About Me

My Photo
Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer has been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a weekly blog about photography in New England.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

What Camera Should I Buy? (Part 1)


Canon SX50 HS

The question comes right after the usual "What camera did you take that with?".  "What camera should I buy?"  They usually don't let me get away with explaining that it isn't the camera that is important but the knowledge and soul of the person looking through the viewfinder, So then the conversation begins.




This week's blog will, I hope, be the first of a series of articles directed towards folks who 
Snowliage Canon 10 meg G11
are just beginning to explore the wonders of digital photography. I meet many people who are terribly intimidated by what seems to be an endlessly confusing whirl of technical issues that surround the mastering of today's digital cameras, but most of the issues have not changed from the days of film photography. The importance of f-stop, shutter speed, media sensitivity and color balance have not altered. There is really very little which is different about the process of taking a picture. What has changed, with digital photography, is that once the shutter has been clicked, we have a much broader range of options for processing the images. Still many of these options are only refinements of what we could do with film in the wet darkroom.

I greatly envy those people who are just getting into digital photography since they have an amazing adventure before them. There has never been so much exciting stuff to learn and learning has never been so easy. Today novices don't need to wait a couple of weeks for their pictures to come back from the lab to see what mistakes they've made. The feedback is right there on the LCD screen within a second of shooting and corrections can be immediately explored. Folks who never shot with film have no idea what a game changing advancement this is for professional as well as amateur photographers. Secondly the internet is saturated with immediately accessible answers to any questions you may have about photography. Photographers are remarkably generous with their knowledge and many sources, this site excepted, are quite reliable.

That is the end of my pep talk. There is much to learn, but the rewards are great and the potential for growth is boundless. Let’s start the journey with the essential first question, "What camera should I buy?".

Range of choices:

It may seem obvious that the range of power and sophistication for digital cameras is massive. We can start by establishing the extremes of the available choices, but even these are changing monthly.

On the low end we have camera phones which are becoming increasingly sophisticated. The iPhone 5 has an 8 megapixel sensor and a world of apps to expand its capability. It probably should not be surprising that some studies have suggested that as many as 90% of those who take picture do so only with a camera phone. Of course a high percentage of those pictures are of their food. I will start by assuming that you are reading this because you are not satisfied with camera phone photography.




Nikon D800




There is no real limit for the upper end of photographic equipment, but for the consumer, or "prosumer" market we can limit our discussion to Digital Single Lens Reflex Cameras (DSLRs). A Nikon D800 with a nice 70-200mm zoom lens will cost you well over $5000. For that you get a 36 megapixel full frame sensor with low noise even at high ISO, 56 point precise auto focus and HD 1080p video. If you want a second battery, and you do, that will be extra.







So that's the range. How do you pick where you belong on the continuum. It really just comes down a few basic consideration; how much control you want over your images, how much you want to learn and what you want to do with your pictures.

I will not attempt a complete review of the dizzying array of choices. There are great discussions on the web covering all aspects of this difficult decision and all of them share one attribute; To the extent that they offer a detailed discussion of the current options, they will be out of date the day after they are published. So here are my random and incomplete thoughts about this process. With any luck they will be sufficiently vague to be relevant for perhaps a week or two. From the broadest perspective, I will focus my discussion on compact cameras and Digital SLRs, but I will also discuss the new guy in town, "Mirrorless" System cameras. There is a lot to cover and I will divide this topic into two articles, reserving DSLRs and Mirrorless for next week.
Check out DP Reviews for detailed and reliable reviews of all the new equipment. I used several of their camera images in this article

Compact Cameras



Canon SX50



Compact cameras are generally, well, compact, at least when compared to clunky standard DSLRs, but they vary greatly in size, portability and capability. Here is brief list of some of the important aspects to keep in mind as you consider your options. I recently bought a new "Carry Around" camera and in my blog about the process I discussed what I felt are some of most important attributes of a compact camera for my kind of shooting.





