Nubble Lighthouse York Maine, photography mecca

Nubble Light Cape Neddick Lighthouse

Nubble Lighhouse, York Maine – an iconic New England Landmark

Officially named the Cape Neddick Light,  Nubble Light is no doubt one of the most photographed American iconic locations in all of New England. Picture perfect Cape Neddick in York Maine hosts one of the most picturesque lighthouses in the country and includes a convenient parking lot and adjacent Lobster Shack for handy lobster rolls while you gaze across the inlet at the classic Maine lighthouse and its many out buildings, white picket fence and jagged granite cliffs.

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More lighthouse photographs and artwork here

 How to get there:

Accessibility: Follow Nubble Road east from Route 1A (Long Beach Ave.) in York, near Long Sands Beach, for about 1 mile to Sohier Park. Click here for more detailed directions. There is free parking at Sohier Park with an excellent view of the lighthouse. The lighthouse and grounds are not open to the public.

About

Compact park offering scenic views of historic lighthouse plus scuba diving, fishing & gift shop.
Sohier Park Rd, York, ME 03909
Hours:  Open today · Open 24 hours

Stats

  • Station established: 1879
  • Present lighthouse built: 1879
  • Automated: 1987
  • Construction materials: Cast iron lined with brick
  • Height of tower: 41 feet
  • Height of focal plane: 88 feet
  • Original optic: Fourth-order Fresnel lens (1879)
  • Present optic: Fourth-order Fresnel lens (1928)

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Brief History From Wikipedia:

The Cape Neddick Light is a lighthouse in Cape Neddick, York, Maine. In 1874 Congress appropriated $15,000 to build a light station at the “Nubble” and in 1879 construction began. Cape Neddick Light Station was dedicated by the U.S. Lighthouse Service and put into use in 1879. It is still in use today.

Plans had been in the works to build a lighthouse on the site since 1837. The tower is lined with brick and sheathed with cast iron. It stands 41 feet (12 m) tall but the light is 88 feet (27 m) above sea level because of the additional height of the steep rocky islet on which it sits. Unusually, the stanchions of the walkway railing around the lantern room are decorated with 4-inch (100 mm) brass replicas of the lighthouse itself.

Nubble Light is a famous American icon and a classic example of a lighthouse. The Voyager spacecraft, which carries photographs of Earth’s most prominent man-made structures and natural features, should it fall into the hands of intelligent extraterrestrials, includes a photo of Nubble Light with images of the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal.

Cape Neddick Light is one of the last eight lights in Maine to still have its Fresnel lens. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Cape Neddick Light Station on April 16, 1985, reference number 85000844.

The lighthouse and island were featured in the movie “Lost Boundaries” (1949) starring Mel Ferrer.

More lighthouse photographs and artwork here

Come to the Dark Side – Low Key Photography

How to create low key still live photographs

How to get the low key look in photography

Low key photography is full of dark, black backgrounds, shadows and moody lighting. Highlights define the outlines of objects but there are spare mid-tones. Low key photography requires careful lighting, you need to provide just enough light for the subject without lighting the background.

Low key photography is highly cinematic, film noir like, and dramatic. In the world of painting it would be called “chiarscuro” which has a full range from deep dark blacks to pure white highlights.

Low-key lighting is a style of lighting for photography, film or television. It is a necessary element in creating a chiaroscuro effect. Traditional photographic lighting, three-point lighting uses a key light, a fill light, and a back light for illumination. Low-key lighting often uses only one key light, optionally controlled with a fill light or a simple reflector.  Low key lighting has a higher lighting ratio, e.g., 8:1, than high-key lighting, which can approach 1:1.

Examples of Low Key Photography

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How to Achieve Low Key Photography

Low key photography can be created with lighting techniques in a dark room or within Adobe Photoshop by manipulating the highlights and shadows in levels.

In the above examples the old car was shot during the day and then worked in Photoshop to create a more dramatic low key look.  Same with the silver spoons with leaves.  Shot on an overcast day and then manipulated in Photoshop.

The other examples were shot with a single, low light source in a dark studio, often with against a background of an open door leading to a dark room.  Lighting was from the side to minimize any light hitting the background.  Any background elements that did appear in the shot were burned in Photoshop to make them fade into the shadows.  Highlights are typically dodged to increase their value.

How to Dodge and Burn in Photoshop

In the old darkroom days, a photographer would dodge (block light) and burn (allow more light) certain areas of the print to achieve the look they wanted.  You can do the same in Photoshop.

