Friday, December 31, 2010

Cedar Waxwings in Downtown Plymouth

My dad spotted a large flock of cedar waxwings in downtown Plymouth on Christmas Day. I was fortunate that they were in the same area the next day. There were approximately 100 of them. They were mixed in with starlings, robins and an ocassional cardinal. They would stage in a large oak tree. Then about 20-30 at a time would swoop upon a cherry bush. Each bird would eat two or three cherries and then fly back to the oak when the next wave arrived. Sometimes they would pick a cherry, toss it in the air and swallow it! In a very short time, the birds had stripped the tree of thousands of cherries. They were preparing for the big storm we had last week.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Glacier National Park Workshop 2011

I am proud to announce that I will be leading a week long, Mass Audubon photography workshop in Glacier National Park, Montana. Glacier is described by many as the crown jewel of the national park system. It is also nicknamed the "Alps of the West." Glacier is simply a stunning landscape teeming with wildlife. Photographic opportunities abound in this vibrant wilderness.

In addition to the national park, we will visit the Blackfeet Reservation, where we will stay overnight in tipis! I hope you will join me for an oustanding summer adventure in the American west.

Please read the details from the Mass Audubon website below

Sat, Jul 30, 2011 - Sat, Aug 06, 2011
Location: Montana
Instructors: Greg Lessard - Photographer; John Galluzzo - Adult Education Coordinator, South Shore Sanctuaries
Audience: Adult
Fee: Adults $1575.00m/ $1750.00nm
Registration is required.

Fresh from their triumphant journey to Cadillac Mountain, Otter Cliffs and the majesty of Maine's Acadia National Park, photographer Greg Lessard and our own John Galluzzo are set to move west, to capture the natural beauty of Glacier National Park. Our seven-day tour through the park will feature visits to Lake MacDonald and St. Mary's Falls, a run up the Going to the Sun Road and to the Blackfeet Tipi Village. We'll seek sunrises, sunsets, mountains, mustangs, the great wild mammals of the west and hundreds of species of birds and wildflowers. The trip price includes lodging, ground transportation, some meals, a boat trip on Swiftcurrent Lake and private photography instruction from Greg. Contact us for a full itinerary!

Instructions and Directions: Single supplement available for $390.
Register by phone: with a credit card by calling 781-837-9400.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Calendar Signing and Print Winner

We sold a lot of 2011 Thompson Street calendars today at Maria's in Middleboro. I was thrilled to meet so many new people and see a bunch of old friends! Thank you to everyone who purchased a calendar and showed their support for Thompson Street. It was a pleasure to spend time chatting with all of you!

As part of the day's events we held a raffle for a print of one of this year's calendar photos. The winner of the raffle was Cyndy Mattie!

Thank you again to everyone who helped make this event so great!

Red Faced Screech Owl

Today I co-led an owl prowl with John Galluzzo for the the Mass Audubon Society. We went to Duxbury Beach to look for snowy and short eared owls. Instead we saw seals, a razorbill, long tailed ducks, red breasted merganzers, eiders and loons among others. On the return trip in Marshfield, we saw a red faced screech owl. This owl was very calm and didn't mind posing for a photo! I have tried photographing screech owls before with little success. They are often very skiddish. It was a thrill to spend some time with this owl!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Radio Show Interview

Ed Rand, the host of Middleboro Midday inteviewd me this evening. He had read about the Thompson Street calendar signing in the Middleboro Gazette and wanted to know more about my photography. Ed asked me many questions about my photographs and about my commitment to help raise awareness for the need to preserve Thompson Street. The interview will air at approximately 12:15 on Friday. The station is WVBF 1530AM.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Calendar Signing at Maria's in Middleboro

I will be signing copies of the 2011 Thompson Street calendar at Maria's in Middleboro. This event will be from 12-2PM on Saturday, December 11, 2011. Maria's is a popular stationery store that is located at 1 Center Street in Middleboro.
The proceeds from the sale of the calendars will benefit the Committee for the Preservation of Thompson Street. The Committee is dedicated to preserving the rural character of Thompson Street. This beautiful three mile long stretch of road is one of the last agriculutural areas in Middleboro. The farm properties along Thompson Street are under numerous threats of large scale development. The residents of Thompson Street have banded together to try to preserve their neighborhood.
The 2012 calendars are simply beautiful and they make an outstanding gift! They are affordably priced at $15 each. I will also hold a drawing for a print of the winner's choice. A ticket will be entered for every calendar purchased from 12-2PM on Saturday, December 11, 2011. The winner will be announced later that day, here on this blog.
In addition to the calendars, I will be selling prints of the images that were featured in the 2011 and 2012 Thompson Street calendars. Refreshments will be served including some of Pat Farrington’s world famous baklava! I do hope you will come out and support Thompson Street on Saturday, December 11, from 12-2PM. There is only a limited supply of calendars available. Don't miss out!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Week of Workshops!

