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Tag : Woodstock

15 Jun 2017

I love finding a new meadow of wild lupines

Lupine grow in the wild from Maine to California and even down to Florida but it is still a thrilling sight to come a across a large meadow filled with them. One of my Woodstock, VT, neighbors pointed out a field of them yesterday less than two miles from my house.

I hadn’t seen them there before, I don’t know if I missed them, wasn’t paying attention or just didn’t look at the right time year.

This morning I went to the meadow at sunrise to catch the beauty of the early day light. The meadow is on the west side of a hill so it took a while for the sunlight to fall on them. The tall grass was wet from heavy dew and my jeans quickly got soaked as I walked through the field.

I was thinking about my upcoming workshop in Provence, France, where we will be shooting fields of lavender and how the lupines’ color is just a couple of shades darker.

There was lots to do explore in the field and I came away feeling good about spending the morning among the wild flowers.

07 Feb 2016

Fun at the Winter Photography Workshop

LT_fallsHosting a photo workshop is fun, it is hard work, but boy is it fun.

This weekend was my Vermont Winter Photography Workshop and even though conditions weren’t perfect people were excited to be there and made the best out of the situation. Earlier in the week it was pretty warm and I was worried that all the snow would melt and there would be no ice. We did lose a lot of snow but it got cold so at least there was ice in the river when we photographed covered bridges and when we went to the water falls.

One of the great things about workshops is that people are there to learn and have a good time. We all seem to leave our troubles at home and we just concentrate on making good pictures, enjoying the scenery and making new friends. This group was no exception. I had people from Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut and Florida. They bonded right away, helping each other, learning from each other, sharing ideas and trying new things.

A couple of people had never been to the ski area so that was fun to show them how that looks. We went to one of Vermont’s largest waterfalls, Moss Glen Falls, which looked great after the freezing cold overnight. Since there was a lot of melting during the week, there was plenty of water coming over the falls, which made for really nice pictures.

I’ll soon be posting photos that everyone made during the weekend, so check back.

I can’t wait for next year’s winter workshop. Let it snow.

06 Oct 2014

Great people at Vermont Fall Foliage Workshop

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You couldn’t ask for a better group of people to have at a workshop. It is great fun when strangers get together and instantly become friends. I knew this was going to be a good group when everybody came to my house the first night and they were talking so much that I forgot to have people do introductions.

We had people from all over: Guatemala, Honduras, Hawaii, California (1 northern & 1 southern), New Jersey (1 northern & 1 southern) and New York. It was fun getting to know everyone and seeing how they approached the many scenes we photographed. You can see some of the photos they made by clicking here.

24 Feb 2013

Loving a simple new layer of wet Vermont snow

It started snowing yesterday afternoon and by this morning there was five to six inches of wet snow covering the ground. Since the temperature has been hovering around 32 degrees, it is a sticky snow and stuck to everything it fell on.

So I went out looking for scenes that might look great with all the sticky snow. I went to a couple of places I thought might look good, and they did. I worked a farm scene I love trying to make sure I was thinking about composition and not just the beauty of the day. I made some pictures I liked and then I saw something and, as usual, it hit me.

Simplify.

I liked the way three fences lined up, with the one in the middle going down a little hill.

I headed to a covered bridge to see how that would look with a hill covered behind it. Not bad, I made pictures from several angles, nearly got the Jeep stuck in the snow and went to a couple of other farm scenes. I shot several things and was driving to another farm and saw a couple of trees alone on a hill.

It hit me again. Simplify.

I like the way the two trees stand out and the simplicity and balance of the photo.

02 Sep 2012

Things are moving in Woodstock, Vt.

I’m always a sucker for streaking car lights, so I shot some pictures tonight of cars streaking around the green and down Central St. in Woodstock, Vt.

There is a famous photo that Marion Post Wolcott shot of Central St. in March of 1940 on a snowy night. I first saw it several years ago and want to replicate it but I haven’t found just the right conditions, although I’ve tried several times.

