Ice Castles: Exclusive Access!

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Imagine how cool it would be if you got to spend over two hours in a winter wonderland ice palace with practically nobody there. Imagine giant colorful ice walls and doorways with secret tunnels running through them. Imagine being able to wonder and marvel at the man-made ice caves, sculptures, rooms, passageways for as long as you could stand being there. Imagine that, and I need say no more… πŸ™‚

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icecastlesjpeg-3 icecastlesjpeg-5 icecastlesjpeg-10 icecastlesjpeg-11 icecastlesjpeg-9 icecastlesjpeg-2 icecastlesjpegOk, I’ll say a little more anyways…haha An awesome and terrifying weekend I spent in New Hampshire that turned out to be hard to beat this winter. Between the exclusive access to the ice castles in Lincoln, and making fresh snow tracks on I-93 mid-winter storm, it was one to remember….and share!

The Ice Castles, a rather new attraction in the Northeast has taken ski vacationers by storm! This place is so packed normally, I hardly see the draw for normal admission. There are fire dancers, a BBQ food truck (that doesn’t actually serve BBQ), Disney music (mostly from the movie Frozen), and sooooo many people! I know this because I checked in early during the normal operating hours and the place was swarmed! So travelers, beware, its awesome, but don’t be shocked by the number of people who also thought it would be awesome πŸ™‚

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Dear Film: Its been real, Its been fun…

So, after shooting film for about a month or so, I’m SO happy to say that my camera has been fixed by Fuji and will be returned to me in the next week or two! Not that I don’t love film, because I do :), but when I shoot six rolls that costs $100 to get developed and scanned and there are only about 9 shots that I happy with, I say thank goodness for my digital camera! (don’t forget the $50 or so for the rolls in the first place)

Ektar 100: its been fun, but quite honestly, I’m okay if you sit on the shelf for a little while, no hard feelings, you understand, you’re just too expensive! πŸ˜‰

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These are all using Ektar 100. The challenge with this was the 100 ISO because I was used to shooting only 400 ISO film. It meant slower shutter speeds in not so bright areas and for someone with not so steady hands, this was tough. I underexposed a lot. This guitar series is of my brother who is an excellent guitar player and not a bad singer either πŸ™‚

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Yes, It’s really grainy. I wanted to showcase how the film came directly out of the camera/lab/scanner so I barely processed these at all in Lightroom.

Also using the Ektar 100, I shot Moss Glen Falls on the scenic route 100 in Vermont. What an incredible drive! Through the mountains, winding roads that went on and on and on. It had a very calming effect. The Falls is right off the road and there is a small parking lot. It’s super convenient to get to! There’s even a nice little boardwalk that leads you right to it, easy peasy πŸ™‚ Since the pool in front of the falls was a little frozen over, I was able to get a little closer to the falls, following the snowy indents made by (most likely) photographers before me.

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Back in Boston I tried the Ektar 100 out on a cityscape sunset from East Boston after my BEC CPA exam. Nothing like taking pictures to relax after an incredibly stressful and long test. This was near Piers Park, but not exactly in it. It’s another abandoned decaying dock right next door. And I had it all to myself! Who else would stand there for 45 minutes in the freezing cold? πŸ™‚

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Each type of film is a little different and it takes some time to figure out how to use it to its highest potential with your camera and what you like to shoot. But that’s only half the battle! If you have access to a darkroom and a great scanner, then you’ve won, but if you don’t, you are at the mercy of photo labs and their scanners. πŸ™‚ Β 


Winter Storm Juno: Snow Day for Boston!

Snow day for Boston! – Work from home day for many like me. I did venture out however to the only store in Southie that was open – 7/11, thank heaven! πŸ˜‰ I was surprised to see that there were many people out and about, mostly packed into the Lincoln and Stats (South Boston bars). Here are some of the scenes of the excursion (all shot with the iPhone!).

039FB3EE-18B8-46E6-AA4F-25DDFFAE8752 132AB319-7FD0-4F60-8D53-A6FDAFE9EEBB 3598BC8F-E1CA-4393-84C2-8661BF705061 8DFE3C69-9EAD-4725-8AC5-20A5BF67F7F2On top of many of the cars in this neighborhood, there were these wave-like formations of snow, resembling mohawks! Very stylish. No doubt having to do with the strong winds that accompanied the snowfall.

3194AFF6-D422-44DC-A9A0-F5883DDE2DB7 3DBCC726-36B9-4FC7-A358-14B1C3939490West Broadway devoid of traffic. Some of the sidewalks were shoveled, but not completely, so I had to walk on the road. Totally safe being that the only vehicles on the road were police SUVs, and plows.Β  F6C4D775-FDC0-41DC-9ADC-1EB15B834C6C B3E74E87-317F-4714-9FEC-A6839A43041C E6A6C00F-B952-4B54-830B-E80B633B1C21The MBTA may not be running, but the kids sled express is!

E52A0715-87B2-4AA3-AB5B-86747932E5AA7/11 IS OPEN πŸ™‚

144FCE02-C469-4138-A71E-DC03B37031E2The heavy duty guys were called in!

E54561B9-512B-4005-A058-9F219E28C85FPanning with the iPhone!