This past week I went to two workshops. On Tuesday, I attended a photography workshop by Jerry Monkman, as a guest of the South Shore Camera Club. Jerry is a NH based photographer who runs his own company called Ecophotography. He writes a regular column for Outdoor Photographer and he is an up and coming star in the field of nature photography. His workshop was on tips for winter photography. I have been a fan of Jerry for years. It was a pleasure to meet him and see his outstanding presentation! Thank you SSCC!!

On Saturday I attended a workshop given by Rick Sammon. Rick is a Canon Explorer of Light and one of the world's great photographers. He is a gifted speaker and is a wonderful teacher. His presentation lasted for four hours, but it seemed to pass in a flash. His stories are full of humor and very entertaining. While you are being seriously entertained, you also learn a ton!

Rick's workshop was hosted by the Plymouth Digital Photographer's Club, of which I am a member. Our leader, Amy Davies invited Rick to speak to us and she organized the event. What a great event it was!

Photo courtesy of Graham Custard.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall Photography Workshop in Acadia National Park

I recently lead a Mass Audubon tour to Acadia National Park in Maine with John Galluzzo. We photographed for three days. With a Nor'easter roaring through the Gulf of Maine, the first two days were very wet. This shot was made at the end of the second day. Our group had been patient and persevered through the rain to see this glorious sunset!

I was very proud of our group. Despite a lot of rain, no one complained. In fact, we managed to have a lot of fun and we photographed all day. Much of the time we spent in forests where the trees helped slow down the rain. The rest of the time we diligently wiped our lenses clean and kept our cameras covered in plastic bags.

This image is a prime example of why it pays to photograph in stormy weather. While this shot looks sunny and relatively pleasant, it was still intermittently raining! Often times the edges of rough weather can produce fantastic atmosphere and light for outstanding landscape images. So grab your rain jacket and get out there!

This trip was outstanding. We learned a lot about photography and nature while sharing a lot of good natured fun and camaraderie. Thank you to John and all of the participants for making this trip so enjoyable!

Our trip was so successful that John and I are now planning a trip to Glacier National Park next summer. I will post the details once we finalize our itinerary. Thanks again to everyone who joined me on this adventure!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Swift River Reflections

The Swift River in NH is one of my favorite places in New England. Swimming in the summer is outstanding. Photography in the fall is even better! In the morning and the afternoon the sun reflects off of the fall foliage, making fantastic colors upon the water. The rocks strewn about the river become visible as the water lowers late in the summer. These rocks are fantastic anchors for a beautiful composition with flowing water.

As I was making this photograph, I heard a quiet crunch in the forest behind me. I was so focused on making my shot that I didn't pay it any attention. I continued working on this shot and then I heard another crunch. It was a little louder this time, but it still didn't concern me. So I kept shooting. On the third crunch, which was much closer and significantly louder, I decided that I better look to see what was behind me...

Much to my surprise I was standing only 15 feet away from a young bull moose! He was staring back at me as if to say, "Who the heck are you?" I quickly fumbled to get my camera settings ready for a shot. Unfortunately, he was hidden behind some small trees. I made two very unsatisfactory images. Then he turned and walked away as quickly and quietly as he came.

I was disappointed to have missed the shot, but I was ecstatic to have seen the moose! Photographing the fall colors, while standing in the middle of the Swift River and seeing a moose was exactly why I had got up at 2AM to be there. It doesn't get better than that! This was a great start to a great day!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Kancamagus Sunrise

On Saturday, I got up at 2AM to drive from my home in Middleboro, MA to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I wanted to arrive in the mountains by sunrise to take advantage of the early morning light on the fall foliage. It was worth the effort.

The sunrise was incredible! There were dark storm clouds blowing through. Their purple color reflected the golden rays of the sun, combining for an intense fluorescent pink. I was fortunate to notice this east facing vista in the dark. Many other photographers noticed it too and soon there were a number of us waiting for the sun to put on its show.

After the sun had risen, I spent the rest of the day photographing the Kancamagus Highway and the more northern Crawford Notch. I will post more images soon and relay my experiences with a young bull moose and also tell about my trip to the Mount Washington Cog Railway.

Other than noise reduction and sharpening, this image was not digitally enhanced. I did use a graduated neutral density filter, which helped to even out the light of the sky with the darker foreground. Grad ND's are one of my favorite tools. Many people have replaced them with HDR, but I still enjoy using them. I also prefer to get everything right in camera. This means less time spent post processing my images and more time out in the field.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Into the Black

After a long day in Yosemite Valley, we were trying to get back to our accommodations when we ran into the ever present traffic stoppage for road repairs. These stoppages would average at least a half hour. As soon as you were stopped, the tradition would be to get out of your car and visit with the other motorists who were stopped with you. We met a lot of people this way.

