Popham Beach State Park

I am still experimenting with video settings, so my videos are not yet of the best quality. I also have to release even more friction on my tripod head since there are still some places where the head catches, as seen with the jumpy areas as I pan the camera. You do, however, get a sense of the general beach environment (with commentary), if you click on the following link: Popham Beach 360 Video

This park is far more photogenic than Reid State Park. The beach is S-shaped and about a couple of miles long. It also has some rocky Islands close-in that provide some interesting backdrops. As with Reid Beach last week, there were just enough people walking about, adding interest to some of my shots.

I used my tripod to stabilize the camera for all my shots. I also stopped my aperture down to f/32 in order to use slower shutter speeds to somewhat blur the waters. However, this resulted in a slight softening of the overall images, except for the two driftwood photos where I used f/8.

I plan to return to another area of the beach later this week.

Going to the Beach

With this, and some future posts, I’m experimenting with short videos. Videography differs from photography in that it requires different skills and equipment. For example, whereas photography emphasizes seizing the best moment for subject, angle, and lighting; videography requires seeing over a span of time. Engaging cinemaphotography/videography (such as we see in movie production and PBS’s Nature series) requires far more lighting equipment, expensive video cameras, views from multiple angles (sometimes aloft with drones ), multiple takes, and camera rails for smooth camera movements, etcetera. All this edited and spliced together into the final product. Did I mention expensive? Well, I have none of these. I do, however, have a good still camera that can shoot video, and a tripod. So, you can let me know if these videos add anything engaging.

Sandy beach at Reid State Park, Maine

Although I have been out with the camera a few times this past winter, cold and the pandemic have limited my forays. Now that temperatures have moved into the warmish 40s, my fingers suffer far less. So, this past week-end I went to Reid State Park to see what I could find. I also brought my 35mm camera loaded with B&W film. The temperature was about 45o F and windy. I arrived shortly after 9:00, by noon the parking lot was about half full.

I thought all the sandy beaches were further south, but this park combined both sand and rock. Plate tectonics and erosion work in marvelous ways, giving us a planet with great scenes.

What interesting pics might you have from around Maine?

China ’95

My late wife traveled to China with some of her family in 1995. China was then in its second decade of rapid industrialization. Coal was the predominate source of electrical power, as evidence by the smog seen in these photos. China was and is the largest consumer of coal. Although it is now making great strides towards renewables, coal is still burned in vast quantities.

You can see Susan’s tourist photos at my on-line gallery. If you have any comments about your travels to China, do send them to me.

Low Tide At Higgins Beach

It’s the first day of March, overcast, and 35oF in Southern Maine. What better to do than to go surfing. Well, for some of us older folks the better thing was doing a vigorous walk up and down the beach. However, the parking lot was loaded with young people running around barefoot in wet suits to use the facilities before venturing out. One of us asked the silly question, Aren’t you guys cold?

We stopped at this beach last summer and early fall on group cycling rides when the beach was loaded with sunbathers–there were no surfers. So, I’m thinking surfing is only permitted during the colder months so swimmers don’t get hit by surfboards. This beach (much less parking space) is not long enough to accommodate a separate surfing area.

These young people are getting exercise and they are doing an activity that doesn’t pollute or emit greenhouse gases. A pretty good combination.

Let’s go surfing now, everyone’s learning how . . . .

Citizen Science on the Presumpscot

While on a recent hike one person suggested I consider volunteering to take photos in the Presumpscot River Watershed which flows into Casco Bay. Although this area is scientifically monitored for water quality, the Friends of Casco Bay are also interested in knowing about problematic areas that people might come upon. Key areas of interest are: erosion, sea-level rise seen at high tide, wildlife (dead or alive), algae blooms, trash, eel grass, and pollution. Volunteers document what they see with photographs which they can upload to their accounts on Water Reporter (similar to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird citizen science program). Once the data are analyzed, plans for addressing the problems are discussed with the appropriate authorities to come up with viable solutions.

As you can see, trash was the easiest category for me to document today. My plan is to revisit the same areas (I’ll add a couple more) so I can document these over time. The next full moon high tides will occur on November 14-18 so I’ll be photographing some shore areas during that period. If you recall my recent Falmouth Town Landing post, photos on Water Reporter show portions of that parking lot under water at high tide.

Just to mention, aside from minor adjustments such as exposure, I don’t process these photographs in order to preserve the look of the actual scene. Photographing times are determined by times of high and low tides, instead of best light. Today’s shoot took place during the hour prior to low tide. I set my camera to geo tag images, including elevation and camera direction.

Fall Past Prime

Fall in the woods

Everyone loves the fall colors. But things turn at different rates, as is the case with most things. I was in our urban woods last week to photograph the end-cycle, so to speak. I used fill-in flash with all the photographs in this shoot, then I added a little post-processing so some photos would take on a bit of a fine art look. Don’t think of things as dead, think of them as preparing the way for the next generation.

You can see more of these photos at my gallery.