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Stephen Ingraham has been at 3 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Landscape Photography Show12,458*Landscape Photography Show #46: Power Points* In the last two events, we explored the horizontal and vertical rule of thirds lines and how they divide your frame into 9 equal parts.  It's always great to set a horizon on the lower or upper horizontal line.  It's also good to place a strong element along one of the vertical rule of thirds lines. This event will focus on where the two vertical and horizontal rule of thirds lines intersect.  We call those Power Points.  There are 4 of them: upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right. Placing a strong element at one of the Power Points can really improve the composition, drama, and power of your photograph.  Examples:  the single red leaf on a green tree; the eye of anything wildlife, and the setting sun on the horizon.    Some landscape photographs really appeal to us and others seem boring. Do you know why?  Your brain is being stimulated by composition, color, and contrast and it's all subconscious.  Your photos can be more interesting and appealing by knowing rules of composition and when to break those rules. Power Points are what we want practice with this event.  Show us something special place at one of the intersection points of those vertical and horizontal lines.   1.  Share your landscape photograph that displays something special at one of the Power Points.       2.  In a comment on the photograph tell us which Power Point you used: upper left, upper right, lower left, or lower right.  Explain how you used this technique in your composition.  If you break the Power Point rules, tell us why.  Also give us some information about the location and any challenges that you faced.  We want to know the details about your photograph. 3.  Other participants will be discussing how you used this technique and asking you questions.  Please join the discussion on other photographs as well. 4.  This event is all about PARTICIPATION and DISCUSSION.  Please don't post a photo and leave.  The LPS reserves the right to remove photos without your comment.    General Rules: 1) Your photo MUST be ORIGINAL.  If you post the work of someone else, you will be removed from the event. 2) You MUST have complete EXIF data for your photo.  Within the event, select your photo and view it large.  Look for the "photo details" on the right.  It should be complete with the date the photo was taken, camera and lens information, ISO, f stop, speed etc.  Photos that don't have complete EXIF data will be removed.  Others will learn from seeing what you have done. 3) Only ONE photograph per person is allowed.  If you submit more than one photo, all of your photos will be removed. 4) Circle the @114888971165518552849 page. 5) Photos must be posted no later than Monday, July 13, 2015, 10 am CDT.  Those posted after that time will be removed. 6) Curator favorites will be shared to the @105588730866970114510 theme page.  Circle the curators and engage them in conversation.  You will learn lots from them!! 7) CuratLPS Event #46: Power Points2015-07-06 17:00:00167  
Landscape Photography Community9,205*Landscape Photography Community:  One of a Kind* *General Rules* 1) You must be a member of the Landscape Photography Community (LPC)!!  Please circle the @106632923256517196664 page. 2) Only ONE photograph per member is allowed.  If you submit more than one photo, all of your photos will be removed. 3) Your photo MUST be ORIGINAL.  Do NOT share someone else's photo.  If you post the work of someone else, you will be banned from the community. *4) You MUST have complete EXIF data for your photo.  Within the event, select your photo and view it large.  Look for the "photo details" on the right.  It should be complete with the date the photo was taken, camera and lens information, ISO, speed, f stop etc.  Photos that don't have complete EXIF data will be removed.* 5) This must be a photograph suitable for the Landscape Photography Community.  6) There is NO VOTING for this contest!  Several of our senior moderators have volunteered to judge this contest.  They are experienced judges of photography events and their decision is final. 7) Photos must be posted no later than Monday, July 6, 2015, 3 pm CDT.  Those posted after that time will be removed. 8) Winners will be announced on Wednesday, July 8, 2015. 9) Moderators of the LPC may participate but they cannot win the contest. 10) Technical Requirements: Enable "sharing" on your photo.  If it receives honors, we want to be able to share it!!  Enable "comments" on your photo.  We want to say how great it is!!  Enable "plus ones" so everyone can give it a big plus!!LPC Contest #43: One of a Kind2015-06-29 22:00:00473  
The Weather Channel2,974,913*Upload your photos to this Event on 9/19 or using the #sunsetday hashtag in a public post to celebrate #sunsetday!* Join us for an exciting 24-hour event as we send summer into the sunset in global fashion. We are asking our Google+ audience from around the world to grab your favorite camera on the evening of September 19 and snap your own unique sunset from your corner of the globe. We want to see all types of sunsets in a variety of settings; a city skyline, a beach resort, a beautiful countryside, a desert landscape, a dense forest. *Wherever you may be, please share/upload your sunset image with this event page on September 19.* You can also participate outside of this event page by submitting a public photo post and tagging with #sunsetday. A select number of our favorite photos will be shown on The Weather Channel and accompany a slideshow on weather.com. Other favorites will be posted and rotated through as the cover photo on both +The Weather Channel and the +Google+ Photos  Google+ page. Note: *Only photos uploaded and posted to the event page or associated with the hashtag #sunsetday on Sep 19 will be considered* We hosted two Hangouts On Air in preparation for Sunset Day. The first hangout focused on the meteorology behind sunsets including the reason behind the beautiful array of colors.  The second hangout concentrated on the art of sunset photography. Expert photographers well known to the Google+ community talked about their techniques in capturing the perfect sunset. Links to both HOA videos are posted below. *HANGOUT SCHEDULE* 1. Monday, September 9: "The Meteorology Behind Sunsets" at 11 am ET with host +Timothy Ballisty  (The Weather Channel social meteorologist). *Guests will include:* Meteorologists +Mike Bettes +Brad Panovich +Jacob Wycoff +Jonathan Erdman +Morgan Palmer +Tim Brice and +Maria LaRosa  *HOA video* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz6Zyz5FT-A 2. Thursday, September 12: "Sunset Photography" at 4 pm ET *Guests will include:* Photographers +Trey Ratcliff +Thomas Hawk +Karen Hutton and +Nicole S. Young   *HOA Video* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqgUGb0th_ASunset Day - Upload Your #SunsetDay Photo on September 192013-09-19 06:00:001299  

Shared Circles including Stephen Ingraham

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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 26

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2015-07-07 11:30:33 (26 comments, 43 reshares, 426 +1s)Open 

For the love of landscape
Sometimes it is all in the foreground details. Wood Lilies (for more on Wood Lilies see my Pic for Today post) growing on the Kennebunk Plains...a remnant sand plain in Southern Maine. This area of the plains had a "prescribed burn" last fall, so the vegetation is all new and fresh. If the wood lilies grew the way Day Lilies do, they would dominate the landscape. 
Sony HX90V at about 40mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Lightroom. 

Most reshares: 46

posted image

2015-06-26 11:07:03 (21 comments, 46 reshares, 631 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Piping Plovers!
As I mentioned yesterday, there are a few endangered Piping Plover nests on the south end of Crescent Surf Beach and the north end of Laudholm Farm Beach, on either side of the mouth of the Little River. All Piping Plover nests in Maine are protected by law, both Federal and State, as the bird is on the Endangered Species List. The nests in Kennebunk and Wells are carefully monitored…eggs counted, hatchlings counted, fledged birds counted. There has been, in past years, a full time Maine Audubon staffer on Crescent Surf Beach to watch over the chicks, and to try to keep the nests and chicks from being eaten by domestic dogs. The nest sites are protected by page-wire enclosures to keep gulls, cats, raccoons, foxes, etc from getting to the eggs and chicks. And still, the chicks that reach adulthood in Maine, or at least on our local beaches, can be counted, tooo... more »

Most plusones: 631

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2015-06-26 11:07:03 (21 comments, 46 reshares, 631 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Piping Plovers!
As I mentioned yesterday, there are a few endangered Piping Plover nests on the south end of Crescent Surf Beach and the north end of Laudholm Farm Beach, on either side of the mouth of the Little River. All Piping Plover nests in Maine are protected by law, both Federal and State, as the bird is on the Endangered Species List. The nests in Kennebunk and Wells are carefully monitored…eggs counted, hatchlings counted, fledged birds counted. There has been, in past years, a full time Maine Audubon staffer on Crescent Surf Beach to watch over the chicks, and to try to keep the nests and chicks from being eaten by domestic dogs. The nest sites are protected by page-wire enclosures to keep gulls, cats, raccoons, foxes, etc from getting to the eggs and chicks. And still, the chicks that reach adulthood in Maine, or at least on our local beaches, can be counted, tooo... more »

Latest 50 posts

posted image

2015-07-07 14:59:14 (3 comments, 3 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

My review of the Sony HX90V Travel Zoom.

