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Tag : Woodstock

07 Jun 2020

Woodstock vigil for justice

There was a vigil for justice today in Woodstock, VT, where about 300 people gathered on the green. That’s a pretty good crowd considering the village has fewer than 1000 residents. Vermonters tend pretty community involved and there was plenty of solidarity shown, some tears shed and it ended with the crowd taking a knee for nearly nine minutes to honor the death of George Floyd.

31 Dec 2019

Christmas present forces new iPhone

I got a nice new Apple Watch for Christmas from my lovely wife Robin. It is pretty cool but a little too advanced, it wouldn’t work with my old iPhone 6, so of course I was forced kicking and crying to to upgrade my phone! OK, I’ve been eyeing one for a while so it wasn’t too painful, other than the price. I got the spiffy iPhone 11 Pro Max since it has what is reputed to be a great camera built in. I hear a lot of people saying their phone can make images as good as my expensive DSLR camera. I tell them to come to my gallery and I’ll show you plenty of shots you aren’t going to make with that phone. But now that I have the fanciest around I need to give it a try.

All phone cameras have an extremely wide angle lens but this gets even wider. While a nice soft snow was falling this morning in Vermont, I went out with our dog Pudge to give the phone a little trial run. I shot some photos on normal setting, some with the telephoto and then the wide angle. Any camera would handle these conditions pretty well so it hard to tell what the camera will really do but so far they look pretty good. I got Pudge to sit and pose and used the extreme wide angle to really make her dominant in the photo. Like most cameras, it made the image too dark because of all the snow. It made the snow gray rather than white and I needed to correct it in post processing but it wasn’t off that far. I got the normal wide angle distortion in the trees but that is to be expected. The image looks pretty sharp but I’m not making a 60″ print. That will be the real test. 

27 Dec 2019

Photos hanging at Woodstock Inn

I just completed a new installation of four photos at The Woodstock Inn in Woodstock, VT. I worked with Cheryl Griggs, who is the head interior designer at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Cheryl had a very specific color scheme she was working with, looking for images to go with the blue/gray colors of the furnishings she had selected. She sent me color swatches to help me understand what she was needing. Cheryl wanted Vermont scenes but didn’t want fall foliage or bright red barns since those colors wouldn’t work with the rest of the room. She went through my website and I loaded more photos onto a special page for her. She was interested in several photos and a couple that didn’t quite have the right colors. I went back into those photos and made the colors more of what she was looking for. The Overlook had more orange in the sky, which I took out and made the blue hues match her colors. I toned down some of the brighter colors in Morning Fog and brought out some other tones to make the photo work well with the decor. And I drastically changed the color of Looking Up by color matching the blue and then pulled another shot from that shoot to give Cheryl the related photos she wanted to work with a large mirror.

The three photos grouped together have a traditional black floater frame while the Morning Fog has a lovely walnut frame. All photos are printed on canvas to give them a painterly look.

The photos are now hanging in the newly redesigned Conservatory, a great space where people can sit and relax. In the evening they offer wait staff for drinks and snacks. It is a beautiful space that was expertly created by Cheryl.

14 Oct 2019

Spectacular fall foliage in Vermont

Many people in Vermont said the foliage this year is the best it has been in years. And it has been a long time since I’ve seen it looking this good. There aren’t a lot of the deep reds that we sometimes get but the lighter reds, oranges and yellows are shining through. I did two fall foliage workshops this year and as usual people came from all over the country. It is fun to host people who live in different places and see their reaction to the changing colors. They have usually seen a few trees change but not whole forests of brilliant foliage.

I created a little group of photos that I shot the last week or so, I hope you enjoy it. Click on a photo to see a larger version and then you can click on the right or left side to scroll through them.

28 Jan 2019

Just one more shot, please

After my Vermont Winter Wonderland Workshop yesterday I took a couple of people over to a grove of birch trees that I love to visit. It is on private property and I don’t know the owner so I don’t take 12 photographers from a workshop there. Hopefully I’ll be able to figure out who owns it and get permission to take groups there. As we were walking through the magical forest snow started falling making it feel even more special. We must have spent two hours shooting, time got away from us but the photos came out great. I can’t wait to see what the others got.

