Then and Now

I’m leading a photo workshop this weekend for my grad school alma mater, Antioch University New England. It will be my first in nearly a year, since I took a break from workshops and photography after leaving NatureScapes.Net to pursue other passions. This will be my first spring spent in New Hampshire; for the past five years I have traveled to Florida every April to attend the Florida’s Birding & Photo Fest. While I will miss seeing all of my friends in St. Augustine, I really am enjoying feeling settled here in New England and looking forward to spending spring in the northeast at home with my friends and family.

This photograph was taken on April 13th of last year, on the last day of an osprey workshop on Lake Blue Cypress near Vero, Florida. April 13th of this year I’ll be wrapping up my workshop with Antioch students in humble little Keene, New Hampshire. What a difference a year makes.

KP130413-1831480

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Image of the Month: April 2014

Spring is and has always been my favorite season. When I lived in New Jersey, signs of spring became readily apparent April. In between what always seemed like a lot of rain, this was the month during which flowers began blooming in abundance, the song of birds began to greet me awake in the morning, and warm weather made it possible to wear fewer layers while enjoying the outdoors. The warm temperatures, smell of wet earth, and signs of new life, from critters becoming active again and buds appearing for the first time in months, have always made spring my favorite. This time of year is always filled with such hope and promise it seems.

I can’t help but think that my love for spring is somehow connected to my mom’s love of gardening. My mom has always maintained a fairly extensive flower garden, and all throughout college I made it a point to photograph her flowers at least a few times during the spring and summer months when they were in peak bloom and I was visiting home. In fact, mom’s flowers were the motivation for me to buy my first macro lens. Despite the hardships of trying to plant a beautiful organic garden in the suburbs of New Jersey (deer, rabbits, squirrels, and other critters enjoying making a meal of mom’s bulbs and buds), my mom keeps at it and I’m always amazed by the beauty of her little suburban oasis.

Tulips are my favorite flower. I love their shape, from the voluptuous bell shaped flower itself to the angular arching leaves that frame the thick stem on either side. The year this photo was taken my mom planted 200 tulip bulbs in her garden, knowing I loved them so much, and deer ate all but two of them. This was one of the survivors. The yellow and pink glow in the background are the only others.

Spring now is a little different that it was for me growing up. In New Hampshire, the approach of spring is a bit delayed and always preceded by mud season, which is pretty miserable. Here, the season is shorter, and aside from that, I’ve never actually spent a spring in New Hampshire. Ever since relocating several years ago, I have traveled for much of the spring season, spending a portion of April in Florida each year for the Birding and Photo Fest in St. Augustine, and heading down to Baltimore and West Virginia in May to lead a backpacking trip for Johns Hopkins University. This will be the first year since I’ve moved here that I will be able to experience a New Hampshire spring, departing for only two weeks at the end of May for the backpacking trip. Even though I anticipate it will be far less spectacular than those down south, where azaleas, rhododendrons, Eastern redbud, and numerous other flowers appear in abundance, I’m excited to be able to have time to enjoy the season at home, mud and all.

REMEMBER: A 15% discount is available for all purchases of the Image of the Month during the month that it is featured only. If you would like to order prints or other products of “Tulip Abstract” now is the time to do it!

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Remaining Prints Still for Sale

Thank you to all of you who have purchased some prints and helped me downsize before my move. I still have a few remaining items left:

8×12 Prints Matted to 12×16 Inches – $35 each, including shipping in the continental USA. Regular price $50.
- Iris Abstract
- Northern Gannet in Flight
- Snowy Egret Portrait
- Madison at Sunset
- Twisted
- Waves Washing Over Rocks
- Pratt’s Falls
- Bog on Mount Monadnock

Unmatted 8×12 Prints – $35 or can be matted to 12×16 Inches for $40. Regular price $40 for print only, $50 matted. Shipping included.
- Spring Bloom
- The Southern Gentleman
- Country Morning

Also available
- RB Ricketts Falls in Springtime – 16×24 print. Regular price $150, SALE price $125!
- Snowy at Sunset – 12×18 printed on aluminum with a satin finish and ready to hang. Regular price $175, sale price $125.
- Slow Motion Daydream – 11×18 stretched canvas “Artist Sample”, sale price $100. Normal price for a non-sample is $250! The Artist Sample means that the image has a copyright on the outside border (along the wrapped part of the canvas, not the front), and has been used for displays so it may be a little less “mint” than a brand new piece. Save 60% by taking advantage of this discount!!!

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Spring Cleaning Sale

I’m moving! This summer, I’ll be relocating to a new home within the Monadnock Region and I’m super excited about it. I’d prefer to make as few trips as possible to complete my move so I’m using this opportunity to downsize and simplify, and have decided to offload some of my printed stock that I usually bring with me to craft shows and gallery displays. I have a handful of 8×12 prints that are signed and matted, along with some larger prints and ready to display pieces that I would rather sell than take with me and put back into storage. In hopes of moving these pieces quickly, I’ve decided to offer them at a steep discount.


“Angel Wings” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches. SOLD!!!