Dodging and burning contact sheet example
Dodging and burning “map” on a Richard Avedon portrait shows how much dodging and burning goes on in a traditional black and white fine art image.

How to remove people from photographs

Remove People – sometimes you want people in photographs, sometimes you don’t – Tips for People Removal

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Isn’t annoying?  You reach a beautiful spot, get ready to take a photograph and there are some annoying tourists right in the middle of your shot.  You wait for them to leave but then another one walks in front of your camera.  And then a bus load of Japanese tourists drives up and suddenly you have a hoard in front of your lens.  What do do?  Laboriously clone them out using Photoshop’s healing or cloning brushes?

A better solution might be to image stack the photos.  Basically if the people are on the move and you have your camera on a tripod, you can take a dozen pictures and stack them together.  Photoshop can figure out what moved between “frames” and fill in the missing information.  And voila!  Annoying tourists disappear like magic.  Here is how to do it:

  • Take at least a dozen photos in your ideal spot using a tripod.
  • In Photoshop and go to File > Scripts > Statistics.
  • Select “Median” for the stack mode and check “Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images.”
  • Click the “Browse…” button to select your set of photos and hit OK.
Use this Adobe Photoshop trick to remove people from photographs.

Photoshop will process the images to preserve the static background and remove everything that changes between the shots (the moving people). There might be some cleanup to do in Photoshop (lingering limbs, for example), but this might be the quickest and easiest way to get postcard-quality photos of your last trip. – Melanie Pinola

This video shows you how to remove people from the images using Adobe Photoshop and their scripts. It’s Magic!!!! Now you see them – Now you don’t. Use the Photoshop Median Stack Script to disappear the tourists from your photos.

Recommended Equipment for Comcast Xfinity

When we moved into our house in Etna, NH we assumed that Satellite Internet was going to be available, only to have the Sat provider tell us that our zipcode was full!  We had dial up for two years before Fairpoint brought DSL to the street.  DSL speeds have been fine for streaming music and movies, uploading photographs but uploading videos takes a long long time.

Now we are moving to a new address that has Comcast Xfinity.  I’m looking at my options and I’m anticipating doing a lot more work on my YouTube channel in the future.

You have a choice with Comcast and many other cable Internet providers to rent equipment from them for something like $10 a month (forever) or buy your own equipment.

Buying your own equipment saves you money and in most cases you can buy better equipment than what they would provide you.  Faster equipment can giver you better speeds than perhaps the rental equipment.

You’ll need a cable modem to get wired Internet and a wifi router to beam the signal around the house.  Or you can get a gateway which is an all in one unit.

A gateway is convenient but you do lose the option of upgrading the router if something new comes along and if one part of it goes bad, you have to replace the whole thing.  I considered this but then went with the ARRIS SURFboard SBG7580-AC Cable Modem/Router Combo as reviewed at the end of this blog because of the value and speed.  I’m starting with a basic 25 mps package but I might increase it if I need to – DSL was only 15 mps and the son is going off to college so I think we’ll be fine.

Note that DOCSIS 3.0 is the current standard supported by Comcast and other providers.

Here are some options:

Cable Modems

We recommend the Arris SB6141 ($54.99 on Amazon) . While it has been around for years, the SB6141 still delivers consistent performance while supporting the data-transfer speeds most home users get from their broadband service. Easy-to-interpret indicator lights, compatibility with most major ISPs and a two-year warranty seal the deal for the SB6141.

If your Internet plan delivers faster speeds than the SB6141 can handle, the SB6183 ($99), also from Arris, is just as dependable.

Current recommendations from Comcast:

If you want to future proof your purchase, consider getting one of these cable modems:

ARRIS SB8200 3.1

Up to 1001 Mbps
32 down × 8 up
DOCSIS 3.1

ARRIS SB6190

Up to 644 Mbps
32 down × 8 up
DOCSIS 3.0

 

Gateways

Gateways are cable modems and wifi routers in one device.  While it’s tempting to buy just one device, keep in mind that if any part of a hybrid device fails, you’re out both a modem and a router. Having a modem-router combo also complicates upgrading, since routers tend to add support for new networking features at a more rapid clip than modems do.

Comcast currently recommends this gateway:

Introducing the first Gigabit+ cable modem Gateway available in retail. The SURFboard sbg7580-ac is 3 products in 1: a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, Dual-Band concurrent 802.11AC Wi-Fi access point and 4-port Gigabit Ethernet router. With download speeds up to 1.4Gbps, upload speeds up to 343Mbps and Wi-Fi speeds up to 1750 Mbps it’s the most powerful Wi-Fi modem in the SURFboard lineup. No more buffering while streaming HD video. No lag while gaming with friends. And best of all, no more dead spots! stop spending on monthly rental fees and own your modem.

