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Fall Foliage Season Under Pressure

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I don’t know about you, but I feel a lot of pressure every year around the fall foliage season.  Call it performance anxiety or just simple pressure or something.  Every year Mother Nature puts on this amazing show that lasts only a few weeks and usually around the same time it deals out some rather nasty weather from hurriacanes, to tropical storms to snowstorms.  Plus this time of year always seems like the crush time when you have kids in school.

Carefree summer is over, time to get back on schedule plus do all those chores you meant to do all summer but it was too hot.  Cut, chop and stack firewood, get your flu shot, get some new tires, pull up the garden, batten down the hatches — and sneak out around the region to capture amazing fall foliage shots between rain, wind, drizzle, and whatever comes along.

Then you fire up the old social media and see all kinds of great images being captured by photographers around the region.  Where is the peak? Is it past prime? Where did I want to return?  Where did I say I wanted to come back when the foliage season begins?  What do you mean we have dinner plans during golden hour?  Which moon is it and how many more years before its this great again?

And so on and so on. It can get nerve racking especially since there are so many places in New England to see great fall foliage.  So many places I’ve already been and so many places yet to explore.  In some ways the winter season can be such a relief after the busy summer and fall months.

So far I did manage to get out and take some great fall foliage shots in Vermont and New Hampshire.  Even made it down to Cape Cod, although it was a few weeks early.

In a lifetime of photography, you really only need a couple of killer images in a season.  I got really lucky this week with a shot of two Adirondack chairs in a park in Norwich, Vermont just over the bridge from Hanover and Dartmouth college.  The composition was all mine but the amazing lighting came from someone above smiling down on me.  It was a rather blustery day with warm tropical breezes (at least for late November in the Upper Valley) and suddenly the stormy sky opened up a bit and gave me some amazing studio like lighting  around my subject.

I kind of like the overcast days we get so often in New England.  Its like a giant softbox.  As long as you don’t include the sky in the shot, this nice even light can be great.  But this particular light was something altogether different because the light was on the foreground but darker in the background.  It created a more 3D effect then I would have gotten normally.

Autumn Splendor
Autumn Splendor Watercolor by Edward M. Fielding

The Challenge of Fall Foliage Photography

I see the challenge of photographing fall foliage is in finding a great subject, composing it to show off the colors of the fall AND timing everything with the peaking foliage and the light of the day.

We see the beautiful trees exploding with color filling our entire visual range.  The hardest thing is selecting what to include in the photograph in a compelling composition.  Often the trees themselves are kind of boring as the main focus, often they are better as supporting actors.

The quick snapshot impulse is to aim at a colorful tree, center it in the frame, snap – and post on social media.  Of course as we know these shots typically don’t produce a lasting memory.  For something that elevates the image to art, we need a compelling subject to pull us into the image.  A fence, a road leading down a path of colorful trees, an old tractor, people, a dog, covered bridge, — something interesting with the colorful foliage engulfing the view.

See more in the Fall Collection by Edward M. Fielding

New England fall foliage Art Prints

New England fall foliage Art Online

New England fall foliage Photography Prints

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Artist Series: William Wegman

William Wegman is an American photographer, painter and video artist probably most known for his work with Weimaraners.

In this video interview with artist/photographer William Wegman, William discusses his early use of video as well as his acclaimed work with the huge Polaroid which took 20×24 instant photographs.

I always enjoyed Wegman’s work, partly because he became most well known during the years I lived in Boston as well has his connections to Maine. I remember going to a great retrospective of his early drawings in Boston. Cartoon like drawings with lots of puns. His early photography work was displayed as well.


The Polaroid 20×24 camera is a very large instant camera made by Polaroid, with film plates that measure 20 by 24 inches (51 cm × 61 cm), although at least one camera takes pictures that are 23 by 36 inches (58 cm × 91 cm). It is one of the largest format cameras currently in common use, and used to be hired from Polaroid agents in various countries. Currently in the United States this can be rented from 20×24 Studio based out of New York and Mammoth Camera in San Francisco.  Photographers such as Elsa Dorfman and Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, have used this heavy (235 lb or 107 kg), wheeled-chassis camera.To celebrate Lady Gaga’s new role as Creative Director of Polaroid, a portrait of her was shot with the 20×24 camera

Work Inspired by Willam Wegman

I have my own series of dog photographs that are no doubt inspired by William Wegman.  After all if a “series” artist can use dogs as a stand in for humans, why not?

