Cape Cod 2015 – Images 131-141

IMG_6522

Chatham Lighthouse

IMG_6329

Dinghy’s Await

IMG_6219

Ripples

IMG_6245

Boats Asleep

IMG_6150

Thin Orange Line

IMG_6033

Rock Harbor Sunset

IMG_6026

Through the Reeds

IMG_5990

Red Sky

IMG_5956

Golden Hour

IMG_5698

Highland Light View

I just realized that it has been a year since my last post.  Must have been a busy year!!  I have not had many chances to go out and take pictures.  Only now, with summer at hand and the yearly trip to Cape Cod fast approaching, have I been able to shift my focus back to photography.  I just went through my digital album of images from our 2015 Cape Cod trip and included some of my faves in this blog.  I hope you enjoy them.

 

Cape Cod, MA is a “lighthouse” for our family.  A safe place, a “Beacon”, a place for us to focus on, a place that guides us and keeps us on our path.  We refresh and reboot there.  We relax and enjoy each other’s company with no distractions.  It is peaceful, tranquil, beautiful, and revitalizing.  The whole family looks forward to it for varying reasons.

 

Every year we try to find something different to explore there.  This year we are looking at exploring the dunes and Wellfleet as well as some tours (Cape Cod Brewery, Cape Cod chips, Wood’s Hole Science Aquarium, Nobska Lighhouse, Cape Cod Lavender Farm, to name a few).  We will, of course, visit the mainstays such as Nauset, Rock Harbor, and Lighthouse Beaches, Shops in Chatham, Penny Candy Store in Chatham, Hot Chocolate Sparrow in Orleans).

 

But mostly, we will breath in the salt air and relax and refresh.  Eat Well, Drink Well, Play Hard, Sleep In (except for one morning to catch images of the sunrise, of course), and revel in the company of Family and Friends.  Most likely, my next Blog post will be images from our 2016 Cape Cod Adventure…..

 

If you would like to view more of my Cape Cod images please visit:

http://www.mobileprints.com/profiles/justin-connor.html

My Attempts at Wildlife Photography: Images 117-130

Seagull Outstretched          Seagull Outstretched

Seagull in Flight 1          Seagull in Flight 1

Seagull in Flight 2          Seagull in Flight 2

Soaring Seagull          Soaring Seagull

Seagull Near and Far          Seagull Near and Far

Scarlet Ibis Far          Scarlet Ibis Far

Scarlet Ibis Near          Scarlet Ibis Near

Swan at Twilight          Swan at Twilight

Morning Flight          Morning Flight

Whale Tail          Whale Tail

A Fluke          A Fluke

Seal the Deal          Seal the Deal

We Have Lift Off          We Have Lift Off

I have always been more of a landscape photographer, but I am intrigued by the challenges of wildlife photography.  Getting the best image possible is often entirely up to chance.  First, you have to find the wildlife.  Sometimes that is easy….go tot he Fish Pier in Chatham, MA on Cape Cod and there are no shortages of opportunities to capture Seagulls and Seals.  Go to any Zoo and you are likely to see hundreds of exotic animals to capture (although the challenge there is getting a clean shot with no fences or unnatural habitat in the image, including other patrons of the zoo).  High Speed shots that stop motion are challenging and often come out blurry or with the subject matter not full in frame.  Sometimes you have to use zoom lenses as you cannot get close enough to the animals.  The animal is unpredictable (and not really subject to your request to pose in a better position or in a place with better light).  They move their head just as you are ready to take the shot, or they stand directly behind a tree branch, ruining your perfect shot.

