A new home

For those that follow this blog, it now has a new home. I not have a website with an integrated blog on which I will be publishing the content. Please head over to www.charliewiddsphotography.com and follow along there. Now that the site is up and live, I will be publishing content more often. Thanks and I hope to see you over them.


2012 Goals, a little late.

I know this is a little late, but I wanted to at least get something out there that says, “Hey 2012, I’m ready!” I don’t like the idea of doing New Years resolutions because I belong to a school of thought that you should be ready to make any necessary changes no matter what time of year it is. That being said, I do have some loose goals for the year as a measuring stick as the year progresses.

Goal #1: Expand my portfolio. I know that this seems like a no brainer, but I want to put some more effort in on it. I was fortunate enough to be raised in the gorgeous state of Maine, with it’s abundance of beautiful natural landscapes so it has been easy enough to drive 20 minutes down the road and find a great place to shoot. So right now my portfolio consists of landscapes from my own area with a few coming from locations up to a few hours away. Not to mention the still untapped potential this state has. My goal is to keep things new and dynamic by getting to all these places I have never been. Right now, I am compiling a list of places both local and not that I would like to shoot this year.

Goal #2: Upgrade to a full-frame camera. This one is a bit of a long shot mostly due to finances. I have begun to pay off those pesky student loans and so the extra money to get a new camera isn’t likely to come anytime soon. On top of that, I am holding out for the 5D mkIII that I am hoping will be finally released sometime this year or early next year. As much as I love my 7D, landscapes really are the realm of the full-frame.

Goal#3: Make some money from my photography! It has always been my goal to go at this gig full time and I have finally begun to take steps in that direction. I have already planned to make 2012 a big year for me in that respect. Between several small business classes and some good advice from my mentor, I think I am beginning to understand what this is going to take and I am ore determined than ever.

Goal #4: Win a big contest of some kind. This one is doesn’t have a set time frame, but I want it here to remind me of a big goal of me.

Goal #5: Not to forget to have fun with my photography. Forgetting to enjoy your art is an easy thing to do when you make the transition from thinking of it as a hobby and thinking of it as a business.

So this is a loose set of goals that I will be using as a guideline for my photography over the next year. As we go along, I hope that I can come back to this post and put small check marks by each goal.

Until next time, happy shooting!

Acadia Part III: Thunder Hole

Among the iconic stops along Acadia’s 27-mile loop road is Thunder Hole. The allure of Thunder Hole is that, when the tide is right, the waves can crash against the hole and shoot high into the air also causing noise than many says sounds like thunder. For me, the allure is less about the waterspout, and more about the high waves that hit the tall rocks surrounding the hole.

In my five years of making the trip to Acadia, I have never actually photographed the spot, opting to shoot around it instead. From the rocks around Thunder Hole, you have a great view long the coast up to Otter Cliff or toward Sand Beach. Either way, you are greeted with some great waves that you can either shoot fast, to freeze them as the crash against the rocks, or shoot long and get some great motion.

Thunder Hole is also a great place to capture the rising sun in the morning, and if you are lucky, you can get some great color combined with the dynamic surf. All of this comes with a warning though. During periods of high surf, the area can be dangerous with tall waves hitting even some of the higher points of the rocks. Last year, a large rogue wave caused by a hurricane dragged 16 tourists out to sea. Several times while out shooting at this location, I had to warn parents that were allowing their children very low onto the rocks. During my visit, the waves were not that high, and they were still covering the Thunder Hole viewing platform, an ever present reminder to respect Mother Nature.

That being said, I still recommend anyone that likes to watch great surf to definitely make the stop there. It represents the beauty of Maine’s rugged coast in a small area.

Until next time, happy shooting.

Acadia Part IV: Cadillac Mountain

Something that always makes the list of places to go in Acadia is Cadillac Mountain. By far the most iconic location in Acadia, it has a few reasons to make the quick jaunt to the top. The most obvious one is that it is the highest point of the eastern coast.

Depending on the time of the year, it is the first place in the United States to see the sun. Due to that fact, during peak tourist season, hundreds of people gather at the top every morning to greet the new day. For a photographer, this is a frustrating fact. If you don’t arrive early, you will have a hard time finding a good spot that isn’t taken or blocked by onlookers. More often than not, I have had to simply accept the fact that people will be in the shot, and taken them out later in Photoshop.

Sunrise isn’t the only time to visit the mountain though. It offers a nearly 360-degree view of the park and surrounding land. The long winding road up the mountain is dotted with turn offs for people to stop and take in the various views of the mountains, lakes, and coastline. Once you get to the top, a short mile long loop trail takes you a long the vista, which overlooks Bar Harbor and most of the loop road.

This location is not recommended for those looking to get away from the crowd. If the weather is anywhere close to nice, the area is crowded, with tour buses pulling in most days. The only time I have seen it near empty is in extreme windy and rainy conditions, in which case there is no view anyway.

I still make the trip up at least once during my trips because it has given me some great shots in the past. If conditions are right, low-lying fog comes n from the ocean covering all the land under a few hundred feet tall. Suddenly you are on a small island with the peaks of a few other mountains poking through. You won’t regret the stop.

