LakeFest is an annual fundraising event hosted by the New Hampshire Lakes Association. This years event took place at Church Landing in Meredith and featured a silent auction, two comedians, and a number of vendors for both food and beverage. I spent the night as a volunteer photographing everything that caught my eye while also trying to check images off of the shot list provided by the organizers. Even after getting stuck in traffic, I was able to arrive early and have access to the ballroom before guests showed up. The interior was awash with color and texture and I figured it would be a decent candidate for a panoramic image. I’m sure nobody had a clue what I was doing, but I’m pleased with the results. For a full image gallery of 170 photos, visit My Dropbox where you can view a slideshow or save select images.

Falling Waters


On the East side of Franconia Notch, the Falling Waters trail is a scenic jaunt that I haven’t seen in the summer in roughly 13 years. The last time I hiked it was mid-winter and everything was solid ice. This time out, I left my shoes at home to be sure I wouldn’t go too far, and brought a tripod along with a few lenses to shoot the falls. There are three decent sized falls as well as numerous tiny ones, but for this little trip I found that the largest falls were also the least photogenic. I know that every waterfall in the country has been photographed to death, but there is still something soothing about the sound of the falling water. I set up my tripod numerous times and merely tried to come up with something interesting.

Manchester Skyline

Manchester NH Skyline Black and White Night

Last month’s heatwave slowed my picture-taking to a crawl. I’m not a fan of hot and humid weather, but being inside was making me stir crazy. I ventured out one early morning for a walk to do some location scouting and after finding what I was looking for, wound up with the start of a sunburn. Having only lived in Manchester for 8 months now, I didn’t know there was a jetty beneath the Amoskeag bridge. It may be part of an older dam or a defunct canal, but it lets you walk out into the river above the falls. Once I found it, I knew I’d have to return at night for some skyline shots. A few nights later, I set up the tripod, composed my shot, and waited for the sun to set and the lights to come up. It wasn’t until nearly an hour after the sun had dropped that I started getting something I liked.

Manchester NH Skyline with Moon

Manchester, NH skyline as seen from above Amoskeag Falls

In addition to the skyline photos, I processed a few of the images from my morning walk that included, among other things, tight alleyways, interesting graffiti, and the high-contrast light of a parking garage. I have every intention of using the parking garage for a photo shoot, and the fallout shelter sounds interesting.

Playing With The Light

Westward Retreat

For a number of years, I considered myself a writer. It was easier to describe the fingerlike rays tickling the blue emptiness above than it was to capture it with a camera. I fear my ability to capture the essence of anything in carefully chosen words has slipped away and been replaced with the desire to somehow communicate through images. There is the obvious cliche of photos being worth a thousand words, but if they don’t contain even a sliver of the emotion of the original scene, then they are worthless. Snapshots are too easy. Photographs aren’t. Who’s to decide which are which? The above image is a 9-shot HDR processed in HDR Efex Pro. It more closely resembles what I witnessed than any of the single frames I used to build it, but it is somehow trickery – the use of technology to surpass previous limitations. The result is art, but is it a photograph?

As the sun set, the lamp posts came to life, pulsing with orange light against the darkening blue sky. The above image is a 5-shot HDR processed through Photomatix. The effect is more subtle than the previous image but still stands out. Below, a simple image of Denver (a dog, not the city) takes on a painterly quality by combining 3 exposures into an HDRI.

Outside the Visible Spectrum

Hands Across The Merrimack

Our eyes only pickup on a small percentage of the spectrum of light. Beyond what we see are other wavelengths, some of which are able to be captured on a camera sensor. At one end of the visible spectrum we have ultraviolet light. At the other, we find infrared. By adding a filter onto the lens to block visible light, infrared light can be photographed by many cameras. The result is a surreal scene of white trees, black water, and sometimes ominous clouds.

There are numerous quirks associated with shooting infrared light, such as the fact that the light focuses at a different distance than regular light, you can’t see through the viewfinder of the camera, and shutter speeds are abysmally slow. However, the dreamlike quality of some of the images can be worth the trouble. Infrared light, when used in portraiture, softens the skin and helps even out complexion. It can also make the pupil look abnormally dilated by ignoring the color difference of the parts of the eye.

Luckily, the best times for infrared photography are often found during the worst times for regular photography. The harsh noontime sun with its directionless shadows and flat light is undesirable for a normal photograph and perfect for shooting in IR. With a simple filter and a bit of creativity, it’s possible to photograph a whole different world. As of now, I’m imagining a classy, dreamlike image involving a dress, an umbrella, a tree and a field beneath a partly cloudy sky.

As a challenge to myself, I wanted to create an infrared panorama of a scene that I captured a couple of years ago with a wide angle lens and without a tripod. This time, I was going to try a 50mm lens on a tripod and stitch numerous shots together to create a larger version. The bright sun was beating off of the trees, mosquitoes were swarming, and the river was too high to let me walk along the beach to my desired locale, but as I set up and started capturing images, I was pleased. After stitching the photos into the final panorama, I was left with the image below. At full size, it is 4-feet wide.