New England with David Long

Today my guest is David Long, a photographer from New England. David, Welcome to the show….

David, start out by telling us a bit about you and your photography.

“I do most of their workshops in the NE area”

You just published an e-book on photographing NE Vermont. Tell us about this special region. The types of subjects we’ll find and the like.

Started as part of my workshops. Getting more locations than was possible to take people on a one or two-day workshop. Includes trail info, GPS info for parking and trailhead info. Also include thoughts on best time of year to visit, optimal weather conditions. And recommended photography gear. I try to cover 8-12 locations in a small geographical location. So if you’re not from NE and you want to head to a place to shoot, this is a great starting guide to get out to some great locations.

Started with Cape Cod. Broke the areas into three sections. I have one in the White Mountains, Central VT, and now NE Vermont. Each participant gets a book that helps them navigate during the workshop but also helps them explore on their own when the workshop is done.

Talk to us about Nichols Ledge: It’s one of about a dozen or so overview locations that are quite popular. This one is only about 5×20 feet or so and I don’t take tours there as it’s a small location and there’s a significant cliff so photographers want to be careful. It’s not a well-used trail so you can potentially get lost which could be problematic.

Also, fall color, at the time of this recording and by the time this gets published, will be all but over. How do you recommend folks approach the region for winter photography?

Winter thoughts: A going into winter look is great with desolate landscapes, churches, with a bit of snow coming in. A light snowfall can be gorgeous. It’s a tremendously different shot than what we can get now with the fall colors. Cape cod gives us the desolate beach image, with no one there, they’re so populated in the summer and fall, and now it’s empty. And the sea grass turns a golden wheat colored hue, the shrubs turn a brilliant rust color as well. Lighthouses can look great too, and it’s totally different than what you’d think of with fall colors.

How is the Atlantic coast in the winter time? When I think of winter, I love to think about heading out to the Oregon coast due to the excellent chance you’ll get a storm and very interesting images because of the varied weather. Any chance it’s similar over there?

And if it gets cold enough you get a blast cold air you get sea smoke where the warm ocean water is reacting with the cold air and causes this layer of fog to linger around in the immediate area around the coastal regions.

There’s a lot of locations because of the population base where you can access it easily. I tend to wear the slip-on cleats and stuff. Helps grip the ice and snow. There’s lighthouses, fishing villages, and large cities like Portland and Boston, we were down to below zero last year. The sea smoke drapes the boats, lighthouses along the shoreline, and it’s clear 15-20 feet above the sea smoke, so you can have a great layered effect going on, creating a rather mythical NE lobster boat, that type of thing.

Do you do an exposure blend? A neutral density filter? I’ll do both. I’ll shoot with a 3-stop ND grad filter. I do a 3-stop exposure blend many times as well. Sometimes I’ll do a blend, sometimes I’ll just stick with one exposure and simply process it how it is needed. I do a lot of high-key stuff where the sky is basically white.

Let’s talk about staying safe and warm this winter. In particular I’m thinking keeping the feet and hands happy.

Certainly, a lot of layers. You can start out very cold in the morning, but on the Cape, I can go down to just a wind shirt and a thermal in January. I have extreme sensitivity to cold, so I use the hand warmers and the feet warmers in a waterproof boot. And I start out with those and I carry extras. I use oversized mittens and stuff the hand warmers in those. I’ll take the off to do the settings I need, and then put the hands right back in. And I don’t stay out very long. Not going to be 2-3 hour hikes, some great friends do some great photography in doing those types of treks but that’s not for me.

Any final thoughts on those of us that have a few extra days this Thanksgiving week that’s coming up. Where would you suggest we go?

It’s an area where you look for some early show in the White or Green Mountains. There’s a lot of festivals for the holidays. Really, just a couple hours outside of Boston and there’s a lot of latitude for various options. Do some holiday shooting in Boston. They are one of the most photogenic cities from my stand point. They’ll decorate parts of the Boston Common, Beacon Hill, the coast and many other places. You can shoot iconic Boston landscapes beautifully decorated for Christmas.

And where are you heading to next?

I’ll be headed off to Ricketts Glenn for some waterfalls. I’m looking at the weather so I’m looking to go there when the weather is right. And then I’ll be shooting in Yosemite for a week next year, Iceland, and planning on a trip to Peru for next September. And I also kinda get tired of winter, so about mid-February I go to St. Augustine FL from mid-February to April. Great sea coast, bird and historical photography options there.

Thanks so much for being here and sharing your expertise on this fantastic region that is New England.

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