Mountain Bluebird


Female Mountain Bluebird at Mormon Row  

After a sunrise we were entertained by this female Bluebird and her mate. I loved getting to photograph a bunch of new wildlife while we visited the area. This little lady was just amazing to watch. I also love the complimentary colors of the fence and the sky with her colors. Image made with Canon 7dmii and Tamron 150x600 at 600mm f/8 ISO 3200 and shutter speed of 1/800 of a second  in manual mode. Edited in Lightroom  CC and On1 Raw. Gear carried in MindShift Gear FirstLight 40L. 

Birding (American Birding)


Featured image of my Sirui. 

I am very excited to have an image featured in this beautiful advertisement by Sirui USA. And even more excited that it's featured in Birding Magazine. I fell in love with Birding long before I was a photographer. My Grandfather and actually my Mother after him taught me a lot about birds and their habits. Their habits are what keeps me interested in them. From the unique way they fly to their ways of interacting with other birds. To say I find watching relaxing is an understatement.  This image was captured at the stick using a Sirui N3204x tripod and PH-20 Gimbal (featured in the advertisement) I was using a Canon 7dmii and Tamron 150x600 lens. Besure to check out Birding Magazine for some great reading on birds and how you can find ways to capture them or just plain enjoy them. 

Sunset at Oxbow Bend


Here's an image from Oxbow Bend. There wasn't much color in the skies. But the flowers were colorful enough. I used graduated neutral density filter by Sirui to help me get a bright foreground and not blownout the skies. As you can see it also caused the clouds to be darker. Image made with a Canon 5dmiii and Tamron 24x70 lens at 24mm f/16 ISO 100 resulting in a shutter speed of 1/25  of a second. On top of my Sirui N3204x tripod and K-30 ball head. Gear carried in MindShift FirstLight 40L edited in On1 Raw and Lightroom CC. 


A bison in Grand Tetons National Park

A bison in Grand Tetons National Park

He spent a bunch of time chasing wildlife while visiting the Tetons. Then all of a sudden there was wildlife everywhere we looked. We photographed these guys having some guy fun. They are quite amazing. Image made with Canon 7dmii and Tamron 150x600 at 600 mm ISO 800 f/8 resulting in a shutter speed of 1/1000 of a second. I did crop this image a little to remove a pair of tails on the left side. Edited in Lightroom CC. 

Working On technique.

A NutHatch on the Stump.  


I've been working on shooting using Auto ISO in both manual and aperture priority modes for photographing birds. Cecil Holmes had mentioned it while in the Tetons and having not used it much, I didn't use it there much  either. There's a certain amount confidence as a photographer that needs to be built when photographing in various ways with your camera. Like shooting in manual mode or understanding bracketing. Honestly in every aspect of photography. I trust my camera to do what I need it to do. After all I'm telling it what I need it to do. In the end I always want a sharp image with tolerable noise levels. I've always tried to stay at ISO 1600 or less. Because I know I'll get good quality images. Auto ISO has opened options to shooting at higher ISO. High ISO paired with perfect exposure leads to a very sharp image for two reasons. Fast enough shutter speed and no noise from underexposure. I was working with high ISO the other morning and I was quite impressed with the overall image right from the camera. The image above is unedited. I did view it in Lightroom CC. Image made with Canon 7dmii and Tamron 150x600 at 600mm f7.1 Auto ISO at 3200 and shutter speed of 1/600 of a second. On top of my Sirui N3204x tripod snd K-30 ball head. Gear carried in MindShift Gear TrailScape 18L and Peak Design Strap. 

The Grand Tetons


John Moulton Barn Mormon Row GTNP.  


It has  been a few weeks since I returned home from the Grand Tetons. The trip was exhausting with an emphasis on seeing as much of the area as we could. We packed a months worth of experiences into a week. Every second was amazing. We had very little clear skies for sunrises or sunsets. But it was incredible either way. The wildlife was amazing. The food being served in the area was superb. We even went to Idaho for the best huckleberry shakes. We made the trek to Yellowstone twice in hopes of shooting some night skies. We didn't get the clouds to cooperate but we did manage some waterfalls. I have hours of editing to get to over the next several months. 

