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Sand art taken to a new level at the Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Contest – Not your average sand castle
As a New England’er I have heard the buzz and talk regarding the Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Contest and Festival; but until now I have never had the opportunity to attend. In all honesty I didn’t have plans to attend the event and I actually stumbled on it by accident, I am so glad I did because I will be going back again next year.
As I drove home from Salem, Massachusetts after photographing the sunrise I followed the coastline of the North Shore of Massachusetts, I took a ride by Revere beach . I was in complete awe as I saw these colossal mounds of artistic sand creations being transformed before my very eyes, I just had to hit the brakes and pull over.
Revere Beach is just a quick drive or train ride from Boston and easy accessible from all directions within New England via route 93 and route 1.
This crescent shaped beach offers breathtaking views of Massachusetts Bay and is a total of 3 miles in length, prime real-estate for the Boston area residents to enjoy the surf, sun and sand at America’s oldest public beach.
The National Sand Sculpting Contest at Revere beach is actually an annual event in its 11th year and attracts sand sculpting artists from all over globe. The talent us unbelievable and if you’re like me, you know as a child how difficult a basic sand castle can be to create never mind transforming an artist’s vision into sand art.
This year Rusty Croft from Carmel, California was named the winner, Rusty’s sculpture is of the human eye and definitely a crowd favorite with his sculpting mastery. Jonathan Bouchard who took second place was the winner of the 2013 Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Contest.
My personal favorite “Time is running out” was created by Pavel Myinikov, Pavel is from Moscow Russia and a five time world champion.
As I walked along the beach this early morning it gave me plenty of time to say hello to the artists as well as take a few pictures without any crowds. I was so impressed with the sand art I made a return trip on Sunday night, the last day of the festival. As I walked around the beach with thousands of others as equally impressed I listened to a live band, enjoyed the aroma of countless food trucks, amusement rides and the high energy of the top notch family friendly festival.
I have already set my calendar to be on the lookout for next summer and whether you are a New England resident or visiting Massachusetts I highly recommend this event as a summer “must see”.
Interested in what other destinations and events Massachusetts has to offer? Visit http://www.visit-massachusetts.com/ for more information
Embracing the clash of an introvert and extrovert for unique and creative work
I’ve been thinking of writing this blog post as it relates to my own work, passions, struggles and success; as a Gemini I’m a thinker and I not only think of my own work but how it relates to the world around me.
I’ve been looking deep into my own thoughts and growth within photography and I’ve taken a deep look at how photography has changed my life.
The part that fascinate me with photography is that photographers in general are some of the most outgoing, sharing and social people I have met to date. I’d say from my own experiences it has helped me grow a valuable network filled with camaraderie, education and friendship. Based on my own experiences close to all the photographers I have come in contact with would be classified as extroverts if you would have to put a label on them.
Then again most of the photographers including myself crawl back into the solitude of thought, emotion and self-creativity just as fast as they rolled out the welcome wagon. This is where the clash of the introvert and extrovert happens; I personally think this is the epicenter of where being a creative thinker begins to develop and where you sculpt a unique persona reflected in ones work.
Photographers and especially the photographer who chooses to indulge in the creative thought process will find alone time either in front of a computer tapping into a world they don’t see but envision the most rewarding time.
You could also be like me and enjoy the camaraderie of shooting with friends but as you indulge deeper in your work tunnel visions begins as you stand behind your tripod, the world goes quiet and you become lost in a world you imagine and want to create.
The cycle repeats and just as quick as you jumped into that world of solitude and self-reflection, you’ll be jumping back out in full force to share what you have created in your world – The world of expressing yourself through creativity and art – The reward of embracing the clash of an introvert and extrovert.
Creative Zoo Photography at the Franklin Park Zoo
This past weekend I had the chance to head off to Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, Massachusetts. This excursion was just wanted I needed to jump start my creative thinking and spend some quality time with my daughter.
I’ve had the thought of working on animal prints using a process that includes multiple layers and textures in Photoshop. This process is not unique to me and I actually have fallen in love with the captured images of the Bronx Zoo and the textured flower prints by Alan Shapiro.
This most definitely is in the early stages of learning for me but with the warmer weather approaching I am looking forward to working on some creative zoo photography prints. Actually zoos offer a great opportunity to photographers that cannot spend the time or money on trips photographing animals in the wild.
Although the Franklin Park Zoo is packed with animals of all shapes and sizes, the two of us as usual were in awe of the western lowland gorilla exhibit. I knew right away this would be the place magic would happen, the exhibit has five glass viewing stations allowing visitors to a unique and inspiring experience into the lives of the western lowland gorillas in captivity.
