DC Dawn

Robert LussierCityscape, Olympus OM-D, Washington DCLeave a Comment

Dawn over Washington DC

From the hotel I stayed at on my recent trip to DC, the walk to the Marine (Iwo Jima) Memorial is about 10 minutes. So it would have been a crime if I didn’t make the effort to get up early to shoot the dawn at least once while I was there. So here is — Dawn breaking over Washington DC.

Robert LussierDC Dawn

NXNW 2014: The Fisherman

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Surf Fishing at Nubble Light

This was taken on the first official day of NXNW 2014 — the day we hit the road for Acadia National Park. As tradition dictated, the drive to our main destination was broken up with a couple of side trips. That meant lighthouses. First up was Nubble at Cape Neddick in York, Maine where we fought with ocean mist and raindrops on our lenses as we carefully negotiated the slippery rocks.  

I thought we would be the only idiots out there, but this dedicated surf fisherman decided to brave the elements to go casting for dinner. When I first saw him in my frame I was shooting long exposures and was annoyed – “GET OUT OF MY SHOT,” I thought in a loud voice in my head.

Then I decided to make him the shot. I took the ND filter off my lens and increased my ISO a bit. I still wanted a little bit motion in the water, so (since I was shooting in Aperture Priority mode) I experimented with the aperture to get the desired motion. The final settings were ISO 800, 1/3 of a second at f2.8.

Post processing was another story. I wanted to cut through the haze and also separate the fisherman from the background. I used Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro to get the final image.

The original is below.

Robert LussierNXNW 2014: The Fisherman

NXNW 2014: The Bubbles

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The Bubbles

Back to Acadia National Park and with a shot from the 2014 edition of NXNW Photo Blogger Jamboree!

I don’t think I would have taken this shot had I not seen my friend Rick Louie intensely photographing seagulls (or were they puffins?) taking flight off of Jordan Pond. When he showed me some of the shots on his LCD, I quickly became intrigued with the birds. But I didn’t want to take the same shots as Rick. Instead I went with a tight shot of The Bubbles with a few gulls in flight.

And speaking of Rick Louie, he is a great guy and a fantastic photographer. If you are interested in shooting in Colorado, you should make Rick your guide. He will help you make magic and keep you laughing!

Some tech info on this shot:

  • Olympus OM-D E-M1
  • 12-40mm Pro Lens at 40mm (80mm equiv)
  • f 13
  • 160th sec
  • Lightroom/Nik Silver Efex Pro 2
Robert LussierNXNW 2014: The Bubbles

Veterans Day 2014

Robert Lussierpeople1 Comment

Old Soldiers

My first true realization of the sacrifices and experiences of what would become known as The Greatest Generation came to me in the 8th grade when my history teacher sent us home for a long weekend with a homework assignment: Interview a World War II Veteran.

It was 1972. Every 8th grader knew a WWII veteran. In many cases it was a parent. Others, an aunt or uncle. The man I reached out to my friend Pete’s dad.

Pete’s dad was quiet. He didn’t talk much about the war (at least not to his son’s friends who played street hockey in front of his house). But for some reason, he was willing to help me with my school assignment and tell me about the war.

Pete’s dad served in the European theater. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, the turning point of the war where about 19,000 US soldiers lost their lives fighting in the Ardennes forest. Pete’s dad told me about the fear of going into battle. And the duty to do so. He told me about the frigid cold weather they faced in December of 1944.  And he told me about losing friends to enemy fire: “One minute you’re talking to your buddy. The next minute, he’s gone,” he said to me.

Pete’s dad, in that interview for that 8th homework assignment, helped me to understand and appreciate the sacrifice of the Greatest Generation, and the meaning of military service. 

He served with honor, survived the war, and returned home to raise a family and live his life. Just as so many others did. Like my friend Fran’s dad, who enlisted in the Navy in High School and fought in the South Pacific. Or my friend Connie’s dad, who landed at Omaha Beach (the day after D-Day), fought his way across Europe and helped liberate a concentration camp.

According to the National WWII Museum, approximately 555 WWII Veterans pass away every day. With them, their stories and memories. So it was an incredibly moving experience to be there when a group of them were brought to the WWII Memorial in DC a couple of weeks ago. They were greeted with applause, handshakes and tears. It was an honor to meet and photograph even a few of them.

Happy Veterans’ Day to all who chose to wear the uniform. My respect for you runs deep.

WWII Veteran at the WWII Memorial, Washington DC, Honor Flights
Honor Flights, WWII Veteran at WWII Memorial
Irene Blessing, Nurse, WWII
Honor Flights, WWII Veteran at WWII Memorial
Honor Flights, WWII Veteran at WWII Memorial
Robert LussierVeterans Day 2014

Team Chris Weekend: Part 2

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Meet Lauren, the daughter of my Team Chris friends, Matt and Lindsey. With her Team Chris shirt and black tutu Lauren was too cute not to photograph.