This image was made on our first attempt for  a sunrise at Mormon Row. The clouds got progressively heavy and eventually rained. Offering us an amazing double rainbow. We honestly were in awe of the scene before us. I used my Canon 5dmiii and Tamron 24x70 at 50mm f/16 ISO 100. I also used Sirui's filter system with a 5 stop grabdusted Neutral Density filter. On top of my Sirui N3204x tripod and K-30 ball head. Gear carried in MindShift Gear FirstLight 40L. And Peak Design Slide strap. Edited in On1 Raw and Lightroom CC.  

Mindshift Backlight 26L


The Backlight 26L in Greenfield Color.  


I have had this bag now for about bout a month or so. The versatility is outstanding. I have always been a fan of back opening bags for ease of use and keeping your shirt clean as well. I find this bag to be very useful for both my landscape and event work. Today's itinerary includes a 80's style Sweet 16 birthday party. Complete with L.A. Backstage Pass performing their awsome covers from the 80's Happy Birthday Sam! In my bags today.  

Canon 5dmiii with Sirui L Bracket and 24x105  attached. 

Canon 7dmii with L Bracket  

Tamron 15x30 F/2.8

Sigma 70x200 F/2.8

2 Canon Speedlights  

Think Tank 4 Dslr battery case (full) 

Mindshift House of Cards  

a bag of AA batteries  

13" MacBook Pro/Accessories 

All of that and plenty of room in both mesh pouches for various other doodads. The bag is awesome for many uses. Click their link on my about page for special offers.


Mindshift Trailscape 18L


Front view less than 20" in height and very manageable.  


Here is a day pack filled to cover a lot of photographic needs. 


I started my afternoon intending to shoot some flowers at Smith Botanical Garden. And maybe a little landscape work. So I packed my Mindshift Trailscape for my days work. I loaded it with 8 filters in the Mindshift Nest insert, a Tamron 180 macro, 15x30, 90 macro and a Canon 5dmiii with Tamron 24x70 attached. Also my Peak design strap and a flash light. Along the side is my small Sirui T2005x tripod and K-10 ballhead. And the Mindshift House of Cards memory wallet and the Think Tank 4 DSLR Batter case as well. And there is still plenty of room in the mesh compartments for shutter releases and other things. The front pouch has room for a 13" MacBook or a Tablet and a place for your cell phone, pens and things like that. All that and it's still incredibly light. I have spent many years now talking about my obsession with camera bags. When in reality I never found one that was just right. This is the perfect day bag. I can even fit a Tamron 150x 600 attaché in here with a wide angle and a massive filter system. My friends at Mindshift have done an amazing job. Click the link at in the "About me" section to get their bags as well as some free gear. 



Black and White

Portland Head Lighthouse  

Portland Head Lighthouse  

Leading workshops is not black and white. What I mean by that is simple, be prepared to change at a moments notice. Not every scenario can be planned out. Not every student learns the same way. Not everything in life goes as expected. My teachers David and Cecil have shown me how to make things happen so my workshop participants will get some great instruction and images as well. Often times when I lead workshops I feel like David and Cecil are there with me. Thank you guys. I taught with true NIF spirit yesterday. And ate like it too :) 

New Years Goals

Junco on the Stick

Junco on the Stick

I like to start my new year setting goals for myself. In all areas of my life. My birding skills are on my photography plate. Being a better husband, father and man is a daily goal I strive to achieve. I don't always manage to do better but at one point in my life I didn't aspire to do it much at all. I was fortunate to find karate many moons ago and that along with Iaido created a new focus in me. I don't train in those disciplines any longer. I've worked towards being a better man in my heart. Best of everything to those of you working towards whatever you set out to accomplish in 2017. 

This image was made this afternoon. I had a large flock of Junco at the stick. Canon 7dmii with the Tamron 150x600 on top of my Sirui N3204x tripod and PH-20 gimbal head. ISO 800 f/8 shutter 1/1000 of a second at 520mm. Image tweaked in ON1 Raw.  



