Category Archives: Cape Cod

Cape Cod Through Their Eyes

Yet another installment of my “Through Their Eyes” series. This time images from the participants of my recent workshop on Cape Cod.  

Carla Francis

“I have been obsessed for some time to capture an image such as this.  As a few of us were on our way to photograph a lighthouse, this scene caught my eye and I had to shoot it. I love the simplicity of these fishing nets and immediately saw it as a black and white image.
I must give credit again to Chuck Kimmerle who opened my eyes to the beauty and serenity of simple black and white images. By the way, we never reached the lighthouse!”

Janice Chipman

A whale watch trip in Provincetown was a bonus to the Cape Cod trip with John.  The whales were sensational, but on the trip back to shore, we were treated to this scene.  I can eliminate the distortion with Lightroom’s Lens Correction, but I like the distortion.  I would have submitted a Cape Cod image, but my very talented tour mates took all the good ones!


Greg Debor

I chose an image of Stage Harbor Light as my favorite for three reasons.  First, I didn’t expect much from that evening’s shooting, since we didn’t get the sunset we expected when it clouded over.  Still, I noticed the dramatic sky behind the lighthouse because someone else in the group had submitted a set of dramatic B&W sky images in their opening slideshow.  Even so, I wouldn’t have been able to do the sky justice and produce the dramatic image if I hadn’t learned important tips for using the Lightroom Graduated Filter and other techniques from you and Lori in the post-processing session.  This is an image I probably would have thrown away before the workshop.  Now, I’m very happy with it!


Linda Russo

This early morning, photographing the yellow dory was magical. The tide was out and I couldn’t get enough of the patterns of the mud flats.
I was singing a happy tune when puffs of clouds appeared above the horizon. Exquisite moment shared with friends. -:)
Henry Fortna 
Low tide at Point of Rocks.  Look what was hiding under eleven feet of water.
Pt of Rocks Macro
Kris Fortna
The park at Rock Harbor was in a festive mood in a familiar, small town way. Folks eagerly talking to one another and asking what we were doing. I was looking for simplicity and I found it in the scene and in the warm welcoming feeling of the evening. The photo could not be black & white, it had to be warm brown.
John Barclay Blog
Barb Korman
I chose it because it was one only Janice, Kris and Henry would have seen. Rock Harbor is definitely a great stop. The tide was out incredibly far. I hadn’t seen anything like that since I was in the Bay of Fundy.
Rock harbor
Beth Debor
Since I was having some technical difficulties most of the weekend which may not have been technical at all, maybe just photographer error, I wanted to submit something that was forgiving. I brought my good time with me to a dreary morning shoot and captured this scene which included lots of rain spots on my lens even after wiping it so I worked with it and created this image.
Pat Sweeney
This was one of my favorite locations on Cape Cod.  Tho’ the sky  has a bit of blue, the scene was very overcast and the wood and grass tones were very earthy.  Therefore, I decided to take the photo to B/W….something very new for me.  I also burned the edges slightly for a bit of “framing.”
Patrice Zinck
“The photo I’ve selected was taken the first day of the workshop.  I felt that of all the photos I took, this one really captured the mood of the day. The sky was overcast and it was a wet/rainy/damp day, however did not seem to affect the seagulls.  I like the dark mood of this photo.”
Rosanne Cleveland-King
Cape Cod Shack Fall SMJohn
Janet Casey
 I realized that I need to stop and think about my intention before clicking the shutter.  What do I want to say?  How can I capture my intent, with the right lens, exposure, angle?

Paines Creek – Cape Cod

Yes, Cape Cod does color too! One of my favorite places to shoot sunset is Paines Creek. The grasses being lit by the wonderful “Cape Light” are always magical. Of course getting some “Barclay” clouds didn’t hurt!  Enjoy.



Oh okay, here is the B&W version……



Cape Cod #3

When it’s good, it’s good. These three images were taken on the same morning. It was sweltering hot when all of a sudden, a bank of fog rolled in creating the separation between the boats and the background. Perfect!

I have to confess, I did not have a camera with me when I stumbled upon this scene. I was doing last minute scouting for the workshop. When I saw the fog bank, I could not believe my eyes. I hustled back to the hotel, grabbed my camera and raced back hoping the fog would still be there. I lucked out!





Last year my friend and tremendous Cape Cod photographer, Betty Wiley, told me about Grey’s Beach on the Cape. This year I decided to take a look, glad I did.

I am often reminding students, and myself, that it’s important to look at other perspectives. In this case getting low creates a very different image than standing up (see image below). To my eye, the image made while standing up is static when compared to the more dynamic version where I put the camera on the boardwalk.