My review of the Sony HX90V Travel Zoom.___

posted image

2015-07-07 12:55:58 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

If you take your Point and Shoot Supezoom to a conventional photo workshop or tour, about the only thing you will "learn" is that you picked the wrong camera. :( Not so! You made a reasonable choice that will produce excellent results in a wide variety of situations. You deserve the same kinds of photo opportunities as the those who invest $30,000 in equipment. Join The Generous Eye for a Point and Shoot Nature Photography adventure at Tranquilo Bay Lodge in Bocas del Toro, Panama in October, and take advantage of the Lodge's low fall rates. Birds, butterflies, reptiles, and mammals...all it a pristine Caribbean tropical paradise. This shot is from Tranquilo Bay's canopy tower. For more info take a look here. http://psnp.lightshedder.com/?page_id=808

If you take your Point and Shoot Supezoom to a conventional photo workshop or tour, about the only thing you will "learn" is that you picked the wrong camera. :( Not so! You made a reasonable choice that will produce excellent results in a wide variety of situations. You deserve the same kinds of photo opportunities as the those who invest $30,000 in equipment. Join The Generous Eye for a Point and Shoot Nature Photography adventure at Tranquilo Bay Lodge in Bocas del Toro, Panama in October, and take advantage of the Lodge's low fall rates. Birds, butterflies, reptiles, and mammals...all it a pristine Caribbean tropical paradise. This shot is from Tranquilo Bay's canopy tower. For more info take a look here. http://psnp.lightshedder.com/?page_id=808___

posted image

2015-07-07 11:30:33 (26 comments, 43 reshares, 426 +1s)Open 

For the love of landscape
Sometimes it is all in the foreground details. Wood Lilies (for more on Wood Lilies see my Pic for Today post) growing on the Kennebunk Plains...a remnant sand plain in Southern Maine. This area of the plains had a "prescribed burn" last fall, so the vegetation is all new and fresh. If the wood lilies grew the way Day Lilies do, they would dominate the landscape. 
Sony HX90V at about 40mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Lightroom. 

For the love of landscape
Sometimes it is all in the foreground details. Wood Lilies (for more on Wood Lilies see my Pic for Today post) growing on the Kennebunk Plains...a remnant sand plain in Southern Maine. This area of the plains had a "prescribed burn" last fall, so the vegetation is all new and fresh. If the wood lilies grew the way Day Lilies do, they would dominate the landscape. 
Sony HX90V at about 40mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Lightroom. ___

posted image

2015-07-07 11:17:52 (2 comments, 3 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Wood Lily Time!
If Wood Lilies bloomed in banks like Day Lilies, they would dominate the landscape of southern Maine for a few weeks in July. As it is, blooming as single flowers widely scattered over acres of open sand-plain, just peaking up above the blueberries…or in the shady edges of forests or in groves of trees along ponds among the ferns…a plant here and a plant there…so you have to seek them out…they still have to rank among the most beautiful native flowers of our northern area. I have been looking for them for a week now…and yesterday they were in full bloom where I had seen nothing only days before. I know a few spots, in the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, that seem to be reliable for them, and all but one of those spots had flowers. They will only last a week or so…by mid-July they will be gone.

Since they grow so widely spaced, youare tempted... more »

Pic for Today: Wood Lily Time!
If Wood Lilies bloomed in banks like Day Lilies, they would dominate the landscape of southern Maine for a few weeks in July. As it is, blooming as single flowers widely scattered over acres of open sand-plain, just peaking up above the blueberries…or in the shady edges of forests or in groves of trees along ponds among the ferns…a plant here and a plant there…so you have to seek them out…they still have to rank among the most beautiful native flowers of our northern area. I have been looking for them for a week now…and yesterday they were in full bloom where I had seen nothing only days before. I know a few spots, in the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, that seem to be reliable for them, and all but one of those spots had flowers. They will only last a week or so…by mid-July they will be gone.

Since they grow so widely spaced, you are tempted (or at least I am) to photograph every one you find…I came back yesterday with hundreds of images. The colors are so intense…from a bright orange to a red-orange to a orange-red…and, in most blossoms, with spots that are purplish in the shade and the bright yellow base of each petal where it forms a tube that collects pollen and water that attracts bugs of all kinds. The open petal base adds to the elegance of the flower.

These two flowers are on the single largest plant I have yet seen, with the promise of a full head of flowers over the next few days. I will go back today to see if the others opened. It will be quite a display when they do. Most plants produce only a single flower, with a few yielding two.

Sony HX90V at 34mm equivalent and macro focus. 1/1250th @ ISO 80 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom.

If you want to be overwhelmed by Wood Lilies, visit my gallery of yesterday’s shots here:
 https://goo.gl/photos/NKBEZYrMVJ4BEqXW8___

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2015-07-06 11:42:39 (2 comments, 3 reshares, 56 +1s)Open 

For the love of landscape
Just after the turn of high tide, with the water rushing under the bridge over Back Creek. Weathered pilings, and a few clouds coming in on their way out to sea.
Sony HX90V in-camera HDR. Processed in Lightroom.

For the love of landscape
Just after the turn of high tide, with the water rushing under the bridge over Back Creek. Weathered pilings, and a few clouds coming in on their way out to sea.
Sony HX90V in-camera HDR. Processed in Lightroom.___

posted image

2015-07-06 11:22:34 (7 comments, 16 reshares, 177 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: The Big Easy: 12 Spotted Skimmer
The Twelve Spotted Skimmer was the first Dragonfly I ever photographed. Not this one. My first shot was at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in July of 2012, and it kicked of an interest that has persisted and grown over these past 3 years. Appropriately, the Twelve Spotted Skimmer is one of the easiest dragonflies to photograph. It is big and showy…and it perches often…returning regularly to the same perch. A bit of patience, and a suitably long lens (or even a great deal of patience and shorter lens) is all that is needed. My lenses have grown in length over the past 3 years, even if my patience has not. :)

Sony HX90V at 1440mm equivalent field of view (720 optical plus 2x Clear Image Zoom). Processed in Lightroom.

Pic for Today: The Big Easy: 12 Spotted Skimmer
The Twelve Spotted Skimmer was the first Dragonfly I ever photographed. Not this one. My first shot was at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in July of 2012, and it kicked of an interest that has persisted and grown over these past 3 years. Appropriately, the Twelve Spotted Skimmer is one of the easiest dragonflies to photograph. It is big and showy…and it perches often…returning regularly to the same perch. A bit of patience, and a suitably long lens (or even a great deal of patience and shorter lens) is all that is needed. My lenses have grown in length over the past 3 years, even if my patience has not. :)

Sony HX90V at 1440mm equivalent field of view (720 optical plus 2x Clear Image Zoom). Processed in Lightroom.___

posted image

2015-07-05 21:07:31 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 22 +1s)Open 

Having fun with the painterly effects built into the Sony HX90V again. Horses along the road to the beach. 

Having fun with the painterly effects built into the Sony HX90V again. Horses along the road to the beach. ___

posted image

2015-07-05 18:44:46 (3 comments, 11 reshares, 99 +1s)Open 

For the love of landscape
Another view of Webhannet Falls in Wells ME. Shadow and light, green foliage, falling water. What more could you ask? In-camera HDR from the Sony HX90V. Processed in Lightroom. 

For the love of landscape
Another view of Webhannet Falls in Wells ME. Shadow and light, green foliage, falling water. What more could you ask? In-camera HDR from the Sony HX90V. Processed in Lightroom. ___

posted image

2015-07-05 12:54:25 (5 comments, 6 reshares, 90 +1s)Open 

Tree Swallow fledglings on an old post along the Kennebunk Bridle Path, in Kennebunk ME. A common site these days. 

Nikon P900 at 1400mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Lightroom.

Tree Swallow fledglings on an old post along the Kennebunk Bridle Path, in Kennebunk ME. A common site these days. 

