Nate Parker Photography: Blog en-us (C) Nate Parker Photography [email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:49:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:49:00 GMT Nate Parker Photography: Blog 120 120 Update Summer 2015

Foggy Acadia

Wow has it been that long? I just checked and saw that the last time this blog was updated was back in April! Not that that seems like just yesterday, and I have been feeling occasionally guilty and neglectful of this thing called blog. So it's about time to stop in and brush the cobwebs off and check to see that everything is in order and delete some of the spam that ends up sprinkled around. So what could I possible have been doing that's more important than blogging? Working! That's right, like most normal and well adjusted people I have a job- I work on a lobster boat baiting traps and lifting traps and checking lobsters and baiting bags and eating lunch and riding around on the back of the boat.

I've told you this all before here: and here:


Scenes from a lobster boat in Downeast Maine. from f/8nate (nate parker) on Vimeo.

It's a good job. It's one of the best jobs I've ever had. Right up there with working as a roadie as a teenager for a funk band back in the early 90's that would play colleges and city rock clubs where I wore a giant velvet leopard skin top hat (fake) and sold CD's after moving the amps and gear on stage for the band etc. Then once I got paid to subcontract teaching photography for the Canon in the Parks thing when they came to Acadia and just wearing the polo shirt with the company logo on it was bliss enough at the time. The only thing that's bad about my day job (should really call it an early early morning till afternoon job) is the level of commitment it takes to do it right. I work a lot. Not an unusual a lot, or more than most a lot, but enough that it really starts to cut into my photography time. Luckily I feel confident in where I've evolved myself to as a photographer, I've been working hard at it for 15 years now and even when I'm not photographing I'm still making aesthetic assessments of potential scenes- and I've been shooting with my iPhone more than ever. 

The iPhone has really saved my ass- as it were, (pardon the dock talk), I have been able to photograph so many absolutely amazing moments of weather and sky color during sunrises and storms coming and fog stillness from the deck of the boat that it's now become a major body of work that I'm intending to hang and show in a well known gallery here on the island in Northeast Harbor come this fall. Recently the local newspaper The Mount Desert Islander ran a feature on my images from the boat here: The camera I always have with me is a blessing that connects the dots to the next time I get to use my real camera. And it took a lot of experimenting but I feel like the iPhones images are really worth printing. I've made a number of solid prints as large as 16"x20" Here's a sampling of some of the stuff I've been printing lately: 

I've been posting the series for a while now on the Facebook and Google Plus under the title 'View From The Boat'. The style I'm trying to convey is simple color gestures and subtle moments of gradients of light, which the fog is really good at doing. 

Well that's it for me for now. It's harvest time for Sophie and her vegetables and flowers so that means lots of fun photographing with off camera lights and setting up still life's, until then- have a good one!


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) bass harbor maine have a nice day lobster lobstering maine nate parker photographer and sternman nate parker photography nate parker photography in the news nate parker photography update photographs from the deck of a lobster boat view from the boat Thu, 27 Aug 2015 22:59:44 GMT
iPhone beat me at my own game-

Seal Cove ice flows iPhone 5 and no filters. 

It's never fun to admit defeat, especially when I'm kind of unclear of what the lesson would be to learn here. But I'll try to figure it out by the end-

So here we go: I'm photographing these ice flows on a lovely dreary day down the way from we and going through the motions of making a good capture. I'm taking my time and photographing lots of options with a number of different approaches, as usual. Around about the time that things became really nicely atmospheric I had decided on a particular composition and was photographing it as a longish exposure with a touch of a tilt on my 24mm tilt shift lens. The biggest problem I have when making images is contemplating the scene on the preview screen. I'm using a fairly beaten Canon 5D mkII without a loupe (just never got into using one but maybe I'm writing my own prescription here) I can visualize the scene I want to make, see it through the viewfinder, but when it comes time to make critical decisions using the review screen I always find it lacking- so to ensure the good goodness I "bracket", not literally in the bracketing exposure terms, but by making enough exposures through a variety of approaches that will guarantee that when I get back to base I'll have the information in at least one of the files to get me the picture I was after. So the problem becomes when there is limited time, or if by making long exposures there is limited time. So here I went with a gut feeling that the choices I'd made were the right ones. Set up the camera to make a few exposures which took a few minutes, and while they were happening I pulled out the iPhone to make some reference shots. I treat iPhone reference shots kind of like a notebook, the camera makes a pretty flat and neutral image that will help me to remember color casts, etc, or just that I made the scene if enough time goes by without tackling it. But it usually just remains a reference. I do try to make serious photography with my iPhone, but when the real camera is with me its just a sketch book. The one absolute obvious advantage is the ease of use- its always available and ready to go- where it take me minutes to get my camera out of my bag and lensed and on sticks with the correct exposure dialed in, really a painfully clumsy process in comparison but one which still gives the most controllability and image fidelity. Right?

Seal Cove 5dII shot black and white pass.

This time however the reference shot/flat image of the iPhone was exactly was I was looking for to make (in hindsight)- but the decisions I made with my big "real" camera were permanent by using physical filters and mechanical lens adjustments. So really none of my "big camera" shots were as good as the iPhone. Arg#$%!@ 

The lesson: 1. Always shoot a good reference image with the "real" camera, even if you figure you know exactly the touch it needs to pop!

2. Get a loupe. Zacuto has bunch which are pretty fancy and nice, but the Hoodman has a line of loupes which are a lot less expensive and seem to be just what the critical image reviewing doctor ordered. 

3. ? accept that the iPhone is camera enough for whatever I need? not quite. if only it could shoot raw- would be a start. 10 years from now though? 

Canon 5dII out of camera no adjustments.

Canon 5dII first pass adjustments in Lightroom.

Canon 5dII second pass adjustments this time using On One Perfect Effects contrast filters.

Canon 5dmkII blue pass

Final edit with texture layer-

final edit without texture layer= final final.

Now I'm not saying that I don't like these images, I just like the option that the iPhone gave me here better. Kind of hoping that this isn't going to happen again any time too soon! Heheh. 

Have a good one!


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) acadia acadia national park acadia national park photography bar harbor maine have a nice day iphone5 vs canon 5dmkii maine nate parker photography Tue, 31 Mar 2015 21:02:03 GMT
Dream Job: Photographing a Lexus ad in the deep of winter in Maine

Here's one for ya! So I've been a little quiet of late over here on the bloggy and on Facespace, reason #1 being I've been busier than ever with everything that makes up my life, reason #2 I don't want to just put up a click bait topic that doesn't have anything to do with anything just in an effort to get traffic, so if I've got nothing to say- I've got nothing to say. But this one is too good not to talk about and there is educational value attached, therefore- here goes. 

Back in the hot months of the late summer I received a query from a car dealer in Portland, Maine: Berlin City Auto Group (as far as I know I have no NDA obligations keeping me from talking about this and they were so awesome to work with that it's all high fives from my side of the deal!) regarding: they were interested to work with me imaging vehicles for advertising. Pretty sure they found me through the Facebook. Anyway, and here's tip #1, I was so ridiculously busy at the time that I most likely answered the email while out of breath. And while it did sound interesting I told them that in fact I was just freeking swamped and although it did sound great there just was not enough left of me to reasonably consider approaching the job at that time. So that's top tip #1: always try to answer job inquiries while being too busy "in the weeds" and you'll seem like a hot commodity and the financial negotiations will be in your favor! But here's what they said in a follow up email- I'll get to have a vehicle of my choosing to keep for a couple weeks to bring to local hotspots to photograph and I'll be paid somewhat handsomely, that is if they choose to use my work. So they got me there! pretty much I did a double take, and said to myself "say what again?" reread it all, and at that point it was decided!: Count Me In!! 

Now I'm not a car photographer, really I'm not even an everything and anything photographer. I'm pretty much a landscape shooter from way back. I do like shooting portraiture, and love photographing on the street in a city, and I've taken a variety of different photo jobs in the past just because I figured I had the where-with-all to approach them and make good work and get paid. But this was bigger than anything I had taken on yet. They liked my work they saw on the internets, particularly my black and white long exposure stuff, so that's why they called me. All I had to do was make an itinerary of shooting locations and show up with the car and do what I do do. Right? Well, easier said than done! And then it showed up.

About 5 months later. On New Years Eve, the Lexus NX Sport in silver showed up in my driveway with a full tank of gas, a few microfiber rags in it and some exterior cleaner. First objective was to bring it over to my buddies house and show off. Well I got in the car, picked the key up, and looked for where the ignition was. There wasn't any ignition. Ah ha!- button start. Cool. Then I had to figure how to take the parking brake off- no lever under the dash board. Ah ha #2= brake release with on the console under the shifter. So now I'm sitting in this $45,000 sports/crossover/suv in these amazing leather seats, and all I can think is a mantra of: Do Not F@$& This Up! Really it is a cool cool vehicle, has a sport mode that torques the engine into an aggressive pulling monster, or an Eco mode that sips gas conservatively. Paddle shifters on the wheel, a great climate control system that you can set for say 72 degrees and forget about it, wicked comfy seats and a solid yet smooth ride; are some of the other high points. Bottom line is- it's a Lexus and it is nice! But I wouldn't buy one. I still like my Tacoma better.

The next day I started photographing. My goal was to achieve 3 or 4 images that I really liked, which is to say 3 or 4 shots which were strong and that I considered winners. But I wanted to make enough work that there would be plenty for them to choose from and which would work in a variety of formats and applications. So I wanted to to have about 12 different scenes/environments in all. The shot list included Bass Harbor with the lobster boats and trap docks behind, on the pier, a couple of oceanside overlooks, a snowy blueberry field, the Penobscot Bridge as an iconic location, a boatyard, a few places in Acadia National Park, and some others. 

As far as preparations were concerned: I really kind of wanted to have an open mind. So I didn't want to necessarily look at a lot of modern automobile photography or images of the Lexus NX which would put an image in my head that I would then end up chasing. Not to say that I didn't look, because I did do a little bit of Google image searching on the NX. And I am a member of Kelby One training so I watched a couple Tim Wallace classes on post processing for car photography. Tim Wallace is an awesome car photographer and I've been seeing his work for a couple years now- so that was definitely my biggest inspiration for approaching this. I wanted the work to look clean but have a bit of pop and presence. One thing that was working in my favor right off the bat is that the NX is a very distinctive looking object. I did like looking at it therefore that did make photographing it more enjoyable than say photographing a Winnebago, or a propane tank, or something like that. 

Now for the challenges and problems. The first day of photographing was almost perfect- there were dry roads, it was't too cold at about 32 degrees f and there were fast moving low clouds which would be great for long exposure. However between the time of leaving the driveway to then arriving at location #1- the winds had whipped up to a raging sustained 25 knots out of the north west with gusts that would blow you right over. So even a 10 pound sand bag hanging off my tripod made sharp exposures a challenge, not to mention freezing the nose tip off and the fingers. But I got some shots in the can so the hard part was out of the way= getting started. However that was the last dry day. After that point we had snow fall after snowfall, only a few inches at a time but the roads were forever after covered with slush and or road salt or sand and muck. I did have a brief fantasy considering maybe the winter road dirt would make the Lexus look all rugged and tough- but no, it just made it look dirty. So to combat that problem I would always bring a few gallons of water to pour over the door panels etc to wash away that loose dirt. And with that super shiny finish that the car has it would come right off, and with the bonus of leaving little water drops beaded up on the glossy surface of the car which did give it a rugged "can handle whatever you throw at it" -in the weather look. 

Next problem= reflections. I don't know if this was really that much of a problem but it was certainly a consideration. And since I've finished the work I've been looking at different car ads and some take out the reflections entirely and others don't. With the super gloss brand new finish of this vehicle it was giant mirror with a thousand facets. So where a major consideration in all photography is always: what is the background and is there a tree growing out of his or her head, here it was also a major consideration what is being reflected and can I minimize distracting reflections which then I wouldn't have to worry about as much later in post by changing the angle of my composition or the car itself. 

The majority of the work I did in Photoshop was cleaning up the car. Taking out any random bits of dirt left on the finish, removing strong or distracting reflections (for instance where there is fresh snow on the ground there was often a reflection in the door panels that made it look like there was a giant white angular racing stripe on the car)- which kind of looked cool, but it looked much better without that loud stripe. So my healing brush and cloning techniques were pushed to the max. So much so that I decided enough was enough and it's time to add a Wacom Tablet to my desktop. There's enough meat there for another post just about the tablet, but suffice it to say that it's been a long time coming and I wish I had gotten one years ago- because I love it! Makes dodging and burning on a grey layer as natural and effortless as it should be. 

Alright then, let's cut to the chase and wrap it up- I ended up sending them 16 scenes of 44 images. Some were doubles as a color and a black and white. I did end up getting the 4 shots that I was very happy with and in the end felt that the entire body of work was valuable and that I did a good job. I learned some new skills through doing the job, got out and made a bunch of work at a time when I probably would have more likely been hunkering down and letting the weather blow by with my camera sitting in it's bag. Had a blast driving driving around that sweet sweet ride! Just burned under a tank of gas and was extremely careful treating the vehicle like it in fact wasn't mine! And, in the end, I even got paid in a timely manner! (grand applause and a hallelujah amen!) The only downside was that it was a lot of work photographing, and none of it was for me.

And this is lesson #next: regarding success. I consider it a great success that I've come a long way from the point of wanting to be a good photographer to being a photographer that is busy doing things that aren't making photography for my self. So therein lies a problem- the expression is: do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life, but what I love is going out and finding imagery and coming home and working on it for a few days over beers. But I did end up enjoying working on that Lexus job almost as much as my own work- especially by the end when I had a strong idea of the vision of the look I wanted, it started to feel like I do when I'm just out shooting. And nobody got hurt and no property was damaged so I'll chalk it up to a great success. And looking forward to what the next challenge is that's gonna come down the pike. 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) acadia acadia national park acadia national park photography berlin city auto group berlin city lexus coast of maine have a nice day lexus lexus maine maine maine coast maine photography nate parker photography Sun, 25 Jan 2015 22:54:18 GMT
Update: got married, shooting flash, and snow on the ground.

Homarus Americanus. Maine lobster. 

Woah- where has the time gone? What a whirlwind. Last time I checked in here it was 90 degrees and it feels like I was a different person. It used to seem a lot more important and necessary to update the blog here regularly, but there is only so much time in a day! The intent of the blog is to share with people who don't know me some of my ideas and personality and motivation that informs my photography work, so people can have something of a connection to the guy who made the picture. There are a million amazing photographers out there, so the blog is a chance to differentiate myself, and tell stories while I'm having a coffee or a beer at the end of the day. Also I really love a good blog like the old warhorse NatGeo photographer Joe McNally's stories of climbing to the top of the Empire State Building to photograph them changing the lightbulb beacon- 


After a while you really end up feeling like you know these people. You take them into your life through your monitor or your smart phone and follow them around the world like stowed baggage. The photographs are great but sometimes the mind of the artist is even more interesting. Now don't confuse me with an interesting person- I'm just trying to do my part in creating content and maybe somebody will like something. And I've personally learned so so much about technique and philosophies of photography through reading blogs that ideally hopefully I'll be able to give back and if even one person learns something or is inspired in the littlest way and makes better work then everyone wins and the world is a better place! Grand ideas I know, had to end the paragraph somehow though.

Allrighty then- first things first: I got married! Wow! Sophie and I have been together for 8 years now and we've been in love for that long too, asked her to marry me 2 years ago (she said yes!) but all the planning and schedules and procrastination took us a long time. Then on October 12th the weather was amazing and the absolutely beautiful and a sunny fall day was a wonderful gift for us all to enjoy together. It was just a fantastic day! I wore a kilt, my Dad's Dad came from Scotland, moved to America when he was 3. Tried to find a kilt that had our colors but couldn't this was the closest to it. Sophie was absolutely beautiful with a custom hair job and she was just glowing.


Like I said- it was a great day. We would have invited you all, and everyone, but wanted to keep it a small get together.

On to the photography: Right then, I had to get you up to speed, couldn't just start typing like nothing ever happened and everything is just business as usual- because it's not! Like I said earlier- it feels like I'm a completely different person in a number of ways now, and not just because I got married etc- and I feel lucky about that (being married and feeling change). My point is that I was able to change, I changed perspective, changed photographic approach, changed how I consider photography and how I conceive photographs. It's a lucky thing because for the last year or so it started to feel like I was repeating myself. It started to feel like I was photographing photographs that I had already made- it had been far too long since the sensation of a breakthrough, since the invigorating sense of inspiration when you find a new exciting direction. Too much time would pass between needing to recharge my cameras batteries and downloading images after going and photographing for a few hours- and then you start to think: maybe I'll never again make a great picture... Arg! 

So back when the weather was wicked bad last winter around January and February I was starting to mess around with setting up and photographing still life kinds of things in my studio. I'm just using the corner of the room and a table that ordinarily functions as my print matting and mounting table. Photographing on usually white mat board but have also experimented with reflective black, old wooden boxes, and some other stuff. Initially I was borrowing a speed light from my buddy Ken Perrin at Atlantic Art Glass and sometimes using available window light. This summer however I went "whole hog" and started acquiring light gear. I've had some exposure to the concepts of lighting through following Zack Arias, Joe McNally, Scott Kelby et al but when it came to knowing what I needed or even wanted I hadn't a clue. So the guy at B+H Photo recommended 2 different packages- a softbox + speed light + transmitter for 800 bucks or the 'Scott Kelby' everything kit for Canon for only 500. Now there's something a little cheesy about an everything-in-one kit but since my knowledge on this gear on a scale of 1-10 was about a 1.5 before, I feel like I'm easily at a 4 or a 5 now after incorporating this stuff and shooting to learn on this for a while.

The Kelby kit comes with a Phottix Mitros+ speedlight that seems pretty well built and it talks to the camera through the Phottix Odin 1.5 TCU wireless TTL trigger. You can control the flash's parameters from the trigger well however in the part of the learning curve that I'm at right now I'm shooting manual flash instead of TTL and am changing the flash settings from the flash itself (which is often a drag because I have it often boomed up or away at angles difficult to reach it, maybe I'm overlooking something there...?). The kit came with a cheap flash stand, an 36" shoot through umbrella, a little mini 4"x6" softbox that they say is good for macro but I think I'm not convinced, and an umbrella holder elbow. Oh and a sandbag. Comes with a nice carrying kit too. 

That was all well and good but right away after experimenting with the umbrella for a while I realized that I wanted a softbox for a little bit more of a directional yet still very soft light. Back to B+H and added a 2 foot by 2 foot Impact Quickbox softbox. It folds up to fit in a slick carrying bag, but the thing is it never really unfolds perfectly square- doesn't seem to matter much, just a pet peeve. Added a Manfrotto boom arm to really reach in over the table that I'm shooting on and securely hold the much heavier soft box-

and then I found my favorite modifier yet: while watching a Zack Arias tutorial he showed a really cool and very affordable $50.00 strap-on grid spot. Made by ExpoImaging it's a 3 in 1 honey comb grid system that by stacking grids or just using by themselves can achieve either a 45 degree spot, a 25 degree spot, or a 16 degree spot light. Makes for super dramatic beam and shadows look. And that's what I'm primarily using for this current series of photographs of tools that I'm working on.

Mossy rock habitat diorama. Rogue grid-spot directly overhead. Feels like a museum exhibit lighting scenario-

I'm really enjoying the idea of being able to photograph things in the studio- ordinarily the landscape imagery I'll make requires being on location at the right time, and I'm working on the boat a lot now so time is always an extremely limited commodity. So I can set up a subject on the white paper and not photograph it until I'm ready, having walked by it a dozen times and seeing it in a variety of natural lights and thinking of how to actually shoot it, by the time I get around to making the photo I'm not feeling rushed, I can take the time to manipulate it and the light and enjoy the process even if it's 04:30 in the morning or 4:30 in the afternoon or 8 o'clock at night. I can tether the camera to my monitor and review on a large screen the effect small changes in focus or f stop or light can have. And it's a wicked gas! 

Sophie's Dahlias, my vase. 

But I need content- what to shoot? Sophie grows amazing things in her greenhouse and gardens but really I'm not as interested in making flower photography as much (don't get me wrong they are beautiful but there's just something a little too cliche feeling to me personally about photographing too many flowers, that's just me- whatever..) so I started looking down on the forest floor for things to photograph like leaves and ferns etc,



then I had a great idea: shoot tools!

I'm sure it's been done before. Everything it seems has been done before, especially pictures of flowers- but I haven't done it! Time to make some photographic studies of tools! There's this place called "The Tool Barn"in Hulls Cove, Maine. It's part of the Davistown Museum, here's a website:  they have tons of old tools, and apparently the main location in Liberty Maine is 4 times bigger- so I'll have to get to that one sometime. I used to live just down the street in a little apartment across from the beach with my golden retriever Grover and had been to the Tool Barn many times looking for some kind of necessary tool or other, but one that wasn't made of plastic and imported from China. Sometimes it was fun just to go there and look around and try to think what this or that tool was meant to be used for. So it occurred to me that that would be the ultimate place to find things to study under studio lights. The character of the tools. The tools that built New England. These old tools that have the wear marks and and the patina of being used for many hours. Lot's of them have old initials engraved in them of their owners beside the maker marks of the factories. And when you hold them you can really easily imagine all the work they must have made.

I worked out a deal with the proprietor Skip, who is all about having the tools be appreciated and respected as items of art and history. Then the only concern was how to photograph them and what the look should be. Right away I had this idea of making a real high contrasty dramatic looking bit- I was thinking of that movie "Sin City" which is all film noir looking with harsh long shadows. So the grid spot would make that happen: on the boom but hovering just off the surface of the table behind and to the side of the tool to cast a long shadow into the foreground. Of course the tool would then lose all the detail on the face but maybe I could bounce some light onto it (oh yeah I also got a 48" 5 in 1 Westcott reflector diffuser) with a white panel. So the first test shot that came back was crazy cool and just what I was looking for:

"Old American Tools #1. Stanley #4 plane." The composition was as much about creating interesting shadow lines as it was portraying the tool-

"Old American Tools #2, egg beater drill with brace. Goodall-Pratt Tool Co." This shadow made me think of a scooter. Used a small spring to elevate the chuck of the drill to let the light underneath and cloned the spring out later.

"Old American Tools #3. Stanley #12 pull plane." Sophie see's a vertebrae here, I see a bird or bat or airplane shadow. Same light set-up with the grid spot behind to port but bounced foreground fill with the white reflector. Also this time added a paper texture layer set to soft light blend mode and selectively masked for the background.

"Old American Tools #4. Stanley 190 plane." Got a little carried away with this one! This is the point of experimenting and learning- trying new things to see what works and learning about the processes through it all, then incorporating the successes to future work. The exercise here was to mess with creating a foreground reflection. I shot this on white paper, so there is no reflection in that scenario. Creating the reflection isn't too hard- making it feel right is the challenge, and I made a gigantic error there that didn't become apparent until after I had made a print of this and brought it to Skip at the Tool Barn. Fun experiment but I'm very unsure about how much I like this now. Also the shadows remind me of a guy riding on the back of a whale.

"Old American Tools #5. Fischer Ohaus scale." Grid spot hanging almost directly overhead on the boom arm- the trick here was adjusting the light so that the important details of the scale were not hidden in shadow like the central circular little emblem and the numbers on the scale arm. Incredibly finicky adjustments of half an inch would make or break the shadow details.

"Old American Tools #6. Bunion tool." This isn't much for dramatic shadows or things but check out that sticker near the hinge: "Used to make indentations in shoe for bunions!" How weird is that!

Right then. More to come. To sum it all up: it's been a blast to go in a completely different direction. It feels great to have opened a door to a world of light modifiers where there are so many different possibilities and it's all new to me and I've only just scratched the surface. It feels great to be learning photography in a completely new way and to add another skill to my bag of tricks. And it feels great to push myself to try something new, and I guess that also includes being married! I think it's important to kind of always try to be growing and being better and not just be satisfied with what's working. But that's just my opinion right now.

Alrighty that's it for now, thanks for stopping by, have a nice day, and get out there and try something new!


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) american made expo imaging flash bender rogue grid spot have a nice day made in america maine nate parker photography off camera flash old american tools one light studio flash rogue grid spot stanley tools black and white stanley tools photography studio flash the tool barn Wed, 03 Dec 2014 11:16:09 GMT
The 26 hour day- Now before you go all troll on me and blow up my internet with comments saying how crazy I am- the 26 hour day IS possible!  

 photo from Sam M.

And it would be sooo convenient. I wouldn't sleep longer that's for sure, well maybe every once in a while- but I would use the time to try to get to all those things that get pushed over into the next day, which then pushes other things into the day after that. Anyways here's the wikipedia article regarding length of day and how it is actually getting longer::, and from that article: "The earth is constantly losing angular velocity and rotational energy through a process called tidal acceleration, which leads to a slow lengthening of the day. A century ago, the average day was about 1.7 milliseconds shorter than today,[1] while in the late Neoproterozoic about 620 million years ago a day had only about 21.9±0.4 hours.[2"

How crazy is that@!! So I guess that if we can only hold out for another say 400 million years or so then we'll have all the time in the world! Until then I'll keep drinking coffee.

It's the absolute height of the season here right now on Mount Desert Island. The roads are absolutely impossible- clogged with tourists visiting Acadia making 12 point turns, there are J walkers galore, bicyclists, joggers with those baby strollers made for running, deer crossing with fawns in tow, and that's just the first turn out of the driveway! Also the lobstering is in top gear as it's get as much as you can get season. My hands are only occasionally numb this year, guess my body is acclimating fairly well. A typical day for me these days has the alarm going off at 03:00, I take a quick 4 minute wake up shower while the coffee is brewing, then I chug a half a pot while listening to the news and working on photography in Lightroom or Photoshop, out the door to haul gear by 04:00 or 04:30 and back home in the afternoon often at around 2:00 pm. I'm missing the best times of day for photography with my big camera but I'm always shooting the sunrise with my iPhone, as in every single beautiful sunrise there is, which is nice! Here's a quick sampling of sunrises and other scenes from this summer shot with the iPhone:  

F/V Never Enough

My good dog Grover on the punt dock.

Rowing out to the boat.

Setting gear. Traps stacked across the rails.

Nautical twilight

Sunrise through the windows of the wheel house.

Sunrise between the islands.

Heavy overcast off Black Island.

Danny pulling up to a buoy off Black Island.

Danny gaffing a buoy off Black Island.

Looking for buoys in the fog.

A couple of oversized ancient lobsters.

Crescent moon over the Bass Harbor lighthouse.

Predawn on the Bernard town dock with lobster traps and bait.

Danny setting them back.

My folks came up for a visit and went for a ride on the boat, they really loved it!

Shifting gear- photoed from the poop deck!

Getting picked up from the finger float.

Heading out.

Sunrising over Little Black Island.

Danny with a cod that came up in a trap.

Mount Desert Island off my front yard also known as Goose Cove.

Setting more gear.


Another beautiful sunrise.

Traps ready to be set on the rail.

Shifting a string of gear.



In the ER with redfish poisoning.

Fueling up.

The local paper liked this one enough.

Captain Dan picking a trap.

Pink lumpfish!

Another beautiful sunrise while leaving Bass Harbor Maine.

Searching for unicorn lobsters under Blue Hill Bay rainbows.

My big camera gets out of the bag hardly as much as my little pocket camera but the goal is to try to make serious imagery once a week or so in this the busiest of seasons. When I do break it out I'm continuing adding to my Acadia catalog but trying to find new approaches to old scenes. Also it is my studio camera when I don't want to necessarily drive somewhere to photograph but I'm feeling the need to photograph- so I'll shoot on white or black and make a study out of some object. Like this the phycus leaf: 

Tessellated leaf 2.

Tessellated leaf.

That's it for now- just wanted to show you that I'm still alive and kicking, just very distracted from all the other things that are called life and work that are keeping me from the blog. Have a good one and try to be as productive as possible with our miserably short 24 hour days!



[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) acadia acadia national park acadia national park photography acadia storm bar harbor maine black and white canon coast of maine eat lobster gulf of maine lobstering have a nice day lobster boat lobstering maine maine black and white maine black and white photography maine coast maine fine art photography maine lobster maine lobsters maine seascapes nate parker photography photography working on a lobster boat Sun, 24 Aug 2014 22:28:45 GMT
Triptychs and diptychs oh my!

Otter Cliffs Shore Path and Hurricane Arthur, Acadia National Park, Maine.

Hey there folks- been busy lately, the blog has mouldered and I haven't been in the mood to just post for the sake of posting, so it took this long to be inspired enough to come back with something to say. Get to that in a sec- first, I've been wicked busy. After hauling 200 or so pots of lobster out on the bay with Danny it takes a lot of inspiration to want to go to make new work. So I've been on a shooting schedule of about once a week if I'm lucky. There has also been a fair amount of printing and licensing to do so that has cut into the rest of the free time along with lawn mowing and I gotta watch last weeks episode of Deadliest Catch at some point. You know how it is! So the blog has mouldered. There was a time when I tried to post 6 times a week, if for no other reason than to have that as a discipline which made me feel constructive-  but it'll take the deep of winter before that'll happen again, and it has been just gorgeous here lately if not downright hot. We New Englanders have a pretty poor short term memory when it comes to the seasons. We're like: "Oh winter wasn't that bad this year, all the snow was nice!" while clutching a beer wearing shorts and sandals baking in the summer sun on the lawn. Seriously- do you remember the winter that was hammering us only three months ago? It was just over 90 days ago when my fiancee totaled her car the morning on black ice after a blizzard slammed us here in Maine and with air temps around 12 degrees f. 80 degrees later and we can't remember a thing about those times! Unless that's just me? Anyways...

Last weekend brought a rare July hurricane up the coast and whenever there is a storm like that coming the photographer part of me gets all excited. High surf warnings were forecast along with sustained 40+ knot winds, which wasn't hardly as bad as North Carolina had, but I have seen two story house sized waves pounding the granite along the coast of Acadia before (seriously 25 feet tall+ would shake the entire Earth when they broke against the cliffs) so I was psyched! Simultaneously fearing how the lobster gear would fare, while at the same time hoping for terrifyingly exciting waves to photograph- I went over to Otter Cliffs at high tide saturday afternoon. That was also the time when the storm was supposed to break and the downpour would stop, and the leading and trailing edges of storms are always amazingly dynamic for photography. Rolling into the park the signs were in place: for 'Danger High Surf proceed at your own risk' kind of thing. But it was hardly anything to freak out about- there was definitely a longer period strong swell breaking into upwards of 8 foot to 12 foot heavy wide waves, but there was a strong north wind that seemed to push most developing seas back. In the end however it was my excuse to go out and try to make something and the breakthrough moment was ultimately a printing and presentation idea. 

I've always loved a good panorama, used to compulsively make them and would hardly shoot anything but them! But it was half with the intention of how I wanted to represent an image and half to make up for some of the limitations of my poor quality consumer dslr. When I was fortunate enough to upgrade to a great camera I left all that panorama stuff behind and have been just photographing in a mostly standard fashion. And that's all been good until finding tilt-shift lens shift panoramas completely addictive, which has been for the last year or so mostly. Recently I had had an inquiry for a print commission for a bar/restaurant where one of the wall's would have 3 prints. I had been considering a group for it but then went and photographed last weekend's storm and when working on the images in Lightroom in the grid view I happened to notice how freeking nice they looked next to each other! Therefore the triptych. But instead of having 3 images in one frame this would be a partial panorama split into three vertically framed images that is the scene. And the ultimate success is if the finished installation has the feel of looking out a bay window onto the coast. Because if a print can transport a viewer in that way of immersion then that is a great success! Obviously this is not a breakthrough in the art world, just in my own sensibilities as to how to package a product and sell a solution. I didn't photograph the scene with printing it as a triptych in mind and that has caused more work in postproduction than I would have liked, but, now knowing the correct workflow: in the future I think I will start a gallery on the old website here of prints as triptychs and diptychs and have that as a project to pursue. Gotta love projects! 

So, I feel that although I haven't been as productive making new photography as I would sometimes like to be- my sensibilities and ultimately my work, at this point in my photography development (play on words there) has matured as well if not faster than if I had been photographing much more. Because then I would be distracted from conceptualizing by finishing and presenting imagery. Interesting that- I think I've often grown more through visualization doing the things I've pursued than through the actual doing of them-? And we'll leave it there for now...

Right then. That's what I've been doing, what have you guys been doing?

Have a good one - from Maine, Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) acadia acadia national park acadia national park photography acadia photography bar harbor maine black and white canon coast of maine granite coast have a nice day hurricane arthur imagery of acadia maine maine coast maine fine art photography maine seascapes nate parker photography new england photography Thu, 10 Jul 2014 20:33:24 GMT
On maintaining creative momentum, or How I learned to stop worrying and love the process  

"Seaside Meditations" Seaside, Oregon. (I don't understand what that white line is doing on the right- some kind of uploading artifact that I'm figuring out on right now-)

Every once in a while I find myself struggling to keep up the pace of making new 'good work', photographs that is, and the haunting idea of "maybe there will never be another 'good picture'" crosses my mind. It's not an impossible possibility- but that would be bad, hang it all up and put the kit up for sale on Ebay kind of bad. The worst kind of bad! A very real challenge that faces my photography is that I live on an island, it's attached to the mainland by a bridge but it's still an island. The island (Mount Desert Island on the coast of Maine), does happen to contain Acadia National Park, which is completely beautiful and has all kinds of different terrain and always gorgeous and varied landscapes, but I've been photographing on this island and in Acadia for the last 14 years and after a while it feels like I've made all the photographs of all the places in all the weather, from macro to 360 degree panoramas from dawn till dusk and into the night. That's not really true- there's always more places to find and more weather to influence them and more ways to photograph them, but I'm human and sometimes it can seem like there are a finite amount of possibilities. Certainly it does become more challenging to tour around the island and through the park with my gear and feel as inspired as I felt ten or five years ago while I was doing the initial discoveries. And the chances of going out to find something new and exciting are definitely not as productive feeling as it used to seem to be. So sometimes that can be a bummer. I remember "back in the day" while I was chasing sunrises thinking that if I get skunked today then the chances will be better tomorrow for getting something amazing, and if it didn't happen tomorrow then the chances would be even better the next day- somehow thats permeated into maybe sometime this month I'll find a novel photograph to make and work on that thrills me close to what I used to feel. And that's scary. 

So I've been fighting this skeleton in the closet for a while now and more and more it seems each time I go out to make new work. It's so easy in comparison to go someplace new even if it's as close as 2 hours away by car and see clearly an exciting image to make- and that's one of the great values of travel, but I don't get to do that too much. My folks live on Cape Cod though in Mass and whenever I visit them I can usually charge up with the inspiration of finding something new, and I'll often stop in Boston on the way to partake in some street photography and get some fantastic pizza in the Italian North End, but I'd like to think that it shouldn't take going so far in order to satisfy the desire to make a good image.

Therefore I've picked up a few tricks along the way that helps break up the feeling of being stuck on the hamster wheel and repeating myself like a stuttering photographer in a terminal feedback loop. I added filters (neutral density, graduated neutral density, polarizers), I went on a panorama bender for a few years, an HDR addiction for another few, now black and white with the occasional digital filter from the Nik Suite, abstracts through camera motion (kinetic photography), macro studies (not as much there so that has plenty of room for exploration), still lifes in my home studio using natural light and off camera flash. And there's really lot's more to explore so there's no reason to panic. 

Part of the problem though lies in that there have been years when it seemed like I could make as many as three or so great portfolio worthy (my portfolio that is, not Ansel's) images a week- week after week after week. So to compare the productivity of now to then seems like I'm way off the mark. But the root of that problem would seem to be the idea of competition. Competition with myself. Comparing now and then. Surely I feel like I'm a much more mature photographer than I was two or three years ago, (last year is too close to consider without imparting emotion into the images and remember when making them). So I do feel like I'm on the right track. And I try to stay somewhat removed from considering what my peers are making and comparing with them- I hang out on the social media a bit but hardly as much as I used to, there just isn't enough time! Speaking of time- it's time for a graph. This is what I'm feeling that the graph of my productivity might be represented as: the old bell curve. Nobody like a bell curve!

Quality of photographs vs time spent photographing.

Realistically the graph wouldn't bottom out on the right like this does, I just didn't really feel like creating my own graph so I apportioned one from the internets. This graph would go to show that initially as a newb photographer there is nothing but dung, but after not much time has passed you develop enough skill to make dependably satisfying imagery, then you're on fire!, then you develop your harsh critical inner voice that informs your sensibilities regarding making new work and it's all down hill from there! But my point here isn't to be pessimistic, my point is to share the conversation that I've been having with other artists over the past few weeks regarding this.

Key point number 1- focus on projects. Ken Perrin my glassblower cohort ( and more recently my photographer friend Heather McKenney ( reminded me that cohesive work is buoyed through focussed projects. This is no new news to me but a helpful reminder, especially coming from people who's opinions I respect. As mature photographers we all know this lesson, we aspire to make work that compliments our previous work, we fill out our catalog of work in as succinct a way as possible. The "everything photographer" is a tough game played best by those Nat Geo guys like Joe Mcnally and Steve McCurry, but even those guys have a shtick and a style and there are very few "one-off" images or "friggers" (in glassblowing jargon). But after a while even the deepest project becomes worked, and then overworked, and then worked to death! My thing has always been about seascapes- I love landscapes but if there is no water in it I'm more than a little bummed out. And if there's a lot of water in it then I'm the most happy. But after a while worked stuff needs a rest! So this winter, which was one of the coldest and craziest that I can remember, I took to the still life studio and started messing more with photoshop compositing and stuff like that and the refreshing change that I felt making that imagery was like a very real breath of fresh air. However my portfolio doesn't have any of that kind of thing so I felt torn- like: is this what I really want to be doing? It's fun and all but does it fit? And those questions are the really complicated ones that we as artists have to occasionally consider. Can we make a drastic departure in style and not put off our fan base? Is this really the direction that I want to go in?  How will it be received, etc. See it's pretty complicated in the end. I have this idea that my reputation is all that I have, I don't have lots of money and I don't have lots of Brad Pit-ness but I do have something of a style that I've worked hard at and therefore a sense of what is good and bad and right and wrong, especially when it comes to photography. So is the artistic pursuit of photography that hopefully will get me through my whole lifetime, which will hopefully be long, and hopefully will be as interesting and fascinating to me 20 years from now as it was 2 or 3 years ago. Am I overthinking this? Do you guys ever think on this kind of thing? Has any of this made any sense? Have I just spent the last three hours lining up words vainly and should I have been trying to make pictures instead? Did the chicken really come before the egg? Does it matter that I am even alive? 

I'd appreciate your thoughts on this in the comments- 

I do know that I will be pursuing two newish seascape projects that will keep me entertained. I do plan to go back to the big cities a couple times this year to make more street, I'm looking forward to some more still life bones and photoshop projects, and who knows what next year may bring in the area of inspiration. Maybe by then I'll have taken up something freaky like skydiving and start in on freefall photography- that's the great thing about life and living, you never know what tomorrow may bring! Right?

For now, have a good one-


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Maine Nate Parker Photography The artistic process black and white black and white photography chasing your art fine art photography have a nice day photography pursuing your art the artistic bell curve the photographic process what's next? when new is old Mon, 21 Apr 2014 22:06:22 GMT
Revisiting old processes reaching for new results.

Traps Dock. Bass Harbor Maine. ( 3 shot "shift panorama using Canon 24mm tilt-shift lens + 3 bracket HDR using Nik HDR Efex Pro)

Maine's finally starting to shake off winter for good, (knock on wood, loudly!), and Spring is putting a spring in my step. Starting to feel properly inspired to want to make stuff again. This particular past winter was furious to the point where it just wasn't that too compelling to revisit the places that I've been so many times before to photograph on this island- I had nothing new that was burning in me to pursue there enough to overcome the effort and pain it would take to do it. I mean here's the deal- it was usually 10 degrees f and blowing 25 knots everyday from the beginning of January up until last Tuesday. And this is April.

So things got a little dusty in the old inspiration drawer and after a while guilt got a chance to get some screen time and before you knew it I was in the artists death-spiral of "I'm worthless and will never make anything good ever again" mode. But I wasn't worried too much. Been there, done that- like the common cold "it's got to get worse before it gets better" I knew it too would pass. 

With the 'down time' I dug into the new version of Photoshop- CC, and did some online training and have a much better sense of the potential that that program can offer my own future work and some ideas for projects using compositing- which I would never have thought I would ever pursue. So that's cool. And I had a lot of time to think about where my work is now to think again about what I want it to amount to or mean and why etc. Which is always heady stuff and goes much better with a beer or two and a healthy dose of "what if none of it at all matters, at all", etc. Which is important- because when you have lot's of creative momentum and keep making and making without occasionally coming up for a breath of air to check the progress like, well- then you can't check the progress, like. :-) Long story short, it wasn't my most productive last few months artistically but I definitely think I've grown. Which is good. Either that or I'm a blind optimist. Bah. 

Right then- let's get on to some tech talk! 

Tech talk topic #1: Revisiting panoramas. I used to be hooked on making panoramas. From around 2004 through 2009 or so just about every image I set out to make was going to be in a panorama format. This started because I just wanted a much wider field of view- I'd be out photographing in the park in a cove along the ocean and everything from the North end of the beach to the South end at the cliffs would be crying out to be photographed. Or in this case a stream through the woods-

Hunter Brook Acadia. 2004.

Bubble Pond Acadia. 2004

Old Rotten Skiff over on Deer Isle. 2004

And an old two shot stitch of my doggy Grover on top of Dorr Mountain above the fog. It's got dust in the sky and the stitch is sloppy but I like it! 2005

The learning curve to make a properly pleasing perfectly plumbed and passably produced panorama took me awhile to figure out. I was using Adobe Elements back then to do the stitching of those first handheld pans which worked ok but I kept getting stitching artifacts at the seams which I would try and smooth away by cloning (terribly). So it became obvious- not so quickly though, (remember the internet wasn't hardly what it is now back in 2004), that I needed a proper nodally centered panoramic tripod head- but then, how to afford one. The popular heads back then were the Really Right Stuff heads I think and then some British special models which were all about 1000 dollars. So eventually I found the Panasaurus head in 2005, and I loved that thing for the next 4 years, almost too much.


here's the link only 99.00$! crazy inexpensive and works solid and great and is easily adjustable for all kinds of kit. -Absolutely no sponsorship for me I just loved it.

 See in order to make a proper panorama you need to eliminate parallax error (which is the change in field of view you would get if you close first one eye and then the next) and the nodal point is just in front of the sensor so you need to be able to calibrate the tripod head to align to that point. Then the tripod head can rotate around the nodal point in any direction and there will be absolutely no stitching artifacts in post production. These days it would just take a tutorial or two on Youtube and you'd be making perfectly awesome pans in a week, back then though it took me about a year and a half to start making pretty good pans. There other part of the equation was PTGUI (Panorama Tools graphical user interface) which was a hundred bucks back then and could handle elaborate stitches and render in a variety of formats for a completely different look- mercator projection vs equirectilinear etc or even render as a VR out to a Quicktime file. So I was off to the races and started painting 360 degrees of view onto my little Rebel XT's sensor. 

