History in New England- Photo Day trips

New England is full of HISTORY! Historic spots can offer a wealth of opportunities for photography, architecture, events, and even just wonderful landscapes filled with old growth trees or at least properties that are being cared for continually which makes for great subjects for your photographs.


Things to check before adding Historic spots to your photography stops is find out
1, Indoor photography yes or no.
2. Tripod or handheld only.
3. Location accessible such as the ground open after hours- some locations you can’t really lock after hours- so you can at least photograph outdoors at sunrise and sunset
4. Your use of the photos-many places are ok with photos for personal use- but selling them is where you may need permission etc.


Historic Sites


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5 Places to Treat Your Father in New England

Fathers Day-that day when we honor our Fathers, with something more than another tie, or pack of golf balls.

New England has some great places to celebrate Fathers Day weekend-either for a day, a weekend or maybe a full week!MirrorLake2015

1.How about Lake Winnipeasaukee in New Hampshire-get a cabin by the lake, enjoy some time fishing, boating or just sitting and chatting with a cold drink!


2.Catch the First Sunrise in the United States on top of Cadillac Mountain in Acacia National Park in Maine.


3. Seek out a great meal- or again make a round of best burger places-such as Worthy Kitchen in Woodstock, Vermont.


4. Ice cream at the Ben and Jerry’s Factory tour in Waterbury Vermont


5. Plan a trip to the White Mountains for Hiking-walking and Photography! Spend time with your Father!

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The Maine Objective- A Dream-A Lottery?


The Maine Objective… Being a Dreamer somehow and as of this morning I am not sure why I found this or how I found it. The Contest fell into my path, but now it caused my to spend a few sleepless nights considering it…

My Maine Objective- to share the home and Maine with others- no, not good enough, how would my essay stand out among 4200 others. I am a hard-worker but in the end not a great business person. I currently take my vacations every fall and return to Maine-chasing sunrise and those magical places that maybe no one else has captured and shared with a paintbrush or a camera click. The way the light might be hitting the lighthouse, or the storm rolling in across the Kennebec river that divided Bath.

With 6000 lakes and ponds, 3478 miles of coastline not including the islands, 3,166 off shore islands, and 67 lighthouses it would take a lifetime and many seasons to even begin to see it all! But here Bath, Maine sits- right in the middle really of the whole of Maine-at least along the Ocean- 3 hours to Bar Harbor, and Acacia National Park, a few hours north of Portsmouth NH which I basically considered the starting point to any of my Maine trips.

What would one do with a 6000 square foot home- I eagerly thought great a place for those I like to go photographing with, a place for family to visit, or others… but then I thought… need.. I didn’t need the house-in fact did anyone “need” a house that large? Here I was trying to simplify-get rid of additional bills and worries- taking on a 6000 square foot home seemed maybe a step in the opposite direction.

But the house and the dream has kept me awake.
Maine is an incredible place to go-summers swell with tourists, but come October the coves go silent, the morning fog sits and slowly burns off sometimes revealing a storybook cove dotted with boats and trees painted with the brushstrokes of fall, reds, oranges, yellows!

So here’s the Link https://winamainehouse.com/
Good luck in writing a 300 word essay to score a lifelong dream of living in Maine, or in anyplace painted with the magical light that has drawn Artists for years!
I just don’t think I am that lucky!

The deadline is today so good luck with YOUR MAINE OBJECTIVE!

My name is April and I am an artist who enjoys sharing the beauty of nature in these 50 states, including the Fall Colors in Maine- if you want to join one of my trips/tours check out the details at http://www.fallphototrips.com

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10 Tips for Leaf Peepers!

Somewhere I missed March, April and May… sorry my calendar has passed before my eyes! Actually I have been busy doing a combination of traveling and writing itineraries!

LEAF PEEPERS- that fun somewhat obnoxious group of people who descend on destinations like Vermont, Massachusetts and in general New England in a swarm come late September and last until sometime around the end of October.

Like the “Ugly American Tourist” we don’t want to be labeled as “that or Those darn Leaf Peepers” so it is important to follow a few tips!