Nikon P900 at 1400mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Lightroom.___

posted image

2015-07-05 12:22:59 (3 comments, 3 reshares, 64 +1s)Open 

Webhannet Falls. The Generous Eye. Happy Sunday!
At the south end of the village of Wells Maine the Webhannet River crosses deep under Route 1, and, tucked back off just off the road there is a little park built around the old bridge over the river...with a good view, in some seasons, of the falls. They call it the Bridge of the Flowers and it is maintained by the local Garden Club. The falls themselves mark the spot where, in 1640, Edmond Littlefield built the first waterpowered grist and saw mill near the original settlement that became Wells. You can see old stonework on either side of the river that must date from much later attempts to harness the falling water, but the falls have run free for many years now. The vast majority of tourists to the beaches of Wells and the rocky headlands of Ogunquit (not to mention shopping centers, gift shops, art galleries, restaurants, motels, and summer... more »

Webhannet Falls. The Generous Eye. Happy Sunday!
At the south end of the village of Wells Maine the Webhannet River crosses deep under Route 1, and, tucked back off just off the road there is a little park built around the old bridge over the river...with a good view, in some seasons, of the falls. They call it the Bridge of the Flowers and it is maintained by the local Garden Club. The falls themselves mark the spot where, in 1640, Edmond Littlefield built the first waterpowered grist and saw mill near the original settlement that became Wells. You can see old stonework on either side of the river that must date from much later attempts to harness the falling water, but the falls have run free for many years now. The vast majority of tourists to the beaches of Wells and the rocky headlands of Ogunquit (not to mention shopping centers, gift shops, art galleries, restaurants, motels, and summer theaters) drive right by the falls without seeing them. I have stopped there a few dozen times in the past 20 years, when I remember, for pictures of the falls, and I have yet to see anyone else there. Most people do not know it is there.

And much to their loss, as it is a lovely spot in all seasons...worth, for anyone who takes the time to look, the 1 minute detour from Route 1.

When Jesus spoke the the words we talked about last Sunday: The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is "single, simple, generous" then your whole "being" will fill be filled with light...the concept of vision was significantly different than it is today. It was used, almost always, as we do when we say "that woman has real vision". The eye was the lamp of the body because it shed light on the world around us...not because light came in through it. Jesus might have said "if your whole being is full of light then it will shine out through your eyes and the whole world will be good place." He might have said "be generous in your vision"..."give your light freely to the world around you. and the world will be bright."

In thinking about it over the past week, that idea of the "generous eye" has grown on my...and "generous" is essential to the idea of The Willing Eye. Maybe to the extent that it is a better name for this aspect of what I do. Be willing. at any rate, to be generous in what you see, generous in what you expect of the world around you, and generous in what you are willing to give to the world around you...and the world will be a good place, bright with beauty, rich with meaning...refreshing to the spirit and the soul. As it was intended to be. Happy Sunday!___

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2015-07-04 11:19:33 (10 comments, 25 reshares, 218 +1s)Open 

For the Love of Landscape
Saco Heath, in Saco Maine, is the southern-most remnant Peat Bog in Maine (there are a few other patches further south...like the one at Laudholm Farm, but they are not nearly as extensive or as ancient as Saco). The Nature Conservancy owns Saco Heath, and got a grant to restore the boardwalk over the past two years. It is finished all the way across now, and makes a visit to the the Heath safer, if not more pleasurable (nothing could have done that). On my visit I was between the Rhodora and the Pitcher Plants...the rhodora was well by, and I only found a few clusters of newly emerged leaves of the carnivorous plant poking up this week. It is still a beautiful spot. This is one of two pine hummocks (slightly higher ground that supports jack pine) that the boardwalk passes through on the way to the large Pine and Atlantic White Cedar hummock on the far side. 
Sony... more »

For the Love of Landscape
Saco Heath, in Saco Maine, is the southern-most remnant Peat Bog in Maine (there are a few other patches further south...like the one at Laudholm Farm, but they are not nearly as extensive or as ancient as Saco). The Nature Conservancy owns Saco Heath, and got a grant to restore the boardwalk over the past two years. It is finished all the way across now, and makes a visit to the the Heath safer, if not more pleasurable (nothing could have done that). On my visit I was between the Rhodora and the Pitcher Plants...the rhodora was well by, and I only found a few clusters of newly emerged leaves of the carnivorous plant poking up this week. It is still a beautiful spot. This is one of two pine hummocks (slightly higher ground that supports jack pine) that the boardwalk passes through on the way to the large Pine and Atlantic White Cedar hummock on the far side. 
Sony HX90V in-camera HDR. Processed in Lightroom.___

posted image

2015-07-04 11:02:56 (4 comments, 8 reshares, 84 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Mighty Singer! Happy Independence Day
The somewhat disheveled appearance of this Common Yellowthroat did not keep him from belting out a mighty song! I suspect he was fresh from his morning bath in Day Brook Pond close by, and still fluffing and drying on the branch. He allowed me to approach quite close, but this shot is still a crop from a 2000mm equivalent take. It is a small bird. On any decent sized monitor, even a 7 inch tablet in landscape, if you go to full screen mode you will be seeing the bird at life-size or above. :)

I don't think it is too far a stretch to imagine he is singing a song for Independence Day!

Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. 1/500 @ ISO 220 @ f6.5. Processed in Lightroom.

Pic for Today: Mighty Singer! Happy Independence Day
The somewhat disheveled appearance of this Common Yellowthroat did not keep him from belting out a mighty song! I suspect he was fresh from his morning bath in Day Brook Pond close by, and still fluffing and drying on the branch. He allowed me to approach quite close, but this shot is still a crop from a 2000mm equivalent take. It is a small bird. On any decent sized monitor, even a 7 inch tablet in landscape, if you go to full screen mode you will be seeing the bird at life-size or above. :)

I don't think it is too far a stretch to imagine he is singing a song for Independence Day!

Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. 1/500 @ ISO 220 @ f6.5. Processed in Lightroom.___

posted image

2015-07-03 14:53:55 (2 comments, 6 reshares, 53 +1s)Open 

Messing about with the Picture Effect, HDR Painting on the Sony HX90V. Very interesting and well done special effect. HDR plus tone-mapping in-camera! Fallen Birches at Day Brook Pond.

Messing about with the Picture Effect, HDR Painting on the Sony HX90V. Very interesting and well done special effect. HDR plus tone-mapping in-camera! Fallen Birches at Day Brook Pond.___

posted image

2015-07-03 11:34:58 (21 comments, 27 reshares, 311 +1s)Open 

For the love of Landscape
So, what do you think...is this a landscape? I am not sure what it is if not. Seascape? Lighthouse shot? What do you think? 
It is Nubble Light in Cape Neddick/York Maine. It is pretty much the southern most accessible lighthouse in Maine, with a pretty little park (and parking) on shore, across from the Nubble...and as such gets a lot of tourist traffic. And, of course, it is beautiful in itself, and shares the full lighthouse allure...with the addition of being on its romantic little island within a cable car ride of the point of Cape Neddick. 
In-camera HDR from the Sony HX90V. Processed in Lightroom. I was down on the rocks near the channel, and used the flip up LCD to get a low angle shot. 

For the love of Landscape
So, what do you think...is this a landscape? I am not sure what it is if not. Seascape? Lighthouse shot? What do you think? 
It is Nubble Light in Cape Neddick/York Maine. It is pretty much the southern most accessible lighthouse in Maine, with a pretty little park (and parking) on shore, across from the Nubble...and as such gets a lot of tourist traffic. And, of course, it is beautiful in itself, and shares the full lighthouse allure...with the addition of being on its romantic little island within a cable car ride of the point of Cape Neddick. 
In-camera HDR from the Sony HX90V. Processed in Lightroom. I was down on the rocks near the channel, and used the flip up LCD to get a low angle shot. ___

posted image

2015-07-03 11:06:17 (19 comments, 28 reshares, 243 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Tree Swallow makes a wing...
There was a newly fledged Tree Swallow (or two in a few cases) on the top of every old post along the Kennebunk Bridle Path near the new bridge on the ocean side of Route 9. There were a few adults around, tending to them. This adult was having a nice wing stretch. You can never plan for these shots…but if you have the camera to your eye at the right second, sometimes they happen :) That is an impressively large wing when stretched like that in proportion to the bird!

Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. 1/500th @ ISO 320 @ f6.5. Processed in Lightroom.

Pic for Today: Tree Swallow makes a wing...
There was a newly fledged Tree Swallow (or two in a few cases) on the top of every old post along the Kennebunk Bridle Path near the new bridge on the ocean side of Route 9. There were a few adults around, tending to them. This adult was having a nice wing stretch. You can never plan for these shots…but if you have the camera to your eye at the right second, sometimes they happen :) That is an impressively large wing when stretched like that in proportion to the bird!

Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. 1/500th @ ISO 320 @ f6.5. Processed in Lightroom.___

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2015-07-02 23:33:26 (11 comments, 0 reshares, 50 +1s)Open 

Check out the new profile pic. Nubble Light in the background. Just another tourist. Sony HX90V. 

