Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ahhh, New Zealand !

A very good friend of mine brought to my attention that while mentioning our month long trip to Australia last year, I didn't do justice to our all to short stay in beautiful New Zealand and rightly so. Although our visit was a mere five days, all of them gray and drizzly, and restricted to the North Island, our trip though the pastoral splendor that makes up half this country was anything but ordinary. We planned and drove a rather large loop which began and ended in Auckland. We stayed in bed and breakfast facilities enabling us to sample the marvelous hospitality and get to know our truly genuine hosts. We visited wonderful places along the way, stopping at the fragrant Hamilton Gardens, the Maori Arts Institute in Rotorua, the Pohutu geysers of Te Whakarewarewa, serene Lake Taupo, the wild Huka River with it's shotover jet boat ride, the hushed world of the glow worm grotto of Waitomo and the graceful falling vapors of Mt. Damper Falls. The experience of driving the Lost Highway, a single lane dirt road up over two mountain passes, over countless rivers and through several tunnels chiseled through solid rock gave us some of the more spectacular memories of the trip and gave us some sense of how well the rugged land is being used. Throughout our drive, we found every imaginable variety of grazing animals, well fed and content. And while I really haven't done justice to the whole New Zealand experience, I have fully documented our limited exposure in my travel journal and we are already planning to return, devoting much more time to this beautiful and varied landscape where people make you feel as if you're part of their extended family.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Decidedly Spring Like

While the calendar has decided that spring is finally here, there are no outward signs around us. There are no bursts of color on an otherwise drab and uninteresting landscape. There are no brilliant hues waving gracefully in the warm afternoon sunlight. In point of fact, there's very little warm afternoon sunlight. I haven't even seen a robin, yet. So, you can imagine my delight when I passed by this store window in downtown Littleton. I applaud the store keeper for the vision it must have taken on some bleary cold day in February to set these tulips on their way to stardom. It's that kind of spirit that sets people in the north country apart. There are positive signs that Spring is making it's way north, however. Over the past few days, I've seen sap buckets on trees and sugar houses with steam pouring from open windows, both signs that the annual sweetness extravaganza called sugaring has begun. It's a very short season when trees can be tapped to collect what will become that amber confection so craved for pancakes, waffles and baked beans.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Do You Have A "Things To Do" List?

Like most people, I tend to make lists of things to do. Slowly, I'll work my way through the least objectionable of them before I tire of this and throw the list away. It isn't too long before I've made another list. I can't help myself. Just before one of our big trips, I can't remember which one, I made several lists like what to pack, what to buy, documents needed and so forth. It is a fact that I had so many lists I needed a list of my lists. True Story!
Anyway, today is like that. I need to begin a list of things to get accomplished before my show season starts the end of April. I have mentioned how I have a slow time when I have lots of time to get things done but, in reality, with 5 galleries and a retail store to keep up with, some weeks have turned out to be a bit of a blur. So number one on my list for today is to get out into the studio and remove some older images, that for whatever reason haven't sold, from the perfectly good frames they have been occupying. This will give me a good idea of where I stand before I have to order new ones. My framer has recently moved and now it's going to cost more to get the frames to me. They still require me to order a minimum of six dozen frames which ads up to somewhere around $1600. You can see why I need an accurate picture of my inventory before I jump in.
The photo for today reminds me of myself, just sitting around and waiting for something. I don't know what but when it happens, I'll know. The truck, in Bethlehem, NH is a 1930 something Dodge but the plates on it say 1989. Any bets on if it was running in 1989?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

And So It Begins...

My web site has been up and running without any major change for three years. It's time to dust things off and make them new again. Call it spring cleaning. So, I've spent the last week deciding which images should be replaced and which should be added. I've reworked my bio and artist statement, lowered my prices and adjusted the shipping rates. All in all, I hope I've made it more professional and more attractive to the buying public. It was a job that needed doing and unfortunately, the delay in my completing the task was a monetary thing.
While that project was a labor of necessity, the next was a labor of love. I've rented new gallery space at a high visibility place on Main Street in Littleton, NH. It's called the ArtWorks, a custom framing shop that has a cozy downstairs. I'm hoping the monthly rental fee will be absorbed by the sales of my work. But, with anything in life, this, too is a gamble.
These tasks are just the beginning of what I call my busy season. Soon, most of my time will be spent in the studio preparing for the weekend exhibits or show schedule. It doesn't stop until just after the Christmas holiday. This is the time of year that I enjoy the most. It's the down time that makes me sad.
Today's image is from Hawaii a couple of years ago. My husband and I find our quality time coincides with some of the best photo opportunities, that of sunrises and sunsets. This image was taken on Honolulu's most famous beach, Waikiki.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Why The Suitcase

