Commercial Alley 2012

Portsmouth is a very interesting place, for many reasons.  One of the interesting aspects is how a particular street evolves over time, with an ever-changing list of tenants and various hanging street signs as people move around, close, etc.  Commercial Alley is one of the most beautiful nooks in town, and it’s had an influx of new tenants in the past couple years – as you can see by the mostly new hanging signs.

The McLaughlin-Hills Gallery

There’s a new gallery in town (on State Street across from Agave and Dos Amigos)…and I had the pleasure of stopping in to explore some of the work from Latin artists featured in the gallery.  Visit WireNH for a great article on the new establishment and its founder, Catherine McLaughlin-Hills (who was very kind and helpful as I meandered around).  It only took a matter of seconds upon walking in to realize that this wasn’t your typical seacoast gallery, which was a welcomed surprise.  As someone who has very clearly made his practice photographing the beauty that surrounds us here on the New Hampshire seacoast, I most certainly appreciate more diversity in our art scene.  Also, as someone who is marrying into a Cuban and Colombian family, I think I’ve developed a greater appreciation for art outside what I’m typically seeing/enjoying.

I strongly encourage you to stop in and explore for yourself.  The gallery is full of fascinating and vibrant pieces of work…well worth a few minutes of your day on a stroll towards Prescott Park.

(Be sure to click the image – I really dig how this one looks on the black background)


In 2011 I’ll be starting a new series featuring the Storefronts of Portsmouth.  Today’s image captures many things I love about Portsmouth.  A quaint storefront of a local business, a richly painted entrance, a shop nestled up against others alongside, a brick sidewalk, the warm glow of a shop where you can meet people (not a robot on some website).  Gus & Ruby Letterpress is a cool stationary and invitation boutique on Congress Street, which moved during 2010 from its former location of a little spot on Market Street near the salt piles.  It’s always a great thing when a business needs to move to a bigger space in order to meet the needs of its customers…it means business is thriving.  I had the chance to visit the shop a few months back, and loved how much detail and thought went into decorating the interior.  I love capturing detail, though I’m not always the best at creating it – so it’s always fun to see what folks come up with.  Stop in to see them sometime.

Autumn in the Seacoast | NHFF 2010

The Music Hall

I’m going to keep today short and sweet by featuring two vertical shots taken on Sunday at the New Hampshire Film Festival.  Above, The Music Hall (main venue for the festival) is featured with the NHFF 2010 banner at the base of the hill along Congress Street.  Below – Market Street and the 100 Club balcony are featured in the shot taken during the VIP brunch.  It was a gorgeous fall day and a fantastic weekend…later this week I’ll share more of the portraits taken of the various filmmakers, producers, award winners attendees etc. from the various venues…where I’ll give the appropriate thanks to all the people that worked incredibly hard to make this event an enormous success.


Wires | Market Street

Another new lens arrived on the scene this week.  It’s somewhat of a freak of nature according to most people who have seen it in person….a vintage chrome Hasselblad Carl Zeiss 50mm lens….it certainly doesn’t look at home on the Canon 5d Mark II.  It’s completely manual focus and forces me to think more about each shot.  I’m still in the testing phase, and it’s still not as wide as I’d like it to be – but I decided to head over to the Market Street rowhouses on a cloudy afternoon to see how it handled the bright and varied colors of the building, and also the sharpness, etc.

I like this shot as it captures the feel of the streetscape and also happened to capture a few shoppers doing their thing on an otherwise quiet Market Street.  I’m also blown away every time I stop to realize just how many power lines still hang over our streets downtown (with all of the other infrastructure improvements we’ve had over the past few years).  What do you think of the textures and the new lens?  I’ll post what it looks like in the next day or two.  Thanks for checking in.

The Portsmouth Brewery

We are lucky in Portsmouth to have some fantastic locally made craft beers.  New Hampshire’s original and thus the city’s longest standing brewpub, The Portsmouth Brewery, is located right on Market Street with one of the most recognizable facades in town.  What I typically pay less attention to is the interior of this fine establishment, which is world renowned for its award winning Kate The Great (which will be released to the public in 2011 on March 7th).  Last time I was in – this cool older sign caught my eye in the afternoon light….and I loved the textures of the sign and the detail of the plant, contrasted against the softer brick buildings across the street.

The Clocktower & A Hasselblad

With all of the excitement from my trip out West, I thought it was time to return to our fantastic little slice of heaven here on earth with a local seacoast shot.  This is another take on the North Church’s clocktower.  It’s a familiar site, one I’ve featured often – as it’s one of the most recognizable landmarks in downtown Portsmouth, but I wanted to post today’s photo for a special reason.  This was taken with a very unique lens, one that’s very important to me.  I was fortunate to be given a gorgeous vintage Hasselblad camera by my Uncle Nate (Tudy) Sock.  As far as I can remember, Uncle Tudy was the first prolific photographer in our family, and I’m sure that all of our family’s appreciation and passion for photography is thanks to him.  He’s traveled the world with the Hasselblad, one of the most exotic locations I remember hearing about was one of his safaris in Africa.  I love  hearing about his travels and how much he enjoyed capturing the world around him, knowing that I feel the same rush when I am out shooting on adventures.

The camera itself is gorgeous (see below).  In a digital world, I had a difficult time determining whether it was functioning correctly…so in the meantime, I was able to find an adapter that let me use the Carl Zeiss 100mm f 3.5 lens on my Canon 5d Mark II.  Zeiss has always built incredibly quality products, with exceptional glass quality.  What you’ll notice is the remarkable clarity and color from just a single exposure with this lens.  I look forward to many more photos with this beauty…and with the camera itself now that I seem to have it working smoothly (time to order some slide film!).  Thanks for visiting.

The Portsmouth Brewery

One of my favorite hanging signs in Portsmouth is the legendary beer stein that welcomes passers-by to the Portsmouth Brewery on Market Street, one of the city’s staple restaurants for nearly a couple decades.  The beautiful colors surrounding the windows and reflected in them have always drawn me in.

At the Corner of Bow & Ceres Street

Today’s post features two views from the corner of Bow Street & Ceres Street.  The shot above features the view towards Market Street with The Dolphin Striker off to the right with its blue canopy, and the NJM Gallery to the left with its painted red bricks & bright blue trim around its colorful windows.  Below, the restaurant known as Two Ceres Street can be seen at the bottom of the staircase next to Izzy’s.  Though I’ve yet to stop in for dinner or drinks, I’ve heard great things about both – and something about a special “green drink”.

Please come visit tomorrow for a very special post and a beautiful photo of a new scene.

Staircase on Ceres Street

The new brick sidewalks on Ceres Street are looking good (though I miss the old worn bricks), and the early morning light was something that I don’t often shoot in – so I was loving the different lighting and early shadows.  Along with the sidewalks, the bricks of the building look great, and I’ve always wanted to live in one of the rowhouses with their cool staircases to the upper levels.  I’m sure it gets a bit loud during the warmer months, but I’m pretty sure the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.  It was also the first time I’d seen the Black Trumpet’s yellow door open during the day to reveal the cool gold staircase inside.