Category: Personal Project

This is Jack…and Zoe.

Jack is one of my all-time closest friends, a kid I met while I was teaching photography at an arts camp in Massachusetts. He had this innate curiosity about just about everything – that and a great eye for art and a knack for photography – well, you can figure the rest out. He quickly started turning into a phenomenal photographer.

Not only that, but he thought I was a pretty decent photographer that he could learn from, so we started hanging out. That was six years or so ago…and a friendship that has grown in breadth and depth with each year. We went from being counselor and camper to counselor and counselor, he’s now my second shooter at weddings, and it’s a treat to go out and just shoot with Jack.

He’s probably going to get a swelled head if he reads this, but oh well!

He was so intent – on his photography, on playing and producing music, on doing mostly bizarre things with computers, on studying his butt off – that he never seemed to have time for romance or relationships.

Imagine my surprise when he suddenly was hanging out with the cutest – and incredibly interesting girl, Zoe.

This past weekend we met up after they had scoured Northern New Hampshire checking out the fall foliage – and on a cold and blustery New England day I did some portraits of them.

Here’s one I’m particularly fond of.

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I am an extremely lucky person – I have met and photographed some simply amazing people along the way, but few as incredible as world class potter and close friend Elizabeth Cohen. Her pottery inspires me – as it probably will you, check it out at – and she and her family are among the most grounded folks I know.

A month ago I traveled to see her to photograph her children and to do a family portrait. After those were shot, Elizabeth asked if I might do some of her…but not in her studio.

Here’s one of the photos from the shoot, one that, at least for me, travels deep into her soul. Tell me if it strikes you that way, is it more than just a portrait of a person?

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It has been a really strange run of weather – snow that seemed limitless this winter coupled with brutally cold temperatures, a dry spring that’s been cool and suddenly 80 degree temperatures. No transitions, no warning, no mud season . . . but the tick population is healthy if me and my dog are any indication – every time we come back from the woods there are ticks to be picked off.

The sky lately has looked more like fall – and I’m just constantly shaking my head at the nay sayers who say there’s no such thing as global climate change. I think they should go outside for a little bit.

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Out for a hike  to spend time with family…and do some photography as well…and came upon this old house. Judging from the beams, we’re talking a home from the mid 1700’s I’d guess. From the looks of it, years of neglect and a roof that no longer kept out the weather were it’s demise and it’s now being taken down board by board. The person doing the job must be planning on re-using the lumber…and he or she has an infinite amount of patience! I’ve done that work before and it’s not for a person in any hurry.

What caught my eye was the door – would love to know why it is still on – not doing much in the way of keeping anything out, but visually a real treat. So, thank you to the unknown person doing the work – you provided a very satisfying photograph for me!

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The past few days my nature writing and photography class has been working on a conceptual assignment – the disappearing season. Their task was to ponder that concept and in photographs and writing create a journal entry or entries. As I dealt with tons of their questions, I thought I’d take a stab at it myself – it’s easier to deal with their frustrations and issues if I’ve encountered them myself.

A walk through the woods to the river  and I came to realize I was almost too late – the ice is virtually gone, but I came up with a few images that seemed to work.

Looks like the disappearing season is disappearing quickly…here comes Spring!

As always, feedback is greatly appreciated.JRR_5184JRR_5150JRR_5168JRR_5181JRR_5158JRR_5202

Bone-chilling cold, then mild Spring-like then bone-chilling cold…but not enough snow to make it seem like it’s already mid-January. That’s been the story of our winter so far.

And unless you’re a plow truck driver there a lot of people see certain benefits to the lack of white stuff on the ground – certainly cold enough for the ski areas to make plenty of snow.

Looked out the office window this morning and was struck by the wind swept patterns in the couple of inches of snow we do have on the ground – still haven’t bought that macro lens I keep promising myself so I shot from 30 feet up with a long lens…came out kinda interesting.

Would love to hear what you think!

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Anyone living in New England knows how lucky we’ve been – with the exception of the Thanksgiving storm the weather has been mild and snowless – bad for the skiers, boarders and plow truck folks, but good for the rest of us.

Can’t say I minded seeing the ground on Christmas, but I have a feeling the party’s about over. The river in Newmarket is freezing fast – out with the dog and a symphony of cracking and groaning ice as the tide went out. Thinking the rain is pretty much over – winter’s about to rear her head and blanket us.

Doesn’t matter really, we live in New England for a reason. So shooting snowless photos may be about to end – until then, here’s the river ice and wishes for a wonderful New Year.


Good friend and world class wildlife rehabilitator Jane Kelly called the other day – she was releasing a young Barred Owl back into the wild after nursing it back to health, was I interested. Ok, it’s hard not to be facetious when answering that question – seeing raptors up close, having the opportunity to watch them return to their natural habitat, heck just seeing an owl instead of just hearing it – how could a person pass up that opportunity.

So this beauty, which had been hit by a car, was so ready to take off – biting Jane, clacking it’s beak ( reminded me of the sound of the alien in Predator). Jane let it go and it took off to the trees like it had been shot from a cannon. Immediately perched on a branch and started taking in it’s surroundings. What a moment.

After, Jane brought out a Eurasian eagle Owl – the largest in the owl family, which looked like a great horned owl on steroids and had the most piercing eyes I’ve ever seen .

Just another amazing experience with this lady who is so comfortable with birds of prey, birds that stir both awe and fear in most of us. Her raptor rehabilitation work is supported by visits to schools to educate the rest of us about raptors – interested, leave a comment or send me an email – I’ll connect you to the coolest raptor lady ever.

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Starting to revert more and more to Black and White – it’s where I started and where I keep returning. There’s just something so honest about black and white – you don’t get lost in the color, your attention is forced into the content and composition of the photo.

In this day and age of filters, presets and canned actions the craft of imaging feels lost in a sea of one-click adjustments. It feels nice to look at images in a simpler way though I think black and white is really much more complex.

Take Torunn, for instance. Her blond hair and red shorts pull your eye away from the feeling of the pure innocence of a napping child. There’s certainly a time and place where color really adds to the information, but for the most part I think it detracts.

Torunn is the youngest daughter of the head of the textile department at Charles River Arts Camp ( my home away from home in the summer). She – like her Mom – is a super high energy never-stop-for-a-break kind of kid.
The other day she finally ran out of steam – much to the surprise . . . and delight of her babysitter.
I was threatened with my life if I woke her while shooting – I was very careful!
Now if I could figure out how to load that Tri-X film into a digital camera! Just imagine, the speed of digital combined with the quality of film.
Nirvana indeed.


I spend a lot of time in the woods with my dog. He needs ( and deserves ) to get out and run daily – he just was never designed for a leash and 6 feet of non-freedom. And the truth be told, I kinda need that freedom too. Being in the woods is where I release the pent up stress, frustration and aggravations that can build up.

He and I frequently go to the “rail trail”. It’s a recreational trail that has snowmobiles in the winter and bikes and runners/walkers the other three seasons. It’s also an attraction for people who want their dogs to get off leash as well as a wildlife haven.

A week ago I was still walking on ice and slush and the beaver pond/swamp was iced in. Yesterday it was all mud…and ice out. It’s officially spring!

Two great blue herons wading the shorelines and a beaver working out the rust from an ice bound winter – and an almost full moon at dusk. No gloves or layers needed- and a week or so before the mosquitos hatch though I suspect the ticks are already crawling around.

But the best part – the peepers calling so loud you can’t hear yourself think, the surest sign that winter is over, a sound so delightful it keeps you up at night. It’s a fleeting moment – the peepers are only active for a week or so, but it’s like the best dessert ever.

Spring – yes!

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