Category Archives: Cape Cod

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.



After the sunset at the yellow Dory

After shooting the yellow Dory in the glow of the soft gold light the sun quickly set behind a bank of clouds at the horizon. Steve, a friend I was shooting with, suggested we move to a location he found that had a bit more water creating a nice reflection. By choosing to shoot with a wide angle lens, I was able to capture the drama of the sky. I added the Dory and surrounding rocks in silhouette as an added element to my composition. 


The Yellow Dory

Before my trip to Cape Cod to co-lead two workshops, there was rumor of a famous yellow Dory being spotted. In fact, there were images sent of the storied Dory and an invitation to photograph it, as the tide was low at Sunset the night after I arrived. Why would I pass up an opportunity to see what the fuss was all about? Suffice it to say, I’m am now in love with the yellow Dory.

Stay tuned as the yellow Dory has lead my co-leader to learn of another Dory. This one being red and yes, the first group had a chance to photograph it this morning. All I’m going to say is, it was epic.



Favorites for 2013

Each year as I look back through my images, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the people I was able to share my passion with.  To all who came on a workshop, a tour or attended a lecture, thank you!  You have enriched my life.  I am also reminded of the amazing places I was able to see.  2013 brought me to Cuba, Iceland, The Palouse, Charleston, New Hampshire, Death Valley, Cape Cod and Cape May!  Wow what a year!

I’m looking forward to 2014 where in addition to the tours  I do with Dan Sniffin,  I will be co-leading a special workshop in Hawaii  with with National Geographic photographer Jonathan Kingston  and guest lecturers Dewitt Jones and Rikki Cooke .  Look for our official announcement in January.  The workshop will be in early December.

Here are some of my favorite images from the past year.  You’ll notice I’m drawn to varied subject matter which includes the Palouse, my granddaughter Abby, the gentle waves of the dunes, the warm people of Cuba and the wonderful Experience Music Project building in Seattle.






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Be the Light

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Be the light.  No really, be the light.  Oft times we hear the masses exclaim, “its all about the light”, and they would be partly right.  The quality of light is something we need to be keenly aware of.  However, the light I’m speaking of is your own.  The light we see is one thing, the light we bring to the act/process of image making is another thing.   Ansel Adams said it this way, “You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, and the people you have loved.”  Freeman Patterson says “The camera points both ways.” It sees what it sees but is also a reflection of you. Your light if you will.  By the way, this includes the bad mood you’re in, feeling tired, feeling overwhelmed, the argument you just had with your spouse, etc, etc.  The energy from this kind of light may or may not be a good thing.  It depends on how you choose to use it and what type of images you are making.  Just know that your light whatever that is, will become part of your images.


Cape Light

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Fuji X-Pro1 – 55-200 lens.

My friend Steve Ellis was a participant at the workshop on the Cape. Steve knows Cape Cod, he and his family have either lived or vacationed there since he was born.  He made a comment during the workshop  about  “Cape light.”  I would agree with Steve, there are a few places where there seems to be a quality to the light that is only found there.  My tour partner Dan pointed this out in Ireland with regard to Connemara light.  While at this location, we were treated to just a few minutes of “Cape Light.”  Magical! 

More on being idle and creativity.

Marty, a frequent blog visitor sent me an email about my last post.  He shared something I felt would add to the discussion. He said, “Creativity can be a filter… When someone is trying to be creative (obviously not in itself a bad thing), they are to some degree actively imposing some part of their consciousness/identity/spirit/(word choice TBD) into the process, stirring up their internal dialog.

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Your comments on being quiet, mindful, aware, allow the whispers of images hiding in plain sight to be heard, “ Psst, why don’t you see me? I’m right in front of you.” These images (IMHO) don’t need creativity, they just need to be recognized simply for what they are, nothing more, nothing less.  Idle does not have to be passive.”

I have been pondering Marty’s thoughts all day.  I believe he is right on the money and specifically can’t get this quote out of my head.  “Being aware allows the whispers of images hiding in plain sight to be heard!”  I LOVE THAT!!

I would add this, creativity does not need to be manufactured for the sake of being creative. Rather, we should strive to  live a creative life which may not necessarily mean anything more than being idle and listening for those whispers. Other times it might mean, turning on the multiple exposures or moving your camera while making your exposure to create a swipe!  

Thanks Marty!

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