Check out the new profile pic. Nubble Light in the background. Just another tourist. Sony HX90V. ___

2015-07-02 19:06:34 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

Added photos to LPC Contest #43: One of a Kind.

Added photos to LPC Contest #43: One of a Kind.___

posted image

2015-07-02 11:46:55 (19 comments, 30 reshares, 279 +1s)Open 

For the Love of Landscape
And waterfalls!! I live on the coastal plain of Southern Maine, and this is the nearest accessible and significant waterfall to my home. Cascade Falls between Saco and Scarborough, just off US 1 on Cascade Creek. I don't get there often, as it is about 40 minutes by car, either up the expressway, or through several small towns on US 1, and there is really nothing else there except the waterfall. They have made a small park of it...with a parking lot and a pretty good trail down to the creek below the falls. It is a great 30 minute visit. :) This week the falls are roaring with recent rains. Many of our streams here in Maine are tea colored with tannin from oak leaves and peat bogs, and that is the brown tinge you see in the water, churned to froth by the falls. There is very little sediment in the water...it is clean and clear...just the color of strong tea. This is... more »

For the Love of Landscape
And waterfalls!! I live on the coastal plain of Southern Maine, and this is the nearest accessible and significant waterfall to my home. Cascade Falls between Saco and Scarborough, just off US 1 on Cascade Creek. I don't get there often, as it is about 40 minutes by car, either up the expressway, or through several small towns on US 1, and there is really nothing else there except the waterfall. They have made a small park of it...with a parking lot and a pretty good trail down to the creek below the falls. It is a great 30 minute visit. :) This week the falls are roaring with recent rains. Many of our streams here in Maine are tea colored with tannin from oak leaves and peat bogs, and that is the brown tinge you see in the water, churned to froth by the falls. There is very little sediment in the water...it is clean and clear...just the color of strong tea. This is an in-camera HDR from the Sony HX90V at 46mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Lightroom.___

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2015-07-02 11:20:17 (11 comments, 32 reshares, 331 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Backlit Chipper
The Chipmunks are very active at Laudholm Farms this year…everywhere actually, in Southern Maine. This individual was very busy collecting and eating some kind of seed, in the mowed grass of one of the trails through the meadows. I began shooting it when it was just a dot in the center of the finder…thinking it would surely scamper off into the brush as soon as I approached, but it stayed out in the open, finding more seeds, until I could get this frame filling shot at 2000mm equivalent field of view. I was about 30 feet from it at that point. :) I like the backlight…and the camera held detail in the shadows very well.

Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. 1/500th @ ISO 200 @ f6.5. Processed in Lightroom.

Pic for Today: Backlit Chipper
The Chipmunks are very active at Laudholm Farms this year…everywhere actually, in Southern Maine. This individual was very busy collecting and eating some kind of seed, in the mowed grass of one of the trails through the meadows. I began shooting it when it was just a dot in the center of the finder…thinking it would surely scamper off into the brush as soon as I approached, but it stayed out in the open, finding more seeds, until I could get this frame filling shot at 2000mm equivalent field of view. I was about 30 feet from it at that point. :) I like the backlight…and the camera held detail in the shadows very well.

Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. 1/500th @ ISO 200 @ f6.5. Processed in Lightroom.___

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2015-07-01 12:12:47 (6 comments, 12 reshares, 165 +1s)Open 

For the Love of Landscape
From the deck overlooking the Little River at Laudholm Farms. A very photogenic birch tree in the view. I don't generally clutter the foreground this way...but I think it works with this tree and this view. Great clouds. In-camera HDR with the Sony HX90V. Processed in Lightroom. 

For the Love of Landscape
From the deck overlooking the Little River at Laudholm Farms. A very photogenic birch tree in the view. I don't generally clutter the foreground this way...but I think it works with this tree and this view. Great clouds. In-camera HDR with the Sony HX90V. Processed in Lightroom. ___

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2015-07-01 11:36:06 (3 comments, 2 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Grass Pink Orchid
The little remnant bog at Laudholm Farm, smaller than a baseball diamond, seems to be particularly healthy as bogs go, and produces several interesting species of bog wildflowers. This is Grass Pink, one of Maine’s few native orchids. The name is peculiar. The single leaf may be grass-like but the flower, at least as it grows in Maine, is certainly not pink. It is obviously purple, which is only made more certain when it grows, in our bogs, next to another Maine orchid, the Rose Pogonia, which is, in fact, very pink (See my post on Rose Pogonia https://plus.google.com/+StephenIngraham/posts/iVCb1yHppUg). According to my little bit of research, the presence of Grass Pink is a good indicator that the bog’s surface and the ground water are healthy and pure. It is very sensitive to contamination. It is one of the few orchids to be “right side up”…having itsfringed l... more »

Pic for Today: Grass Pink Orchid
The little remnant bog at Laudholm Farm, smaller than a baseball diamond, seems to be particularly healthy as bogs go, and produces several interesting species of bog wildflowers. This is Grass Pink, one of Maine’s few native orchids. The name is peculiar. The single leaf may be grass-like but the flower, at least as it grows in Maine, is certainly not pink. It is obviously purple, which is only made more certain when it grows, in our bogs, next to another Maine orchid, the Rose Pogonia, which is, in fact, very pink (See my post on Rose Pogonia https://plus.google.com/+StephenIngraham/posts/iVCb1yHppUg). According to my little bit of research, the presence of Grass Pink is a good indicator that the bog’s surface and the ground water are healthy and pure. It is very sensitive to contamination. It is one of the few orchids to be “right side up”…having its fringed lip at the top when the flower is mature. All orchids start out with the lip at the top, but the stem holding the flower twists as the flower matures so that the lip is presented at the bottom. Very strange.

Grass Pink is also one the few orchids that can be grown from seed…and you can buy plants for wet sunny corners of your yard…or for inside cultivation. I far prefer to find them growing in the healthy little bog at Laudholm Farm. :)

Sony HX90V at 44mm equivalent. 1/320th @ ISO 80 @ f4.5. Processed in Lightroom.___

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2015-06-30 12:42:22 (1 comments, 5 reshares, 43 +1s)Open 

Join The Willing Eye for a Point and Shoot Nature Photography adventure at Tranquilo Bay Lodge in Bocas del Toro Panama the week of October 10-17 (Columbus Day week). Amazing wildlife and Carribean Island scenery. No better place on earth! Visit http://psnp.lightshedder.com/?page_id=808 for more information.

Join The Willing Eye for a Point and Shoot Nature Photography adventure at Tranquilo Bay Lodge in Bocas del Toro Panama the week of October 10-17 (Columbus Day week). Amazing wildlife and Carribean Island scenery. No better place on earth! Visit http://psnp.lightshedder.com/?page_id=808 for more information.___

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2015-06-30 12:05:18 (3 comments, 3 reshares, 73 +1s)Open 

For the love of landscape
On a day with a good sky, there is no place more photogenic than this little pond behind the dunes at Laudholm Farm. Add a few wild wood roses in the foreground, and apply in-camera HDR! There you have it. Sony HX90V at 24mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Lightroom. 

For the love of landscape
On a day with a good sky, there is no place more photogenic than this little pond behind the dunes at Laudholm Farm. Add a few wild wood roses in the foreground, and apply in-camera HDR! There you have it. Sony HX90V at 24mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Lightroom. ___

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2015-06-30 11:18:27 (2 comments, 4 reshares, 40 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Eastern Towhee x2
I have mentioned before that we seem to have a lot of Towhees this year. They are singing wherever I go, and see them most places. At Laudholm Farms yesterday afternoon, on my photoprowl in search of bog orchids (among other things) I found several and was able to photograph 3 different individuals. The panel above shows two of them, singing within a 100 yards of each other.

You might notice that the bird on the right is freshly banded. June Ficker has operated the mist nets and banding station at Laudholm Farm for 25 years…an incredible achievement. She and her team of volunteers give banding demonstrations each Wednesday morning in the summer when the weather cooperates, under the spreading Copper Beech between the barns and house at the farm. In fact, I may well have see this bird banded last Wednesday on my way back to the car from a photoprowl.:... more »

Pic for Today: Eastern Towhee x2
I have mentioned before that we seem to have a lot of Towhees this year. They are singing wherever I go, and see them most places. At Laudholm Farms yesterday afternoon, on my photoprowl in search of bog orchids (among other things) I found several and was able to photograph 3 different individuals. The panel above shows two of them, singing within a 100 yards of each other.