Tool shed. 360x not quite 180. Tripod legs and all. 2006

Great Meadow Acadia. 2006

My old bachelors pad in Hulls Cove. 2008

The Bean in Chicago with Sophie. (This one has a stitching artifact but I like it for the sentimental value. The stitch problem probably came from either a sag on that old tripod or maybe it moved a bit. Also these days I could probably have aligned it better with more modern tools.)

Then at some point along the way there I found HDR and Photomatix, distressingly now in hindsight- especially that I was only shooting in jpeg and not backing up original files well- so I consider a few years of work lost due to crappy workflow!~ Be warned! Always keep clean RAW files and never fall for fads! Easier said than done. 

Great Meadow HDR pan. 2008 (sky so ugly-!) 

Farm HDR pan- not too bad until you look up at the sky- so noisy! Arg! What was I thinking!!??

Miami Neon + HDR omgawd! such Andrew Lloyd Webber technicolor Rubbish!! Have you had enough yet?!

On the run, South of the Border- deeply under the influence of HDR blindness. -"What happens is the user becomes so impaired by the absolutely surreal lack of reality that normal perception is often completely obligated". (from the HDR recovery 12 step program users bible). I got my 5 year coin 2 weeks ago! For anybody new to the program I will sponsor you- just contact me in an email.

Those were troubling times. I'd hit my bottom. Who can blame me that shortly thereafter I never shot another panorama or HDR'd anything again until I accidentally happened across it on the iPhone years later. Went straight to black and white single shot landscapes and minimalist black and white fogscapes and long exposures with large open areas in the image. It did help massively to invest in quality glass and a much better sensor of the Canon 5D2. 

Until this past last year. My go-to lens of choice for landscape is the 24mm tilt-shift made by Canon, anyone who knows me knows how much I harp on about that lens and I've done it a lot here in the past. I've found myself using that lens more and more though to make 3 shot shift-pans to give the scene a larger field of view and it fits my preferred 4x5 crop format perfectly and adds a lot of dpi to the final print. This is how it works- locked off on a tripod and in manual mode you make the first shot centered then shift the lens 12 degrees full left (or up) and again full right (or down). I send the 3 files out of Lightroom to stitch in Photoshop CC, which has a much better stitching engine then ever before and layer masking can usually fix any trouble spots. The final 3 shot stitched file off my full frame 5D2 is about 65 megabytes or so which prints noticeably cleaner.  Of course shooting in RAW protects my file for the future and having good back up strategies ensure no matter how I choose to render the final image now years from now I'll be able to go back and adjust it for any changes in taste or more modern methods. 

Also last summer I wanted to upgrade my old Nik Silver Efex version before Nik got swallowed up by Google so I ended up getting the Nik Complete suite which happens to come with the HDR efex pro app. Which will introduce tech talk topic #2-

I resisted running any brackets through it for quite a while until eventually curiosity convinced me to give it a go. Went out and shot a morning of fog scapes along the shore at Wonderland and misty scenes along the trail and came home and ran the set through HDR Efex Pro. It was nice. The stuff came out fine, the control and interface of the program was enough to make powerful adjustments with enough precision to keep artifacting at bay and noise out of the process. So it was cool and all but really for all the work of initially in the field bracketing in camera properly- to running it through the extra steps of HDR Efex, I'd rather just make 1 good exposure in the field and finish it with Lightroom and Photoshop plain and simple. With good technique you can get pretty close to an HDR now anyways, However: there's one more thing.... there is one more method of HDR'ing by using just Lightroom and Photoshop to create the 32 bit image which is then 'tonemapped' using Lightroom. And I think this is the most interesting and simple approach therefore probably the one I will do occasionally moving forward. You send your bracketed images from Lightroom to Merge to HDR Pro in Photoshop- Photoshop creates the HDR file and gives you a dialog box that offers a bunch of tonemapping sliders in 8 bit mode. Don't use those sliders! Instead select from the drop down bar that shows mode: 8 bit change it to 32 bit and all those sliders go away and you hit Save file which exports it to Lightroom as a 32 bit file which you then develop using the Lightroom sliders that are so much more precise and controllable and the result is theoretically a file that has stronger detail in the shadows and cleaner less noisy images. 

The bottom line here is I think it's funny how things come around full circle sometimes. Where I'd loudly sworn off the old techniques that I used to use with enough distance I can still recognize that some aspects are good about a certain processes sometimes. I guess it's a reminder to try to not be too stubborn or proud about a thing or else I could end up right back in the trappings of those dumb old technicolor HDR pans days all over again!

Bernard Maine in the fog. Lightroom HDR method. I like it enough- there is very fine grain that is not unpleasant whatsoever. The round trip process takes a few minutes on my 8 gig quad core i7 but it's not unreasonable for the special occasion that I would consider the technique.

That's it for me for now. Any thoughts on any of the above I'd be interested to hear in the comments. Have a good one!


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) , "Acadia National Park Photography", "Acadia National Park" 32 Canon 24mm tilt shift HDR HDR panoramas HDR will it blend? HDR with Lightroom How HDR didn't ruin my life Lightroom Maine Nate Parker Photography Panasaurus Using bit have a nice day make on the run panoramas photography technique s" that's right I said HDR tilt shift tilt shift panorama to Sat, 05 Apr 2014 16:22:04 GMT
Cape Cod before's and after's's's's... I opened the 'fridge and found the blog mouldering under some old lettuce so in an effort to keep the Google web crawler fed and to prove to the rest that I'm still alive, here's some content. The old before and after trick!

"The Cape", which is home to my Ma and Dad and where I went to High School- is always good material for landscapes (Cape Cod Massachusetts). Long sweeping sanding beaches, gorgeous dunes, extensive empty parking lots (in January when it's 20 degrees f and blowing 30 knots at least), and waves and old cottages and a distinctively different offering than my rocky coast home of Maine. That's the great bit about going back home with a new journey to explore- seeing the place in a different way for the first time, the only problem is that the arm of the peninsula that is the Cape is only so big that now after photographically exploring it for the last 10 years whenever I go to visit the folks, I'm starting to feel like I've been there and done that. But it's still fun to go try again. Another thing I try and do is to stop in Boston on the way through and park the car somewhere reasonable like at a meter or find some Sunday free parking and grab some awesomely awesome pizza in the Italian North End neighborhood- seriously I used to walk for a half an hour when I lived a few miles away going to college to grab some slices at those excellent and delicious little pizzerias- this time it was Ernesto's on Salem Street- and oh it was so good! Before the before and after Cape Cod shots here's some Boston's North End on a snow day: 

Salem Street.

Waiter on a smoke break.

Modern Pastry Shop.

Snow cars.

Young smoking girl and bow-legged old guy.

Delivery guy.

Cool old stylish building.

Joey Cecco and his "boy"

And then I was off to the Cape- and here are the before and after images. For some I made some significant changes, for others just a quick buffing up and a trip over to Nik Silver Efex Pro 2, all of these following images except the first pair went to SEP2, the first pair was a more simple set up that I finished in Lightroom. My approach was trying to show and feel the harsh open winter cold beaches down there, I was hoping for some interesting skies with a more even light but faced a hard clear sky with full sun and strong cold winds for two out of the three days. Clear skies are always the bane of my existence when I'm out with the kit, but I had to take the opportunity as it was. If anything, clear skies always show you where the dust is on the sensor at a stopped down aperture and the good news is that I'm fairly clean in that department! 

felt like some kind of Edward Hopper scene-

Sunset snow reflections

Off season feel-

saw this scene when I made the first shots of the weekend and went to make it two days later-


Snow beach fence shapes

A curve that reminded me of the shape of Cape Cod-

And there you have it. My basic workflow is normalizing the RAW file in Lightroom by setting white balance, white points and black points, contrast adjustments, a touch of clarity depending on the subject, and then going right away to the Nik Silver Efex Pro black and white converter. This is old news but the black and white converters (whichever one you happen to choose) do a great job of controlling the darks and lights but while maintaining and generating a glowing dimensional luminance- if you do it right. After the conversion ships back to Lightroom I'll make some further adjustments if necessary to anything that seems to be needing- then I'll round trip to Photoshop CC for further dodging and burning and a touch of sharpening using either the Smart Sharpen filter on a Smart Sharpen Layer or the Unsharp Filter. Lastly I'll check the toning as for the most part I like a warmer feel than a cold print and then it's done and it's on to the next. 

Kind of waiting for the winter to break before considering more landscapes around here as nothing is really screaming at me to 'go make that photo'- so I'm thinking of using the still life studio some more. We'll see. 

Until then, thanks for stopping by and have a good one! -Nate.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Cape Cod Cape Cod National Seashore Cape Cod black and white photography Cape Cod photography Cape Cod winter Cape winter Nate Parker photography black and white black and white seascapes have a nice day snow beach winter beach Mon, 24 Feb 2014 23:03:26 GMT
On Breaking the Rules= Don't Always Show Your Best Work?

Deer Isle Ice Cakes

There's a popular photography euphemism that goes: "only show your best work". I get it. There's another that goes "your first 10,000 photos are your worst". And then there's another that's something like- "you'll be remembered for your worst photo?", and another that says "My favorite picture I'll make tomorrow". I get all of that. But it occurred to me after looking at the Ansel Adams calendar that my Mom gets me for Christmas every year that there are some images in those calendars that I've never seen before therefore aren't necessarily his most iconic and famous pictures, like Moon Over Half Dome or Moonrise Over Hernandez are. And I've seen a lot of other Ansel images over the years like his color panoramas when he was doing his ad campaign with Polaroid and close up detail images of barns etc that you wouldn't necessarily associate with Ansel. He produced a lot of photographs in his life and all of it wasn't always necessarily spectacular in the way those Moonrise Over Hernandez and Moon Over Half Dome are. But don't get me wrong, I love almost all of it. And it's the very nature of having a varied and diverse portfolio that makes those standout shots even more stunning and impactful.

If I were to stick by the virtue of only showing my "best work" then I would be a scarce entity around these parts. I hope for around 12 good shots a year which comes from another of those popular photographers euphemisms. I think it's more important to keep a presence and to keep a slow but dependable drip of content coming in these days of the social internets. My way of producing is pretty much make images around once or twice a week of maybe 3 to 12 scenes and then work on them over the next few weeks/months/years to nurture something out of them. After a while your work accumulates and makes for a body of work that you call a portfolio and which will have natural high points and low points. Just like a symphony, it's not always forte and in your face, sometimes it's the more quiet connecting periods that are more beautifully nuanced. And those are what makes it interesting to follow someone over a long period- to see what someone is going to make tomorrow, can they top that last awesome shot, what changes will you make over time, etc. And if we were only showing our "best" work then it would be a lot harder to get an average of the whole thing, to see the arc. Know what I mean? Now don't think I'm making excuses for boring content- every new time out with your kit and post processing session in front of the monitor should be another opportunity to do your best work, to keep the learning curve moving in an upward and or forward direction!

There's another reason why it's useful to show your work- to get feedback. Not just out of pride fluffing or on the other hand being dealt a pity party, but if you subjectively consider how your images are being received then you can modify accordingly. I find it rewarding to show my images and track the feedback and popularity of particular pictures sometimes out of just sheer entertainment but other times to see what people and other photographers like. Not that we should care what others like, or think, (make that work for you artist person: I dare you!) but it always gets me when I post an image that didn't make the initial cut and seemed to be a big mistake but which later is a big hit with everyone else. That always leaves me shaking my head. Therefore maybe your best photograph you have already made you just haven't realized it yet? Woah. That's heavy.

One more time: that doesn't mean that anything goes. Standards are everything. With every new image I'm giving it 'my best shot'. With every new image I'm continuing trying to master the workflow of creating a "fine art" photograph, I'm trying out new approaches and modifying technique that will hopefully all go to making a better image tomorrow. You see where I'm coming from here- you have to keep up with your game in order to build on where you've come from, and hopefully in the process there will be standout opportunities that make the definitive shot of the year. 

Anyways- just goes to show that the "rules" are there for a reason but also are there to be broken and exploited and twisted and manipulated to our satisfaction. Just keep the Lolcats and duck face selfies and what we had for lunch to a minimum and everybody wins!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park photography Deer Isle Maine Maine Maine black and white Maine fine art photography Maine landscape Nate Parker Photography black and white have a nice day ice winter winter landscape Sat, 01 Feb 2014 11:37:56 GMT
2013 and my life as a sternman and photographer

Life on the back of a lobster boat out of Bass Harbor in Downeast Maine- you'll never miss a sunrise. It's not the getting up early that's the hard part, all you have to do for that is be somewhere on time. And it's not the long days, the longest were in December bringing boat loads of traps in from the dark morning- rowing out to the boat because the outboard didn't start that day from too much cold over patches of ice freezing up the harbor, to 12 hours later tying up to the mooring an hour after sunset. It's not the waves or the wind making a pitching deck on those days that you just gotta get out even though there's a chop on. Or the stinks of this or that weird bait (600 pounds of herring is a delicacy compared to slimy bear and moose hide, and the pig hide just about ruined me for bacon) although after a few hot summer days redfish racks do end up fermenting into a retched wine and have a nasty habit of forming nests of maggots, and that's a bummer, there's no other way to put it than that- that's a real bummer. But I would offer that there's no job that'll give you a heartier appetite than than hauling 100 pair of traps on a lobster boat. The one thing that is kind of hard for me though is that there are so many awesome moments that I want to photograph but the kind of busy that we are out there makes it not completely appropriate not to mention the fishy fingers etc. But I have learned how to fit in the time to rip off a few iPhone snaps here and there throughout the day and maybe next year I'll get a used body and lens just for the boat, because although the iPhone is a rockin good camera and video recorder it still is really pretty noisy and very uncontrollable compared to a regular camera in manual mode. 

So I've been working on this year in review video from the F/V Never Enough for the last month or so now on and off and I finally went crazy enough yesterday thinking that it still wasn't done yet to finish it and just upload it already so I can go on to something else because there's a bunch of photos still waiting to be worked on. So I finished it and uploaded it and here it is. The musics is that tune "Sail" by AWOL Nation off Megalithic Symphony which I heard again and couldn't get out of my head after seeing that base jumper video of the guy crashing into the cliff and living, which was awesome-


Cliff Strike 11/24/2013 from Subterminallyill on Vimeo.

Right then, I liked 2013, I hope it was a good one for you too. For more lobstering stuff you can go here: or here:

Have a good one!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Bass Harbor Lobstering video Maine Maine lobster Maine lobster boat Maine" Nate Parker Photography boats have a nice day lobster boat lobstering Sun, 26 Jan 2014 14:39:08 GMT
Color vs Black and White Photography, Again.

Mellos Cove Sunrise Blue Hill, Maine. 2014!

Right then- so I would consider myself a landscape photographer. I love trying to make a good portrait and also endeavor as a street photographer as a sport sometimes, but the portfolio I show is made up of landscapes, and when you really get down to it I would say that I'm a black and white landscape photographer, but there is always a place in the catalog for a nice color image. Now the only point of using those terms "black and white", "landscape", and "photographer" are as qualifiers to describe in a capacity to explain in the end really nothing more: what you should pay me for. I've never really understood how some people like Rick Sammon or Joe McNally can be everything shooters and make such a killing at it- they are consummate professionals who can deliver to the likes of Nat Geo in the case of Joe McNally whatever you want on time with abundance- but it seems that the rest of the photographers that I look up to or other masters of their craft are dedicated to a particular niche. Consider the pianist Bill Evans who I'm listening to right now (Sunday at the Village Vanguard) he didn't play 2 hour long sets of exploratory deep and challenging jazz then go over to Madison Square Garden and play art rock with Jethro Tull and then New Orleans funeral marches the next day. Steve Jobs didn't design cookware for fun in his 'downtime'- unless he did? See where I'm going with this? Me neither- anyways, I have just found that in my experience (which mostly pertains to reading the internet and watching tv then going to my day job whatever it may be that day and maybe trying to quit smoking tobacco again-) that it's much more successful of an artist to have a concise and complimentary portfolio than that which consists of pets one day then black and white bridges with not level horizons the next, then selfies the next day, then a sunset, then more pets, then an on-camera-flash portrait of someone at a party, then some more party shots, woot!! etc. Hehheh. (Yeah I just showed some black and white party shots in my last couple of blog posts, so there is that). Extreme example I know. As an aside here: how many requests for to like somebody else's photography page on Facespace do you guys get everyday? Do you ever even look at the page? Aren't you just so sick of that? 

Back to the photography talk- one reason I really love making black and white landscape photography is that no longer is it requisite to get up before dawn to chug coffee and then drive through the dark on deer filled roads only to trip and stumble on flashlight lit paths through the woods to a location that may or may not be beautiful at sunrise. I can make interesting black and white imagery at any time of the day- not to say that color photography is never an option to those skilled at doing that then, or to say that I can always make interesting black and white imagery, woah now!- I've just become more comfortable finishing a photo in monochrome that isn't supercharged by sky color and which relies more on texture and subtle tones. And I think that a nice subtle black and white print has more review quality than a hotshot pyrotechnic sunrise print anyday- it's all personal but those kinds of images which are always a knockout at first just end up feeling exhausting after a while- like I'm not always in the mood for a Red Bull, maybe I just want a glass of warm almond milk. Yeah that's the perfect analogy for a beautifully subtle and interesting black and white landscape print= it's like a nice cup of steamed almond milk! Heh.

But there is the occasion when the photo is all about the color, or to deny the color to the photo makes it less than it would have been. It's obvious when it happens just like it's obvious when you see the value of a good black and white image. I guess I would be a color photographer more than a black and white photographer if I had lot's more of these and in the end a title is only really just as good as the it of the thing that's described, and I do want to be a great black and white landscape photographer- but this was a gorgeous colorful moment that I really wanted to share with you all. And that's what I think about that. Have a great day- Nate from Maine, Usa.

P.s. Any of my good photographer friends out there want to tell me what they may have changed about this shot, or how they may have gone about approaching it differently? I'd be super chuffed to hear from yeh. I.e.: critiques welcomed whoever would like! See ya!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) 30 percent off sale! Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Acadia Waterfalls Bar Harbor Maine Black and White Friday Black and White photography Friday Blue Hill Bay Blue Hill Maine Hadlock Brook falls Hadlock Falls Acadia Maine Maine color Maine landscapes Maine seascapes Mello Cove, Blue Hill Nate Parker Photography Waterfall Bridge Acadia black and white harbor ice have a nice day ice winter Tue, 14 Jan 2014 23:06:38 GMT
My Best of 2013 in Pictures, a Yearly Retrospective. Another year down and another year closer to finishing our masterworks. In hindsight, which is the point of a retrospective after all, I liked 2013. Truth be told there is a touch of the superstitious in me and to that end 13 isn't always my favorite number, but just like the number that tells me how old my life is supposedly getting= it's still only just a number. Although ask Steven King, Maine's favorite author, what he thinks of that declaration and then go see "1408" with John Cusack about the haunted Dolphin Hotel in NYC, yeah... just a number. 2014? Still not rolling off the tongue. A yearly problem that, by the time we're used to it we have to take down last years Ansel Adams calendar and start all over again. Around and around we go. Speaking of Ansel- he has an adage where he says "twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop" (picture him saying that while sitting at his piano with that great big white beard fluttering). I finally had the chance this past weekend to do that critical considering- here's a quick little detail about last weekend: at one point on Friday the wind chill drove the temps down to -48 degrees f! -48 degrees! -48 degrees f! Woah, woah woah now winter, easy does it there! That's just crazy cold. There was some rocking sea smoke and purportedly one of the highest tides in decades here, the pipes froze briefly, my diesel wasn't even about to think about starting, and I took the opportunity to watch the entire first season of 'The Wire', which is awesome!

About the photographs: editing images as the maker of the images is always kind of a challenging endeavor. You have to think critically on these almost as a third party removed from the experience of making them and the satisfaction of that day and therefore the idea you have of them as a result. Time is always a useful tool then to put some distance between making the picture and considering it and the longer you have the better off you'll often be able to view them impartially. Then again the longer you look at it sometimes the more time you have to reinforce our own fantasies about how "good" it is and sometimes the only way to realize that it dearly lacks in substance is to have somebody else clue us in to that. Which reminds me of a pertinent problem among photographers on the social media circles- we don't tell each other that we suck enough. The Flickr fluffer phenomenon is still alive and well, your back patted and maybe you'll pat mine, ack that drives me crazy! Seriously though if you want me to really remember you then critique my images. I especially remember this one fellow this year telling me that one of my horizons was out of plumb to the point of me wanting to pull my or his hair out- it was an island on the distant horizon making an illusion of tilting, but it got me to critically examine my work and that's the point of the whole exercise= take stock of where we are, where we are going, and how to do it all better. Whatever, without too much more adieu, and hopefully with an abundant batch of keepers for me and you all to harvest digitally or analoguely or whatever in 2014- on to the pictures. 

~My Top Twelve (and change) photographs of 2013~

Snow Beach, MaineSnow Beach, Maine

"Snow Beach" January 4, 2013. Latty Cove, 'the backside', Mount Desert Island.

Bass Harbor Marsh Snowfields, (tall crop)Bass Harbor Marsh Snowfields, (tall crop)Snowy desolation on the Bass Harbor Marsh in January in Maine.

"Bass Harbor Marsh Snowfield" February 11, 2013. Bass Harbor Marsh, Acadia National Park, Maine. 

Jordan Pond Reflections and Ice DetailJordan Pond Reflections and Ice Detail

"Jordan Pond Reflections and Ice Detail" February 20. Jordan Pond, Acadia.

Cat Tails Ice and SnowCat Tails Ice and SnowFrozen solid for February the cat tails are still standing on Little Round Pond.

"Cat Tails Ice and Snow" 3/5/13. Little Round Pond, MDI.

Seal Cove Pond Rain and Ice FogSeal Cove Pond Rain and Ice FogA warm late winter downpour steams the ice and makes ice fog on Seal Cove Pond in Tremont on Mount Desert Island, Maine.

"Seal Cove Pond Ice Fog" 3/13/13. Seal Cove, Maine.

Clown Smile RockClown Smile Rock

"Clown Smile Rock at Bodice Cove" March 25, 2013. Corea, Maine. (Downeast).

Cape Cod Low Tide at Coast Guard BeachCape Cod Low Tide at Coast Guard Beach

"Low Tide at Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod" March 29, 2013. Truro, Cape Cod, Massachussetts.

Eagle Lake Driftwood in the FogEagle Lake Driftwood in the Fog

"Eagle Lake Driftwood in the Fog" May 12, 2013. Eagle Lake, Acadia National Park.

Hunter Beach in the FogHunter Beach in the FogThe always picturesque Hunter Beach in Acadia National Park draped in typical June coastal fog.

"Hunter Beach in the Fog" July 11, 2013. Hunter Beach, Acadia.

Maine Coast CormorantMaine Coast Cormorant

"Maine Coast Cormorant and Rock Textures" Sept 12, 2013. Midcoast Maine.

The Tarn in the FogThe Tarn in the FogA veil of fog softens the details of "the Tarn" in Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine.

"The Tarn in the Fog" September 30, 2013. ANP, MDI.

Driftwood at Lopaus PointDriftwood at Lopaus PointFlotsam along the high tide line at Lopaus Point, Mount Desert Island, Maine.

"Flotsam at Lopaus Point" October 22, 2013. Lopaus Point, Tremont, Mount Desert Island, Maine.

Thunder Hole Storm WavesThunder Hole Storm WavesEarly Winter storm waves breaking over the railings along the walkway at Thunder Hole at high tide in Acadia National Park. November 18, 2013.

"Thunder Hole Storm Waves" November 18, 2013. Thunder Hole along the Schooner Head Road in Acadia National Park. 

Wonderland Winter SunriseWonderland Winter SunriseSky colors reflecting off wet rocks and tide pools out at Wonderland on the coast of Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park, Maine.

"Wonderland Winter Sunrise" December 29, 2013. Out at Wonderland off Mansett, Acadia National Park, Maine.

Ship Harbor Sunrise Acadia National ParkShip Harbor Sunrise Acadia National Park

"Ship Harbor Sunrise" April 12, 2013. 

Right then- so that's my official twelve and change photographs for 2013. They are really kind of arbitrary choices- meaning there could have been others that I liked as much in one way or another, these however mostly fit my catalog and the look that I'm trying to represent as a photographic artist for the most part. 2013 was a growing year for me though photographically and the end of the year leaves me in a much different state of mind than the beginning. Where at the start of this year I was rounding off my fog and seascape portfolios and continuing with the long exposure wide angle black and white bit, the end of the year is finding me more restless in my vision and I feel like chasing a new perspective visually. I also started working on studio still lifes with off camera flash trying a new thing that way in the warmth and comfort of my own studio, which is a nice change. 2013 was successful for me in print sales locally and a little bit more through the website, got my mat mounting and printing station standardized for 4 sizes and stocked with lots of materials. It was a great year to get out of town on a couple of short trips to New York City and make two weekends full of street photography and architectural studies. 2013 was a good year for features for me: I got into Outdoor Photographer, a magazine that I used to have a subscription to, for the first and hopefully not last time, a Nathan Wirth's 'Slices of Silence" ezine spotlight: (thanks Nathan buddy!), and some other things that I can't quite remember right now but then there's this mostly embarrassing Youtube interview with Tom Migot Photography here: and if that doesn't crack you up than I don't know what will! Most definitely the biggest change for me for 2013 was my day job- as of May I went to work as a sternman on a lobster boat out of Bass Harbor on the "Never Enough" a 36 foot Jarvis Newman diesel built in 1976 and Captained by a guy almost half my age but who's as much of a go getter as anyone. A real downside to that one was having to get up everyday at 03:00 am and missing the chance to photograph dawn at my most favorite time of day, a real upside to that though was seeing every single beautiful sunrise (minus about 7 or so mornings over the last 7 months due to weather or whatever) so I ended up driving my iPhone camera to the max! And learning how to work around the limitations of the iPhone and learning how to use it as a 'real' camera was a fun and interesting challenge. And now here we are at the bitter and cold end. I have definite objectives to achieve for 2014 and a real sense of direction of how to go about advancing them. I feel confident and optimistic that there is still lots of room for discovery which is a good mix, now to just make some of that happen. How'd you do this year? You also don't have too wait for the very end of the year to do a retrospective, it's always important to check yourself and see where you really are. Let me know in the comments or link me to your retrospective round-up.

As an outro let's vamp on outtakes of other favorite images I've made in 2013- see you on the other side!

~Ice Shacks~

(a winter project begun a couple years ago on the character of the local ice fishing shacks)

Ice Shacks 

Ice Shacks 2

Ice Shacks 3

Ice Shacks 4

Ice Shacks 5

Ice Shacks 6


Snow Shapes

Snow Shapes 2

Snow Shapes 3

Snow Shapes 4

Snow Shapes Diptych

Snow Shapes 5

Fall Color Gesture

Fall Color Gesture 2

~iPhone Abstracts from the deck of the F/V Never Enough~ 

(made using iPhone 4 then iPhone 5s with any combination of the following apps: Snapseed, Mextures, Slowshutter.)

The Rail

Dawn to Dusk

Rosey Motion

Dawn Horizon Shot Through a Fish Scale. (I was wondering why my images were coming back all blurry that morning so I turned the phone around and there was a fish scale nicely adhered to the lens! Ah ha!)

Amber Waves

Blood Orange Bay

Indigo Twilight

Navy Twilight

Aubergine Twilight


My Ride-

Bass Harbor, Maine.

Heading out.

Haulin' gear.

Hardshell Maine Lobster. 

Carl heading out on the F/V Last Time.

Our third hand- Mr Jason Charles Bulger.

A little fella- not a legal keeper, we throw these back. Anyways, once I made the silly mistake of intentionally letting one of these little guys bite me (had a couple large ones get me this season and that HURTS, gawd!) figured the little fellow would just nip a bit- wrong: this guy's gonna be a killer!

Big Fella. (You definitely don't want one of these guys to pinch you.)

Jason with a good sized lady lobster.

We get these all the time out of our short warps. Woot!


Spotted lobster.

Orange lobster.

Constant companions.

Scalpin. We actually found one of these once with a really hard protruding bump in his belly- so Danny naturally cut it open to see what was inside- (every time I watch him do that there is a weird mix of fascination and revulsion and I usually say something like 'dood- what the hey now are you doing man?!) anyways this one time with the hard lump thing he excises a little 4 inch long whole baby lobster! Only just partially beginning to get soft claws from stomach acid digestion it was definitely one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen. 

~Animals and Pets~

Bald Eagle.

Seal pups!

Grover my doggy!

So serious in the snow

He's really the best dog I've ever known. Grover!

Grover and his brother Andre.

Grover and Gus the cat. What up Gus!

Gus the cat posing in one of my square mats in the window.

~New York City~

 (had the opportunity to go back to Manhattan twice this summer for two 3 day weekends, it had been twenty years since I had been there last living with friends, chased out of the Lower East Side by villains long ago I had been looking forward to return. Had myself a blast making street and architectural photography.)

The Chrysler Building.

Glass and Steel, Midtown Manhattan.

Under the Manhattan Bridge (Brooklyn side).


Klinger on Avenue A.

The bird guys-


Then there's This guy! See this is the New York that I remember and that I wanted to go visit again, trouble is: it's mostly all gone! It's now more a sterilized massive mini mall of American Outfitters and Starbucks's (that's where the bathrooms are at least) than the Taxi Driver Robert Deniro hustle streets of days gone by. They say that it's better this way. I say there should always be a balance. Maybe de Blasio will bring back some of the filth and edge of the 70's, they could sell tickets to that stuff- I'm telling' ya!

Midtown Brazil day parade-

Central Park busker.

Awesome 70's hairdo! Midtown. See the detail: gum on the sidewalks, now that's NYC.

Chinatown air-five.

The guy in white.

Midtown and Downtown from the 30 Rock observation deck. 


Curtis Wells my neighbor.

Linda Perrin of Atlantic Art Glass

Mike McKee.

Gene Thurston on Echo Lake.


Mom and Dad waving goodbye after a visit.

Ken Perrin.

Derrick Sekulich.


Soph and Anna.

Jeff Toman.

Jon Ho!

John Chruscielski.

Linda Perrin.

Derrick and this guy.

this guy.

~Gratuitous Selfies~

And there you have it! A massive overload of imagery! If I've done my job correctly you'll neither need to or want to see another photograph for at least a few minutes! But don't you fear- I'll be back at it making more images photographing my way through 2014. See you hopefully at least at the end of next year, and good luck at it friends and readers, stay safe and happy out there! 


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) 2013 retrospective Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Bar Harbor Maine Bass Harbor Maine Lobster boats Lobstering in Maine Maine Maine landscapes Maine lobster Maine photography blog Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography best of 2013 in pictures black and white black and white Maine photography lobster Thu, 09 Jan 2014 09:44:04 GMT
It's the Most.. Wonderful Christmas Party... of the Yearrrrr....._..... Gotta post about this!: for four score and seven years Atlantic Art Glass of Ken and Linda Perrin fame have been hosting the most fantabulous of Christmas parties at their glass blowing studio in Ellsworth Maine. Ken and Linda have a real devotion to the community and the arts that is totally exemplarary- as in people like this are our hearths and keystones of community- they keep the neighborhood stoop with it's "hi how'd ya do ya!?" alive and going. If you attend this "Fire Gathering" Winter Solstice party at Atlantic Art Glass you'll have the opportunity to shake hands with and meet all the rest of the neighbors because everyone comes to this one, maybe at least just because the bean dip is to absolutely die for, but more so probably because with 2000 degree fahreinheit fires burning in the glassblowing studio the whole community warms up and smiles at each other and we really genuinely embrace our neighbors. I've known and worked with Ken and Linda for something like 12 years now and I really consider them my local adopted big brother and big sister and family is heavy stuff and this year has been a heavy year but going into the new year we are stronger and more alive than ever thanks to our community. So if you missed it this year make sure to come next year because you'll be glad if you do, I guarantee it, for a limited time, while supplies last, this offer is redeemable for hope always. Hehheh. Here's a link to last years documentary style interview of the artists: - and this year I went with a completely different look in the recordage of the event, where last time I did a straight documentary video style thing, this year I wanted to do the off-camera-flash harsh-in-your-face= (disposable-camera) look of those embarrassing frat house parties kind of thing (which I've never actually attended, just seen on TV). And it was a whole bunch of fuddling and about 30 percent missed settings or no flash recycle but here's a few cool pics of my friends and 'family' at this years Winter Solstice "Fire Gathering" at Atlantic Art Glass in Ellsworth Maine. Good times! And Merry Christmas everyone-

Ken Perrin with Linda to the left in conversation.

Linda Perrin's brother- John Chruscielski

Steve Perrin and Carol Beale.

Carol, Steve, Ken and Linda.

Tara Parker doing flame working demonstrations.

Jon Ho at the bench.

I has cheeseburger!~?

Derrick Sekulich, glassblower and craftsman of all things good.

A.J. Emmett fresh back from Amsterdam. 

Jon and his new puppy-


blacksmith Jeff Tolman.

Linda and Ken blowing glass.

Ken and Derrick relaxin.

John mugging.

Derrick on the bench.

Anna and Soph.


Derrick and meh.

Linda beginning the solstice bowl.

little hotshop dog.

Hot shop doggy takes the floor.

See you next year there and thanks again Ken and Linda for having us all!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Atlantic Art Glass Bar Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography Winter Solstice black and white have a nice day Mon, 23 Dec 2013 00:28:28 GMT
Win a Free Print for the Holidays Winners Announced!

Snow Flowers.

The 2013 "Win a Free Print for the Holidays" free print giveaway ended earlier today and I threw the entries into a number randomizer over at ( because my dog wasn't about to pick the winners outside today- he was like "yeah... no." The Winners Are..... skip to the end to see or just read through my drivel and get there when the bus stops:

Winter is on! Winter is on us here in Maine in a big way, in a way that is something like: "remember me- I'm Winter, and I'm gonna do it like we used to do back in the 70's!" And we, all us Maine'rs are like "oh yeah, we do that, no problem"- and then when we are by ourselves we look around and say- 'jeezum bub maybe today's a good day to work in the shop/studio, throw another log on the fire, turn on the weather channel and grow the beard a little longer, cause this just aint fit!' (trust me I never use the colloquialism 'aint', just did here for local color).

Winter is a special time though to people of the snow- you learn to make the most of the daylight when it's there, do those organizing projects that you put off for the rest of the year, spend time with family, watch some good movies, maybe read a book. It's a great time to go deep and review your self, check your progress- make some refinements- but don't call them resolutions cause you know what happens then! And I always try to challenge myself as a photographer sometime in the winter months to come up with something of a change in direction like. The Snow Flowers shot above is a kind of minimal style of image that I began playing with last snowy winter using my 100mm 2.8. Nothing new in the world of photography but not my usual bag of long exposure black and white seascape- which to me is like an invigorating fresh smear of peppermint chapstick on my cracked lips of 'the same old same old thing' as far as picture making goes. 

Long story short- winter white makes me go ahh and see photos differently! Whatever. Now on to the Winners!

To recap- this was not some lame attempt at grabbing emails or anything, though to be completely honest: I don't really believe in pure altruism, and I guess the worst thing I did here was try to get my name out there a little more so that it may help to help me keep doing what I want to do. But that's not that bad of a thing when you consider the other bad things that you could consider- but let's not go there. I am honestly hoping to make a least some people happy here who may like their free print- or at least like the idea that they are winners again, cause you've all been winners before but it's always nice to win again. So, in the end- you'll do what you want with your booty- I kind of figured it would be a nice chance for the winner to give a gift using my free print as that gift to someone who you didn't quite know what to give or have the funds to do it with, but do with your spoils what you will, you winners of highest caliber! Ideally you'll be just a little happier that you were indeed proven to be lucky and win and go out into the world and give just a little bit of that back somehow and I'll be wicked psyched when it eventually comes back to me or the people in my life! Woot! See, then everybody wins! 

Winner #1 (local-in-person-hand-off-style-delivery) Amber Howard! Congrats Ambah! Hope you like your print!

Winner #2 (local-in-person-hand-off-style-delivery-#2) Jenn Booher! Supah Jenn! Hope you're psyched for your new print! Also, Jenn is a great photographer and artist as well, I swear!- check out her still life's and studies here:

Winner #3 (actual premium U.S. Mail post office delivery service) Elizabeth Jordan! An ex-Mainer now living in Virginia, Elizabeth seems to almost wistfully love pictures of her old home state of Maine. Congratulations Elizabeth- happy holidays to you and your family from Nate and Soph and our dogs in Maine!

Snow Flowers

And there you have it! Sorry to those of you who didn't win now, but that just means that you'll win more later- you know how it goes. Maybe at least you had fun imagining that you would win for a little while until you forgot about it at least- which would be cool just in itself. And Jeremy- give me a shout and I'll check my backstock buddy! 

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, love your loved ones, don't forget to get yourself something nice as well!, Eat and then repeat, and have a great day, Nate from Maine, Usa!


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Maine Maine winter Merry Christmas photography Nate Parker Photography Winter in Maine black and white have a nice day snow flower winter flower winter macro winter photography in Maine Wed, 18 Dec 2013 00:14:49 GMT
Win a Free Print for the Holidays!

"Snow Beach at Latty Cove, Maine." Jan. 4, 2013.

Yeah! Happy holidays from Nate Parker Photography! Woot! It's been a pretty good year here and this is meant to be a giving back moment of sorts- that, and hopefully something of a solution for those always perplexing gift ideas and stress of the holidays that we all can have. I always really enjoy Christmas and New Years but inevitably the whole thing ends up being somewhat stressful what with finding the right thing to gift your loved ones with and also the money to get them with too- so I figured that in the spirit of giving and making the happy go around, some free fine art photographic prints should help to spread some good cheer! Eh? Here's the dealio:

Three (3) matted prints will be up for grabs. They are 11"x14" inches matted to 16"x20" on off white mats, or maybe some 11" inch squares matted to 16" inches-  Two (2) of the prints will be for locals= you gotta meet me at the coffee shop to pick them up! One (1) of them I will ship to anywhere in the North American Continent of the Planet Earth. For Free. So therefore, the one I ship I may reserve the right to downsize to a 5"x7" matted to 8"x10" because it can get pricey. Whatever. Alright- you still with me? This is all free remember! With an arbitrary value of up to $95 American dollars that's not so bad for free! To Enter: leave a comment here saying what your favorite christmas song or christmas movie is, share this post on your social media of choice i.e. Facespace, Youbook, Googletime, and make sure that there is an email link in your comment so that I can get back to you if you are that bigtime winner! Oh and if you are that winner, I'll happily take a couple of those gingerbread man cookies or whatever :-) Drawing will take place and all entries must be in by...... the new moon of December 17th 2013 at 12:00 pm (noon) Eastern US Time. Winners prints will be selected by me, or I may decide to bring a few that you can pick from. There you have it and that's all for now.

Now go out there and win! And have a great day, Nate from Maine, Usa.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Bar Harbor Maine Canon Free prints Happy holidays from Maine Maine Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Nate Parker photography black and white have a nice day photography Tue, 10 Dec 2013 21:50:33 GMT
November and December- my time for a photographic rest.

Maine Coast Acadian Storm, Nov. 18th 2013

But year after year it always proves that it's more a time of rest in spirit than in reality! See the deal is that after the rush of the end of the season on the island and the fall colors of autumn have passed and the winds of november give the place a real ghost town effect all of a sudden- I always gravitate to hot chocolate and movies and working on images from the summer and organizing etc. Anything but feeling pressed to make catalog worthy imagery and or advance my place in things. It's important to rest sometimes like theres no hot if theres no cold, no rich if there's no poor- right, you know what I mean. So November comes and I feel relief in some ways, but then I go out with my camera- like just to look around, with no real agenda, and year after year I end up making some of my best images of the year then. Like these from last November: (but this was an unordinary trip far away off the island which proved to be ridiculously inspiring for photography- The Olympic Peninsula in Washington state:  Ruby Beach Sea StacksRuby Beach Sea StacksA promontory of sea stacks jut out into the Pacific Ocean at Ruby Beach in Washington.

"Ruby Beach Sea Stacks" Nov.7 2012

Oceanside Oregon Beach Swing in the FogOceanside Oregon Beach Swing in the FogMorning fog adds isolation to an empty swing on the beach at Oceanside Oregon.

"Mood Swings" Nov. 5 2012

Shi Shi Beach Sea StacksShi Shi Beach Sea StacksSea stacks jut out of the Pacific Ocean at Shi Shi Beach in Washington.

"Shi Shi Beach Sea Stacks" Nov. 6 2012

"Martha's Vineyard" Nov. 24 2012

"Rippogenus Driftwood" Nov. 9 2011

r.r.Cape Cod National Seashore. I found these two large driftwood tree stumps (this is the one on the left) set sturdily into the sand while walking on the beach looking for images to make in the rain in November. I couldn't believe the good fortune in finding these as a photographic subject, but still I have no guess as to what the function could possibly be! Maybe a volleyball net post?

"r." Cape Cod Ma. Nov. 23 2011

"Order Your Fresh Killed Goat Whole or Half" Nov. 24 2010

Before then (2010) it's more of a blur and not so good. Anyways, you know how inspired you are when it's beautiful in the summer and you're hot to go make vibrant sunrise images or then the fall colors are popping so you're working hard to make nice autumn photos, then winter photography with beautiful snow drifts and into spring with the fresh greens of new growth and waterfalls of winter melt runoff, but November just usually leaves me feeling really uninspired and I don't like to have to force it then. So this year I'm trying something entirely new and made a small studio set up with off camera flash and backgrounds and am making still life studies of sand dollars and shells and veggies that Sophie grew and stuff like that, and it's proving to be real interesting, at least warm and comfortable and it's near the beer or coffee pot which is always nice. But either way it's a productive and interesting way to get through the brown stick season and into the winter snows. I'll leave you with a couple of those for now-

"Sophies Garlic"

"Sand Dollars"

How does November affect your photography? Do you do anything different?

Have a good one- Nate.


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Coast of Maine Maine Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Nate Parker photography black and white have a nice day Sun, 08 Dec 2013 20:02:43 GMT
Black and White Friday 30 Percent Off Prints Sale!

Waterfall Bridge on Hadlock Brook in Acadia.

Happy Holidays all! For my take on the whole crazy 'Black Friday' Christmas shopping madness day celebrated by so many Americans I'll personalize it by coining it "Black and White Friday"! So my offer to you holiday shopper and gift idea needer: take 30 Percent Off any of my print prices between this Friday of November 29th, Black and White Friday, and Midnight EST December 31'st 2013 (theoretically you should only consider the black and white prints because of the name of the whole affair, but I certainly will apply this sale price to the color prints as well) and give the gift of a beautiful long lasting fine art photographic print. My print sizes will fit into most readily available frame sizes that you can get off the shelf at your nearest box store, or you can have your local framer make it a nicer presentation. I can send them already matted for you in white mats or in a shipping tube that you can have mounted however you like. Email me at [email protected] to discuss options. Prints are here: and over at the Facebook here:

Support your local small businesses and in return we'll support yours! Happy Holidays again and safe traveling and enjoy visiting with your families if you can (dual meaning there-!)

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) 30 percent off sale! Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Acadia Waterfalls Bar Harbor Maine Black and White Friday Black and White photography Friday Hadlock Brook falls Hadlock Falls Acadia Maine Maine landscapes Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Waterfall Bridge Acadia black and white have a nice day Wed, 27 Nov 2013 12:11:46 GMT
November photography, on plug-ins, and Black and White Friday sales!

Hermit Crab!

When November hits I always tend to hibernate in the area of photography. For instance right now its a balmy 28 degrees f outside but blowing a house-shaking 24 knots off the water with gusts to 34 which equals an apparent air temperature of 1 degree. Sure all you need to do is 'button up' but when you really get down to it unless some giant amazing celestial once in a millennia event occurs within sight of here I'm not taking the camera back out until the snow flies or else I get a better idea. Until then I've finally realized my long considered plan to make a home studio of sorts for setting up macro's and other still life's and studies and things in the comfort of my own home! How cool is that! Within 10 feet of the coffee maker or beer fridge, tethered to Lightroom and my 27" screen, warm. Can make some images then fizzle out and realize something else a bit later and have the set-up ready to reanimate and make more. The only real challenges then are subject, composition, lighting and exposure. Pretty much just what you'd face out in the field but with the added creative challenge of having to stage something that looks good and not just stupid or cheesy or completely typical and mundane. So, not to say that I overcame any of those particular challenges today, but I did end up with one set-up that I liked enough to work on and develop. Which brings me to the next part of this edition: plug-ins.

Plug-ins are cool! You know plug-ins are cool, but if you don't yet know that plug-ins are cool and you are a photographer that likes to make more work for themselves after the fact of the capture (like we do, the rest of us, who spend lots of time developing pictures, and like it) then know that plug-ins are wicked cool! Here's some of my fav's: all the "Nik Software" suite plug-ins, which are now Google owned and are called now something like "the Nik Collection by Google" or some odd bit. Contains Silver Efex Pro 2 which is my personal favorite black and white conversion tool and although Photoshop black and white channel conversions are cool there's just a bunch of things that makes SEP2 the go to app for black and white. For the color there's the Nik Collection Color Efex Pro 4 which has a bunch of sweet stackable and tunable effects that will realistically, or ridiculously theatrically enhance and pop even the most mundane of images. There's a bunch of others in the suite like Dfine for noise reduction, Sharpener Pro for print output sharpening, etc that would take too long to fully describe. But a most interesting new option which I'm utterly surprised has been released is this new Analog Efex Pro film emulator which is seeming to be going the way of the Visco Films softwares, etc- and for once I'm in the mood for it~!

Here's the dealio: I'm in the mood for something completely different! Gotta keep working forward on my photography, but I'm not afraid to take a departure from the norm for a while, especially that it's now November! So here's what I'm on about: studio set up macros and or still life's with off-camera flash shot on backgrounds then developed through a bunch of different plug-ins. After all it's November and there's nothing but tumbleweed deadness blowing around outside before the winter has yet to start proper, and I've made some satisfying enough work for my portfolio for this calendar year to try something different for a change. Oh and here's another that I've recently found fairly intriguing: the "On One Perfect Photo Suite" software solutions, been checking out the public beta Photo Suite 8 which is here: What I like about these plug-ins suites is that they have nice preview screens with interesting preset options that can lead to ideas that I wouldn't have considered otherwise. The On One Suite and the Google Nik Collection Suite have interesting dynamic contrast and texture enhancing algorithms that have helped a bunch of my recent images find more midtone details that in the end are invaluable if that's the tool that it takes to get where you need to be going. So where I may have once spurned a software suite full of presets as unimaginative, now I know that there's only so much time in this world for your next image and either you'll find the solution for it's development or you'll do your old tricks the best you can and then move on to your next image and start over, and it's sometimes the quick and easy solutions that these suites can often provide that will make your catalog images last. 

Here's some other plug-ins that I've found valuable: PTGui (Panorama Tools Graphic User Interface) now in release 9.8.1 that was my go-to pan stitcher for 360 vr's and equirectangular projections when I was in my panorama phase and is still a great fall back option when Photoshop can't quite crunch the numbers in a stitch these days. 

Photomatix for those hot and tangy HDR's that you rebellious ones like! now in updated version 5.0 as of Nov 20 which is interesting (apparently adding some kind of:  "Contrast Optimizer Tone Mapping for realistic-looking results, new Fusion method for real estate photography, multiple settings batching, and option to enable fusion from a single RAW file." hmmm.. probably still looks like fake maple syrup was poured all over my what would have been yummy bacon- nonetheless...

Oh- and for mobile: Nik Snapseed! Mextures, Hipstamatic, and Dyptic. 

One more thing! Black and White Friday Sale!!!-

As of this Friday, November 29th- all Black and White prints at my website will be 30 percent off until January 1st of 2014! Any order placed between 11/29/13 and 1/1/14 will be automatically reduced by 30 percent- email me at [email protected] to verify and to place your order.

Have a good one, and here's one more for the road- (I thought this one was good but you guys (the inter webs) loved it and drove me crazy for a few days telling me as much: which I love you all for-- so thanks for that!) and, I used at least a couple plug-ins to realize the final version of this one:

Thunder Hole Storm WavesThunder Hole Storm WavesEarly Winter storm waves breaking over the railings along the walkway at Thunder Hole at high tide in Acadia National Park. November 18, 2013.

Thunder Hole Storm Waves, Acadia National Park, Maine.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Acadia storm Bar Harbor Maine Canon Maine Maine black and white Maine black and white photography Maine coast Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Thunder Hole Thunder Hole Acadia black and white coast of Maine have a nice day Sun, 24 Nov 2013 22:59:29 GMT
The problem with photographers is... Rocks on the surface in the fogRocks on the surface in the fog

Rocks on the surface in the fog. Eagle Lake, Acadia.

It's not just photographers but since I'm coming at this as a photographer then I'll speak to photographers, but it's anybody who pursues a craft passionately and this goes for sports and music and a whole slew of other stuff as well. Almost everybody at some point always says they want to be a master and go pro, be the king of the hill, your name next to the definition of the thing in the Wikipedia. As if that will guarantee to be somehow remembered and revered. And it's because we're constantly being sold to- but hey: we love it! We love the next big thing- the next super massive megapixel lowlight super fast fps 5k waterproof miniature low calorie wifi enabled retro and good for the environment awesome piece of kit, or new software, or new technique. I read the blogs everyday trying to keep up with the crazy innovations- and really it's absolutely incredible. To remember that my first outboard "hard drive" in 1980 when I was 8 years old was a cassette tape that connected to my Texas Instruments Ti-99 computer that ran Basic, had 4k's of ram, and a modem that you would put the telephone onto to connect to whatever it connected to back then- is a ridiculous thing to consider. Long live Moore's Law and long live innovation! But- I actually am trying to get to a point here: there's a point when we can forget that it's not all about the stuff and the advancements and the techniques and classes and blogs about all that stuff- it's about what we can do, and doing it. You know, just do it- as it were. Just make your work.

But the thing that gets me riled the most, and this is nothing new- it's been going on in all kinds of different pursuits forever- are all the blogs and tutorials and new equipments and social media commentaries that make it seem that if you are not a "pro" then you're not living up to your potential. It's one thing to have a burning drive to always be getting better and wanting to achieve to be a master of your medium, to be inspired to create great work. But the only people who make the best work are not limited to say the "Canon Explorers of Light" or the guys who have those blue vests on the sidelines of the football games shooting with 300mm telephotos. The best work is made by people who have just got it. And to get it, in this guys opinion, you're not going to be all full of delusions of grandeur. You're not going to be possessed by equipments, you're not going to be comparing, you are going to be content. We have to arrive at a place of bliss in our craft where technique is a foregone conclusion, using our cameras like we breathe- you don't think about it you just do it until you take a moment to actually notice that you're breathing. Same thing with developing- you might not know where you're going to take the image when you start to work on it, but ideally the process is a natural evolution of realizing what it is that you're seeing, and to get to the finished edit is as natural as one foot in front of the other while walking. There's as little need to worry about your walking technique after you've gotten that down as much as there is to worry about your post processing style. If you're comfortable developing your images then why compare yourself to that guy who has gotten hundreds more "likes" on their picture than a similar one you made. Just keep making the work because you like to. Remember why you started doing this in the first place. Sometimes I'll remember my different reasons for becoming a photographer, from wanting to share with my Mom and Dad this amazing place that I was with as much detail and visceral sensation of "feels like you are right there in the scene". Or another reason was that I wanted an outlet for creativity that I could pursue on my own time and that I was entirely responsible for the success or failure of- and one that I could control from start to finish- from photograph to print. One that I could put my name on as a solo venture, not part of a team, and have that satisfaction of making a thing as best I could. But I've always had a day job. I started photography as a hobby, didn't go to school for it- I went to school to be a jazz musician, and I'm not a jazz musician anymore, but I love being a photographer. I always pursued picture making with as much passion as I could muster for it and always have had a voracious appetite for learning it and new techniques and mastering the equipment and softwares etc, but I'm willing to guess that if I had to do it for a living my idea of it would be completely different. I only photograph for pleasure and if I don't want to go make any pictures I won't! I think I'm kind of coming at this blog post in another way where I haven't been making much new work for the last couple weeks and ordinarily I'll start to have a kind of a panic at a time like this thinking that the mojo is slow and or low or that some personal quota isn't being met or something. But more the opposite- I feel really content with my work this year and have been spending lots of time just going through the catalog and working on older images and things and planning the next shots instead of just frantically going out and reshooting the same thing over and over. It's become more obvious to me that it's a lot easier to photograph in a new area that is fresh on my eyes than the one I'm so familiar with on this island here, so I'm looking at maps more. Anyways- where was I: keep your day job and just try to achieve your own bliss with your work and then you'll more likely be remembered. Here's a sports analogy (which isn't something I know much about but hear me out) college football games are often super exciting and thrilling to watch because those young guys are giving it their all in order to get noticed by the NFL scouts on the sidelines, not to mention that they are not all destroyed from years of professional injuries etc. Then the pros are sometimes maybe more calculated and finessed in their playing out there, except for playoff season when anything goes. Anyways- when we are coming up as photographers we initially photograph everything: from bugs to bushes, to railroad tracks with a guy with a guitar walking down them and portraits in front of brick walls. Hopefully you'll do your best to stay away from HDR and pick good friends, but there will always be some embarrassing side trips along the way. But the way does not have to be a destination of becoming a pro. Good for you if you really want to do that, I mean it! And I wish you all the best of success, and I'm sure those of you who do endeavor to make your living off photography will do the best you can do and make the rest of us of the photographers collective proud as a whole= you'd better: it's up too you! But I just want to make pictures that I like and that I want to make, on my own time and to my own satisfaction. Maybe I'll have a couple beers while developing them and maybe I'll finish them quick or maybe I'll take a few days at it, nobody's telling me otherwise so I do what I want! And I think that my work reflects that= I think that it's pretty good and has a confidence of 'I do what I want!'  It took a long time to get there, really after photographing for 13 almost 14 years now it's just been the last year or two that I have achieved this kind of personal bliss of finally knowing what I want my images to look like.

Bottom line is: don't let em guilt you into thinking that you should be something or other- just do because you want to and you like to do and you will get better everyday at doing just that. Just an opinion. What do you folks think?

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Canon Maine Maine coast Maine fine art photography Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Nate Parker photography acadia are you a professional? black and white coast of Maine fog have a nice day maine on going pro photography seascape Sun, 10 Nov 2013 21:09:55 GMT
Headin out on the F/V Never Enough with a little bit of a chop on. Headin out-

A few shots from yesterday predawn that I grabbed with the iPhone 5s while heading out from Bass Harbor on The Never Enough. Fall fishing is so far proving to be very exciting. Technical notes: the footage is pretty noisy because it was really dark out at 45 minutes before sunrise- you can see the moon reflecting off the water in some places. I pushed the footage with luma curves quite a bit in Premiere Pro as Ma and Dad were coming over for a lobster feast last night and I just wanted to show them some clips, but I'm sure with a little more care I can tweak that video to play cleaner in that low light. Also I was really timid yesterday morning getting those shots in the wet because there's a big staving hole in the glass on the back of my new iPhone 5s and until I get it replaced I'm trying to keep most of the ocean out of there for the meantime. And the tune is "1901" from Phoenix. More crazy fall weather to come, until then, have a good one!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) 5 lanes of bumper to bumper traffic, and we're not in it Bass Harbor, Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography commute have a nice day heading out lobster lobster boat lobstering Tue, 22 Oct 2013 10:50:21 GMT
Acadia National Park may be closed but that doesn't mean-

The Maple at Eagle Lake.

I've gotten a slew of Facespace messages today regarding whether or not you all will be able to get around the park to make your pretty fall leaves pictures and such. And the answer is... appropriate rolling of drums here.... yes and no! So here's the good news- you'll be able to lay down in the middle of the park loop road and have a naked brunch if you like 

but what is even better is that there won't be the incessant tourists and buses and cars upon cars etc. 

and you'll feel what it's like to live here in the off season and photograph out in the park when you have the place to yourself! 

So- where there's a will there is a way. There are a number of backdoors or roads that get you close enough, for the intents and purposes of this particular quick post I'm just gonna tell you and you can do the map looking and Googling. 

1. The Otter Creek Road. Drive out on Rte 3 and head past the Jackson Labs and go by the Tarn to your right. About a mile past the Jackson Labs complex is a road to the left called Otter Creek Rd. which heads in to the beach at Otter Cliffs. Just Drive to the end and park on the shoulder and never block the gates and the walk to the beach is less than a quarter mile to that epic seashore. Straight ahead is boulder beach and a short hike up the hill and around the bend will take you to the top of the cliffs for great textures and a sweet view back along Schooner Head Road and Thunder Hole. 

2. Schooner Head Rd overlook. The point of land that juts out just past Sand Beach that you're looking at from the top of Otter Cliffs. Great Cliffs and nice maples and birches and some old ruins at the top of the 100 foot sheer drop. 

3. The back way into Sand Beach- head into Great Head but instead of going out to the head there's a path that cuts down to Sand Beach, you'll have to ford a little stream but what the hey! You're in it to win it aren't ya!?

4. Sieur Du Monts and the Tarn. Park next to the tarn and hike in toward the Wild Gardens of Acadia, and then take a nice foliage stroll through Great Meadow and along the boardwalk.

5. Alternate Great Meadow entrance at lower Ledgelawn Avenue. Drive past the Bar Harbor dump and further along the road when you come to the gate park along the shoulder and Do Not Block The Gate. Hike to the end of the road which is only about a 1/4 mile and you have the valley of Door and Champlain mountains in front of you. Don't make me tell you where to put your tripods. 

6. Hunter Beach. Look it up. You'll thank me later.

7. Eagle Lake. Beautiful. Open. Foliage. Sunrise. Sunset. Variety.

8 Duck Brook.

9. The waterfalls. Here's where I'm starting to feel a little bit more protective.

10. #Hire A Local. If you're on a tight schedule and you just want to be assured of getting some sweet shots, don't get on one of those buses on the pier that troll for tourists who want a disney experience, go to the source! Call me!

That's just scratching the surface, the island is a big place- if you want to make it happen: you'll find a way. Certainly this is a ridiculous place for the government to have put us, and in foliage season nonetheless! So hopefully this inconvenience won't last us long.  


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography have a nice day photography Tue, 01 Oct 2013 22:53:01 GMT
Tripods: my take= middle of the road=better.

NYC, Lower East Side Shutter Mural of an anthropomorphic 'Tripod'?

Here we go. This summer where I've actually been making a fairly respectable income vs. the last several years, I upgraded my camera's legs. Here's the dealio: I've been shooting off an old Manfrotto tripod that my colleague from Atlantic Art Glass lent to me about 8 years ago- thanks Ken! And here's an aside- is that a case of lending or just me keeping it for what turned out to be a little bit of forever? Anyway, the only weakness of that rugged old model #055 is it's steel hardware on the twisting leg locks- they rust out in the saltwater that I want to plunge my feet into almost always when I make an 'important' photo, and there is no amount of local metal working trickery that I know of which can replace the rusted factory embedded toggles that bind to the bolts. 

I did everything I could to replace the hardware. I called B+H trying to get the parts and got the Manfrotto service number last fall- called the number to speak with a tech who quoted me the part numbers of replacement leg locks that wouldn't be the originals as they didn't make those anymore, but a suitable newer version which would do the trick. 14.95 cents or whatever for the lower locks and 15.65 cents for the uppers- x3 and x3 more= something like $90.00= sweet! But I didn't have it then- so I rolled through the rest of last fall with electrical tape to bind the failing leg locks out in the field until my old timer neighbor across the street offered to loan me his gigantic Manfrotto Studio tripod similar to this one:  


-except just in regular old brushed aluminium. And even though it weighs something like 17 pounds-!! Repeat: 17.53 pounds, and I almost died while carrying it through the Pacific Northwest on the way to Shi Shi Beach, I absolutely loved the granite-like rock solidness of that kit. I Actually photographed in a hurricane at the end of October on the cliffs of Acadia with this tripod and was able to make sharp long exposures in 60 mile an hour winds. Awesome! So when Curtis, who is pretty well along in his old-timer-ness, decided to get back into medium format film photography and wanted his tripod back I was pretty crushed. No amount of bribing him in the area of money or else could talk him out of it- he wanted it back, and started calling me and leaving messages, and I was torn, but I had to give it back- that or kill him, and I've never done that before!

Therefore it was time to call Manfrotto Service and order up those replacement leg locks. Here's where it get's ridiculous: Monday, called about 3pm and there was no answer so I left a message. Tuesday, called earlier in the day thinking maybe they have bankers hours- left a message. Wednesday, called again, again no answer so this time I started mashing buttons especially the 0 and got an operator. Explained to her that I've been calling and leaving messages to no avail so she said sorry sorry and would connect me right through at the next open line- about 10 minutes later a fellow answered with a "hello Manfrotto" and I said I just need to order a couple of replacement parts and rattled off the first part number and the line went dead-! Really. I mean like, what are you kidding me! So in throwing up my hands I figured I'd just try to find a different Manfrotto parts retailer on the old interwebs and did find a listing for a place, and they answered their phone when I called- but explained to me that in fact they could order the replacement parts, but would have to get them through the Manfrotto service center that I had been calling, and at 2x the price! Which is to say $185.00 for the 6 leg locks instead of the $90.00 that Manfro guys quoted me. No. So I bit the bullet as it were and called back the # again. Got the operator again, was put through to a service guy who didn't hang up on me this time, made the order and he took my CC#. Told me that there was no way they could verify shipment, I would just have to wait- but eventually about 9 days later the parts showed up. And that whole time I was without legs- and that made me just ache to make photography! Long story short now: the parts didn't fit! Aaaaarg! So, worse than that, I still didn't have a working tripod- I had to again contact the impossible to contact Manfrotto service center to try to find out how to return these useless parts. Like pulling teeth I tell ya! Bottom line= I did all that I could do, and that would have been a perfectly good tripod, the #055- for years and years to come, but unlike Col. Steve Austin (million dollar man), we could not rebuild him.

So- it was time to go on the interwebs and do some shopping! My first thought was to just find that old Manfrotto that Curtis had been lending me over on the Ebay or whatever, but then I remembered a moment when I was teaching at the Canon in the Parks Acadia session last September and a fellow showed up with a beautiful set of Gitzo sticks- the 3532LS if I remember correctly

But that turned out to be $929.99, which is a bit too mighty expensive in my book! Did some more internet browsing and remembered a pretty good review of a number of tripod systems over at the Ron Martinson blog here: and the Gitzo Explorer series caught my fancy. And I've kind of always coveted the carbon fiber tripods. A particularly interesting feature of that tripod system is the articulating center column that would allow you to swivel the camera right down to the ground- I have the sweet Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro IS USM that I picked up a few years ago as my portrait lens but rarely if ever use it for actual macro work, the reason being is that it's almost always impossible to lock off a shot using the standard sticks that I used to carry around. So this feature seemed particularly interesting- I actually haven't used it for any macro yet, but just to know that I can is nice! This is it: 

Gitzo GT 2531EX.

And here's what it can look like:

legs out to 90 degrees and center column swiveled horizontical.

here's a close up of the center column:

I did briefly consider the Really Right Stuff line of tripods, but they are the Mercedes of legs and just seem more like Really Right overpriced Stuff. Heheh. Thought on it for a few days and called B+H that Sunday and tacked on a 2 day delivery and the Gitzo sticks were here by Tuesday. Funny this though: whenever I make a 'big' purchase- the "kid in a candy store" feeling starts to take effect- however when the Gitzo arrived I did appreciate the workmanship and cool looking weave of the carbon fiber, but it's about as tool as tool can get. Like a nice new hammer is nice, but not really the kind of thing you would want to bring to bed? And that's where the whole thing kind of breaks down for me. I've been shooting off these legs now for about a month. They are sweet in that they are light and easy to hike with over a day, but what I really want in a tripod is the ability to bang it around and scratch it up and get it all sandy and salty and forget about it and just worry about the compositions. But these Gitzo legs I fear may not be as rugged and abusable as the old Manfrotto aluminum ones, I'm theoretically supposed to take it apart and wash it and regrease the threads after a thorough submergence in the ocean, and that's not really my style! Not to say that I don't want to take care of my stuff- but I neglect my camera enough after a salty day not to mention a deep cleaning of my tripod! Olivier Du' Tre threatened me that I was making an unwise decision, now I have to prove him wrong just to save face, which is a bummer. I still love my Gitzo Explorer, I just hope that it loves me back as much, and for a long time!

So that's the bottom line- your camera is a tool, but it's a sweet machine. Your tripod is a tool, but about as tool as tool can get. Therefore go with something affordable but solid- and forget about those Velbons that the box stores sell- those are about as schwag as can be: don't forget that you're mounting expensive camera gear on the thing to support! Also- no matter how awesome your tripod may be, always stand by the ready in case something bizarre decides to happen- you ever hear the one about Philip Bloom's Panasonic taking a dive connected to his tripod into Sydney Harbor: crazy! 

One last kick in the pants- through the whole elaborate returning parts process to Manfrotto I ended up speaking with this fellow named John (may be spelled differently) at (201)-818-9500 ext. 245 and he had the gall to tell me that if I had just ordered the Explorer from him (both Gitzo and Manfrotto are owned by the same company called Vitec) he said he could have saved me 35 percent off the retail cost! What?! Come on now! So, I hope that helps anyone who may be in the market to save something on a new tripod system. Just call John!

That's all for now- keep on keeping on and have a good day pals. -Nate!    

P.s. what kind of tripods are you guys using? Hmmm?                                                              

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Photography Gitzo Gitzo 2531EX Maine Nate Parker Photography Tripods have a nice day tripod review Tue, 24 Sep 2013 18:46:57 GMT
When Angry Farmers Attack- and Yes It Was Worth It.

Maine Barn.

Right then- so here's this, I was debating telling you all about this, but what the hay! It was Thursday and I was rolling through some of the most beautiful farm land through the interior on my way to the south coast of Maine when I passed this really attractive barn and field combo. You know the drill- you're cruising along not expecting to see anything photographic and then a great subject pops up and you do the "oh look at that- that's real nice looking" and keep on driving for 20 seconds until you slap yourself on the forehead and say "what am I doing! Am I a photographer or just a camera carrier!?" and double back to do the deed. Which I did do all of the above. Let me set up the scene for you- it's about 08:30, morning fog burning off still and the sun heating up another beautiful fall day. I pulled into a little pull-off where there was a property for-sale sign right across the street from the barn which was set back off the road in the field about 200 feet or so. Where I was shooting with a 24 f/3.5 Ts-e I needed to be more like 80-100 feet from the barn, so I noticed that there was a nice little footpath over the berm leading from the road into the field. It was as quiet as a Maine morning could be standing in a lush green field off a "blue highway" and I was about two photographs into my usual five or ten minutes of reconnoitering a new scene, feeling out the photo- when some guy on a hilltop about 200 yards away and leaning around the corner of an old shed yells out to me "Hey! Can't you read the signs?!"

One of my favorite things about pursuing photography is that making pictures gets you out into the world and gives you an excuse and a reason to go places and meet people that you otherwise wouldn't have. I've had some really interesting conversations with all kinds of different people that I never would have had if it weren't for my camera, and often I think that my tripod and kit bag are something of a passport to interesting places that people can understand. Walking through some private property to reach a location with camera gear is a lot better and more understandable than doing the same with a duffle bag full of crow bars and bolt cutters. Another thing is that I kind of rely on people reading me as a harmless and good person with no ill intentions, to sum it up= I've never had much of a problem at all going around making photography- until that day.

So I holler back as amicably as possible "I just need to make one picture", and gesture with my arms toward his barn and fields and wave a big hello toward him. The third shot through a shift-panorama just completed and suddenly the guy was right next to me, (I remember feeling kind of disappointed in my self for that as usually my situational awareness is a little more functional). "Whatdja think that was a #$@%ing invitation?" he yells- and I mean he was yelling! This guy who was about 50 or so and with probably 100 pounds on me was standing about 6 to 8 feet from me and absolutely shouting/yelling at me stuff like "I pay the #@%$ taxes on this $#%! place and you come right on in here or whatever- and "can't you see all the #@$% signs, you know what they $%&@ say?- " and the thing is, I really never saw a No Trespassing sign. There are always No Trespassing signs, landowners put them there for at least they won't be held liable if someone does trespass and get hurt, you can't sue a landowner for trespassing on the property and then falling in his old open well. And he's keeping on yelling! I mean he's totally leaning into every word- absolutely screaming at the top of his lungs- it was ridiculous! Suddenly realized I should take stock of the scene as in like how close is he to my gear, I was standing between him and my tripod so at least he wasn't about to get near that without first coming through me. I was trying to appeal to him that I just wanted to make one picture, I'm from here not from away, that I actually didn't see any signs, that I was going to come introduce myself after I was done etc- I even said something like "come on man, can't we be a little more neighborly like here?" or something. And he never wavered off his attack. He gave a final "get out of here" and I realized that it was time to go like 5 minutes ago and went and skid addled my stuff together and one final little moment of interest occurred to me then. In breaking down my new Gitzo tripod I took a moment to appreciate how smooth and quick those twisting leg locks are on that tripod compared to the old Manfrotto's that I used to have to fumble with and use much more effort on- that is a smooth smooth piece of kit! Long story short- it was a big embarrassment. A totally uncalled for situation, I mean don't get me wrong, the guy was totally in the right, but who does that? You never know what kind of day someone is having and not everyone will honor the code of politeness, and I was trespassing- but I was doing nothing more than admiring his beautiful world. I wasn't trampling any crops or hurting anything or parking in a disrespectful way or anything- I figure this guy was taking fun in trying to scare me or something, or maybe the thing is that so many photographers go and camp out there in front of this very same barn that the guy is just totally sick of it. We'll never know what his motivation was. However, while driving away I gave a little toot of the horn and a wave and I checked myself. I wasn't scared, I wasn't steamed- if anything I was in disbelief at what just happened. What a nut job! 

Maine Barn Black and White

And after a day full of photography this barn and field image has become one of my three favorite photographs of that day. So it was worth it. Lessons learned: 1. Keep going to get that picture, those signs are there as a "suggestion"! 2. Farmers can be real Nut Jobs. 3. A little too much tilt applied at the capture- better to keep the tilt amount at less than 5 degrees on a tilt shift lens. 

So, that's that for that. Anyone have a story you'd like to share in the comments about any interesting interactions you've had with irate landowners while pursuing a photograph? I'd be psyched to hear it!

Have a good one everyone, and next time you end up in a situation like I just told you about- just say "Nate sent me!"

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Maine Maine barn Maine farm Maine fields Maine landscape Nate Parker photography barn barn in field barn in green field green green fields have a nice day Mon, 16 Sep 2013 09:38:24 GMT
40 Hours in New York City.

Brazil Day street band on Avenue of the America's.

Just got back from another quick trip to NYC, this time to retrieve the frames and prints that were in the SoHo show of June and July. And it was another chance to satisfy my urge to do some street photography and get to a few of the places that I missed last time down there. Made essentially three kinds of images- tripod mounted long exposure photography of some architecture which I felt only mildly successful at, street/people photography and casual portraiture, and some touristy kind of snap shots. Also of course grabbed two dozen bagels at Terrace Bagels in Prospect Park, Brooklyn- which are the Best bagels ever!

I used to think that New York City was a lot further away than it really is- probably somewhat due to the insulated and sheltered feeling you can get from living on an island way up in Downeast Maine. But it's really only 500 miles to my buddies apartment in Brooklyn and leaving early to beat the traffic and driving "determinedly" gets me there in only 7.5 hours. And what a culture shock it can be! A little disclaimer is that I used to live in NYC briefly 20 years ago (staying with friends), and I also lived in Boston for ten years in the 90's while going to college- so I'm not totally a country boy out of my element when I go there. And even if I was- it's a much safer city now than it was when I was there last in 1993. 

A few memorable highlights of this trip are: going to the freak show/burlesque "Muppet Show" at Coney Island on Saturday night, the humidity, riding the elevator with a see-through roof up to the "Top of the Rock" and the phenomenal view up there, the humidity, the promenade in Central Park, again the humidity!, Brazil day street festival on Avenue of the Americas in midtown, the awesome burrito from the street vendor at A and 2nd in Alphabet City, the Coney Island boardwalk and especially Brighton Beach with it's incredibly interesting looking old Russians. And The Cyclone! Also, my last favorite moment was when I was picking up the bagels first thing of the morning yesterday and there were these three plain clothes New York's Finest having coffee and giving each other the routine- and one em says something like "ya and how bout you buy me a lobster and a steak too", and the other take-no-$#!% detective looking guy say's "ya I'll just go catch the lobster for you too!" so I say: "I'll catch the lobster". And they look at me and take a half breath and chuckle just a little bit, and I say "no really, I will. I work on a lobster boat in Maine, I'm going there right now." And the oldest of the three, the one who was getting the most deferring out of respect by the other two say's to me, almost in a check to see if I'm full of it kind of way, "Oh yeah, well what's the name of the boat?" so I tell him the F/v Never Enough and he looks satisfied. At that point the bagel cashier clerk tells me that it's cash only, which is too typical of many places down there, so the copper trio tells me where there's an ATM etc. And this is the best part- not much of a thing, but sometimes it's the little things- as I'm leaving Terrace Bagels with my coffee and two huge steaming bags of fresh deliciousness, one of them gives me a real nice and real genuine look in the eye and say's "have a good day buddy". 

Fire Eater.

So, that was the last thing I'll remember about the good people of New York. Where I'm a native Bostonian there's always been a kind of competition between Boston and New York and my Dad used to travel to NYC for work often and speak badly about it and the people- and it was a completely different place back then, also both my Dad and my Mom are from there so would talk of it and the "mean and dangerous" fast hustlers who live there. And if you go there with that kind of distrustful and fearful attitude you'll probably be received that way. But one thing about street photography that is great is in order to get close enough to get a good shot you often have to talk to the people and have an interaction, even if it's just a couple of quick sentences. For the most part 90 percent of the people who I asked to make their picture were completely happy to let me do so, and I would tell them it's because they look great or look cool that I wanted to photograph them, and that makes people happy to hear that. I was staying with my buddy Larson Harley, who's a fantastic street and subway photographer: and we photographed together Sunday in Midtown Manhattan, Central Park, and then over at Coney Island. His approach to photographing people is either asking them nicely if he can make their picture and smiling and laughing with them, or surreptitiously sneaking a shot with his iPhone or camera from the hip. But more often then not with every other picture he's having a small conversation with the people. I can't lie and say that he hasn't affected my own approach somewhat- either way I think the last thing that we want to do is make someone angry or suspicious because we made their photograph. Sometimes I'll just made a gesture like a head nod and a thumbs up or show them my palm with a nice wave and a smile, and as Larson mentioned at one point usually you'll have a pretty good sense of who not to approach= serial killer looking nut jobs etc. 

Body Snatcher on Avenue A. (this one I saw through the window at a bar having a beer in the late afternoon on Saturday. I had some cash out about to get another when I saw him walking up the street- stuffed the money back in my pocket and ran out the front door and across the street cause I wasn't about to let this shot get away!)

Right then. So I figure I'll update this post throughout the week or next couple weeks with more images as I finish working on them, so check back occasionally or you'll just see the links on the Facebooks. I sure don't shoot as many photographs as some but there are still 593 images to wade through to find the picks and pans. And it was a great trip however it sure is nice to be back home in Maine! 

Typical inhabitants of the Lower East Side. (missed the focus a bit but I like their demeanor).

Me at the famous hotdog establishment that I was named for. Iso 6400.

Brooklyn Bridge from within old warehouse walls. (From sunrise down at the Brooklyn Bridge Park. I wanted to make a long exposure of the skyline of Manhattan from Brooklyn while the sun was rising (still working on developing that one) in retrospect, from my experience of driving out of the city at dawn twice now this summer, the ultimate time for the skyline shot would be more in the blue hour when the lights from the buildings will add to the scene. And there are a million great shots of the Brooklyn Bridge from the bridge but it's a lot more challenging to frame the bridge from down on the river. There are all kinds of anachronisms going on that are distractions and take away from the bridge- I was looking for something classic feeling- therefore these walls of an old warehouse that must have seen some real action in it's time helped to pare down the scene.)

Under the Manhattan Bridge. They call the neighborhood 'Dumbo' (Down under the Manhattan and Brooklyn Overpass). I wanted to photograph the bridges- I had a couple hours, I made the requisite directly-under-the-bridge-long-exposure take and the thing is: I thought I was pretty symmetrically in the middle- a lot was going through my head at the time, as well as the train was going over my head every 45 seconds or so, which was kind of weird- in hindsight: I was way off! The whole time I was under there and my shutter was open and I had time to look around I was looking for old washed up guns with the serial numbers filed off or dead bodies, but alas I didn't find any. More with the Disneyfication of NY. 

Dumbo on the corner of Washington and Water st. I copied this composition somewhat from an old classic image from the 70's that I love- here's that one:

Photographed by Danny Lyon, June 1974. The differences are massive first of all this is shot with probably a 50mm lens versus my 24. Then the old gigantic cars are totally awesome! Then it's a lot more seedy and dangerous feeling than it is now- now it's like a yuppy loft fest. And there is a generous amount of litter, grime and rain water on the street to add that little bit extra. Also the blacks and shadows are really crushed in Danny's shot- that make me envy it all the more. I just may look into that myself...

And that's it for now! Have a good one- Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Manhattan NYC Nate Parker Photography New York City New York, New York have a nice day street photography Tue, 03 Sep 2013 11:27:32 GMT
I'm not just going to sell out, and why do I do this anyway.

Full Moon Pull

So- get this: this is hilarious! Been meaning to get this out there and I just remembered it from something else, anyways- about a month ago I received an email from a British advertising firm that wants to advertise on my blog. So I say- well, whattaya got? Because I'm all about capitalizing on my photography when I can painlessly. The reply has an example of the agreement and a bunch of copy that they want me to post as if it were my own words- of all things- a review of a car that is, as far as I can tell, sold only in Europe- that which I've never even heard of? Didn't take me long to sum up a reply something to the effect of "this is not entirely appropriate for my viewership= I don't think this is going to work". See- I'd be wicked psyched to have a flashing B+H Photo banner on my blog that I would probably click more than anyone else- but this, uh- no.

Full Moon Pull 2

So they reply to me again- like, I thought I put them off already. Now they have this whole copy regarding how wonderful it is to combine photography and travel and gambling-, and gambling? Really? Seriously. They wanted to pay me 200 dollars, I don't know if that was before or after British Pounds conversion, to post that entire copy as if it were my own once. And who knows- maybe I could have tacked on a few tags that spelled out my being bound beyond my strength by the vice of money so that you all knew what was actually going on. And that much I told them- that there is no possible way that people are going to believe that I in my rational state of mind chose to, without duress, post these words as my own sentiments! They'd see through that like a .90 aperture 50. So in the end I lied and said that my brother is suffering from gambling dependency and that's why I couldn't do business with them. Maybe when the winter comes back strong and I get low on PBR's I'll preface the post and clue you all in what's about to happen and I'll suddenly do a review on Arby's or whatever- and then we can all have the last laugh together- eh?! Or no?

Full Moon Pull 3

These are some dawn full-moon-setting images from the other morning that I'm still working on. Why I do I do this here on the blog is because I sell my prints and I want people to have an understanding of who took the picture, get to know me, and I like the soap box too, and I love photoblogs. But I would rather shoot for myself than sell out to the gambling minicar bunch anyway anyday. At least for now. Wish me luck, eh? 

And have a good one-


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Maine Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography coast of Maine full moon full moon Maine ocean Sat, 24 Aug 2013 08:14:01 GMT
Nik Software rocks- get it before it's gone~!

Hunter Beach Summer Fog. Acadia.

Get it before it's gone= the Nik Complete Package, which used to be something in the area of at least 400 dollars, is only 150.00 until July 31'st= you only have one day! Personally I find Nik Silver Efex absolutely the bomb and I've developed just about 98 percent of anything you've seen me make in black and white through Silver Efex. Color channel black and white conversions otherwise can do a perfect job and equivalent results can be had through Photoshop and Lightroom but the workflow I've learned through using SFX for the last 3 years is just really satisfying. There's just something about the luminance that becomes sublime coming out of Silver Efex, it always ends up revealing the image to me that then I can then chase through dodging and burning to get the result I'm after. So, when I heard of the limited availability of the whole package: due to Google's purchasing the company last year and then seemingly burying it like the compost that comes out of your kitchen in the weed pile out back I figured to upgrade all my Nik products before it was too late. 

Here's a link: then use this code to get another $25 bux$ knocked off: RONMART (which is from Ron Martinsen's Photography Blog which is good in a pinch when PetaPixel has been having an off day:

Like I said- Silver Efex 2 is worth it alone, it used to retail for $200.00 just a year ago or so, best black and white conversions hands down (whatever that means). So far I'm finding the interface more user friendly and the Fine Structure adjustment in the control point tool is sweet! Color Efex Pro 4 now is much more usable in that you can stack filters instead of having to save and reopen a file, as well as many of the filters have been tweaked to be much more useful. I've used Dfine and Sharpener pro making some particular prints and the Viveza program seems interesting for color somehow, and you also get the HDR Efex Pro 2 app which people like R.C. Concepcion love ( and just may be interesting to me again someday- I used to use Photomatix a lot, which photographers ala Trey Ratcliff like- But in regards to HDR (high dynamic range) photography: I wouldn't recommend it and if you do I would approach with great caution!

So that's that- I don't know what Google's plan herein is- but they must have something up their sleeve i.e. a new product release that will try to supplant what Nik was. But I think those will be big shoes to fill. 


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Coast of Maine Color Efex Pro Maine Maine fog Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Nik Complete Package Nik Silver Efex Pro Silver Efex Pro 2 black and white have a nice day Tue, 30 Jul 2013 23:46:58 GMT
Dawn Light on the Beehive Dawn Light on the Beehive

Dawn Light on the Beehive.

Last week in the middle of the heat wave that seemed to have been going on for ten days or more, I wanted to go make a sunrise image over at Sand Beach that felt hot like that the day was going to. On summer mornings over on the east side of the island, high pressure heat wave systems often make for really pretty pink high clouds with orange and cerulean contrasts and I've made those kinds of images before over there, but usually in August. I didn't really have any particular image in mind heading over there at 04:00 in the morning for a 05:15 sunrise, I was thinking of seascapes though and figured to frame "Great Head" in the distance against the shore of the beach and hope for some nice colorful clouds to come along. I guess, come to think of it, I was considering almost certainly making a color image that morning even though at the time I wouldn't have attested to it, it was just there in the background of the mind and no matter what I would have found that motivation sooner or later. Also black and white always works best for me on cloudier, stormier, and more overcast days and this was setting up to be a real typical dog-days-of-summer, humid and steamy, colorful kind of morning. Got there with plenty of time to spare in order to set up the kit not frantically in the parking lot and check to make sure to inventory all the important stuff= coffee. Set up over on the right side of the beach where the boulders are and made a balanced composition and then started to wait out the light but it became pretty obvious that the real show was going to happen out of my frame to the left/ north and the clouds were already starting to reflect good underlight in that direction so it was agony to wait for the 8 minute exposure to finish up (oh, by the way, as usual I was making long exposures with a B+W nd110 and also a 2 stop soft graduated neutral density filter) and scamper over to a new composition that would include those clouds. After a quarter mile sprint= if you can call it that in big Muck Boots with a 25 pound backpack and tripod and kit over my shoulder with shutter release clanking along and coffee cup carefully not spilling, I set up just in front of the marsh behind Sand Beach facing the Beehive promontory. There was gorgeous wisps of fog rolling over the ridge towards the sun rising and the sparse high clouds were really starting to pick up some gorgeous pink highlights when I made this first test exposure:

test 1 Beehive dawn light. 240 seconds at f/6.3 iso 100 Canon 5d mkII with 24mm Ts-e and B+W nd110 + 2 stop soft grad.

I liked where this was headed- it's an undeveloped raw file of course= a negative that needs developing for contrasts, dodging/burning, sharpening, etc, but I like the warm feel of the sky vs the green of the foreground and the tree line and mountain shapes so- then I saw that 50 yards over to the north was a blooming patch of neat looking meadow flowers that I sprinted again over to. Here the 24mm tilt shift lends itself to one of my most favorite applications of it- making a larger image in a panorama. What's good about this is I can achieve the super wide focal length of about a 14-16mm ultra wide instead of the standard wide of the 24 by shifting the lens three times from side to side or top to bottom (I like to make them as 3 vertical framed shifts from left to right or three normal landscape framed shifts from top to bottom that gives me an equivalent of a standard 4x5 crop vs a really wide and skinny landscape framed shot shifted left to right or a real skinny portrait framed shot shifted top to bottom, but you can do that too. So, in addition to giving you extra wide framing, the "shift-pans" make for 3x the resolution as a normal sized file= it's the equivalent of a 60 or so megapixel capture vs. 20 something megapixels= all the better to print you with! Which is not to say that it doesn't have it's drawbacks, but those weren't a problem here. 

Where were we- after another quick sprint 100 yards to the north I set up in front of these meadow flowers and fired off a quick 3 shot vertically framed "shift-pan" ('fired off quick' in long exposure photography terms= about 12 minutes for the three images) and got something like this: 

this is just two- but that's all you need to get the gist. I use three cause, just because.

The tourists behind me were totally blowing up with oohs and aaahs, which kind of helped to reinforce for me that this was actually really pretty nice. You can become blind to the beauty that exists around here when you see it often, I'm not saying that I'm guilty of that- it was just additionally moving in some way to hear their reaction to the scene this time, usually it bugs me to no end, but not this time. 

So, the raw material becomes= this:

3 raw files stitched in Photoshop CS5- you can see the rough edges and the lens vignetting from being shifted so far to the max on the left.

rough stitched image cropped in Lightroom 4 (ya, I'm intending to upgrade next week or so to v.5). Here's pretty much what I did after cropping clean to 4x5: contrast +42, highlights -38, shadows +22, clarity +9, vibrance +18, saturation +4, then a sharpening of 70 and 0.8 radius. I also added a positive exposure adjustment graduated filter in Lr4 to the left side of the image which was burned from lens vignetting, and a negative exposure adjustment graduated filter to the sky to pop the clouds before sending the whole bit over to Nik Color Efex (which I hardly ever use because I usually go straight to Nik Silver Efex for monochrome conversions) first I applied a brilliance/warmth filter for this: 

warmer. nice.

and then I sent the whole kitandkaboodle over to photoshop for dodging and burning with the gradient tool and the d+b brushes for this: 

done. And my first favorite color image of the year.

It's definitely not a "straight-out-of-camera" image, but that is a completely ridiculous concept anyways: the camera making the decisions on developing your once in a lifetime image will not always agree with what you want- so I always develop my own photographs. I felt the color choices and approaches I took herein to make this picture were in accordance to the way I felt the scene as. It was hot hot Hot that week, the bugs were murder, I lost my coffee cup int the tall grass three times that very morning just running around with my tripod in a photographic frenzy- but those inconveniences were worth it a thousand times over to be a part of this morning scene here- to borrow an ultimately squeezey cheese word here: it was "magic!" 

Right then. That's all for now, and have a good one friendsies. -Nate.



[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Beehice acadia Champlain Mountain Acadia Maine color Maine landscapes Maine photography Nate Parker Photography Sand Beach Acadia have a nice day long exposure Maine photography Tue, 23 Jul 2013 23:19:53 GMT
Tech talk- 3 configurations for black tape on my Canon 5D mkII and a little black tang.

Black Tang at Hunter Beach in Acadia National Park.

'Black tang' is my favorite colloquialism for rock weed. So whenever I see it- I think it. This is a three shot "shift-pan" made with my 24mm tilt shift as a long exposure with a B+W nd110 that I got out for a few days ago in the fog. Which brings me to the tech talk: when making long exposures you don't want light to sneak into the camera anywhere. Nikons have a little door like thingy that you can shut over the eyepiece of the viewfinder, Canon gives you a little rubbery bit of nonsense that is supposed to clip on over the eyepiece window, but it never really wants to stay there and most people never even know what that little black rubber bit is for anyways. But time and again I hear about people going to make long exposures and then they get back home and fine them all ruined by a big streaky of glow on the edge of the frame or even right through the middle, or low contrast, or any other failure to launch kind of thing- it's really hot here in Maine today: I mean ridiculous, it's hard to form succinct sentences, bear with me. 

So- what I do is I always have a piece of black tape stuck on my hotshoe of my cammy- here it is in 'configuration #1':

black tape in the ready position in configuration 1. In this case it's a bit of electrical tape that has been working for me since last fall, you may rather black gaffer tape, or some other kind of thing although I would shy away from the brand name 'Guerilla Tape' as you may never get it off!@

black tape in the shooting mode of long exposure making. We'll just call this 'configuration #2- action tape time!' I've long ago lost both the eye cup that came with the camera and a replacement eye cup that my bud Larson Harley gave me (I think it's under a seat of my car somewhere) as I'd rather leave it off because I almost always use my camera for landscapes rather than regular eye to the viewfinder style shooting, and this allows me to completely block off the viewfinder when I want to easily.

And here's 'configuration #3- surreptitiously "Dutching out" the name badge to make my kit look cheaper in the case of when I recently went down to Manhattan to show some work and then hit the streets for some people photography. 

I never leave home without that tape on my cammy, and here's me telling you to check it out, if you would find that useful in some way that is!

Right then, that's all for me for now- time to go sit in front of the freezer with the door open for a while and hope that this heat wave breaks sometime this month, I mean we are in Maine after all it really should not be this hot here! 

Perfect time to go watch that James Balog documentary about the receding of the glaciers- with some amazing ice photography and time lapses - called "Chasing Ice".

Have a good one friendos and don't forget your black tape! -Nate.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Canon Hunter Beach Acadia Maine Maine black and white photography Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography black and white black tang coast of Maine have a nice day long eposures long exposure making photography tech talk rock weed Tue, 16 Jul 2013 20:42:58 GMT
Some of my favorite images from NYC where I missed the focus?


Focus is over rated!

Heheh. See, usually I take great pains to get the best focus as possible. I use a heavy tripod- magnify 10x loupe in Live View, consider hyperfocal and circle of confusion depth, use a shutter release etc, but that's not on the street. I consider street photography kind of like a sport. A sport that I do poorly but keep showing up for in my cut-off sweats with a bandana on clapping my hands together saying "allright let's go guys!" But then miss the jump shot like a dweeb. 

Washington Square Park weirdo- it's funny: I was talking to my buddy who I was supposed to meet in an hour or so on the phone while walking through the park with my other buddy Larson and we'd been photographing since midtown- saw this guy and shifted the phone top my left hand and got as close as I could bear to him with the 24mm on. Then he starts reeling around and shouting "oh my gawd: he's taking pictures and talking on the phone, oh my gawd-" so that cracked me up pretty good. Here I missed the focus on the first shot of the series where even though it's a super long depth of field, the ladies walking towards us on the right are tack and the weirdo is just a little soft.

But I got my own rebound and it was sharp here: 

Here's some tech talk for the camera nerds: I was shooting on a Canon 5D MKII with either a 50 or a 24 or a 40mm lens. I had my camera set up to Tv mode (time value/ shutter priority) at 1/160th of a sec and auto iso so I could completely focus on experiencing and trying to see and not get run over or inadvertently do something exceedingly touristy. I had my autofocus set to single shot with only the central focus point (the only cross-type point on the 5DII). So my modus of operandi like was to focus and recompose, real quick like. So that only worked to a point. Because that cameras autofocus system is only so good, which is to say mediocre at best (I use it for landscapes and that's why I got it), you have to obviously consider focusing strategy to work street photography well it would seem. From my recent experiences down there doing that I would next try 1.: using AI Servo autofocus because so many times a photograph is walking down the sidewalk towards you approaching at a closing speed of a respectable NY 9 miles an hour or so- so, unless you're at f/16 on a really wide lens the subject will go soft between focus confirmation and shutter release. Also I shoot back button focus, which can't be helping anything in fast moving environments because it has to be at least a nanosecond or so slower than shutter button focusing, but I like the back button. 

She's soft but the dumb background signs are sharp- and I love that cool confident attitude that says: "yeah, take my picture!" (don't read anything into that line Sophie, sweetie- I'm just talking about photography here! :-) )

The 2nd. thing I would go with in the future regarding better street focusing is manual. I feel pretty comfortable focusing manually and there's just something to be said about taking the guess work out of the thing where if the machine fails you that half second will never come back to try again, but manually focusing if you miss just a little bit I'm gonna call it still good. See, again this is just a reference to the 5DII's autofocus system- I know the 5DIII has a rockin' good auto system, but the 2's- no. I don't trust the matrix system in a situation like this, so otherwise it's pick a point or go manual. Which brings up point #3-

This was from the hip- made the exposure just hanging the camera around my neck. I like the picture for the guy in the suit all making the stressed out pinchy face of a businessman in Manhattan backed by the high rises and windows of sixth avenue. But he's just a little too soft. Not to mention that phone booth or sign or whatever making bat wings coming out of his back, but I like the feel.

Point #3 in our tech talk regarding street photography focusing strategies: camping with a prefocused distance set waiting for something to happen. Let's say you find something in the environment that is just too crazy and amazing but you need something else, being a person of interesting variety, to make it whole. so you camp there with your focus set and wait for it to come together- but that has never worked for me. First of all that seems like it's cheating and too contrived- for me at least, or maybe I just never had the patience or foresight to pull it off correctly. Second of all unless it's just an amazing stage that you're building here with this wonderful background that is waiting to be transformed into the ultimate expression of contemporary society, you could be missing something better and more real and unfolding right now right around the corner? But for an autofocus system like mine perhaps I would be better suited to that kind of photo-trapping approach. Bah, just kidding. I'm going to go manual next time. 

Larry and Paul the bird guys- I don't know how I screwed up the focus on the one- which is where relying on technology get's you!

but I photographed it again because I had a feeling that I should, also I was refraining from chimping for about 90 percent of the time down there, just trying to keep my head in the moment.

I like this one because of the guys ogling the lady from the train. I was focusing on the train rolling into the station and the people in the windows when this lady in front of me started adjusting her hair- I remember feeling that I wanted the image to be about the people in the train and not about her. But I wish the guys in the window were sharper than she is- here though it's more of a case of shutter speed making the guys a little bit softer in focus than missed focus.

And my last point here is: focus is over rated. Other than the image of the lady walking down the street in the white dress with the headphones and hat on being soft and the horrible signs totally sharp behind her- all of the other images could be interpreted as being sufficiently sharp just in a place other than I had intended, but the viewer could never know otherwise? A happy accident like. So therefore focus and the intent of the focus is a personal and interpretive thing- but to me if it's not where I wanted it, it's just a lie or a failure. But that's just me. 

Any thoughts? Have a good one everybody- Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) City NYC NYC street NYC street photography Nate Parker Photography New York focus focusing for street photography focusing strategies have a nice day how to autofocus for street street street photography street photography focusing tips summer summer street Wed, 10 Jul 2013 23:10:12 GMT
Scenes from a Maine Lobster Boat. Like most of you all- I've had to work jobs for my whole life in order to "pay the bills" because my "art" doesn't pay them for me. This time around though I decided to make a change and get an entirely different kind of job- which I alluded to and explained in a few posts back: Part of the reason is that I love the ocean and photograph it constantly so it just seemed a cool thing to do to be able to photograph from it as well. Well, fishy fingers are hard enough on my iPhone that I haven't really been that inspired to bring out my real camera and risk wrecking it- not to mention that I usually have all of zero free time to pursue such endeavors. So I've been making do with the iPhone4- which it turns out, really kind of performs horribly in the beautiful lowlight mornings that I'm shooting. Lowlight iPhone4 photography means noise, noise, and more noise, but there are still some amazing things that I just can't pass up- here's a selection of a bunch from the past month or so and a timelapse and a video at the end of what the actual work is like. Bear with the noise if you can and don't forget to order up some tasty Maine lobster next time you're out! 

Bass Harbor, Maine town dock predawn.

Lobster boats at their moorings.

My ride- the F/V Never Enough.

another beautiful sunrise.

and another beautiful sunrise.

an 80 something year old lobsterman heading out next to us.

calm ocean reflections.

seagull soaring with Mount Desert Island in the background.

gulls looking for a handout-

Danny tending traps.

"spongebob"- our third hand and bait boy Jason. Cool kid he is. 

Jason has his own skiff and 50 or so traps that he hauls as part of the student lobsterman program.


Drying the boat out at low tide to get to the prop which got snarled with line earlier in the day.

this could have been bad- which reads: it was bad, but it could have been worse!

another beautiful sunrise.

from the lobster boat races-

another beautiful sunrise.

another beautiful sunrise.

another beautiful sunrise.

little fella.

and that's me holding a big fella- actually big girl it looks like.





[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Bass Harbor Maine Maine Maine lobster Maine lobster boats Maine photography Nate Parker Photography boats have a nice day lobster lobster boat lobstering ocean sunrise Sat, 29 Jun 2013 00:45:45 GMT
A landscape photographer from Maine goes shooting in New York City- This is the first blog update after getting back from NYC. Made it roundtrip safe and sound- it was hot as the blazes and that made all the great food smells and the urine smells even more pungent, but what I forgot about my previous experiences living in the city was how ridiculously loud it is there! As I mentioned on the Facebook and some previous posts here, my motivation to go there was to deliver and hang 10 framed prints and be there for the opening of a show in SoHo that my Buddy from Brooklyn- Larson Harley, who I met teaching for the Canon in the Parks bit organized- (Larson Harley: along with his girlfriend and also Canon in the Parks instructor Lisa Barnshaw:!/HOME. And while I was definitely excited to hang my work in the big city, what I really was looking forward to doing was walking around Manhattan and making photography. I would like to think of myself as a closeted street photographer, at least an 'everything' photographer, but living in Acadia has made me a landscaper and I believe in a concise representation of my work (kind of) so to those ends my website is made up of almost entirely landscapes.

No matter what kind of photographer you are, going to shoot in the city should always be a gas! Here's my quick synopsis of what it was like to photograph in Manhattan: first of all I spent a bunch of time there 20 years ago with friends of mine who were in rock bands, so I knew where I was going for the most part, I lived in Boston for close to 10 years in the 90's so I'm not totally a country boy, and I like people. I approached my time there carefully in that I only walked around with a camera and a lens, not the whole backpack full of gear thing, I turned my camera strap inside out to not advertise what I was carrying (I always do that tho), I stuck the gaffer tape that is always on my hotshoe for making long exposures over the Canon logo on the front of the camera, and I had either a 50 1.8 or the 40 2.8 pancake on for 90 percent of the time which also makes the camera look cheap and boring. Initially upon getting there on Sunday afternoon everything looked amazing, there were images everywhere, but I was just taking a quick break from the drive to stop in Alphabet City and go for a quick walk around before meeting up with Larson at his place over in Brooklyn, so I was just shooting with my iPhone at that time.

Alphabet City bikes. iPhone.

Avenue C fashion.

However the next time I went out on Monday afternoon to photograph after getting the frames hung I felt more like I should be looking for things and that was bad- because instead of being open to everything- I was looking for something, so I felt like I missed a lot of good opportunities that I saw Larson making. Tuesday though was mine for the whole day to just walk around and find things. I started on the Lower East Side and walked south through Chinatown which has incredible character and made a couple street portraits and images of shop fronts and fish markets. Made my way down to the Brooklyn Bridge for a tripod free attempt at some 'serious photography', the bridge is under massive repair right now though and is all shrouded with nets and tarps so that was kind of a bust. Then walked down to the Millennium Tower but skipped the 9/11 memorial because it was packed there with tourists and it was hot and I was already tired and it was time to find a coffee- so I headed back to Alphabet City for some DSLR shooting this time before going up to B+H Photo to check out the place that I buy all my stuff from. The whole city is much cleaner and safer feeling than when I lived there on 13th and A 20 years ago so it is a much more pleasant cultural experience than the "prepare for battle" place it was back then. I really wish though to take a time machine back to the 70's and go photographing there then- how awesome would that be! Anyways- long story short, I had a great time, had some great pizza, met some really interesting folk and talked to some working video guys and a shooter for one of the big NY papers (can't remember which that he said but I was looking at his images from that afternoons rainstorm while he was working on them through a bar window while I was talking on the phone to Sophie, and they were rockin'!) but by the time it came for me to go back to Maine I had the petal to the metal and I was ready to get out of there and get home! That's the thing about a good trip- you enjoy it and get taken away, but then you end up really appreciating where you live and want to be back home. So here's a few images for now and a few more to come later- thanks for stopping by and have a great day- Nate from Maine, Usa.

Larry and Paul- "the bird guys", Washington Square Park.

Larry and Paul's buddy-


and yes that's a squirrel. Squirrel!

Some guy bathing at Columbus Circle.

and then there's this guy-

More to come later, and then more landscapes- but I'll probably never forget this trip.

Lisa Barnshaw, Larson Harley, and me in front of my prints.

iPhone snap out the window of the car, -escape from NY.


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Fri, 21 Jun 2013 22:09:15 GMT
If I can make it there I'll make it anywhere-

Ravens Roost. Schoodic.

So let me get this straight: to get to New York City I drive south on 95 until I see the giant red apple and then I'm there? Did they name it the Big Apple because that's where the Apple store is>? Do I need to wear a tie?

Just in case you aren't following me from the previous post where I announced it: I'm driving 10 framed 16"x20" prints matted to 24"x28" in black metal frames along with 40 or so smaller matted photographs to a show in SoHo in NYC that my buddy Larson Harley has organized which is to open Monday night of the 17th of June at Fjallraven 262 Mott st.

Initially I was a little hesitant to commit to the thing but then I figured to make it a great excuse to go back and visit there where I haven't been now for 20 years. 20 years! It's crazy to think I can say that I haven't been somewhere for 20 years- I thought I was just 20 years old a few years ago? So that's the next problem- today will have to be my birthday! Yeehaw! I love birthday day! It's one day that I can really enjoy being unhumble and ask for my cake and eat it too etc: chocolate cake especially. So to those ends I'll accept any and all cake donations made in my name down at the Seal Cove Post Office. 41. 41 years young. I really feel like an adult child, although I have been making strides in being more patient and trying to be more "mature", but hopefully being young at heart is good for something. ?

I'm so looking forward to photographing in New York! I lived there in the Lower East Side with different friends on and off for a year or so in the early 90's. I didn't know photography then, music was our thing, but in my memory I'm familiar enough with the city to think of where I want to go make images. I want to shoot the skyline from Brooklyn and those old rotten piers down there on the East River, and the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Arch at Washington Square Park and the Chrysler Building and the ESB and the Flatiron and maybe the Woolworth- and everything in between. I figure to bring two lenses a 50 and my 24. and I don't know if I should bring a tripod- maybe for the skyline scene I could borrow Larson's tripod and just go handheld for the rest of the time. If anybody has any advice as to how to best make the most of a day and a half of photographing down there let me know (minus hiring a helicopter for an hour which is just outside my budget for now!) 

So that's it for that then! Have a great one! -Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Maine Nate Parker Photography black and white Sat, 15 Jun 2013 10:19:08 GMT
Old Lobster Crate and Rotted Docks Off Gouldsboro Maine

Old Lobster Crate and Rotted Docks Off Gouldsboro Maine.

So here's a one where I had to modify the scene a little bit to make the picture that I wanted to make. When I first looked at this scene the only difference was that there was a large pane of broken plexiglass where the old lobster crate is now. The plexi was making a lame reflection of something bright and it didn't take me but a second to decide to physically photoshop it right on out of there and put it behind me and when I did  the huge pile of old HHH lobster crates right behind me caught my eye and I picked the most available interesting looking one to take plexi's place. Some people don't believe in this kind of practice of modifying a scene to better suit the image, and usually I wont because the images I make most often have big, attached-to-the-Earth features that you can't move even if you wanted to! But I'm not averse to manipulating a piece of driftwood to make a different feeling picture or removing an empty beer can etc. Any thoughts>? What do you do?

Have a good one! -Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Downeast Downeast Maine Gouldsboro Maine Gouldsboro" Maine Maine coast Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography black and white coast of Maine have a nice day lobster crate Wed, 12 Jun 2013 21:22:50 GMT
Ravens Roost Tip of the Talon.

Ravens Roost Tip of the Talon. Schoodic Peninsula Acadia National Park Maine.

This is what has become my favorite photograph of yesterdays visit to that nicely hidden spot over on Schoodic that I finally found with the help of some of my internet friends- 'preciate that fellas! So there is the typical shot from when you first come right out to the place, and I made that shot for a good few minutes in different ways- thinking it would be the way I wanted to show it. But after getting those I decided to park the kit on the tripod a safe distance from the edge and explore what had been out of sight up to that point. The thing that makes this place amazing is the arrow like cleft that splits the left and right inlets- vertical caverns if you will. So when I got out there to the tip I realized that this was the entire distillation of the scene here in front of me looking down, minus the distracting elements of the horizon and trees, this was the picture I was looking for. The thing was that I needed to keep cool and not get freaked out by the precipitousness of the thing, which was totally possible as yesterday was calm as could be there, but it was also at least 60 feet down to the ocean. I ended up making about three sets of long exposure shift panoramas with my 24mm tilt-shift. Each exposure was 45 seconds, so I was bracing myself leaning on the tripod for something like five minutes. Here's the view of where I was standing from out front- 

Definitely an amazing place- and I'll be going back there real soon! Have a good one- Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Maine Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Nest" Ravens Ravens Roost Schoodic Peninsula black and white black and white Maine photography coast of Maine have a nice day Sat, 08 Jun 2013 21:05:49 GMT
Sringtime Forest Floor at Schoodic

Can anybody tell me what these flowers are called? I should know- they are everywhere in the spring here- I would think they were Mayflowers but for some reason I doubted that, I guess I should just look it up now eh?

Went over to photograph Ravens Roost today on the Schoodic Peninsula which is the part of Acadia that people don't visit as much- which makes it just awesome this time of year! This is the first thing that stopped me in my tracks out there today and there were a bunch of those moments- I'll be going back real soon to continue that. This scene called to me in mono because of the inherent contrasts between the green of the foliage and the white of the flowers and the silver of the wood of the old fallen spruce. I boosted the luminance of the green channel then applied a blue filter in the monochrome conversion to deeply darken the foliage and pop the flowers even more. Now I'm off to work on the Ravens Roost images which gave me vertigo while I was making them so hopefully will get my blood up again. Have a good one! -Nate.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Maine Nate Parker Photography black and white forest floor have a nice day Fri, 07 Jun 2013 20:36:36 GMT
Waterfall Bridge Again and, Come See Me in New York City!

Hadlock Falls from Waterfall Bridge in Acadia National Park.

The first order of business today: I'm doing a show with two other people in Soho in Manhattan which opens on June 17th at Fjallraven 262 Mott st. I figured I could spend close to a hundred bucks in order to UPS the ten pieces I'll be hanging, or just drive on down there in my little diesel grocery-getter for the same amount. Granted it'll be a total of about 20 hours behind the wheel round-trip, but I haven't been to NYC since 1993 and I would so love to make some photography there! Therefore; I'm all in! So if you live around there or you're crazy enough to come from far away- I'd be wicked psyched to see you there! 

  • Fjallraven Soho (map)
  • 262 Mott Street
  • New York, NY 10012
  • And the second order of the day is: I love these falls on Hadlock Brook, when they are running it is always worth the casual hike up to them- but because I love it I should try not to make the same picture time and time again, although it's almost impossible for me not to make the head-on-view portrait of it whenever I first get there. So I figured this time to make a comparison of how I'm seeing now vs. how I was developing this scene almost a year ago. This is the last time I shot it: 

Hadlock Falls at Waterfall Bridge in Acadia

The difference I'm seeing right off is my approach to contrast and bringing up the highlights- I've since found a new workflow where my control of dodging and burning is much more natural feeling and I think the top image is more visceral with better looking contrasts vs it's predecessor above. But that's just my initial feelings.
Anyways I sure would be psyched to see some New York friends or anyone else who wants to go down there on the 17th of June, or just wish me luck that I don't get a flat tire or something on the way! And have a good one- Nate!
  • Hadlock Falls from Waterfall Bridge in Acadia- last year.
  • Fjallraven Soho (map)
  • 262 Mott Street
  • New York, NY 10012
[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Acadia waterfalls Hadlock Brook, Acadia Maine Nate Parker Photography National Parks Waterfall Bridge black and white have a nice day waterfalls Thu, 06 Jun 2013 21:14:59 GMT
Two Prams Six Oars Two Bailers One Buoy

Two Prams Six Oars Two Bailers One Buoy- B+W.

Prams vs. dingies? Any thoughts? Please leave your opinions in the comments.

Color vs. black and white? Any thoughts? Tell me about it- 

Two Dinghies Six Oars Two Bailers One Buoy- Color.

This is the way I see it- I'm used to the word 'dinghies' but around here (in Maine), they're called 'prams'. I like the black and white version because of the stark contrasts between the white hulls of the 'boats' and the dark rocks. But then again the color version has that sweet red tipped oar as an accent, so, I'm torn. Whattaya think? 

Whatever the case, have a good one- Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Bass Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography and black black and white boats dinghies have a nice day prams red oar row boats rowboats tow boats white Mon, 03 Jun 2013 20:28:37 GMT
Hemlock Bridge and the Maple Spring Trail in Acadia

Hemlock Bridge and the Maple Spring Trail in Acadia National Park. 

From Sunday and my nice time out at the waterfalls. This is a three shot Tilt-shift panorama where using the shift function of the lens and here shifting horizontally, I'm able to capture a bigger scene than the 24mm can capture as well as a huge file that is about 6900 pixels tall by 5500 pixels wide. I don't always make panoramas but when I do it's with my Canon 24mm f/3.5 TS-e made in 1993!

Have a good one- Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Canon Maine Maine black and white photography Maine landscape photography Maine landscapes Nate Parker Photography National Parks Tilt-shift pan black and white have a nice day maine Thu, 30 May 2013 10:14:48 GMT
Hadlock Brook Falls Extract

Hadlock Brook Falls Extract.

For the past week or so here it has rained and it has poured! For one- it must be that that kind of weather harkens back to my Scottish roots or something because when everyone else gets all bummed out about it I find solace and comfort in the dreary. And for two- I know that the waterfalls will be gushing and making for all kinds of interesting photogenic possibilities. So yesterday I went up to the waterfall bridges on Hadlock Stream and the Maple Spring trail just a little ways down and spent a few hours there really taking my time and enjoying it. I have photographed there a bunch so it wasn't really all that much about making important new work as much as enjoying myself with my camera for a while. Ended up making only about a dozen or so different images on my kit and two tourist shots for couples who were mugging with their cell phone cameras- I actually like to do that bit: makes me feel like I'm doing a good deed because you know how it is, you take a picture of your lady and she makes a photo of you but there's nobody to make a photo of the both of you at the place- so I do do that for them. 

Here's an aside that has nothing to do with any of that but something that I really want to get off my chest and put out there: at least 4 different times yesterday I gave a hearty "how do you do!" or a "hi how are ya!" or whatever to people passing on the trails and got a blank stare in return.- ! For the love of Pete people Please, please, please- when you visit Maine you need not be afraid of us here, we're not going to mug you or whatever it is you are so afraid of! Just a hello will suffice. I always thought it was an instinct to return a greeting, but I guess times they are a changing- but I'm not going to stop being cheerful out there until you all beat me down with malevolence so until then- like I say, just say hi when someone else says hi- ok? Ok! Alrighty then.

Have a nice day, Nate, from Maine, Usa. 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Maine Nate Parker Photography Nate Parker photography black and white have a nice day maine spring spring rains waterfall bridge Acadia waterfalls when it rains it pours Mon, 27 May 2013 21:33:08 GMT
Sea Puppies!

Sea Puppies! 

It had been forever since the camera's been out of the bag so this morning I took some time out in the fog to go find something to photograph. You know when you just have a feeling about it- like the time is right to go make some images. So I went down to the harbor and figured to look for some kind of fog play scene. Walking down to the shoreline I heard this kind of murmuring that sounded like a baby and here were these two little guys! Baby seal pups laying on top of each other next to a boat launch about 30 feet from the low water at that time. I couldn't believe my eyes- you see lots of seals around here if you want to see them and I've seen the pups from afar all amongst their crew but I've never seen them so alone and by themselves. I have heard though that it's no reason for concern as it's common to see pups without their moms around so I figured to try to enjoy the opportunity and make them my subject. And I knew these silvery gray seals against the reddish brown granite rock scrabble would absolutely pop in black and white. It was the kind of moment where I was so excited to get to meet these guys and photograph them that I was completely nervous and trembling- that's when you know that you have a great picture that you want to make. They were totally unafraid of me- first I approached quietly and looking the other way and sidestepping closer to them and whispering to them like I would to a dog, and they just kept on mewling and never looked afraid or hardly even cared that I was there at all. This kind of behavior really shouldn't be encouraged and it very well could probably be construed as illegal by some eager naturalists and for that I'm really sorry. But I just had to say hi to them and photograph them. I wish I had some kippered herring for them or a nice tuna sandwich with pickles- but THERE you go- that's why the whole thing becomes a big hullaballoo and all that's where the humans muck it up for the rest! So after a while they made their way down to the water and mewled off into the fog and I hope I get to see them again. That was the coolest thing I've experienced in a while! Sometimes you get lucky- I just knew I should try to make photos this morning!

-sorry I didn't film the ending- I wanted to go back to making stills, but I photographed the ending:

and some more of the raw files-

And off they go. And then I photographed that rock with the chains on top of it for a while- figured they intentionally pointed it out to me- thanks guys!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Bass Harbor Maine Nate Parker Photography Pups Seal Seals and black have a nice day white Thu, 23 May 2013 20:41:49 GMT
Bridge To Nowhere, Or The Way Off This Crazy Island?!

Bridge To Nowhere, Or The Way Off This Crazy Island?. Martha's Vineyard, Ma. (gotta title it something- what would you call it?)

I've got nothing more to add for the day- hope you're well.


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Cape Cod Cape Cod seascape Martha's Vineyard Nate Parker Photography dock on the bay have a nice day long exposure seascape Sat, 18 May 2013 22:46:10 GMT
Maine, The Way Life Should Be- Working on a Lobster Boat.

Old Timer Lobsterman. Made this photograph last year, I just needed something to lead off story hour here.

Right then- where were we? Yes, yes I wanted to tell you guys (at least my loyal 10 or 20 or so readers) about my cool new gig- guess what it is? Give up? Well- I'll just tell you: I'm now a Sternman on a lobster boat out of Bass Harbor Maine! Yeah! I'm going lobstering- how crazy is that!>? I know, I know you guys probably thought I was going to say something like: I'm the new L.L. Bean catalog photographer or something :-) ? Ya right, but no, I'm not really a big time pro dog photographer, I just play one on t.v., or the interwebs, or whatever. Actually I make photography because I love it and it's my passion, but it's never been my sole method of supporting myself. I do make a bit of money from making pictures but when you really get down to it, it really doesn't disappoint me that I don't make my living through photography- that way I can keep doing it only for the satisfaction and reward of doing it and not have to confuse passion for profession. At least that's my excuse! So I have to work other jobs to buy gear and pay bills.

Here's how I ended up here- not the long story that goes: my mother met my father in Brooklyn N.Y. in 1947... but the short one where: as of January of this year I was supposedly hired on to an awesome photography job that involved lots of traveling through the late spring and summer and beautiful locations, and great gear, and great people, and I was totally psyched for it- then, two Fridays ago I was informed that the whole thing was cancelled. Cancelled! In a nutshell- I was crushed. But I'm a tough guy so I only cried for a day and a half. After that point it was time to make a new plan. Quickly! The thing is that since I had such big plans for the summer and my life was going to have had been so exciting and interesting, at least different(?) I definitely didn't want to go back to doing something that I'd done before- I didn't want to replay the old me, I wanted something new, and interesting, and exciting!

So, going to the neighborhood store Sunday morning of two weeks ago to buy my soothing pack of cigarrettes for the first time in a month. Ya, that wasn't really working out for me, the whole nicotine abstinence thing, I came out of the store and stood there puffing on my smokey mc'pacifier and ogled the bulletin board and there was the sign for 'Sternman needed'- and right off I emailed myself the phone #. After living over here on "The Backside" of the island (Mount Desert Island) for the last 6 years, which is the heart of lobster country USA- I've learned that sometimes lobstermen will hire inexperienced people to train as sternmen because they can be trained from the ground up like, no previous bad habits or such. So I figured that I'm healthy, still young enough (almost), and at least like to get up early and I like boats and love the ocean, and my whole family (except brother Andy) has gone to sea, so maybe I had a chance. Therefore the next day, after considering a couple other mostly lame options, I called the fella. He answered the phone on the dock and after some questions and some further follow up questions by his fiance (mostly to check my reputation it seemed) I ended up down at the dock on Friday morning of last week at 5:55 am (I showed up a bit early)- (and 5:50 AM is pretty late for this time of year, so he must have been going easy on me for that day). Met him as he was pulling up to the dock at the time which is good because he didn't have to wait, he said come on aboard and I said, which was redundant at the time, but I just really wanted to say it- "permission to come aboard Captain?". A couple guys in the boat over on the other side said something about breaking in the new greenhorn, a couple chuckles later etc, and we were off. 

A dock on Bass Harbor last Friday morning n the fog.

Fishermen's memorial. Then you walk by this.

Captain Dan at the wheel. I'll introduce you to him proper later on. 

Motoring past another lobster boat at anchor.

My whole life I have been a fickle dood- for the first part of my life I wanted to be an Air Force pilot, then I wanted to be a professional windsurfer, then I went to college to be a jazz musician and composer, then I became a chef, then I worked as a carpenter, then I was a truck driver all over Maine which led to finding all kinds of excellent locations for photography, then I was a glassblower, then I discovered making photography. Not to say that any of those things I didn't love enough to keep doing them forever, just for one reason or another I moved on. Photography has sustained me for the last 13 years now though because I can always find time for it on my own time and I don't need to depend on anyone else for any part of the workflow to achieve creativity. Photography is something that has always been just all mine. I guess one of the big reasons that I've never tried to "strike out on my own" with it though is that I learned being a musician that it's extremely discouraging to have to find jobs all the time. I just never had enough faith to work for myself and always wanted to work for someone else and then later go and create for myself. And as far as being a fickle guy, change is good- and that's why Maine is such a great place to live: just about the last job you'll end up working at around here will be in an office, therefore experiential life moments become par for the course. You work a day and feel alive for it, not the opposite. Not to compare anyone or any job or to say that this is better than that- and I'm sure there are a number of office jobs that I would thrive in- creative ones in some kind of way or other, I'm just wicked psyched for my new office out on the ocean off the coast of Maine.

Here's a reality check: it's not a pleasure cruise out there! We're not waterskiing while drinking beer with bikini girls playing Jimmy Buffet songs casually plucking lobsters like cherries off the waves- no. Do you like fish? Are you a cat? Then you'd loooove my job! I get to scoop up handfulls of dead herring into bait bags- a couple hundred bags so far per day- all day.

Sardines anyone?

Fishnet stockings.

Oh and day starts at 04:30 am, so I get up at 03:30 to pound coffee and sit there reading PetaPixel crosseyed. The nice thing is that my commute is all of 4 minutes from leaving my driveway to parking at the harbor, I leave at about 4:20 to get there early. So on the steam out to the first string I bait bags up then the Captain gaffs the first trap leader and pulls it up in the block and hauls it aboard. Then I grab the pot and drag it down the rail, whip open the door and remove the old bait bag (either nothing but bones or a stinking gelatinous gumball) replace with a new bag, then I pull out the lobsters and put them on the sorting/bait table, meanwhile the Cap'n is doing the same on his trap as they come up in pairs usually. We chuck the bycatch out and the baby lobsters and muck out a couple handfulls of seaweed, close the doors and he steams aways till he knocks them back over. Meanwhile I'm checking them for size and to see if there are any egg bearing or v-notched females (the Cap talks very fondly of the females), banding their claws so they don't destroy each other, and then I get to make more bait bags! The whole time the boat, which is 36 feet long, is totally rolling and rocking literally and sonically to classic-rock so if you can't ride on a subway car without holding on to your straps you probably wouldn't enjoy being out there very much. There's no real time to be sea sick or eat or pee or really anything else but keep on pulling pots but the air is fresh and the ocean is a beautiful place to work. Also, where part of me fantasized about somehow turning this into a working-editorial in photos, I knew before I ever stepped out onto the boat that that wasn't a likely scenario. There's always something that needs to be done on a boat. The only way to ever make serious photography on a lobster boat would be to go out with a crew and only shoot. A number of times I have tried to turn on my iPhone to make some quick snaps and the thing won't even slide to unlock as apparently Cupertino has built in a 'will not recognize a fishy finger' feature. So I've got a few here for you here for now but that'll have to suffice until I make a day of it with just my kit and a clean fish-free hand. 

Traps on the transom.

A fogbow.

Landscape from the sea.

Rail and sea abstract- feels like a Google maps sat view of a beach and waves. 

Tools of the trade. Lobster banding pliers. (I've got a real bad story concerning these- ask me later)

iPhone wanted to make this image without asking- I agreed later. 

Insurance policy. Analogous to a UV filter for a photographer (really doesn't do crap but makes you feel glad that you have it?)

Haulin' Traps 1

Haulin' Traps 2

Haulin' Traps 3

Bugs waiting to be banded.

Gulls looking for a handout.

Yours truly. Since it's becoming obvious that the only camera I'll be using will be my phone I really feel the need for a better phone camera than my iPhone4. I figure I'll get a GoPro at some point which will be cool, so maybe that'll be the answer.

By the way I can still feel the boat rocking if I close my eyes, even if I don't close my eyes it's still rocking-

And, maybe, if we hit it hard and make a killing I'll even be able to go to Iceland AND buy myself something nice like that new Canon 200-400 with 1.4 converter on it or some Hartblei Tilt-shifts of something :-)

We'll see. Wish me luck and maybe I'll even run a FREE LOBSTER GIVEAWAY or something sometime this summer!

Have a good one my flatlander friends- Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Bass Harbor Maine, lobster, Maine Maine lobster Nate Parker Photography fishing" have a nice day lobster lobstering lobstering in Maine sternman Wed, 15 May 2013 22:50:22 GMT
Eagle Lake Driftwood in the Fog

Eagle Lake Driftwood in the fog. Yesterday morning: 70 seconds at f/8.0, iso 200. 17 mm on Canon 17-40 f/4.0, 5D mkII, B+W ND 110.

Happy spring everybody! We're deep into one of my favorite times of year here in Acadia for photography, the spring fog season- yay! Fog has such a great way of wrapping everything in cinematic drama and mystery and makes the ordinary look extraordinary. At least that's what I think. Fog also has a great transformative potential of changing the look of this small big island that I have been photographing on for the last 13 years- just when you think you've photographed everything: the fog rolls in like a team of gifted Hollywood set designers and the stage is transformed and the images just keep on coming. That's the beauty of any weather to a photographer, weather is the spice that makes the jambalaya, weather is the window dressing, weather is the soul of landscape imagery. And fog is my jambalaya! The other reason, and most important one to me, that I love love love fog is that it really helps to simplify a scene. The floating mists will help keep distracting details and elements to a minimum and tames some of the chaos that is nature, and I can pursue more minimal landscapes and then play the #MinimalMonday game hosted by my good buddy Olivier Du' Tre over on the Google Plus. Good times! So this one was a driftwood stump that I found out on the shores of Eagle Lake yesterday morning going for a walk in the fog looking for minimisma- I photographed this stump and shoreline here for a good 30 to 45 minutes standing up to my knees in the lake making little changes as to how it was laying on the stones, good times!

Right then- that's it for me for now, have a fine week everybody, stay safe out there, and make great work whatever it is you do. Stay tuned for my big-time announcement of a crazy new and exciting job I signed on for just last week after my previous big plans suddenly changed- Crazy! New! Exciting! -Bye for now, Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Canon Maine Maine fine art photography Maine photography Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Nate Parker photography black and white black and white Maine', black and white landscape fog landscapes" photography Mon, 13 May 2013 10:03:24 GMT
Pygmy Shrew Forest, and the Lucky Winner Is!:

Pygmy Shrew Forest- in Acadia over near Seawall.

Hey now! So I meant to get to the drawing yesterday but life got in the way- you know how it is, anyways in order to make the drawing the most impartial- I wanted to get my doggy in on the whole bit. And I figured I'd put it on video so you could see that there were no shananigans or tomfoolery involved. Here though I should make some explanation: my doggy is a crazy erratic and happy go lucky real-time maniac of the highest order, and to think that he would just play along without any complications makes me the fool- cause as I loaded up a hat with the individual numbers of the commenters who entered: Grover the Dog went and chased the hat before any of the numbers this time, cause he's a crazy Maineiac and this was only the second take, and I didn't want to make any more! But I got him back on track and into the game and he grabbed one real good which was

Grover Picks the Winner!

#13: Nancy Mize- who said something like "it would be lovely to have a piece of your vision of my heart's home. Especially when the rest of me is hundreds of miles away." Aw, that's wicked nice Nancy- and I'm glad that you get to be the lucky winner= I hope that you're a nice lady and that your luck somehow makes the world a better place! Or just go and hawk the print at a pawn shop and buy some nips at the corner packy- whatever! Do what you want to do! And that's all there is for that. Well, I had a great time doing this and there are more where that one came from, so after I let the grass grow for a bit longer then perhaps I'll make another print giveaway before too long. So in the meantime- save a place for me and have a nice day, Nate from Maine, Usa.

P.s. This was an effort to drive traffic to the site, and it worked, in the area of advertising fees and costs I think it was a reasonable expense in the long run to have had the traffic that I did over the past couple days. I already had the print, I already had the shipping tube, so then the only outlay was taking time to do it and the 5 bucks or so that USPS will charge to send it (good luck getting it anytime too soon though Nancy- I would never use USPS for anything urgent!) once the USPS took 6 weeks to deliver a print only 350 miles away. Ouch. Double ouch- Ouch Ouch! Right then- bye.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Maine Nate Parker Photography black and white have a nice day maine Wed, 08 May 2013 22:38:00 GMT
Have a Free Print on Me Day!

You (random name goes here) pick one of these if you'd like-

Here's the print giveaway that I've been leading up to throughout the week- the reasons and motivations to do so are one (1.) I've been printing up a storm over the last month and going through all of my old prints- and two (2.) my life sucks just as much as yours does and this is an attempt at making someone feel good and then it can go around to the rest of us maybe, and three (3.) I've seen other photographers do this so I figured Wot the H.e. double hockeysticks! Tell you the truth I can hardly afford to even ship the thing- just got to get it out of my system. So these are 16"x20" black and white prints on 17"x22" Epson Ultra Smooth Fine Art paper printed with K3 inks. Limited to the continental United States if I pick you (randomly) you pick one (1.) of these and I'll send it to you in a tube and you can do whatever you want with it then- just leave your name in the comments here and I'll have my doggy point at one or I'll shake one out of the hat, utterly randomly as of Monday May 6'th at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard time of USA in America, Earth, Milky Way, Everything. Yes! That's right! I do want you to be that winner! 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Free! Maine Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Nate Parker photography black and white have a nice day photography photography prints prints Sat, 04 May 2013 23:16:49 GMT
Hens and Chickens

Hens and Chickens. Found out in the dooryard- I just love the textures. Canon 100mm 2.8L IS USM Macro at f/4.0. 1/200 sec at iso 1250 handheld. For handheld macro you've gotta breathe like a sniper and shoot between heartbeats.

So I was thinking the other day about style in photography, and the way I see it is: content aside, ones style has to do with your individualistic representations of three things (3.) which are one (1.) Contrast- how hard are your gradations from blacks to whites, do you like shadow detail and how much. Two (2.) edge definition and sharpening: are you the halo master or are you the subtle soft spoken type? Do want crunchy goth sharp beard stubble and razor edged leaves or are you more of the romantic seeing through a gauze veil sexy with frankincense burning and John Tesh rhapsodizing kind? and three (3.) blacks and whites- how black do you want to go, how dark are your dayshots? and how white is too white. If your idea of a beautiful day is a cold front churning dynamic sunrise to thick fog til noon then a nice downpour around 1-2:30 that will get the waterfalls flowing and there is a proper nap time, then more high clouds keeping the glare off the late afternoon and making some nice underlight for sunset then you probably like your images a tad darker like I do. And I know of some imagineers who hardly ever pop near whites into their images- their face of the sun will still be 18 percent gray, so, you can't just say they are wrong- it's just their style. Here's an aside by the way: fog has no true whites or true blacks, but that's just a technicality. You all know what I mean: when you look at a thing you think right off "do I like it" and then if you like it enough you look closer and fall into the image- if you don't like it then something is obvious. When something sticks out and exposes the process as being "the process" you aren't seeing the thing anymore- you're distracted by the process. There's a bunch of anecdotes that could be made here resembling that remark how bout- look at fine dining and gourmet amazing foods: you don't want to hear "oh the supple virgin boar was maimed on these freekin precious cherry wrought grates or whatever" you just want your delicious sopressata. How bout super cars: you don't want to hear about how the NASA engineer who designed the airfoil that keeps your $250.000.00 car on the road while going 130 miles an hour around a corner was raised with 4 sisters and no brother and was forced to put on makeup and wear high heels too many times in elementary school and now lives in a too expensive penthouse apartment in the city and is suspiciously unreachable for 128 hours of the week. Or this little gem: where's your Ipad come from, or your cell phone, etc. See: nobody wants to think about the process. The process can be our little shop talk thing but we should hope the potential customer just and only thinks: "they like it".

 All I need to do now is create a scale that factors in these three qualities of a photographers vision and make a multiple choice questionaire so that you too can see where you end up compared to the average, etc. But you already know who you are. Whattaya need me for? Have a good one- N8.

Stand by, stay tuned, and keep on comin back for the sometime this week: FREE Print Giveaway! Because it's there!!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Maine Nate Parker Photography black and white have a nice day maine Thu, 02 May 2013 22:12:41 GMT
Acadia in Moving Pictures  

Acadia in Moving Pictures.

There's nothing like being there- but sometimes I'll remember to roll video on the place that I was just photographing to try and feel it again later in that way and although it's never like the real thing I always wish I did it more. This is something of a best of from a recent trip through my hard drives to clean up the dust balls, figured to throw together a best of kind of reel. I could have kept editing on this and on and on but just wanted to keep it a short project. Musics are: Nick Drake, "Black Eyed Dog" from the album "Made to Love Magic". Have a good one and check back for a Big Time Free Print Giveaway!!! sometime this week! :-) That is to say: keep on comin back now, ya hear?!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography have a nice day Mon, 29 Apr 2013 23:44:11 GMT
Four Skiffs

Four Skiffs. Seal Cove, Maine.

The island is waking up. People are shaking off the cobwebs and taking the shutters off the store windows and a bunch of people who aren't here for the cold season are walking around looking for summer jobs and such and those who've been here for the whole thing are still wearing there beanies even though it's 60 degrees f out- out of fear I figure. You really get used to those "security blankets" of the winter and when you've lived around here for long enough you know that another cold snap is just a gust away. But it's definitely almost summer now and time to turn on the machine that is the tourist industry that which pays for us to live here even after they've all left for the off season. Tell you what- there's nothing like winter around here, I really love it- you feel a tough kind of camaraderie with the people who live here then, a kind of bond of "if you can do it, then I can do it" sort of thing. Everybody waves to each other driving to the store and there's never any traffic driving over to "the big city" of Ellsworth to go to the proper grocery. From here on out most cars on the roads will be from out of state and nobody knows where there going and they crash right into you making 13 point turns to go back to the lighthouse which they missed three miles back. Oh my word how they love that silly little lighthouse! The fishing season will be in full swing and the bait trucks will be leaking their stinky sludge on the way to the docks (that is truly the nastiest smell, a bait truck can stink up the road for a whole day sometimes especially if the breeze is blowing right at ya.) But for all the inconveniences and ridiculousnesses I think most people enjoy it- I approach it like something like a battle, a 5 month long battle- I take multi vitamins and I deal with them wave after wave and they haven't got the worst of me yet. Or is it the best? That remains to be seen. Anyways, here's my formal invitation to all ye listening: come on up to Maine, "vacationland", and get away from the heat and the craziness of the rest of the world and have some tasty lobster (I'll have only about two a year myself- rather get some excellent pizza from "Rosalie's" in Bar Harbor). Go for a hike in  Acadia and take a bike ride around the carriage trails, get some pop-overs and cappuccino at the Jordan Pond House and maybe take a paddle in a kayak on one of the ponds. And most definitely at least once get up for sunrise and go to Eagle Lake or up Cadillac Mountain (at the lakes you'll here the loons calling though which is absolutely priceless) and when you see me with my kit on my tripod please try to stay out of my shot: I'll usually be shooting wide so anywhere behind me will be fine, thanks in advance on that! And if anybody wants a proper photo tour of Mount Desert Island send me a communique and I'll be glad to take you around and tell you where the best lobster bakes are etc.- for a small compensation I'm sure. Right then. Have a good one friendos! -N8!

P.s. 5 days left on the big '30 percent off any of my prints' sale! Get em while they're inexpensive!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Nate Parker photography Summer in Maine black and white have a nice day photography Thu, 25 Apr 2013 22:51:45 GMT
Window on Vineyard Haven

Window on Vineyard Haven.

Since I'm on a 'recommending movies that have amazing photography in them' kick make sure to put it on your list to see "Which Way Is The Front Line From Here" -a documentary about the life of the well loved and respected humanitarian and combat photographer Tim Hetherington by Sebastian Junger, he who co-made "Restrepo" with Tim which itself was nominated for an Academy award. It premiered just recently just days from the anniversary of Hetherington's death. 

This is "Restrepo" if you've never seen it- which is an most amazing contemporary real-life war movie about troops in the Korengal Valley serving in Afghanistan. 

and this is Sebastian Junger talking about making the documentary about his late friend and cohort Tim Hetherington-


And lastly here's a bit of my own housekeeping: the 30 days at 30 percent off all of my prints sale ends seven days from today- which is to say as of May 1'st it's back to full power!@#$ -Get em while they're cheap to help me continue to fund the summer gallery season's printing frenzy! And as usual, have a good one- Nate from Maine, Usa.




[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Cape Cod Marthas Vineyard Nate Parker Photography Vineyard Haven beach beach glass beach house beach windows black and white Tue, 23 Apr 2013 22:34:12 GMT
Scupper Low Wharf

Scupper Low Wharf. No idea where that title came from, have to name it something though. 

Here's what I recommend: if you are (1.) -a photographer then you should definitely check this documentary out. If you are (2.) a resident of the Earth you should most certainly pay attention to this documentary and seek it out however you may find it, I saw it on the cable t.v. on the National Geographic Channel this past last weekend after the whole terrorist fiasco drama in Boston had been seemingly mostly been resolved. And (3.) if you  like fantastically produced and jaw dropping beautiful imagery and video then this is a must see: "Chasing Ice" by James Balog. I'd first heard of it on the interwebs with an accompanying shot of a glacier calving event that was the size of Manhattan and to see the whole thing was truly fascinating and just like the Al Gore movie certainly an eye opener. Whether or not you believe in "global warming" you'll be amazed to see this film. Links: 

and this one which is the "world turning upside down" scale massive event that leaves me with doubts of if I was there filming it or shooting the event: would I be able to summon the courage not to flee or just lie on the face of the mountain hugging it with fear for my life because this is too gigantic, too much to even comprehend-

And with that- have a good week champs! Don't forget: theoretically you too could make a difference. ? 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) . Global warming? Maine black and white have a nice day make a difference Mon, 22 Apr 2013 23:36:35 GMT
Boston Patriots

Boston Patriots

Back to business in Beantown. So glad they got those guys- couldn't imagine if that suspect #2 had actually escaped, kept imagining him breaking into my parents home and holding them hostage etc, they live about 70 miles from Boston which was way too close until they got him. It's been a terrible week down there and in a bunch of other places around the country but perhaps the best thing to come of it all is the chance for a new solidarity and pride and we'll be stronger and more vigilant and resilient than ever. Here's to Boston, here's to America, and here's to us for a safe and happy and prosperous future. 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Boston Boston Ma. Boston Patriots Nate Parker Photography have a nice day patriots resilience Sat, 20 Apr 2013 12:10:44 GMT
Guy on a path.

Guy on a Path, Washington D.C. -Found this old image the other day while bushwacking through the 2008 folder, Sophie made this one (I can tell because Nikon stuff is in the Exif) and I tweaked it to black and white. I like the path and the form of the guy, I don't like the light area in the clearing above the trees- maybe I should crop that out. Whatever.

So, I just haven't been feeling like continuing on with the same old photo drivel here since Monday and those dumb bombs in Boston (I'm from there, and I lived pretty much lived right there where it happened for years while going to school.) I guess I just can't get over what a horrible thing it is to attack innocent people in that way- people who had nothing to do with anything other than being the face of a cheering crowd. What a cowardly and pointless thing to hurt so many people like that and by the sound of it, he wasn't even with his bomb when it went off- he fled the scene after dropping the bag. And what's the point ultimately? Whatever happened to hanging a giant banner illegally off a building or something in order to get a message across, and otherwise nobody has "claimed responsibility" as far as the vindictive or militant popular groups are concerned- so what then was the point? Is it that that's the way the world is now? That we have a massively horrific violent civil calamity every 2-4 months? Since when has that become a routine part of everyday life? Editors opinion: since box stores and all their sundry cheap crap came to America. Don't hold me to that- just my feeling of when it all started to go down the tubes. 

here's some of my other random and unimportant opinions: the guy or group will be caught who attacked Boston. And they will probably wish that they stayed with their dumb bombs vs what the American people will do to them once they are caught. I'm hearing about absolute "witch hunts" on the internets at places like Reddit and 4chan where the crowd is handling the crowdsourcing of the images and hackers are going where they want to get information and it's just a matter of time, the police and FBI hopefully will get to them first. I've heard of people vowing to come and support the marathon next year en masse and to "join together to rise above" kind of thing. Other people are adamant about not being put off of our American ways and showing solidarity to not let the fear mongers win- to not affect our way of life. Either way I wonder how those two spots of impact on Boylston St will be dealt with and if people ever again will stand on those spots to celebrate the finish of the marathon or if they will be sites of remembrance and respect with monuments of love and faith and hope and humanity to keep their place there. Monuments that would expose malevolence as a quick selfish meaningless act and contrast that with the solidarity of good that mankind stands for. Times like these are times when you forget all about your dividends and investments and two-for-one deals and think on and remember "what is it all for", "what is it all about"- and I would posit that it is not all about hunting- but may be all about gathering. Love thy neighbor. Live and let live. "Do what you do when you did what you did- to me." -Jermaine Jackson, 1985. That's the most r+b way to put: do unto others as you would do unto yourself. 

And with that- have a good day, Nate from Maine, Usa.


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Boston Boston Marathon Boston Marathon bombings Boston is my home Maine Nate Parker Photography have a nice day photography we will overcome Wed, 17 Apr 2013 22:53:23 GMT
Out Of Town News, Harvard Square.

Out of Town News, Harvard Square, Cambridge. Boston.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Boston Boston, Ma. Cambridge Cambridge Ma. Harvard square Nate Parker photography News stand Out of Town News, Harvard Square, Cambridge black and white Boston news of Boston Tue, 16 Apr 2013 20:14:55 GMT


Here's to Boston. Boston is my home- I live in Maine now and have for the last decade and a half, but Beantown will always be my home. So when I heard that the Hub was attacked I couldn't help but get a little emotional. I used to live On That Street- Dartmouth Street, I used to live about 1000 feet from there for a few years and I went to college On That Street- Boylston Street, 1000 feet in the other direction. Who would possibly want to attack the Boston Marathon- and certainly this isn't the first time that someone has pointed this out, but: what a cowardly an absolutely despicable way to fight a fight! What ever happened to hanging a banner on a building or a monument to get a point across, why is it necessary to resort to violence? My heart goes out to those that sufferer and the victims and the city of Boston. 

edit: an ongoing reportage is happening in the comments here:

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Boston Boston Massachussetts Boston black and white Boston skyline beantown downtown Boston have a nice day the Hub Mon, 15 Apr 2013 21:57:02 GMT
Ship Harbor Sunrise, Acadia National Park.

Ship Harbor Sunrise, Acadia National Park. Technical notes: 24mm f/3.5 ts-e. 99 second exposure at f/7.1. Iso 100. B+W ND 110. Canon 5D mkII. Me standing there slack jawed in awe and just trying not to screw up the photograph. 

I don't always make color photographs, but when I do- there's usually a good reason for it. Is that meme getting too old to enjoy anymore? How bout this: I don't usually photograph at sunrise, but when I do- the sunrises are rarely as good as this!! Or how bout this one: I rarely post in the morning these days, but when I do- I'm freeking out at how much I love this sunrise image! Yowza~! Sometimes you get lucky!

And with that- have a good day my friends! -Nate.

Also I don't mean to be a pest about this if you have already heard it, but: the 30 percent off all of my prints sale continues until May 1, 2013! Get 'em while they're cheap! 

(I would be remiss if I didn't sometimes make an extra effort to sell my work, forgive me, but selling prints helps me continue to make new photography. You know the drill. Thanks -N8)

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Maine Maine seascapes Maine sunrise Nate Parker Photography Ship Harbor amazing sunrise color epic sunrise have a nice day sky color wow Fri, 12 Apr 2013 11:57:54 GMT
Little round Pond Winter Cattails

Little Round Pond Winter Cattails. 3 shot 'shift pan' made with my 24 ts-e.

Today I'm Wicked psyched to have just met the UPS guy out in the street to receive my new pack of Epson Exhibition Fiber 17"x22" paper. I'm like woot! See, ever since I first heard about this "Signature Worthy" paper, as Epson calls it- I've wanted to try it bad, real bad. I knew I would love it but it's particularly premium expense made it a little hard to justify using. Usually I like to print any 'serious' work on Epson UltraSmooth Fine Art Paper- John Paul Caponigro talked me into that choice and I still love that paper and would still rather print some images on that vs this Exhibition Fiber paper but this week I found a sweet sale on the EEF paper at B+H here: for about a third of the price that it normally is (99.00 American bucks versus the typical 150.00 American bucks) -so that was a "shoe in". 

The description on the box is: "Designed to have the look and feel of revered silver halide, F surface, air-dried prints, this paper offers the highest Dmax and a wide color gamut for stunning color or neutral black-and-white prints." -Sounds sweet!

Now the one big reason I like the Epson UltraSmooth Fine Art (USFA) paper is that as a matte paper there are never any reflections coming off the print from light sources, it's the most archival of all Epson papers (therefore arguably the most archival of any paper period), there is hardly any texture which gives it massive detail, and I'm really familiar with using it so I can get predictable results. The biggest downside to the USFA I think is that it's really a pretty fragile paper so handling is a real concern and it's only safe after being properly put behind glass. Not to say that the EEF is a paper that I would dance on after making a print on it but it seems to me that the surface is a little more resilient. There is a low gloss surface on the Exhibition Fiber that could reflect light sources (unless it's behind that anti-reflective museum glass) but after making the first few prints the blacks are off the chart and the prints just really have a classic look and feel to them. The one thing that did initially disappoint me (especially in that this is such a premium and expensive media) is that the first sheet I took out of the box did have at least 5 "inclusions" of specks of schmuck in the paper- nothing that is visible after printing the first black and white prints but still, the USFA is 99 percent perfect in my experience so this is a little off putting but sometimes I guess maybe I should just relax and let the world be the world. Nonetheless it's not wrong to expect perfection when you pay top-dollar (yeah yeah it was a big sale but still this is their most expensive paper, so come on!) if Epson were here they would have given me a new sheet that's for sure. Anyways- perhaps I'll talk on this more later but for now I'm going to go fume up the room and make some more prints! Yeehaw! 

Reminder: 30 percent off all my prints until May 1, 2013- get em while they're cheap! 

And have a good one, Nate from Maine, Usa.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Epson Exhibition Fiber Maine Nate Parker Photography Signature worthy black and white have a nice day Thu, 11 Apr 2013 21:44:13 GMT
Old Coast, Maine

Old Coast Maine. Off Corea- Downeast.

All I've been doing for the past two weeks it seems is printing and matting and signing and bagging for the summer season here on the island. I'm trying to get a proper jump on it this year because last year I was a little flat footed out of the gate on the whole bit but this year have a better idea of how to make the most or the best of it. The first thing is that I have three sizes of prints going to the galleries this year: a small 5x7" matted to 8x10 ( I know the ratio is kind of funny but the mat cutter lady kind of lost it in the translation and cut 40 of them like that so might as well go with it) a medium 11x14" matted to 16x20" and the large 16"x20" matted to 24"x28". Thereby a whole new range of price points and wall sizes have been introduced which should make the potential buyer do the super happy monkey dance and help make next winter better than this last. In a weeks worth of time I will have gotten 88 matted and signed prints out the door and into the territory of the art buyer and I'm going to do that twice more before Memorial day so long as I can bear the repetitive and absolutely mundane work of putting prints and mats together. 

Anyways: I figured that as a public service announcement for any of my photographer friends who make their own prints like I do-  whom may have never experienced this particular printing malady (because I hadn't up to this point) this is what a clogged print head looks like:

See how it kind of looks like a negative- that's because my matte black ink wasn't firing. My Epson 3880 has 4 kinds of black inks and what had happened is that because of the super low humidity of winter one of the heads had clogged and it really freaked me out when I first looked at this. I ran a print head check and this was the result:

See how there is a missing segment of the grid pattern at the upper left- that's indicative of the clogged print head. A print head cleaning did the trick after that but I figure I probably burned through at least 20 bucks in ink retesting and recleaning the printer before I was thoroughly satisfied that everything was once again dorey hunky- and that was just running the process through 3 times- but I could see by the ink capacity readouts that it bled a bunch of inks through that process. I have actually heard that some people leave a damp sponge under the plastic dust cover to the printer to help alleviate potential clogs in the dry season- there's just something about that though that strikes me as being crazy for some reason. Nonetheless, hope this helps anyone who does their own printing who hasn't seen this before. In the almost two years that I have been making prints on my Epson 3880 never before had there been a clogged print head. Right then. That's all I've got for today- hope you're well and have a good one- Nate from Maine, Usa.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Downeast Maine Maine black and white Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography coast of Maine have a nice day seascape Wed, 10 Apr 2013 21:26:50 GMT
Cape Cod Low Tide at Coast Guard Beach Textures

Cape Cod Low Tide at Coast Guard Beach. Technical notes: 119 seconds at f/11, iso 100, 24mm Ts-e with B+W ND 110 on 5d mkII. Lightroom 4, Silver Efex, Ps Cs5, and back to Lightroom. Have a nice day. 

The '30 percent off all of my prints sale' continues until May 1, 2013. Get em while they're cheap! 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Black and white Cape Cod Cape Cod Cape Cod photography Coast Guard Beach Coast Guard Beach Cape Cod Nate Parker photography black and white have a nice day seascape Tue, 09 Apr 2013 21:44:36 GMT
I like this picture: Chicago boys of summer 2008

Boys of Summer. Chicago 2008.

Only today did I become convinced that summer would happen again here in Maine this year. All the signs were there- from the bridge repair to the leaf blowers and all the cars on the roads from New York and New Jersey. See, where the rest of the world has probably had some significant blooming spring by now, we here in Maine have only just started to see any real greening up of the grass under our construction debris out in the dooryard- the rest just gets put back to sleep by the morning frost. But today it really finally turned here where we are- and, in celebration of that and according to the coincidence of recently finding these old shots from 2008 made in Chicago of these cute kids playing in this crazy fountain in the hot of summer: have a good one! - Nate!

P.s. The 30% off pre-summer print sale here continues until only May 1, 2013.- email me and include the phrase '30 percent off' or just tell me I'm sooo good lookin'- and we'll get some proper photography art prints headed your way! 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Chicago Millenium Park Nate Parker photography Summer fountain have a nice day hot summer kids fountain play poke Mon, 08 Apr 2013 23:33:27 GMT
Cape Cod Dunes Happy House- Closed for the Season

Cape Cod Dunes Happy House- Closed for the Season. Camera settings: tilt-shift lens tilted on the vertical axis, tripod, proper exposure acquired using camera and chimping, Lr4 for contrasts and shadows boost then Ps cs5 for a lightening center and darkening edges routine and some distracting elements cleanings with healing brush. Oh and cropped to 4x5 to fit in the nearest standard mat and frame.

Feeling a touch of the old miasma today- would probably be wise to take a multivitamin around about now. Anyways: have you camera nuts heard about that new MoVi camera stabilization system- sounds wicked cool especially because it makes no sound and is a super light weight rig that uses crazy gyros to do the dirty work or whatever:  

Wow- how awesome is that! 

Check out those links for more info- I must have one!

MōVI in Action (Quick Video) from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Cape Cod Cape Cod black and white Cape Cod imagery Cape Cod photography Mass. Nate Parker photography have a nice day photography pictures of Cape Cod Fri, 05 Apr 2013 21:55:07 GMT
Cape Cod Low Tide Beach Textures

Cape Cod Low Tide Beach Textures. 38 seconds at f/16 iso 50 b+w nd 110 5d mkii 24mm ts-e 2 stop gnd Lr4 Ps Cs 5 for additional grads and curves and spot healing and some dodging and burning then back to Lr4 for toning and additional local sharpening and then I went and chopped the garlic for tonights suppah. Then the lady came home and the dogs went crazy and I forgot that the water for the rice was boiling: Gah!

Here's todays challenge: Link me to your blogs and or websites and at least I'll go look at them and at most I'll feature them all here for whatever any other reason just to do that someday. Put links in the comments or send me an email- Show me your work! Show me what you love enough to put on the interwebs- hit me with your best shot! Like this:



[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Cape Cod Maine Nate Parker Photography Nate Parker photography New England beaches beach black and white coast coastline have a nice day maine photography ripples sand sand ripples seascape tidepools Thu, 04 Apr 2013 23:51:53 GMT
Cape Cod Tidepool and Textures

Cape Cod Tidepool and Textures.

words: I'm quitting smoking. that makes life a lot more boring then it used to be. I know, I know- it's a deranged point of view... you're thinking that's not the real Nate speaking, that's the monster controlling him!~ whatever. I feel fine, that's the scary thing, it never used to be this easy. I always gave up the first hour into it before and I'm 40 now and have been on the 'tine since I was a teenager, so I gave up giving it up a bunch of times up to this point. I can't imagine now looking back as to why I would have started in the first place, other than you know, back then there was this whole element of it being "cool" or whatever, I wonder who came up with that marketing idea cause it's brilliant and utterly ridiculous at the same time in hindsight. Like here, how bout this one...: it's wicked cool to have sweet black and white prints hanging in your home, it helps to add that sophisticated touch that those old Bon Jovi posters just can't give- but no millions upon billions of people won't everyday go out of their way to acquire art but they will (and read here: that was me too) pursue getting and ingesting something that will, (they say), ultimately hurt you and take years off your life only for a few blissful and soul awakening moments of a kiss of the earth that is what it is to burn and smoke tobacco. But it's bad for you, (they say) and I have every desire to live forever. Every! So that's it for me! I'm out! You won't find me suckling on the ever forgiving nipple of perpetual tranquility ever again! :-( I'm typng like a bird because I'm sittinf on crossed fingers. NO~! I mean it this time! I'm out! Serious;y I'm done!

You know what occurred to me the other day- that simply saving the amount of monies that I would have otherwise wasted on tobacco's I could take a trip to Iceland to photograph once every 1/3 of a year or so- which is a ridiculously awesome way to think on it. Whatever- wish me luck: on living forever and going to Iceland 3 times a year and quitting smoking all in that order, beginning now:......NOW! 

and good luck to you too.

have a nice day, Nate from Maine, Usa.

I've included here an inspiring dance video that you might find makes you just want to live forever!, and helps you want to quit everything! 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Cape Cod Cape Cod fine art photography Nate Parker Photography beach black and white have a nice day photography seascape textures Wed, 03 Apr 2013 21:30:23 GMT
Cape Cod Dune Textures

Cape Cod Dune Textures. Provincetown, Ma.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Cape Cod Cape Cod black and white Nate Parker photography Provincetown Massachussetts Provincetown, Ma. beach black and white have a nice day landscape photography sand dunes Tue, 02 Apr 2013 20:44:07 GMT
Old Cape Cod

Cape Cod Beach Textures.

My folks live on Cape Cod in Massachussetts, (whenever I spell that word right I'm just a little bit proud), and it's become a problem that whenever I visit them I end up feeling guilty that either I'm not spending enough time making photography in a place that I love to make new photography because I'm visiting with the folks or feel guilty that I'm not spending enough time with the folks because I'm blissed out on the dunes and beaches making new photography. That's a good kind of problem though. 

View Larger Map

When I lived there 20 years ago I was much more concerned with windsurfing, work, or just leaving the place and going somewhere different- so as is typical of youth: you never appreciate the place till your far removed from it. These days I like to go out to the outer Cape the most (lower Cape some call it) because that's the area that still retains what would seem to be the feel of "the old Cape". In the off season you can actually appreciate the area pretty easily: gorgeous beaches and dunes and critter watching including whales 50 yards off shore- but during the summer months it's more of a test of patience and the jostling of personal boundaries -but don't get me wrong it's nice then too. At one point this time out there I was chasing storm clouds and at one point was trailed by the local P.D. to the point where it was really starting to distract my attention and kill the mood but all was well in the end. I'll put up some more images from the Cape throughout the week, for now I'll share with you some of the most inspiring interpretations of Cape Cod I've seen yet in the Joel Meyerowitz book "CAPE LIGHT" 

Don't forget: 30% off all my prints until May 1'st to help fund printing and matting for the upcoming gallery season!!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Atlantic Cape Cod Cape Cod Ma. Nate Parker Photography and beach beach textures black have a nice day sand beach sand textures seascape white" Mon, 01 Apr 2013 22:19:16 GMT
Acadia Coast Storm Color. And 30% off prints for the next month!

Acadia Coast storm Color. 

Happy Spring everybody. To celebrate Spring I'm going to the Cape of Cod in Massachussetts where my folks live to visit and of course make the best of the empty warm beaches and the sand dunes and photography. Good times! 

So, because it's Spring the Nate Parker Photography print shop has been making fumes all week long and churning out 16x20"s, 11x14"s, and new for this year- smaller 5x7"s (matted to 8"x10"). Once the studio is free from cats and dogs and I shut the door and let the air still and the rest of the dust fall to the floor it's time to start printing- and I'll keep the door closed through the session and when I move around the space I'll move gently so as to not disturb dust, because nothing can wreck these prints better than a speck of dust, so I'm happy to announce that so far in 22 prints through the last 2 days not one has been lost to dust.

prints galore

 The only waste encountered so far on this printing excursion (beyond print adjustments) has been when I bled on the mats taking them out of the box. 

Also, because it's wicked expensive to put together a whole summers worth of stock for a few different places- here's your chance to get a print of your choice (so long as I made the actual picture!) for a steal of a deal- (reads 30 percent off). I have to kick down a fairly high percent to be represented in galleries so this is fairly fair as I see it, at least for a month: deal ends May 1- NO COMPROMISES! heheh. Your purchases will help me make more prints and cut more mats, that's the deal. 

Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day- Nate from Maine, Usa.


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Atlantic Bar Harbor Maine Maine Maine photography Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography have a nice day maine ocean seascape waves Thu, 28 Mar 2013 22:49:38 GMT
Winter Flowers for Steichen

Winter Flowers for Steichen

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Edward Steichen- huzzah! 

From the Wiki: 

Edward Steichen photographed by Francis Holland Day

Edward Jean Steichen (March 27, 1879 – March 25, 1973) was an American photographerpainter, and art gallery and museum curator. He was the most frequently featured photographer in Alfred Stieglitz' groundbreaking magazine Camera Work during its run from 1903 to 1917. Steichen also contributed the logo design and a custom typeface to the magazine. In partnership with Stieglitz, Steichen opened the "Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession", which was eventually known as 291, after its address. This gallery presented among the first American exhibitions of (among others) Henri MatisseAuguste RodinPaul CézannePablo Picasso, and Constantin Brâncuşi. Steichen's photos of gowns designed by couturier Paul Poiret in the magazine Art et Décoration in 1911 are regarded as the first modern fashion photographs ever published. Serving in the US Army in World War I (and the US Navy in the Second World War), he commanded significant units contributing to military photography. He was a photographer for the Condé Nast magazinesVogue and Vanity Fair from 1923–1938, and concurrently worked for many advertising agencies including J. Walter Thompson. During these years Steichen was regarded as the best known and highest paid photographer in the world. Steichen directed the war documentary The Fighting Lady, which won the 1945 Academy Award for Best Documentary. After World War II he was Director of the Department of Photography at New York's Museum of Modern Art until 1962. While at MoMA, in 1955 he curated and assembled the exhibit The Family of Man. The exhibit eventually traveled to sixty-nine countries, was seen by nine million people, and sold two and a half million copies of a companion book. In 1962, Steichen hired John Szarkowski to be his successor at the Museum of Modern Art.

"Landscape with the avenue of trees". painting. 1902

Portrait of Rodin. 1902

Self portrait.

J.P. Morgan. 1903.

The Flatiron building. 1904. (seriously this in my opinion is the ultimate image of the Flatiron)

And there is "The Pond Moonlight" which is one of my mostest favoritest of old time evocative landscapes: 


"In February 2006, a print of Steichen's early pictorialist photograph, The Pond—Moonlight (1904), sold for what was then the highest price ever paid for a photograph at auction, U.S. $2.9 million.

Steichen took the photograph in Mamaroneck, New York near the home of his friend, art critic Charles Caffin. The photo features a wooded area and pond, with moonlight appearing between the trees and reflecting on the pond. While the print appears to be a color photograph, the first true color photographic process, the autochrome process, was not available until 1907. Steichen created the impression of color by manually applying layers of light-sensitive gums to the paper. Only three known versions of the Pond—Moonlight are still in existence and, as a result of the hand-layering of the gums, each is unique. In addition to the auctioned print, the other two versions are held in museum collections. The extraordinary sale price of the print is, in part, attributable to its one-of-a-kind character and to its rarity.

Here's to you Ed!


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Maine Nate Parker Photography black and white have a nice day Wed, 27 Mar 2013 23:00:46 GMT
Clown Smile Rock at Bodice Cove, Maine

Clown smile Rock at Bodice Cove, Maine. From yesterdays bug-out to Corea Maine.

So check this out: this morning I couldn't sleep so decided to get out of bed at 03:30 and checked the sat maps and the sky was clear and boring, so instead of photoing did a bunch of spring cleaning of the hard drives and deleted a thousand images that were really unnecessary and or lame. In the process of said spring cleaning: checked the old emailerino and in the headings there was a rare potential customer, probably another "I saw your photos and loved the one of "blah blah blah" and how much for a print, wherein I reply with my modest rates and a quick explanation of the process quality and attention to detail and expensive museum quality materials etc and I never hear from them again. But surprisingly this one was more complicated, and not just a "will you make a donation of a print to...", this one was from our most favorite of computer companies in the world and they were inquiring about an image to license for a future project and here's where it get's really challenging. They expressed the desire to license a pretty good photograph of mine (reads: one that I like A-ok and isn't just a "go there and get it kind of thing") Here's an excerpt:

 "We are interested in speaking with you about possibly licensing the image attached.  At this point, we are in the early stages of our research, but would like to include this image with our next presentation.  The rights for usage we would require are:  Worldwide, unlimited, non-exclusiveused as a desktop or screensaver option.  Image or images will be imbedded in our products and sold pre-installed in the software. Duration of license is 5 years. (timeframe is negotiable)" 

After another email it was plainly put that I could still use it personally however I may desire (my main considerations are to print them for local galleries, etc, you know to have it as my art or whatever) but herein it became complicated and therein is todays lesson of the day: trust. I didn't know what all to tell the fellow regarding the perceived value of said image in this capacity. I could have asked some acquaintances for their opinions but in the end I remembered somewhere that if it's a seemingly reputable organization honesty may prove the most valuable format. There are softwares like Fotoquote etc that will theoretically come up with values and other methods to determine the potential value of commercially used artwork but after an hour or two of thinking on it subconciously I decided to write this: 

Great [persons name]- I'm definitely interested in licensing a photograph to (greatest computer company in the world). That would be Great-Skates! See here though- that is one of my more fond images and I would only be interested in collaborating if I was properly reimbursed- I'm certainly not very familiar with appropriate licensing values but I do have a particular taste for this one that I would like to achieve at least three figures. Could you advise me honestly as to the value you perceive the image at? 

Great to hear of your interest- I'm away from my desk right now but will be able to get you a larger file for your needs early this afternoon (your time). 
Super low res response- I know. But here's the thing- I'm trying to keep it real, I'm not trying to be a big jackwagon or whatever and assume that I know what is best for me- and this guy is a photo professional who solicits images for a living, therefore I'm sure he or she isn't padding their pockets with the trimmings of unsuspecting photographers (really I believe this here) but is on the contrary acting professionally representing his or hers agency. So I plainly asked what the image would be valued at on their end- (I was taking all my negotiating skills here from the T.v. show "Fast and Loud") and they responded that generally: 
"For this type of licensing, photographers generally ask for compensation anywhere between $1,200 and $3,500 for the duration of the license. Let me know you thoughts, and we look forward to seeing the high res." 
So let it be known that my jaw was agape when I read this response. Yes. Yes!~ Now we're getting somewhere! That's the idea people! That is a proper amount that satisfies me and hopefully they!- to the bone. If only the rest of the world worked like this- where we could just all talk and honestly have a commiseration of needs and desires. Hopefully it works out in the end- my community would benefit as a whole in that case. Anyways- be warned photographer in similar trenches as I: consider how would you value your art when it comes time for it? What would you do?
[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Black and white Maine Corea Maine Maine Maine seascapes Nate Parker photography black and white have a nice day seascape Tue, 26 Mar 2013 23:01:04 GMT
Three Boats

Three Boats. Corea Maine.

As I was taught growing up in a nautically oriented seagoing family, the difference between a boat and a ship is: you can put a boat on a ship but you can't put a ship on a boat. 

Made this yesterday on a bug-out from the island to go somewhere else to make photos for a while. Sometimes you just have to change your surroundings to see in order to want to make new photographs (read that as 'sometimes I have to'). Don't get me wrong, there is so much to photograph on here on MDI (Mount Desert Island) that you could fill many lifetimes with varied projects. It becomes a creative block sometimes though if you keep thinking things like "there's more out there that I'm not standing in front of". So I took a quick trip up to one of my favorite little fishing villages downeast called Corea and put myself in front of something different. Not that this particular scene is any different than what I would see around here, it's just that being in an unfamiliar place opened my eyes to seeing it more interesting then. So here's a one: while I was making these exposures and waiting for the dock to settle these three lobstermen pulled in to their mooring (it was the end of the day for them which is usually about 2:30- 3:00), and then rowed in to this dock that I was photoing. So I moved my tripod and such to not block the ladder and after I said a hearty 'hey now' to the guys the older fellow say's to me "so how's the picture takin' business these days?" in nothing more than a something to say kind of way, so I give him a "not making a million that's for sure" or something like that and he laughs a "well lobsterun sure isn't either with the prices we're gettin' these days". I don't know what the point is other then it's nice to say hi and share a how do you do with people, especially when you're camping out on their dock all tripodded up and all. Have a good one!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Corea Maine Downeast Maine Maine photography Nate Parker photography boats dinghies downeast Maine have a nice day lobstering Tue, 26 Mar 2013 12:34:46 GMT
The Ovens of Acadia

The Ovens of Acadia. 

Found this spot from looking at an old map, then a Google search brought up these old post cards and pictures of this cool looking place that's only really accessible by kayak. I just went the long way around. The trick is that photographically the time of day to make the most of this place would be the morning when the sun is shining into them. Right then- have a good one. 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography black and white have a nice day Sat, 23 Mar 2013 11:50:06 GMT
Spring Growth

Spruce Sapling and Freshly Fallen Snow.

Have a good spring and grow up everybody! I mean that in the tallest of ways.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Maine Nate Parker Photography black and white have a nice day Thu, 21 Mar 2013 22:10:24 GMT
Order Your Fresh Killed Goat Whole or Half

Haymarket Square, Boston- an older street snap that I think about now and then.

Todays photographer of the day: Mary Ellen Mark. Happy birthday Mary Ellen! 

from the Wikipedia: Mary Ellen Mark (born March 20, 1940) is an American photographer known for her photojournalism, portraiture, and advertising photography. She has had 16 collections of her work published and has been exhibited at galleries and museums worldwide. She has received numerous accolades, including three Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards and three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Mary Ellen Mark was born in suburban PhiladelphiaPennsylvania,[1] and began photographing with a Box Brownie camera at age nine. She attended Cheltenham High School,[1] where she was head cheerleader and exhibited a knack for painting and drawing. She received a BFA degree in painting and art history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1962, and a Masters Degree in photojournalismfrom that university's Annenberg School for Communication in 1964.[2] The following year, Mark received a Fulbright Scholarship to photograph in Turkey for a year.[2] While there, she also traveled to photograph England, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Spain.[3]

In 1966[1] or 1967,[3] she moved to New York City, where over the next several years she photographed Vietnam War demonstrations, the women's liberation movement, transvestite culture, and Times Square, developing a sensibility, according to one writer, "away from mainstream society and toward its more interesting, often troubled fringes".[3] As Mark explained in 1987, "I'm just interested in people on the edges. I feel an affinity for people who haven't had the best breaks in society. What I want to do more than anything is acknowledge their existence". 

Photography career

Mark became a unit photographer on movie sets, shooting production stills for films including Arthur Penn's Alice's Restaurant (1969), Mike NicholsCatch-22 (1970), Carnal Knowledge (1971) and Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) among her earliest. For Look magazine, she photographed Federico Fellini shooting his film Satyricon (1969).[3] Mark has since photographed on the sets of more than 100 movies, up through at least director Baz Luhrmann's Australia (2008).[6] Mark is well known for establishing strong relationships with her subjects, as she has spoken about after her experiences in the Home for the Dying in Calcutta, and her project "Street Kids" for LIFE Magazine, which developed into the movie Streetwise.[7]

Mark has published 17 books of photographs; contributed to publications including LifeRolling StoneThe New Yorker, and Vanity Fair; and her photographs have been exhibited worldwide.[2] She has served as a guest juror for photography call for entries at The Center for Fine Art Photography


Mary Ellen Mark by Anestis Diakopoulos

and here's a good article here that differentiates here from Diane Arbus well:

Here's to you Mary Ellen!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Photography Maine Nate Parker Photography black and white have a nice day Wed, 20 Mar 2013 21:17:16 GMT
Miniature Clay Figure Salutation at Sand Beach in Acadia

Miniature Clay Figure Salutation at Sand Beach in Acadia

This image did not go easy- because of that it will probably never be "one of my favorites". But there's still enough there for me to like to want to do everything in my power to make it presentable. If you're interested these were my problems: first thing is that it's a 3 shot "shift-pan" made with my 24mm tilt-shift, often it's worth it to make a "shift-pan" of a scene where you shift the lens through it's movements to get the widest aspect of the scene possible, also it makes a big file with lot's of resolution. Here though the problem was that because of the ultra straight horizon line my Manfrotto tripod ball head failed me and introduced just about a 1.5 pixel droop at the edges of the stitch so Photoshop CS5 kept coughing up errors at me when putting stitching the pan together. That was about a month ago, the other day I decided to go at it again and this time I opened it with PTGui, a dedicated panorama application that I used to use all the time when I was stuck in my panorama period back around 2005- 07. I had to download it from the web because I had never installed it on this machine and it wanted me to purchase the new version because my license was from pre 2010, but that didn't fear me and the old version worked a treat and resolved the horizon errors fairly perfectly. The rest I was able to handle with PS. That was just the beginning of the chase though. Because it was a long exposure the highlights of the wave action needed blending and attenuating, there were some vignetting issues to deal with in the corners from the shifting, and then explore, I spent a fair amount of time adjusting the presence of the water because at first it was a bit too lively and distracting. The thing is, which I mentioned yesterday, once the initial image started coming to life the hours just faded away while I was working on it. That's my ideal when working on images, when it becomes like a ride that you can't get off, fun stuff. But the truth is I'd much rather take 30 minutes at it and feel that it's done and can't be done anymore than it's done now. 

Now I gotta get back to enjoying the snowstorm, have a good one! -Nate!



[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography have a nice day Tue, 19 Mar 2013 18:07:00 GMT
Spring Thaw Ice Fog Maine

Spring Thaw Ice Fog Maine. Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park.

First thing is: I feel so guilty that I didn't make a post on Friday- been trying to keep a regular 5 days a week schedule here that has been a fun little motivator to make new photos or scour the catalog and develop something that was passed over earlier. Every day at 5:00 I make time to work on photography, or something like that- yesterday I worked on a photo all day long: I love it when developing becomes like reading a great novel- when hours evaporate and you feel like you've got miles to go but like you're still just getting your second wind. But that was an image that wasn't ever going easy- one that made me work for it, not this one, I'm just getting sidetracked. Just saying- I love it when that happens. Have a good one my friends- Nate!


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography black and white have a nice day Mon, 18 Mar 2013 21:43:14 GMT
Happy birthday Diane Arbus Here's today's p.o.t.d. that has absolutely nothing to do with anything, other then this is pretty much what it looks like around here these days, minus all the mud: 

Tree, cracked road, clouds. Maine in the early spring. 

Today is the anniversary of Diane Arbus's Birthday so we, us photographers, should all visualize giving a hearty high-five to the spirit of her. 

Diane Arbus by Alan Arbus, 1949

From the wikipedia: Diane Arbus (March 14, 1923 – July 26, 1971) was an American photographer and writer noted for black-and-white square photographs of "deviant and marginal people (dwarfsgiantstransgender peoplenudistscircus performers) or of people whose normality seems ugly or surreal.".[2] Arbus believed that a camera could be “a little bit cold, a little bit harsh” but its scrutiny revealed the truth; the difference between what people wanted others to see and what they really did see – the flaws. A friend said that Arbus said that she was "afraid . . . that she would be known simply as 'the photographer of freaks'"; however, that phrase has been used repeatedly to describe her. Although some of Arbus's photographs have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction, Arbus's work has provoked controversy; for example, Norman Mailer was quoted in 1971 as saying "Giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child." Others have, however, pointed out that Mailer was dissatisfied with a picture of him holding his crotch taken by Arbus that was taken for the New York Times Book Review

.Arbus was born as Diane Nemerov to David Nemerov and Gertrude Russek Nemerov. The Nemerovs were a Jewish couple who lived in New York City and owned Russek's, a famous Fifth Avenue department store. Because of her family's wealth, Arbus was insulated from the effects of the [Great Depression] while growing up in the 1930s. Arbus's father became a painter after retiring from Russek's; her younger sister would become a sculptor and designer; and her older brother, Howard Nemerov, would later become United States Poet Laureate, and the father of the Americanist art historian Alexander Nemerov. In 1941, at the age of eighteen, she married her childhood sweetheart Allan Arbus. Their first daughter Doon (who would later become a writer), was born in 1945 and their second daughter Amy (who would later become a photographer), was born in 1954.  Diane and Allan Arbus separated in 1958, and they were divorced in 1969.

Photographic career

The Arbuses' interests in photography led them, in 1941, to visit the gallery of Alfred Stieglitz, and learn about the photographers Mathew BradyTimothy O'SullivanPaul StrandBill Brandt, and Eugène Atget.[1]:129[16] In the early 1940s, Diane's father employed them to take photographs for the department store's advertisements.[5] Allan was a photographer for the U.S. Army Signal Corps in World War Two.[16]

In 1946, after the war, the Arbuses began a commercial photography business called "Diane & Allan Arbus," with Diane as art director and Allan as the photographer.[5] They contributed to GlamourSeventeenVogueHarper's Bazaar, and other magazines even though "they both hated the fashion world."[10][17] Despite over 200 pages of their fashion editorial in Glamour, and over 80 pages in Vogue, the Arbuses' fashion photography has been described as of "middling quality."[18] Edward Steichen's noted 1955 photographic exhibit, The Family of Man, did include a photograph by the Arbuses of a father and son reading a newspaper.[6]

In 1956, Diane Arbus quit the commercial photography business.[5] Although earlier she had studied photography with Berenice Abbott, her studies with Lisette Model, beginning in 1956, led to Arbus's most well-known methods and style.[5] She began photographing on assignment for magazines such as EsquireHarper's Bazaar, and The Sunday Times Magazine in 1959.[6] Around 1962, Arbus switched from a 35 mm Nikon camera which produced grainy rectangular images to a twin-lens reflex Rolleiflex camera which produced more detailed square images.[6][19][20]

In 1963, Arbus was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for a project on "American rites, manners, and customs"; the fellowship was renewed in 1966.[8][21] In 1964, Arbus began using a twin-lens reflex Mamiya camera with flash in addition to the Rolleiflex.[19] Her methods included establishing a strong personal relationship with her subjects and re-photographing some of them over many years.[6][10]

During the 1960s, she taught photography at the Parsons School of Design and the Cooper Union in New York City, and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island.[14][22] The first major exhibition of her photographs occurred at the Museum of Modern Art in a 1967 show called "New Documents," curated by John Szarkowski. The show also featured the work of Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander.[11] Some of her artistic work was done on assignment.[11] Although she continued to photograph on assignment (e.g., in 1968 she shot documentary photographs of poor sharecroppers in rural South Carolina for Esquire magazine), in general her magazine assignments decreased as her fame as an artist increased.[6][23] Szarkowski hired Arbus in 1970 to research an exhibition on photojournalism called "From the Picture Press"; it included many photographs by Weegee whose work Arbus admired.[14][16][24]

Using softer light than in her previous photography, she took a series of photographs in her later years of people with intellectual disability showing a range of emotions.[11][25] At first, Arbus considered these photographs to be "lyric and tender and pretty," but by June, 1971, she told Lisette Model that she hated them.[19]

Associating with other contemporary photographers such as Robert Frank and Saul Leiter, Arbus helped form what Jane Livingston has termed The New York School of photographers during the 1940s and 1950s. Among other photographers and artists she befriended during her career, she was close to photographer Richard Avedon; he was approximately the same age, his family had also run a Fifth Avenue department store, and many of his photographs were also characterized as detailed frontal poses.[10][19][26] Another good friend was Marvin Israel, an artist, graphic designer, and art director whom Arbus met in 1959.[1]:144[26] 


Arbus experienced "depressive episodes" during her life similar to those experienced by her mother, and the episodes may have been made worse by symptoms of hepatitis.[6] Arbus wrote in 1968, "I go up and down a lot," and her ex-husband noted that she had "violent changes of mood."[5] On July 26, 1971, while living at Westbeth Artists Community in New York City, Arbus took her own life by ingesting barbiturates and slashing her wrists with a razor.[5] Marvin Israel found her body in the bathtub two days later; she was 48 years old.[5][6]


Here's to you Diane- 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography black and white have a nice day photography Thu, 14 Mar 2013 23:20:46 GMT
Fog Island Seal Cove Pond in the Rain

Fog Island Seal Cove Pond in the Rain

Coming into the foggy season- nothing makes me happier than a foggy day! Have a good one yanks!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography Seal Cove pond Tremont Tremont Maine black and white black and white Maine photography have a nice day Wed, 13 Mar 2013 22:43:33 GMT
I photographed Annie Leibovitz and Didn't even know It Right then- so I was just looking through my Lightroom catalog for an old Iphone photo and I found these images from this past last summer when on one day on the the way to work, after parking the car, I came across this monster photo production where these guys had the whole kit and kaboodle and were photoing some like J Crew action or some crap and I just figured to make some Iphone snaps of it because. Long story short- just yesterday I was watching an Annie Leibovitz presentation about her book "Pilgrimage" and therefore just today when I saw these pictures I was certain that it was her, check it out, you tell me: this is what I first saw

the whole shebang: fans, diffusers, sunshade for camera-

closer crop, it's just an Iphone4, wish I could do you better- 

switched it out of Hipstamatic mode and to normal camera- and there she is for the first time but wait till you see this next one: 

see what I mean- that's her on the right. So I zoomed to 100 percent: 

I don't know if it would stand up in court but it certainly looks like her. This is her: and here's one in profile if that helps-

I think I remember asking one of the lackeys what the job was, but there's nothing there to speak on now. So even though that guy has the camera I figure she's directing the shoot. And her hair is tied back and a little healthier then it would seem from the pictures available of her on the interwebs, but I swear it's her. So what do you think? Is it her or is it just a stylist? I know this kind of stuff doesn't matter much, and I'm sure you'll all find something much more pertinent to your present learning curve in the next webpage that you end up at, I'm just liking to think that I actually was this close to one of the most celebrated photographers in contemporary American photography. And didn't even know it. :-) So the lesson here is?- do your homework, so that at least you can know if you are in the presence of greatness that then you are in the presence of greatness. 

Last one- I think I was most taken by that AC's awesome monitor hood. But here she is again telling them all to do something awesome so she can get out of debt, eh? So whattaya think, is it her?

Oh and here's a link to that talk I was watching yesterday on the youtube: 


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Annie Leibovitz Bar Harbor Maine Maine have a nice day Tue, 12 Mar 2013 22:54:38 GMT
Pier Review

Pier Review. Near the Astoria Bridge (Washington side) off highway 101. If you like old piers- go to the Pacific Northwest. Just sayin'. 



[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Nate Parker photography Oregon Pacific Northwest Pacific coast highway Washington have a nice day highway 101 long exposure piers rotted piers seascape Mon, 11 Mar 2013 22:29:53 GMT
Giant Prints of Old Ladies on the Side of a House Over the Water- Provincetown, Ma.

Giant Prints of Old Ladies on the Side of a House Over the Water- Provincetown, Ma. 

They feel a little bit in the style of Dorothy Lange, if I may be so generous. Whatever happened to the WPA anyways?- or the concept of having a government agency hiring a couple dozen awesome contemporary photographers to go around America and photograph where we are right now. Are you telling me that in the 1930's the government thought photography was more important than it is now? Maybe now they are just "appropriating" images off the Flickr etc. but I'm all for making a modern take on the Farm Securities Administration's photographing of America in these changing times. Anybody know who to get in touch with about that? Anybody else have any good ideas?

Now here's a pretty great old Ansel Adams T.v. show that I just saw on the Youtube which I hadn't seen before to take us into the weekend- and I never realized he was such a good piano player. The soundtrack is a bit heavy but the content is worth it. Have a good one- Nate.


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography black and white have a nice day photography Fri, 08 Mar 2013 22:14:26 GMT
No Parking

No Parking. Provincetown Municipal Pier, Cape Cod. May the force be with you. -Nate.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Cape Cod Nate Parker photography Provincetown black and white have a nice day life on the coast long exposure ocean pier Thu, 07 Mar 2013 22:44:34 GMT
Ice Shack T.v. and the Legend of Carleton Watkins

Ice Shack T.v. -Of course it's got a flatscreen.

Check this one out: here's a photographer that's new to me: Carleton Watkins (1829-1916), a landscaper from the late 19th century who made lots of work in California and the Yosemite area on wet plates on his "mammoth camera".  A buddy of mine who went to school for this stuff was telling me about him yesterday so I looked him up and can't stop thinking on him, here's why: according to the legend and backed up by the Wikipedia here: he was a successful and influential photographer who had a hand in having Yosemite established as a national park and had a successful studio in San Francisco but then suffered financially due to poor decisions and lavish sensibilities, but the kicker is: when San francisco suffered the massive earthquake of 1906, and subsequently the city burned, he lost everything and every last negative or plate he had left- and he went mad!- and was committed to the Napa state hospital for the insane where he died a decade later. A morbid and visceral reminder to back up your files reduntantly and keep one off site copy! Good lord man, what a horrible story! So there you go, with that little gem in mind: have a nice day! -Nate.

Carleton Watkins (title unknown)

Yosemite Falls ca. 1878-1881

View from Sentinel Dome, Yosemite 1865-1866

title unknown

title unknown

"Coast View #1, 1863"

Multnoma Falls Cascade, Columbia River, 1867 Carleton Watkins. (from the Metropolitan Museum of Art NY website): In 1867, Watkins made a four-month trip to Oregon and the Columbia River. Josiah Whitney accompanied him for the first month and helped finance the excursion. Watkins had photographed the Nevada, Vernal, and Yosemite Falls before he went to Oregon; on those occasions, he either described the waterfalls as elements within broader landscapes (on the mammoth plates) or made close-up shots of the water roaring over the rocks (for stereo viewing). In this marvelously minimal photograph, he seems to have applied the simplicity of effect he usually reserved for stereographs to the monumental mammoth plate; boldly reducing the cascade to its essentials, white water cleaves dark rock in a single stroke, like liquid lightning.


Half Dome Yosemite Valley California, ca. 1867

title unknown

Yosemite Falls ca. 1865

Carleton Watkins with some of his kit

Watkins, 78 years old, and assistants fleeing the oncoming fire that accompanied the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Most of his fragile glass plates and his studio were destroyed in the calamity and he died penniless in an insane asylum a few years later.


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Wed, 06 Mar 2013 23:56:04 GMT


I don't usually photograph birds and or wildlife, but when I do- I pine for a 300 2.8, or even better a 500 4.0. That's typically why I don't usually try to get these kinds of photos, I just don't have that reach out and touch someone ability of the long lens. This is a 100 percent crop of a 100mm 2.8 and I was standing about 40 feet back from the tree that this guy was sitting in, he was up probably 30 feet off the ground and hung out there for a good five minutes or so to give me time to change lenses out from my wide that I was just using that also had a ten stop ND on it (wouldn't have worked at all!) and time to get my exposures right (he was crazily back light by the sun which was directly behind him but there were breaking storm clouds that would go from completely blocking the sun to screaming brightness a second later- started shooting in Manual mode but quickly switched to Aperture priority). I had just come around the corner driving back from making some more ice shacks photos and what I saw up in this tree from half a mile out or so was either a fire hydrant, a giant cat stuck up in the branches, or a bald eagle. And there are a bunch of BE's that hang out around this spot because they fish out of the open water that flows out from Seal Cove Pond here, you can often see pairs of them sitting on the edge of the ice doing there thing. So if I ever wanted to make BE pictures I would loiter there. Maybe someday. They (the bald eagles) are completely magnificent birds that I try not to take for granted, sometimes it seems that I'll see one everyday- but having lived in the Boston area for most of my life before moving to Maine in the 1990's I never used to see them ever. I still remember the first time I looked up into a tree after just arriving in Maine, hiking along the ocean in Acadia, and here was a giant and incredible bald eagle that had me floored in amazement. Now I think of them as good luck omens. And there you have it. This will probably look good enough compressed to the web, but I wouldn't want to try and print it large- that's reserved for the land of those big long white-barrelled L lenses. That's it for now- have a good one peoples. -Nate!

Eagle Eagle!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Bald eagle Bald eagles Maine Nate Parker Photography black and white eagles have a nice day Tue, 05 Mar 2013 16:37:29 GMT
Spruce Reflections in Maine Ice

Spruce Reflections in Maine Ice. Typical of the between winter and spring time that is now here.

At least I'm not showing you all the mud. There is so much mud here now that when I was backing out of the driveway yesterday to run to the store my little "grocery getter" car sunk down into the muck and before I knew it the bumper cover was almost totally ripped off- I found that out upon getting home from the store so the more ridiculous part is that we drove around like that for the 20 minutes it took to make the trip. So embarrassing! Do not park there. At least it's not a sinkhole. Be safe out there fellas! and have a good week- Nate from Maine, USA.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Maine Maine winter Nate Parker Photography black and white have a nice day ice ice reflections Mon, 04 Mar 2013 22:49:43 GMT
The Deep End

The Deep End. 300 seconds at dawn at Seawall in Acadia. ND 110 iso 100. 24mm T-se.

Too tired for words. Be back next week- save a place for me, and have a good one, -Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Nate Parker photography black and white have a nice day Fri, 01 Mar 2013 22:55:18 GMT
Shelf Life

Shelf Life. 190 seconds from Seawall in Acadia, super low tide at f/8.0 iso 100, 10 stop ND, 2 stop GND.

Right then, so every year about this time I get tired of the beard and in celebration of the feeling of spring I shave it off in various stages eventually getting back to being regular faced. So in conjunction with finding a new wicked cool tin-type film pack on the Hipstamatic I hereby present you with my three versions of face fuzz for this year: 

version 1.1 big-beard.

version 1.2 inverted goatee.

version 1.3 'stache!

Which one do you think I should go with eh?


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Maine Maine coast Maine seascapes Mansett Nate Parker Photography Seawall Seawall Acadia Southwest Harbor Maine black and white coast of Maine have a nice day lowtide seascape Thu, 28 Feb 2013 20:36:33 GMT
Frozen Windows Frost shapes

Frozen Windows Frost Shapes- from 2007 made with my old Canon Digital Rebel XT with the kit 17-55. 

Snowing again here in Maine tonight. Wet, sticky stuff with no wind: feel like making pictures tomorrow. Have a good one my friends.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography black and white frost frosty windows have a nice day maine photography windows winter Wed, 27 Feb 2013 23:23:45 GMT
The Bottom of the Sea at Dawn

The Bottom of the Sea at Dawn

I don't always produce color imagery, but when I do it's usually a scene at dawn. This was a super low tide at "Seawall" in Acadia where I was able to walk out to a spot I've never been before, a place that was so low that if the tide did decide to come in suddenly, in more of a rush than usual, I would have been washed back by a 12 foot tidal wave- so that would be the equivalent of: think on this for a sec= looking up to 2x your height to the top of the ocean (and that's if you're six feet tall). So that is what it is to stand on the bottom of the sea and still be perfectly dry. You're probably thinking I'm making too big of a deal about this- just sometimes it's fun to think of those things. 

Now for something completely different: yesterday something came across my radar whereby a photographer whose blog I was reading mentioned something along the lines of that all photographers are naturally a competitive bunch, and it bugged me a bit. Maybe not because it's true, but because he mentioned it- of course we all want to make the best imagery that we can all the time. We want to make pictures that are National Geographic quality awesomeness that people will remember forever. A photo that is "the" photo of a green pepper. A photo that is the end all and be all of "Horsetail falls" in Yosemite. Now that's another story- getting off the track and gotta get back: I don't know, maybe the reason that we make the photo's that we do is that we saw that image and we want to make it ourselves, just to have it. If that's enough for you then that's enough. But I would offer that the reason that we who make photo's day after day and year after year is to pursue our own personal journey of seeing, and in the meantime we'll make photos of our Mom's and our significant others and our friends and of times in our lives that were important to us and of those postcard scenes, and maybe even make work that eventually has unique vision that is individual and significant and maybe even in some way important. But if we don't become the next William Eggleston or Joel Meyerowitz in our lifetimes then all is not lost, there are still all of those images that we made and it's the others problem for not appreciating them enough if they didn't! Not ours for doing the best that we can do. And that's part of the reason that I'm not looking at as many new pictures these days. I'm trying to be a little bit more independent in my vision. I used to look at tons of photos every day trying to decide what I liked and didn't like- but I've been trying to work on my own images and make more new work instead of looking at others work these days- not to say that you shouldn't keep coming around here avid reader and learner and or curiosity satisfier. Just don't worry too much about the "winning" aspect of doing what you do, eh? Just do because you want to, and we'll all benefit in the end. :-) Seriously. 

Technical notes on the photo: (1.) It's a long exposure. Longer then would be normal for this time of day which would be sunrise with the sun up but behind a low long blanket of clouds where the exposure times normally would be about 1/5 sec at f/16 iso 100 or so but I had a 10 stop ND filter on (ND= neutral density, 10 stops= black glass) that made the exposure more like 250 seconds at f 4.5 iso 400 and (2.) I used a 2 stop graduated ND filter to pull back the brighter sky along with  (3.) Lightroom and Photoshop gradients to attenuate the brightnesses and some dodging and shadows brightening in the raw developer to bring up the darks. 17 mm on 17-40 f/4.0L on Canon 5d2. Long exposures appeal to me because they make normal scenes looks ethereal in that anything moving becomes beautifully blurred. And that's the way I see it. Have a nice day and make some good pictures my friends, and keep on coming back! -Nate.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) ANP Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Canon Coast of Maine Maine Maine coast Maine fine art photography Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Nate Parker photography Seawall Seawall Acadia National Park acadia creativity blog have a nice day maine photography Wed, 27 Feb 2013 00:26:37 GMT
Echo Lake Ice Fog

1/100 sec handheld f/9.0 iso 100 Canon 24mm Ts-e version 1 from 1993. Favorite lens. Those specks on the ice are guys jigging, which means fishing. 

And just so everyone knows, who might not know- there is a wicked good free Photoshop learning event going on over at Creative Live all week long here: Do do that. And have a good one- Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Echo Lake Echo Lake Acadia Maine Nate Parker Photography acadia black and white blog fog fog fog blog have a nice day ice fog maine photography snow fog Mon, 25 Feb 2013 20:56:52 GMT
Ice Shack on Jordan Pond

Ice Shack on Jordan Pond

Went over to Jordan Pond in Acadia the other day (Wednesday? ya I think so) to make one of the last few ice shack pictures of the season. Took the doggy with me: Grover the golden retriever, he's ten now. I don't usually bring the doggy with me because he's got a bad leg from a frisbee accident that happened back in 2005. It's his right rear leg, he can stand on it but he can't feel it, so sometimes he ends up dragging his leg when he gets tired, and that bums me out because then he gets this abrasion on his knuckles there and all. But this time I figured we wouldn't be going too far from the car and it would be fun. This is him : 


Grover feelin it now!

Then when I would set up the kit and tripod he would roll in the snow like a crazy dog! 

Grover rolling in the snow like a crazy dog!

So that was fun. Thing is- there weren't any ice shacks out there anymore, coming to the end of the winter pretty quickly now and the ones that were there were dragged up on the shore. But then I remembered- I had already made this photo! I made it last year- and when I went to look it up today I found that it was made exactly a year ago today on the 22'nd of February. So there you go. And here we are. Soon I'll be able to put the whole ice shack series to bed for the year, that will be nice. Until then, and or anything else- have a good one! 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine Maine winter Nate Parker Photography Winter in Maine black and white have a nice day ice fishing ice shacks photography Fri, 22 Feb 2013 23:02:05 GMT
Jordan Pond Winter Reflections and Ice Detail

Jordan Pond Reflections and Ice Detail

So here's a one that surprised me because when I was photographing the scene that I had planned this ended up right behind me. And since I was making long exposures there was plenty of time to consider this. The location did all the work for me- all I had to do was show up.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Jordan Pond Jordan Pond winter Maine Maine pond ice Nate Parker Photography black and white have a nice day ice maine photography pond ice Thu, 21 Feb 2013 11:15:00 GMT
Beals Island Lobster Dock

Beals Island Lobster Dock November 2011. 

Just got back from photographing at Jordan Pond and until those are done- here's a placeholder and today's picture of the day. Beals Island is off the town of Jonesport Maine and the character of these places is unbeatable if you want to photograph lobstering. Jonesport is still stuck in the 1970's it seems (in a good way), the only really modern thing there is the Coast Guard cutters at the base there. The Maine harbors that I like are the ones that have a bunch of lobster boats but almost no pleasure craft like fancy sailboats or white fiberglass motor boats. And the more gnarly looking the boats are the better- so in those regards Jonesport/Beals is perfect! It's about time to make another trip up there soon. Here's a map link of the place and then I'm out- have a good one! 

Oh!- One more thing, Happy B-day Ansel!

View Larger Map

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Beals island Maine Jonesport Maine Jonesport/Beals Maine Maine coast Maine lobster Nate Parker photography black and white black and white Maine coast of Maine have a nice day lobster maine photography Wed, 20 Feb 2013 23:10:11 GMT
Under the Docks

Under the Lobster Docks at Bass Harbor, Maine.

Figured the holding tank drainage looked like a God-beam in an Indiana Jones movie- I don't usually hang out under the docks, but when I do- (supply your own answer here). Have a good one folksters. -Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Bar Harbor Maine Bass Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker photography black and white have a nice day lobster maine photography Tue, 19 Feb 2013 22:12:01 GMT
Bernard Maine February Twilight

Bernard Maine February Twilight at probably something like 180 seconds at f/11 iso 100 B+W nd110 with "cotton ball" skies moving slowly. 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Bernard Bernard Maine Canon Maine Nate Parker Photography Thurston's Thurston's Lobster Bake Thurston's lobster black and white boats have a nice day lobsters maine photography Mon, 18 Feb 2013 21:40:11 GMT
Ice Shack Ice Fog

Ice Shack Ice Fog Echo Lake

Still working on Wednesdays seascapes, until then here's another ice shack. 

So I got to thinking today on the subject of the social medias and all whereby I've noticed a real decline in comments over on the Flickr and the Google+ Plus mostly I figure either because my quality of share has gone way down- or I'm not quite as involved in the community as I used to be. So I figured I ought to try and make the folk more happy and congenial and all and try and go out of my way to take some extra time in my day and go over and show my support for the work of others. Here's the thing- where the photo sharing sites used to be hugely important to my forming a personal vision, these days I'm trying to actually work on my own work more and even sometimes limit my exposure to what other people are doing to a point, so I'm less on the "huzzahs" and more on the "where am I going" kind of things. So then I thought to myself- if no one ever commented or liked or plus one'd an image I shared, or if no one ever read the words I wrote would I keep making them? Right. As far as I'm concerned- I would certainly keep photographing and probably if there were no other visual comparisons then ultimately I would surely find my own voice because I would be the only photographer in my known world! But I definitely wouldn't attach many words to the cause..

Let's take a step back for a second and consider this from another angle: I used to study music and endeavored to be a performer, so, if I didn't study what was being regarded as the best music then what language would I speak? how would I even approach tuning my instrument? This suddenly is going a little further then I imagined to take it, nonetheless, it's always important to check up on where the state of your art is going- my question is: to what end? 

Whatever that- long story short: I really appreciate it when you guys (and gals, I always just say guys androgynously), stop in and give me a high-five for doing. And I promise to keep the good times rolling on your end as well, as much as I can- but not if it doesn't move me!- I may only be able to summon a "that's gorgeous!" -but consider that since I took the time to kudos you, that it stopped me in my tracks enough to say it. 

So now back to the other thing: I'm a photographer, (here), and I make photographs because I want to capture and show moments in time that have an emotive character- moments that will give a viewer (even if it's only me (consider your family pictures)) a sensation of experiencing the scene: to feel it. So that's why I share- because I want people to see the way I see it and to say "oh that's awesome!" 

Here's to the best camera club in the world: todays internet's! Now time to go look at what you've done today- 



[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Echo Lake Maine Nate Parker photography black and white have a nice day ice ice fishing lake ice maine photography winter Fri, 15 Feb 2013 23:25:18 GMT
POTD: Indecision

Indecision. Cape Cod off season beach lot. 1/125 sec at f/6.3 iso 100. upward shift to straighten lines with 24mm T-se. 

I was intending to post yesterdays morning seascape stuff but it seems that I'm still working on it- not quite sure how to ultimately play those at this juncture, and I was pretty busy today and didn't get enough time to consider them. So that's funny tho because I'm just remembering that some people like to say that they wont take more then 3 minutes on an image otherwise it isn't a good image (slams the gavel for effect@!) But I think that well I know that I'll go back through the calalogs and find old pictures that I had initially discarded and really find a gem in the mix sometimes- and I might spend three minutes on it then and revive it to the top of my favorites or maybe I'll spend a few days weeks and months sorting that bugger- you don't have to do it all at once obviously, and we all see fresher sometimes with a break. So let's not get too worried about the rules and how much time we should give an image before it's done. So maybe tomorrow then, those seascapes aren't really all that, just had a great time doing it.

This from a shooting and visiting trip to Cape Cod to see my folks awhile back- it's really easy for me to see down there- because it's all new turf in a way. Sometimes when I'm really feeling hot in chasing pictures every other place I look has what seems to be a construction of interestings- as if a photographer designed it as a set that I was walking through. I'm sure it's happened to you too- you're looking at this wicked cool thing and you're thinking "hmmm, I bet a photographer set this here to shoot it"- Andy Goldsworthy's et al.s. Heheh- whatever- psyched to shoot that cool lookin thing and run it through my paces!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Cape Cod Maine Nate Parker photography asphalt black and white parking lot photography Thu, 14 Feb 2013 23:47:33 GMT
Trap Keeper I don't know what goes on in here- figure it has something to do with lobster gettings tho. 130 seconds f/11 iso 100 nd110 17mm on 17-40 5D2.


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Bass Harbor Maine Bernard Maine Maine" Nate Parker photography Southwest Harbor Maine black and white black and white Maine have a nice day photography Wed, 13 Feb 2013 22:03:23 GMT
Ice Shack Of The Day

Ice Shack Seal Cove Pond. 5.0 sec at f/4.0 iso 50 with B+W 110 ND. 21mm on 17-40 f/4.0 5DMKII

Technical stuff: sometimes I like to make my long exposures shorter and retain some of the edges of the clouds if there is an angry enough sky- along with a larger aperture that will also soften the plane of the sky, this style of short Le evokes feelings of Wizard of Oz skies or something. 

Also- recently a friend lent me a book about Robert Frank and his making of "The Americans" called "Looking In Robert Frank's The Americans" 

which is an awesome study of black and white photography and America in the 1950's and the amazing character of Robert Frank but what really struck me as the most from flipping through those images was the massive in-your-face, almost sometimes completely visually obliterating- grain. Grain like an eye ball full of beach sand, not to say that I didn't like it- the grain gave some of those images an abstract and impressionistic quality that is completely beautiful. Kind of like this: ( not quite the same on the web, nevertheless..) 

or this: 

Like I said earlier, web compression does these images no justice, but what I'm seeing that I like about the grain is the dimensionality at the transitions of contrasty edges- not to mention the body of the midtones, but that's something else entirely- anyways, our super high fidelity cameras with massively clean high iso's make such a perfect image that sometimes there isn't any depth in the highlight to shadows transitions. It's just a feeling- don't hold me to this in ten years. Our cameras grain, when we can see it, usually looks pretty terrible and not very organic- it's kind of like a bug screen looking feel of the pixels- that's when you push the image too much and make the pixels angry. That's bad. Recently though (which is to say for maybe the last ten 'serious' images I've approached) I've been experimenting with adding just a little grain with my workflow through Nik Silver Efex and I'm liking it. Funny that- honestly I used to think post process added grain was lame, a trick to hide processing errors and just like adding a texture layer, akin to replacing a sky- but now not so much. I'm thinking that the right amount can fill out the body of the specular highlights just right, to gain depth. Well check back with me in six months in regards to this one and see what I say then, but I think this one is gonna stick for a bit. Any thoughts as to adding grain my friends?

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Ice fishing Maine Maine ice fishing Nate Parker Photography black and white have a nice day ice ice house ice shack lake ice maine photography winter Tue, 12 Feb 2013 23:47:41 GMT
B.I.T.: Bass Harbor Marsh  

Bass Harbor Marsh snowfield

Todays potd: made at 2:04 up the street at the Bass Harbor Marsh- I had grand plans to shoot some of the "pure as the driven snow" snow drifts at a couple of different locations this afternoon but when I went to start my little grocery-getter-diesel it didn't even click, although the radio and lights were working... so that worried me, not typical. It's getting up there in the old mileage department but this was a symptom that I would not expect. So even though I was all geared up to hit it and would have just taken the lady's truck I figured to at least take a look under the hood- and this was what I found: 

this should not be here-

So I figured the starter had shorted or something and I set up a hair drier to evaporate the snow that would make it not go, and headed out to shoot for a bit in the lady's truck. Later when I'd gotten back and checked it again it turned over in the weakest of ways so at least nothing was ruined I figure, just gotta give it a jump, so here's what I figure happened: in the 60 knot blizzard winds of the other night snow piled up in the engine compartment and shorted the battery or the starter to the point where it drained it to a trickle- crazy I know, but anybody else have any ideas? Whatever- have a good one champs- Nate!


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Maine Maine" Nate Parker photography Southwest Harbor and black black and white have a nice day white Mon, 11 Feb 2013 21:07:27 GMT
Blizzard of 2013!

Winter Rosebud

Well if you live in the Northeast I hope you like snow! There's a real blizzard with 24 inches of fluffy dry blowing snow expected over the next two days- and I couldn't be happier about that! I've always loved storms if for no other reason than that they bring change and are unpredictable. The power will probably go out and it's definitely no time to be traveling but beyond that I can't wait to see how bad it gets!

Stay safe out there and go ahead and take the weekend off- Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine black and white have a nice day Fri, 08 Feb 2013 21:24:46 GMT
Happy Birthday Ma!


Todays p.o.t.d. is Ma- because it's her birthday, and I love her, cause she's the best Mom in the world! We all say that, but seriously, she's the best! Here's some of the backstory of Ma- her name is Lois, she was born in 1932 in Brooklyn N.Y., she honored her Swedish lineage by going to art school in Manhattan (her grandfather and grand uncles and all were trained painters in Sweden who would paint murals; Ma tells it much more interestingly..) Here's an interesting detail- Ma painted for the popular Cannon textiles company in NY in the late forties/early fifties and she would hand paint box covers that would contain Cannon products- can't imagine an American now in this day and age hand painting a package for a product- whatever the product could be!- not to mention something as ordinary as towels or linens! So then in 1956 she married David Parker (Dad), moved to Stoneham Massachussetts and had three boys which I'm the youngest of. She did a great job of raising us all and from what I can tell she enjoyed it and still enjoys us, even though she has to suffer my follies, the temper of the oldest, and the garbled handwriting and diction of the middle one. Heheh. They'll never read this, I've got nothing to fear. Anyways- Ma still paints a bunch, watercolors, probably one of the more challenging of painters mediums, not that I would know- and I like them, she's got some sweet techniques that make them an immersive viewing experience. They make my best photos look like a robots work. Here's Ma painting iris in the garden:

Ma painting iris in the garden.

She's always making pictures with her little p+shoot cammy and making painting based on those images and I wouldn't be surprised if after she has pointed her camera at you  and clicked the shutter, that you get a gorgeous watercolor rendition of what you looked like at the time! 

Ma, after saying something like: "oh! look at that! Isn't that interesting!"

If I get it from anywhere- I get it from her. Thanks Ma! 

One more: from her to me- from me to her, and from us to you all: Cheers! and have a nice day.


P.s. Enjoy the blizzard tomorrow you New Englanders! Stay safe out there, and make lot's of awesome snow imagery! YeeHaW!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Happy Birthday Ma! Lois Parker Lois Parker Cape Cod Lois Parker West Falmouth, Ma. Lois Parker watercolor Mom Nate Parker photography happy birthday have a nice day pictures of Mom portrait portrait of Mom Fri, 08 Feb 2013 01:20:55 GMT
Woah on the old days of film!, but then again- same as it ever was in other ways!

 Little House on the Ice Long Pond

Todays picture is: another ice shack! Yay!

Here's the way I see it- a while back I figured to make a work on ice shacks- because they almost all have an unique character, and almost always are in beautiful places. And the fog spoke to me, therefore: when the fog speaks- you listen! And in the meantime it gives me direction and something to think about regarding planning a shoot, or I could even go so far as to make like it's a project for a client and take the faux initiative that way- "gotta get the work done and all!" But honestly I've been really enjoying it, where before I would see them [the ice shacks], and appreciate them strictly out of a "that's a cool looking one" stand point. -Now I'm looking at everyone I see and considering lines and angles and backgrounds and weather and times of day and what not, which is just good practice, period. What I mean by that is we get used to seeing things as the things that they are and take them for granted but when we have to look at the things that we are seeing critically then we see them anew like for the first time all over again. Look- I don't mean to get all preachy here: I'd rather listen to a good sermon then give one, so forgive me if I sometimes get all enchanted by a thing, but with photography you can explore and study the things that fascinate you, a real double-whammy bonus in that way! Always curious, sometimes a satisfied photographer, that's me.

Now dig this: here's some nifty bonus materials that I found on the interwebs yesterday- whether or not you like 'The Fro', he does a pretty good job of showing you how it was, or used to be in this video of shooting instamatic film and getting it developed and made this wicked cool vid showing that whole ridiculous process. I used to shoot film on a Kodak instamatic 110 before my voice cracked and I was still sporting tube socks and short shorts, check this style out:

We used to really pull those socks up- for support you know. -1982, with the greatest cat: "Patches" 

I recently found some of the old pictures taken with that 110 and I'll put them up here some other time- but I wonder what I was thinking back then clicking the shutter? Can't quite remember- I remember taking pictures of my dog and the old pictures that recently found that were made with that camera had some suburban landscapes and pictures of some rocks and chipmunks and stuff. Can't even imagine having to rely on that technology now though. So anyways check this viddy out and start it at about 09:30 if you want to skip the rest of the basketball game stuff (worst basketballing and worst pictures I've seen since the 80's that's for sure!), but interesting the rest- 

Ha! One of things he points out is that one of the scary moments is when the negatives pop out of the machine and you look for (1.) exposure: to see if there is even a picture there, and (2.) focus- look through a loupe to see if what there to see is being seen. And seriously, has anything changed?! That's the same thing I'm doing now when I bring the files into Lightroom, getting all psyched to see the thumbnbail, looking promising, but then seeing that I missed focus by just a little bit here or there- eesh! And that's why they call it photography instead of taking pictures- (rolling off the analogy 'fishing instead of catching') it's really a big deal to make all of the elements come together perfectly to make a great image, and it takes a bit of alchemy-to make sure that you're doing everything right on the spot, at the time. That's where practice and knowledge come in, and when all else fails: muscle memory and reactionary instinct may save the day. Then again there's always the fall back tried and true method of 'spray and pray'- whatever works: keep making those great pictures mis amigos, my friends! Because the lord of the pixels knows that I'm tested everytime out there! 

-Right then, and, as usual, have a good one- Nate!



[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Canon Ice shacks Acadia Maine Nate Parker photography black and white have a nice day long pond Acadia photography winter Acadia Wed, 06 Feb 2013 23:30:58 GMT
Duck Brook Cyanopowder

Duck Brook Cyanopowder 74 seconds at f/11 iso 100 24mm Ts-e with a little diagonal tilt for the heck of it.

Oy! Hello my stable-mates (not inferring that anyone of us is even tempered, just a greeting to my upright walking animal friends.) So I've been working on this image on and off since it was made back on the 31'st of December of last year. We had just had our sweet big powder snow fall of the winter of about a foot or so with lots of fluffy blowing drifts and I figured to revisit the 'Duck Brook Bridge in the Snow' shot that I haven't made now for a few years. The fun part of this trip is always the glissade down the hill to the streams edge in the snow. When the powder is deep enough, like it was that day, it's just a few big but slides down the hill- the trick is to not ruin the snow in your shot or go too fast and end up in the water. Here's the thing: I've had the hardest time with this picture since I made it, I just couldn't find the soul in it in post, I could never find the direction to go with completing it. But I still thought it could be a beautiful image even with the clear blue sky that it was that day. The thing is about our winters here is that it gets so cold and so high pressure system after another that more often than not it's a bitter chilly day with bald blue skies. Which isn't usually what gets me motivated to go picture making. But I had this shot here that had beautiful powder and really such a crisp and clean feel of the winter in Acadia and Maine and when I put it through my usual black and white rendition paces I wasn't feeling it- something was always missing from the emotional side of it. So I went at it again today and this time I again approached it with my usual B+W developing order to bring out the shadows and attenuate the highlights and sharpen and d+B etc etc, then it hit me like a ton of elephant's in the rooms to pop it back to blue and just like that, it was done. So that's dumb- because really it looks just a little different from the capture in the first place. There's a lesson in this somewhere maybe? Something about "don't let your process blind you to seeing"- case in point: I used to be an HDR addict! I've been off the HDR now for almost three years. I should get a nice 77mm commemorative lens cap for that or something. You all have your own vices when it comes to your process- fess up: what are your crutches? Hmmm>?

And as usual, have a nice day. -Nate!

oh and here's the original raw file.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Acadia snow Acadia winter Bar Harbor Maine Duck Brook Maine Nate Parker Photography acadia black and white have a nice day maine photography Tue, 05 Feb 2013 23:19:02 GMT
Because It's There: The Bass Harbor Lighthouse in the Mist.

Bass Harbor Lighthouse January Mist. 149 seconds at f/7.1 iso 100 17mm on 17-40L 5D 2.

Ayuh- so last Friday I was lamenting about getting nailed in the face by three fire hydrants worth of full blast seawater after a giant wave leapt up out of the Atlantic to hug me, and my gear. Well this shot was the other time (in the last two months, or years for that matter)- see I usually never get an ocean bath when I don't want one, especially while toting around expensive camera gear, so two times in two months is a ridiculous record that I don't hope to break soon. This time in the photograph above the wave jumped down my back, and I couldn't have been more shocked first at the bucketfull's of ocean that managed to get inside my sweatshirt, and second at how embarrassingly ridiculous of a situation it must have appeared to the rest of the world in the case that anyone cared to be looking. I live around here, grew up on the ocean, I was watching the patterns that day and still I couldn't imagine how so much water could have launched itself onto me at the place where we were set up. Maybe there's an invention of commerce to be found in this lesson? A photographers safety leash or something. Comes in stylish black with red trim for Canon or black with gold trim for you Nikoners, also urban camo for you rooftoppers, and pink- just because. And we could sell them for a bunch because we get to call it "Camera Gear" or "Photography Accessory". Any other good inventions that you guys have thought of (or gals, I say guys referring to include all of you breathren and sistren.) Here's another one of my inventions: "The Beer Bandolier!". Illustrations and description to come...

Have a good one my friendlies and photophiles and be careful out there while you're shooting! -Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Bass Harbor Lighthouse Maine Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography black and white fog have a nice day maine photography Mon, 04 Feb 2013 23:49:09 GMT
Nailed in the face with a wave again while making photos-

Acadia Moods January whitewater

Right then- so in yesterday's post, I alluded to taking another wave while photographing down by the ocean. This time it was to the face- instead of the previous soaking to the back and down the neck. But this time it was a real doozie- think of it like this: imagine being blasted in the face with your 5D mkII (or your new fancy D800 you Nikoners), cause I still love my 5D2 like the day I got it))- on a tripod, with say about 3 fire hydrants worth of full blast sea water for 2 seconds- and that get's close to what it felt like. Now picture me standing on a 40 foot cliff top when that happened and that's the kind of mood that Acadia can have in the winter here. Freekin awesome- but at the same time literally breath taking, salt water drenched, gasping, "didn't see that coming!", fickleness. I mean I can't even begin to worry about my kit yet because I'm so shocked by being in the ocean even though I'm still standing on land, and thank the lord of all things electronic and pixeled that even though the remote shorted out soon after the next few images, everything still worked the morning after following a thorough wipe down and debatterying and a drying out by the heater. But seriously- this is two times in two months here that I've been mostly immersed in the Atlantic Ocean without my choosing, camera in tow- so that's enough of that- can I get a "hey man! hallelujah on that!" Right- with that in mind- keep safe out there my fellow picture chasing fools friendsies! -Nate!

This is the shot I was making when i got nailed- the ocean was telling me this shot sucked! P.s. :I can take a hint-

Acadia Moods January Whitewater II





[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Canon Maine Maine fine art Maine fine art photography Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Nate Parker photography black and white black and white seascapes have a nice day maine photography Sat, 02 Feb 2013 00:37:32 GMT
Ice Shacks On Thin Ice! All the ice shacks sunk last night. That is all that were left out on the ice- the smarter folk dragged them to the shore and staked them, the rest sunk. It went from -20f to +45 and blowing a gale and raining a few inches of warm rain in the space of a few days so I figure what happens is that even though there is 10 inches of ice- the rain collects on the roof and sides of the shacks and pours down the corners and melts a whole and then it's just a matter of time and momentum and they're going down. 

"Doing Their Part To Keep Acadia Beautiful"

Overnight we had 50 knot winds and a German friend of mine thought she was going to Oz and it rained to beat the band. At noon the whole thing started to break up and when that happened I wanted to head out there to get some long exposure cloud whispies streaking by. Eagle lake on Mount Desert Island in Acadia always has a lot of ice shacks so that was where I was headed to continue my current project- when I pulled in there tho the usually busy parking area was packed with people rushing all about and I was even more jacked to get shooting and set up my kit at the car and headed down there and here was this giant frackas of sunk ice shacks and tow trucks and guys in dry suits and on and on. And I tell ya the whole thing would have been a lot more efficient if everyone including the workers working the disaster weren't so busy making pictures with thier phones and Ipads and cameras of all kinds. The only one missing was a large-format-wooden-legged-tripod-shooting old-timer with a beard bigger than my own. Pretty weird deal indeed. Add to that one of the dry suit wearing ice shack lassoers kept blowing an old train whistle while he was out on the ice made an already surreal scene even more surreal-ler. But it did make a great time to make pictures! Then I went on to take another massive wave to the Face down by the seaside that left me gasping like a famished large man eating a New York pizza, that's another story for another time- more on that tomorrow. 

"Ice Shacks On Thin Ice"

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker photography black and white have a nice day photography Fri, 01 Feb 2013 01:22:10 GMT
Curtis Wells

Curtis Wells 1. 24mm Ts-e 5D mkII 1/25 sec f/3.5 iso 1250 on sticks.

Right then- here's the story: I'm only gonna tell it once so pay attention or else just jump ahead and look at the pictures, either way everybody wins! What a world! Where were we... so I was out this morning making to continue my Ice Shacks series, and where everything initially was looking real good for a moody day of ice fog and the such it was blowing a gale and misting heavy so the hardest thing was trying to walk upwind on the slick lake ice covered with an inch of water- slippery and like one step forward a half a step back to say the least. So after a bit of that I figured to go with plan b. Enter Curtis Wells. Curtis is my neighbor and I met him about 8 years ago or so when he was sanding the floors of a place I was working on- and right away he endeared himself to me as a real nice guy with a great warm spirit and a really cool face. Add to that: I shoveled him out a few weeks ago and helped him move a refrigerator so I figured I could call him up and say "Hey Curtis- you mind if I come over and make some pictures of you?" and he would oblige. Here's a funny part- he said on the phone "oh yeah that's great Nate", etc, "I'm just going to be reading in my pajamas"- so I figured that would be just perfect. But he wasn't about top budge out of that bed!- I felt like kind of a heel for making him get up- but it's all in good fun- and I always tell people: "you'll appreciate it later". So Curtis obliged and I sat him facing this way and that and shot him with my 24 then told him to relax and switched to 50 then again at 100. I considered bringing off camera flash but wanted to do environmental portrait kind of stuff and figured natural light would be best then. 

Curtis Wells 2. 24mm f/3.5 1/6 sec iso 1250 and 8 degrees down tilt with slight up shift to straighten the walls.

Curtis Wells 3. 100mm 2.8L Macro IS. 1/30 sec f/2.8 iso 1250.

Curtis Wells 4. 50mm 1.8 1/30 sec at f/2.5 iso 1250.

Then Curtis talked me into making a couple pictures of his car so he can advertise it for sale on the interwebs. So here's his car while we're at it: 

4Sale: Curtis's car- 500 bucks or best offer!

The weather turned better a little later in the day and I went back to pursuing the ice shacks but I'm so glad to have been able to make some images of old C dog- landscapes are great and there is always the next amazing landscape image, but there's something about a persons face that can really make a picture important. 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Bar Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker black and white environmental portrait have a nice day meet neighbors photography" portraits the Wed, 30 Jan 2013 23:50:55 GMT
Because It's There: My Face

My visage in the review screen with some crazy Hipstamatic film border while waiting for the shutter to close.

Here's a completely unnecessary aside: regarding the pronunciation of "Shutter"- as in camera shutter or like storm shutter on an old New England house: how do you pronounce it? Do you say it "Shudder"?, or do you say "shuTTer" more like the 't' in top but not like the 't' in hit? I've been trying to go with actually pronouncing my t's more lately, at least for the last year, but I don't want to come off like a pompous ass just because of it.? I can still do the lazy talking mumbling growl if I have to when the time is right- but, you know what I mean... you know what I mean? So let's get a show of hands- who's for the "T"? 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography black and white have a nice day photography self portrait the beards just about to come off Wed, 30 Jan 2013 03:02:54 GMT
Because It's There 2

Rock Seaside January Snow Fog

Seawall in Acadia National Park during a winter warm up that fogged the snow. 120 seconds at f/13 iso 100. 40mm on my 17-40 f/4.0 with a B+W ND 110. Lightroom 4. Nik Silver Efex. Photoshop CS5. Back to Lr 4. And that's that. End of story. As usual, have a good one my friends- Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Canon Maine Nate Parker Photography black and white fog have a nice day photography Tue, 29 Jan 2013 01:31:35 GMT
Because It's There

Window Steam Dusk Iphone Hipstamatic

Have a good one my friends- Nate.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Bar Harbor Maine Hipstamatic Iphone Maine have a nice day maine photography Sun, 27 Jan 2013 21:40:02 GMT
My This week in Photography: Real First World Problems- You gotta suffer for your art- or that's what they say?- (who's they again?) well I've been workin that angle pretty well this last week with really just one shutter click in the time I saw you last. Which I was going to show you first but because of the way the internet works I'll start with this one- lesson number #1: sometimes you get to see your stock photography out in the real world, which is weird, but at least it wasn't on a condom box-

How weird is that! I made this photo in 2011 and it was and still is one of my favorite color images from that year. This is bizarre though to see it being used in this commercial capacity- of course that's what I agreed to because I wanted the money, and I wish I could be so righteous as to be incredibly selective of how my images are used- I could be obstinate enough to hold out for only the Tate in London or I could take whatever I can get. Who blames me?

So get this: a great friend of mine, who is really my biggest supporter (and she's not my Mom or my gf), sends me a photo on the Facebook that says "hey isn't this your picture?" and I swear it looks like my picture but I still have to go check in Lightroom to make sure-(Ha! it was a couple years ago after all) anyways it is my image- on the cover of a Michelin Atlas, how weird is that! Actually looks pretty good in the area of color reproduction and detail with no discernible printing aberrations. As I remember it I sold this through the stock agency that has 40 or so of my photos as a large file last January abouts and if I remember correctly (I could just go check but I don't want to) I was paid like 150 bucks or so for the image. Ha! So ridiculous! But the dealio is that I can still print it and sell it as a print, which is my only desire anyways at this point, I just can't license it to anyone else for a particular period of time (which I think was something like 2 years), the thing is that the image was pretty much just sitting there and I figured I'd try to put it to work if someone was willing to pay me for it. And the other thing is that I would never have been able to find Michelin as a client myself at the time, I didn't even have a website proper back then- and photography is a supremely expensive pursuit, and I needed the cake- etc. etc. So I know the whole argument of don't feed the vultures and all and I try to respect industry pricing standards regarding photo jobs and what not and such and such. But it still cracks me up inside to look at my picture on the cover of that dumb atlas! 

lesson #2: glass is precious because it breaks! Ouch!! Not the glass you're thinking of my photo friends which in your mind right now is maybe a 2000 dollar 24mm 1.4 or something, no- it's my favorite beer glass that I made for myself at this years hotshop christmas party! See, I'm lucky enough that one of my endeavors is helping work soft glass with a local glassblower a couple days a week and every year I like to make myself a new beer glass, and this years 20 ouncer was the best ever, and it didn't even get hardly more than 3 weeks out of the gate that I smashed it in a stuporous fit somehow because I was trying to experiment with saving money by buying a little bit of bourbon instead of beer.... an utterly embarrassing failure to remember as a personal lesson, at least for a couple months...

So, as it goes, Legend has it that some glassblower long ago, when men wore funny hats, and farm animals lived inside, invented a new form of glass that would not break. And he brought it to King Luencis, or whatever his name was, and showed the king proudly his invention and whereby the King proclaimed to have the glassblower executed on the spot! Because in the Kings mind glass would not be valuable then anymore. Sounds like what's become of the fate of plastic. And that's why we treat our gear with such care. Still it shouldn't be that expensive- we're gettin jacked at the border just because it's called "camera gear", but that's another story for another time. So here's my glass before the ill fated moment of gracelessness:

and after: 

and that's why they call it glass.

The last lesson I had to suffer this week was how utterly dependent I am on having proper internet. Let's call this one lesson #3 I'm a hooked on the internet addict! Ack! We haven't had wifi or any proper internet at the house for the last 5 days! It seriously felt like being in jail after a rowdy Friday night at the cantina in Baja on a long holiday weekend, because I didn't know What was going on in the world! I mean they have wifi on Antarctica for crying out loud, and you know they have wifi in Nigeria, but I was stuck with my 3G Iphone for the past most of a week and my data plan doesn't support that kind of thing- and my thing is photography, and after a point I seriously felt like I was underwater without a scuba tank with no Google Plus, Petapixel, or any of my other daily readers and inspirationalists. I know: real first world problems- get a real problem you say! Well there's plenty of those too, but I have been just hanging my head in the deepest near-depression near-despair that I've recently allowed myself to be in over it the whole thing. Wicked dumb, I know- could have been should have embraced the opportunity and become a better man for it. Whatever. You do that if you want. I want my internet. Maybe now that I've become aware of that particular weakness/disorder I can go about addressing it healthily and maybe make a plan of action that the next time that it may happen I won't allow my self to just fallow and be moribund but that I'll definitely have redundancy's in place to always have a proper high speed connection! Be advised fellow internetarians we're just one glitch away from being cyberspace castaways! What would you do?

Here's a photo for your troubles and thanks for stopping by- 

"Ice Shack at Echo Lake"

Until next time- 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine black and white have a nice day maine photography Wed, 23 Jan 2013 14:45:19 GMT
My Best Shot is the One I'll Make Tomorrow I'm pretty sure Imogen Cunningham said that line- 

Imogen Cunningham -photographer unknown.

but I've heard a bunch of other photographers say that line- and who knows where those colloquialisms come from. Like the one "making out", which used to be American teen talk for kissing and groping, I can't imagine what they would say now- but who came up with that one? Probably someone who never knew what they created in the end. Whatever. Getting back to that phrase tho "the best shot I'll make, I'll make tomorrow"- is a funny one but one that's been starting to bug me because sometimes I worry that "the good shots" are starting to get harder and harder to find. It's either that or the winter's getting me down and the wind-chills are making it harder to want to go out and find them. 

So last Friday of January 4'th I went out to try to address that problem and took 4 hours to try and make imagery that I was at least satisfied with, or if anything else just to practice making pictures which does take enough of a technical skill that it's entirely possible to get rusty or fall out of practice enough to the point where you screw it up royally. Six days later I'm only now starting to like the results better. At the time making them nothing really popped out at me screaming that "here's a winner!" and that was something of a let-down, but 6 days after the fact, where now they are seeming a little better, I wonder if I'm just diluted or if that maybe there is some subtle worth to some of these that was better then I had initially thought. Because certainly that is the biggest challenge to a photograph- a photograph that has good replay value, one where you can look at it and find something new to like about it day after day, and one that doesn't become boring to see a month after hanging it on your wall. 

It's definitely really important to always try to push yourself as a creator to make better and better work, but I think that sometimes the pursuit of better may become dangerous if it threatens productivity- like if I were to refrain from photography too much due to waiting for crazy dynamic skies  then undoubtably there would be missed opportunities, and more dangerously maybe I could become too selective of the windows of productivity- because when you get right down to it there really is only so much time to do the work that we need to. The old carpe the diem thing that we get so nonchalant about hearing really applies here- and I definitely want to be more productive! And there's another problem- where comparing is dangerous- where if I were to think that I should be making more work because I used to make more work, then that could threaten my ego as well. What a complicated existence. And where does worrying get you anyway!? It's definitely important to check and recheck where we are in the world right now, but if your stress becomes painful then that wouldn't seem to be healthy motivation. 

Right then. So with that in mind, on to the pictures! I know- what a bummer of a lead in. Ha! Anyways- Maine Beach Frozen In TIme

"Maine Beach Frozen In TIme" 


Snow Beach, Maine

"Snow Beach"


"Quietside Seascape III"

edit: I wrote this a couple days ago and forgot to hit the publish button, since then it's gotten a touch warmer and I've gotten a bit of my mojo back- part of that had to do with seeing fog in the weather forecast. Had a great morning making photography today and I could have really spent the whole day at it if I hadn't had some family responsibilities to tend to this afternoon- it occurred to me while I was out there that sometimes the hardest thing to get over is just getting out there- once you're out there: 'the world is your oyster!' if you like oysters that is- they're really yummy with cocktail sauce. Until next time- save a place for me- Nate! Have a nice day.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Bar Harbor Maine Canon Maine Maine black and white photography Maine black and white seascapes Maine coast Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography black and white black and white Maine coast of Maine have a nice day maine photography Sat, 12 Jan 2013 22:02:54 GMT
Snow Shadow Abstracts in the Dooryard Wow it has been wintery around here like it used to be way back! We've had a few nice snow's and the last was a real sweet "dumpah" that brought us around a foot of super powdery dry fluffy snow that with the winds blowing 20-30 knots for a few days on, made for some interesting snow shapes and deep drifts. My little Volkswagen was almost disappeared in one of them. The snow has also brought plenty of photographic inspiration, if only I could get over the fact that the wind-chill has been regularly down into the -10's F. You can dress for the cold and you can deal with the wind but photography can be difficult when those wet clingy bits want to keep sneaking around onto your lenses front elements. I don't really mind getting my gear a little moist, my 5D2 can take it apparently pretty well and it sure has, (remember they call it weather resistance not weather proof!), but I don't like being in the kind of weather where I'm forced to constantly wipe the front of the lens with the microfiber because it's so soaked. Here's an aside referencing those last two points: reference #1-- so I was down at the lighthouse a few weeks ago before the snow had fallen and this particular day was thick with a misty fog- I wanted to go visit the most popular lighthouse around which is right down the street from us and because of that I never go there- because I've shot it so much already, I had my 17-40 on due to the weather (versus 24 tilt-shift), and I wanted to make long exposures of the lighthouse but the blowing mist was soaking the front of my lens. I would microfiber it dry and open the shutter but in 10 seconds the front of the lens would be deep with beads of moisture- but: because I was shooting a fairly wide aperture and focused to infinity the moisture did not resolve and the scene was just as it appeared to the eye, misty and foggy and mysterious. Reference #2 as to the weather sealing of the kit: right then, so I've grown up on the Atlantic Ocean and I'm descendent of a line long of seafaring captains and pirates and Coasties, so in that regard one of my top priorities when I'm down by the water shooting is to never have to be rescued or end up in a situation that would not only imperil myself but the lives of others trying to save my sorry ass- so far so good. Not to say that I haven't taken some waves or that I haven't had my fight or flight reflexes kick in at some point or other when trying to make a picture! So on this misty day down by the lighthouse I had been photographing some granite cliff features for a while before making the actual lighthouse shot and the waves were pretty large but I was feeling confident about the pattern and frequencies of them and I set up to make the lighthouse shots and got two in the can before, with my Back To The Ocean, I took a wave over my back that poured easily a gallon of seawater down my sweatshirt and came over my head and thoroughly soaked my kit like a football-game-sized-Gatorade-bucket-dumped-by-the-team-on-the-coach, that had me gasping and sputtering and clamoring for my emergency wipe off towel. (Wipe off the gear, who cares about me!) To add insult to injury I retreated to drier footing and unshouldered my camera backpack which was soaked but fairly resistant in itself and drop it down to get my e-rags out and when I bend over to unzip a pouch a huge gout of ocean pours out of my hood onto my stuff, easily a pitcher of beer's worth, and I was like "What!- come on already!"- and, but, everything was not in the end destroyed! Great success! But not one that I would confidently repeat more than absolutely necessary. That was my version of the "polar bear swim" that some of my fellow "Maineiacs" pretend to enjoy.

On to the pictures- so on New Years day I went out into the yard with something of a numb head from the evening before and what popped right out at me at the time were some beautiful sculpted snow drifts that were forming patterns of shadows from the sidelight sun and right away I was thinking abstracts. The first response was to put on the 24 tilt-shift and do the deception-of-perception trick of making the drifts look like snowy mountains from an airplane but I for some reason chucked that right away and put on my 100mm 2.8 L IS USM, which is my least used but most beautiful lens (in image quality), and focused on extracts of little segments of the lines and shadows. Because it was clean snow in direct sun I needed to overexpose, but not by much, to get the quality of white that I was feeling: 2/3'rds a stop if I remember. Then it was all about playing with different depths of field and playing with the frame by rotating the scene "dutch-tilt-like", or changing perspective view points high to low and all. I was channelling classic b+w photographers while doing this- I was guessing at the time that maybe I had seen something by Man Ray like these that I was making but in the end after refreshing myself with his images and thinking on it more I think I may have been feeling more along the lines of Harry Callahan's nudes more then anything else: On to the pictures for real this time::  

"Dooryard Snowy Abstract Diptych" -slightly different comps, slightly different developments, flipped for diptych.



"Dooryard Snowy Abstract IV"


"Dooryard Snowy Abstract V"


"Dooryard Snowy Abstract VI"


 "Dooryard Snowy Abstract Asymetric Diptych II" I know they're different sizes and that's weird but I saw these in the Lightroom grid view like this and it just felt right.

one more- "Dooryard Snowy Abstract Stems" 

One more thing before I leave you for today, I don't think it's a bad thing to be inspired by the ideas of images or work that you've seen before, or photographers or artists whose work you admire if it leads to good creation. I wasn't directly stealing any particular idea when I was making these- as far as I was concerned photographs like these have been made before, although when I went to look for them I couldn't find them on the interwebs, but that just goes to show my skills as a researcher- and as far as I can imagine nearly every kind of photograph has been made well already so then the reasons we would go to make any particular picture would be more of trying to put our own particular spin on them or to do the style in our own part of the world or to have "that kind of thing" in our own portfolios, or maybe just to hear the mirror slap and the shutter click- there really doesn't need to be more motivation than just that "because we like to make pictures". Personally I really love to work on and develop pictures but that's all after the fact, but if I didn't make anything new then I wouldn't have anything new to work on- and I don't really like to work on the same picture twice so then I look to make new photography of new places and new ideas. Hopefully lots more of that to come! 

Here's your homework, if you should choose to accept it- get tanked on some high test coffee and go faffing around your own dooryard making something interesting- you have as much time as it takes, then report back here when you're done-, this message will self-destruct in our lifetime, have a nice day- Nate from Maine, Usa. 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography abstract photography abstract snow acadia black and white have a nice day images maine of photography sculpted snow snow images snow shadows snow" snowy abstracts Sun, 06 Jan 2013 15:41:58 GMT
My 11 Best Images of 2012 and Why

ya, there's 12- I know.

Happy year everybody- I hope you all can look back at this past year and put a big check in the box next to what says you at least are looking forward to the next one and will approach it with as much enthusiasm as 4 cups of strong coffee/ and or tea daily will allow. ? In my worst years (and I've performed pretty badly for a few of them at least!) I never was of the opinion that it was all a great failure- call me an optimist or call me lucky but a whole years worth of time is big old chunk of time and there are always moments that make the whole thing worth it! The toughest thing for me is going to be making next year even better then the last because I had a good one. I sincerely hope you did too, interloping reader, because its always better for our community as a whole when everyone is happy! I'm not imagining a fantasy dreamlike utopia here where the unicorns are driving on rainbow highways or whatever- I'm just hoping you all can find the simple pleasures of life that make it all worth coming back for more. Do your best next year and I'll promise to at least sometimes try to do the same. 

Right then- with all that ridiculously "bright side of life" Python-skit stuff out of the way- I mean I'm not trying to tell you guys how to live your life here- do whatever you want!- wallow in your own misery if that's what you want!- if that's what makes you happy then just know that all I want is for you to be happy! Maybe happiness is overrated? maybe the real art lies in sloth and pride and lust and greed and wrath and envy and gluttony? Bah- who's to say?

Anyways- this year is the first year that I've gone about making a critical selection of my 10 best shots (images/photographs) of the year (reads 11 in this case because simply I like the number 11 better). This is always a tough call because the whole point is to pick favorites, it would be easy to pick the top 100 or even the top 20 probably but the best eleven (11) is pretty discriminatory, and the idea of "picking your favorite children" certainly applies here. So the ultimate motivation therein is to select images that either are aesthetically nice, or more significantly, images that are important to me for deeper reasons like for instance a picture that challenged my vision and led to a moment of "breakthrough", or transcendence: (per example using my tilt shift lens to exaggerate perspective and scale and enable an abstract way of visual thinking where I actually felt like I was falling through the camera- I just love that lens!) or just simply making a picture that seemed somehow original-! Good luck with that! You know what I mean. But it's also a great exercise- picking the ten best- so here we go: in an particular order that has the most to do with chronology::

#1. Hancock 2 Hancock 2 John Hancock Building Boston Ma, March 8 2012- I live 296 miles from this building but it was a certain destination when back in the spring I was so inspired by my European friends ala Joel Tjintjellar's and Julia Anna Gosporadoux's amazing architectural work, among others, and correspondingly fascinating post production approach that I wanted to try it for myself- and since my family lives in the Boston area, the Hancock Building was the go-to destination. The complications of that 50+ mph winds shoot I detail here: -the crazy fast moving clouds of that day made for some great atmospheric wispies over the building and that combined with a really sweet commercial sale of this print a month later made this a real standout image for me. I was pretty much laying on the sidewalk for this one in the middle of a regular business day afternoon about 15 feet from the corner of the building. Zounds!

#2. Overture (ICM) -(ICM means Intentional Camera Movement) ((where you shake the camera during the exposure and jump and and down and stuff like that to blur the details)). Overture I went on something of an ICM bender from the end of March through April when I was needing something new to do with my camera- ICM imagery is pure painting with light and you never know what you're gonna get until you see the exposure- so it always takes dozens of tries and erratic motions wherein you must look like such the freak waving the camera all around like a fool! But the results are great, when you're in the mood for it= that is to say when there is nothing left to shoot because the skies have been cloudless and dull for weeks and there is no snow and everything else is just dormant and waiting for spring to come but you're just dying to hear the click of the shutter and the flap of the mirror. So this one was one of the first of a set that really worked for me and was just the thing I needed round about that time.

3. Tree Motion Study #6 Tree Motion Study #6

If I had to pick just one then it would be this one- To make this picture I had to hold and swing the camera at about a 40 degree angle because the tree was leaning and almost fallen over- I just really dug the character of the dessicated branches- so to make this shot I held the camera still for about 1 second then slowly panned it up to the left following up the trunk of the tree for one second or so- the result shows definition of the branches and sweeping streaks of the background forest. One exposure of about 30 to get it right. Film would not be good here.

4. Immersion Immersion April 17- we had a great period of fog around here for about 2 months this spring on and off- whenever the fog sets in everything becomes totally magical- the gas station develops cinematic appeal, the most mundane things are enveloped in serendipitous surreality. And the great thing is that you often have lots of time to exploit the effect- as long as the fog lasts that is- which for many days this spring was hours and hours at end. Good times! This railroad-tracks-into-the-sea bit is a boat launch at a boatyard only about 1000 yards from us. 

5. Eagle Lake Acadia Lichen Rocks Eagle Lake Acadia Lichen Rocks

Usually a big motivator in my photography is trying to avoid the cliches or the easy shots- so I try to stay away from the lighthouses and some of the other overshot places around my home of Acadia. But then I realized that I don't really have enough of these or really any good ones to sell as prints to the tourists. This was the beginning of a series of "iconic Acadia" scenes where I shot the more popular carriage trail bridges and ponds and lakes around the park from or near vantage points riddled with tripod holes or padded flat from the loafers of all the point and shooters. The fun part was trying to apply my sense of "style" to the scenes. This was a nasty windy and darkly overcast morning on May 1st that was as cold as February and my intention that morning was initially to make photo's of the moose skull that I found in Baxter laying in the waters of Eagle Lake, but the waves were too big to cooperate so I went to find something else and these lichen covered rocks stood out to me- I like how the scale and weight of them feel to balance the scene and there are tons of nice details in the rocks to get lost in. And this is the blog that I walk around filming myself with the Iphone looking to make this shot-

6. Great Meadow Lily Pads Great Meadow Lily Pads

June 16th- day after my birthday, decided to celebrate that fact by getting up early which is that time of year about 03:00am- which is ridiculous, but summer mornings are always beautiful for photography. So I had this scene on my list of the "iconic Acadia" locations to shoot next and I knew the lily pads would be blooming so I came to this location without even my Muck boots because I knew I wanted to be wading to get this. The tricky part is to not go too deep and you want to check your pockets for all those cellphones and stuff but I would walk aways then probe ahead with the tripod to try and make sure that I wouldn't submerge too far. I just went to check the files to make sure this isn't a 3 shot pan done with my tilt shift- and it isn't: just cropped to 4x5. I do remember that I shot it with the 24 Ts-e and I swear I can feel the sharpness from that lens. As far as realizing this development I applied a green filter in Nik Silver Efex and then dodged up the lilly pad leaves in Lightroom 4 because I wanted them to pop out of the shadows nicely- otherwise I applied a generous medium contrasty curve, pulled back the highlights and applied a grad to the sky and sharpened the details and warm toned the final copy by just a couple points. I hardly ever want any pure paper white in my prints and where the lily pad blossom in the lower right and part of the sky between the mountains is bright- without checking I'm betting that they are more mostly zone 9.

7. Silver Ferns Silver Ferns

Another "if I had to pick just one"- this time because of the silvery, silvery!, midtones, and also because it's not a wide-angle landscape! Something almost completely different for me- actually just something that I don't do enough of- looking down. So this particular afternoon of July 21 it was misting rain lightly and perfectly overcast to go looking in the forest for this intimate ferns kind of image that I was looking for at the time. There are a couple fern groves that are favorites and close to home and I went there and shot all normal and horizontally trying to compose clumps of ferns against the vertical background of woods- which I've done before and it rarely worked out then either- just so much chaos and too many distracting elements. So when I realized that I was parched and didn't bring any water and was all bummed and started to up and leave all disgusted in myself, I came across this little patch of hayscented ferns and was immediately attracted to the delicate foliage and radiating lines. I went with the tilt-shift to affect the sense of proportion and scale to draw attention to that particular frond, and it's since become one of my favorite prints. If I recall correctly the blue filter in Silver Efex created this particular subtle contrast on the green leaves of this fern- sweet! Go blue filter- go!

8. Off The Shelf Off The Shelf

August 5, 2012- 05:24:35 am. More soupy yummy fog- along the Schooner Head Road in Acadia National Park. Not too much to say about this one- it is a 3 image stitch made with the 24 f/3.5 Ts-e: in landscape orientation I shifted the lens from center to the top then to the bottom to make this and blended them in photoshop. One thing that stands out in my memory about this one was that shortly after this shot I was composing something facing out to sea when suddenly the forward tripod leg slipped in its leg lock and the whole kitten caboodle almost went into the drink if I hadn't caught it with the shutter release cable that was still in my hand! Sheesh! Ever since then I hover like an attack hawk over my tripod during the exposures. Yowzas- And then some!

9. Summer Fog Fields Summer Fog Fields

Aug 12. On the way to meet my Ma and Dad for lunch, again the fog was thick like stew!- I took the wrong turn and ended up in the sweetest farm country that I had been through before but years ago, and never would have ended up there otherwise. I saw this scene from the road and pulled off to hop out with my tripod and kit and got my feet soaked in the deep grass by the foggy dew and it became one of my favorite shots of the year. What makes this for me is the fall off of the tilted plane of focus and the highlights in the grass under the hay, which in Maine is pronounced Hi-eee The reason I'm including this in the critical wrap-up I think is the balance that it provides my portfolio in a way that I've got tons of ocean stuff and some tree's and stuff but not much farm- which is a big part of Maine and all, and it's gorgeous, so- more of this. To come. MOTTC.

10. Cadillac Mountain Autumn Brook Extract II Cadillac Mountain Autumn Brook Extract II

Sept 30. A totally simple scene but one that works for me where I like the idea where if you try: you can imagine this as a tree on a high cliff bluff shaking in the wind with clouds moving by.  But it's just a sapling by a running brook. Some of my more successful images this year (in my mind), have been those that have more then one level of interpretation- something that you can look at one way one day and another the next. Replay value and all. Ya.

11. Mood Swings Oceanside Oregon Beach Swing in the Fog

Because it's out of a dream- another reason that I love fog: makes the most mundane thing completely surreal.

12. Rialto Beach Sea Stacks: bonus pick cause that's the way I roll- Ruby Beach Sea Stacks

Nov. 7, 2012. The trip to the west coast was definitely the most inspiring photographic thing for me all year, it became obvious what the value of traveling is, I really must do more of that in the future. All I wanted to shoot out there (the PNW) were the sea stacks, which were completely awesome, and everyone was unique and had tons of personality and I could shoot them for years without getting bored. Loved it- gotta go back there some day! And it's completely different from my part of the world- which in my opinion is the whole point of traveling :-).

So that's it for that- a year down and hopefully more than a year to go- honestly these picks were mostly arbitrary: one of my favorite words for this year!- I could have picked a completely different set of twelve dependent on time and space, but in my place right now these are these. With that in mind it would be totally interesting to me to revisit these picks a dozen years from now, to see that maybe my choice of contrast was too much or that my sense of sharpening was off. Or something like that.

I wish you well in your endeavors- whatever they may be, so long as they are heartfelt and real. In the end I hope your passions are more real and retroactive and rewarding then ever before and that you find your place in the world sooner then you should have to suffer- Whatever it may be, do a good job in it and embrace the new year as a chance again to make things right with the world and find your place in it properly- your's with great respect -Nate.


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Coast of Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography Seascapes of Maine acadia black and white fog have a nice day maine seascapes" Sun, 30 Dec 2012 17:21:16 GMT
Fire Gathering 2012 Meet The Artists Here we go! Every year for the last 4 years or so Linda and Ken Perrin of Atlantic Art Glass in Ellsworth Maine have hosted just the best winter solstice party you could hope to attend that Linda has dubbed "The Fire Gathering". There are glass blowing demos and you can try it yourself if you ask nice, blacksmithing demos, this year there was raku pottery demos and a live band and tons of people came out to warm up around the furnace. It's a wicked great time and the bean dip is out of this world awesome! So this year I played the role of "Television Presenter Guy Nate Parker" and went about meeting the artists and finding out other peoples favorite holiday traditions. Music provided by the house band of A.J. Emmett and Dave Lavalle (can't remember the other two guys names), Phoenix "1901", and Medeski Martin and Wood "End Of The World Party". 


Good times! Happy holidays everybody!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Atlantic Art Glass Bar Harbor Maine Down East Maine Downeast Maine Ellsworth Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography blacksmith blacksmithing blown glass christmas in Maine fire gathering glass blowing glass blowing demonstrations glassblower glassblowing have a nice day holidays in Maine hot glass meet the artists raku pottery Wed, 19 Dec 2012 12:54:32 GMT
Shoot like an Astronaut, how to photograph the apocalypse, and that New York Post image. Hey there there, I'm taking something of a break. My back's been killing me from when I threw it out picking up my dog to wash him in the tub, the weather and the environment have been "between" seasons for the last few weeks, and there's just been no burn or desire to make new images for me for a while. So I'm not going to force it or worry about it or make it a thing- I'm just gonna rest. I did go out and make some abstracty blurry stuff for a bit last week but I haven't even downloaded the card yet- that's where I am right now, just restin'. But in the meantime I still have had my eyes open and here's some of what I saw last week that was interesting:

1Shoot like an Astronaut!: Here's the NASA Astronauts Photography Manual by Hasselblad! Hasselblads, Astronaut's, Space Shuttles, and High Earth Orbit are all awesome things so you can't go wrong with this read:

2. How to Photograph the Apocalypse: I suspect we'll be seeing a lot more of these kinds of tutorials in the coming weeks as Armageddon and the end times and perhaps our greatest photographic opportunities will be rearing their Hydras many heads and splitting the Earth in two and providing all kinds of can't miss shots on or about the 21'st of December. Don't forget to have a good media back-up strategy in place for that day and perhaps considering making prints of all your favorite images before then because when all else fails I wouldn't expect the binary system to soldier on unaffected. 

3. How bout that whole New York Post subway photograph "doomed", and the resulting outcry- this is the most terrible of stories- the whole thing is a sad tragedy, it's all terrible- but the part that made me dwell on it the most was the way the public so vilified the photographer. I've been reading about this for some days now since it happened and only just minutes ago watched the interview with the actual photographer. The associated comments and other anecdotes that they've raised have been really compelling and in the end I can't help but think this: if a journalistic photographer doesn't make images of the news happening before him or her and instead becomes the news then there will be no more journalism? This whole thing sucks- The Post ran a truly tasteless cover sensationalizing a horrible moment that no New Yorker or any body else for that matter wants to see or imagine. This isn't like that horribly sad image of the young girl running naked after being napalmed in Vietnam or even those old Weegee pictures of murder victims in 1940's NYC, I don't really know how to put it into words why I feel it's such a bad picture, maybe that's why I keep thinking about it. There is cell phone video footage of the subway platform there from before it happened from other bystanders and there were other people closer to the situation then R. Umar Abassi was- in the photograph that was run on the cover of the Post there is an Obvious lack of anybody seeming to help- almost as if the place was empty besides Mr. Abassi, but it wasn't, and by his remarks there were all kinds of folks documenting the dead body on the tracks when the EMT's were assisting- they are the one's that should be castigated!. And he is the one victimized- even more so then the maniac killer lunatic who was the one who pushed the victim. Freekin terrible the whole thing. But to recapitulate my point that I probably never capitulated well in the first place- Mr. Abassi is a journalist: his job is to make pictures of the news, that's what he did. The world needs more hero's. We all do the best we can, hopefully someday we can all be "Johnny on the spot" and really make a difference, but if all we can do is react with our reflex to photograph instead of lend a helping hand then the world is indeed a different place- because just know that the guy with the 70-200 who is way down at the end of the platform will get a better shot then we will and that it will have nice telephoto compression and we can just focus on helping the victim. Remember your places people- photographers photograph, policemen police, cooks cook, no matter who we are, we'll all do the best we can to help you- now for the ultra cheesy wrap-up line: "Don't Kill The Messenger". 

Be well, do good things, and take good pictures. -N8

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[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Maine black and white creativity blog have a nice day maine photography Sat, 08 Dec 2012 22:17:17 GMT
Some favorite recent Iphone snaps from Boston, Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard I love shooting snapshots with my Iphone and Hipstamatic which I raved about here: it really puts the fun back into funtography. Ouch. 

Of course we're all going to go out tomorrow and set up our sticks and shine on our filters and say that we're going to make a really important picture, like along the lines of the Eisenstadt Times Square VJ day kiss or something like that, but I would submit (getting off the track here a little bit) that the most important images that we as photographers will produce will be the one's of our loved ones. It's our job as photographers to shoot pictures, but sometimes when we (more properly reads: "I") get into the super serious mindset of making only "fine-art" imagery- only "important" images then I don't make enough pictures- pictures for fun like. So that's where your super cool cell phone camera comes in- I mean these mobile phone cams are arguably if not definitely better then the first "pro" model digital cameras that were on the market 12 years ago, they're ridiculously good! And throw into it the super awesome apps that give you a look, whatever it is, which does a better job at developing or post processing your images then the guy at the one-hour-photo did, then we should all be firing off as many shots as we can with these things! No tripod- no filter cleaning, plugging in the shutter release- settings -focussing, none of that: just making photos for fun. I can't even begin to imagine how good these little cameras are going to be another ten years from now. Holograms, tactile reference points, smell, sound, 4 dimensions- will all be passe' by then! Embrace the now people! Before it's too late!

Oh and one more thing- there's never any sensor dust! Yeah!! Here's some of my favorites from a week ago when I went to Boston and the Cape and Martha's Vineyard to see family and my buddy Garsh for Thanksgiving. 

"Boston Jet"



"A Weird East Boston Version of Stonehendge or Something?"

"Rotten Piers, East Boston"

"140 ft Tall Gigantic Towers of Effluent at the Deer Isle Sewerage Treatment Facility in Boston Harbor"

"Boston Fuel Trans"

"Late For Martha's Vineyard Ferry"

"Ferry Bow Wave"

"My Buddy Fargarshio Is Like "I Can Do That.""

"The Infamous Chappaquiddick Bridge"

"Chappaquiddick Sunburst"

"My Buddy Fargarshio Making Like This Was All His Idea"

"Accidental Self Portrait"

"Chappaquiddick Lady With Dog" Here's where this whole thing get's palpable because I set about making "real" images of this boardwalk with my "real" camera and the results weren't close to how much I like this shot- which is just about my favorite image of the whole week- ! Who's laughing now? And what does that expression mean anyway?

"I win the biggest and heaviest tripod contest"

"Martha's Vineyard Beach Path Over the Dunes"

"Sky Flier"

"Vineyard Dunes"

"Nameplate of The Ferry Home"

"Just In Case"

"Why Do They Call It A Wake Anyways"

"Toll Booth Willy" -I've been making photograph's of the interesting looking toll booth takers on the interstate occasionally for the past few years, getting my monies worth and all, it's not really fair though- I mean I ask them before doing it but they are just sitting ducks there- not quite like the perfect decisive moment kind of street photography thing- but there sometimes are some pretty cool looking folk in those little boothies.

"The School I Grew Up In" -formative moments.

"Old Orchard Beach Kid And Birds"

"You Do Not Want To See This In Your Rearview Mirror. Ever." And he wouldn't even let me make a picture of him! He laughed though after he said "No!" and I did too- there's that.

And there we have it. Here's another thing I just thought of: ego motive:: if you really like one of your cell phone pictures then someone else says it's sucks- you just say "hey man, it's just an Iphone picture"! Yeah! That one's for free.

I almost feel like my work is done for this year. That I should just let brown-stick-season be and wait for winter to come and feel good about what I've made this year and not stress about finding and making my next "serious" picture. Maybe I'll go to Bangor and shoot the local color there or something for fun (which could be really pretty interesting!...), or go shoot more of the old abandoned military bases scattered around Maine. The whole time though I won't be far from my Hipstamatic and the Claunch 72 monochrome "film"- love that!

How do you guys use your phone camera's and do you think that important imagery can be made on a cell phone camera? Comment me your opinions if you got one- 

Have a good one and thanks for stopping by -Nate!

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Bar Harbor Maine Boston Cape Cod Cape Cod photography Chappaquiddick bridge Hipstamatic Hipstamatic Iphone Iphone Iphone camera Iphone photography Iphoneography MArtha's Vineyard photography Maine Martha's Vineyard Martha's Vineyard ferry Nate Parker Photography black and white camera phone photography cell phone photography creativity blog have a nice day Sun, 02 Dec 2012 19:52:33 GMT
Black and White Shop Talk- Old Orchard Beach From Capture to Adding the Vignette

Old Orchard Beach boardwalk before and after-

Hey there folksters- figured I'd do a before and after of the Old Orchard Beach boardwalk shot and talk a little bit about my workflow regarding making a black and white picture. Oh boy! Grab some knockwurst and 3 beers and put some Bjork on the Itunes and we'll get right down to the nitty gritzorz! The focus of this will be the post process stuff using Lightroom 4 and Nik Silver Efex and just a touch of Photoshop, I'll talk a little about the capture (making the picture), but this isn't meant to be a long exposure tutorial- that should be a separate affair that I'll get into at some other point in our long-lived lives to come. Sweet!

Right then- here we go! So I've been wanting to shoot the boardwalk at Old Orchard Beach down in Saco Maine for a while now, it's about 3.5 hours from me and where I'll fairly regularly go to the Boston area and the Cape to visit family, I rarely want to stop halfway there because I usually like to just get the horrible driving and traffic etc behind me, but this time on the way back home I decided to take an hour or so off and give it a go. Sunday at about noontime I pulled up to the pier in Saco and found a parking spot right off the beach now that it's the off season- good start! I pulled on my Muck Boots and started setting up the kit in the parking lot and right away this beach creature with a beer-in-public approached me and started talking my ear off explaining how bad his hangover was today etc- which was weird and kind of off putting and he wanted to be my best friend so that was tough to let him down gently but whatever- I have enough friends. So, it was high noon, it was bright, it was windy, and the bums were out- all my least favorite things when it comes to photography. The sun was shining on the storefront side of the boardwalk and the opposite side which is the rear of the boardwalk but has almost nicer lines and details, was in deep contasty shadow. The cloud cover that day was real sparse but not too bad- ideally there would have been low and quick moving cloudlets that would make a fanning motion pattern in the long exposure, or fog, but that wasn't about to happen for at least a few hours and I didn't have the time or patience to wait so I had to make do with what there was. The shot that I have seen of the OOB boardwalk that I like the most is one from the backside of it putting the pier at an oblique angle and minimizing the background to just mainly the sea, but this side was in too deep of a shadow in the current light conditions to consider starting there- I did make some shots from that side of the pier that I like enough but this bright side was the one that I chose as my pick and my focus. I shot the sunny side of the pier up and down the beach from a variety of angles and it was only the last few exposures that I made where I found the nice ripples in the foreground in the sand to balance the composition. And it was the arrayed pattern of the ripples that seemed to compliment the shapes in the clouds in the sky above the boardwalk that attracted me to this scene. So that's the composition side of things, we're good there- the next things to consider were the exposure and camera settings. 

I use a dedicated black and white mode on my 5D MKII often to help with visualization, I keep that in my C3 custom functions settings on the mode dial and I have that setting tuned to +2 contrast with a white balance shift to blue and a digital red filter applied that will make nice and dark and dramatic blue skies. I don't always use this b+w mode but it sure helps with inspiration sometimes when checking your reviews screen. The exposure problem here that day was that there was direct sun shining on the white painted surfaces of the boardwalk store fronts- sure it was low angle winter sun but it was still mighty brightly lit in the area of brightness- and that was my foremost concern for setting my exposures. I usually use matrix metering for the most part as the my light meter but I'm going to go to spot metering from now on (I used to only spot meter a few years ago but I figured the newer metering technologies must be better, forget it- I always think: where is the exposure most crucial and check it there but might as well just use the spot meter right off to get it.) As far as my exposure preference sensibilities are concerned (because everybody's different, this is just me): I don't ever want any "pure paper" in my images, which is to say that I never really want hardly any true whites- I like just a hair backed off from there- and that's the way I ultimately think about my images exposures: I think about them as potential prints. So the brightest part of the image was going to be the last building on the boardwalk as well as some of the painted white trim along the railing of some of the other structures. So I exposed for them and let them clip just by a teeny bit- I use the Highlight Warning setting on the Canon's review function which in combination with checking the histogram gave me the confidence that in post they would be bright but not actually blown out. You can allow a fair amount of "blinkies", which is what we call the Highlight Warning feature, in your exposure safely. Lightroom 4 does a genius job of recovering those seemingly blown out areas without you doing any work on the image- often times what is blinking on the cameras review screen will not be "blinking" in Lr4. Which is good. Just a couple more details about the capture and we'll get to the development- so I wanted to make a long exposure to work with the water under the piers and the few clouds that were in the sky above the boardwalk- I did end up waiting for 10 or 15 minutes to let a bank of clouds climb up over the roof but then in order to have a sufficiently long enough exposure using my 10 stop ND filter I was forced to stop down to f/18 and use ISO 50 to get 37 seconds of open shutter- that's how bright it was. F/18 is not my favorite aperture so this was a consideration that would need to be looked at in post. So lets go to Lightroom!

First I had to drive home. Then I had a beer. Then for safety sake I had another, so in post when I develop an image I do a number of things the same almost regardless of what it is that's in the picture- but then again I only shoot a few different things-? Anyways the first thing I do is judge the Exposure- this is an arbitrary thing. Everybody has their own idea of a good exposure even though for the most part usually a good exposure has a good true white (remember what I said about that earlier) and a true black and those 2 places are empirically visible on the tool that is the Histogram which in, Lightroom's Develop module, is the graph on the top of the tool workspace. The far right is pure white and the far left is the pure black and everywhere in between is all the colors of the black and white rainbow! Romantic isn't it? So with that in mind- all of my Histograms have a little space at the far right to keep that pure paper white out of my prints. The first thing I did to the image was to make a global Exposure adjustment of +90 for the right overall feeling for the scene- because of the bright areas on the storefronts I was apparently being extremely cautious about blowing the exposure out there, after all that's where the heart of the details lay in this composition. The good thing is that the sensor, (the film), in my camera is pretty excellent, so to make an exposure attenuation of almost a whole stop doesn't introduce any palpable noise at all and I probably could have pushed it almost 2 stops without having to deal with noise issues much- not to say that you shouldn't try your hardest to make a proper in-camera exposure, just showing you the possibilities. Then I made a Highlight adjustment of -36 to bring back those storefronts to a normal brightness, then a Shadow adjustment of +22 to bring some detail back into the areas under the pier. I routinely zoom in to a 100 percent loupe view to check for noise and check how detail is rendering and to check edges for halo's of any kind. I also routinely evaluate the thumbnail image while making changes to see how the feel of the scene is from "far away", it's always useful to like step-back from what you're working on to get a better idea of what you're looking at or get a better overall perspective. Lightroom 4 has a sweet Chromatic Aberration removal tool in the Lens Profile dialog that works a treat for your edges- there'll almost always be some amount of magenta or green tinge to high contrast edges that this tool will fix and help with the detail definition, so hit that check box. Allright now I'm kind of forgetting my place here but herein is a point: you don't necessarily have to do any of these adjustments in any kind of order although it helps to do certain things before other things because making one adjustment will have ramifications on other aspects of the image. And the way Lightroom is laid out is to move down through the tools throughout the Develop module making one adjustment before the other. But I've developed my own approach that I feel most comfortable with and you may find your own approach is more comfortable, anyways... So before this point I did Sharpening. And here is a point of contention for some as some people only sharpen as the very last step and then only depending on the ultimate choice of application (whether or not it's meant for the web or for a print and if it's a print is it a big print or a little print, etc.) But I like to sharpen fairly early on as I can't hope to see the scene unless it's happy on my eye's! And all digital image files need a fair amount of sharpening to look correct. So I'll do sharpening right after global exposure adjustments and after adding a teaspoon of Clarity (+22 here). I'll often only use a sharpening amount of @+45~55 but this time with this particular distant details subject i used an amount of +92 (I know, seems like alot!) also it's that f/18 that caused that desire!- with a radius of 0.9, detail left on 25 and I always add a Sharpening Mask whereby while holding down the Option (alt) key you slide the mask amount to the right while watching where the actual mask is being applied- don't sharpen skies or open field, just sharpen edges- but then watch for haloing in the image in 100% loupe view to make sure the amount of masking is correct. Sharpening is crucial for digital images and a correct amount of sharpening will make the image pop and have the correct amount of microcontrast. Too much sharpening has a garish result and not only will introduce noise but will make an image ugly and angry like it's tearing out of the paper or the screen (PG13 warning: cover your kids eyes and ears!!!) wanting to wrip your throat out with it's stinky breath and fingernails jagged claws!!- it's an arbitrary thing like so many other things but approach sharpening with restraint: less is better than too much if you ask me. Now we move to global Contrast adaptations. Here's another case of an arbitrary consideration. I like a fair amount of contrast and for some images I want more and for others less goes a long way. Also consider that negative contrast will help bring out shadow detail- and any global adjustment can be fine tuned as a local adjustment using the Adjustment Brush and painted anywhere in the image that is necessary. So in this case of the Old Orchard Beach boardwalk there was already a fairly strong presence of contrast because of the lighting conditions so adding a little bit more would be suitable and natural for the feel of the scene as well as it stretches the Histogram to either end helping with the exposure. In this case I added a Contrast amount of +40. And that's about it for the Lightroom stuff, this image was pretty straight forward for me to approach. I will more often then not usually use the white point and black point sliders in the Develop module and often make some tone curve adjustments and occasionally when necessary make adjustments to the color channels in the HSL dialog of the color channels part of the Develop module, and I'll almost always add a graduated filter of either exposure or clarity or contrast or all of the above to the sky, but this time those weren't necessary and I went right from here to Nik Silver Efex.

Nik Silver Efex is de' best, hands-down, program for making black and white conversions- you can do it fine in Lightroom using the black and white mode, you can use Photoshop for black and white, but the luminance magic and silvery goodness that you get from Silver Efex is totally amazing. The trick is you get your file looking as good as you can get it in your RAW developer then send the file over to Silver Efex (I have my Silver Efex functioning as a plug-in to Lightroom) so you just right-click and open with Silver Efex and it gives you the choice of Open as a copy with Lightroom Adjustments or open the original, so you choose open with the Lightroom adjustments and the work you did on the file shows up in scrumptious varieties of presets of black and white. It get's me everytime! I just love it! I still use Silver Efex version original but everyone else has Silver Efex 2 now, which they say is even better, but I'm just so used to version I that I don't even know if I want version 2, anyways you get your image there and you can choose a number of high key or low key or different levels of contrasty amounts of silvery yummyness- I usually start with the Neutral preset or sometimes the underexpose or overexpose or sometimes the pull-process presets, then I'll always go through the digital colored filters- usually going with the red or orange filter, sometimes the green, or sometimes for extreme contrast scenes I'll use the blue filter. Then for this image I added a fair amount of Structure (can't remember how much now but probably around 20-30 (in conjunction with the +22 of clarity I already added to the color image that pops it the right amount)), a little bit more contrast then I did some brush work with Control Points along the boardwalk itself. Silver Efex and all Nik tools have a 'great control point' system that automasks in a real intuitive fashion and I almost always do some "dodging and burning" with the control points. The Nik interface is a slick thing but isn't quite as good or intuitive as working in Lightroom so I always make my adjustments knowing that I will ultimately fine-tune them later over in Lightroom and Photoshop, what I mean by that is i get the image looking as good as I can get it to feel in Silver Efex and then save it and once again and in Lightroom I do final local and maybe even some more global adjustments using the 100 percent loupe and the thumbnail to feel it out. I like to make final tuning by dodging and burning with the brush tool in Lightroom and sometimes if I'm feeling ambitious I'll prefer to do these adjustments in Photoshop where the Dodge and Burn tools are able to be more finessed by selecting on highlights, midtones, or shadows to apply the effect to. Also I'll often either add something of a vignette in Lightroom or for more creative possibilities I'll use Photoshops gradient tool with the round or linear gradient selected to add custom vignetting. And that's what I did here I added two circular gradients- one to the top of the image at the boardwalk and another to the sand ripples in the bottom which gives the overall feel of vignetted edges- that's my favorite kind of vignette approach these days. Well that's about it kids- a pretty basic development with nothing too crazy going on. I probably spent no more than 30 minutes working on this image and considering the image from the other side of the pier- and these days that's pretty much my approach to developing.

I've been shooting a lot more then developing lately, that's not always the case, sometimes I run out of images to work on in the digital darkroom and then I need to get out to make more because I like to always have something to work on. And I didn't talk about one of my favorite tricks which is to make Virtual Copies of the image I'm working on in Lightroom and create different developments and compare them for what I want with the compare tool or the survey view- as well as taking time and coming back the next morning to make sure that I like what I did- some people take a ton of time working on an individual image, don't rush it, you'll probably never go back and fix it the right way. 

Well I hope this was somehow useful- thanks for coming by, grab a cookie on the way out- they're fresh, the lady just made a batch, and hope to see you out there sometime! Have a good day -Nate from Maine, Usa!


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Adobe Lightroom 4 tips Canon Canon and Lightroom 4 LR4 Lightroom 4 Lightroom 4 to Nik Silver Efex Maine Maine seascape photography Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography a and black black and white black and white Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex black and white photography developing an image in Adobe Lightroom 4 have a nice day maine making making a black and white conversion making a black and white image making a black and white picture photography photography digital development photography" picture" using Nik Silver Efex to make a black and white conversion using the Develop Module in Lightroom 4 white Wed, 28 Nov 2012 21:46:42 GMT
To Black and White or Not to Black and White (part 2 readers questions).

"Old Orchard Beach Maine" 

Hey there gang- just got back from the Thanksgiving holiday food/family/fun extravaganza in the Boston area and on Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard. Good times! Lot's of driving and traffic, got pulled over and got a speeding ticket :-( and the trooper wouldn't let me even make a photo of him for my troubles :-(. But I Did get to make a fair amount of photography between and sometimes during visiting with family and friends, and went on a good few photo excursions which included Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard beaches and dunes, a 140 foot tall crazy looking sewerage treatment plant out in Boston Harbor, went to the North End and did some street shooting and ate excellent pizza, and stopped on the way back at Old Orchard Beach in Maine to photograph the boardwalk. Ideally a trip like that can combine family and photography, I love shooting in Boston and on the Cape- there's lot's to see and the biggest thing is that I'm off the island that I live on in Maine and there's photographs to be made everywhere! But because I'm primarily visiting the folks it's only really a bonus if I make new work that I'm actually proud of. And it wasn't until I was only 3 hours from home this time when the shots that I was making were giving me that satisfied feeling of actually getting something good. Anyways...

Right then- on to the technical stuff: so this guy who I've known over on the Flickr for a few years sent me an email this morning with some good questions about black and white and I figured that I'd answer him and post it here at the same time for free content! Here's the email, partly redacted to protect privacy et al.::

"Okay, I'm sufficiently inspired! I need to shoot more black and white.

I'm not really well experienced with shooting in black and white and wanted to ask you a couple questions, because the b&w work you've been doing lately is about as good as it gets in my opinion. (editors note: thanks buddy! that's a good way to get me to answer too!) I was mainly wondering if the optimal conditions for shooting in b&w are different for shooting in color. When I shoot in color I mostly limit myself to the sunset/sunrise range. Or cloudy conditions for waterfalls. But it seems like it might not be as important for b&w.

I've also noticed the most of my favorite b&w work is fairly long exposure, usually with a solid ND filter. Especially with water. When shooting color I like to get some hint of texture in the water so I try to hit an exposure "sweet spot" of around 1/10 - 1.5 seconds. But it seems like much longer exposures, the kind that blur the water into a super-soft, texture-less substance, benefit b&w much more than color. I'm guessing it's because it more readily defines areas of light and dark that way, but I'm not sure.

Finally, do you find that adding a sepia cast is always a good thing, or only sometimes? It looks great in your work, but I have found that in other shots I've seen from other people, it doesn't always impress me (but it might just be that it's because they're doing b&w the wrong way for a sepia cast).

Thanks a lot for any advice! I might try to get out tomorrow to shoot something."

-(flickr buddy guy)

Right then, thanks Justin! (editors note: Oops!) regarding your question #1 one of my favorite things about making black and white photography is that I'm no longer routinely killing myself by getting up 2 hours before sunrise to to coffee and wake and travel to the location etc to catch those dramatic morning colors- because mono is much less dependent on thrilling pyrotechnic skies to make an acceptably interesting image. Definitely though the skies in the morning hours and late in the day when cloud contrasts are more exaggerated are key to image making whether it's color or b+w but it's that particular time of day (thirty minutes before sunrise to sunrise) that were so invaluable as a color photographer, I don't really find myself missing much these days. I'm more looking for storms and storm light and my absolute favorite is fog- which would be from a color photographers stand point nearly monochrome anyways, at least desaturated (depending on viewing distance). Still my least favorite times of day for shooting are mid day, and otherwise any kind of harsh light will still be harsh light in mono or in color. But all those "rules" will just have you making work like everybody else so maybe embrace high-noon and make a new style! :-) 

When making mono work we're obviously just responding to texture and light and contrast in the composition, and because it's mono sometimes you can find a freedom of vision through your developments that in color may seem more "heavy handed", but in grays is just another option. 

As far as the long exposure stuff goes it works a treat for black and white! There's been a lot of long exposure black and white work being made over the last couple years, if there's an old rotten pier jutting out into the North Atlantic somewhere then we got a guy with black glass on it!- and where I love it and tend to get almost obsessed with finding new ways to use it I'm getting the fear that hopefully it won't ever get that bad juju that swirled like a stink cloud around the whole hdr movement. What I'm trying to say is that there's a time and place for everything and just because it's monochrome doesn't mean it needs to be LE, and conversely just because it's LE doesn't mean it can't be color. Often long exposures are developed as mono because the ND filters have a color cast- some are warm like the B+W 110 and the Lee Big Stopper is cool. It can be really a pretty strong cast depending on how you have your camera set but you can make Kelvin or other white balance adjustments in camera and of course make any other tweaks in your Raw developer later. I really love how good color long exposures look- and you shouldn't disregard the potential there- I'm serious! :-) LE is an option like any other option, it gives you all kinds of possibilities and potential- and it's not just water and clouds that it needs to be limited to. You be the judge!

And lastomatically regarding the "sepia" bit- ya I know what you mean- I hate it when it's over the top in a tasteless way. I'm just warming my final edits a touch because I like the look of printing on natural papers that don't have a lot of OBA's in them (optical brightening secret-agents) and they are warmer in appearance, and I just like that warmer look in my black and whites these days. Blue toned black and whites look sweet or that cyanotype look and all, it's up to you what you like- it's just a personal opinion. 

Right then- hope that helps and have fun in the land of the lost hues.

If anybody else has any questions you want me to try to answer "on the air" I'd be happy to hear from ye! Have a good one- Nate!

"Old Orchard Beach Gulls"

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Maine Nate Parker Photography OOB Old Orchard Beach Old Orchard Beach Maine black and white black and white landscapes black and white photography boardwalk boardwalk at Old Orchard Beach Maine have a nice day photography Mon, 26 Nov 2012 20:56:07 GMT
Superstorm Sandy Storm Waves in Acadia

"Superstorm Sandy Storm Waves at Acadia"

This stuff was on my timeline in Premiere Pro while away on the big trip to the left coast- figured I'd put it up for your consumption. There were some pretty mean waves that day- these shots don't do them justice. And I really didn't get hardly anything photographically out of the day- I should have made video my focus in the end me thinks. I really was dying for an 24-70 that day as I was using the 17-40 but usually wanted a little more reach and my 100 was in the bag and I did use it for a while but changing lenses that day in 40 knot winds and lashing rain would always be a bad thing. My approach was to show up early for low tide and see what was happening at 06:30 am with sunrise at 07:00 and that is the last long color clip in the video- really awesome waves that were booming from behind the tree line and when you saw them they were easily an impressive 15 feet on average with the occasional house sized 25+ footer that would roll in and sweep all the previous waves out to sea like a bouncer clearing a rowdy bar! Right then- so I set up initially on a bluff overlooking Monument Cove from the south side of it, there the cliff has a great vantage point down to the beach below it but is high enough up and somewhat set off the breaking waves to feel safe enough to deploy tripod and gear. I made hundreds of images in various shutter speeds from .3 sec to 110 seconds or so and I did get a few that I like enough, but like I said earlier I didn't get what I really wanted and therefore would have been more effective just shooting vid- here's the the shots of the day in my opinion from local shooter David Patterson which are just off-the-hook great:

"Sandy kisses Acadia" storm waves at Acadia National Park, David Patterson 

David Patterson

Go check out the rest they're excellent! Anyways- so the conditions that day were anything from whipping sea mist in 40 knot winds to pounding downpours where the rain was bouncing off the ground 2 inches because it was raining so hard with thunder and lightning and more whipping winds so shooting was a real chore. In the winds I felt ok about letting my kit out in the elements but in a downpour I had a zip lock baggie over the lens and body with the lens hood holding it on. I did try to use the camera sealed up in the bag but that was utterly ridiculous and couldn't hope to have dependable results that way- but with the zip open and being able to access the controls the only real consideration then was keeping the UV filter clean of water drops and fog- that day I had the UV filter on for sure, I usually will forego a UV filter on the 17-40 and use a lens hood instead to protect the lens but the filter makes a weather seal that would have otherwise sucked in seawater and rain when zooming and focussing into the lens barrel and into the camera itself so when there's weather I'll definitely have that jobby on. However with another filter stacked on top of it like I used my B+W 110 for some LE's then there is definitely vignetting at wide zoom ranges, but on a day like that- vignetting was my last concern! Weather is my favorite thing as a photographer and as an inhabitant of earth but wind is my least favorite kind of weather! Whatever- here's to storms, but not the kind that hurt people! 

"Monument Cove Boil" -Nate Parker

I shot early for a few hours then went home to dry up and have blood warming beverages then went back out at about noon:30 for high-tide and then it was really kicking! The Bar Harbor Harbormaster had told me previously to the storm that the most dramatic wave conditions would be at approximately low tide due to the shape of the beach that the waves would be breaking on then- but I  found the waves at high tide to be truly thrilling to the point of occasionally nearly terrifying when the mean sea level was 13 feet higher than it was at 06:30. Really there were house sized waves that would come in every 6 minutes or so that would just shake the earth when they broke- awesome stuff! There weren't many people out but there were a few -mostly photographers probably and nobody was seemingly doing anything stupid or life threatening, and to their credit: a ranger did approach me at one point and said that nobody was going to come fish me out of the ocean if I got washed in there for at least 30 minutes- whereby I replied that my whole family has been Coasties and that I was as aware as I could be about the conditions and that it would be my greatest embarrassment if I did get foundered! And so maybe that's why I didn't get any wicked good shots that day- I was totally preoccupied with my safety and was constantly looking over my shoulder and more than anything was just really appreciating the conditions and digging watching the impossibly huge waves. 

"Otter Cove Boil"

"Coastal Levitation #2"

Until next time, have a good one- Nate.

Also if all of the above has been real boring for anybody- here's a picture of my cat: 


[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Acadia storm Bar Harbor Maine Canon Maine Nate Parker Photography Superstorm Storm waves in Acadia acadia black and white have a nice day storm waves" Fri, 16 Nov 2012 19:46:42 GMT
A week photographing in the Pacific Northwest Ruby Beach Sea Stacks

"Ruby Beach Sea Stacks, Washington"

Right then, so about a year ago the lady gets an invitation to attend a friends wedding whom she went to college with out in Washington state, well the wedding was Portland Oregon, the devil's in the details- anyway we made the plan to fly out there for the wedding which was last week and then take a week to travel around and she could visit some places that she remembers and I could geek out with my cam. And for the most part that's just what we did. We arrived in Portland last Friday night after a triple connection flight plan (we really got our monies worth in take-off's and landings!) picked up the rental car and went to the motel. Coincidentally last weekend ended up being daylight savings times' fall back the clock action so the normal 3 hour difference in Pacific time became a 4 hour difference: I was waking up for the first few days at 03:15 am. There's plenty of coffee out there though so waking up early wasn't too bad. Here's a little detail: they have all these little coffee and espresso shacks all over the place that pretty much look like a garden shed that you drive up to and the coffee girl hooks you up and you're off- which is cool cause they look neat and have lots of character, the shops that is. 

Ok, so, our itinerary was to attend the wedding on Saturday in Portland, (congratulations Alyssa and Matthew!) and then beginning on Sunday we would start up the Pacific Coast Highway 101 to the Olympic Peninsula. Saturday morning we woke up early (of course since we were still on east coast time) and because the wedding wasn't till 4:00 pm we decided to head due west to the ocean which was only an hour away and the first stop on the improvised photo tour was Cannon Beach Oregon, which is a fantastic location and one that I've heard about for a long time. Here's another little detail: I'd never before seen the Pacific Ocean, and since I was a kid when I used to competitively do windsurfing and used to want to be a sponsored pro and live in Hawaii etc I'd long fantasized about the place. Half a life-time later and a completely different person now my first viewing of the Pacific had me hooting "holy cow!" over and over again. As a primarily seascape shooter now all I wanted to see was those incredible sea stacks that I've seen so many images of- and they are totally incredible! At Cannon Beach (which I can't help but think of as 'Canon' beach) there is a massive stack called Haystack Rock that is according to the Wikipedia: 235 feet tall and has a cave system that you're not allowed in- and it's flanked by "the needles" two sheer spikes that poke out of the ocean to it's left. We poked around the town of Cannon Beach and got some breakfast and looked into some galleries and shops while waiting for the drizzle to abate (there were dozens of photo galleries there- absolutely odd how many there were, (there was even a photo gallery in the local gas station!), and judging by the images I saw there was pretty much one picture to be made here and it was the Haystack Rock shot, so we went out there and did that and it was nice. Here's another little detail: the beaches out there from what I could tell are different then east coast beaches in that they slope so gradually into the ocean that when a wave comes and breaks it doesn't just break and recede- it breaks then just keeps coming and coming and coming. It's a beautiful beach with no rocks and hardly any drift wood and is probably a gorgeous place to beach-out on in the summer. Here's a few seconds of viddy that I rolled after making the Haystack shots: 

Cannon Beach Oregon.

This trip for us was a great reward after a hard summers' season of work and Soph and I never really travel much but for the occasional trip to see family on either Cape Cod Massachussetts or down in the Virginia area- I love going to new places and Sophie does too but she doesn't like the flying too much (motion quesyness) personally I love the flying cause I used to want to be in the Air Force so take-off and turbulence are a gas for me! Anyways we planned the potential route we would explore in a fairly open ended way through Google image searches of the Olympic Peninsula, her own experiences in exploring the area when she was in college, and some recommendations from my internet peoples ala Gary Randall, Patricia Davidson, and this one from Ian Plant:, among others. Theoretically I could have done a little better job in mapping out the details but I also wanted to have the feeling of finding stuff for myself. I had a short list written down in my field book that had Cannon Beach, Second Beach, Rialto Beach, Ruby Beach, Third Beach, the Hoh Rainforest, Crescent Lake, and my ultimate goal was "Point of the Arches" at Shi Shi Beach. Cape Kiwanda, Kalaloch, Bandon, the Palouse and other places were on the list as well but it would take weeks to get all that in. Anyways after shooting at Cannon on Saturday and then taking a side trip downtown Portland and then to Olympia on Sunday I wanted to get something "in the can" as it were and here my planning failed me because all of a sudden I confused the "Three Arches" in Oregon for my ultimate destination which was "Point of the Arches" in Washington- oops, so we lost a bit of time Sunday afternoon and ended up staying in Oceanside Oregon for the night which was nice though at a beach hotel with a balcony and a fireplace and sweet off season rates- and I was loving the idea of waking up and walking a few hundred feet to the Pacific to make some photos at dawn, but then Soph got sick. She caught a wicked bad cold, a cold to end all colds, terrible suffering and sneezing and coughing etc ensued, and worse timing there could not have been because this was like day 2 of our 7 day trip! and there was lots to do!- so that sucked. Cough syrup, benadryl, Advil, etc, suffering and more suffering, but I still wanted for us to push on a much as we could so Monday we drove from Oceanside Oregon to Forks Washington through the hometown of Kurt Cobain in Aberdeen and along the beautifully scenic, curvy, and endlessly interesting highway 101. The drive was about 6 hours including some stops- one of which was the absolute worst restaurant experience ever that had me nearly frightened and we should have just run, but we got to Forks around 4:00 pm and got a pretty nice room in a motel in a little town that some movie "Twilight" has now made famous. Soph went right to bed and I asked the motel clerk how far Shi Shi was and she said and hour and a half and with only an hour of light left I was bummed that I wouldn't make it up there that day- and here's where my inept planning failed me again because only later did I realize that Rialto Beach, which was on my list, was only a 30 minute drive down the road! Arg! And there was a nice sunset that day- Double Arg. So I took the night off and had some PBR's and ended up chatting with the guys in the next room who were Salmon fishing, and one of the guys was a Seattle portrait, concert and commercial shooter named Christopher Nelson so that was cool- I wasn't going to say anything about being a photographer myself (security concerns) until he said that he has an 85 1.2 therefore I knew he was ok :-)

Right then- so, the next morning we went over to Rialto for dawn and that was a gorgeous beach with huge waves and some absolutely massive driftwood logs lining it. The important thing out there to consider, besides the usual safety first bit, is that those beaches are enormous! They go for miles. And features that I had seen by doing Google image searches I couldn't hope to find unless there were hours to explore it- and there wasn't because the good lady was totally dying with that wicked bad cold. She toughed it out for me while I shot on the beach for an hour and a half or so with some pretty nice skies and cool pebbly beach textures and some sea stacks and crazy massive driftwoods and such then we drove back to town so we could get her some fruits and tissues et al and whatever, saw some elk, got back into "Twilight" land and promptly got pulled over by the police in our rental car for "speeding" on the main street! :-) I was going 33 in a 20 zone :-) whatever. The guy was nice, he realized I was from Maine and had that understanding that us East Coasters move around a little quicker, and let us go with a "slow down Mr. Parker" bit. Dropped Soph at the motel for a day of resting and cable tv and I was off to go shoot Shi Shi! 

Rialto Beach Washington.

I was so attracted to the amazing sea stack images that I was seeing from searches for Shi Shi Beach and the "Point of the Arches", just out of this world another planet-like looking environment. The best time to shoot that feature I learned would be at low tide to catch the texture in the rocks in the foreground and late in the day for sky contrast. But I ended up driving there through downpours of rain on a fairly flat and gray day along a super twisty coastal road (rte. 112) through the little town of Neah Bay where you purchase a park pass for 10 bucks that comes with a map and a parking pass and Shi Shi is about 15 minutes further on. That whole area could provide enough photography for weeks of discovery just in itself. Arrived at the parking lot at the trailhead @11:00, put my Muckboots on and hit it. Here's another little detail: my tripod for this trip was the unfortunately massive and heavy aluminum Manfrotto 3036 which is a studio tripod. My regular tripod, a standard Manfrotto from the 70's needs the leg locks replaced and where I intended to get that done before the trip, I didn't, so I was stuck with the 25 pound 3036. Which is fine and excellently dependable and ok to carry for a little while- but this Shi Shi excursion was going to prove to be epically difficult to negotiate with a backpack full of gear and that big lunker over my shoulder. Here's the deal: the trail starts out nice and easy enough on a beautiful red cedar boardwalk that cuts through old growth rainforest. After 3/4's of a mile or so the trail deteriorates into a muddy old logging road that you often have to slog through 10 inches of standing water and mud muck for the next 2 miles, which would be fine to just hike along, but carrying that freeking tripod the whole way by the end of the day started to feel like carrying a telephone pole! Yeah, so after realizing how long it would take and how much effort it would be just to reach the beach, I pretty much wrote off getting to "Point of the Arches" which on the map was way at the far end of Shi Shi which, it was becoming obvious, a huge beach. See the thing is, is that I didn't have all day- I had the rental car of course and Soph was stuck back at the hotel room trying to get over that cold- so I should get back in time to get more nose tissues for her or stuff and things like that and go get supper etc, that and the hike out to the beach was turning out to be more like an hour in itself. Therefore when I finally got in sight of the ocean I was becoming really anxious to get down to it and wanted to get shooting right off, so when I saw the rope- impatience won out over wisdom. 

this was the view half-way down the cliff.

I'm not proud of what I did, and I certainly don't intend to be bragging- and really it was pretty foolish to follow a thin nylon braided rope hardly thicker than parachute chord down a sheer, muddy, 75 degrees steep 150 foot tall embankment that I couldn't see to the bottom of, carrying a 60 pound tripod (that's right, now it weighs 60 pounds) and 25 pounds of camera gear- but look at that view! And see those rocks in the water to the lower left- that's where I set up to shoot. Obviously I made it. It's all part of the adventure, and it wasn't that rash of a decision- I did think about it for at least a minute. 

This is me amassing one high score for stupidity at Shi Shi beach Wa.

Well it was completely worth it. The sea stack structures there have such a wild character where they curve like they were peeled out of the crust of the Earth and huge waves crash over them. There was what I thought was a seal napping on his back in the cove but later Soph said it was probably a sea otter, there were caves along the base of the cliff and tide pools with urchins- the place was totally amazing. 

Shi Shi giant sea tubers

Shi Shi Beach Washington.

Ok- there's one more part of this story that makes it even more ridiculous. After photographing there at Shi Shi for just about 2 hours I figured I oughta get on back to poor Soph at the hotel and made to look for the exit and then I saw the only other person out there that day walking towards an opening in the tree line along the beach up aways so I went in that direction- there the path led up through some dense trees and I saw the persons pack and walking sticks leaning against the cliff and in front of me there was a steep fern covered hillside with a thin trail leading up it that looked more like a wash than a trail so I went to go meet the person and ask where the way out actually was- as I came around a corner, about 40 feet away was the lady hiker just getting up from an improvised toilet that was set off the path and I got all embarrassed and turned back and made some noise and looked the other way and figured she didn't see me and I walked up to her anew and said hello and asked if that steep path that I was looking at was the trail out (-I didn't bother to offer to shake her hand), we talked for a bit and she said yeah that's it "it's easy"... I hung my head and she was like "oh yeah, this is the Pacific Northwest-" whatever, I said good bye that I should be moving on, and set about clamoring up that bank. Pretty much as steep as the one I came down, but without a rope this time just using ferns as handholds occassionally I scaled this one which was 150 feet tall if the other one was. About a third of the way up I had to start resting and half-way up I was cursing myself for coming here. At the top I was thanking god for saving me for another day and breathlessly trembling after another most ridiculous test and making Iphone pictures of how steep this was when the lady who I was talking to only a few minutes earlier came walking up the trail that the fern cliff washout that I had just scrambled up connected to and said "you'll have to come back someday!", and I was like (in my head) Whot the HEdoublehockeysticks! So I went to look and only a hundred feet or so up the way was the main path and an easy switch back trail down to the beach- so I don't know what that was all about: if she was mad at me for ruining her bathroom moment or she just wanted to plain kill me out of malevolence or if it was just some kind of miscommunication but that was really an "icing on the cake" moment. O my word! 

I wish this could give you a better idea of how ridiculous this was-

Long story short- it was an unbelievably inspiring landscape to put my camera in front of out there. The Pacific Northwest in a lot of ways feels just like Maine, except maybe more like how Maine was when dinosaurs walked the earth. All summer long I've been wanting to get off the island and make some pictures of a new area and this trip certainly was what the doctor ordered in that department. The problem is is that instead of perfectly sating me with the experience- now I want to keep going! Iceland is next! Hopefully! 

Sophie's getting better now, but now I've got the cold, and it's nice to be home. Oh and one more thing- the last morning we were out there, in Seatac next to the airport, the hotel caught on fire! The hotel actually caught on fire- the alarms were going off and I heard it from across the street where I was filling up the rental cars tank to return it- so I rushed back and ran up the steps that all the sleepy people were coming down in their pj's and on the first floor landing thick smoke that smelled like burning plastic was pouring into the stairwell so then I actually got legitimately worried and ran up to the third floor where we were staying and found Soph who had my camera bag with her coming out into the hallway and we quickly gathered up the rest of our junk and "checked out" a little earlier then we were expecting: a complaint call to them will follow concurrent with publishing this- so that was a mighty crazy way to end the week heh!? The hotel caught on fire! 

Here's a couple more images from what I've been working on- Haystack Rock Cannon Beach Oregon

"Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach Oregon"

Shi Shi Beach Sea Stacks

"Shi Shi Beach Sea Stacks"

Ruby Beach Sea Stack

"Ruby Beach Sea Stack" --Just Realized I Over Dodged This- I'll fix it later-

Rialto Beach "Rialto Beach"

and here's something completely different but I really like this one- Oceanside Oregon Beach Swing in the Fog

"Fog Swing" Oceanside, Oregon.

It's said that traveling is better photographic value than buying new gear, and now I would definitely agree because my batteries are freshly charged with amazement at the world, I've still got to get an 70-200 f/2.8 but that aside I'm looking forward to going somewhere new and amazing again soon! Right then, have a good one and thanks for stopping by -Nate.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Cannon Beach Oregon Coast of Washington Nate Parker Photography ONP Oly Pen Olympic National Park Olympic Peninsula Oregon Coast Oregon coast PNW Pacific Coast Highway Pacific Northwest Pacific Ocean Ruby Beach Washington Shi Shi Beach Washington Washington Coast black and white black and white seascapes coast of Oregon creativity blog fine art black and white photography fine art black and white seascapes have a nice day photography photography blog sea stack sea stacks Mon, 12 Nov 2012 00:41:09 GMT
Photographing in the Pacific Northwest Freeking Amazing!

Still catching my breath, readjusting my internal clock, editing, and trying to get over a cold that the lady and I picked up while out there.

A much more thorough and detailed report with multimedias will follow- check back tomorrow.

Totally amazing. Wow. :-)

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Pacific Coast Highway Pacific Northwest amazing photography experience wicked awesome place to make pictchas! Sat, 10 Nov 2012 22:25:59 GMT
"Photograph" a new Craft and Vision quarterly e-zine

Jumping and clicking my heels out of happiness today as the first issue of "Photograph" a quarterly magazine for creative photographers is out by the Craft and Vision guys, and I get to see my name mixed in with the likes of some of my real hero's like Art Wolfe and John Paul Caponigro among others. Awesome! Still shaking my head in disbelief.

I've been following David duChemins work and blog for a couple few years now and like him for his inspiring words dealing with photography as a creative pursuit and after a while of reading and interacting through comments he's begun to feel like a real friend. I remember when he fell off that wall in Italy a year and a half ago and almost died that I was concerned for him like any of my other friends who I know in my life. I was going to meet him this last winter when he was supposed to swing through Maine on a epic road trip in his tricked out photo-Jeep, but those gendarmes at the border wouldn't let him in, bastards! Anyways my point is here that I feel like it's extremely important to make good connections in life and be real and nice and honest and sincere in your interactions with people- not to get, just to be. And sometimes the world will reward. Coincidentally since David has been communicating with me I've noticed a lot more black and white in his work and the addition of a ten-stop filter! Heheh- inspiration goes round and round. 

Well I hope you folkies check it out- I talk about how my Ma taught me how to see and my favorite kind of beer among other things. And I wish I could give a copy to each of you guys for free, but they won't let me :-)

Going on an awesome photo trip for a bit so I'll be off the online for awhile but hopefully I'll have some new good content to share when i get back. Right then, have a great one my friends- keep on doing what you do and have a nice day -Nate from Maine, Usa.

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Acadia National Park photography Bar Harbor Maine Canon Maine Maine fine art photography Maine photography Maine seascapes Nate Parker Photography Nate Parker Photography interview Nate Parker interview Photograph Photograph a quarterly magazine for creative photographers black and white craft and vision creativity blog have a nice day maine Thu, 01 Nov 2012 10:41:45 GMT
Hurricane Sandy at Acadia iphone4 viddy Back at home drying out the kit and washing the salt spray off the lenses and stuff so figured I'd put this up in the meantime- pretty cool waves out there this morning at lowish tide, plan on going back in a bit for high tide to see how that's affected things. Definitely the biggest waves I've seen here so far- not by too much but biggest nonetheless. Pretty cool stuff! 

[email protected] (Nate Parker Photography) Acadia National Park Acadia National Park Photography Bar Harbor Maine Maine Nate Parker Photography black and white hurricane Sandy maine Tue, 30 Oct 2012 20:47:04 GMT
The Canon 24mm f/3.5 Ts-e: the Best lens for landscape shooters- hands down!

Canon 24mm f/3.5 Ts-e (tilt-shift) version I

This isn't intended to be a big-time technical review, more of just an experiential "this is what I think from using it for a year and a half" report. If you want the juicy technical bits then go here: I like the Digital equipment reviews, but they don't have one for this version I. Right then, here we go!:

The best landscapers lens is:

1. A sharp lens. In this case it's a prime. Prime lenses in all things photographic that I've experienced are sharper. In my real life virtual experiential use of my Canon zoomer (a 17-40 f/4.0L), it's not a very sharp lens wide open, but who uses a wide-angle wide-open shooting landscapes unless you're Christopher O'Donnell, and it's not very sharp at it's widest zoom- but stopped down and racked in a little makes it better. In the end it's horribly dull compared to my made in 1993 Canon 24mm tilt shift.  

2. A wide lens- 50mm is good for street, 85 or 100mm is good for faces, 200 is good for reach, 300 is good for football and basketball -(front lens element too wide to fit through those holes in the glass at hockey rinks), 500 for birds,  24mm or less is good for landscapes. The challenge when shooting wide is of course the edges of your frame, there's much more chance of a bunch of crap sneaking into the image in a wide-angled shot then a medium shot, so check your edges religiously!

3. Is a weather sealed lens. herein: FAIL Canon tilt-shift lenses! Therefore I don't want to sell my 17-40, as well as sometimes I want the 35 or 40 mm for a little more reach, and often I'll like to shoot in bad weather for interesting environments and the hinges on the tilt shifters let water right in which could lead to the hideous mildew and I don't know what you would do then or how much it would cost to fix. The 17-40 f/4.0 that I use I will fearlessly drench probably simply because I don't love it as much as the wicked sharp 24 3.5!

4. Is a lens that inspires you to make photography! So check this out: when I first got my new-used Canon 24mm f/3.5 Ts-e a year and a half ago I was immediately impressed by the feeling that I was, for the first time in a long time, a photographer again instead of just a picture finder. 

Right around the time that I first started using this lens I had "the change" from actually taking pictures to "making pictures". This concept is something that I've been aware of for a long time and I would say I was "making pictures" but really for some reason it wasn't until seemingly shortly after incorporating the 24 3.5 that I actually realized the idea personally in my work. Not to say that anything I made before this day was bad (Getty images :-)), but really feeling in control and finding my voice as it were waited until then. And this is after twelve years of shooting! I would put a lot of the emphasis on finding that confidence in the Canon 24mm f/3.5 Ts-e. Either that or it was a big coincidence!

Here's the first disclaimer- I know the Nikon AF-S Zoom Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF Lens is a mean Mean lens- and I would put that as what sounds to be the ultimate in landscapers zooms (although apparently there is a filter issue due to the bulging and large front element) that makes it difficult but not impossible to filter. And this is a lensing standpoint from a DSLR body perspective where large format guys and Pentax 67's would make altogether different claims as to the best lens, back to the Canon 24!:

I bought it for myself for my birthday last year (June 2011), and I got the original version used from B+H, not version II- which (24mm f/3.5L II) is about $1000 American dollars more- so to clarify: I'm recommending the original version unless money is no option- and where the new version is better, it's not $1000 dollars better, it's not $1000 dollars sharper: (the made in 1993 lens that I acquired is Wicked sharp!, amazingly sharp!, sometimes even too sharp feeling if that's at all possible). The version II is definitely not weather sealed just like the original, which is a real point of concern in many situations. It does have a touch less vignetting apparently, it does have a new form of lens adjustment, it is probably a hair sharper, but then it has an 82mm filter thread which may be an expensive inconvenience for those of you used to 77 mm filters... (the 24 3.5 is a 67mm thread which I accommodated to my 77mm filters with a filter adaptor which I permanently jammed crossthreaded in a below-freezing morning on the ocean down on Cape Cod, so that's all taken care of :-))  and the construction of the new version II seems just a little bit more high density modern plastic amalgamation then the chevy steel feeling metal that the original version has. And the money that you'll save getting the cheaper used old 24 can be put to good use taking a trip somewhere amazing to make test shots! Huzzah!

Personal impressions: The first thing that blew me away was the red velvet lined leather hat-box style case that lens comes in- which is wicked cool! The next thing was the palpable sharpness that you feel through the viewfinder, there's nothing like sharp glass, I don't mean to be a prime fan-boy but I swear zooms just feel dull in comparison- I'll probably come around someday, and different focal lengths on different zooms are perfectly sharp, and I have had an amazing experience with the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L USM IS II which is also ridiculously sharp, and I know that most 24-70 2.8's are also super sharp, so I'm probably just hating on my 17-40 f/4.0. But like I said I want to keep it for the rain and snow. Right then, the next thing, which is my favorite thing about this lens, is that using it you feel like a photographer anew, like I said before. This is what I mean: after a while of photographing you become familiar with your gear and the approach that you take when shooting. You approach scenes in the same way. After a while the camera operating becomes rote and formulaic which is good because you're not guessing and you're getting the shot- but shooting with a tilt shift gives so many seemingly infinite optical options to play with composition and selective focus that like I said you feel like a photographer again instead of just an image recorder. 

Here's some of the features that I like about the 24mm f/3.5L (original version): it's chunky and hefty and has a square lens barrel behind the focussing ring- which just looks cool, the focusing ring is solid, big and grippy, and has a long throw and it's a manually focusing lens so it has stops which is useful for video and just makes sense: I really don't like how the Canon USM lenses focussing rings don't have stops, I guess it has to do with magnets or something but it's just not natural!- and this lens works a treat for scrumptious wide angle shallow depth of field in video by using a little bit of tilt. Right then, before I get into the other uses I should explain the terminology.

Tilt: Tilt is the swivel hinge that actually tilts the front lens element off axis up to 8 degrees which looks like this at f/8.0.

Tilt isn't just good for the miniaturization effect that we've all seen in timelapses, of more usefulness though it is what you do to achieve "the Scheimpflug principal": The Wikipedia states: "The Scheimpflug principle is a geometric rule that describes the orientation of the plane of focus of an optical system (such as a camera) when the lens plane is not parallel to the image plane. It is commonly applied to the use of camera movements on a view camera. It is also the principle used in corneal pachymetry, the mapping of corneal topography, done prior to refractive eye surgery such as LASIK, and used for early detection of keratoconus. ( I did not know this!). The principle is named after Austrian army Captain Theodor Scheimpflug, who used it in devising a systematic method and apparatus for correcting perspective distortion in aerial photographs." ...Take note of that last bit: the point here is that using just a couple of degrees of downward tilt (there are crazy equations and all as to how to figure the exact amount at a particular camera height (film plane)) to get the results, -but we can all just use live view- the Scheimpflug principle is used to achieve a massive depth of field from foreground to background. So per example: say you are in the gorgeous wildflower filled meadow at the base of a crazy awesome dramatic snow capped mountain and there is a breeze that is shuffling the flower heads and you want a faster shutter speed to freeze the flowers: you can tilt the lens a smidge and open the aperture for a faster shutter speed and still have the clarity of a classic landscape style depth of field that you would otherwise have had to shoot at f/16 or smaller to achieve. But I don't really do that much. The one occasion that I can recall recently that I was really enjoying that effect was when I was shooting sand ripples on a beach and I wanted to give the effect of seeing it as a passenger in a jet plane would see a landscape from 25000 feet- using tilt I was able to give the feeling of a distorted sense of scale and get that effect that I was looking for. Sand Beach Texture-3

"Sand Beach Texture -3" two images stitched shot locked off on a tripod @2 feet altitude.

I more often use the tilt feature to put the focus plane on say a ledge of granite jutting out into the sea at an angle- I can tilt the front element and rotate the lens to 45 degrees or so- (the Ts-e's move in 3 ways: (1.) Tilt. (2.) Shift (up and down). And (3.) Rotate.), to put the ultra sharp plane of focus just on the rocks and blur everything else in the foreground and background. Or how bout this one: portrait. Say the subject is posing 3/4's and you still want a wide open portrait style aperture: you can open up and tilt and rotate to the plane that the eyes are on. Or take product photography as an example: you have to shoot a watch at an oblique angle and you want to blur the background- tilt and wide apertures are the trick. Those are the main reasons that optical tilt is superior to digital tilt as a filter in post production. You just can't replicate the combination of elements that a physical lens will give you. And don't forget the wicked sharpness!

Shift: shift fixes keystoning, shift straightens the straight lines that are all leaning back because you were angling the camera and film plane up to get the top of the frame in  the picture. The digital filter version of this will invariably crop off too much of the original scene in order to make the lens corrections and it will wreck the composition that you intended. Of course then you could use Photoshop to add some canvas to the image and maybe content aware fill the rest, but you know what I mean. The classic analogy to explain shift is that you shift the lens to keep your buildings from falling over backwards. My first really satisfying found image using this technique that I was able to capture was this one of the Indian River Grange in Addison Maine that I found on the way to make seascapes off Jonesport last fall: Indian River Grange

"Indian River Grange" Addison, Maine. 

What attracted me to this scene was the 3/4's light that was making strong contrasts of all the textures and lines of the face of the grange. I ended up thinking on this shot for about 2 more miles before I u-turned to go back and get it. It's not perfect because the straight lines still have just a touch of leaning back- (if my memory serves I got carried away with adjustments and forgot my original objective therein, oops!) But it was the first time I remember seeing the real potential of shift. I was standing only about 15 yards from this building at the edge of a road so I couldn't back up anymore to compress the scene so the tilt shift was invaluable here otherwise keystoning would have put lots of distortion in the shot from angling the camera upwards. In the landscape we can also use shift to straighten the trees, even without trees I still compose level and shift the horizon up to where I want it- the effect just gives you a different sense of scale and perspective that just feels more natural. So, are you beginning to see the possibilities?! 

Another really useful feature of the ts-e's are panoramas, or just simply getting a wider frame that only a 14mm or less would give. I'll often stitch 3 shots shifted either in vertical orientation for a wide shot or horizontal for a tall shot (I'll show you what I mean) -of which both will produce a 4x5 crop, or less often, a much more narrow 3 shots shifted in horizontal orientation that will make a true panorama. You can also shift into the corners making a really massive square format file that will print huge by shifting diagonally. Cool. But that would take 9 shots and the changing light and moving landscapes that I shoot would be a stitching disaster so I refrain from that game.  Off The Shelf

"Off the Shelf". Stitched from 3 horizontal frames: one image centered, one shifted max 11 degrees up, one shifted max 11 degrees down. Stitched in Photoshop CS5.
Around the Bend
"Around the Bend". 3 stitched images in vertical orientation.
Both of these come out to 4x5 crops, which is my favorite format these days and not just because of stitching, this format just feels bigger and more natural to me more times than not- 2x3 sometimes feels too skinny. 
Too much typing, now for pictures show: my favorites of recent done with my 24 Ts-e- Summer Fog Fields
"Summer Fog Fields"
Beyond the Treeline "Beyond the Treeline"