Aug 122016

Eastern Point Light
Eastern Point Light

Gorgeous August day in Gloucester and Rockport, Massachusetts, including a visit to Gloucester Harbor, Eastern Point Light in Gloucester, and Long Beach in Rockport, with views of the Thatcher Island Twin Lighthouses (consisting of Cape Ann South Light and the Thatcher Island North Light).


Gloucester Gig RowersGloucester Gig Rowers

Here’s a shot, above, of the Gloucester Gig Rowers in Gloucester Harbor. The Gig Rowers sponsor races and offer regular rowing events for all skill levels.


Thacher Island Twin Lighthouses (with outboard motorboat)Thacher Island Twin Lighthouses (with outboard motorboat)

Gloucester Harbor Scene (boats and buoys)Gloucester Harbor Scene (boats and buoys)

Surf's Up on Long Beach (well, sorta)Surf’s Up on Long Beach (well, sorta)

pond and lily pad layers (with swan)pond and lily pad layers (with swan)

Eastern Point Light from the BreakwaterEastern Point Light from the Breakwater

Jul 232016


low tide at Good Harbor (with sun flare)
Good Harbor at Low Tide (with cool sun flare)

I’m quite fond of low tide, wide angle (see e.g. here, here, and here) and fisheye (here, here) beach photos, including those shot into the sun (herehere, here and here). So these recent shots from Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester are no surprise.

the other side of Good Harbor
The Other Side of Good Harbor (click to see large for full effect)

yet another wide angle Good Harbor shot
Yet Another Wide Angle Shot Into the Sun

And finally, here’s a wide-angle, long exposure photo of the southern end of Good Harbor shot with a ND (neutral density) filter about four years ago (the horizontal sky gradient is quite lovely):

good morning good harbor

Good Morning Good Harbor

Jul 172016

quarry and ocean
quarry and ocean

A bright summer weekend in Rockport and Halibut Point. Halibut Point State Park, owned and managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Trustees of Reservations, includes a former quarry seen in the above photo. This Boston Globe article, Cape Ann Park Tells Ice Age Story, notes that the quarry was known for “particularly dense granite that was used to construct the Custom House Tower and Longfellow Bridge in Boston as well as New York’s Holland Tunnel and Brooklyn Bridge.” The depth of the quarry is evident by the water’s deep blue color. In a shallow pond not far away, we also saw three stages of tadpoles.

Halibut Point
Halibut Point



Here are two views of the Halibut Point State Park Visitor Center and Tower, a former World War Two artillery and fire control tower, which, according to wikipedia, was intended to assist in aiming the coastal weapons defending the harbors at Boston and Plymouth.

fortified lighthouse (with cloud)through the trees

This picturesque old shed begged to be processed in sepia (a color version may be seen here).

old shed_sepia
And finally, here’s a shot of Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse. According to Lighthouses of Cape Ann “Straitsmouth Light was built in 1835 to mark the entrance to nearby Rockport Harbor [and] is maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard, but the island itself is owned by the Massachusetts Audubon Society as a bird and wildlife sanctuary.”

Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse

Jul 112016

Whoever Loves a Garden…

We had this memorial bench for my dad installed in the Tree Peony Garden within Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s 100+ acre botanical garden and center. Lauritzen Gardens is an “urban oasis of beauty and tranquility” and a “living museum of unique four-season plant displays maintained to the highest standards consistent with environmental stewardship.” It also boasts the fairly new 17,500 square foot Daugherty Conservatory. Some shots of the Gardens and Conservatory may be seen in this set on Flickr.

The inscription on the bench reads “whoever loves and understands a garden will find contentment within.”  This Chinese proverb is a fitting sentiment for the Tree Peony Garden (the Tree Peony is the national flower of China). It’s also a fitting inscription for my father, and leapt out at us when we were considering appropriate quotations last year.

Whoever loves a garden will find contentment within


The stone bench was designed to to complement the three large Kaneko ceramic sculptures that surround the Tree Peony Garden. Jun Kaneko is a renown ceramic and set design artist based in Omaha. As Kaneko says in this 5 minute CBS Sunday Morning news piece on his art, “I call it the spiritual scale. I am trying to make some piece strong enough to pull viewer into it. Then the physical scale is not the issue. You become one with it.”

Installed in November,  I first saw the bench in late December when I was home for the holidays. Here are a couple of shots from that trip:
Dormant Tree Peony Garden

Dormant (December) Tree Peony Garden

memorial bench with the river in the background

Memorial bench in December with the river in the background

behind the bench and Kanekos

Bench and river rocks
bench and river rocks


Full set may be seen here on Flickr.


Jul 062016

sunset over the midwest
Sunset on a Wing

The setting sun casts cool shadows on the wing. An iPhone photo shot while flying somewhere over the Midwest above Lake Michigan on the return flight from a trip to my hometown.  On the flight out of Boston a week earlier, we flew over Niagara Falls.  Here’s how the falls looked from the plane:

Flying Over Niagra Falls

The rapids on the Niagara River before the falls are easier to make out than the falls themselves. Lake Erie is in the background.  In the cropped version of the same shot, below, you can clearly see the Horseshoe Falls and American Falls, the rapids above the falls, and the rapids and Niagara Gorge below the falls.