On this evening, we pulled into a scenic overlook and watched the last light of day play itself out over Yosemite Valley. As I turned to get back into the car, I noticed the moon rapidly setting over the western mountains. I hurriedly changed lenses and composed a shot. This is one of only four shots that I made before the moon set below the mountains.

Watching the moon set was a fantastic, near mystical experience. While I had been photographing the dusk over the Yosemite Valley, the pace car had come back and led all of the motorists into the mountains. This left Brenda and I in perfect peace to enjoy the evening. Seeing the moonset was an unexpected thrill and the perfect way to end the day.

In order to make this image, I chose to use my Tamron 200-500mm lens. I usually reserve this lens for wildlife, but in this case it was the perfect choice for magnifying the moon. Camera Settings: f22 1.6 seconds.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sleepy Sea Lion

When we booked our trip to San Francisco, I first thought of the Golden Gate Bridge. Then I thought of the sea lions that live at Pier 39. These sea lions have been crowd favorites for years. On my first trip 12 years ago, I became fascinated with the sea lions. So I was very eager to have the opportunity to visit them again.

Fortunately, the sea lions were at the pier in big numbers. They were however taking a nap. Not much action going on. Despite their lazy afternoon nap, there were still some great images to be made.

Its important to remember that wild animals are not here to put on a show for us. Far too often as photographers, we get frustrated when animals don't pose just so or they fly away too soon. I try very hard to appreciate the animals as they are. Often, if they are not being particularly useful subjects, I will patiently wait for them to change their behaviors. Sometimes this works to great effect. Other times it means that I have spent a long time waiting for something that doesn't happen. Either way, I have spent time observing nature and that's why I am there in the first place.

I was thrilled to spend some time with the sea lions at pier 39. They will be at the top of my list for future trips to San Francisco.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Glacier Point

On our first day in Yosemite, Brenda and I went to Glacier Point for sunset. Needless to say it was breathtaking! We watched in amazement as the alpen glow worked its way up the face of half dome, eventually disappearing for the evening. From this perspective it is easy to see why Yosemite inspired John Muir and countless others. This beautiful region could be no less than the catalyst for our national park system and the modern day environmentalist movement. Imagine what it would look like today if this valley had not been preserved for future generations. Would there be a five star hotel on top of half dome? Maybe. At one point, there was a hotel at Glacier Point. Natural wonders of this magnitude should not be in the sole posession of one man or corporation. It should be preserved for all people of all generations.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Bay Bridge

My third and final stop on my night photography tour of San Francisco was at the Bay Bridge. The cab ride from the Marina District to the Bay Bridge was pretty reasonable and much quicker than trying to take public transportation, which was non existant at 10:00 on a Sunday evening. The entire fares and tips were less than $40.00 for the three legs of my journey. Without the cabs, my night photography tour would not have happened.

The Bay Bridge, while lesser known than the Golden Gate, is equally as beautiful as its more famous neighbor. Glowing bright lights outline the suspension cables of the double decker bridge. Leading from San Francisco to Oakland, the Bay Bridge makes its first connection at Angel Island. When I first saw the bridge illuminated at night, I was awestruck. It was amazingly beautiful!

With Bay area fog socked in, the lights of San Francisco and Oakland reflected off of the fog to provide a beautiful hue to light the sky. After nearly an hour of photographing the bridge and San Francisco, I headed back to the hotel, very satisfied with a great photographic adventure.

The Basics of Bird Photography

Last night I was welcomed by the Whaling City Camera Club at their monthly meeting. They invited me to discuss the basics of bird photography with them.
It was a pleasure meeting many of the club members. Hearing their stories about bird photography and chatting about photography in general was great fun. Not to mention that they served a delicious homemade blueberry pie for snack!

This is a popular presentation in which I discuss everything from equipment to photo techniques and the importance of studying bird behavior. My approach is to teach some simple techniques for making beautiful photographs of birds with affordable, versatile and portable equipment. After discussing the basics of bird photography, I present a slideshow of some of my favorite images of birds to show how I used the techniques that I presented earlier.

I'd like to thank the Whaling City Camera Club and all of its wonderful members. I truly enjoyed meeting everyone. Thank you for making me feel so welcome!

I will be giving this presentation again on October 19, for the South Shore Camera Club.