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William Wegman (born December 2, 1943) is an American artist best known for creating series of compositions involving dogs, primarily his own Weimaraners in various costumes and poses.



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Dirty Dog Laundry Soap Artwork

Dirty Dog Laundry Soap Artwork

Dirty Dog Laundry Soap
Dirty Dog Laundry Soap

Dirty Dog – The word “Terrier” means “go to ground” and if you have ever met a terrier you know what that means.  Usually it means chasing critters and digging to China.  Terriers as a group were breed to go after rodents.  West Highland White Terriers in particular are well known for their ability to dig ferociously in the garden, trying to get at a chipmuck, mole, vole or mouse.

My westie or West Highland White Terrier , Tiki, has been known to dig after critters and even bite at tree roots to get at them.  Westies were breed with four well know traits to help their owners keep them safe.  One is the white fur color which helps with viability and keeps them from getting shot by accident.  Second is the double coat, a soft under fur for insulation and a wire outer coat for dirt shedding.  Remarkably, the dirt does seem to come off rather quickly with a brushing.

The third trait is a high pitched bark so you can find them under the ground if they have followed a woodchuck or rabbit deep into a burrow.  The fourth trait is a strong tail bone in case you have to put the westie out of a hole.  You should not pull on the tail of any dog but westies have particularly strong tail to body connections.

Dirty Dog Laundry Soap

Dirty Dog Laundry Soap is an art piece featuring a westie dog getting a bath in an vintage soap label.  It came about from my series of images featuring Tiki the Westie supermodel and has become quite popular in my portfolio of artwork available for purchase as prints, framed art as well as on products such as t-shirts, throw pillows, cell phone cases and other decor items.

You can see the entire collection of dog related images here –
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Walking around NYC New York City

Walking around Modern Day NYC

There was a gloom and doom letter to the editor of the Valley News saying people are afraid to walk around NYC these days. I had to laugh out loud after just walking around on the crowded streets of NYC with people from all over the world. I sent this in as a response:
A recent letter lamented about being afraid to walk around New York City these days. I have to ask “Have you visited NYC lately?” Modern day NYC is a far cry from the city depicted in 1970s films like “The Warriors”.

I know because I was just there with my family for Columbus Day weekend. We were aware of being in a major city but we weren’t afraid as we walked all over. We walked around Times Square, we walked back to the hotel after a show on Broadway, we walked through Central Park and all round Mid-Town.

We took the subway to Brooklyn to tour a college. We walked on the Brooklyn Bridge and then over to the 911 Memorial. We walked from Downtown through SOHO, Greenwich Village, Chelsea and then on to the Highline where we enjoyed the view of a booming economy creating so many new and interesting high rise buildings with our fellow Americans of all backgrounds and visitors from all over the world.

We walked to dinner in Hell’s Kitchen and mixed in with costumed fans having fun coming back from Comic Con at the Convention Center. All over New York we saw people of all shapes, sizes and colors enjoying the city and enjoying life.

Sure we saw some panhandlers, some bums, a couple of mentally disturbed people including one guy who sat down in the middle of a street taunting taxi cabs to run him over but afraid to walk around NYC? I don’t think so.

See all of the New York City NYC photographs in the new collection at:

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Notes from New York City Trip

Heading back to the Upper Valley in New Hampshire (rivers, lakes, trees, mountains, cows, light traffic) on the Dartmouth Coach from the Grand Central area to home in five hours or so via a well appointed bus with movies, snacks, bathroom and Wifi. About the Dartmouth Coach – great service on an upscale bus with comfy seats and lots of amenities but do they have to show the same movies both ways?