This is my summer version.

01 Sep 2012

Surviving the Mt. Tom death march

I used to be in fairly decent physical shape. It has only been seven years since I did a 30-day bicycle ride from San Francisco to Somerville, NJ. So when Lisa Lacasse asked me if I wanted to do a sunrise shoot from Mt. Tom in Woodstock, Vt. I didn’t think anything about it. I even asked if she wanted to invite her photographer friend Derek MacDonald to join us. The full moon would be setting, so there should be some great photos.

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20 Jul 2012

Vermont fall foliage photography workshop Oct. 5-8

Seeing the fall foliage spectacle in Vermont is special and photographing it is even more exciting. So I have created a fall foliage photography workshop over the Columbus Day Weekend, Oct. 5-8, 2012, at my home in Woodstock, Vt.

The workshop will be a classic Vermont experience designed to improve your photography skills while photographing the beauty of Autumn in New England. You will have the opportunity to visit and photograph beautiful farms, a classic Vermont village and a private 600 acre homestead with ponds, flora and an amazing mountain-top view. We will photograph covered bridges, breathtaking scenery and enjoy a true small-town community pancake breakfast.

Fellow professional photographer Vickie Lewis will help me lead the workshop and we will share our thought process, how we plan a shot and how we edit. The schedule will be flexible so we will shoot in the best locations at the right times. Two to three hours each day will be spent in the classroom.

I am limiting the number of participants to 15 so each gets plenty of one-on-one instruction.

I hope you can join us.

Get more information about the Vermont photography workshop.

06 May 2012

Give me sunshine and a dandelion

The beauty of a dandelion.

It doesn’t take a whole lot to make me happy.

Today was a beautiful Vermont day with great sunshine. I got out my macro lens and tripod and walked through the yard to take a close look around.

I shot some fiddleheads, new ferns that many Vermonters eat, but was too happy with what I was getting. There was a steady breeze and the fiddleheads kept moving, making it hard to shoot with long shutter speeds.

A fiddlehead fern.

I saw some large dandelions close to the ground, so I got down on my belly and looked close. I was working with my 100mm macro lens but it couldn’t focus as close as I wanted to get, so I added an extension tube to allow closer focusing and larger magnification.

When I got in extremely close to the regular old dandelion, I saw the beauty that most people don’t take time to enjoy. I photographed several different dandelions, they each looked different.

It makes me wonder why most people call them weeds and dump poison to kill them off.

26 Feb 2012

Taftsville Covered Bridge stripped down to the arches

The support arches are still standing on the Taftsville Covered Bridge in Woodstock, Vt.

Last fall when Hurricane Irene made its way to Vermont, it did an amazing amount of damage. One of the victims was the Taftsville Covered Bridge in Woodstock. The bridge is two spans and 189 feet long and the Ottauquechee River came up to the deck during the flood and damaged the bridge and supports. The bridge was scheduled for repairs next year, so they decided to get to work on it early. The entire deck and cover has been removed on half of the bridge while the abutments and deck are repaired. Work will take about two years.

25 Feb 2012

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.

24 Feb 2012

Finally, some snow in Vermont

Snow falls on the Middle Bridge in Woodstock, Vt.

 

It has snowed a few times in Vermont this winter, just not when I’ve been here. This afternoon it started and I’m excited. I went to the covered bridge in the village at dusk and shot as the darkness set in and the snow fell. I wanted to get a shot of car headlights illuminating the inside of the bridge, so I stood in the cold snow. I started by doing wide angle shots and I didn’t like the way it looked, even when a car came through. So I backed off and got out the 70-200 and waited for another car to come through.

As I was standing in the snow with my umbrella protecting my camera, I thought I felt something hit my foot. I looked down and saw something in the snow about the size of a pen. I couldn’t think of anything that I had on me like that so I kicked it around a little and tried to figure out what it was. While messing around, I looked up and car was coming out of the bridge. Damn. After 45 minutes, I was rather cold and I’d only seen one car come through and I missed it.