1. DO get up EARLY for best light and to make use of the limited light in New England this time of year! Some of my best photos have been made in early morning light! http://www.sunrisesunset.com can give you exact times and if you look-most days in October you have about 12 hours of good light-give or take. Cloudy days or rainy days will feel like they get darker more quickly.

2. DON’T stop in the middle of a busy traveled road just for your Photograph. Choose your spot to park carefully and with consideration for other travelers or private owners. Don’t walk into chicken pens-barns private property!

3. DO stop. Don’t rush past that pumpkin stand or country fair-stop and get out-wonderful home-baked goodies await as well as meeting the locals!

4. DON’T be LOUD-observe a quiet voice when walking in the woods or standing by a wonderful waterfall- a bit of quiet is important in observing nature and you may spot that elusive moose with a bit of quiet!

5. Do ask locals where to go- stay in a locally owned bed/breakfast, small hotel and get great tips on restaurants or where that beautiful trail is! Locals WANT to share the best places and are thrilled when you ask!

6. Don’t forget to pack proper clothes like any good traveler- Fall weather is a mix of sunny 70+ days and can be a chilly bite of frosty 32 degree mornings-bring a hat both for sun or cold. Rain-gear, boots, be prepared and you will find your days much more enjoyable!



7. DO bring a camera with plenty of space even if you have been before I always see new things to photograph!

8. Don’t overplan. Leave room for spontaneity, you won’t be driving at 60mph (please no), and there is more to see than you will have time for- you can always return the following Fall! There is often much to see in a small area, historic sights, trails, and you need some time to just sit and enjoy. You need time to walk that trail that leads to a waterfall.

9. Do plan ahead for special excursions- boat rides or anything involving tickets especially on fall weekends! New England gets approximately 5 millions visitors in the fall from all over the world and this number may not account for residents who also get out on the weekends to enjoy the colors, fall foliage cruises, and train rides!

10. Don’t be that “Ugly Leaf Peeper!” Wave when driving down country roads, be friendly at the country stores, SMILE, be courteous especially to the locals who may just be trying to get to work in the morning. Pull over and let faster moving vehicles pass you, let the locals get in and out of the convenience stores quickly- be patient and most of all just enjoy!! You aren’t working you are enjoying the beauty of fall in New England! NE_LAKE11

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February -Photographers Calendar – Blossom Trail California



California is a wonderful destination for February. While many parts of the United States are still receiving snow, cold and grey skies California has warm days and opportunities for landscapes abound.
Death Valley is bearable- and this year with some rains there is what is being called an EPIC bloom of wildflowers.
Yosemite National Park experience a unique phenomena when the setting sun can create a glow appearing like FIRE against Horsetail Waterfall in the Valley. Be prepared to get there hours before sunset to get a spot and hold it.
In the mid section of the state where acres of Fruits and nuts grow.. the rows of trees all briefly bloom- pale pinks, bright pinks and white blooms, meanwhile the surrounding hills can be carpeted in bright greens and other wildflowers.

To find the Trees- take Highway 99 and exit when you start to see the trees- follow any of these roads many follow a grid. Be aware many the groves of trees are private property. Stay near the road or obtain permission before you just start trampling into the trees.
Fresno California is a good place if you need to stay over=night or on the Southern end you have Bakersfield. In between there are some newer hotels along Highway 99 check with your local AAA office, Holiday Inn, Best Western or Super 8 for locations.

The blossoms are beautiful and getting close to afford some wonderful images.

Places you may want to look for : The Blossom Cafe (closes by 2pm I believe but serves homemade pie!)
Simonian Farms –
the giant Teapot at Kingsburg California

Fixed lens.
50mm or portrait lens for some wonderful portraits
16mm, 18mm or 24mm for some wider angle images to include various compositions of the trees-trunks or rolling hills you may encounter on your way.
Filters such as a polarizer may be helpful to adding some dimension and depth to a washed sky or one that has only a hint of clouds.
Most of all take some snacks and water- there are a few small towns here and there but you may get caught up in the chase of the colors,fruit stands, nuts for sale and honey tastings along the way!

Thank you for reading my Photography blog.
My name is April and I enjoy photography, eating local foods and the thrill of driving down backroads in search of new vistas! Hope you will join me on my next Road Trip, day trip or longer adventure.