This morning it was clear and cold so three of us went down to Jenne Farm again. It always looks great with full sunshine and today was one the best mornings I’ve spent there. The light was clean, the snow glistened and the track we made yesterday morning filled in during the afternoon snowfall. Afterwards we went to another location a few miles away that I love but it didn’t look good without snow in the trees. We drove around a little and then went toward a large farm I know.

As we were going up the road toward the farm there was a stand of maple trees on hill above the road with an open field behind them. The crystal blue sky glowing through the trees and there was still snow stuck to the side of the trees making for a unique look. I was able to pull off a couple of minimalist images and play with the shadows in the snow. It capped off a special morning.

12 Oct 2018

Vermont fall foliage never disappoints

It was a magical week for my annual Vermont Fall Foliage Workshop. I can’t think of many things more fun than hanging out in Vermont with new friends and taking in the beauty of autumn’s color show. It is great to show off my stomping grounds to people from all over the world, this week I had photographers come from Ecuador, Amsterdam, Florida, California, Washington state, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut. 

We went to some of the popular spots, like Jenne Farm, which some people say is the most photographed farm in America. It doesn’t matter if it is or isn’t, it is a beautiful scene. We also went to some of my favorite little known locations, I like showing my visitors places they wouldn’t find on their own unless they spent a ton of time driving around. I’ve created a gallery of some of my photos below. If you’d like to see some photos made by the workshop participants go here: https://lorenphotos.com/vermont-foliage-workshop-photos-2018/

02 Aug 2018

Seeing night skies in Vermont

This evening was the first session of my Vermont Night Skies and Light Painting Photography Workshop. I’ve always been a little hesitant to do a workshop that depends so much on having fairly clear skies, but I decided to go for it this year. I’ve been watching the weather forecast pretty much non-stop for the past week, like that will make any difference. But this morning it called for cloudy today and then clearing off for tomorrow and Saturday night.

We started the workshop with a fun indoor session where I talked about how to photograph the starts, finding the Milky Way, painting with light and working in the dark. We then headed to one of my favorite locations for light painting, Middle Bridge in Woodstock, which I can see from my second floor bedroom. As expected, it was fairly cloudy, which doesn’t matter for what we were doing. We then went across the street and did some light painting on the public library, which is a beautiful building.

The whole time I was keeping my eye on the sky hoping for breaks in the clouds but overhead it looked the same. I looked to the west and noticed a couple of starts shining so I decided we should go out to Lincoln covered bridge, which doesn’t have many lights around it. When we arrived stars were shining bright and we could see the Milky Way in a large break in the clouds. I told people to get out and shoot fast, the clouds could cover it fast. They did eventually roll back in but not before we got some great shots of the Milky Way and then stars behind the bridge as I lighted it with a flash light. A good start to what should be a great weekend.

15 May 2018

Covered bridge under the stars

I spend a lot of time in Vermont, though not nearly enough. It seems like whenever I’m here there are plenty of clouds so I can’t go out to make photos of the stars. The reality is there are plenty of clear nights but I’m probably too lazy to stay out late! I usually like to shoot sunrise and I can no longer burn the candle on both ends so I pick mornings over staying out late. Yesteday the sky was perfectly clear the forecast for the next few days was for rain starting this morning, so it was the perfect time to stay up late.

I wanted to shoot a covered bridge during a long exposure and put some light on the bridge to make it stand out. The trick is that there can’t be any other lights nearby or they will ruin the shot. Middle Bridge in Woodstock is only a few blocks from my house but it is right in the village and there is a ton of light hitting it, so that won’t work for stars without a lot of work in the computer. I didn’t want to make a computer generated photo so I went to the Taftsville Bridge on the east end of Woodstock town. It was severely damaged by the remnants of Hurricane Irene a few years ago and they added lights inside it during the renovation. There are also lights on both ends so that didn’t work. I went to Woodstock’s other covered bridge, Lincoln, west of the village.