I usually prefer “night” shots to be done just before it is truly dark outside, so there is still some light in the sky to give some separation between my subject and the background. In my earlier shots, I couldn’t give them enough exposure to see inside the bridge since no cars came through.

So there is always tomorrow night and hopefully there will be more snow.

15 Oct 2011

Two horses bask in the morning sun.

 

The fall foliage season is strange this year in Vermont. Some areas had two peaks of color, some none. I drove from Woodstock to Addison looking for color along the way. The leaves are down in Killington but just peaking in the Castleton area only 20 miles away, but a much lower elevation. But the weather wasn’t very good, lots of spots of rain.

Earlier in South Woodstock I came across this little barn with a couple of horses out front. I like the way the sun came across the horses and the barn. The satellite dish was an extra touch.

30 Sep 2011

Finding pictures when the foliage isn’t cooperating

Fog engulfs at house at Billings Farm National Park in Woodstock, Vt.

The week before Columbus Day is usually a great time for fall foliage in Vermont. Not this year. I started in the central part of the state, where it is green, and drove north to within a few miles of the Canadian border, where it is green. Last year it was spectacular this weekend, especially in the Northeast Kingdom but 2011 is proving to be a late year.

Since there wasn’t the normal color, I had to aim for something different. This morning there was a nice bank of fog at sunrise in Woodstock, so I made a couple of nice pictures at Billings Farm, which in Vermont’s only National Park. I really liked the way the light and fog engulfed the house.

03 Sep 2011

Irene’s waters too much for Quechee, Vt.

The Ottauquechee River can be seen through the damaged wall of the Ottauquechee Real Estate office in Quechee, Vt. The building was destroyed by flood waters from Tropical Storm Irene. Photo by Loren Fisher (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

The Ottauquechee River can be seen through the damaged wall of the Ottauquechee Real Estate office in Quechee, Vt. The building was destroyed by flood waters from Tropical Storm Irene. Photo by Loren Fisher (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

I went over to Quechee, Vt. to see the damage to the town and covered bridge. I had seen video of water coming into the end of the bridge and couldn’t imagine how that could happen since the bridge is at least 50 feet above the river bed, just downstream from a dam. The water came over the edge of the dam and along a concrete wall and walkway then washed out the abutment and end of the bridge. A real estate office at the end of the bridge was also demolished.

The Ottauquechee covered bridge over Ottauquechee River in Quechee, Vt., was damaged by flood waters from Tropical Storm Irene. The Ottauquechee Real Estate office on the right was destroyed by the storm. Photo by Loren Fisher (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

The Ottauquechee covered bridge over Ottauquechee River in Quechee, Vt., was damaged by flood waters from Tropical Storm Irene. The Ottauquechee Real Estate office on the right was destroyed by the storm. Photo by Loren Fisher (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

 

 

02 Sep 2011

Vermont’s damage from Irene is hard to imagine

The White Cottage restaurant in Woodstock, VT, was destroyed by water from the Ottauquechee River after Tropical Storm Irene. (Loren Fisher, www.LorenPhotos.com)

The White Cottage restaurant in Woodstock, VT, was destroyed by water from the Ottauquechee River after Tropical Storm Irene. (Loren Fisher, www.LorenPhotos.com)

The damage done by tropical storm Irene in Vermont is really hard to imagine. Nearly every road in the lower third of the state was damaged. Washouts were everywhere. A man replacing my water heater told me about watching two houses float down a stream that usually has less than a foot of water. The houses hit a bridge and were knocked into splinters. Woodstock was hit hard, some houses along the Ottauquechee River lost over 100 feet of yard before being swamped. Businesses along Route 4 in West Woodstock had the river running through them.

See more photos of tropical storm Irene damage.

The Dead River company on Route 4 in Woodstock, VT, was destroyed by water from the Ottauquechee River after Tropical Storm Irene. (Loren Fisher, www.LorenPhotos.com)