Anyway, the above images are some of my rather amateurish attempts at a genre of photography that I have begun to dabble in and look forward to improving in.  Hope you enjoy…

See more at:

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

The Portrait, My Achilles Heel: Images 109-116

Cape Cod 2013     Cape Cod Family Portrait 2013

Winter 2012 Family Portrait     Winter Family Portrait 2012

Summer Family Portrait 2013     Summer Family Portrait 2013

Whole Family 2013     Whole Family 2013

My Mom and Her Boys     My Mom and Her Boys

Fall Family Portrait 2014     Fall Family Portrait 2014

My Boys 2014     My Boys 2014

My Somebody     My Somebody

I have never been accused of being a “portrait photographer”.  I am not good at people pictures.  I shoot landscapes, seascapes, lighthouses, sunsets, waterfalls, nature, flowers, maybe some wildlife.  NOT PEOPLE!!!  I can’t really explain why, but it is definitely not my forte.  It is the weak spot in my repertoire.

I have had a lot of people ask me if I would take family portraits of them after they see my landscape work, but I always steer them to other Photographers that have the skill to do them justice.  I have met some AMAZING portrait photographers over the years and I will highly recommend them whenever I am asked.

I have the patience to sit around and wait for the right shot when it comes to sunrises and sunsets as well as for the right shot with wildlife, but I just don’t have the patience when it comes to portraits.  I also don’t have the foggiest idea how to pose anyone or how to get the lighting right.  I deal with natural light and generally inanimate (or at least very slow moving objects) that don’t even know or care that I am there!

But, there are times when I have to suck it up and take a Family Portrait.  When all my brothers (and their families) were in town around the fourth of July, 2013, my Mom wanted to get some family shots.  So, we went to the beach and I took shots of each individual family, the whole family, all the grandkids with Grandma, and my Mom with her four boys.  They came out all right I guess.  At least my Mom liked them.

Each summer we go to Cape Cod, we try to get a Family Portrait as well.  We try to take a Family Portrait every Fall or Winter that we often use in our Christmas Card.  I love to see how my boys have changed over the years, how they have grown and matured.  The regular Family Portrait is a great way to document these years, retaining it forever.

And then there is my beautiful wife.  She is the one who stages all the Family Portraits.  She pics out the clothes, she chooses where everyone stands and pics the location.  I just have to show up with the Camera and the Tripod, set the timer and hit the button….lots of times….she always makes me take at least 20-30 shots to make sure we get a perfect one.  Now, she is the first to admit that she often takes a terrible picture.  She has a knack for closing her eyes right as the shutter clicks. I can’t tell you how many family shots I have deleted because her eyes are closed!!  That is why I often take quick candids of her when she doesn’t even know I am taking it, like the one above.   She liked this one so much, she used it for her business card!!

I think they all came out pretty good, but they are miles away from the quality I have seen from some of my favorite portrait photographers.  Let me know what you think!!

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

Same Image Four Different Ways: Using Silhouette, Natural Light, Long Exposure, and Flash: Images 105-108

Dock Bench 1     Bench on a Dock at Cayuga Lake (Long Exposure)

Dock Bench 2     Bench on a Dock at Cayuga Lake

Dock Bench 3     Bench on a Dock at Cayuga Lake (Flash)

Dock Bench 4     Bench on a Dock at Cayuga Lake (Very Long Exposure and Flash)

I am sitting here in Snowy and Frigid Rochester, NY, thinking about summer.  We are in a stretch of sub zero temps and what feels like endless snow.  I am really looking forward to the spring and watching all this snow melt away.  This past summer, my family and I got the chance to meet up with some of our California friends while they were visiting their family at the Family Compound on Cayuga Lake.  What a gorgeous setting.  They have this great dock that is in an L-shape, creating a little swimming area for the kids.  My wife got to try Paddle Boarding while we were there and she is hooked.  I snapped these pics out on the dock, looking out onto Cayuga Lake.  I took several shots of the water and horizon, but the shots with the bench ended up being the most interesting.   I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  Counting the days till summer…

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

One Object, Shot from Different Angles and Perspectives. Images 100-104.

