Photographer's Journal (Fine art)

Welcome to my online journal, otherwise known as a blog. Here I'll be sharing pertinent information, inspirational stories, trip reports, behind-the-photo stories, and various random thoughts I felt you might find interesting. If you have any questions or comments regarding the opinions and information shared here, feel free to contact me. Thanks for your interest in my work!

Tips For Photographing In the Snow
December 8, 2022

Winter can be a lot of things. Cold. Wet. Damp. Raw. But it can also be magical. Fresh snow and ice can sparkle over the landscape, make it clean and fresh, and change it from the norm. That's one of the reasons I love photographing in the snow...

Behind the Image: Capturing A Long Exposure Sunset on Deer Isle
November 15, 2022  |  Deer Isle, Maine

This past weekend, eager to avoid spending the day at home doing nothing, I asked my wife if she'd like to take a drive. I'd been looking at weather reports, tide reports, and sunset positioning for a few different locations I've been wanting to photograph, and everything seemed to line up well for a sunset at Sand Beach on Deer Isle, Maine, near the village of Stonington...

What Makes A Photo Good?
November 9, 2022

We live in a time when more photographs are taken than ever before, and more photographs are shared with the general public than ever before. We also live in a time when it's easier than ever for anyone to set up a website, or use any of more than a dozen marketplaces, and try to sell their photos...

The 5 Worst Compliments You Can Give a Landscape Photographer
November 7, 2022

I know this entry may be a little controversial, or feel like I'm whining. I apologize in advance if it comes off that way. My goal here is not to belittle anyone who's ever said these things, but rather, to educate viewers of photography...

My Favorite Maine Harbors
October 13, 2022  |  Maine, USA

Maine is a state with a lot to offer and explore. There are over 5700 lakes. 65 lighthouses. 14 mountains over 4000 feet tall. Many people visit to see lighthouses, to go hiking, or just eat seafood...

Deconstructing the Composition: Maroon Bells II
October 1, 2022  |  Maroon Bells, Colorado

One of the primary things that elevates a photograph from snapshot to art, whether it be a portrait, a candid street photograph, or a landscape or cityscape, is the composition. Composition, or the arrangement of elements within an image, can often look random, when in fact, the photographer has considered the placement of even the most minute object...

Can Landscape Photographers Get Artist's Block? And How I Deal With It
September 10, 2022

We all know writers get writer's block, unsure where to take a story or article or essay. And you're probably aware that painters and other visual artists like sketch artists and illustrators can deal with artist's block...

The Elegance of Black and White Photography
September 9, 2022

If you've followed my work for any amount of time, you're accustomed to seeing the bold, vibrant color I tend to work with. And make no mistake, I very much see the world in color, and enjoy capturing the color I see with my camera and in my editing process...

A Quiet Corner of Maine's Midcoast: Lookout Point
August 21, 2022  |  Harpswell, Maine

On the north shore of Harpswell Neck, half way down the peninsula that makes up the contiguous land portion of the town of Harpswell, sits a spit of land known as Lookout Point. Harpswell is also made up of several islands, the most notable being Orr's Island and Bailey Island...

Autumn, The Golden Time
August 19, 2022

With roughly one month of the summer left to go, I find myself already thinking about the Fall. I've already stacked all my wood for the colder weather, in piles taller than me in my shed. I'm anxious for the cooler weather, lighting the fire in my wood stove, and of course, the autumn foliage...

Personal Journey: Starting Over in Maine
August 12, 2022  |  Bath, Maine

It's hard to believe, but I'm coming up on the six year anniversary of my move to Maine. I've often said relocating to Maine was one of the best things I've ever done, but the circumstances that precipitated the move were the most painful of my life...

Photographing Movie Locations
July 21, 2022

It's always interesting to see places I've been in a big time movie. Often, it takes me a second to recognize it because the context is so different. Other times, I know immediately where the camera operator was standing when he was filming...

Trip Report: North Cascades National Park
July 18, 2022  |  North Cascades National Park, Washington

“Going to the mountains is like going home” – John Muir

Having been raised in the suburbs of New Jersey, I was never really exposed to the mountains. Sure, we had the Catskills nearby, and the Watchung Mountains in New Jersey, but let's be real, they pale in comparison to those mountains out west- the San Juans in Colorado, the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, and the Cascades in the Pacific Northwest...

An Angry Ocean
June 12, 2022  |  Cape Disappointment, Washington

Last Saturday, I flew into Portland, Oregon, a couple of days in advance of my Landscapes & Seascapes of Coastal Oregon photo workshop. It was pouring rain all day, but I needed to visit the locations I had planned for the week and ensure that there were no surprises like impassable trails, limited access, and other obstacles like that...

A Year In The Making
May 29, 2022  |  Bailey Island, Maine

Many of my photos are fairly spontaneous. I watch the weather, decide where I'd like to photograph, and off I go. There is some amount of planning, but it's usually limited to checking the weather and finding a day to go...

Art's Role in Today's World
May 8, 2022

We find ourselves living in tumultuous times. The past two and a half years have been especially trying, but if you look back through history, each decade or era has had its share of challenges to deal with, so I'm not sure we're all that special...

Developing My Style
April 20, 2022

It's easy to discover an artist or photographer or writer when they are more advanced in their craft, and feel like they've always been that good at what they do. Often the hard work, the learning, and the growth goes on behind closed doors, and rarely do we get to see evidence of that growth when the work is taken one piece or image at a time, as it so often is when shared on social media...