1C7E2426-9C74-43BB-AFE8-04AA67413623Fog? – nope, the wind is still pretty strong and many times it blew the top layers into a whirlwind around me!

iPhone 365: First 15!

This challenge is hard! And I’ve only been doing it for less than 15 days…

Doing this with the iPhone certainly makes it a lot easier than carrying my camera around. I can shoot quicker, be more reactive, more flexible. πŸ™‚ Some of these places I can go back and shoot with my camera when it’s fixed, but some of these moments are irreplaceable. The awesome thing about moments is that you will never have another one quite like the one you are currently experiencing. Uniqueness is a cornerstone of our world. Unique people, unique moments. The amazing thing of the camera is that we can capture those unique moments to remember and relive as many times as we want.

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Day 6: Snow in Boston

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Day 7: Ice in Castle Island

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Day 8: Boston Common Fountain at Night

Cmas is over _(

Day 9: Christmas Trees go to the garbage. 😦

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Day 10: Joe Pug with the Devil Makes Three Concert! Woo!

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Day 11: Pre-work week candlelight reading and relaxing.

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Day 12: Back to Work! – Tilt Shift of the Boston Harbor and Greenway.

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Day 13: Reflections of the Intercontinental Hotel.

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Day 14: You Are The Fire That Keeps Me Warm At Night (aka my space heater haha)

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Day 15: Boston Fire Crane (It’s nice having a fire station the next building over!)

BONUS SHOTS! (Here are some other shots that I took, but didn’t make the cut, but are still cool!)

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Why I love the idea of a 365 Project: The one thing that photography does for me more importantly is keep my memories of what I’ve done, where I’ve been, and what I’ve experienced alive. My memory is terrible due to several concussions in high school so I will forget many things that I do and experience. All it takes is a photo to bring back those memories and feelings which is great, because not being able to remember many things in detail from initial memory is kind of a bummer. Most of the time, it just takes a trigger or several, and photography is my saving trigger. πŸ™‚

A Snowy Thanksgiving

“Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.”

-Robert Frost

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Our first big snowstorm in the Northeast ended early Thanksgiving morning, leaving a blanket of pure untouched white snow behind. I’ve never really shot in the snow before because I always thought it wasn’t worth it, or that it was just ugly and boring, and took the landscape for granted. But this morning changed my mind about shooting in the winter entirely. It’s absolutely beautiful and right now I wish that the snow would never melt…until March that is. Β πŸ™‚

New Hampshire was once again my muse and my mother was my transportation and co-shooter/partner in crime. The first farm shot is from my neighborhood just as we were leaving to go shoot Lake Massabesic, in Auburn, NH (which is where most of these shots are from!). One thing I can sayΒ is if your driving ALWAYS pull over and take the shot! It’s always worth it and you have no regrets. πŸ™‚

This shot below was actually from the bottom of our street. We did have to knock a few branches to get out, sorry trees!

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This is from a little inlet of the lake. Massabesic is actually a reservoir, so that rules out swimming in the summer, but in the winter there are a couple of ice fishers that head out as soon as the ice is ready. It’s a pretty peaceful place.

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A bit of woods on the lake…

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Clearing away the clutter in these next two…snowy1-6

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A new thing I tried this morning (above) was making more art in the “fine” spectrum, by simply moving my camera a little bit during a longer exposure. I had seen another Arcanum apprentice use this in her critique for her art and thought it was interesting. What do you think?

Speaking of the Arcanum, I’m preparing for my Level 14 critique in the Arcanum (http://thearcanum.com), which means that after this, I only have one more critique before I hit the end of Sphere 1! From where I’ve started to where I’ve come in such a short period of time amazes me. I look back and no joke, I really sucked! This might be a tad weird, but I can hear Rick Sammon’s voice in my head about the levels of competence in photography (and maybe in a more general sense as well): (1) unconscious incompetence, (2) conscious incompetence, (3) conscious competence, and (4) unconscious competence. I came from the unconscious incompetence to somewhere between conscious incompetence and conscious competence (more so on the side of conscious incompetence!).

Look for more snowy scenes next time! (I also just dropped my camera this morning, well my tripod tipped with it on it (because I’m a clutz), but it looks like I might be out one expensive camera! You may just see film shots from me for the rest of the winter haha gotta laugh, otherwise I will cry over the potential death of my beloved Fuji X-E1. Hopefully it’s fixable!)

Cabin Fever

It’s March…winter has been here in Boston for a while now…and I’m starting to get the feeling of the walls moving closer, the air inside seems more and more stale, and everything has been mostly white and grey for the past few months. Cabin fever, seasonal depression, winter blues, call it what you want…it blows. (It could also be because I live and work in the city and miss the scenery of rural-ish New Hampshire)

So, to get out a bit, maybe see some green, I thought some winter hiking would be a good idea, maybe some picture taking (always cheers me up πŸ™‚ )…but ending up getting lost…alone…I know, not very smart….it was only supposed to be a small “hill”, but it was too steep for my fitness level (aka no level post-holiday/new years/superbowl/etc…). Well here’s a little bit of what my day looked like….(Blue Hills Reservation: Buck Hill: Skyline Trail)

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Of course, I was trying to get away from the concrete jungle (boston)…but from the summit of the “hill”, you can’t get away from it, its still there!
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Well, that’s pretty much it! Until next post…Happy Wednesday!