You might notice that the bird on the right is freshly banded. June Ficker has operated the mist nets and banding station at Laudholm Farm for 25 years…an incredible achievement. She and her team of volunteers give banding demonstrations each Wednesday morning in the summer when the weather cooperates, under the spreading Copper Beech between the barns and house at the farm. In fact, I may well have see this bird banded last Wednesday on my way back to the car from a photoprowl. :)

For more information on June Ficker and bird banding at Laudholm Farms, visit http://www.wellsreserve.org/visit/calendar/918-bird_banding_demonstration.

Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Lightroom and assembled in Coolage.___

2015-06-29 12:28:03 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

All my Sunday posts in one spot!

All my Sunday posts in one spot!___

2015-06-29 12:26:36 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

All the Landscape Love posts in one place!

All the Landscape Love posts in one place!___

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2015-06-29 11:52:12 (25 comments, 40 reshares, 525 +1s)Open 

Landscape Love
A view of the middle pool on the Batson River at Emmons Preserve (just down river from yesterday's Pic for Today of the rapids). This is such an attractive spot...worth repeated attempts to catch its essence. It always reminds me of a fairy pool, with the moss and ferns and bolders...the dappled shade and the swirl of frothy bubbles on the surface. It is not easy to capture...impossible without HDR techniques of some kind. I have carried a tripod in to take 3 conventional exposures for HDR, and I have tried the in-camera HDR on every camera I have owned over the past 4 years or so...since they began to include the feature. Only a few companies have really gotten in-camera HDR down to the point where it works most of the time. This is the new Sony HX90V, but any of the HX or RX series, and, of course the larger sensored Alpaha lines, do an excellent job...and are fully... more »

Landscape Love
A view of the middle pool on the Batson River at Emmons Preserve (just down river from yesterday's Pic for Today of the rapids). This is such an attractive spot...worth repeated attempts to catch its essence. It always reminds me of a fairy pool, with the moss and ferns and bolders...the dappled shade and the swirl of frothy bubbles on the surface. It is not easy to capture...impossible without HDR techniques of some kind. I have carried a tripod in to take 3 conventional exposures for HDR, and I have tried the in-camera HDR on every camera I have owned over the past 4 years or so...since they began to include the feature. Only a few companies have really gotten in-camera HDR down to the point where it works most of the time. This is the new Sony HX90V, but any of the HX or RX series, and, of course the larger sensored Alpaha lines, do an excellent job...and are fully adjustable from 1EV to 6EV differences in exposure. This shot was at 5EV difference. It is a jpeg, but I did turn down both contrast and sharpness in the Creative Styles settings to tweak the in-camera jpeg conversion and help the HDR along. The resulting image was processed in Lightroom to bring up even more shadow detail and to soften the highlights. All in all it is pretty close to what you would see if you were standing there. :)___

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2015-06-29 11:21:12 (9 comments, 16 reshares, 168 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Ebony Jewelwings!
It is just about Ebony Jewelwings time of year again. After my encounter with the River Jewelwings a few weeks ago (https://plus.google.com/+StephenIngraham/posts/1cTwH4fe1fw), I went back to the rapids on the Batson River on Saturday to check for early Ebonys, and there were indeed a number of males dancing over the rapids and pools. All Ebonys, no River…which is, I think, an interesting thing to note. And I found no females, either near the river in the forest, or in the meadows. Maybe next week. There is, of course, nothing like the iridescent blue/green of the Ebony Jewelwing’s body…sometimes bright blue and sometimes bright green, depending on the angle of the light.

The center image is from the Sony HX90V and the surrounding images are from the Nikon P900. All are processed in Lightroom and assembled in Coolage. Coolage is such a greatprogr... more »

Pic for Today: Ebony Jewelwings!
It is just about Ebony Jewelwings time of year again. After my encounter with the River Jewelwings a few weeks ago (https://plus.google.com/+StephenIngraham/posts/1cTwH4fe1fw), I went back to the rapids on the Batson River on Saturday to check for early Ebonys, and there were indeed a number of males dancing over the rapids and pools. All Ebonys, no River…which is, I think, an interesting thing to note. And I found no females, either near the river in the forest, or in the meadows. Maybe next week. There is, of course, nothing like the iridescent blue/green of the Ebony Jewelwing’s body…sometimes bright blue and sometimes bright green, depending on the angle of the light.

The center image is from the Sony HX90V and the surrounding images are from the Nikon P900. All are processed in Lightroom and assembled in Coolage. Coolage is such a great program for this kind of panel!___

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2015-06-28 20:01:00 (6 comments, 8 reshares, 88 +1s)Open 

First Great Spangled Fritillary of the season. On Knapweed. I do not think this specimen's wings were fully extended. They seem unusually rumpled. Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. 

First Great Spangled Fritillary of the season. On Knapweed. I do not think this specimen's wings were fully extended. They seem unusually rumpled. Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. ___

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2015-06-28 17:48:24 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 22 +1s)Open 

First Ebony Jewelwing of the season. Batson River rapids, Emmons Preserve, Kennebunkport Land Conservancy. Maine. 6/28/15. Sony HX90V at 1440mm equivalent field of view (2x Clear Image zoom). Processed in Lightroom. 

First Ebony Jewelwing of the season. Batson River rapids, Emmons Preserve, Kennebunkport Land Conservancy. Maine. 6/28/15. Sony HX90V at 1440mm equivalent field of view (2x Clear Image zoom). Processed in Lightroom. ___

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2015-06-28 12:53:56 (2 comments, 3 reshares, 49 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Introducing The Willing Eye. Happy Sunday!
I love the little stretch of the Batson River (more a large brook) that passes through the Kennebunkport Land Conservancy’s Emmons Preserve. The meadows above the river behind the Headquarters building are a good spot for butterflies, dragonflies, and birds, and the shaded rapids and small falls and pools of the river as it passes through the forest are always a delight. This time of year, the Ebony Jewelwings dance over the rapids, and I am always attracted to the water where it tumbles down over a rocky bed between moss-grown banks, singing all the way. I have photographed this little run hundreds of times, but I am compelled to photograph it again on every visit.

This shot is an in-camera HDR with the new Sony HX90V, a camera I a trying out for just such scenic views and macros.

I have been thinking a lot, overt... more »

Pic for Today: Introducing The Willing Eye. Happy Sunday!
I love the little stretch of the Batson River (more a large brook) that passes through the Kennebunkport Land Conservancy’s Emmons Preserve. The meadows above the river behind the Headquarters building are a good spot for butterflies, dragonflies, and birds, and the shaded rapids and small falls and pools of the river as it passes through the forest are always a delight. This time of year, the Ebony Jewelwings dance over the rapids, and I am always attracted to the water where it tumbles down over a rocky bed between moss-grown banks, singing all the way. I have photographed this little run hundreds of times, but I am compelled to photograph it again on every visit.

This shot is an in-camera HDR with the new Sony HX90V, a camera I a trying out for just such scenic views and macros.

I have been thinking a lot, over the past week or so (inspired by a dream I had one night) about a name for the aspect of my photography that extends beyond the technical stuff and photographic inspiration of Point and Shoot Nature Photography (psnp.lightshedder.com). I am about to embark of a series of tours and workshops…group trips to photogenic locations…where I will attempt to help others to get the most out of their Point and Shoot cameras photographing nature…but there is more to my photography than that…more I have to share. There is a way of seeing…there is the underlying motivation for my photography…the act of seeing, celebrating, and sharing…that is a akin to worship…and that gets recorded often in these Sunday posts.

My smugmug gallery is called WideEyedInWonder, and the name is taken from one of my favorite sayings of Jesus: “The eye is the lamp of the body. Therefore if you eye is single, your whole body will be filled with light.” (I should warn you there is a little scripture lesson coming…but persevere!) In my favorite, non-literal, translation it reads “If you go through life wide eyed with wonder and belief, then your whole being will be filled with light.” That actually might come closer to what Jesus meant than the traditional translation. We have what he said already in translation…in Greek (which he certainly did not speak)…and the gospel writer used a word for what your eye needs to be that is translated several different ways in different contemporary texts. It could be “single” as in “single minded…focused on one thing.” (as the King James version has it) or it could be “simple, as in uncomplicated” (as several modern translations have it), or it could be “generous, as in giving and forgiving, open to the needs of others.” (which, oddly, no translator has used). Some modern translations say “if your eye is” “clear”, or “healthy”, or “sound.” I think it is a combination of the literal meanings of the Greek word…single, simple, generous…that inspired the “wide eyed in wonder and belief” translation. And the word translated “body” is definitely the Greek work that implies the whole being, body and soul.