  • Cable Modem and Wi-FI Router. 802.11AC Wi-Fi Router provides speeds up to 1900 Mbps. Dual-band concurrent 2.4GHz and 5GHz
  • Works with Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Charter and MOST Small Regional Cable Providers. PENDING approval Bright House Networks
  • 32 x 8 bonded channels with download speeds up to 1.4 Gbps and upload speeds up to 262 Mbps
  • Ideal for streaming HD Video and gaming on multiple devices at a time
  • Supports IPv4 and IPv6 – the latest Internet standard

In our opinion, the ARRIS SURFboard SBG7580-AC Cable Modem/Router Combo is an excellent value for anyone who wants to get the most of their internet connection. It’s advanced enough that you’ll be able to keep it for many years without having to upgrade. The fact that there is such a high quality router installed in the modem is just the icing on the cake. Usually the wireless routers found in modems are just an afterthought, and provide only the bare minimum service required to keep consumers happy. With it, the router is just as good as any mid to high level consumer router available on the market.

Another reason we love the SBG7580-AC is that it uses the DOCSIS 3.0 standard. Many modems use a modified version of DOCSIS and are only compatible with certain ISPs. The SURFboard, on the other hand, is theoretically compatible with every cable ISP in the United States.  – Full Review at: https://nerdtechy.com/arris-surfboard-sbg7580-ac-modem-router-review

American Auto Icon The 57 Chevy Bel Air

Chevy Bel Air at the Beach

The 1957 Chevrolet is a car which was introduced by Chevrolet in September 1956 for the 1957 model year. It was available in three series models: the upscale Bel Air, the mid-range Two-Ten, and the One-Fifty. A two-door station wagon, the Nomad was produced as a Bel Air model. An upscale trim option called the “Delray” was available for two-ten 2-door sedans. It is a popular and sought after classic car. These vehicles are often restored to their original condition and sometimes modified. The car’s image has been frequently used in toys, graphics, music, movies and television. The ’57 Chevy, as it is often known, is an auto icon

 

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Life is good when you head down to the beach for sunset, snap a few photographs of an American Bald Eagle chewing on a Sheep Head Fish, get chased out by no-seem-ums and catch a classic vintage red and white Chevy Bel Air parked right up on the sand.

With moments of light fading and the threat of the owner, keys in hand, wandering back towards his baby, the brain has to think fast. Settings, ISO, shutterspeed, composition, aperture, how angle the shot to keep that garbage can out of the frame, owner approaching just over the bend, yikes can I get it? Shots taken within moments and then the moment is gone. Car, beach, sky, captured. Post processing to bring out the car’s beauty along with the colors of the perfect evening at the beach.

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What a day dream to find such a beautiful car parked as if it was ready for a magazine shoot. One of those moments you can plan, you just have to be ready for these special life moments. Sure you could plan it. If you had a fashion spread budget, hired the car for the evening, had a light crew or perhaps a movie budget. But perhaps its somewhat easier to simply put yourself at the ready and in place for these moments of serendipity.

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Recently sold – 20.000″ x 13.375″ print of 1957 Chevy Bel Air to a buyer from Kenosha, WI.

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Bonus feature: Cars in the Wild

Somehow my path and these great old vintage cars seem to cross here in New England.

To make more interesting photos, become more interesting

“If you want to make more interesting pictures, become a more interesting person.” – Jay Maisel

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Legendary NYC photographer and workshop instructor, Jay Maisel is a quotable fellow and one of his most famous sayings involves the idea of being a more interesting person leads to more interesting art and photography.

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Being more interesting requires being well-read, exposed to new ideas and different points of view and seeing all that life offers. Think about who the most interesting people are at a party. Is it the guy talking about his new lawn mower and the snow tires he bought at Walmart or is it the gal who likes to eat exotic things and just came back from a trip backpacking through India?

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Who do you think comes back with the most compelling photographs? The one who dusts off the camera every time the roses are in bloom, or the one who ventured into an abandoned factory to capture dust swirling in the air?

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To make interesting and compelling images one has to have a sense of adventure and purpose. Playing it safe or standing in the Kodak moment spots in the most visited National Parks ain’t going to result in exciting images. This is more of “I was there” or “I saw a buffalo” type images that clog up the arteries of Facebook on a daily basis.

