The Portsmouth Skyline

Today’s post features a view of the Moran Towing tugboats and a portion of The Decks from a different vantage point.  This is the first time I’ve posted anything shot from the Middle Bridge (the Sarah Long Bridge) in Kittery, Maine.  Visible from the skyline is the 100 Club, the steeple of the North Church, the rowhouses of Market Street, and many other familiar landmarks.

This spot is truly fantastic, and I imagine there will be plenty more stops during various sunsets with some beautiful results.

The Wentworth By The Sea | New Castle, NH

Today features another view of the Wentworth By The Sea.  Shot in the Fall of 2009, it features pumpkins and some fall decor…but the well manicured grounds still boast green grass and vibrant plant life.  I’m looking forward to seeing the return of the lush grass with the return of spring.

I tried something new with this shot and love how the beautifully restored building seems to pop off of the muted sky.  Below is a more dramatic and surreal shot from the same time of year…an interesting contrast to the more natural look above.

A Piscataqua River Sunset | East Coast & West Coast

It’s no secret that I’m drawn to the waterfront, wherever I am.  Today’s post features a beautiful and intense sunset over the Piscataqua River from last fall here in Portsmouth on the east coast – and below, from the west coast, it features the Pacific Ocean as seen from the Muir Beach Overlook (a national park)…the winding stairs were inviting and also inspiring set out so high over the rocky Californian coastline.

Changes at The Decks | Construction Update & Poco's New Deck

As I’ve written about lately, and as you’re probably aware, there are some big changes going on at The Decks this spring season.  The City finally started a beautification project, replacing brick sidewalks on Ceres Street – putting in new drainage and stone walkways in The Alley.  The biggest part of the project is the switcheroo, with the Poco’s deck being moved against the building (a two-story deck now as opposed to the single-story)…and a public area going in where Poco’s old deck was located. Above (and in the last shot) you can see the guts of the old area, with the Old Ferry Landing visible to the right (which will now have unobstructed tugboat views)….in the last shot you can see the rebar being put into the ground to support the new structure, along with a crescent moon hanging over the Market Street rowhouses. The second shot below is the upstairs portion of the new Poco’s deck…I’ll post a view of the lower portion soon…but in the meantime, upstairs is open for business!

As the Sun Retreats | From the Memorial Bridge

I went for a walk tonight to try out a new wide angle lens.  The quality isn’t the best – so when shooting directly towards the sun you get these intense sun flares.  Sometimes it ruins a shot pretty quickly, but for some reason I was really digging the rich red flare and the sunset with some more subtle processing…it was the first time I’ve caught the sunset on a weeknight in quite a while.  Hope you enjoy!

The Stairs to the Sheraton Harborside

On a warm summer day last year I was taken by how inviting the steps to the Sheraton Harborside were, especially with such a beautiful sunset looming overhead. I loved how the stairs and their symmetry draw you up towards the tent over their deck, and together with the brick tones and the green of the trees & grass served as all too familiar a reminder that I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring!  I’m anxious to get out and enjoy the extra hour of daylight we now have – I think it will lead to some new variety of shots.

The Lobby of the Ale House Inn

You may have seen this shot before, but I like it so much that I’m going to post it again!  This was taken in the inviting lobby of the Ale House Inn.  The Inn was renovated recently and features the old warm brick walls of the former grain storage warehouse for a brewery that was situated on the banks of the Piscataqua River.  The hallway of the 10-room inn feels similar to the inside of a ship…but the rooms are much more modern and sport a fresh cottage/seacoast feel.  If you’re looking for a spot downtown, check them out…it’s within easy strolling distance to anywhere downtown, including The Decks, the waterfront and the Memorial Bridge.

Memorial Bridge Abutment

Today’s post features another shot from the archives from last spring…the setting sun illuminates one of the abutments on the Memorial Bridge.  The seacoast got some bad news recently when it was notified that the Memorial Bridge project did not receive the $70 million in federal funding that it needed to proceed with a full repair of the bridge as needed.  Now the historic structure’s fate hangs in the balance as a study is underway to determine the cost to repair the Memorial as well as the Sarah Long Bridge (Middle Bridge), and the most appropriate outcome given how integral the bridge is to the communities of Kittery, ME and Portsmouth, NH.  I certainly hope it will continue to live what has been a long life.

The Peirce Island Boat Ramp

Today’s post poses a question, to HDR or not to HDR?  HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and I’ve begun to use the abbreviation as a verb with friends & family as we joke about the process (which uses multiple exposures overlaid on top of each other to reach a broader dynamic light range)….but as you can tell from scrolling through the website, it’s something that I truly enjoy doing – as I find that it’s similar to the darkroom black & white processing I learned to do in college.  The digital post processing is still the romantic part to me (although shooting the scene is still most important), where it is up to you to create your vision.  I use it mostly to try and replicate what I saw with my eyes when I was taking the photos.  A single exposure often feels too flat to me, still beautiful – but short of the memory I have of the particular scene/experience.

To serve as an example, I’ve posted two versions of one of my all-time favorite images – the sunrise shot taken of the Peirce Island Boat Ramp.  The first is the “HDR” version, while the image below is nearly “out of the camera” with minimal additional tweaking.  Regardless – it was clearly a beautiful scene, but I’m curious to hear – which do you prefer?

LaCava's Wharf


In the late afternoon I decided to visit the usual spots before trying to inspire myself to shoot in some less traveled areas. On my way out of town, I decided to check out the late afternoon light in the South End at Prescott Park. On the Peirce Island Road Bridge I saw the sun glinting directly in my direction, which can make for some terrible photos – but being the stubborn person I am, decided to try anyway to see what I could come up with. The shot above is the end result, which I happen to like because of the sun streaks and the muted colors – yet the character of the neighborhood still stands out.