Empty My Cache

(If I was a pirate…)

During the Carboniferous Period, 290 million years ago, the Earth’s churning mantle and other forces of nature forced a large mass of igneous molten rock into the more ancient metamorphic rock already in existence. The result was the granite bedrock underlying much of the lakes region of south-western Maine. As the molten rock cooled, crystals of quartz and feldspar and slivers of reflective dark and light mica formed, giving the granite its colors of whites, light pinks, light tans. Varying fluid pressures allowed for variable grain size of the crystalline structure. Higher pressure and slower cooling time allowed the individual crystals to develop larger in size. There are also dark colored rocks, the result of Mesozoic Era (225 to 65 million tears ago) intrusions of a new and different composition of igneous molten rock. These dikes can be seen as the narrow bands of basaltic black, cutting through the light granite. Some of these rocks and formations are quite beautiful, but they are only foundation upon which the glacial ice sheets carved their art.

The last ice sheet retreated in melt over 13,000 years ago. Glaciers are immensely powerful rivers of ice. They flow downwards at an exceedingly slow pace, but the weight and pressures created by the flow over the landscape is enough to carve out and pulverize the existing granite bedrock. This was this process that carved out an area that is today, roughly 47.5 square miles wide, reaching down to a depth of around 325 feet.

Sebago Lake is large enough to now serve as the public water supply for the city of Portland and surrounding areas. It also serves as Vacation Land, due to its beauty. Surrounded by the evergreens of the Maine woods, the shoreline of the lake consists of coarse sandy beaches, granite outcrops, boulders, cliffs, and marshlands. The fresh air smells of pine, and the water of the lake is possessed by magical properties of which you can drink. In summer, surface temperatures are pleasant for swimming. Dive to 100ft and you will feel yourself pass through five to seven distinct thermoclines. Your bubbles will sound oddly crystalline. It is cold. The clarity of the water and the geological artwork allow you to endure shivering.

522092_10150854859692275_1097173206_nDown there is this boulder, the size of a huge house. It is cracked open in the middle – a split of three to four feet. Within this split opening are lodged many smaller boulders that didn’t quite make it to the bottom. Fun swim-throughs. But what most people miss, hidden in the deep bottom shadows – is the Cave. Its at the base of this split rock. You enter a small dark chamber which leads to a small opening. You’ll need to take your tank off and feed it through, then follow. Your flashlight now reveals another small chamber that has a small drop-off ledge on the far side. Be very careful not to stir up any silt. A dive partner can place his arm into the opening to remain in contact with your fins. However, if you wish to explore a little more, you must break contact. You go alone. Proceed to the small drop-off ledge on the far side of the chamber. With full arm extension, you can almost reach the bottom of the drop-off. Breath. Reach. Move slowly. Feel around. There you will find a pillowcase. Breath. Be gentle. The contents of the pillowcase were hermetically sealed in a long fire-side night’s worth of candle wax, almost ten years ago. I have forgotten the brands and vintages, but I recommend the White with a Maine seafood dinner. The Red will work, chilled on a cool fireside night under the planetarium of stars. But don’t wait too much time after the dive to celebrate with shots of some good, smooth, aged, tequila. You won’t need any rocks.

Cheers…

Long Island Photo Gallery

See in person, buy local!

G’Morning folks.  As photographers, we love the term “buy local”.   Rather than give money to a corporate black hole, the money goes back into the community, and specifically helps us to keep creating art.  To help with the “buy local” and “support local artists” movements, here in Long Island, NY. we have the Long Island Photo Gallery.
Its is a wonderful little shop, right in the heart of Islip, NY.   It is filled with great artwork by many different local artists, much of it featuring our beautiful north and south shore beaches and waters.
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Long Island Photo Gallery – 467 Main St. Islip, NY.
When you visit,  you can browse the walls and see exactly what these beautiful pieces look like and how they will look in your home.   While there, Joanne or Jessica are very helpful, and can walk you through a selection and sales process, whether it be for a piece on the wall, or in a digital catalogue.
The gallery is also a great place just to pop in for some inspiration!  (Especially this time of year – thanks for nuthin, groundhog.)
Of note:  On February 10th, 2017, there will be a reception from 6-8pm, for their new exhibit, “From Dusk to Dawn”.    Hit the link for exhibit and gallery details.

“From Dusk to Dawn”

Long Island has a lot of talented people for you to check out!  Hit the link, hit the store, or give them a call at (888) 600-5474.
Thanks for looking!

When Hermine hit NY.

Once in a while you get shown the light,
In the strangest of places if you look at it right.

This past September, we had a beautiful light show.   The surf wasn’t too shabby either.  Crazy light at the tail end of the storm.  (Gallery on website.)

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Equipment / Gear

…some of our favorite things!