However, Point and Shoot Nature Photography is already a long name for what I do. Wide Eyed In Wonder is another long name. I need something (or so the dream said), short and pithy, but something that still captures what the eye needs to be if we are to be filled with light, and if we are going to have light to share with the world. Single, simple, generous.

That is where “The Willing Eye” comes from. It means to me: willing to see, and to see good in all we see, willing to believe (to see the divine in all we see), willing to celebrate, willing to help, willing to share. It is a active seeing…a willful seeing…a vision that celebrates. The Willing Eye.

So it is with this photograph of the rapids on the Batson River. It is seen with The Willing Eye…and if fills my whole being with light…as I can only hope it does yours. Happy Sunday!___

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2015-06-27 11:44:40 (2 comments, 6 reshares, 69 +1s)Open 

Landscape Love
Pond with Birch Saplings. There is nothing to match the elegance of young birch trees...here set off against the blue sky and the its reflection in a still pond. It is another image with no obvious center of interest...but I like this kind of landscape where you have to enter into the whole experience of the place to find the meaning. In-camera HDR with the Sony HX90V at 24mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Lightroom.

Landscape Love
Pond with Birch Saplings. There is nothing to match the elegance of young birch trees...here set off against the blue sky and the its reflection in a still pond. It is another image with no obvious center of interest...but I like this kind of landscape where you have to enter into the whole experience of the place to find the meaning. In-camera HDR with the Sony HX90V at 24mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Lightroom.___

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2015-06-27 11:21:39 (4 comments, 5 reshares, 63 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Evening Willet
On my after supper visit to the local beach, with the sun about an hour from setting, but already warm with the evening light, there were several Willets feeding in the marsh grasses and along the edge of the tidal flow of Back Creek near where it meets the Mousam River. Our New England Willets are warmer in tone than western Willets anyway, but the early evening light really brings up the warm, almost rust, color of plumage.

Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. 1/500th @ ISO 320 @ f6.5. Processed in Lightroom.

Pic for Today: Evening Willet
On my after supper visit to the local beach, with the sun about an hour from setting, but already warm with the evening light, there were several Willets feeding in the marsh grasses and along the edge of the tidal flow of Back Creek near where it meets the Mousam River. Our New England Willets are warmer in tone than western Willets anyway, but the early evening light really brings up the warm, almost rust, color of plumage.

Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. 1/500th @ ISO 320 @ f6.5. Processed in Lightroom.___

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2015-06-26 14:18:36 (0 comments, 6 reshares, 42 +1s)Open 

Tranquilo Bay Panama in October The Willing Eye and the Point and Shoot Nature Photographer will be at Tranquilo Bay Lodge in Bocas del Toro Panama October 11-17 for a week of learning to see wildlife and nature, and to photograph it with Point and Shoot superzoom cameras. There is no place better. Join me at Tranquilo Bay's special October rate of $1575. I can promise you some of the best memories of your life. Contact me by direct message for registration details. This is a Green Basilisk lizard from Popo Island where we will photograph Poison Dart Frogs. 

Tranquilo Bay Panama in October The Willing Eye and the Point and Shoot Nature Photographer will be at Tranquilo Bay Lodge in Bocas del Toro Panama October 11-17 for a week of learning to see wildlife and nature, and to photograph it with Point and Shoot superzoom cameras. There is no place better. Join me at Tranquilo Bay's special October rate of $1575. I can promise you some of the best memories of your life. Contact me by direct message for registration details. This is a Green Basilisk lizard from Popo Island where we will photograph Poison Dart Frogs. ___

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2015-06-26 12:21:12 (6 comments, 6 reshares, 88 +1s)Open 

Landscape Love
I was at the beach yesterday in the early evening light of a Maine Summer (equivalent to about 2PM light in a Maine winter) for a few landscapes. The slant of the light, and the few clouds in the sky...reflections in the full tide waters, and some texture from the pilings. Lots to like. This is an in-camera HDR from the Sony HX90V which I am trying out. Processed in Lightroom.

Landscape Love
I was at the beach yesterday in the early evening light of a Maine Summer (equivalent to about 2PM light in a Maine winter) for a few landscapes. The slant of the light, and the few clouds in the sky...reflections in the full tide waters, and some texture from the pilings. Lots to like. This is an in-camera HDR from the Sony HX90V which I am trying out. Processed in Lightroom.___

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2015-06-26 11:07:03 (21 comments, 46 reshares, 631 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Piping Plovers!
As I mentioned yesterday, there are a few endangered Piping Plover nests on the south end of Crescent Surf Beach and the north end of Laudholm Farm Beach, on either side of the mouth of the Little River. All Piping Plover nests in Maine are protected by law, both Federal and State, as the bird is on the Endangered Species List. The nests in Kennebunk and Wells are carefully monitored…eggs counted, hatchlings counted, fledged birds counted. There has been, in past years, a full time Maine Audubon staffer on Crescent Surf Beach to watch over the chicks, and to try to keep the nests and chicks from being eaten by domestic dogs. The nest sites are protected by page-wire enclosures to keep gulls, cats, raccoons, foxes, etc from getting to the eggs and chicks. And still, the chicks that reach adulthood in Maine, or at least on our local beaches, can be counted, tooo... more »

Pic for Today: Piping Plovers!
As I mentioned yesterday, there are a few endangered Piping Plover nests on the south end of Crescent Surf Beach and the north end of Laudholm Farm Beach, on either side of the mouth of the Little River. All Piping Plover nests in Maine are protected by law, both Federal and State, as the bird is on the Endangered Species List. The nests in Kennebunk and Wells are carefully monitored…eggs counted, hatchlings counted, fledged birds counted. There has been, in past years, a full time Maine Audubon staffer on Crescent Surf Beach to watch over the chicks, and to try to keep the nests and chicks from being eaten by domestic dogs. The nest sites are protected by page-wire enclosures to keep gulls, cats, raccoons, foxes, etc from getting to the eggs and chicks. And still, the chicks that reach adulthood in Maine, or at least on our local beaches, can be counted, too often, on the fingers of both hands (one hand some years).  The Piping Plover in Maine hangs by a thread.

These shots were all taken at 2000mm or more, and of birds away from the nests and the nest sites. I certainly do not want to add to the pressure on the Piping Plover. They are such perky little birds…full of scrap and sass…and they look like they should be able to take care of themselves. The problem is that the beaches where they nest are also the beaches most attractive to humans, and they nest, often, right on the sand above tide line, or just into the beach grass, where human traffic is always present. As I have mentioned before, domestic dogs and cats are a huge problem…the Plovers have no defense. The beaches where they nest are closed to dogs and well posted, but I am rarely on those beaches without seeing one or more dogs, often running loose while their people watch. All I can say is “what’s up with that!!??” What are they thinking? A few times I have confronted dog owners…but it is like talking to a wall. Anyway. Rant over. Back to enjoying the Piping Plover while we can.

Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Lightroom and assembled in Coolage.___

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2015-06-25 13:59:22 (10 comments, 18 reshares, 117 +1s)Open 

Panama in October. I will be at the Tanquilo Bay Lodge in Bocas del Toro Panama the week of October 11-18th this fall. Take advantage of Tranquilo Bay's special rates ($1575) to join me there for a week of truly spectacular Point and Shoot nature photography. Relaxed, nurturing, totally exciting. It will be one of the best weeks of your life! Contact me via private message for details and registration information. This is a Shining Honeycreeper photographed from the observation deck at Tranquilo Bay. 

Panama in October. I will be at the Tanquilo Bay Lodge in Bocas del Toro Panama the week of October 11-18th this fall. Take advantage of Tranquilo Bay's special rates ($1575) to join me there for a week of truly spectacular Point and Shoot nature photography. Relaxed, nurturing, totally exciting. It will be one of the best weeks of your life! Contact me via private message for details and registration information. This is a Shining Honeycreeper photographed from the observation deck at Tranquilo Bay. ___

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2015-06-25 13:45:21 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

Black Saddlebags mating wheel. Laudholm Farms, ME. Nikon P900.

Black Saddlebags mating wheel. Laudholm Farms, ME. Nikon P900.___

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2015-06-25 11:49:05 (10 comments, 10 reshares, 114 +1s)Open 

Landscape Love
Maine beaches are never more than a thin layer of sand over cobble...and depending on the recent storm surges, more of less of the cobble is exposed. This area was sand a year ago, and may be sand again after the next big storm. High summer...even though it is only the second day of summer, technically. 
Nikon P900 in Landscape Mode. Processed in Lightroom.