Image: California Gulls preening at Mono Lake, Lee Vining, California.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts was my next stop on my night photography tour of San Francisco. This beautiful palace was constructed as part of the Panama Pacific Exposiition in 1915. The residents of San Francisco were so enamored with this structure that they asked the organizers of the exposition to preserve it. I am so glad they did. It is simply fabulous!
The palace is located approximately a 1/4 mile from Crissy Field. So it made sense to to walk there after photographing the Golden Gate. This time I wasn't so concerned about my safety. The palace is in the middle of a very nice neighborhood in the marina district. There were numerous people out walking their dogs. What a fubulous place to live!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Golden Gate Reflections

On a recent trip to San Francisco, I took a cab to Crissy Field. From this former Marine Corps air field, now turned recreation park, you can see a fantastic view of the Golden Gate. I was fortunate to arrive there before the fog had completely obscured the bridge for the night!
Having scouted the location on the previous evening, I knew that the bridge would be reflected in the waves rolling onto the beach. I made numerous images trying to make one that I was satisfied with. My biggest concerns were for my safety. I was on a tiny peninsula that was quickly being engulfed by the rising tide. I was also constantly looking over my shoulder, hoping that I wouldn't get mugged. Fortunately, everyone that I had spoken to said that this was a safe location and it proved to be true!
I used a 2 second exposure to blur the waves and allow the light to be bright enough to show the colors that I was seeing. This created an issue that needed to be solved. The wind was gusting quite a bit and creating significant camera shake. I planted the tripod legs deep into the beach sand and hung my heavy camera bag from the center of the tripod. This added some stability, but I was not convinced that it would be enough to stop the camera from shaking. So, I stood to the side of the camera to act as a wind shield and I used my remote cable release to trip the shutter. This helped me to create an acceptably sharp image despite using a long exposure in high winds.
Seeing the Golden Gate in this beautiful light, while hearing the ocean waves crash ashore is a memory that I will never forget.

Adventures in Photography: Sailing Aboard the Margaret Todd

In Bar Harbor, Maine, the Margaret Todd has been providing summer tourists with the opportunity to sail on beautiful Frenchman’s Bay for more than a decade. The Margaret Todd is a four mast schooner that is 151 feet in length. With wooden decks, a white hull and red canvas sails, she is a beautiful sight to behold.
Photographic opportunities abound on board the Margaret Todd. The red sails are absolutely eye catching. Ropes and tackles running up and down the masts material for numerous macro and abstract compositions. Some visitors are even lucky enough to have their photo taken while they help hoist the sails!
In addition to the many images that can be made on board, the Margaret Todd takes her passengers through some of the most beautiful waters on the east coast. Island studded Frenchman’s Bay is a photographer’s delight. The famous porcupine islands start the show with fantastic views of their rugged shores. Sometimes, bald eagles can be spotted among the islands, providing a real treat for adventurous tourists.
Not to be missed on the sail through Frenchman’s Bay is scenic Rum Key. This tiny island is hidden from prying eyes on Bar Harbor. During prohibition, rum smugglers would do their surreptitious business at this clandestine isle. Today reputable seals are often seen basking on its shores.
Providing some of the grandest views of all is Mount Desert Island. With the tallest mountains on the eastern seaboard of North America, Mount Desert Island is truly resplendent. Cadillac Mountain rises 1532 feet, offering tremendous scenery. At the foot of Cadillac Mountain, Bar Harbor looks like a perfect resort town.
During her journeys, the Margaret Todd also passes many other boats. As she returns to Bar Harbor, she dwarfs sail boats and lobster boats alike. These smaller vessels are very colorful and afford images that have plenty of New England character. Sometimes the sizeable Margaret Todd is dwarfed by enormous cruise ships. The old fashioned schooner sailing by an ultra modern cruise ship is a striking contrast.
The most charming time to sail aboard the Margaret Todd may be during the “Sunset Sail”. The finest light of day will illuminate the islands, waters and wildlife of Frenchman’s Bay, for outstanding photographs. Musicians frequently perform on the “Sunset Sail” adding a romantic flair to the evening. With some luck, visitors may even glimpse a dolphin swimming into the setting sun.
Returning from a pleasant sail, one can not help but feel relaxed and refreshed. A short journey on the Margaret Todd can take you miles away from your cares and worries.
To sail on the Margaret Todd, call the Downeast Windjammer Company at 1-207-288-4585 or visit their website at To see more images of Acadia National Park and the Margaret Todd visit my website here:
This month’s tip: Making sharp images aboard a sailing vessel can be difficult. The constant rocking motion of the ship can make for many blurred shots. Bumping your camera’s ISO up to 400 or higher will help make your images crisp and clear.
Join me for a photography workshop in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park! For more information, visit or call 781-837-9400 for an itinerary.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall Harvest