  1. Perspective matters. Get high, get low. Try them both and everything in between. I know, I know, it is not as easy to get up after getting down! This is a good reason to have a swivel LCD screen.
  2. This image was made at 2PM. Stop thinking there is a best time to make photographs. There is just light, it is up to you to figure out what to do with it. I think, so called “harsh light” worked pretty well here don’t you?
  3. Be patient. My first capture was made with a bald blue sky. As I stayed to explore, I noticed clouds building. When one wandered into the perfect spot, I was there to make the capture.


Cape Cod #2

untitled-0507-EditmattedLast year while on the Cape (Cod), I was introduced to the wonderful work of Michael Kahn and purchased one of his books. This year, the Focus Gallery in Chatham, had more of his work on display and a new book. Inspired by Michaels work, I readjusted my vision to think more in B&W this year. Below are two favorites with more to come. Remember to click the images to view them much bigger.

A note on the bottom image. Carla, one of our participants has been influenced by the great Chuck Kimmerle. She attended our Death Valley/Valley of Fire tour where Chuck was a special guest. As we were walking out to photograph Stage Harbor Light, Carla spotted this scene. A small group stopped and we worked the scene for forty five minutes. We never made it to the lighthouse! A couple of lessons.

1. Be open to what turns your head. Yes, we had a mission to get to the lighthouse, but, this was great right now!

2. Without Chuck’s great images and inspiration, Carla would probably never have seen the potential in this type of scene. 

By the way, the poles in the water are part of the nets used for Weir Fishing.



Cape Cod

I’m on the Cape, scouting and getting ready for the workshop gang to arrive tomorrow. Here are a few new things I’ve found with the help of Betty Wiley, one of Cape Cod’s finest photographers. If you don’t have Betty’s terrific Cape eBook you can find it here








One Magical Day


While co-leading the Cape Cod workshops with Betty Wiley, we were treated to some of the best light I have ever seen. “Cherry light” as some might say. What I found interesting was when I want to process the images, very little needed to be done. In thinking about this, it makes sense. Our sensors are optimized for “perfect” light and this was as close to that as I’ve seen, thus little to no processing was required. The light was that good! (Don’t forget much bigger images if you click on them)


Add to the great light our new friend Mike Orbe and his RED Dory, and you have the makings of an epic morning. But it didn’t stop there!

After the red Dory shoot, I had breakfast with the group and the workshop was over. Being tired, I decided to take an afternoon nap. I awoke about 3PM and wondered what I should do. I peeked out the window only to see thick overcast skies. Maybe I’ll stay in and relax I thought. Then about an hour, later I reconsidered. I’m here, just go and see what happens. The drive to Paines Creek did not looking promising, however, when I arrived this is what was beginning to brew. (below)


At this point I was glad I decided to go. And then this happened (below) just before the sun went down. This is what I call the backside sunset, looking away from the sun. The sky and the ocean were screaming with color and someone just happened to leave a lone boat out there just for me! How nice of them.


And then, I decided to look at the sun and see what it was going on in that direction, are you kidding me??? 


Heck I’m not going anywhere at this point, I am giggling I’m having so much fun. I turned around one more time to see what the backside was doing and what do I see? The grasses in the foreground lit up with the same quality of light I had in the morning with Mike’s Red Dory! The sun had decided to make one last appearance just before it disappeared below the horizon. It lasted for about a minute and was amazing. A magical day on the Cape!


Mike Orbe, the owner of the red Dory, owns a wonderful Woodshop in Brewster called Capt. Mike’s Woodshop. It is located at 20 Long Pond Road, at the junction of Rt 137 and 6A. Please go visit if you’re on the Cape. Wonderful items for sale and Mike is a gem of a guy! 

Betty and I are planning another Cape Cod workshop in 2015. If there is enough interest, we will do two back to back again just like this year.  Having grown up vacationing on the Cape, I love it and can’t wait to go back. 


Red Boat – Pink Sky


Before the sharp gold first light of the morning bathed the red boat in my previous post, this is what I was photographing. The pink in the sky was reflecting into the bay, flooding it with its warmth and color. I was ready and not going to miss it. Sure, the quality of light in my previous post was dramatic “Cape Light,” but this was different, not better or worse, different and worthy of capture too. 

My friend Lynette has written an excellent piece on her thoughts and lessons learned while on her most recent trip down the Colorado River. It is worthy of your time.

I have a post up on the Singh-Ray site about Palouse Light. You can see and read it here.

Cape Light – Red Sailboat


There are many who speak of something called “Cape light.” There was even a book written in the seventies call “Cape Light.” There is indeed something special about the light on Cape Cod, and on this morning, with the second group, we were treated to Cape light along with a red sailboat. I can assure you, there was some happy dancing going on on this morning!




Stage Harbor

You can see the retired Stage Harbor Lighthouse in the distance from this harbor.  The light was not great on this evening, but worthy of a capture with the soft shades of pink and purple. This kind of harbor scene is a common sight in the Chatham area.