“Friendly Bucks” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches. SOLD!


“Iris Abstract” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches, regular price $40 unmatted, $50 matted. SALE price $35 matted!


“RB Ricketts Falls in Springtime” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches. SOLD!
Also available as a 16×24 print. Regular price $150, SALE price $125!


“Northern Gannet in Flight” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches, regular price $40 unmatted, $50 matted. SALE price $35 matted!


“Snowy Egret Portrait” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches, regular price $40 unmatted, $50 matted. SALE price $35 matted!


“Country Morning” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches, regular price $40 unmatted, $50 matted. SALE price $35 matted! 2 available!


“View from the Top of Monadnock” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches. SOLD!


“A Farewell to Summer” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches. SOLD!!!
Also available in size 16×24 printed on aluminum with a glossy finish and ready to hang. Regularly $250, sale price $200!


“Madison at Sunset” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches, regular price $40 unmatted, $50 matted. SALE price $35 matted!


“Common Loon” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches. SOLD!


“Blackwater Falls in Winter” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches. SOLD!!!


“Twisted” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches, regular price $40 unmatted, $50 matted. SALE price $35 matted!


“Snowy at Sunset” – 12×18 printed on aluminum with a satin finish and ready to hang. Regular price $175, sale price $125.


“Waves Washing Over Rocks” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches, regular price $40 unmatted, $50 matted. SALE price $35 matted!


“Pratt’s Falls” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches, regular price $40 unmatted, $50 matted. SALE price $35 matted! 2 available!

Hubbard Brook with Beech Leaves
“Hubbard Brook with Beech Leaves” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches. SOLD!!!

Monadnock Bog
“Bog on Mount Monadnock” – 8×12 print signed and matted to 12×16 inches, regular price $40 unmatted, $50 matted. SALE price $35 matted!

NEWLY ADDED: I found some unmatted 8×12 prints that I can mat and ship, price $40 each. The following pieces are available: Spring Bloom, Sugarbush Falls – SOLD, The Southern Gentleman, and Winter Embrace – SOLD.


Also available is an “Artist Sample” 8×12 stretched canvas of Slow Motion Daydream, sale price $100. Normal price for a non-sample is $250! The Artist Sample means that the image has a copyright on the outside border (along the wrapped part of the canvas, not the front), and has been used for displays so it may be a little less “mint” than a brand new piece. Save 60% by taking advantage of this discount!!!

These prices ONLY apply to the stock I already have. Once it is SOLD it is GONE so buy early! First come, first served. Email me to reserve your prints.

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Image of the Month: March 2014

I’m going to start to try to do some regular features on my blog and social media. I have a few ideas of things I would like to focus on, but I’ve decided to start with an Image of the Month feature. Every month I will select an image taken during that month at some point in a previous calendar year and display it on my website and blog as the featured image along with a little blurb about it. The blurb may be a photo tip, the story behind the image, or other interesting info related to the selected photo, and will hopefully be educational, inspiring, or ideally a mix of both. In addition, I will offer a 15% discount on prints and products of that photo for the month it is featured only! So hopefully, the Image of the Month feature ends up being a great way to give readers something to look forward to on my blog each month, and maybe learn a thing or two while saving on prints as well!

northern gannet, gannet, morus bassanus, Delaware Bay

Northern Gannet in Flight : Prints Available

An adult northern gannet (Morus bassanus) flies in front of a cloud that perfectly halos the bird's wings.

The first photo I’m selecting for this new feature is one of a Northern Gannet in flight, taken on March 23, 2008. This photograph illustrates how understanding animal behavior – and networking with other photographers – can yield great photo opportunities. Gannets are pelagic birds who live most of their lives at sea. They feed on marine fish by plunge diving from high overhead, tucking their wings into their bodies and shooting like torpedoes through the air and deep under the water’s surface to catch prey. One such fish they enjoy is green herring, and in March off the Atlantic coast of the United States, herring congregate to spawn. During this migration, gannets are attracted to the schools of fish by the hundreds.

I used to live in New Jersey, and the Cape May-Lewes ferry provides car and passenger service across the Delaware Bay from Cape May, NJ to Lewes, DE. During March of 2008, thousands of herring appeared in the waters of the bay during their migration, attracting the gannets. As the ferry made its regular commute back and forth the boat’s motor would stun and churn up the fish, making them easy targets for gannets, gulls, and other birds. Some photographer friends gave me a heads up that this was happening, so my photographer boyfriend at the time and I decided to go and ride the ferry with them to photograph the gannets. We arrived early in the morning for the first ferry, carrying all of our camera gear, and ended up riding the ferry all day, photographing the birds. Fortunately days in March are still fairly short, and the sun doesn’t rise or set too quickly. At the end of the day, our last round trip yielded some beautiful light, with the sun low in the sky and casting a warm golden glow on the activity, pretty clouds, and cooperative birds. Most of my best shots from the day were in this last pass.

In this shot, I managed to get lucky, and captured an adult gannet with it’s wing spread right in front of a cloud that perfectly mimicked the wing shape. There is no photoshop here, and I was fortunate that no other birds ended up in the background of this shot. To get the composition right, the photograph did require a small crop, but I still am quite happy with the end result.