Everyone has heard everyone say that equipment doesn’t matter.  Yet everyone drools over every new camera that is announced.  The drool is only part pavlovian response to enticing key marketing terms.  Another reason to drool is the frustration of having a camera or lens that finally starts to limit what you are trying to accomplish.   I’m a Nikon guy.  For close to 10 years, I shot with a 12 mp D300.   It took great photos, and I learned a lot from it.   I’ve sold many prints of its output.   But….
A ways back, someone wanted a 4 x 6 foot print of a cropped image of mine.  I spent a month’s worth of beer money on the print, she looked at it from 6 inches away, and said – nah.  We all know that looking at a print from 6 inches away is kind of stupid, but it is what it was.   Modern software has made it much easier to up-res, but at some point you will be limited by your camera’s ability to capture enough megapixels.  (If you are just shooting for web images or small prints, 12mp is all you need, and today’s entry cameras are superb.)   I’m not rich, I opted for a refurbished Nikon D810.   No problems whatsoever with the refurb.  I love this camera and its 36mp for land and seascapes.
Modern Nikons have also come a long way in their ability to capture dynamic range (DR).   No cameras can match the human eye’s DR.  Your pupil continually adjusts to expose for what you are looking at.  Add in an optic nerve with attached brain, and the ability to squint, and things are literally looking good for us.  We can take in visual information over a large range of light intensity.  For example, when it is very bright outside, we can not only see the stuff thats nice and bright, we can also see useful information in the shadows.   Cameras have a hard time capturing that wide range of light intensity within one image. Cameras have only been evolving for a short time, they have a lot of catching up to do. But they are indeed catching up.   The D810 is pretty amazing compared to the old D300.  By the way, always shoot RAW.  Period.  Don’t argue.  Modern software like Lightroom and Photoshop can pull amazing detail out of the shadows of a RAW file.
Another area where newer cameras have come a long way is high ISO performance.   ISO is basically a way to make your camera more sensitive to light.   At higher ISO’s you don’t need as much light to get a good exposure.  This enables you to use faster shutter speeds and smaller apertures (larger Fstops) when there is not a lot of light.   Think shooting fast-moving sports in dim light.  (The downside of this is that images start to get noisy, and you lose some DR.)   While the D810 is pretty damn good at high ISO, there are better cameras out there when it comes to high ISO performance.   Seems every new camera body that comes out these days has better and better ISO.   So, yeah, I’m drooling for a second body, just for high ISO and higher frames per sec.
Advice:   Camera bodies keep getting better and better.  If you are just starting, or on a budget, they are all good.   Camera lenses, on the other hand, are a better investment.  You’ll hold on to a good quality lens forever, as the camera bodies come and go.
What I am currently shooting with:
  • Main camera – Nikon D810
  • Lenses –  Nikon 16-35,  Nikon 50 1.4,  Nikon 105 macro,  Nikon 70-200,  Tamron 150-600.
  • GoPro 4 Silver
  • Tripod – Giottos with Markins ballhead.
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Aquatech housing, image from catalogue
I’ve recently acquired an Aquatech splash housing, (pic from catalogue).  Taking your camera in waves is very fun and a great excuse to get back in the ocean!   To do that when the water is cold, I use a Hyperflex Voodoo 5/4 wetsuit, with 5mil gloves and boots.  I really do stay warm.

Why this Blog???

What I want to do here…

Sometimes, ideas just come rolling in.  This will give me a place to share them.  I’d like to share pictures, talk about equipment, explain some photography technique,  share random inspiration and educational links, cheer on the environment, and probably do some occasional writing.  It will also be platform to alert those who are interested in new shoots.  Basically a place where I can use a few words, in addition to just posting photos.  Another place where I can share links (on the top and right) to some of my work.  My (under construction) website, linked up top will be a place to browse pictures or purchase prints.   This place will be more of a place to have some fun exploring.
Please be patient while I figure this out.   Getting out the kinks, working on design.  Thanks!

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A new photography / musings blog…

An Introduction…

I have had the immense privilege of living near our Long Island, NY beaches for most of my life.  Salt runs through my veins like a rip current.  I grew up as a nature boy, a water rat, always exploring anything relating to nature, science, and the ocean.  It provided limitless opportunity for me to learn, from a very early age, the ability to appreciate the beauty, the power, and the mystery that lurked just beyond the reach of the everyday mundane.
I attended S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook where I received my BS in both Biochemistry and Earth and Space Science.  The following twenty years were spent working for a corporation in a science related industry.  It was at this point in my life that my interest began to shift from science to art.  I began to develop my skills in landscape photography.  I then dove into portraiture photography where I self-taught, and grasped, the more technical aspects of photography.
However, I always gravitate back to the beginning, to that lens through which I view the world – my thirst and fascination with the beauty that is just beyond, yet all around us. That place where I find my inner peace. The Ocean is my passion.  To me, it is humbling, affirming, contemplative, meditative, hypnotic, inspirational, divine, – it is my church.  I have had the most incredible peak experiences of my life immersed in it – glimpses of a kind of altered perception from everyday reality.  My photography became a way to try to somehow capture these experiences so that I could somehow share them. I don’t always succeed, but sometimes, I do get an image that captures aspects of these moments.
Thanks for looking!

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