This image was made at Sam and Sue Shield's farmstand on Thompson Street in Middleboro. I make regular visits to this farm as part of my on going calendar project for the Committee for the Preservation of Thompson Street. The pumpkin wagon was right in front of some fantastic pink flowers. At sunset, the light was wonderfully warm.
This is a great example of how I try to make unique and beautiful images. It is relatively easy to take a picture of pumpkins. It is a little more challenging to make it beautiful. It is very challenging to make a unique pumpkin image.
This image is also an example of taking what is given to you. Many times as photographers we set out with a specific image in mind. Many times that image doesn't work out for one reason or another. It is very easy to get frustrated when your plan doesn't work out.
In this case, I had gone to the farm with the hope of photographing some pumpkins that had been on a table next to the white farm house. The pumpins against the shingles of the house had attracted my eye earlier in the day, but they were in the shade. I decided to return in the late afternoon for sunset light. By the time I had come back, the pumpkins had been moved. Instead of giving up, I changed plans and moved towards the pumpkin wagon on the other side of the farm. There, I was pleased to find an even better composition than the one I had envisioned.
I often find my photography works this way. I envision a certain image. It doesn't materialize for one reason or another. Then, if I keep my mind and possibilities open, I often find other images. The moral of the story is to take what is given to you as a photographer. Continue to pre-visualize, but be willing to go with the flow.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Night Heron?

This great blue heron was fishing in Plymouth Harbor last night. As it fished in the shallows, it moved in and out of the glow of nearby street lights. The water was fairly calm with an intermittent slight breeze. When the wind blew, the reflections of the street lights would stretch further along the water and surround the heron with golden sparkles of light.
I spent nearly an hour photographing this heron. During that time I moved up and down the sidewalk along the waterfront, attracting the attention of many patrons in the nearby Weathervane seafood restaurant. Soon there was a large crowd of people wondering what I was photographing. My dad and I did our best to educate everyone about the great blue. We met people from as far away as Pennsylvania!
My dad also pointed out a juvenile night heron that was camouflaged amongst barnacle covered rocks on the shore. Its speckled white and brown feathers perfectly matched the barnacles. My dad never ceases to amaze me with the birds that he can spot. I am sure that 99% of all other people would never have seen the immature heron.
There were thousands of fish swimming in the harbor. Both birds were dining on plenty of fresh seafood.
The question of the night was do these birds naturally fish at night or was the light pollution of downtown Plymouth altering their behavior? Unfortunately, I don't yet know the answer to that question.
As to the photography, I was trying to silhouette the great blue against the golden flecks of the streetlight reflected on the water. In the end I needed a little help from NIK Color Effects Pro to get the exposure I desired. I used a combination of the polarization, skylight and midnight filters.
It was a great experience to shoot some night photography with these birds!


Last night, my dad joined me to chase the full harvest moon. We ended up in Plymouth Harbor. At first we were disappointed by thick clouds and fog. So, we went to the Lobster Hut for dinner. While eating some fantastic fried scallops, the moon came out and my dad noticed one of the boats in the harbor was called the "Moonlighter".

Not one to miss an opportunity, I approached the boat's captain. He invited me to make photos of his boat. Afterwards, I handed him my business card. Surprisingly, he recognized my address. He said, "My best friend John lives on that street." Well, John happens to be my next door neighbor. What a small world!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2011 Thompson Street Calendar On Sale Now!!

The 2011 Thompson Street Calendar will be available this weekend at the Middleboro 4H Fair on Saturday, September 4, from 9am-3pm. They can be purchased for $15.

These beautiful 12 month calendars make a fantastic gift, especially for family and friends who no longer live in Middleboro. Last year, calendars were sent across the country. This year, requests have already come in from Texas and California!

I photographed this calendar for the Committee for the Preservation of Thompson Street. This local group is actively involved in trying to preserve their rural neighborhood from threats of mass development. Thompson Street is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods on the south shore. It has been my priveledge to photograph this neighborhood over the last three years.

Please visit the 4H Fair and purchase your calendar on Saturday, Sept. 4!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Adventures in Photography: Acadia

