Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Sunday was my daughter's 20th birthday. As part of the celebration, Jackie requested that we have brunch at Love Lane Kitchen on the North Fork, about half an hour from our home on the South Fork. When we sat down, I ordered iced coffee right away as the day was heating up. Ironically, I had been at the same eatery the day before when out shooting in the area with two fellow photographers, and was looking forward to the iced coffee again, half caf/half decaf.
When the server set it down before us, Jackie picked up the tiny vessel of milk and started pouring. "That looks cool," she said as a ribbon of white swirled through the caramel, "Mom, take a picture!"
Not a problem. I had been snapping away as I stared at her and her boyfriend, who was visiting for the weekend---not quite comprehending how 20 years had passed and what an amazing person my Jackie had become.
To avoid the flash I set the ISO at 800, the F-stop at 5.6 and had no choice but to shoot at 1/8 second, very slow to hand-hold. But I held steady pressing the camera body to my forehead. In this case, the show shutter speed and shallow depth of field worked to advantage, emphasizing the motion inherent in this still life.
When Jackie saw the image, she said "my nails look good; good thing I just had a manicure."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Out of the Blue

If you want to capture that special image that pops up out of the blue, the most important thing to remember is to carry your camera with you all the time. If I hadn't stashed my camera bag in the back of my car, I would have missed the chance to capture this magnificent sight.
As dusk descended one evening, I was driving home down Lewis Road where acres upon acres of farmland have been preserved by the town of Southampton. There hanging over the field, a tremendous cloud was set on fire by the sun that had just dipped below the horizon.
As I neared, the cloud loomed larger and more brilliant. Pulling over to the side of the road, I reached behind me pleased to discover that I had indeed left my camera in the car. Knowing that the color would soon fade, I quickly changed lenses to my long one, 55-250mm, pointed it out the window and zoomed all the way in. I also underexposed by about one stop to intensify the cloud color thus throwing the treeline into silhouette.
With more time to gaze at this image now, I'm amazed at what we can see when we keep looking. I see the profile of a man with a full head of curly hair--looks a little like Harpo Marx!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Peconic River Day

Between the forks on the East End of Long Island where I have lived year-round for over twenty years, there's the town of Riverhead where the locals travel from all directions to do their daily business. Once a thriving downtown center, the village has struggled for decades to compete with the big chains that now crowd Route 58 nearby.
Behind Main Street, however, there's a lazy river that delights each time I pass through on my way to Home Depot, Target, or some such place.
So when I was invited to participate tomorrow in Peconic River Day at a gallery called Art Sites that yes, is on the way to Tanger Outlet Mall, I was thrilled.
A few weeks ago, I began by photographing people enjoying the boardwalk. Relaxing on benches, reading the paper or strolling by, I approached them slowly asking if they'd like to participate in this celebration of the river.
To my surprise, no one refused. Then I crossed the parking lot to discover some children frolicking intheir front yard facing the river. Under the care of their grandpas, I was a hesitant to ask if I could photograph the children.
Yet again, they were most willing to oblige. Since then, I visited the places I frequent when in town, a riverside bistro, the arts council, the bank, and the library--where my close friend, Elva, works---to capture the faces of those who live, work and play along the Peconic River.
Here's the result. To view, just click the forward arrow at your own pace.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Saving the Seagull

Two weeks ago, I took a trip with my puppy to Cupsogue Beach at the end of Westhampton Dunes--a seaside park preserved by the county wedged between the ocean and the bay--to check out the venue for my next photography class. Moseying along taking in the sights, Copper darted suddenly toward the water, howling like the hound he is.

Flapping one wing, a large bird lumbered into the water; it happened so fast that it took me a minute or so to realize it was a wounded seagull. Quickly, I tied the dog to a post and rushed back to the bird who was struggling in the water. Reaching for my camera, I took one photograph before he emerged from the foam dragging a broken wing.

What do I do? I thought panicking.

Fumbling for my cellphone, I made a few calls and found the number for the Wildlife Refuge Center of the Hamptons. While waiting for the volunteer to arrive from Hampton Bays, I shot 66 frames as my dog continued to howl.
At one point a wave knocked the gull onto his back. I approached slowly and was surprised when he allowed me to gingerly flip him back onto his feet. Making eye contact, he reminded me of my puppy when I rescued him a few weeks before.
After that, he stood nearby posing in thanks as we continued to wait. Here are 13 images presented as a slide show; just one couldn't possibly do him justice.
To view, just click the forward arrow at your own pace.