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Hampton Inn Times Square 

  • Great location – close to Hell’s Kitchen for great dining, not far from Highline.
  • Nice enough room, a bit on the small size but its NYC
  • Roof deck
  • Free breakfast but not enough space in the breakfast area at peak times.
  • Slow elevators. I ended up walking down 27 flights after waiting 15 minutes for an elevator.

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Trip Highlights

We packed in a lot during our trip and walked a zillion miles.

  • Saw Wicked on Broadway at the Gershwin Theater.  Excellent show.
  • Had great Asisan food at Obao in Hell’s Kitchen.  Reasonably priced and they had a bonus happy hour going on when we went before the show.
  • Trip to the MET Breurer to see the Paul Klee and Diane Arbus shows.  Excellent.  Had some Italian food for lunch and then on to the main MET.  Everything is farther than it looks on the map.
  • Took the subway to Brooklyn to visit the Pratt Institute campus.  It was raining but the campus is a beautiful sculpture garden and was a treat to see.  Went to the nearby Blick store and got a bagel and a smear of cream cheese.
  • Took the subway back to the Brooklyn Bridge – bought some umbrellas and walked up to the bridge.  Excellent although freezing.
  • Walked to the 911 Memorial which was a bit irritating with people smiling and taking selfies.  WTF?
  • Walked through SOHO, stopped in to see some Art Wolfe and other photographers stuff at a gallery, continued through Greenwich Villiage and Chelsea to see the Parsons New School area.
  • Checked out the Chelsea Market, had a beer and some snacks, did a bit of shopping and then went on the Highline.
  • Highline was awesome.  So nice to walk without having to stop at every light.
  • Walked around the waterfront area and then had a great sandwich at City Sandwich.

Did I mention we did a lot of walking?  Last morning, a bit more walking around the Times Square, Hell’s Kitchen and Highline area.  Lunch at Pershing Square Cafe and an ice cream in Grand Central before getting back on the bus.  Lots of stuff packed in a few days.  Probably got a few decent photos too.

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The Old Chevy

Classic Old Chevy in Vermont

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Driving around the Upper Valley region of Vermont this week through a thick foggy morning mist, looking for an opportunity to capture the beautiful fall foliage, I spotted this great old Chevy outside of an auto repair shop.

I’m a sucker for a classic car, especially one with a big grinning chrome fender and rounded hood.  The foggy morning made for dull, lifeless fall foliage landscape shots but for a subject like this old Chevy antique classic car the lighting was perfect.  Flat, even lighting as if the car was in the studio under a large softbox.

I decided to enhance the dark background with a bit of Adobe Photoshop magic, painting in the black with a soft brush and brought out details of the car with some high dynamic range and dynamic clarity effects ensuring a wide range of tones from pure white to pure black, with a beautiful gray tone on the body paint of this old classic Chevy.

More Classic Car Photography

My online portfolio of fine art photography contains several examples of classic old cars found in the wild in the Vermont and New Hampshire area including show worthy restored beauties and rusty old junkers in farm fields.  Each has its own sense of beauty.

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Another great find in Vermont. This old green Chevy pickup truck was spotted outside of Burlington, Vermont. This one was in great restored shape unlike my next find.

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This rusty of farm truck was spotted just south of Burlington, Vermont.

More Classic Car Photographs


Chevrolet (/ʃɛvrəˈl/ shev-rə-lay), colloquially referred to as Chevy and formally the Chevrolet Division of General Motors Company, is an American automobile division of the American manufacturer General Motors (GM). Louis Chevrolet and ousted General Motors founder William C. Durant started the company on November 3, 1911 as the Chevrolet Motor Car Company.

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Happy Halloween Clown Dog

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This is my West Highlands White Terrier or Westie, Tiki the wonder model dressed up as a clown. You may have seen this popular image of a circus clown dog in the Halloween section at your local card store as its been licensed by a major greeting card image and has been distributed across the country. Last time I saw it was in Target.

The costume was sourced at a local charity gift shop. Its a vintage handmade baby costume which fit perfectly. Baby clothes with modifications, specifically for a tail, can be great dog clothes although you often have to open them up more to get them on. And its hard to figure out exactly what size you need when you are in the store and don’t have your dog with you to try them on! Good thing is your local thrift store usually has kids clothes for only a few bucks.