Landscape Love
Maine beaches are never more than a thin layer of sand over cobble...and depending on the recent storm surges, more of less of the cobble is exposed. This area was sand a year ago, and may be sand again after the next big storm. High summer...even though it is only the second day of summer, technically. 
Nikon P900 in Landscape Mode. Processed in Lightroom.___

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2015-06-25 11:29:19 (19 comments, 38 reshares, 612 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Least Terns in Flight
Yesterday, prompted by a post on Maine Birds, I took a walk to the mouth of the Little River on Laudholm Farm Beach at the Wells National Estuarine Research Center. There is a protected colony of Least Terns there, on both sides of the river back a few hundred yards from the sea, as well as a few Piping Plover nests…Piping Plover is an “endangered” bird. I saw terns in good numbers and a few Plovers. I say protected colony because it is very visibly posted and “roped” off, more heavily on one side of the river than the other, and they have erected actual cages around the Piping Plover nests. Maine Audubon and the Fish and Wildlife Service have monitors on site for most of the breeding season, especially on the north side of the river where dogs often run free. Dogs are prohibited from the beach but that area backs up to summer homes. On the southside, it ... more »

Pic for Today: Least Terns in Flight
Yesterday, prompted by a post on Maine Birds, I took a walk to the mouth of the Little River on Laudholm Farm Beach at the Wells National Estuarine Research Center. There is a protected colony of Least Terns there, on both sides of the river back a few hundred yards from the sea, as well as a few Piping Plover nests…Piping Plover is an “endangered” bird. I saw terns in good numbers and a few Plovers. I say protected colony because it is very visibly posted and “roped” off, more heavily on one side of the river than the other, and they have erected actual cages around the Piping Plover nests. Maine Audubon and the Fish and Wildlife Service have monitors on site for most of the breeding season, especially on the north side of the river where dogs often run free. Dogs are prohibited from the beach but that area backs up to summer homes. On the south side, it is Laudholm Farms behind the beach and access is through the Farm itself, which has a strict no dogs policy. Then there are cats, foxes, gulls, raccoons…even Blue Jays.  It is a big deal every time a Piping Plover nest successfully fledges, and every chick that reaches maturity is a victory!

The Least Terns were actively feeding in the shallow ripple sections of the river where it crosses the sand of the beach…and. of course, I had to try to catch them in the air…in flight. It took me a while to get my hand and eye in…and I have not done a lot of Birds in Flight (BIF) with the new Nikon P900…so out of several hundred exposures I got maybe a dozen keepers. This panel of 4 shots is representative. Not easy. Quite frustrating. And lots of fun!

Nikon P900 at various focal lengths: from 650mm equivalent field of view to 1200mm. Generally ISO 100 at 1/640th. Cropped and processed in Lightroom. Assembled in Coolage.___

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2015-06-24 11:55:58 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

Landscape Love
An in-camera HDR of a very simple scene. A tree with a lot of character on the edge of a bluff overlooking the Merriland River at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters. 
Nikon P900. Processed in Lightroom. 

Landscape Love
An in-camera HDR of a very simple scene. A tree with a lot of character on the edge of a bluff overlooking the Merriland River at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters. 
Nikon P900. Processed in Lightroom. ___

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2015-06-24 11:12:18 (3 comments, 4 reshares, 51 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Eastern Towhee 2
I mentioned in previous posts that we seem to have a lot of Eastern Towhee’s this year…the females are everywhere I go…but that I had not seen many males. In the past few days I have encountered two males, widely separated, so they are indeed here as well. This male was singing along the trail at the Wells National Estuarine Research Center at Laudholm Farm. Not easy light, but a decent image of this interesting bird.

Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. 1/30th @ ISO 800 @ f6.5. It is hard to imagine that any camera could manage this image! Processed in Lightroom.

Pic for Today: Eastern Towhee 2
I mentioned in previous posts that we seem to have a lot of Eastern Towhee’s this year…the females are everywhere I go…but that I had not seen many males. In the past few days I have encountered two males, widely separated, so they are indeed here as well. This male was singing along the trail at the Wells National Estuarine Research Center at Laudholm Farm. Not easy light, but a decent image of this interesting bird.

Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. 1/30th @ ISO 800 @ f6.5. It is hard to imagine that any camera could manage this image! Processed in Lightroom.___

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2015-06-23 11:18:20 (13 comments, 24 reshares, 164 +1s)Open 

Landscape Love
Once the rain cleared out yesterday, late in the afternoon, I had to get out, even if only for a hour. I went to Rachel Carson NWR down the road, but on the way back I stopped at one of my favorite little ponds along the route. The Wild Iris were in bloom near the spillway, and, what with the interesting clouds and reflections, I could not resist framing a few shots. This shot, like many of my landscapes, makes use of the great depth of field of a Point and Shoot camera at wide angle to include a strong foreground element. I was less than 3 inches from the flower.
Nikon P900 in Landscape Mode. Exposed for the highlights and processed for the shadows in Lightroom. 

Landscape Love
Once the rain cleared out yesterday, late in the afternoon, I had to get out, even if only for a hour. I went to Rachel Carson NWR down the road, but on the way back I stopped at one of my favorite little ponds along the route. The Wild Iris were in bloom near the spillway, and, what with the interesting clouds and reflections, I could not resist framing a few shots. This shot, like many of my landscapes, makes use of the great depth of field of a Point and Shoot camera at wide angle to include a strong foreground element. I was less than 3 inches from the flower.
Nikon P900 in Landscape Mode. Exposed for the highlights and processed for the shadows in Lightroom. ___

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2015-06-23 11:03:00 (2 comments, 3 reshares, 32 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Chipping Sparrow Chicks
We had had a nest of Chipping Sparrows in our Honeysuckle bush in the front yard, right at eye-level but buried deep in foliage, right next to the driveway where there is a lot of foot traffic (my wife teaches piano and her students and their families are coming and going all day long, every day). I had little hope for a successful fledging...but they made it. At least four chicks moved off the nest yesterday. For a while it was just an adult on eggs peeping up over the edge of the neatly woven nest, and then you could see a few dark grey heads with bright yellow gapes if you stood on your tiptoes, and then they took on more of a sparrow look, and now they are gone...probably sheltering on a branch somewhere near and still being tended by the adults. This shot, though it might look invasive, was taken from outside the bush with about a 170mm equivalent... more »

Pic for Today: Chipping Sparrow Chicks
We had had a nest of Chipping Sparrows in our Honeysuckle bush in the front yard, right at eye-level but buried deep in foliage, right next to the driveway where there is a lot of foot traffic (my wife teaches piano and her students and their families are coming and going all day long, every day). I had little hope for a successful fledging...but they made it. At least four chicks moved off the nest yesterday. For a while it was just an adult on eggs peeping up over the edge of the neatly woven nest, and then you could see a few dark grey heads with bright yellow gapes if you stood on your tiptoes, and then they took on more of a sparrow look, and now they are gone...probably sheltering on a branch somewhere near and still being tended by the adults. This shot, though it might look invasive, was taken from outside the bush with about a 170mm equivalent telephoto. I was careful when checking the nest, not to get close enough to alert predators, and I only checked the nest about once a week...and I certainly did not move branches for a better view. The Chipping Sparrow buried the nest deep in the bush for a reason. Considering the placement of the bush, I was really happy to see them succeed. :)

Nikon P900 at 170mm equivalent field of view. 1/80th @ ISO 100 @ f4.5. Processed in Lightroom.___

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2015-06-22 11:13:01 (3 comments, 11 reshares, 71 +1s)Open 

Landscape Love
This is about 40 minutes later than yesterday's Landscape Love shot. The Mousam River again, with the storm front passing overhead. View it large for best effect. This shot is all about reflections, but of course the dramatic sky helps...the sweep of the water back into the frame, the patch of sunlight in the distance. 
Nikon P900 in Landscape Mode. Exposed for highlights using the histogram, processed for shadows in Lightroom. 