Lone Post     Lone Post Among the Marsh Reeds

Lone Post in BW     Lone Post in BW

Lone Post Centered     Lone Post Centered

Lone Post Foreground     Lone Post in Foreground

Among the Reeds     Lone Post in Background

As I have written before, Cape Cod is one of my favorite places to visit.  Every time I go, I take at least 2000 pictures.  It takes me days to get through them all when I get home, weeding out the bad ones and editing the good ones.  It is a beautiful place with tons of amazing subjects to shoot.  Sunrises on the ocean side, sunsets on the bay side.  Beaches, Boats, Lighthouses, Flowers, Wildlife, Quaint Towns, Gorgeous Scenery.  Never at a loss for something to photograph.

We did not get a chance to go this past summer, but we will be returning this coming summer, staying just off Pleasant Bay, halfway between Orleans and our beloved Chatham.  However, two summers ago, we went for a week in Late July/Early August and stayed in a home right on “the River” on the outskirts of Orleans.  The River is really just and extension of Pleasant Bay, not a true river.  Standing on the deck, we could stare out at the marsh on the edge of the river, watching the sunset over the trees, watching the boats moored in the water, bob gently with the tidal currents.  I took these shots the day we arrived.

I walked down the sloping back yard towards the marshy area and as I sauntered past the tree line that marked the end of the property and the beginning of the marsh, this lone post came into view.  I assume it was once part of a dock, going out into the river.  I didn’t think much of it at first and started shooting pictures of the sky and the sun setting over the trees and the boats in the water.  As I paused to look over the shots, I noticed that the post featured in many of the shots.  I ventured over as close to it as I could get; it was pretty soggy right around the post.  I could tell it had been there a long time.  It was leaning to one side and was very weathered.  I took some more shots of it, then went back inside (the mosquitoes were eating me alive down there).  I proceeded to take a ton of pictures that trip and gradually forgot all about the lone post.

But, when I got home and began going through all the pictures I took on the computer, I kept seeing it pop up in the above shots and several others I had taken of the same view.  It was interesting how the post looked different from the different angles and perspectives when it was the main subject matter and it brought more interest to the pictures where it was a bit player in the foreground or the background.  I now have an 8 x 10 framed and matted on my living room wall of the Lone Post Among The Marsh Reeds shot.

Looking forward to getting back to the Cape this August to find more great things to shoot.  Hope you enjoy these shots, and if you want to see more of my Cape Cod Images, please visit my websites!

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

Flower Photography: Images 81-99

Yellow Rose     Yellow Rose

Butter Cream     White Rose

Orange Rose     Orange Rose

Red and White Rose     Red and White Rose

Cone Flower     Cone Flower with Lady Bug

Close up Cone Flower     Cone Flower Macro

Peony Burst     Peony Burst

 3 Cone Flowers, Near and Far     3 Cone Flowers, Near and Far

Bleeding Heart     Bleeding Heart

Tulip     Tulip

Tulips     Tulips

Lilac     Lilac

Lilacs     Lilacs

Hydrangea     Hydrangea

Hydrangeas     Hydrangeas

Blue Bell     Blue Bell

From Below     From Below

Morning Glory     Morning Glory

Daisy     Gerbera Daisy

Purple Heart     Purple Heart Daisy

It is New Year’s Eve and it is below freezing outside (and snowing) here in Rochester, NY.  I didn’t want to write an extensive blog today, but wanted to get something out since I haven’t done an entry in over 2 weeks.  I just began (2 years ago) to take flower pictures and some macro shots after getting my DSLR and some close up filters.  Above are some examples of some of my favorites.  Maybe this will brighten your day and be a good start to the new year!!  For more of my Flower Images, please visit my below websites!!

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

2014 in review: Some Stats on my Blog for 2014

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 520 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 9 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Taughannock Falls, Trumansburg, NY. Images 77 – 80.