Until next time, happy shooting.

Willard Beach

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have been fortunate enough to be raised here in Maine. There is just no end to the breathtaking landscapes in this state. It is always nice, especially when time is tight, to head out down the road and be able to get some quality shooting done. I finally made it a popular local beach, Willard Beach in South Portland. Willard beach is a nice little sand beach that is nestled between a few icons. On your left, you have Spring Point Ledge Light and a little further down the coast on the right is Portland Head Light.

On my first visit there I was lucky enough to get a great sunset with some popping color. I sat up around some rock on the right of the beach and captured a few long exposures. I am loving my B+W 110 10-stop ND filter. It takes a simple ½ second exposure and pushes it to an 8-minute exposure. 10-stops makes even the calmest of waters look dynamic. I will probably go back to the beach a few more times in the coming weeks, I tend to follow the Ansel Adams approach to landscapes and return to the same location in a bunch of different kinds of light.

Until next time, happy shooting!

A Little Contest

Hey Folks,

Over at the Charlie Widdis Photography facebook page, there is a little contest going on where if I can get to 365 likes by midnight on January 1st, then I will give one fan of the page a free Charlie Widdis Photography 2012 calendar. Just go to the page, like it and share it with your friends. Thank you for the help and here is to a great new year!


The 2012 Charlie Widdis Photography Maine Landscape Calendar

My Top 10 Images of 2011

Having been online looking through a lot of other photographers blogs, I have noticed that a lot of them do a year of review by listing their Top 10 images that they shot. So not be left behind I will jump on that bandwagon this year and do the same. So without further adieu, here are my top 10 favorite shots of 2011.

Ah, Portland. One of my favorites because of the light and the fact that it overlooks Portland. As I get older, I realize how I much I love the city.

Again, this images means more to me as it represents that physical pains I will endure for shooting. The exact opposite of Sub Zero Safe Passage, this image was taken when it was 110 degrees out.

This image imade my favorites because it shows the dynamic nature of landscapes.

I love this image because it was one of the first images I took that really showed what my 10-stop filter can do.

This isn't a great image by any means, but the reason it rates so high to me is because it marks my first foray into night sky photography.

I enjoy this image because it represents a different kind of foreground than I usually lean toward.

This image has more than one meaning for me. Not only is it a good image, it represents whats I am willing to endure to get a shot. The temperature had dropped to -37 degrees with windchill and as I slowly lost feeling in my extremities, I kept shooting.

On the same day i took Unfolding, I played with some longer exposures. I love the look of the foreground in this image. It has a real ethereal feel to me.

This might my favorite shot from 2011 as a whole. I was fortunate enough to be given some dramatic skies on my last afternoon in Acadia.

I like this image because of the huge amount of color in it and the amount of time I put into the post process of the image.

New Product

I know that it is a little last minute, but I have put together a 2012 Charlie Widdis Photography, Maine Landscapes Calendar. It is currently priced at 29.99 and includes most of my best images from around Maine. If you are a fan of good photography, than this is a great idea for you, Enjoy a brand new and inspiring image every month. Please place your orders in the new shop on my website.

The 2012 Charlie Widdis Photography Maine Landscape Calendar

The Holiday Season Has Arrived!

Hey folks! As you all know, the holiday season is upon us and we are all looking for gifts for our friends and loved ones. Well look no further! What better gift than giving someone a gorgeous moment frozen in time? I have a wide variety of photographs that are available to printed, matted, and framed for the art and photography lovers on your shopping lists. All prints are available in sizes as small as 4×6 for a nice desk sized picture or as big as 20×30 for the vacant office of house wall that needs some color.

Support your favorite up and coming artist, buy local, and give someone the gift of a lasting moment in time. Head to http://www.charliewiddisphotography.com/#!__pricing for prices and sizes available.

Happy holidays and until next time, happy shooting.

Happy Holidays from Charlie Widdis Photography

New Endeavors

It has been ever since I got my Canon 7D that I have wanted to really make use of the HD video capabilities it has. It is like there is a whole other side of my camera I have yet to scratch the surface on.

I will be the first to recognize that while there are some similarities in shooting video and photography, especially when it comes to static shots, there is still a ton that I have to learn. That being said, I think that I am finally going to start taking steps toward that. I have for a long time had a far off fantasy that one day I could work on a project like Planet Earth, Life, or Human Life {all BBC projects). While I don’t think I will ever achieve the abilities of those guys, I will strive to be able to produce something of quality.

I just purchased an intervalometer the other day and for those that don’t know what it does, it essentially allows me to take series of images that are equally spaced apart. What this will allow me to do is produce time-lapse sequences. I am sure a fair amount of people have seen some kind of time lapse video where time seems to pass quickly and hours become minutes.

So over the next few months, and beyond, in addition to great images, I will probably be throwing some experimental video stuff. I am just started, so be nice.

Until next time, happy shooting.

My Time Lapse can be seen here.