shots off. The weather was great today, sunny and cool unlike yesterday, which was the first day of the workshop. I did some “light painting” of a nearby lighthouse while the workshop attendees made some cool pictures. Light painting is a fun technique where you can light some pretty large objects with a flashlight while doing a long exposure. It was a cold, rainy night and since I was doing the light painting I didn’t shoot any pictures of the lighthouse. I did take time to get a shot of a nearby pier as darkness was settling in.

Blue Pier

Posted in Animals, Classes & Workshops, My life, Photo adventure, Scenic Also tagged , , , , , , , |

A fitting end to a photography workshop

3311

Today was the last day of my second Vermont Fall Foliage Photography Workshop and sunrise made it special. I love when I end a workshop on a high note but we were making so many great photos that we didn’t want it to end. One participant needed to get back to check out of her hotel at 1 p.m. or we probably would still be shooting!

On this photo, I really like how the telephoto lens pulled the distant mountains close and how the fog at sunrise filled the many valleys that can be seen from one of my favorite locations. I go here with nearly every workshop and it looks different every time.

Posted in Classes & Workshops, My life, Photo adventure, Scenic Also tagged , , , , |

A beautiful end to the day in British Columbia

The people of Cortes Island live close to nature and appreciate the beauty that surrounds them. They are big into recycling and reusing, to the point that they have a Free Store at the recycling center that is staffed by volunteers. If you don’t need something, drop it off and it will be sorted and somebody else can take it for free. It is a great idea but I think it takes a special place for it to work.

We had a great dinner outside at Squirrel Cove tonight overlooking the cove as the sun got low. It was a beautiful scene as boats floated in the cove surrounded by mountains. After dinner we went to the west side of the island for sunset. The sun was just dropping as we got there and I was able to catch it as it set behind some boats. The color was good right after sunset but I knew it would get better if waited another 30-45 minutes and we weren’t disappointed. Reds, blues and pinks combined to make the sky glow and the water come to life. A beautiful end to the day.

Click to see my British Columbia photo gallery from the trip.

bc-1971

Posted in My life, Photo adventure, Scenic Also tagged , , , , , |

Viewing the dark sky of British Columbia

bc-0931I love being in places that have dark skies and I hoped British Columbia’s Cortes Island wound be one, and it is. I wanted a shot of the Milky Way, which was to the south when I went out. Also to the south is civilization, which creates lots of light. I shot some photos to the north and all you could see was stars, which is pretty cool, but I like this shot with the Milky Way overhead and the town lights below.

Click to see my British Columbia photo gallery from the trip.

Posted in Photo adventure, Scenic Also tagged , , , , , |

The science of being in the right place at the right time

20131102-LEF_4189Walter and I have a rather scientific formula developed for making sure we are in the right locations at the right time. We start heading for one place based on the weather forecast and if the weather doesn’t look like predicted, we take off for some place else. Sitting in the hotel near Portland last night, seeing the 100% chance of rain forecasts for most of Oregon, Walter was mapping how long it would take to get anywhere from Redwoods National Park in California (5 hours+) to Idaho (even longer) to Crater Lake (4 hours) to Mt. Rainer in Washington state. None of those made any sense since we had to be back to the Portland airport tomorrow evening.

So we planned on working the rain by going to waterfalls in the central part of the state. As we drove south, the sky was beautiful and clear so we veered off and headed for the coast again. I’ve heard people in many places say if you don’t like the weather wait 10 minutes and it will change. Oregon in November must be where that saying originated. At one point while shooting on the coast, I was shooting crashing waves in pure sunshine and went back to the car to grab a cable release and by the time I made the five minute walk, rain and hail pelted down. It wouldn’t have been that bad, but I left a camera and 70-200mm lens on my tripod down by the rocks and it was getting soaked. I scrambled back down the hill and when I got to my dripping camera the sun came back out and the rain was gone. I dried everything off and it works fine but I didn’t leave anything uncovered again.