Taughannock Falls 1     Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls 2     Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls 3     Taughannock Falls

Taughannock In Winter     Taughannock in Winter

As you have probably already surmised, I have a thing for Waterfalls.  It started as a youngster.  I would go to my older brothers and parents soccer games at the Densmore Soccer Fields in East Irondequoit and instead of watching the games, I would go down onto the woods just past the fields and find the creek, following it to the small, but impressive falls.  It was about 15 feet high and, depending on the season and recent snow melt or rainfall could be pretty full and loud or barely a trickle.  My brother and I would mostly just throw rocks at the falls, but there was something about it that I couldn’t resist.

Naturally, as I began to get into Photography, I began to shoot waterfalls anytime I came across them.  When I lived in Sonoma, CA, I used to take days off from my job as a Physical Therapist in the late winter and spring just to take hikes in the hills and shoot all the various waterfalls; ranging from tiny, trickling tributaries to colossal, cascading cataracts.  I found tons of them in Sonoma and Marin counties including my favorites, Mt. Tamalpais State Park in Marin County and Sugarloaf State Park in Sonoma County.  At that time, I was shooting film and i have all those shots still in film negatives and have not converted them to a digital format yet, so I cannot share them, but I have some of them on my walls at home.  Beautiful shots in Black and White as well as great color images with green, mossy rocks and fallen tree trunks.

When my wife and I took a trip to Hawaii, we drove the Road to Hana, on the island of Maui and stopped at every possible waterfall to take pictures.  W hiked through the rainforest to get to secluded waterfall, watching thrill seekers jump off the cliffs into the frigid pools below.  We hiked along the Seven Sacred Pools at the end of the Road to Hana.  People were lounging in the pools and diving into the water.  It was amazing, watching the water fall from pool to pool, eventually terminating in the crashing surf of the Pacific Ocean.

The long exposure shots are the best shots in my opinion.  The high speed shots that stop the motion are OK, but all the character of the falls are lost and get do not get the dimension that the motion conveys.  to take these shots you need 3 things; Low Light, a Timer or Remote, and a Tripod.  My shots are taken anywhere between 1/2 second to 2 second exposures.  This what gives the water a soft motion look.  To do this, you have to have a tripod and use a shutter remote or timer.  The low light helps because if you use long exposure times in bright light, you get an overexposed image.  I tend to go out either early in the morning or late in the evening and try to go on gray and overcast days.  If you cannot rely on the weather to cooperate, you can get Neutral Density Filters that will significantly decrease the amount of light through the lens so you can do long exposures in bright day light.  I recently used a ND Filter on my picture of Rochester High Falls in bright daylight.

Taughannock Falls is one of my favorite Falls to shoot.  It is located in the town of Trumansburg, NY, just outside Ithaca.  I have taken shots of this waterfall at all times of day and in all seasons.  It never loses it’s beauty or majesty.  It is 215 feet high.  That is 21 stories tall.  I love how in the winter, the spray freezes all over the walls of the gorge, covering the rock in a white blanket.  I have not explored it yet, but the the town of Trumansburg looks to be a cute, quaint little village with interesting shops and restaurants.  It is just outside of Ithaca, NY and I stop to take a shot (much to my wife and kid’s dismay) EVERY time we go to visit her family.  If you are in the area, i suggest you stop at the Scenic Overlook and take some pics, you won’t regret it.

To see more of Taughannock Falls, and all my other waterfall pics, visit the below sites!!

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

Life in a Bubble

Well written Prose about the Pros of Rochester

sporterhall

For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard people complain about living in Upstate New York – Rochester to be exact. The negative comments range anywhere from the shrinking economy to gripes about the winter weather. I’ve always defended my neck of the woods and I’m always more than happy to give the ‘up’ side of living here in the midst of all the hemming and hawing.

There are many cities that are faring far worse than Rochester New York. Especially, in terms of weather. The recent news coverage of our Western New York neighbor Buffalo, has kept everyone abreast of the winter pummeling that that region has undergone. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning, and it’s nothing new. It seems that every year, weather reports outline the havoc that the winter season wreaks on our ‘sister’ city. How Rochester manages to miss the bulk of much of the…

View original post 606 more words