Acadia is a mystical land where rocky, windswept mountains run into an azure sea. A long time playground for the nation's elite, Acadia has become one of our country's most treasured National Parks. Located primarily on Mount Desert Island, Acadia is the crown jewel of New England.
In the late 1800’s, many of the nation’s wealthiest people built their summer homes on this beautiful stretch of coastal Maine. Later, through their philanthropy, Mount Desert Island would be preserved as one of the world’s greatest natural treasures.
Today the park consists of more than 47,000 acres of pristine forests, mountains, lakes, meadows and coastline. With that amount of diversity, photo opportunities in this natural preserve abound. A photographer can aim her camera in any direction and find a worthy subject.
Boasting the reputation as the first place to see the sunrise in the United States, the summit of Cadillac Mountain is the pinnacle of this island treasure. On a summer’s day, one can watch the sunrise over Downeast Maine, while listening to white throated sparrows herald the coming of a new day. As the sun rises, it burns off fog over Frenchman’s Bay, revealing an island studded paradise.
After a blueberry pancake breakfast at Jordan’s Restaurant in nearby Bar Harbor, follow the Park Loop Road to many of the island’s most remarkable destinations. Thunder Hole, Eagle Lake, Sand Beach, and Otter Cliffs are all fantastic places for an early morning adventure. Try to get there before 9AM to visit these popular natural wonders in perfect solitude.
Take advantage of the nearly sixty miles of beautiful carriage roads that lace throughout the park. For twenty seven years, John D. Rockefeller Jr. built these outstanding roads to connect the island’s best destinations while preserving the use of horse drawn carriages. These roads are perfect for a hike, bike ride or for taking a leisurely carriage ride from Wildwood Stables.
After a picnic lunch at Schooner Head, set sail on board the Margaret Todd for an afternoon cruise among the Porcupine Islands. This exhilarating experience will provide numerous photo opportunities and memories for a lifetime.
Once your feet are solidly on land again, head to the Jordan Pond House for an early dinner. Here you can dine like the elite land owners of the gilded age while enjoying the splendid view of the Bubbles over Jordan Pond. They have the best fish chowder anywhere and their complimentary popovers are outstanding.
Finish your day by driving to Bass Harbor Light on the quiet Western side of the island. This tranquil setting is perfect for watching the sunset while listening to waves crash against the pink granite rock of Mount Desert Island. The ringing bells of the nearby buoys will mesmerize you, providing a peaceful soundtrack for the end of a perfect day.

This Month’s Tip: Join a photo workshop to visit outstanding locations while improving your skills. This fall, I will lead a workshop to Acadia National Park in conjunction with John Galluzzo and the Massachusetts Audubon Society. For more information, visit my blog at or call 781-837-9400 for an itinerary.
Greg Lessard is a professional photographer. To view more of his photographs and past articles, visit his website at

Monday, July 5, 2010

Acadia National Park

My wife Brenda and I just celebrated our 8th anniversary! We went to Acadia National Park for a few days. Acadia has a very special significance for us, because it is where we were engaged and where we celebrated our honeymoon.
While we were there, I spent some time photographing one of the most beautiful places on earth. I will be releasing more photos over the next week, but I will start with this one of the Bass Harbor Light.
Bass Harbor Light is one of my favorite places. It is a serenely beautiful spot. The sounds of ringing bells from nearby buoys and waves gently lapping against the pink granite rocks make for a truly idyllic setting.
I will be leading a photo workshop to Acadia in the fall. Bass Harbor Light at sunset will be part of the tour along with many other fantastic locations in Acadia National Park. For more information, see the blog post below or visit my website at

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fall Photography Workshop in Acadia National Park

I will be co-leading a trip to Acadia National Park this fall for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. This trip is a fantastic opportunity to photograph some of the nation's most beautiful scenery. Acadia is a mystical land where mountains run into the sea. A long time playground for the nation's elite, Acadia has become one of our country's most treasured National Parks.

We will visit some of the parks most celebrated views and some lesser known secrets. The trip will include views from Cadillac Mountain, Jordan Pond and Ocean Drive. We will also explore Bass Harbor, a quaint Downeast fishing village.

Please read the following excerpt from the Mass Audubon website:
Maine: The Photogenic Natural Beauty of Acadia National Park
When: October 15-17, 2010
Where: Departs from the North River Wildlife Sanctuary, Marshfield
Leaders: John Galluzzo, Adult Education Coordinator, Mass Audubon and Greg Lessard, Greg Lessard Photography
Cost: $375; $325 Mass Audubon or Plymouth Photography Meet-up Group

The place names are as familiar to New Englanders as the names of beloved family members: Otter Cliff, Cadillac Mountain, Boulder Beach. They stand for Maine, for rugged coastlines and the ancient pine forests that crawl right to their edges. And they make Acadia National Park one of the most beautiful places on earth. Join Mass Audubon’s John Galluzzo and photographer Greg Lessard on a photographer’s journey through the sunrises and sunsets of Acadia, along the Tarn Trail, to Jordan Pond, up the Shore Path and to Bass Harbor Lighthouse and Eagle Lake. We’ll focus on the natural beauty and the manmade additions to the landscape, catching them in just the right light throughout the weekend.

A $75 non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required at the time of registration. No cancellation refunds will be issued 6 weeks prior to the program unless we can fill your space. Single supplement $90. Full fee covers all transportation, lodging and park entry fees. Payment in full is required by September 15, 2010. Contact John Galluzzo at or 781-837-9400 for an itinerary.