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January- Photographers Calendar- Birds


January is stark. Basic colors of black, greys and whites in many places. The Northern Hemisphere is resting- and gone dormant- so often we sit and stare wondering where to take ourselves and our cameras.

January brings me to mind also of poets such as Emily Dickinson sitting at her desk staring at a cold quiet landscape.
January is a time for photographers to embrace these stark landscapes, chase winterscapes, go to the deserts which often prove to be too hot in a few months and look to the skies. Birds- there are many places where birds migrate to – more moderate places such as California so we watch and see many many birds sharing open water-open fields and sticking together.

There are many places that attract many birds such as Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico, the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, Humboldt Bay California, San Diego Bay and many other spots- check online or visit http://www.fws.gov for complete listing of sites near you.

Tips for photographing BIRDS:
You will need a long lens- like a 300mm or greater depending on your budget, what feels comfortable to hand hold and the larger the lens the closer you will be able to zoom in and capture more details of the birds. tur
If you use a tripod when photographing birds which tend to move a lot you will want a tripod with a gimbal head to be able to quickly move your camera, refocus and lock in on the bird.
Personally I prefer hand-holding for more mobility.
Patience- I think getting a good solid bird photo you need to stay focused and patient to wait- wait for the birds, and wait to compose the shot you really want to take.
Image stabilized lens- if you will be handholding as I sure some of you will it is important to turn the stabilizer function on to increase getting a strong solid image.
Like any other subject you can photograph many birds and create landscape images, or create portraits with single birds- try to get in as close as possible or you feel comfortable and capture the “expression” of that bird.
Watch your edges- be aware to give extra space around the image you want. Make sure there isn’t an odd object such as a stick going the wrong direction in your photos, heads, hands or binoculars you didn’t want in your image.
Compose with elements such as tree branches, telephone lines or early morning sunrise.
Remember it is not the CAMERA that creates the image- even a cell phone can capture a great image.. it is being at the right place, right time and strong composition skills!

For more information on WHERE to capture Bird Images- try the Audubon Society, follow a local birding group, and check the internet.
I will close with a few lines from Emily Dickinson who wrote…
“Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all, And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm. I’ve heard it in the chilliest land And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity, It…
Read more at: http://www.azquotes.com/author/3956-Emily_Dickinson/tag/bird

January is a time of hope- new ideas- new creative challenges!
My name is April and I am an avid photographer and traveler. I enjoy sharing the beauty of the world around us and leading others to explore their creative spirit!
I hope you will get out and capture the magnificent world around us and take some photographs to remember and treasure!

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United States-Destinations to Photograph in 2016


Happy New Year 2016!
The Lists are out.. Where to go in 2016 by CNN, The Guardian, Budget Travel Magazine, Travel and Leisure Magazine.. and more.. The National Park System turns 100 and appeared on each list.
The 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade also featured the National Park System and Ken Burns as Grand Marshall who did an entire documentary in 2009 on the Parks System.
If you haven’t visited the parks… what are you waiting for…
Living in California I will feature Yosemite National Park today-

Yosemite National Park is a gem and located here in California.

Tips for visiting and photographing Yosemite National Park-
The park has all kinds of lodging-from tents to the Grand old Ahwahnee Hotel which opened in 1927 and became a model of “parkitecture” that tries to integrate indoor and outdoor space.
Lodging can fill up fast- weekdays are best to try and snag a room and off seasons such as winter. Or you can always find rooms just outside the park generally but be prepared for the long drive in and out of the park.

Yosemite holds claim to the Tallest Waterfall in North America but being fed by snowmelt the waterfall can literally almost disappear in times of drought- as was the case last summer when I visited.

For the best experience I would plan to book early, stay in the park so you can experience first light and last light. Visit in different seasons- the Park does experience changes in its plants, colors and look with each changing season.
Free Photo walks are organized thru the Ansel Adams Gallery. Check their website to preplan-walks are limited in participation size.
Travel with a buddy- be it a friend or fellow photographer- the park is large and it is an outdoor space with animals etc…
Check weather conditions- it can be sunny in Los Angeles and a winter storm can be howling in the park- dress appropriately.

For more information on planning your visit to Yosemite National Park-check the official National Park Website

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