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Creating something new, something unique, something exciting requires leaving the beaten path and finding your own voice. Giving yourself permission to follow your own interests and passions, not the “approved” photography subjects that have been done to death.

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Artist, designer and fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding strives to live an interesting life.  Next  stop:  A 10 day trip around the Ring Road in Iceland in an RV.  Should be an interesting adventure of a life time.

How an artist can improve their business

 

Folks, being an artist means running a small business.  For some reason artists have a hard time understanding this fact.  They think that being an artist is some kind of pure en-devour divorced from the reality of things such as expenses, taxes, accounting, marketing and economics.

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An artist is someone who produces a luxury good.  These goods are sold for income and on the other side of the balance sheet there are all of the expenses involved in producing that good – gas, studio rental, time, material costs etc.

It is not enough for an artist to simply know their art materials and how to produce the product.  That is probably 50% of the business.  The other half is all of the stuff the typical artist seeks to avoid – the “boring” stuff like promotion, marketing, accounting, planning, taxes, logistics etc.

Earlier in my career I went to Boston University’s School of Management with a concentration in Marketing. We studied accounting, business strategy, market research, pricing, marketing, etc. But I went in with a strong entrepreneurial streak having made and sold various items all throughout high school. Later I applied what I learn in school and in a career in the publishing industry to my fine art photography business.

Certainly not every artist needs a degree in Business Administration to pursue a successful art career but these are the topics to study and understand though reading, workshops, seminars or simply asking the right questions to the right people.

Basic understanding of economics, the laws of supply and demand, certainly can go a long way to understanding how an artist can meet up with potential buyers of their artwork.

How does an artist get better at business?  You become better at business by understanding the market, understanding the buyers motivations and understand the niche you represent in the market place.

A few resources:
* CreativeLive – CreativeLive: Free Live Online Classes (http://www.creativelive.com)
* Dogford Studios – Selling Artwork Archives – Dogford Studios (http://www.dogfordstudios.com/category/selling-artwork/)
* Book: Show Your Work

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A few things to do right away:

  • One thing to do right away is to start keeping track of your expenses. Income is just important but real income accounts for your expenses. You might find that you are selling your work at a loss after figuring out your time, gas, storage and cost of materials.
  • Set yourself up as a legit small business and operate as such. Make goals and budget accordingly. Figure out where you need to promote your work, how much work you need to produce, what prices the market will support and the steps needed to take to achieve your goals.
  • Create a five year plan.  Where do you want to be in five years?  Then break down the plan into 1 year, 3 year and 5 years goals.  Reevaluate the plan every year and make adjustments.
  • Identify your target market.  Who is your buyer?  Identify the buyers of your artwork and understand their needs.  Why do they buy artwork? How often do they buy? Where do they buy? How do they buy? What needs does art satisfy to the them?  You know why you enjoy producing art – what makes buying art satisfying to your buyers?  How will you find these buyers?  How will you get your art to them?  Who will handle the transaction? Etc.

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10 Reasons to Tour Iceland Via Camper Van

RV rental in Iceland

Nothing beats the flexibility of camping when it comes to exploring Iceland. Why choose a camper van in Iceland?  Here are some great reasons:

  1. Save money.  Campsites are cheaper than hotels and you don’t have to rent a car.
  2. Flexibility. Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts on Iceland are few and far between.
  3. Unpredictable weather.  By camping you can change your schedule with the changes in weather.
  4. In a camper van you can go anywhere and do anything you want to do.
    There are 3 persons per square kilometer in Iceland. This allows you to basically disappear into the nature in a motor-home, caravan or camper van.
  5. No reservations needed. In Iceland you won’t need to reserve a spot at a camp site . You need simply to show up and enjoy it. Camp sites are very modern and have good facilities.
  6. Easy to get around. All of Iceland’s ring road (road no.1) is asphalt which allows you to drive safely around Iceland in any type of camper van.
  7. No planning needed.  You just follow the good weather and enjoy where it takes you.
  8. Great views from any parking spot. In Iceland there are hardly any trees. Therefore you always have an amazing 360° view from a camper at all times.
  9. Bring your kitchen with you. With a Camper van you have a kitchen wher-ever you go. This will save you lot´s of cash. Fast food in Iceland is expensive.
  10. Unpack once.  Instead of having to pack and unpack every day, with a camper you can unpack once.
Small camper vans are perfect for couples. Certainly beats setting up a tent every night. Compact but weather proof!
Camper rentals in Iceland can be tiny i.e. cooking outside to full sized RVs. Smaller campers are easier to drive and are cheaper but have some drawbacks regarding space.
Larger RV type campers are available with luxuries such as bathrooms and more space for larger families. Just be sure to read the rental agreement! Most don’t allow you to go on unpaved roads!