Lincoln Bridge is pretty secluded although right off Route 4, a major road through the middle of Vermont. There is a nearby hotel that has some lights but I knew if I got on the opposite side I could block out those lights and be in darkness. There is a path down to the river below the bridge and I went upstream a little ways and set up my tripod. The stars were shining bright but I could see clouds moving in quickly. I used my headlamp to illuminate the bridge and tried several shots. I went back up on the gravel road and shot from there but the clouds were coming fast and it wasn’t long before I wasn’t capturing many stars and I was done.

04 Feb 2018

Ending another great winter photography workshop

The worst day of any workshop is the last when I have to say goodbye to friends old and new. I had a group at this year’s Vermont Winter Wonderland Photography Workshop. I enjoy having people return to my workshops and meeting new folks. This workshop had about half returnees and half new to my workshops. It was fun to start the day at one of Vermont’s most photographed scenes, Jenne Farm. It is a beautiful location and we had a nice snowfall to add to the scenery.

It turns out today was photograph red things day. After leaving Jenne Farm, we went to the Taftsville covered bridge and then to the Red Barns in Quechee, where I posted a photo from on Thursday. It is funny how the same scene looks different every time I visit it and the Red Barns felt different today than they did on Thursday. They didn’t look that different although the sky was a bit different. I tried some angles I didn’t shoot the other day and tried one shot from about the same place. I enjoyed helping the workshop participants find angles that may have different than they have tried before and then see them exciting with the results.

I can’t wait to have another group come next year.

 

03 Feb 2018

Beautiful sunrise, frozen lake and waterfalls and a wet foot

We got a break from yesterday’s brutal cold and started my Vermont Winter Wonderland Photography Workshop at one of my favorite overlooks. I found this spot several years while driving backroads looking for great places like this. I’ve shot many great sunrises here but today there was a little too much cloud cover and we didn’t get the super sunrise I was hoping for, but it was still spectacular.

After sunrise we went to Barnard and Silver Lake. I love the general store there and always try to take groups there for breakfast. They usually only have one cook working so her eyes get pretty big when 14 of us walk in. She does a great job managing the orders and gets the food out pretty quick and it tastes good. People are usually happy to sit around a little, have some coffee and get warmed up.

When breakfast was done we went out on the lake. It is always fun to take people out there to see the people ice fishing, especially if the photographers haven’t walked on water before. The ice is about two feet thick, so there isn’t any chance of falling through. Well almost. Just after I got done telling them to stay away from the edges where the ice can be thin because there isn’t enough water under it to freeze thick, one of our guys had a foot go through and into the mud. It wasn’t deep enough to be dangerous but his boot filled with water, which isn’t fun. We got him some fresh, dry socks, stuck a plastic bag in his boot and he was good for the rest of the day.

We went to Tunbridge where there is a scenic covered bridge crossing a rock strewn river. It always makes great photos and today wasn’t any different. Then we headed to a large waterfalls that was frozen pretty solid but still was fun to shoot.

When we got back to Woodstock, I got out my flashlight and lighted a covered bridge as night was falling. It is a great way to end a full day.

02 Feb 2018

It’s a winter wonderland photo workshop and it’s cold

Today was the first day of my annual Vermont Winter Wonderland Photography Workshop. The workshop is again sold out and I have a great bunch of people from all over the East Coast. We started this afternoon with a “classroom” session at my house where we talked about making great photos in the snow, thinking about how winter photos have a different impact than other times of the year and staying warm.

We went to a couple fun locations and started making some great shots. We ended on top of a hill where the wind was blowing at least 20 MPH while the air temperature hovered at 5 degrees. It was cold. In fact, it was brutal cold. I’m always prepared for the cold and most of the workshop participants were ready too, but the blowing cold was too much. I planned on light painting a covered bridge this evening but I postponed it to tomorrow night when it will be a little warmer.

I’ve photographed these birches trees many times but I’m still excited to see how different they look and what I can do with them. We’ll get more snow photos tomorrow.

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.