New costumes for dogs probably fit better for longer wearing, perhaps for actually walking around on Halloween when you are trick or treating but they usually are made of cheaper material. This home made clown costume was perfect for this photo shoot because of its more worn and mat finish. No shiny material to create hot spots.

Tiki has gladly modeled for me for the series of images that became the book “The Quotable Westie” (available on Amaazon) and enjoys working for treats. Now anytime I pull out my studios lights and soft-boxes he immediately comes hanging around just in case its his turn to model.

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Is Abstract Art part of a CIA Plot?

Interesting article from the BBC investigates the influence of the CIA on the art world after World War II.  As the Cold War began to heat up immediately after the defeat of Hitler in Germany and with the Russians grabbing a strong hold in East Germany, how did New York replace Paris as the center of the artworld?

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An what about this new art-form of Abstract Expressionism, the antithesis of the traditional French Art Academy painting.  From strict formal rules and approval by the academy to no rules and seemingly no skill required.

“The Abstract Expressionists emerged from obscurity in the late 1940s to establish New York as the centre of the art world – but some say they became pawns of US spies in the Cold War.”

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Was Abstract Expressionism part of the culture war against the godless communists?  Never before in history had an art movement so rapidly move to the top of the charts and start receiving so much money and attention.

By 1958, “The New American Painting, an influential exhibition organised by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, began a year-long tour of European cities including Basel, Berlin, Brussels, Milan, Paris, and London. The triumph of Abstract Expressionism was complete.”

Consider the war ended in 1944 so the emergence of a new art movement from New York no less to world domination took only 12 years.  Did the CIA whose mission was to promote American freedom against the Soviets and communism have a part in the rise of Abstract Expressionism?  Did they bank roll the exhibits and other wise promote the movement and help it spread around the world?  That’s story in the BBC article which come to no concrete conclusions although has people who were involved arguing both sides.

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In any case the consumerism celebrated in the Pop Art movement that came after Abstract Expressionism seemed even more of a celebration of freedom and the American way especially in contrast to the toil and bread lines of Soviet controlled Russia.  Art as a weapon or as a political expression for a more desirable way of life is a fascinating topic.


More abstract artwork

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5 Funky Cool Christmas Card Ideas

Christmas Card Ideas

Five fun, funky and unique Christmas card ideas from the portfolio of Edward M. Fielding. Individual cards are $6.95 but a box of 25 are only $3.00 per card. Envelopes are included.

1. Original Patent For Santa On Skis Figure
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Link to Christmas greeting card page:

2. Christmas Elf Dog

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Link to Christmas greeting card page:

3. Christmas Card

A toy car loaded with a Christmas present.
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Link to Christmas greeting card page:

4. Joy to the world

Stone chapel at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. Yes THAT family from the classic The Sound of Music. Great cross country skiing! Christmas card by Edward M. Fielding
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Link to Christmas card page:

5. Seasons Greetings

A trio of Christmas dogs, pugs wearing Santa Claus hats. Photography by Edward M. Fielding. How does one get three crazy pugs to sit still for a Christmas portrait? Easy just tell them that Santa Claus is watching so they better be good!

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Link to Christmas greeting card page:

More Christmas card ideas here:

About the Christmas Greeting Cards

All the card are 5×7 inches and coated with UV protection.  There is a spot for personalizing with your message.  Printed on heavy 100lb paper stock with semi-gloss surface on the outside and matte white finish on the inside. You can customize the message on the inside with up to 500 characters!  Each comes with a white envelope and the box sets come with a box of course.

A Christmas card is a greeting card sent as part of the traditional celebration of Christmas in order to convey between people a range of sentiments related to the Christmas and holiday season. Christmas cards are usually exchanged during the weeks preceding Christmas Day by many people (including non-Christians) in Western society and in Asia. The traditional greeting reads “wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”. There are innumerable variations on this greeting, many cards expressing more religious sentiment, or containing a poem, prayer, Christmas song lyrics orBiblical verse; others stay away from religion with an all-inclusive “Season’s greetings”.