It didn’t take very long for the gorilla’s to notice us and we had multiple opportunities for eye contact; you can just feel the intelligence with every glance. One of the gorillas actually came up to the viewing station and sat with her back to us, she would occasionally glance to see if we were looking away and then we would catch her looking at us, when we would turn back around and she would look off in the opposite direction.
I was really happy and inspired to spend some time photographing the gorillas at the Franklin Park Zoo and anxious to work on some of the creative zoo photography prints I had envisioned.
If you happen to be in the New England area be sure to check out the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, Massachusetts you surely will not be disappointed.
Chasing the winter fine art photo
“This path I walk alone” winter fine art photo
2014 will go down for me like the winter that never ends; actually last year I felt was more extreme since we had lost power for several days during a blizzard.
Although the terms polar vortex and extreme wind chill seems to be the common phrases tossed around by weather forecasters I still find myself packing up my gear in the darkness of the night and chasing the winter fine art photo I envision.
It seems every year I set my focus on one shot that sums up what I’m feeling through the winter, last year my print “lost in March” did it for me. This year I feel this particular fine art print “This path I walk alone” will be the one.
The morning light whether in the heat of the summer or in the bone chilling wind of winter, is always a time for reflection. A time when I focus on my work and thoughts that drive my passion for what I do.
The footprints in the snow reflect the solitude of the morning, walking a dark path to see the light of day; somehow this can reflect life and business too. I guess that is how as artists we build a connection and see things within our work that digs deep within us.
Although this location is new to me, the rocky cliffs and view of the Newport Bridge is something of an iconic location with photographers. Although pictured thousands of times over I have yet to come across a fine art print as unique, isn’t that what art and photography is all about?
We always hear business consultants say “your business in not about you” but rather about the customer. I beg to differ when it comes to art work, it is about the artist finding his or her own personal connection, telling the story they feel through words, photographs or paintings. It’s about bridging that gap between artists and art buyer, a common bond of a visual connection that touches the soul in one way or another, both realizing sometimes it is more than just a pretty picture.
“I walk this path alone” fine art print was photographed in Jamestown, Rhode Island and available in various fine art metallic print sizes as well being offered as a canvas gallery wrap, fine art print.
Thank you for taking a look and as always I appreciate you sharing my love for photography.
Seascape wall decor – The abstract of winter
I have wanted to create a large abstract by the sea for both my personal collection and to offer as a fine art abstract print here on my site.
I’ve been working on a shot like this for a few months; it hasn’t been for the lack of trying I just didn’t capture the light, motion and tonal range I was looking for.
Finally a few weeks ago everything came together and after going back and forth I decided my vision quest is over, for now anyway.
Now generally with photography we view camera movement as something that is to be avoided but to produce this artwork I used a technique called ICM or intentional camera movement. ICM can be produced by panning the camera left to right or right to left with a longer exposure. Keeping the camera straight for me is critical and I had my camera mounted on my tripod as I snapped several shots of the scene panning across the horizon.
I was interested in a palate of colors ranging from light pastel blues, light greens and darker blue tones. I also knew I wanted to incorporate a forming wave, for me it’s an abstract representation of my seascape photography and for my own personal touch it makes the picture.
Now to obtain that longer exposure you either need to work in low light or with the use of a neutral density filter. Since I wanted to capture light pastel tones I worked the light just after sunrise and used a full 3 stop neutral density filter by Lee Filters.
Camera details ISO 100 – f/8 – 1/20 of a second
Location – Sachuest Point Middletown, Rhode Island
You can find this and other seascape wall décor fine art prints here on my site, image licensing is available and please feel free to contact me for any special sizes need for both digital and print photographs.
Museums on Us – Exploring the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts
This past weekend I took advantage of the Bank of America “Museums on Us” perk offered to Bank of America Customers. Now if you are looking to take advantage of free admission to some of the best museums and you are a Bank of America customer you’re going to want to give it a shot.
“Museums on Us” is offered the first weekend of the month, present your picture ID and your Bank of America card and you have free access to the museum.
Over 150 Museums nationwide for you to explore
“I was just amazed with the wide range of historical and modern works of art available for viewing”
One of my favorite exhibits was Rembrandt the Etcher, from rough sketches to highly detailed overlaying compositions these etchings were as beautiful as they are unique. Etching as a printmaking medium emerged around the 16th century but the creative potential was unleashed around 1630 just around the time of Rembrandt’s work.
