A new website for Paul Andrew Photography.

My main portfolio site is hosted at paulandrewphoto.com, and has been constructed and maintained with Apple’s iWeb since 2003 (if memory serves me correctly). However, I’ve never been completely happy with the lack of customizability inherent in iWeb, and I’ve tried to find some simple web design software (short of Dreamweaver) that I can use to create a more elegant and simple web site.

Finally, I found a nice solution—Freeway Pro 5.5 by Softpress. I spent all day yesterday figuring out how to work the software, and once I made some serious progress, I became rather obsessed, and finished a working mock-up of the site, and didn’t go to sleep till about 3 am. (The down side of this was not so pleasant, as I had to get up at 6:30 to make breakfast for my kids and drive them to school this morning.) After dropping my kids off at school, I completely removed my old iWeb site and replaced it with the new improved version.

There are a few more pages to add, but the main work was going through my Lightroom library and culling through 1000+ images and choosing which images to include. I settled on about 7 black and white images, and 20 color images that I felt were a good representation of my work.

The interesting (perhaps somewhat demoralizing!) aspect of this process was how much more critical I have become of my own images. The more photographs I make, the more my older photographs seem to become flawed in some way. ┬áThe image above is an exception to this general trend—I still find this to be a well-composed and pleasing image. But that’s a subject for another post—after I have a good sleep.

Do you find the same dissatisfaction with your older images in general?

Isle Au Haut, Maine #1

Recently, my wife and I spent a day (sans children) hiking on Isle Au Haut, a 10 km ferry ride from Stonington, ME. Isle Au Haut has about 45 year-round residents, and much of the island is part of Acadia National Park. Due to it’s remoteness, it’s the least visited part of Acadia (actually, I don’t have any data on that, but I’d bet you a nickel it’s true). There are only two rangers on the island and part of their job (aside from being incredibly friendly and knowledgeable) is to make sure everyone that entered the park in the morning leaves at the end of the day on the last ferry.

This will be the first of several posts on the trip, and I’ll include a photo or two with each post.

Today’s photos, the ferns (A) and the beach rocks (B), are taken at Duck Harbor (southwestern part of the island), and Squeaker Cove, respectively.

Duck harbor was where I first noticed that Isle Au Haut has some of the largest uninterupted fields (except for large boulders and occasional trees) that I have ever seen. These fields are so densely packed with ferns (I believe in this case, hay-scented ferns) that they seem to have crowded out many other species of plants. The visual effect is amazing, and the soft overcast light made photographing the fields quite pleasingly simple.

After a short hike up and over Duck Harbor Mountain, we arrived at Squeaker Cove. Beautiful smooth granite stones line the beach, which inevitably prompts people to create little cairn scultpures, many of which you can see here.

Incidently, when we arrived at the next beach at Deep Cove, which is populated by similarly smooth granite stones, my wife stepped in such a way that two of the polished stones slid against each other and produced a noise we both spontaneously described as a squeak, hence our theory that this is behind the naming of Squeaker Cove.

I have no idea if this theory has any truth to it, but it’s a good sounding theory. So there.

I hope you enjoy the images. More about hiking on the island in the next post.

Happy Accidents

I was just working on some images making print ready files for sending to my printer (White House Custom Color). I’ve made a template in Lightroom’s Print Module that (when a properly cropped) makes a jpeg file ready to upload and print. However, the below portrait format print image was accidentally used with a landscape template for a 5×7 greeting card, and them I was left with the bottom image, which, after realizing what had happened, I instantly liked. This led to a good 20 minutes or so of making different versions and playing around with the crop. Freeman Patterson has a great exercise where he has you place your tripod in one spot and make a 10-20 images. Its a fantastic exercise in seeing, and not altogether different than my little cropping exercise.

Next time I am at Schoodic Point (the location of these photos) I will return with fresh eyes, inspired by a happy accident.