Boulder Beach

Boulder Beach and Otter Cliffs  

Boulder Beach and Otter Cliffs  

One of the iconic stops we took the Nature In Focus Workshops groups was Boulder Beach for a sunrise. We didn't luck out with the normal vibrant colors that a sunrise brings. But instead we got some cool clouds and did some slow exposures. I also took the time to manually control my exposure compensation while in Aperture priority mode to create three exposures. -1 and +1 stops of exposures. I merged the images in LRCC HDR module. I then tweaked the sharpness and a little vibrance as well as a little noise reduction. image made with Canon 5dmiii and 24x105 at 92mm ISO100 f/11 manually focused at infinity. 

Bass Harbor Lighthouse

Bass Harbor Lighthouse Sunrise.  

Bass Harbor Lighthouse Sunrise.  

Before the Nature In Focus Workshop started we headed over to Bass Harbor to scout some ideal spots. This shot was about a foot to the right of the best spot. The four of us took turns shooting from there as well. I worked a little manual HDR on this image in manual mode. Sure it's easy enough to set the camera to do the increments for me. But I like to see the variable in the exposure as I'm shooting. This  is a perfect exposure with +1.3 stops and -1 stop of exposure. I merged them in Lightroom CC. I like using Lightroom to keep the HDR more natural looking. Image made with my Canon 5dmiii and 24x105 lens. Using a Marumi Circular polarizer. On top of my Sirui N3204 tripod or Cecil's W2204 (I'm not sure) with. K-30 Ball head.  

Pemaquid Lighthouse.

A slow exposure Black and White image  

A slow exposure Black and White image  

This was the second Lighthouse for me the day I met up with David, Cecil and Lou in Maine. We worked all the usual and unusual angles of composition. This is one shot I liked.  Image made with Canon 5d Miii and 24x105 lens. On top of my Sirui N3204x tripod and K-30 Ball head. I used a Tiffen IRND 10 stop filter in mid day light. The image is edited in Lightroom CC and Nik Silver Effects. 

Bass Harbor at Night

Night Shooting at Bass Harbor Lighthouse.  

Night Shooting at Bass Harbor Lighthouse.  

The Nature in Focus Workshops Participants were treated to some Night shooting over Bass Harbor Lighthouse. We got there during the golden hour before sunset. And stayed until around 9 PM. It was a lesson in patients for sure. But also a lesson in risk reward. There are certain risk we should take as photographers and many we shouldn't. There was never a point anyone was put in harms way. We had plenty of lights and each instructor made sure everyone could see their way out safely. The reward was getting an amazing shot. I see far to often these days people going to extremes to get shots that are rare. In the end making it home safe is what it's all about. Getting to go out and shoot tomorrow or playing with your kids or pets. Be educated on taking care of gods gifts to us. Leave the areas you shoot with all you went in with. Image made with Canon 5d Miii and Tamron 15x30 and 15 mm. F/2.8 manual mode ISO 3200 with a 30 second exposure. Mounted on my Sirui N3204x Tripod and K-30 Ballhead. Carried with my Peak Design Leash strap and Lowepro Flipside 500 Backpack. Edited in Lightroom CC. 

Into The Fog

Black Thunder  

Black Thunder  

Sometimes as a photographer I like to create artistic images out of ordinary subjects. I am in Acadia National Park instructing with Cecil Holmes, David Akoubian, Fukin' Lou Raimondi (Nature in Focus Workshops) we are haveing some amazing foliage. we couldn't pass up Sieur du Monts Gardens on a overcast day. The Participants were really having a great time finding little things to focus their skills on. Ten students with four instructors really allowed for some individual attentions for the participants. This is an image I really hoped to get while here.any others had similar shots as well.  

Daddy's Alone Time

Femal Northern Cardinal.  

Femal Northern Cardinal.  

On the days where I am not with my little girl, I get to spend sometime with the other lady in my life. I get to spend a little while with my feathered friends. They fill a void when both Sonia and Amelia aren't home. This morning was a perfect morning to capture a few of my visitors. I moved a bird house yesterday and am hoping next season brings back the blue birds. But today I had some familiar faces. Image made with a Canon 7d and Tamron 150x600 on top of my Sirui N3204x Tripod and PH-20 Gimbal head. Viewed in On1 Browse and tweaked in Lightroom CC. I carry my gear in Lowepro Bags and use many Peak Design Acessories. 


