cape cod

Cape Cod 2015 – Images 131-141

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Chatham Lighthouse

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Dinghy’s Await

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Ripples

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Boats Asleep

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Thin Orange Line

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Rock Harbor Sunset

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Through the Reeds

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Red Sky

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Golden Hour

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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

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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

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

Lighthouses: A Beacon With Meaning. images 63-69

Cape Cod Light     Cape Cod Light

Chatham Light at Twilight     Chatham Lighthouse at Twilight

Chatham Light at Noon     Chatham Light at Noon

Highland Light, Cape Cod     Highland Light, Cape Cod

Genesee Lighthouse     Genesee Lighthouse

Sodus Lighthouse, Pier     Sodus Lighthouse, Pier

Sodus Point Light     Sodus Point Lighthouse

My wife has always been drawn to Lighthouses.  She wasn’t able to really express what it was about the Lighthouse that she was drawn to, but she always felt a gravitational pull towards them.  We spent our honeymoon in Maine and this was the first time I had an opportunity to photograph a Lighthouse.   We visited several and found lots of great Lighthouse knick knacks that we started decorating our homes with.  Gradually, over the years, between my photographs and paintings my mother did as well as the knick knacks we have acquired, we have an entire bathroom devoted to Lighthouses.  It was this bathroom that finally led to an answer as to why she was a Lighthouse fetish.

Her brother came over to our house one day, and, of course, had to use the bathroom.  He came out of the bathroom completely shocked!  He then explained that he has a bathroom in his house that is also devoted to Lighthouses.  He and my wife began talking about how they both have been drawn to Lighthouses for years now and he was able to tell us a story as to why he thinks they share this fascination.

Their maternal grandfather died off the shore of Long Island, near Montauk.  He was a passenger on a ferry.  The ferry was carrying more than it’s capacity that day, and a freak storm struck, capsizing the ferry.  Many people drowned that day, swimming in the frigid waters, trying to reach shore, using the Beacon of the Montauk Light as their guide.  That Beacon was the last thing their grandfather saw.  They never knew their grandfather, as this all happened before their mother and father had even met.  But, nonetheless, they are drawn to the light just like their grandfather was that fateful day.

For my wife, the beacon of a lighthouse is a call to home.   It is that sign of a safe haven.  Her true north.  So I have developed a love of photographing lighthouses.  My Maine Lighthouse pictures are all in a box somewhere.  They were taken over 20 years ago on a Canon AE-1, a film camera.  one of these days i will find the negatives and get them into digital format.  For now, I will continue to take a picture of every Lighhouse I come across.  Next summer will be Cape Cod again and I would love to get some shots of the several Lighthouse on the cape that I haven’t gotten to yet.  I hope soon to be able to travel back to the West Coast and shoot all the Oregon and Washington Lighthouses.

For more of my Lighthouse Pictures visit my sites:

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

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

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

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

Cape Cod; Our Favorite Family Vacation Spot. Images 23-27

Chatham Light at DawnChatham Lighthouse at Dawn, Chatham, MA

Chatham Light at NoonChatham Lighthouse at Noon, Chatham, MA

Chatham Light in AfternoonChatham Lighthouse in Afternoon, Chatham, MA

Chatham Light at DuskChatham Lighthouse at Sunset, Chatham, MA

Chatham Light at NightChatham Lighthouse at Night, Chatham, MA

Until the summer of 2012, we had never been to Cape Cod.  My wife and I had travelled to Boston in the past and we Honeymooned along the coast of Maine, but we had never been to the Cape.  My wife and I fell in love with Maine on our Honeymoon and have been back there a second time to revisit some of the amazing places we enjoyed.  My wife and I had our greatest vacation as a couple when we spent a week in Hawaii on the island of Maui.  That.  Was.  Pure.  Bliss.  We eventually plan on going back to Hawaii with the kids as soon as we can!!

During the summer of 2012, we got the chance to go to Cape Cod.  Our kids were 8 and 5 at the time, the perfect ages for a trip to the cape.  Our dear friends, who have adopted us as their children and our kids as their grandkids suggested we rent a house on the cape for a week.  They had been to the cape numerous times when their own kids were young, around the same ages as our kids, and couldn’t wait to experience it again through the eyes of our boys.  One of their daughter and her husband also joined us for the trip.