The weather on the coast was great, other than the quick hailstorm, and we started by getting to Thor’s Well at high tide. Thor’s Well is a unique hole in the coastal rocks where the surf surges into the hole at high tide and spurts out at low. The surf today was especially rough and there were several nearby places where the water would shoot into the air as the waves crashed into the shore. We watched as large waves crashed over where we needed to be standing to shoot Thor’s Well and quickly realized today wasn’t the right day, we’d get our clothes wet at best, which wasn’t a big problem, but we had a very good possibility of drenching our camera or getting washed out to sea. We shot the crashing waves for a while and made another last minute decision and go farther south to the dunes while the tide went out and come back for the last light of the day.

The dunes made for some nice photos and when we got back to Thor’s Well the water wasn’t flowing in, only shooting out. There were still plenty of great shots to be had, just not the classic photo of Thor sucking the water into the earth.

20131102-LEF_4305

Posted in My life, People, Photo adventure, Scenic, Showcase Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Lots of crabs at Cape May photo workshop

This weekend was my workshop in Cape May. The weather started off great but turned cold and rainy by Saturday night. The group didn’t seem to care as we were out making photos in the rain of the lighthouse after sunset during the blue hour. I always like being out in the rain and shooting and the beacon from the lighthouse looked cool blasting through the rain.

Cape May is famous for birds and Victorian architecture. The shorebirds are late arriving this year, they flock to the Delaware Bay as horse shoe crabs come ashore in May to lay millions of eggs. The crabs were a little late this year too, but they were still there in big numbers. They are an amazing thing to watch and photograph.

It was a great workshop and everybody made some great photos. Below is a gallery of my photos.

capemay-7766.jpgcapemay-7775.jpgcapemay-7819.jpgcapemay-7851.jpgcapemay-7955.jpgcapemay-7973.jpgcapemay-7979.jpgcapemay-7988.jpgcapemay-8038.jpgcapemay-8090.jpgcapemay-8134.jpgcapemay-8165.jpgcapemay-8310.jpgcapemay-8393.jpgcapemay-8459.jpgcapemay-8612.jpgcapemay-8634.jpgcapemay-8638.jpg

Posted in Classes & Workshops, Photo adventure Also tagged , , , , , , |

Seeing the blue hour in Savannah

The blue hour makes a Savannah tree look special.

On my way back to New Jersey from Florida, I stopped for the night in Savannah, GA. It is a great city with lots of unique things going on. I got into town around 5:30 p..m. and there was a disappointing cloud cover, so I didn’t have any sweet light to shoot.

Normally when it is spitting rain, cold and cloudy, I see what is on TV. But I don’t get here very often so I went out to what pictures I could make. When I get in situations like this I think about how to use the light I do have. I went right down to the river front where there are cool stores in funky old buildings. Old bricks are exposed where plaster has fallen off, old wooden doors have original iron hinges and windows looking out on the river are lined with wrought iron.

While the sky is still gray, I look for photos that don’t show the sky. I focused on the brick walls, details of the doors and scouted areas to shoot when “blue hour” began. Blue hour is that time after sunset when the sky turns blue no matter what the weather is. It also happens before sunrise and it only lasts for about 15 minutes, I’ve always wondered why it is called blue hour w hen it doesn’t last that long.

But blue hour can make for some good photos, so I shot some along the river and walked into town a couple of blocks. I liked the look of old brick walls with winding stairs, so I worked them. The trees in Savannah are draped with Spanish moss, so I used the blue in the sky as a backdrop for the sprawling silhouetted branches.

After the blue went away, I did some night shots and called it a day.

See a gallery of photos from Savannah

Posted in Photo adventure, Scenic Also tagged , , , |

Special Maine sunrise makes getting up early worth it


I’m not naturally an early morning person, but it is rare that I’m upset when I see the sun rise. Sunday was one of my favorite sunrises ever. I was along Flagstaff Lake in Stratton, Maine, as the sun rose in a clear sky. Fog filled the mountains and hovered over the lake, which was fine by me.

I was on a narrow road that sliced through the water, so every direction I looked was water, mountains and fog. It was one of those times when there was so much to shoot I was running in circles to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I had cameras on two tripods and was firing away like a mad-man, literally screaming joy into the wind.

