10 Ways to Skin a Cat…

Black and White, Coastal Scenes

Being so close to the beach has many advantages. As a photographer I can be assured of interesting shots no matter what time of day, no matter what town I visit.

One of my favorite spots is the surf beach in Manasquan. It’s got so much going on: surfing(of course), boating, and fishing along the jetty.

On this early morning I was intrigued to see this gentleman fishing in such a peculiar fashion. No pole, no reel. Just a spool and some fishing line. Now I didn’t see him catch anything but I’m thinking there might be a struggle to reel in anything of substantial size.

The lighting was just perfect just after sunrise and I just knew these shots screamed for black and white. Lightroom comes through with some great conversions……




Being that we just had our first major snow storm of the season I hope these shots warm your soul.


Are You a Beach Lover?

Beach Scenes

Had an interesting conversation with a woman at the beach in Hilton Head, South Carolina. We were conversing about our backgrounds, were we on a vacation, etc. and she then asked where I was from (she was from Ohio). I told her New Jersey and she looked at me confused and said, “Why are you here, you have beaches in New Jersey”?

Well, I did have to stop for a second and think about it….. in fact earlier in the day my wife and I were just having a discussion of which state had nicer beaches and we strongly agreed that NJ had much more beautiful beaches than South Carolina.

Yes (IMHO), to my eye, the beaches are much nicer in New Jersey (sand texture, sand color, ocean front homes, etc). .

However, when captured through the lens of a camera, South Carolina’s beaches are also visually appealing…..




I guess, when it comes down to it, when you’re a beach lover, any beach will do.

Is HDR Photography Dead? (TBT)


I remember when I couldn’t get enough of Trey Ratcliff and his HDR work. In fact, 80-90% of my own work was tone-mapped and my go-to software was Photomatix or Topaz Adjust.

I can’t even remember the last time I visited sites like HDR Creme or HDR Spotting ( I just had to Google it because I couldn’t remember it). It’s not that I don’t like it anymore. I still bracket shots on occasion. I guess I’ve just moved on….

Well, here’s to moving on…… my first tone-mapped image in many moons.


I got up @ 4:30 am  to shoot the sunrise and that was a bust but this was my first capture of the day. Nothing great, bracketed the Belmar Fishing Club building for old time sake. Had to decide which software to use… Topaz, Photomatix or Nik. Went with Nik and now I remember why I liked tone-mapping so much. Look at that sky… Wow!

What about you? Are you over the HDR craze? What was your last tone-mapped shot? Would love to see it. Post a link in the comments section for all to see.

The Burn…

Beach Scenes

I’m looking forward to the feeling of a warm sun on my face.

I can almost feel the heat coming off this shot. You too???

Aug 07 2009 030-2-2-2

Anxiously awaiting my new softbox to continue my portrait  and head shot work. Probably just in time to go outside and shoot. Better late than never I guess….


Exported to Topaz Impression, dodged parts of the boat, burned most of the sand, added a bit of saturation.

Something I’m Working On…Very Brief, Be Ready


Still trying to wrap my head around this timelapse stuff. This morning I got to the lighthouse at 5:25am and ran out of darkness to continue the TL. The problem with this lighthouse is that it doesn’t open till 5am, not enough time for any extensive video.

This video is from 36 exposures and it ends in 2 second so don’t blink!

View it large and you can see the stars…promise:)

It’s Out There Somewhere, Patience Pays Off….

Landscapes, Weather

AcrossthebaySo I’ve been making a conscious effort to find unique perspective’s to all the iconic landmarks here in New Jersey (see my previous posts regarding this here). I utilize a great program, The Photographers Ephemeris, to track the position of the sun when it rises near the Barnegat Lighthouse. After finding this information I decide to look for a location to shoot this iconic NJ landmark. Low and behold I find a stretch of beach across the Barnegat Bay that might be a “little know vantage point”.

I get up quite early and begin my hour long drive to “my spot”. Well I arrive at my spot to find a layer of thick fog hiding my main subject. In the above picture the lighthouse is only “recognizable” by it’s small light just to the left of the dock. See it? It is there, I guess it’s really doing it’s job quite well, for boaters but not photographers:) It’s a half hour before sunrise so now I realize this is going to be a waiting game in order to get the shot I envisioned. Finally, ten minutes after sunrise the lighthouse becomes visible. Bang, time to get the shot!

HellothereUnfortunately the beacon had been shut off just earlier but there she is, making herself known through the fog. Not quite in all her glory but a respectable showing.

Now I have it in my mind to drive to the light to get a few shots before the fog lifts from a much closer vantage point, I start to pack my stuff, grab my tripod and start my walk back to the car. I stop, turn around to have one last look and this is what I see…..

TheshotMy patience pays off….