New England Barns

I sometimes joke with my social media friends that New England had barns and water. It kind of true, but what you make of your surroundings is much more than what is offered. Creative editing offers us a way to make everyday subjects unique to our photographic vision. On1 Photo 10 offers a very quick way to learn complex editing as well as simple one click solutions to your editing needs. Paired with Lightroom CC and the soon to be released On1 Raw platform for a very respectable price, editing is now more affordable than ever.  I do suggest having Photoshop on hand there are some things that program is just simply the only program we can use to make magic happen! I recommend photographers take their editing as serious as their photography. i didn't really enjoy editing when i started shooting digital. But once I decided to embrace it it offered me another perspective in my vision as a photographer.

Image made with Canon 5d Mii and Tamron 15x30 lens hand held at ISO 400 F-11 Shutter speed of 1/500th of a second. Edited in On1 Photo 10 and Lightroom CC  

World Photography Day

Hairy Woodpecker on the Stump

177 years. So Facebook tells me. I started my journey with a camera many years ago. But around 5 years ago or so, I met my friend David Akoubian. I met him at the NECCC and later shot with him in Cape Ann.  But our friendship started on social media. Like many friendships in this industry do. and I have met many others since through David. Ed Heaton (who I actually met on social media before David) Cecil Homes, Mike Moats, Jillian Bell, Hazel and Dave Meredith, Tom and Lisa Cuchara, Hoke Smith, Lou Raimondi, honestly so many wonderfully talented shooters. Many I have yet to shoot with. I have been inspired, humbled and driven by my friends in Westfield Camera Club. Every single one of you!

When David and I shot out in Cape Ann, we talked a lot when we drove out there at 3:30 am. One of the things he spoke of was being kind. It wasn't that Iam not kind, but I have a very strong way of directing my words. So I changed. He taught me to use my tripod. So I do. He taught me to always use a shutter release. I always do when on my and tripod. (except on my gimbal) He taught me Cecil is always right. And he always is. He taught me vertical composition works as well as horizontal. I use it a lot more than I used too. He has taught me about birds, flowers and bugs. Here is one from this morning. I had not shot in a bit. Well not for my personal enjoyment. This is a Hairy Woodpecker. I dedicate it to David and every photographer out there doing what they are passionate about! Lets hope this art grows for another 177 years!

Image made with my Canon 5d Miii and Tamron 150x600 on my Sirui N3204x Tripod and PH-20 Gimbal Head. Viewd in On1 Photo 10 and Lightroom CC.

Proper Lens Choice

A portrait of a giraffe at Southwick Zoo

A portrait of a giraffe at Southwick Zoo

Proper lens choice. There are so many lenses available today. From primes to super zooms. But what does it mean to choose the proper lens? I have my favorite lenses and my must have lenses that are designed for a particular type of photography. But before I get into a few lenses and why they are must haves for my kit, let me explain how my lens choice makes my work easier.   My most used lens is my 24x105. It gives me a lot of range and is one of my sharpest lenses. With an F/4 aperture through out the focal range, it's a very handy everyday lens. But it doesn't offer me two variables. It doesn't get me closer to subjects far away. And it doesn't open up wide enough for certain situations. Let's focus on reach or the ability to get closer to far away subjects. When I bought my Tamron 150x600 lens. I bought it for wildlife. Mainly to pursue birding. But the lens is so versatile  I never leave home without it. The DOF at 600mm is outstanding. As you can see with the bokeh in the image above. This giraff was a good distance away. I couldn't have made this sort of composition with any other lens choice. (in my bag) on to wide angle. I used to use an 8mm on my Aps-c sensor. But this year I purchased at Tamron 15x30. I use it on my Canon 5dmiii. I have really enjoyed this lens. It offers me a good range and also f2.8 through that range. It's a must have for night shooting. I use it for all sorts of shoots. So with these three lenses always in my bag I can cover my entire focal range. It's the perfect kit for an event and nature photographer. Those three lenses never leave my bag. I keep at 70x200 in my bag also.  I also have macro lenses for specific shooting. Both of those lenses make great portrait lenses. I suggest checking out Tamron Lenses. I plan to add their 24x70 f2.8 in the near future. 

Image made with the Canon 5d Miii and Tamron lenses 150x600 DI VC USD lens. Hand held at 600 mm