You may also view some of my favorite images of Acadia at the following links:

Adventures in Photography: Photo Clubs

Joining a photography club is a fantastic way to improve your camera skills, while meeting new people and expanding your creative horizons. There are numerous camera clubs throughout New England. Most clubs offer workshops and classes designed to help photographers of all levels.
Participating in club workshops will not only help improve your photography technique, they will likely inspire you to try new things. Many club members take turns leading workshops, offering up their expertise on a variety of subjects.
At a recent workshop of the Plymouth Digital Photographer’s Meetup Club, Eric Swiech, a member of the club, led us to the Mass Maritime Academy for a sunrise shoot. On this particular day, the sun rose through the center of both the Buzzard’s Bay railroad bridge and the Bourne Bridge. Eric had discovered this occurrence by using the website to plot the sunrise.
From the parking lot of the Mass Maritime Academy, we were able to make many fantastic images of the beautiful dawn. My favorite shot came nearly an hour after the sunrise. The fishing boat “McKinley”, traveled south through some early morning fog. With the sun at a low angle, the fog and the water of the canal almost looked as if they were on fire! The fishing boat slowly made its way through the fiery fog, providing numerous opportunities to create an excellent image.
Without the club and Eric’s knowledge, I would never have risen from bed to be at the canal and I would have missed the shot. This is one example of many opportunities that a photography club can provide for novices and pros alike.
Another local group, the North River Arts Society holds many classes and numerous juried competitions throughout the year. Studying the accepted works and the finalists of juried competitions is an outstanding way to learn how to make a great photograph. It may also help inspire you to create your own masterpiece. The North River Arts Society holds its largest competition in May of each year. If you start now, you may have that masterpiece ready for 2011!

This Month’s Tip:
Some of the best light of the day happens before sunrise and after sunset. The skies often contain subtle pastels or brilliant nearly neon hues. Most people won’t get up early enough to take advantage of pre-dawn light. Those same people often head home soon after the sun has dipped below the horizon. Many of my favorite images have been created at the cusp of day. Be sure to take advantage of these exciting pre and post sunlight hours.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Adventures in Photography: Puffins

Downeast Maine is famous for beautiful coastlines and its colorful, quirky residents. Perhaps the most colorful of all Downeasters is the puffin. This curious little bird stands approximately 10-12 inches tall and has a wing span of 20-24 inches. With its black and white body and bright orange beak, many people mistake it for a penguin. Their beautiful beaks almost look as if someone may have painted clown make up on their faces. This comical appearance has earned them the nickname “the clowns of the sea”.

Atlantic puffins breed on small islands and coastal cliffs where they can build nests in small burrows. The northern Gulf of Maine provides a perfect habitat for them. One of the best ways to observe puffins up close is to visit Machias Seal Island.

Machias Seal Island is approximately 10 miles off the coast of Maine and it is protected by both the U.S. and Canadian governments. In order to land there you need a permit. This can be arranged through a couple of different tour companies. I traveled with Norton of Jonesport. They run a lobster boat to the island on a regular basis during the summer. John Galluzzo of the Massachusetts Audubon Society also arranges a summer time tour to the island for a modest fee.

Once on the island, the lighthouse keeper guided our group to some blinds that were located in the middle of the puffin nests. Four of us occupied a small wooden box for the next two hours. While the conditions were cramped, we could not complain about the view. There were hundreds of puffins surrounding us. Some were as close as two feet away! My hardest decision was which lens to use. Did I want to photograph a bird with my wide angle lens, my medium telephoto lens or my long lens? Well, I used them all.

After getting many fantastic portrait shots, I started trying to create more unique images. I spent a lot of time capturing puffins returning from fishing trips with their mouths filled with sand eels. Puffins have a small yellow pouch on the corner of their mouths. This pouch holds small prey in a Velcro like grip. Some puffins have been recorded with over fifty fish stuffed in this pouch at once!

My favorite shot of the trip came when I noticed that some of the puffins were taking a break from the busy cycle of fishing by sunning themselves on a nearby rock. I patiently composed the image and waited until all seven puffins were looking in my direction. This took quite a while, but it was worth the effort.

This month’s photo tip: Using blinds can help you get much closer to wildlife. One of the best and easiest blinds to use is your car. Once you spot an animal, safely park your car and roll down the window. Often, animals don’t mind being near cars. This may give you the chance to make some outstanding images. Keep in mind that as soon as you open the car door, the animal will likely leave in a hurry.
Greg Lessard is a professional nature photographer. To view more of his photographs, visit his website at

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Got Crab?

This kit was enjoying some fine dining this morning at a local beach. It was foraging through some beach grass when it discovered this crab claw. It quickly picked up the claw and headed back to its den.

A tip from a friend put me in the right spot to view this fantastic creature. I went to the beach to scout the area out. I am thrilled that I made a keeper!

While at the beach I was also able to create a nice image of a goldfinch among some crab apple flowers.

I was blessed with a fantastic view of nature at its best this morning!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Looking for Owls and Finding Seals...

This is the latest article in my Adventures in Photography series that I write for the Freebird Times.

Photography is often most successful with a lot of planning and forethought. Knowing useful information like when low and high tides will occur, when the sun will rise and set, watching weather reports, and being aware of seasonal events like the spring herring run in Middleboro are all important considerations when planning your next photographic adventure. What do you do when all of your planning and preparation does not pan out? Keep an open mind.
Recently, I led some workshops trying to photograph snowy owls. In winter, the owls frequently travel from the arctic to outlying coastal areas like Duxbury Beach and Plum Island to search for food. Teaming up with John Galluzzo of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, we took 25 photographers from the Plymouth Digital Photography Meetup Group on two separate trips to Duxbury Beach in search of the elusive birds. With John’s expert help we searched high and low to no avail.
Knowing that the owls might not show up on cue, I encouraged the photographers to look for other photographic opportunities. Many times, Mother Nature will supply you with fantastic subjects if you are willing to take what she offers. As we searched for snowy owls, she gave us glimpses of a harrier prowling for prey, snow buntings and horned larks also visiting for the winter, some beautiful waves and skies and one gregarious harbor seal.
The first tour of Duxbury Beach had ended. While we were disappointed in not finding any snowy owls, we all agreed that the trip to the beautiful beach had been worthwhile. As we were discussing the trip a gentleman approached us and asked, “Have you taken photos of the seal?”
“Yeah, but he was too far away for a good shot,” I responded.
“Too far? He was only ten feet from the parking lot on the other side of the bridge,” said the helpful stranger.
Not wanting to miss a photo opportunity, we thanked the informative gentleman and drove across the very long Powder Point Bridge at an excruciatingly slow 10 miles per hour. As we arrived in the parking lot, we were pleasantly greeted by a harbor seal seemingly smiling and clapping at our arrival.
This seal must have just escaped from the circus. It posed and did tricks while we fired frame after frame. Within a few minutes we were excitedly talking about our good fortune and thankful for the bounty that Mother Nature had provided us.

This Month’s Tip: Keep a safe distance from wildlife. Be safe for you and safe for the wildlife. This seal didn’t mind a crowd of people watching it. However, when one spectator got too close, within 20 feet, the seal started to back away. This was a clear sign that the human was encroaching in the seal’s comfort zone. The seal was quite content so long as we stayed at a distance. To help us make great photographs, we used our long telephoto lenses. A 300mm lens is bare minimum for wildlife photography.

Greg Lessard is a professional nature photographer. To view more of his photographs, visit his website at

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Moving Water Meetup

Today I led a workshop for the Plymouth Digital Photographer's Meetup Club. The workshop was on how to photograph moving water. We met at Oliver Mills Park in Middleboro, Ma and took advantage of last week's flood waters that are still flowing through the park. We worked on creating images that lasted for an 1/8 of a second or longer. These longer exposures allow the water flow through the image and create a silky smooth effect in the water. We also worked on freezing the motion of the water. We were blessed with outstanding weather. 70 degrees in March!! Many of the photographers have posted their favorite images online and I am thrilled to see how many outstanding images were created.

If you are in the Plymouth area, I strongly recommend checking out the Plymouth Photographer's Meetup Club. This is their link: You need to be a member to see the content of this website, but its free and very worthwhile. This group is very friendly and I am proud to be an active member of this club.

The next workshop that I will lead for this group will be a whale watch from Provincetown with the Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch Co. The price will be $34. That is a $5 discount from the company's normal price. We will have the possibility to see humbacks, finbacks, minke and maybe even the very rare right whale. The whales congregate off of Race Point in the spring and we are hoping for the opportunity to photograph these beautiful creatures. You may read an article I wrote about the Dolphin Fleet at this link

Friday, March 19, 2010

Two Photographs Entered in the Glennie Nature Competition

Two of my photographs have been entered into the Glennie Nature Competition. The photos, Vulture Silhouette and Puffins at Machias Seal Island, were selected by the members of the Plymouth Digital Photography Meetup Club. These photos, along with eight others, will now represent the Plymouth Digital Photography club against other clubs from around the world in the Glennie Competition! Thank you to all the members who voted for my images!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Thompson Street Calendar 2011

Last fall, the Committee for the Preservation of Thompson Street sold more than 200 calendars featuring my photographs! I just spent a couple of hours going over the layout of the Thompson Street Calendar 2011 with Pat and Peter Farrington. Next year's calendar is nearly finsihed. You can view images from Thompson Street at this link on my website:

You may read an article about Thompson Street and the Committee's efforts to preserve this beautiful area here:

You can read about how I made last year's calendar at this link:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Adventures in Photography: Cape Cod National Seashore

I have just posted my latest article for the Freebird Times on my website This month's article is about photographing the Cape Cod National Seashore. You can read it at this link:

You can check out my past articles at this link:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Welcome to my new blog!

Welcome to my new blog. This blog will cover all of my photography activities. Everything from photo shoots, to workshops that I lead and business opportunities will be covered. I will be updating this blog regularly.
Nature Blog Network