A couple of photos are posted here, you can see more over on my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LorenFisherPhotography.

Posted in Photo adventure, Scenic, Showcase Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

You otter see this

An otter peeks through ice in Woodstock, Vt.

 

At first light I headed out to see how Vermont looked after five inches of snow fell overnight. The short answer: beautiful. As I was heading out of the village, I looked down at a small pond that had a few holes in the ice. I noticed something dark moving in one of the holes, so I pulled over. Another something was moving and my brain registered I was seeing a couple of otters playing in the water.

I hopped out of my Jeep with my telephoto lens and tripod. Even though I was 100 yards away and up a hill, the otters weren’t thrilled with my presence. They craned their necks to get a better view of me and then dropped back into the water. One would pop up out of another hole, take a quick look at me and go back under the ice. Even though I stayed right by the Jeep, I was in their comfort zone. I thought if I hung out for a while they would realize I wasn’t a threat. After 3o minutes and no sightings, and strong winds trying to blow me over, I headed off to enjoy the beauty of the day.

Trees on a hillside in Woodstock, Vt.

Wind blows snow around ice fishermen on Silver Lake in Barnard, Vt.

Posted in Scenic Also tagged , , , , , , , |

The foliage in Vermont is running late

Fog hangs in the hills before sunrise in Woodstock, Vt.

This weekend is usually peak season for fall foliage around the Woodstock, Vt. area but things are running behind schedule this year. Most trees are still green and some just lost their leaves without a colorful fight. At least the weather is great this weekend, last week it was nothing but steady rain. I wandered out before sunrise today and went past Billings Farm before heading along the Ottauquechee River and then through Hartland.

This time of year there usually is a ground fog before the sun comes up and burns it off, and as I headed past Billings, I saw a couple of horses in a field. It was well before sunrise, so the sky was pink as I jumped out of the Jeep and grabbed a camera and tripod. By the time I got set up, the pink was gone but the fog hung in the hills behind the horses.

Early morning in Hartland, Vt.

I went to a hill in Hartland I’ve been several times for sunrise. The vista extends well into New Hampshire and the fog comes off the Connecticut River and filters through the hills. Today I didn’t make my favorite image from that spot, but I like the backlit fog as the sun comes up.

Posted in Scenic Also tagged , , , , , |

What’s good: Hanging out at the river

The Raritan River pours over a dam in Bridgewater, NJ as the setting sun illuminates overhead clouds. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

The Raritan River pours over a dam in Bridgewater, NJ as the setting sun illuminates overhead clouds.

I headed down to the river after work. That’s what we called it when I was a kid. Going to the river was always a fun place, whether we were fishing or just throwing stones. Tonight I went to a small dam on the Raritan River in Bridgewater. It was therapeutic to sit along the river and wait for the sun to fall beyond the horizon. It was peaceful hearing only the sound of the water going over the dam and the frogs in the trees. Sitting along the river always brightens my mood.

Posted in Scenic Also tagged , , , , , , |

What’s good: Shopping after the storm

Clouds start to clear over Raritan, NJ

It rained all day and then thunderstorms rolled through before clearing off. I went out to walk the dogs and the setting sun was making everything a strange yellow. I took the dog back in the house, much to her confusion, grabbed my camera and tried to make a picture of the light. I couldn’t find anything right in my yard to shoot, so I hopped in the Jeep hoping to find a better place. I knew I had to get up high but by the time I found a good place a few blocks away, the light was gone. I went back home defeated but Robin wanted ice cream so I went to the store. The sun had already set but the sky was still funky. The wet parking lot pavement added to the scene.

Posted in My life, Scenic Also tagged , , , , , |

What’s good: Blues skies after sunset

A storm rolls in over Woodstock, Vermont after sunset. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

A storm rolls in over Woodstock, Vermont after sunset.

After dinner I noticed a storm rolling after the sun went down. The light looked great, so I headed out to make some pictures. The clouds rolled past and the light looked good. Another beautiful Vermont day.

Posted in Scenic Also tagged , , , , |