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Regal Fritillary

Our pollinator gardens at home are in full bloom, and I wanted to share some photos of a butterfly I’ve never captured before. The Regal Fritillary Speyeria idalia (Thank you Eleanor Lutz for the Id Chart! https://eleanorlutz.com/butterfly-identification-chart)


What Do I Shoot When I’m Not Working?

Have you checked out my all-time fave shots? These are the ones I take when I’m not working. I really need to add a ton more, but stay posted…I just need to share and not keep them collection dust on my hard-drives…enjoy.



Night at the Museum

I wanted to share a couple of shots from a recent shoot in Fort Worth, TX for the American Airlines Training Center and CR Smith Museum. I was set up after sunset to create a nice glow behind the building that shows the flagship DC-3 in the CR Smith Museum nicely. And after the shots I turned around and noticed the planes taking off from DFW a few miles away and juxtaposed with the high-speed freeway interchange outside the gate. It was a warm 82 degrees and a magical night to be out and shooting. I was using a Canon 5D MKIII and 16-35 mm/2.8L rented from Borrowlenses.com for the assignment, and I think I’ll be adding both to my bag in the near future.

American Airlines CR Smith Museum, Fort Worth, TX Watching DFW at Night

A wee bit of Ireland

It’s been since 2005 that Colleen and I first made our trip to Ireland. I decided to pull some pics from that trip years ago. When I travel, I get to act like the typical tourist with the camera hanging around my neck and Bermuda shorts and sandals, and with no particular subject in mind—just shooting whatever we stumble across—its so much fun. I get to do far to little of this anymore and need to change that.

Ireland01 Ireland02 Ireland03-R Ireland04 Ireland05 Ireland06 Ireland07 Ireland08 Ireland09 Ireland10

Memorial Day Phlox, with a Butterfly for Katie

Phlox divaricata is known by several common names including Woodland Phlox, Wild Blue Phlox, and Wild Sweet William.   Woodland Wild Blue Phlox is one of our favorite spring flowers often found along streams and in open woods.

So that is the short scientific version of wild Phlox. Thank you Wikipedia!

I just love this fleeting flower, and I really wanted to photograph it this year with so much of it in full-bloom here in Vermont in late May growing wild along streams and along roadsides under shaded trees. And so this morning I was determined to shoot them, and as I set up I also noticed the proliferation of butterflies—and whenever I see a butterfly I can’t help but think of my cousin Katie who is flying among them in heaven—and so on this Memorial Day morning as I was shooting these flowers, butterflies flew all around and I had to stop and and smile with love for my beautiful cousin…I will always remember you Katie when I see a butterfly, and smile.


Plum Blossoms

The Plum Trees (or Prunus mume) are in full bloom outside the studio once again, and I was feeling inspired to go shoot the blossoms this morning. They smell wonderful as well, and in years past the branches have been heavy with fruit—hoping for another good crop this year and may have to collaborate with a pastry chef and do a follow up post. Back in 2008 I was doing a studio shoot on Gin drinks for Santé Magazine and we decided to clip some of the blossoms for a pretty garnish and give the cocktails a little extra color. To check out some more pics (and order prints 😉 go here.

Backyard Bugs

One thing I am not is a landscape photographer. To me it is much more interesting to explore the world up-close, and I would much rather get down on my stomach and get a macro shot of a bug or little critter or flower (with a bug on it) and often when I’m mowing the lawn I’ll see a praying mantis or newt and have to stop and run inside to grab the camera. I guess that’s why I was drawn to food photography with the variety of colors and textures and getting in close. Last fall I was mowing for the last time of the season and was thinking I hadn’t seen one mantis all summer, and then I spotted two. My son Colin was eager to get a peek, and the little alien-like mantis’s head would swivel to look at each of us on either side, as if to size us up. We recently planted a butterfly bush and it has lived up to it’s namesake, and was able to capture a tiger swallowtail (looked as if it had some damage, but still beautiful). Then I spotted a luna moth resting on the side of a pine tree and didn’t seem to upset to have my lens in it’s face. Note the small ant on it’s fuzzy abdomen. And just recently found in the archives a Species Antheraea polyphemus – Polyphemus Moth. For info on identifying your backyard bugs, check out http://bugguide.net (Click on the images for a closer look.)

Species Antheraea polyphemus - Polyphemus Moth

Do I shoot kids?

I’m often asked if I shoot children. Well…yes!
I happen to have a couple of very willing models in-house that are all-to-willing to help me test out new lenses and cameras. This shot of our youngster Ryan was taken during the recent hotwave while I was testing a new lens, and it is one of the shots that goes onto our fridge instantly, and I can’t stop looking at it. The slideshow link below was from a shoot taken a year ago almost to the day when I was testing a new camera and had a one of those magical days when I was just going to mess around in a late afternoon at the park and had shot after shot that I would love to print out for my desk, but then again I’m biased 😉
I love shooting kids for clients, and not just because the children are so unassuming and innocent but I know the fleeting images of their kids are going to be as cherished for them as mine are for me.

Oh, and this day testing of the new lens was another “magic” day… another slideshow to come 😉


Ryan enjoying a day in the "pool"

The Great Train Expo

It’s only fitting that on a day of remembrance of my dad that I post photos of model trains. Model trains have been passed down in my family for generations and some of the O-gauge engines are now worth quite a bit. My dad started tinkering with a serious set up in his basement over 30 years ago with HO-guage trains and from what was going to be a simple yard and a loop around the finished basement soon took over the entire basement traveling through walls into the pantry, around the bar, and then a tressel that one had to duck under at the bottom of the stairs. He had enough lines and transformers to run 4-5 trains at once and was constantly tweaking corners and soldering connections to fix shorts and adding new switches and sidings to panels in a never-ending birds nest of wiring. The plan was to get the tracks just right before the final finished scenes complete with trees, grass, town buildings, etc. were in place, but he was constantly tinkering and ripping up the track to try something new, so the dozens of model  buildings sat along the sidings in a haphazard lineup yearning for a final home scenery setting that would never come to be. I don’t think he ever really wanted it to be finished, as then there would be nothing left to work on. The construction was therapy, but his real joy was to see the look of amazement on the faces of the children that came over to see the trains run. I now see in my boys a fascination with trains, especially in my 2-year old, that dad would have loved to see and nurture. So when the Great Train Expo came to Albany, NY this past December, we introduced Colin and Ryan to what a real train set looked like, and I hope to someday take up the soldering and glue guns and tinker away late into the night with them, and telling stories about their grandfather and his love of trains.

Even more than the trains themselves, I love the detail of the scenery from the grass, trees, buildings, and townsfolk that create the look and feel of a real railroad and the small towns they pass through. Here are a few shots from the show…

A butterfly for mom

It was a beautiful day some years ago, and I was driving home with mom from my brother’s vacation rental outside of Quechee, Vt. It was one of those perfect summer days—warm, no humidity and a light breeze. We were meandering along a back road making our way to south to Bennington and taking in the sites, not really wanting to go home just yet. So when we passed this enormous planting of black-eyed susans there was no question we had to stop and get a photo. I was shooting with film in my old Canon A-1, and set up to shoot back into the 20-yard-deep planting of flowers trying to isolate a couple when on cue the monarch landed right in the focal plane. It was perfect, and I couldn’t believe how much it fit with the colors and the petals of the flowers. Mom loved the print, it was one of her favorites, and it now hangs in my son’s room. To this day that image brings me right back to the memory of that day with her.