My posts have covered a lot of ground but they do share two common threads, my love of travel and photography. My portfolio includes photos shot in Australia, Hawaii, many islands of the Caribbean, Egypt, Holland, Mexico and Fanning Island and while it's true that my husband, Carl, and I are fortunate to have traveled over the world, it's Carl who is fond of saying that he has visited 6 of 7 continents, just lacking Antarctica. There are no current plans for this trip.
There are lots of suitcases involved when we travel but not all of them have clothes inside. Most carry tripods, battery chargers, external Cd burner, power converters, extension cords, jump drives and anything else I can think of that I might need on the trip. Granted, most of the time, there are camera shops within a few hour's drive but I hate to go unprepared.
I don't take a suitcase filled with gear when we travel nearby but there is still a lot of stuff that gets loaded into the truck for a short outing, things like my laptop, power converter, tripod and lots of spare batteries.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

It's A Gas

People are always asking me if I have any hot air balloon images when I do my shows. So, we investigated the best spot to get these beautiful photos. Without hesitation, it had to be Albuquerque, NM. There are countless other places but this one is the largest gathering of aerial enthusiasts in the United States. During our research, we discovered the next Fiesta was in three weeks so we began pulling all of the elements together to make it happen. My husband worked on plane, hotel and car reservations while I made sure the suitcases were packed, the camera gear was ready and admission to the massive event was secured. It doesn't sound like I had much to do but we were going to the high desert where temperatures can go below freezing in the early hours and rise to over 70 degrees in a matter of hours. Several changes of clothes would be needed. Batteries charged, laptop ready to travel and memory cards cleared, we took off for a fast paced four day photo shoot. There were over 900 registered balloons and I have 700 images to prove it. There's a heartwarming story that goes along with the bumblebee image. E-mail me if you'd like to hear about them or see more images from Albuquerque.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Dirty Words Are Not Always Four Letters

Few words evoke a lack of enthusiasm quite like Mud Season, nine letters that really mess with a north country photographer's head. And like it or not, here we are. For those of you reading this who might not look at a change of seasons in quite the same way, here are the facts. Each year, pristine mounds of snow give way to rotting, decayed shadows of their former selves. A bleak brown harshness emerges from under soft sparkling blankets of quiet. The earth warms and once frozen ground becomes a quagmire of mush. There is virtually nothing worthy of a photographer's talents or efforts, nothing to capture that might lift a spirit or place a smile on someones face. Or is there? Birds return, sap flows and nature seems to know when our spirits need a boost. Just when we think we can't stand another mud puddle, new life breaks free.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Time Flies But Not Memories

I can't believe that it's been a year already since our month long visit to the "land downunder". We traveled the whole month of February, 2006, spending 5 wonderful days on the North Island of New Zealand before immersing ourselves in Aussie hospitality. A week in the wine country of the Murray River Valley was followed by a week in the desert of Alice Springs. The highlight was a visit to Uluru, the magical monolith in the middle of no where. Our last stop was the rain forest of the Yorkshire Peninsula. I took over 1700 landscape and scenery photographs. If you're interested in seeing any of them, just e-mail me at and put "Australia" in the subject matter. Here's one image as a tease.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sign Of The Times

I've been told this is all the rage. So, not to be out of step with the rest of the world, here goes. Much of who I am can be seen in my profile. What the profile won't show is how much passion I have for my work. I hope to share some of that passion with you in future entries. I'll share some of my latest NH scenery images with you and tell you about our travels, both past and future. You can use this forum to find out where I'll be in the coming weeks, what's coming up in the way of special events and exhibits as well as checking out my website at . So let the journey begin...