We didn’t really know what to expect except beaches and seafood.  We were not disappointed!  We arrived at the house in Chatham in the mid afternoon and got settled in the house, then took the quick 5 min drive right into the town of Chatham.  We parked and walked around.  What a great little town; great restaurants, quaint little shops, a penny candy store that my boys did not want to leave.  We then drove to Lighthouse Beach.  My wife has always been drawn to Lighthouses and I have developed a great appreciation for them as well.  Lighthouse Beach is absolutely gorgeous!!  One of our favorite beaches on the cape.  It is directly across the street from the lighthouse in the photographs above.  Every time we visited the beach during that week, I took a picture of it, resulting in the shots above.

From that first day, we were sold.  The boys loves it and it felt like home right away.  They swam and played in the ocean for the first time (despite the frigid water temps).  They learned how to boogie board.  We all learned how to play Pro Kadima (a beach game with big wooden paddles and a small rubber ball).  We hunted for shells, built sand castles, explored sand dunes, discovered Provincetown, went wine tasting (the wine was actually not bad…no Sonoma wine, but not bad!!).  We travelled up and down the cape, visiting the towns and eating great seafood.  I took pictures of numerous lighthouses as well.  I even woke up one morning at 5:00 so i could drive to Lighthouse Beach and take sunrise pictures.  We spent some time at the Chatham Fish Pier, watching the seals scrounge for scraps falling off the fishing boats offloading their catch.

On the drive home, both my boys asked when we were going to go back.  That is the sign of a good family vacation.  After a full week together, we didn’t want it to end and couldn’t wait to go back.  Our friends felt the same way, and we booked a different house, this time in Orleans, for the following year.

The trip during the summer of 2013 was just as amazing (maybe even better).  This time, Our Sister In Law and our Niece and Nephew came along.  Our boys were in 7th Heaven having their older cousins at their mercy for a hole week!!!  We explored some different beaches, including Skaket Beach and Rock Harbor Beach on the bay side and Nauset Beach on the ocean side.  Nauset quickly became our favorite beach on the cape!!!  We all had a great time, ate Lobster, and relaxed for a week.  One Giant Happy Family!!  We went on a whale watch and i got some great shots there too.

We didn’t go this past summer (2014), but it is looking like we are all in for summer 2015!!!  I cant wait to get back there and find some more great spots for photography.

If you want to see more shots from Cape Cod, visit my sites below!!

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

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

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

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

Gone Fishing

Gone Fishing, off the Chatham, MA coast

My name is Justin Connor.  I have been taking pictures since I was 12 years old.  My father was an amateur photographer and I took after him, grabbing a camera whenever I could and taking shots.  I took some Photography classes in High School and even entertained trying to go to College for Photography.  In the end, I decided it was not a great career choice, and went to College for Physical Therapy.

My father gave me a Canon AE-1 for my high school graduation and I continued to do Photography as a hobby.  I continued to try to get out and take photos through College and after, even trying to take some portraits of my wife, but I quickly realized portrait photography was not my forte.  I have always been much better at Landscape Photography.  I have always been drawn to Waterfalls, for some reason, and until recently, nearly half of my portfolio was waterfall pictures.  My wife is drawn to Lighthouses, so I have developed a passion for photographing lighthouses.  I recently have begun taking Macro shots of flowers as well and have also concentrated on Sunrise and Sunset shots as well.

I really wish I could travel more in order to really get a chance to shoot some amazing places and things, but as a father of two, the traveling is limited.  I try to get out at least once a month to local places to practice and perfect my craft.  I have recently started going, with my family and some friends, to Cape Cod for a week in the summers.  That is where I took my favorite shot.

I had bought my Canon Rebel T3 for Christmas several months before the trip.  Yes, it took me until 2012 to finally go digital.  For some reason I was a film holdout (I have no idea why, maybe because I was born and raised and still live in Rochester, NY, the home of Kodak).  We were staying in Chatham, MA on the elbow of the cape and I was determined to get up early and take some sunrise shots.  I had already been at Lighthouse Beach for about 45 minutes and was considering wrapping it all up after getting a ton of great shots.  The bugs were driving me nuts.  I had the camera on a tripod and had been messing with some long exposure shots, when I saw this fishing boat coming down the channel, heading out to sea from the Fish Pier.  As it approached my position, I zoomed in and began taking shots.  This is what I got!!!

Canon Rebel T3

Focal Length:  300

f 5.6

1/400

Thanks for reading and visiting.  I will do my best to post new pics and charming banter about photography at least once a week.  Please follow if you like.  i have a few websites that I sell my images on, so please check those out as well!!!

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

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

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor