Ice Wall at Hunter Beach

                                                                                    Blogodocious ramblings of a landscape photographer living in Maine.

2013 and my life as a sternman and photographer

January 26, 2014  •  47 Comments

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!

Color vs Black and White Photography, Again.

January 14, 2014  •  50 Comments

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!

My Best of 2013 in Pictures, a Yearly Retrospective.

January 09, 2014  •  11 Comments

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! 


It's the Most.. Wonderful Christmas Party... of the Yearrrrr....._.....

December 22, 2013  •  10 Comments

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!

Win a Free Print for the Holidays Winners Announced!

December 17, 2013  •  23 Comments

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!


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