Landscape Love
This is about 40 minutes later than yesterday's Landscape Love shot. The Mousam River again, with the storm front passing overhead. View it large for best effect. This shot is all about reflections, but of course the dramatic sky helps...the sweep of the water back into the frame, the patch of sunlight in the distance. 
Nikon P900 in Landscape Mode. Exposed for highlights using the histogram, processed for shadows in Lightroom. ___

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2015-06-22 11:01:13 (6 comments, 5 reshares, 55 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Cedar Waxwing Encounters
As I have mentioned in past posts, we seem to have a lot of Cedar Waxwings (along with Eastern Towhees and Brown Thrashers) this year, compared at least to recent years. Twice now I have come across extended families of Cedar Waxwings (tribes? of CWWs) actively feeding. Most recently I encountered them in the trees along the water meadow on the Kennebunk Bridle Path. They were again, all around me…moving between trees on both sides of the path, landing as close to me as 10 feet. This shot was only just over half the reach on my 2000mm equivalent zoom…but that is why a zoom is so handy to carry. As you see the bird was buried in foliage, backlighted, and there was a dark cloud passing overhead so the light was very subdued…and still the camera pulled out a shot I could process to a satisfying image. I love the combination of subtle shading on thebody,... more »

Pic for Today: Cedar Waxwing Encounters
As I have mentioned in past posts, we seem to have a lot of Cedar Waxwings (along with Eastern Towhees and Brown Thrashers) this year, compared at least to recent years. Twice now I have come across extended families of Cedar Waxwings (tribes? of CWWs) actively feeding. Most recently I encountered them in the trees along the water meadow on the Kennebunk Bridle Path. They were again, all around me…moving between trees on both sides of the path, landing as close to me as 10 feet. This shot was only just over half the reach on my 2000mm equivalent zoom…but that is why a zoom is so handy to carry. As you see the bird was buried in foliage, backlighted, and there was a dark cloud passing overhead so the light was very subdued…and still the camera pulled out a shot I could process to a satisfying image. I love the combination of subtle shading on the body, and the contrasting bright red and yellow “waxlike” highlights.

Nikon P900 at 1100mm equivalent field of view. 1/500th @ ISO 220 @ f5.6. Processed in Topaz Dejpeg and Lightroom.___

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2015-06-21 12:56:15 (1 comments, 3 reshares, 37 +1s)Open 

Landscape Love
The Mousam River, under what can only be called "threatening" skies. That black cloud passed without dropping any rain over us, which was good, since I was on my bicycle, but one behind it let loose with a downpour just after I got home. There is drama in a landscape like this. Turner might have painted it. 
Sony Alpha NEX 5T with 16-50mm zoom. 24mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Processed in Lightroom.

Landscape Love
The Mousam River, under what can only be called "threatening" skies. That black cloud passed without dropping any rain over us, which was good, since I was on my bicycle, but one behind it let loose with a downpour just after I got home. There is drama in a landscape like this. Turner might have painted it. 
Sony Alpha NEX 5T with 16-50mm zoom. 24mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Processed in Lightroom.___

posted image

2015-06-21 12:23:31 (26 comments, 33 reshares, 392 +1s)Open 

Pic for Today: Rose Pogonias. Happy Sunday!
Yesterday afternoon it was such a beautiful day, and we were back from my early Father’s Day lunch at Unos in plenty of time: I had to get out of the house. Both cars were gone so it was walk or bicycle, and I decided to walk to the gravel pit down the road from us, where, in years past, a tiny emergent bog one level down into the pit has produced a crop of Rose Pogonias about this time of year. I have been checking for them regularly in the real remnant bog at Laudholm Farm, but my memory is that they bloom even earlier on that exposed wet shelf of the pit. Indeed they were in full bloom, and they have spread from last year as the moisture level in the boggy area changes year to year. There had to a 100 plants in one area the size of a decent living room or a spacious bedroom. I had two cameras with me, and I spent a half hour or so among thef... more »

Pic for Today: Rose Pogonias. Happy Sunday!
Yesterday afternoon it was such a beautiful day, and we were back from my early Father’s Day lunch at Unos in plenty of time: I had to get out of the house. Both cars were gone so it was walk or bicycle, and I decided to walk to the gravel pit down the road from us, where, in years past, a tiny emergent bog one level down into the pit has produced a crop of Rose Pogonias about this time of year. I have been checking for them regularly in the real remnant bog at Laudholm Farm, but my memory is that they bloom even earlier on that exposed wet shelf of the pit. Indeed they were in full bloom, and they have spread from last year as the moisture level in the boggy area changes year to year. There had to a 100 plants in one area the size of a decent living room or a spacious bedroom. I had two cameras with me, and I spent a half hour or so among the flowers, enjoying every moment. The panel above, assembled in Coolage, shows several aspects of these beautiful blooms.

While looking up the spelling of the name, I came across the Robert Frost poem of the same name.

A saturated meadow
Sun-shaped and jewel-small,
A circle scarcely wider
Than the trees around were tall;
Where winds were quite excluded,
And the air was stifling sweet
With the breath of many flowers–
A temple of the heat.

There we bowed us in the burning,
As the sun’s right worship is,
To pick where none could miss them
A thousand orchises;
For though the grass was scattered,
Yet ever second spear
Seemed tipped with wings of color
That tinged the atmosphere.

We raised a simple prayer
Before we left the spot,
That in the general mowing
That place might be forgot;
Or if not all so favored,
Obtain such grace of hours
That none should mow the grass there
While so confused with flowers.

I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Robert Frost. I grew up on his poetry…a few miles, in fact from where he lived part of his life…and saw him read as poet laureate at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration…surely a high-point for poetry in America by anyone’s standards. It grieves me then to take issue with his poem. Sentiments have changed perhaps, but I could not imagine picking Rose Pogonias, or any other wild orchid…and the notion that no one would miss them…that is so “man” centered that I am surprised Frost could have written it even a few years ago. Of course, here in Southern Maine, I have never seen them growing in a wet meadow…only in mossy areas so saturated with water that no one would be tempted to mow them anyway. I do expect, some dry spring, to find that the bulldozers have scraped the boggy area clean, and drained the marsh that feeds it in the gravel pit…but the remnant bog at Laudholm is protected, as are the others in Southern Maine that I know of…so I am pretty certain the Rose Pogonia will continue long enough so my children’s children will be able to find the flower Frost wrote about in its wild state. Like Frost, I do offer a prayer for a “grace of hours” for the Rose Pogonia, for all the wild orchids, and indeed all the wild things of this world, which, for certain, whether we know it or not, we would so sorely miss if they were gone. They might be of no practical use to anyone…but they enrich our lives…feed our spirits…in ways we can appreciate even if we do not understand.

So when I find a spot, as Frost did in his sheltered meadow, or as I have done on the exposed wet lip of a gravel pit, where orchids still grow, I have that same instinct to worship and to share. I spend my half hour among them…in reverance and in joy…and bring you back a panel of images to share. Who knows, if Frost had had a digital camera with a good macro lens, the world might have lost some fine poetry…but it might be a world with a few more Rose Pogonias still in it. In the spirit I might be tempted by that trade. :)

So, with apologies in advance to the Poet Laureate.

I have never seen
the Rose Pogonia grow
in any place a man
would want to mow.

Mossy bog or fen,
where both worship
and photography
are wet business
about the knees and feet
as you bow

to breath and frame,
to fill your SD card
(and your spirit)
with the essence of what is still wild,
of no use, and of such great value
the stars would weep
if you picked one.

Therefore the picture,
and this poem,
that your spirit might also know
that still, the Rose Pogonias grow
in a forgotten corner of a gravel pit
just down the road from home.

Happy Sunday!___

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2015-06-20 11:31:14 (20 comments, 32 reshares, 228 +1s)Open 

Landscape Love
A front passed during the day yesterday, and that generally makes for fantastic clouds along the coast here. This is Back Creek, near enough that I was on my bicycle...out for a photoprowl. I packed my Sony NEX 5 to try some in-camera HDRs to compare to the Landscape Mode images I have been getting with the Nikon P900. There is no doubt that the APS-C senor in the Sony captures more detail in landscapes...though at normal screen resolution it is not obvious. I like the play of light across the marsh here, and, of course the bright roses in the foreground. 
Sony Alpha NEX 5T at 24mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Processed in Lightroom. 

Landscape Love
A front passed during the day yesterday, and that generally makes for fantastic clouds along the coast here. This is Back Creek, near enough that I was on my bicycle...out for a photoprowl. I packed my Sony NEX 5 to try some in-camera HDRs to compare to the Landscape Mode images I have been getting with the Nikon P900. There is no doubt that the APS-C senor in the Sony captures more detail in landscapes...though at normal screen resolution it is not obvious. I like the play of light across the marsh here, and, of course the bright roses in the foreground. 
Sony Alpha NEX 5T at 24mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Processed in Lightroom. ___

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