Spider Webs. Not Just for Halloween

Spider webs are pretty amazing structures from an engineering standpoint. The silk strands nearly rival steel in terms of tensile strength (roughly defined as the greatest amout of stretching that a material can undergo without breaking). The silk is also highly elastic, enabling the webs to withstand all manner of forces. No wonder material scientists…

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    HONK! Round 12

    There’s lots to look forward to in October in my neck of the woods—fall foliage kicks in, the temperature and humidity drop (eventually), and then there’s the annual Somerville [Massachusetts] Honk! Festival. Now in its 12th year, the festival was founded by an activist band to promote peace, social justice, and civic engagement. Since its…

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      Boothbay Harbor, Maine: Fog, Sun, and Then Some

      Earlier in the spring during a trip to Boothbay Harbor, Maine, I was enthralled with the fog surrounding the docks near the center of town. I discovered that fog presents unique photographic challenges and was hopeful that a second planned trip to Maine (this time for a wedding) would provide more opportunities to apply what…

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        Providence, Rhode Island: Two Months Later

        Some photographers immediately process their images when they get back from a shoot. Who wants to wait to see what goodies lie on the camera’s memory cards? Others advocate waiting a while before looking at them. The passage of time offers perspective, and perspective is often a direct path to the delete key.  I generally…

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          A Salute to a High-Flying Friend and Collaborator

          The moment you take a photo, you step into the composition. And if the image is successful, others will be able to do the same when they view it. The photo moves them emotionally or whisks them into the scene through their minds’ eyes. The power of “moving people” was recently reinforced for me when…

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            Night Photography, City Life

            When photographers talk about “night photography,” they’re often referring to images of stars, northern lights, and celestial phenomena light years away. In this blog, I’m focusing on terra firma and objects close at hand — window displays, storefronts, and the like. Shooting with fast lenses (Fujinon 56mm, f1.2 and 35mm f1.4) and a camera (Fuji…

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              The Visitor

              I usually don’t take pictures of bugs, but a praying mantis graced our back porch this morning, catching my photography eye. The critter materialized from nowhere—it was just there, clinging to a window screen. The insect’s sleek electric green body stood out against the dark screen, where it almost appeared to pose elegantly for a…

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                The Challenges and Fun of Photographing Morning Fog, Maine Style

                During a recent trip to Boothbay Harbor, Maine, I was hoping to catch a dramatic sunrise over the ocean. But when I looked out the window at five that morning, there was no creeping sunlight. In fact, everything was blanketed in dense fog. The trees in the backyard were vague, ghost-like forms and afloat in…

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                  June 2017 Photography Roundup

                  Most of my photography is “opportunistic” — I’m rarely without a camera and I take photos of compositions that catch my eye as I go about my daily life. Less often, I’ll plan a series of shots (e.g., close-ups of water drops on plants or the products in a boutique specialty store). The result of…

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                    New York City Workshop with Valerie Jardin

                    One of my measures for rating a photography workshop (or any learning experience, for that matter) is the degree to which I’ve increased my sphere of ignorance. That is, how much did I discover about what I didn’t know. A two-day intensive workshop with Valérie Jardin showed me plenty. It was wonderful and humbling, and I…

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