NXNW 2014: The Fisherman

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.


Veterans Day 2014

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

Team Chris Weekend: Part 2


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.