Sunday, April 19, 2009


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Haunted Hills

[Above] The lonely climb up Juniper Swamp
2009 Tour of Battenkill
Cambridge, New York

I am haunted by hills. Places I used to spend between 20 and 40 hours a week climbing. They always had epic names: Snake Hill, Blue Factory, Deep Kill, Smith Hill, Greylock. Add Juniper Swamp to that list. The Juniper Swamp climb was featured in this years edition of the Tour of Battenkill. 18% of loose dirt and gravel. Great place to watch a professional cycling race.

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Bulmer Photography in the Press

Photography experts help you pick out the right camera

In a day when we can easily snap pictures on cell phones and disposable cameras, getting the full beauty of the outdoors is often more complex than a simple point and shoot.

It is hard to describe the beauty of the outdoors in mere words. Photographers attempt to capture these sights from around the globe for the enjoyment of many more. However, it's important to consider that you will be lugging around all that gear.

"Choosing camera equipment for shooting on location takes some thought," said Allen Birnbach, a 30-year commercial and fine art photographer in Denver, Colo. "First, you have to consider the size and weight of the gear, especially if you will be carrying it around all day or plan on hiking into remote locations for an extended trip.

"One must think about the build quality, and how the equipment will hold up under the jarring and jostling of getting to the location, and deal with weather conditions once you are there."

Birnbach's commercial assignments for advertising and corporate clients have taken him to over 20 countries around the world. "I often times work in remote locations in transitional weather, and I want images that have the resolution to jump off the gallery wall at 30x40 inches," he said. "From the standpoint of rock solid dependability in that situation, my choice would be a Canon 1DsMkIII camera," which has a 21.1 megapixel digital single lens reflex, or DSLR.

John Bulmer, owner of John Bulmer Photography in Albany, N.Y., has shot adventure sports and remote landscapes in the Adirondack Mountains for more than 15 years.

"Mid-range DSLRs such as the Nikon D90 coupled with a 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens offer a wide range of options without the bulk or weight of the heavier and more expensive pro-level cameras," he said. "The D90 reduces the learning curve with a variety of scene modes and in-camera image enhancement features.

Outfitted with a remote shutter release and a lightweight tripod like the Gitzo G1158T Traveler, the D90 can handle almost any shooting situation."

The D90 also has a more economical price tag for the average outdoor photographer, said Bulmer.

Ann Hawthorne, a National Science Foundation Antarctica program participant from Washington, D.C., knows firsthand how weather can affect your shooting.

"Digital cameras are not only battery hogs but battery dependent. An old Nikon FM2 and rolls of film can go forever in extreme temperatures — not so digital," she said. However, "my solution for working for days at a time in temperatures as low as 50 below was the simple, perfect, hard working Digital Camera Battery [or DCB]. Throw that charged puppy in its case with shoulder strap across your chest, under your arm inside your parka to keep it warm — connect it to your digital SLR and never miss a shot.

"I use the 40 watt version — small enough to hardly notice the added weight — and powerful, sturdy enough to never give it another thought. I am a dedicated, major fan. I could not have done the months long field work I have in the Antarctic without my DCB."

Outdoor photography means more than scenery for many photographers. Shooting wildlife with your camera means subjecting yourself and equipment to the same environment that your subjects feel most comfortable in — even if it is a 120-degree summer day to catch a tiger drinking from a waterhole or a dusty jungle in India.

Former U.N. photographer John Issac now concentrates on wildlife and nature. He prefers an Olympus E-3 has built in stabilizers and dust reduction features. "One has to remember when you are trekking and carrying a lot of our necessities on your back, you have to travel light. I carry a monopod sometimes because when the light is very low you need a little support," he said.

One more item many photographers say is necessary for good outdoor photography is high-quality photo editing software. While a photographer will look to take the perfect shot, sometimes poor lighting or other natural element can get in the way.

PHOTO CAPTION: The ideal camera depends on your skill level and what you need. For example, the Nikon D90 is portable and easy to use. CNS Photo courtesy of Nikon


Friday, April 17, 2009

Vetical Liquid Promo Image

[Above] Vertical Liquid Website Coming Summer 2009

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Overlook Mountain Church

[Above] Church, Overlook Mountain
Woodstock, New York

Just back from a good day of shooting in the Catskills. First warm day of 2009. Stopped off in Woodstock to lunch among the hippies and day trippers up from New York City. Found this church up on the mountain over town. Creepy and beautiful all at the same time.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

12:45 AM

After awhile, all airports start to look the same. Airport food court transients stare into laptops while speaking details of a life temporarly left behind into cell phones. You watch people do the same things in different cities. Everyone is the same, only clothes, accents, and incomes vary. Fellow travellers move through people movers, information kiosks, and automated security warnings. The thought that "we are all in this together but working for limited resources and space" is inescapable. Seems true about everything in life, about the outer world. Cool & synthetic voices only hint at all the bad things that are out there possibly aligning against you at this very moment. As you watch CNN on the flat screen as you wait to remove your shoes at the checkpoint, you realize that too much of anything is a bad thing. This is especially true of information and imagination.

Planes drop in out of the landing pattern. Come in low over the lights of Westgate and follow the surface streets to the airport. You are in the last few minutes of a late night flight home over a blackout patchwork of mid-western farm fields and cities fleshed out in hundreds of points of light. As the plane banks on final approach, your window dips and the horizon bobs up into view. Like a ball held underwater, freed. And at 12.45am all the cars in the parking lots below have a strange sense of solitude about them. From 500 feet all the angles are different and strange yet completely familair. The street lights throw down cones of halogen and the world almost seems automated. Still moving but without the presence of people.

And just then it hits you. That the world goes on with or without you. Your return is elusive
Under cover of cool darkness. And tomorrow you will wake up with western dust still on your shoes and those handbills from the Vegas strip still in your coat pocket.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Vertical Liquid

New from Bulmer Photography.
Vertical Liquid: Alpine & Surf Reconnaissance New England
Coming Summer 2009