10 Tips for Camping and Driving in Iceland

We’re off to Iceland in a few weeks. Renting an RV and taking to the Ring Road for 10 days. Should be an adventure of a lifetime! Here are some tips I’ve collected.

RV rental in Iceland
RV rental in Iceland
  1. Hold on to the car or camper door!  The number one car insurance claim in Iceland is car doors being ripped off the hinges due to heavy winds.
  2. Bring disposable gloves for handling the “output” pipes.  If you haven’t used an RV before, you are in for a treat in handling the waste at dump stations.  Be ready to handle the pipes with ziplock bag full of gloves.
  3. Hot Dogs at the gas stations around Iceland are world famous for being great.  Fill up the tank and grab a snack.  Most have great WiFi too.  A home away from home.
  4. Be prepared for cold and rain.  Rain resistant ain’t going to cut it.  Pack some cheap rain proof gear.  The kind that makes you sweat but are truly rain proof.
  5. Bring a lot of power adapters and USB chargers.  Camera batteries will be pushed to the max, be sure to have a few extras.
  6. Sleep will be difficult – in the summer there is barely any night time and the howling wind will keep you awake.  Bring eye shades and ear plugs.
  7. Learn the rules of the road.  You’ll be confronted with all sorts of road obstacles including gravel roads, sheep in the road, one way bridges and one way tunnels.  Read up on the rules of the road, stay alert and watch your speed!
  8. Camp only in real campgrounds.  Despite what you might have heard, you can’t just pull over anywhere and camp.
  9. Visit the local pools and hot springs for showers.  Scrub to Icelantic standards of cleanliness, enjoy a soak in the hot spring pools and then shower again.  Just keep your hair out of the mineral rich water if you don’t want it to crack off later.
  10. Keep you eyes on the road.  If you can’t, find a safe spot to pull over.  Don’t block the road and be wary of ditches and soft shoulders.
Good grief! Who does this? Public hairdryers are not “pubic” hair dryers. Sign appear warning people not to dry their privates with the public hair dryers.
The six zones to wash well before entering a squeaky clean Icelandic pool. If you haven’t learned to clean yourself, this is a good lesson!

Some suggested products to pack:

Recently Sold Sunset in the Horse Barn Fine Art Photograph

Horse Barn Sunset

I recently sold a 16.000″ x 12.000″ print of Horse Barn Sunset to a buyer from Sioux Falls, SD.

Horse Barn Sunset

  • Image Size: 16.000″ x 12.000″
  • Total Size: 25″ x 21″
  • Print Material: Luster Photo Paper
  • Frame: PEC6 – Plein Air Economy – Espresso Gold (PEC6)
  • Top Mat: Ivory
  • Bottom Mat: Fudge
  • Finishing: 1/8″ Clear Acrylic – Foam Core Mounting
Vermont Horse Barn
Sunsets on a Vermont Horse Barn.

The story behind Horse Barn Sunset goes something like this – we had recently moved to the Upper Valley region to Hanover, NH from Mount Desert Island, Maine.  We wouldn’t have made the move if my wife’s old friend Ben encouraged her to take the job at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.  Ben is friend and previous co-worker from the old days in the Boston area.

Ben and his wife Ellen moved to Royalton, Vermont a number of years ago and renovated an old farm house, built a horse barn and now have a collection of horse carriages and participate in competitive carriage driving events.

They invited us over for dinner on late fall day when the beautiful Vermont autumn was still in its glory.  I asked if they would mind us coming over early so we planned to get there before the sun set but it took us longer than we planned and arrived when the sun was nearly gone.

I and my camera of course, jumped out of the car and took some pictures, leaving my wife and son to handling the greetings.  I managed to grab a few photos of the horse barn from the outside and inside before the light faded and then had time to be gracious to my host.

This photo from inside Ben’s fine horse barn has sold a number of times.  It was a tricky capture with the dark interior of the horse barn and the bright foliage outside in the yard.  It took a lot of post processing work to preserve the details of the buildings structure and even a horse in one of the stalls.

Outside the foliage of the autumn season is still brilliant in the fading sun on a wonderful fall evening in the Upper Valley, sharing a meal with friends.

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