Location Spotlight: The Giant's Stairs
April 11, 2022  |  Harpswell, Maine

Just about the point where Maine's Midcoast Region begins, south of Brunswick, lies the town of Harpswell. Harpswell is made up of land contiguous with the mainland, known as Harpswell Neck, and then over 200 islands...

The Passage of Time: Using Long Exposures to Create a Sense of Calm
April 5, 2022

One of my favorite things to do with a camera is to transform the landscape in some way as I photograph it. There are several ways to do this, such as choosing a specific lens to frame the landscape a certain way, or using a unique point of view to force a viewer to see things differently...

Location Spotlight: Boneyard Beach at Botany Bay
March 31, 2022  |  Edisto Island, South Carolina

Tucked away about an hour south of Charleston is an incredible beach on Edisto Island, South Carolina. in the 19th century, this beach was part of the Sea Cloud and Bleak Hall plantations, which both produced what was considered the finest cotton in the world...

Through the Viewfinder: Newfallen Snow at Pemaquid Point
March 27, 2022  |  Pemaquid Point, Maine

With winter receding in the rearview mirror, I was chatting with a friend today who had asked me about my photo, "Newfallen Snow at Pemaquid Point". It was taken January 18, 2018. I was still employed at the camera store in South Portland, and had worked the previous day and the 18th was supposed to be my day off...

Using On-Camera Filters to Create My Photographs
March 23, 2022

One of the things that helps a photographer elevate his or her photos, is the ability to manipulate the light available in a scene to produce a photograph that transforms the scene in a predictable way...

Burning Questions II: Where, When, & How
March 17, 2022

Yesterday I asked the people who follow my work on my Facebook page what they would like to ask me if they could ask me anything. Yesterday, I answered a few of the questions in a journal entry. But I got a lot of great questions, so here's another entry to answer some more questions...

Burning Questions: About Creating My Photographs
March 16, 2022

Recently I asked the people who follow my Facebook Page to ask me anything they liked about my work. The questions broke down into one of about three groups, so to make it more readable, I'm going to break it down into a few different posts...

Fine Art Prints for All Seasons
March 13, 2022

Everyone seems to love the changing of the seasons. By the time winter ends, like it is now, everyone is ready for the warmer temperatures and flowers of spring. Most people change certain accents in their decor along with the season...

My Favorite State Parks
March 6, 2022

National Parks get all the love, but there are some amazing state parks across this country that are well worth a visit. While I can't claim to have been to all of them, or even most of them, Here's a list, in no particular order, of my favorites that I have been to...

My Teaching Style
March 3, 2022

I'm often asked if I teach classes, workshops, or 1-on-1 lessons by photographers. Some are experienced in one area of photography but would like to learn more about landscape photography, while others are brand new photographers but aspire to create images similar to my own work...

Starry Nights
February 28, 2022

These days, most people have never seen the Milky Way, and only ever see the brightest stars in the sky. Thanks to the growth of civilization, and the dawn of the electric lights in homes and on streets over 140 years ago, the light of the stars has been drowned out over the past century...

Maine's Bold Coast: Exploring Down East
February 25, 2022  |  Lubec, Maine

The Maine coast is known for its rugged beauty, its working fishing harbors, adorable coastal villages, and of course, lobster rolls. Almost as soon as a visitor crosses the bridge over the Piscataqua River, there are sights to see...

Guide to Purchasing Fine Art Prints
February 22, 2022

If you're new to collecting art, or just have a casual interest in art and would like something new for your home, you may have some questions regarding where to start finding the perfect piece for your wall...

America's Best Idea: My Favorite National Parks
February 17, 2022

"National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst." - Wallace Stegner, Writer, Environmentalist, & Historian

Other than having seen this quote many times over the years during my visits to our National Parks, I had no idea who Wallace Stegner was...

Why Do I Photograph?
February 13, 2022

Every so often, someone will ask me a question. Sometimes it's just a general "Why do you like to photograph?" Other times it's more specific, such as "Why do you like to photograph landscapes?" Or the even more specific "why do you like to photograph (insert specific subject)?" The answer to all of those questions can be somewhat complicated, or it can be pretty simple, depending on how much I think the inquirer really wants to know the answer...

My Influences Part III: Continuing Influences
February 10, 2022

In my last two blog posts, I discussed some of the major influences on my work, especially the early influences. Part one featured the painters of the Hudson River School. This first American art movement influenced many 19th century Americans, but for me, and many other photographers, those epic landscapes depicted in the paintings became a roadmap of sorts to follow when looking for landscapes to photograph...

My Influences Part II: 20th Century Photographers
February 6, 2022

I don’t know of a photographer out there who doesn’t cite another photographer’s work as inspirational at the very least. While I will discuss contemporary photographers in the next entry in this series, in this entry I’d like to discuss three photographers who influenced me early on...

My Influences Part I: American Landscape Painters
February 4, 2022

I’m often asked about the influences on my work. The easy answer is some of the many famous photographers, in addition to contemporary, perhaps less well-known photographers. But in addition to them as the obvious answer, my early influences include painters...

Death Valley Report Part 2: Badwater Basin
January 30, 2022  |  Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park, California

I'm still going through photos from my recent trip to Death Valley National Park. It was a whirlwind trip, only spending four days in the park, but I had a chance to see some truly amazing sights. Last week, I highlighted my visit to Zabriskie Point, so today I thought I'd tell you about another spot in Death Valley that I found fascinating: Badwater Basin...