Although the entire museum offered up something interesting to investigate around each and every corner; I found the Egyptian exhibits and art to be right up my alley and something I have always had a big interest in.
Seeing these artifacts with the incredible detail based on their age was just amazing, and I definitely need to head back again because there just wasn’t enough time.
Be sure to check out the Mummies exhibit in Gallery 109 if you make you way to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, you won’t be let down with the amount of Egyptian artifacts under this one roof.
I found myself drawn to one piece of art in the Contemporary Gallery, so much so I could have photographed this for hours. A play with reflections, light and glass bottles pulled me back each time I started to walk away, again and again I found myself composing different shots as almost creating art from art.
What do you think? Although this photograph was taken through a glass case I love the abstract feel and the tonal range it presents, I’m really looking forward to making this a gallery wrap print.
Bringing my seascape art prints to life through music
Now I know some photographers who can listen to music while shooting, for me I find the need for the utmost concentration while working on my seascape prints. While photographing the sea, which at times can be dangerous, there are so many elements to focus on such as light, composition, shutter speed and of course the water and waves. I’ve already lost on camera due to my lack of attention and I learned an expensive lesson to stay focused, stay alert and be conscious of my surroundings.
My photographic art continues to develop but also my taste of music has evolved and expanded to include genres of music I once thought I would never feel the urge to discover.
As of recently it was recommended that I pass along the music of Deva Premal to my step-father, he is dealing with stage 4 lung cancer and my client thought her music would be a nice way for him to relax and find inner peace during the healing stages of chemo therapy.
The very first night he listened to Gayatri Mantra by Deva Premal he experienced his first full night sleep in months. My mother curious herself purchased a pair of quality noise canceling set of headphones and she herself found the music very relaxing and soothing, so much so that it felt like a calm meditative state. Since my mother knows my seascape art has always been something I deemed as relaxing, soothing and my form of meditation she thought I would enjoy it as well.
The soothing sounds of mantra I feel has expanded my own personal creativity and I’ve been listening now not only when I process my work but also at time when I feel the need to just relax and re-leave the stresses of the work day.
As a kid I was influenced by my uncles and was brought up with rock and classic rock, as a teenager I listened to rap during the mid 80’s and attended concerts including the Beastie Boys, RUN DMC, Public Enemy and others.
Now with the help of Pandora I still listen to those artists occasionally but you can also find me listening to a piano solo and other relaxing music including symphonies and many other classic instrumental solos. My photography and possibly maturity has helped me develop a wide range in musical acceptance and understanding, all of which plays some role in the final outcome and processing of my seascape art prints.
Our minds are a memory vault and our photographs are the key
Life is a journey that embeds memories and sometimes those memories are filled with challenge, excitement, laughter, sadness and obstacles, learning to preserve these moments through photography helps bring those memories back to life.
Since my kids were young I’ve always had some sort of camera and video camera near my side, this was before I thought of professionally selling artwork or working as a photographer. Matter of fact we were just watching some of my video skills the other night when my daughter came across an old video of a trip to Disney.That was exactly when it hit me that the journey through life embeds memories and it is the visual elements that bring them back to the surface.
A few weekends ago I headed off on a Sunday morning to photograph Enders Falls in Granby, CT; I coaxed my friends Sal and Bob who are both photographers to venture out with me. Although we are focused when it comes to photography and capturing a vision, the camaraderie and support make the journey just as important as the images we capture.
As a photographer who spent much of his time isolated within my work I have found an interest in sharing these times with like minded friends and photographers. This is one of the reasons I have sought to do some beginner and intermediate photography workshops in the near future, one for giving back and two for connecting with those who share the same passions.
Here are a few photographs for me to rekindle those memories of the day, on this morning I wasn’t as excited about my fine art prints compared to capturing the fun and friendship along the way.
Here is a shot of my friend Bob hiking back to the parking lot after he tested the water temperature in the flowing river. The funny thing was Bob mentioned to us he was laughing inside because his boots seemed better suited for the wet weather yet he was the one who ended up in the river. I don’t think I have laughed that hard in a long time and even on the ride back home we found things to crackup about.
Here is a shot of Sal, I met Sale a year or so ago when I was giving a workshop at the Photographic Society of Rhode Island. Sal was unable to attend but reached out to me for some personal instruction, we ended up hitting it off and have been shooting together for the past year. I love Sal’s thoughts on his own photography; his most important goal is to keep it fun and doesn’t want to tarnish that by crossing the line into a business. Although I think both can be achieved I totally understand where Sal is coming from and for many it’s a delicate balance of living a dream.
