Tag Archives: sunset

spending my day in the company of dogs

On these winter days of late February in Vermont, with the dearth of snow, I have found more time to sit and reflect. Consequently sharing my thoughts in this blog. I have decided to use this as a way to show my day-to-day life. The daily part is shared by “the boys”, our pack of dogs.

I will start with an introduction to Cyrano. He is 3, from Tennessee and is a golden retriever/hound of  humble and unknown origin.  As a matter for the historical record, I too was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, hence my ability to spell it.  Although, my roots are really in Virginia(a good topic for a future post).

I live on a small farm in Vermont with my wife Jennifer and daughter Gabrielle. My writing is about life in the country, taking care of the livestock , the poultry(a mixed bag of chickens, geese, ducks and turkeys) that are kept as a self-sustaining year around flock , our gardens, fields and the woods. The boys always accompany me as I do farm tasks, so they are frequently captured in my images.

Continuing with Cyrano, he is a rescue pup, who was saved the day before his demise, and shipped to Pennsylvania. Living in the pound is a difficult way to start one’s life.  Cyrano has risen above the start and is a good and loyal boy obsessed with his balls, and did I say, quite fast? We picked him up on our annual journey down to  the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where I grew up, for Thanksgiving.

Later, I will introduce Quinn, our Golden Doodle and Laddie,our Scottish Border Collie. I know many of you have been following the  pictures of the pups on Facebook as they grow and play. I would like to use this space to further explore the small details of my life on the farm. I look forward to exploring the transitions of the seasons, the weather, the gardens and animals from my world in a lovely part of Vermont.

golden retriever plays with a goose

Golden Retriever running

Cyrano, side portrait, winter 2011-12

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Into the sun

When I was growing up one of the first photo tips that was given to me, was to never photograph directly into the sun. I suspect this fomented a certain rebellion within my being. It impressed me to such a degree that I can still remember it all these years later. I also remember my kindergarten teacher telling me that my coloring technique was not correct. I had gone outside the lines and had not kept my coloring lines orderly. I really tried to toe the line, but when the spirit of coloring possessed me it was very hard to keep my colors separate, within the lines and orderly.

So perhaps it is these early reprimands and directions towards a more orderly drawing technique and the correct way to take pictures that helped create my personal

style. I find I am always photographing directly into the sun. To me that is where some of the more interesting light occur.

The last light of a winter’s day

One of my absolutely favorite times to photograph is with the last rays of sunlight as it illuminates the darkening land and animals. I like to take my dogs for a sunset walk. There is something very special about the last light of the day as it filters thru the atmosphere, so much more pleasing to my eye, than the starker, harsher light of the midday. Quinn is our Golden Doodle , Cyrano is a Tennessee Rescue dog, mostly Golden Retriever and Laddie Mackay , is a very lively Scottish border Collie, what a trio of different personalities are emerging as they grow.

Image work for a cold day

It was in the low digits today inVermont. I went out and did the farm chores, but really did not want to linger. Far more fun to look thru images from the last year and find new pictures to work on. I am working on a gallery of road and covered bridge images for a potential client, but while looking thru old files kept finding images that I have never worked with. Always fun.

A quiet snowy morning in Northern Vermont

One of the things I like about this time of the year is looking thru the images I have taken over the last year and preparing them for uploading to my website: www.brickhousestudios.com. I take a lot of images during the year, over 18,000 exposures in 2011, so many images wait in my files till this time of the year when I can look at them. I photograph many of my pictures with a multiple exposure, the foreground, background or for panoramas side by side exposure. This allows me a great deal of latitude as far as exposure, color etc when working with images. So in the cold of winter I enjoy looking thru all the exposures from the last year and stitching together the images that I have taken in this manner.