Lauren’s dad, Matt is a very fast runner. Like me, Matt ran the Marine Corps Marathon for Team Chris. Unlike me, he ran fast, but not fast enough for him. In fact, he is going to Philadelphia this coming weekend to run that city’s marathon. Run faster Matt!

Matt’s wife, Lindsey is not a marathoner. She is a sprinter. Or so she tells me. I have yet to see her run a step.

Matt is also one of the coordinators of Team Chris Weekend at MCM and race director of I Did the Grid, Team Chris’ 4 mile Memorial Day Weekend race.  He and his whole family (His wife Lindsey, brothers Tom and Rob and Rob’s wife, Erin) work tirelessly to make The Grid and MCM weekends successful. They are just a small part of the crew that makes Team Chris so special.

Below is a shot of Erin, who completed her first marathon that weekend. She was beaming with so much pride I offered photograph her as well. I’m sure she is still wearing that medal.

About 30 runners participated in the race for Team Chris this year and all of them finished. Collectively we raised almost $30,000 — almost doubling last year’s total! The money will go to sponsoring and training service dogs for wounded warriors. I am thrilled and honored to be part of such a wonderful organization.

Thanks to everyone who donated to the cause! If you meant to, but forgot, there is still time The donation page will be live until around Christmas:

I have one more post about the weekend coming. But it will have to wait until Veterans Day.

Robert LussierTeam Chris Weekend: Part 2

NXNW 2014: Otter Dawn

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Acadia National Park: Dawn

Here is another shot from NXNW 2014 in Acadia National Park. It was taken at dawn on the last morning of the trip — our second morning shooting at on the shore along the Park Loop Road. But unlike the previous morning’s clear, cloudless sky, we were greeted with clouds, color and some wind. The perfect storm for some long exposure shooting.

I think this area of Acadia is the most fun to shoot. By “this area,” I mean the area from Thunder Hole to Otter Cliff.  You’ll be overwhelmed with endless compositional opportunities along the rocks. And those rocks will glow red when they are hit with the breaking sun.

  • Olympus OM-D E-M1
  • Zuiko 12-40mm (24-80 equiv) Pro Lens at 12mm
  • f/5.6
  • 60 second exposure
  • Lightroom
Robert LussierNXNW 2014: Otter Dawn

Photo Frontier Lightroom Presets

Robert LussierCityscape, Travel1 Comment

Old Glass: Americana Color Presets for Lightroom

My friends at The Photo Frontier put together a fantastic collection of presets for Lightroom. Retro looks from decades past, presets inspired by movies, fashion and portraits presets, presets for B&W and much more can be purchased in the Ultimate Collection (which I picked up earlier this week) or individually.

I thought this image of the US Capital Dome wrapped in scaffolding for a restoration project was the perfect image to showcase their Americana Color Effects collection.  I ran the image through a handful of the dozen or so presets in the set. It is hard to pick a favorite!

Click on any the image above or any of the thumbnails below to launch a lightbox viewer.

Capital Dome: Flat Blue
Capital Dome: Vivid Rust
Capital Dome: Overgrown Abandonment
Capital Dome: Grain Silos
Capital Dome: Dusty Barn
Capital Dome: Bleached Sign
Robert LussierPhoto Frontier Lightroom Presets

Team Chris Weekend: Part 1

Robert LussierOlympus OM-D, Washington DCLeave a Comment

Smithsonian Station

I’m back from my annual trip to Washington DC and I am overloaded with emotion, memories and (of course) images.

The reason for the trip was to run the Marine Corps Marathon to raise money for the CPL Christopher G. Scherer Semper Fi Fund (Team Chris), an organization founded by the family of CPL Scherer, USMC, who was killed in Iraq in 2007 by an enemy sniper. Team Chris’ mission is simple: Honor the fallen and support the troops.

Over the years they have fulfilled their mission in a variety of ways. So far this year about $30,000 has been raised, all of which will be used to sponsor service dogs for wounded warriors. (My fundraising page for the Boston contingent of Team Chris will be open until Christmas, if you care to contribute.)

My association with the Team Chris is deep and personal — My wife and I have been friends of the Scherer family for over 30 years. Chris’ death in the war on terror hit us hard.

Team Chris Weekend is always emotional. Through the Gold Star families involved, we feel both pain and pride. I won’t try to explain. My words can’t do it justice.

Between the Team Chris festivities I was able to go to the National Mall for some sightseeing with some of the Boston Crew. We toured the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial and the WWII Memorial. Here are a few images from the day. More to come.

Matt and Katie
On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
Joel — focussed
At the Lincoln Memorial
Charlie and Katie
Robert LussierTeam Chris Weekend: Part 1