Niagra Falls from the air

btw, the title of this post is taken from the album of the same name, which documented the 1982 European tour of The Durutti Column, Paul Haig, Richard Jobson and a couple other acts associated with Belgium label Les Disques du Crépuscule / Factory Benelux. Here’s the charming For Friends in Belgium by The Durutti Column from that release, which is a short sketch of a track written for the tour–subsequently fleshed out and recorded for DC’s Lotta Continua studio release–that went on to become a fairly well-known Durutti Column track, as DC tracks go. To my great surprise, the full track even appeared on the Washington Post website following the Brussels terrorist bombings in March. Peace.

Jun 292016

Hi Hat
Hi Hat (with Sir Duke, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and Billie Holiday)

The Hi Hat, once one of Boston’s premier jazz clubs, is part of the African-American Honor Roll mural by artist Jameel Parker on the Harriet Tubman House in Boston’s South End. As noted in this Boston Magazine article on public art in the South End, Parker “attended Boston Public Schools throughout his adolescence and later attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. ‘Honor Roll’ spans two sides of the Harriet Tubman House and honors various people of color relevant to Boston’s South End. Featuring everyone from musicians to activists, the energetic mural and the faces depicted are vibrant and celebratory.”

The honor roll also includes Harriet Tubman, Sir Duke, Miles, Charlie Parker, and Rosa Parks:
Harriet Tubman Mural

DUKE (with Miles and Charlie Parker)Rosa
Duke Ellington (with Miles Davis and Charlie Parker) |  Rosa Parks

For more information, see also: Harriet Tubman House, Boston’s African-American History Museum and African-American Meeting House.


May 292016

Boston Harriet Tubman Memorial
Boston’s Harriet Tubman Memorial

The Harriet Tubman Memorial in Boston’s South End, just a couple blocks from my house.  I walked over to Harriet Tubman Park after last month’s announcement that Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the twenty-dollar bill.

As noted in this Washington Post article, there is a lot of false or distorted mythology surrounding Tubman and the true story of her heroism and fight to free slaves is even more inspiring than the simplified narrative taught in schools and reduced to historical markers. Tubman made fewer trips and freed fewer slaves through the Underground Railroad than is commonly believed, but those journeys were much more complicated and dangerous than typically depicted. Tubman’s roles as an abolitionist and spy for the Union Army during the Civil War are not well-known, but are a big part of her legacy.

Emancipation Monument in Harriet Tubman Park | Step Aboard the Underground Railroad Marker

Here’s some more about Tubman’s ties to Boston abolitionist movement and her role in the Civil War from the Boston Globe:

Harriet Tubman’s ties to Massachusetts extend much further than the sculpture in the South End depicting her leading slaves to freedom. Historians say Tubman had strong links to the Boston abolitionist movement and played a large role in uplifting black Union soldiers. Boston is considered one of America’s leading cities for the abolitionist movement. Some homes in Boston were turned into safe havens on the Underground Railroad, including the Lewis and Harriet Hayden House on Phillips Street, according to the Museum of African American History. Lewis Hayden later became a recruiting agent for the famous 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Civil War. Tubman was active with the 54th and other Union forces during the war, after her Underground Railroad days were behind her. She spied on Confederate forces and also worked as a cook and battlefield nurse.

Tubman also became a prominent advocate for women’s suffrage, and spoke at Boston suffragist conventions. And here’s more here about Boston’s African American Meeting House and Museum and the Black Heritage Trail.


Apr 102016

marble madness_new final_ex
Marble Madness

So, last month I hit milestones for two of my photos: 30,000 and 20,000 views on Flickr. And now, another one. My “Marble Madness” photo just hit 15,000 Flickr views.

This macro marble photo, illuminated by natural sunlight from a nearby window, is licensed by Getty Images and has made me a chunk of change over the past five years. Epson featured it in a printer ad several years ago and Microsoft made it part of (and the lead photo for) a Marbles theme for Windows 7. Searching for a link just now I learned that it’s no longer available for Windows 10, having been “retired.” But its retirement was recent, it seems, because it was featured as one of the 10 Best Themes You Can Download for Windows 10 Right Now in December. Oh well. :)

It’s also been featured in a bunch of Flickr Galleries, like this one, along with two other photos I took in the same shoot, posted below.

macro marble madness
color splash (marble macro)


Feb 212016

saturday night snow
Saturday Night Snow

So, sometime last week two of my photos hit a milestone on Flickr.  The long exposure night shot, above, of Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue Mall in the snow (with the uninspiring name “Saturday Night Snow”) reached 20,000 Flickr views, while shot below from last year reached 30,000 views.

The Saturday Night Snow photo has long been one of my most popular. It’s available for licensing from Getty Images and is on sale as a fine art print at a custom frame shop in Boston’s South End. The only reason the much less remarkable shot, below, from last year now has more than 30,000 views is because it was featured on the Flickr blog last year in a post about Boston’s Snowmaggedon. The shot, taken along Boston’s Southwest Corridor park “greenway,” is from the first big snowstorm of Boston’s historic winter of 2015, which saw 110 inches of snow when it was all said and done.

snow bank along the path
Snow Bank Along the Path

More of my photos from last year’s historic winter may be seen here, including this shot of a cross-country skier along the Southwest Corridor:

the best way to get around

the best way to get around

#Flickr #FlickrViews