Techs: Canon 1D Mark II N, Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens, 1/2000s, f/6.3, ISO 500, handheld, cropped.

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Rules are for Breaking

“Well behaved women seldom make history.”

Waterfalls are one of my favorite subjects to photograph. Usually, I prefer to photograph waterfalls on overcast days after rain when the rocks are still wet, as direct sunlight often results in contrast too difficult to capture well in an image and dry rocks often look too bright. On this day while exploring the Great Smoky Mountains, I was very eager to hike to this waterfall, as it had just rained hard for two full days, and I knew the waterfall would be flowing well. When I arrived, the storms had gone and sun had broken through the clouds. Instead of high overcast soft light, I had varied photography conditions as the clouds passed overhead, sometimes blocking the sun but other times letting its rays shine through, illuminating the mist hanging in the air from the waterfall and humid, sweltering landscape. Instead of waiting for the clouds to come between shots, I tried to capture this sparkling, glistening quality when the sun shone just right. As a result, I ended up with this shot, which after some tweaking following nearly 10 months of sitting untouched on my hard drive, is something I rather like. Creativity rarely follows rules, and even though there are a lot of guidelines to techniques that will make you a better photographer, often it is experimentation that results in some of the most unique and exciting images.

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Life is for Living

Lately, I haven’t written very much and the reason for that is actually rather simple – I’m happy. I always find that I tend to write more when I’m struggling; I write when there is conflict, or when I feel anxious, challenged, or discontent. Writing helps me express negative feelings in a positive way, and helps me share big events and experiences after I have had some time to reflect on them. When I’m happy and things are going well I tend not to write as much. Instead I tend to busy myself with enjoying the beauty of each day. I spend more time present and less time reflecting and processing. Writing seems too limiting for expressing happiness; the words I know just aren’t good enough. They fall short and fail. It seems silly for me to write about happiness because happiness just IS and my words don’t describe it well. Somehow I can find language adequate for frustration, disenchantment, and conflict, but when it comes to joy, to love, to elation, I just don’t know how to express those feelings through a blog post in a way that does them justice. How do you compress such amaze-wonder-fantastic-gorgeous-beautiful-ness into letters organized on a page?

I love my life. Every day I smile and laugh. My friends and coworkers inspire me and motivate me constantly. My job is amazing, and the work I do leaves me feeling fulfilled and happy. I feel more in control of my life than I have in a long time. Regularly I find myself making progress towards reaching my goals. I am healthier and happier than I have been in years, and because of all these things I like myself more. I am proud of myself, of who I am right now at this very minute and of who I have the potential to be. I am constantly striving to be the best me I can be, the best version of my unique self that is possible. My life is not perfect, but it is beautiful and wonderful and full of magic and love.

So, I apologize for being distant, but know it is for the best reasons. I write less when I live more, and right now I am pursuing different passions, learning, exploring, expanding my interests, nurturing relationships, and building a sense of community in the environments where I work and play. I am busy living and loving the experience and whenever I am fortunate enough to stumble upon the appropriate words to share it with you I will.

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AMC White Mountains Workshop Updates

Unfortunately, we have had to cancel my Appalachian Mountain Club Winter Photography Workshop due to low enrollment. This winter has been a tough one for the outdoor industry in New England because it has been so bitter cold. Apparently, people would rather stay indoors when the mercury falls well below zero. However, I am happy to announce that this autumn I will be offering another workshop through the AMC in the White Mountains. Join me for a fall foliage in the Whites October 3-5th. There are a ton of photo opportunities in the area that are just bursting with color during peak foliage season – the photo below was taken just down the road from the Highland Center, where the workshop will be based. I’m already excited!

Silver Cascade, autumn, maple, Crawford Notch State Park, Crawford Notch, New Hampshire

Silver Cascade in Autumn : Prints Available

Autumn maples in fall color line the banks of Silver Cascade in red, orange, and yellow.

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Canon 40mm f/2.8 Pancake Lens for Sale

I’ve decided to sell my Canon 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens. It’s a great lens – sharp, lightweight, and super small – but I’m just not using it like I hoped I would so I’ve decided to sell this lens to finance some other gear.

My copy is in great shape and has seen minimal use. No nicks or issues to speak of. It will come with it’s original box. I am the original owner and purchased the lens new about a year ago.

My asking price is $150. The retail price is $199, so this is 25% savings on a barely used lens.

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AMC White Mountains Workshop Announced

I am excited to announce that I will be leading a winter photography workshop with the Appalachian Mountain Club in the White Mountains this winter! This three day workshop based out of the AMC’s Highland Center will explore the beauty of New Hampshire’s White Mountains in all their winter glory. Lodging is included and the dates are Feb 28-March 2. For more information and to register, please visit the AMC’s website.

Winter Embrace : Prints Available

On a December day in New Hampshire, unseasonably warm temperatures and rain cause winter snow to melt and turn to fog, shrouding bare trees in a damp white mist.

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