The goal of the day was to photograph a place called Enders falls in Granby, CT. I have already photographed the falls last year and wanted to try my luck at some black and white winter photographs. The brown stick season here in New England is pretty bland and figured a black and white would provide a nice look to a gray and snowy morning. A cold flowing river and rocks covered in slick ice made an interesting scramble down to the water. All in all the journey and sharing it with friends was well worth the morning, and I’ll plan to photograph the falls again soon.
Are you looking to create a statement with your wall art? Immerse yourself in the power of the sea
Many people like yourself look online for artists because you’re looking for something original when it comes to wall art. Wall art is a representation of what we like, what we feel and what we want portray whether it is confidence, power, energy or tranquility.
These are the same emotions that run through my head when I’m working on a personal project or one that will be included in my artwork for sale online.
The same applies to social media, with a sea of images online what ones will you click on for a closer look? It’s the one you feel some sort of connection with.
I recently finished a new wall art print called “Rushing Tide” from Black Point in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This original wall art print portrays confidence, power, and energy. Even with the conditions that were presented to me on that particular morning with the raging sea, I still feel a sense of tranquility and can almost feel the sea spray and hear that rushing water pushing through the stones along the shore as I view this print.
It’s funny, like I do when I return from a morning shoot I usually like to send one image off to my social networks. Now from that point I cultivate my work and step back from the monitor and try to get a feel of how this would look as artwork in a home or office. I may do this for 30 to 50 shots from each shoot and the one or two images that I connect with are the ones that I will offer for sale online.
Just like my seascape photography work, the progression in selecting and grading my work has developed in a thought provoking process as well. For newer photographers when they see artwork online they may think “this guy doesn’t take a bad picture”?
It’s not that I don’t ever take a bad picture it’s that I developed a mindset to focus on the images that I personally connect with, I think this is just as important as learning your camera skills.
You can find this print and other seascape original art here in my site, all my prints are available as fine art prints and fine art gallery wrap wall ready art, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
A beacon of inspiration, strength standing the test of time – Point Judith Lighthouse
Lighthouse photography art is something I cherish about living in New England, there is just something about these majestic nautical beacons that I find a big attraction to. Living in Rhode Island I feel lucky to have such a beautiful coastline to use as my muse and with several lighthouse all within close driving distance I never seem to run out of compositions.
If you love lighthouse history and photographs as much as I do you might also be interested in a blog post I wrote about Rhode Island Lighthouses, I’m amazed at the number of lighthouses that stood tall guiding sailors through our bays, inlets and ocean waters.
This particular lighthouse print is one that I have been saving in my archives for a cold winter stretch like we have been experiencing here in Rhode Island right now. Although I do add work towards my fine art prints during the winter, these bones aren’t getting any younger (though I feel 18) and when the windchill is well below zero and the skies are not producing what I envision I know its best to stay inside where it is warm and toasty.
There is a real nice site I also use to learn more about New England Lighthouses, New England Lighthouses : A virtual guide has pages packed with detailed information on the whereabouts of New England Lighthouses including the historic facts and structural details some will find interesting. This is a site I use as a guide not only for my adventures in photograph but also for my own personal knowledge and education.
Point Judith is where the lighthouse is located and is actually a section of Narragansett, Rhode Island; Narragansett is locally known for its beaches, restaurants, fishing and entertainment during the summer months. Narragansett is a great place for a warm summer night drive and I couldn’t picture any better place to have a picnic with some clam cakes and chowder than under the shadow of the Point Judith Light. A local highlight to think about for clam cakes and chowder if you find yourself in the area is Iggy’s Doughboys & Chowder House , you may thank me later for that tip and it is real close by to the Point Judith Lighthouse.
Photography Details – Known for my longer exposure photography prints I have been on a vision quest to capture not only the mystical tranquil waters but also to photograph the action, motion and drama. I used a combination of Lee Filters using both graduated neutral density and full neutral density filters to lengthen my exposure time. My ISO was set at 125 and used f/6.3 with a 0.4 second exposure to capture but soften the water. If you are interested in learning more about seascape photography and expanding your skills around the sea and in post-processing, be sure to sign-up for my newsletter as I will be announcing workshops and one on one training during 2014.
Buy the Print – Be sure to look for this lighthouse photography art print for sale online both as a fine art print and a fine art gallery wrap, if you are looking for larger of more specific sizing please feel free to contact me directly with your interest.
Thanks for reading and taking a look at my work !