Sensor Size


Abe with my 10meg Canon G11


Compact cameras usually have smaller sensors which means that image quality will not be as good. They will have more noise especially at higher ISOs (sensor sensitivity). Compact Cameras are increasingly outfitted with high megapixel sensors, but all those pixels are good for marketing, but are not always a good thing when they are crammed on a tiny sensor. You can look for cameras equipped with larger sensors, but that usually means a bigger camera. The balance between sensor size and pocket-ability is just one of many decisions on the way to finding your perfect camera.









50X Zoom
Zoom:

Because compacts have fixed lens' you should look for a lens with a range of focal lengths to meet your imagined needs. Newer compacts are showing up with impressive zooms from 10x to my new Canon SX50, which at 50x ranges from 24mm to 1200mm. These long zoom are great for wildlife photography but, if your only goal is to take snap shots of the family, you can save money with a shorter lens and "Zoom" with your feet. Also don’t be fooled by advertising touting a camera’s “digital zoom”.  Digital zooms only crop the image in the camera to make it appear larger.  As you make a 2X digital zoom you will lose image quality, as your expensive 20meg sensor becomes a 10meg sensor.  The only that is important to look for the camera’s “optical Zoom.  

 
 




 

Control:
The extent to which Compacts allow control of the camera's settings varies widely. Many 

For Point & Shoots Color is All Important
are literally "point and shoots" designed for those who don't want anything to do with adjusting how the camera captures the scene. They want to be able to point the camera vaguely in the direction of the subject, and then softly intone the command, "Take a picture of that". They hope for the best, but don't expect much. As it turns out the automatic functions in even the most modest point and shoots are actually pretty sophisticated, and occasionally these casual shooter will capture a descent picture. Hopefully these few masterpieces will encourage the photographer to appreciate their high ratio of garbage to gold, and will trigger a desire to learn more and take control, and then they're hooked.







Accessible Controls on My Canon G11


I can safely assume that no one who has made it this far is of the point and shoot persuasion. For you, higher end compacts offer larger sensors with better image quality and access to the full complement of controls that you would find on a DSLR. The cost for these features is generally an increase in size, but many are still quite "compact". Many compacts now have the capability to shoot in shutter and aperture preferred modes as well as full manual. As you consider these cameras check out the ease of access to the controls. Physical dials and buttons on the camera body are much preferred over having to struggle your way through complicated multi-level menus.


Autumn Clock, Canon G11




RAW, Repeat after me, RAW!

If you plan to be serious about getting the most from your images through post-processing, then the capability to shoot in RAW is a must. A discussion of the advantages of RAW over JPG files is beyond the scope of this article, but trust me, if you care enough to get a higher end compact then you will eventually want to shoot in RAW.





Canon G11 with Hot Shoe
Flash:





Almost all compacts have built in flashes that are handy to use, and universally produce stark unflattering light. Consider getting a compact that has a hot shot to allow the addition of a much more capable external flash.






Video:
It is hard to find a compact camera that doesn't include the capability to shoot video. Better cameras can shoot high definition video at 1080p, but the sound capabilities are generally atrocious. Good sound is a necessary element of good videos and separate audio inputs would be great, but don't expect this in compacts, since many DSLRs lack this feature as well.





3 Bracketed Images HDR Canon SX50 HS


Bells and Whistles

It is an interesting fact that camera makers often debut neat new features in there compact consumer cameras long before they show up in their high end professional SLRs. Auto HDR, exposure and focus bracketing, Wi-Fi connectivity, and a bevy special shooting modes, including such challenging situations as night, sports, and fireworks are just some of the nifty features that are available. My new camera has a "Smart Shutter" that can trigger when a subject smiles or immediately following a blink (or so they claim?). Lots of fun stuff, but not the basis on which I would suggest that you make your buying decision.


A Variable Angle LCD is a Great Convenience


Compact cameras are no longer just pocket point and shoots. Many offer quite sophisticated capabilities and produce great images. The best approach is to consider which feature are most important for the kind of shooting you plan to do. Read the reviews and, if possible, get the cameras in your hands.  How a camera feels can be more important than all its glitzy bells and whistles.  In the right situations a compact can represent an excellent choice, but inevitably they impose compromises in terms of image quality and flexibility. When compact size is not an issue, it is worth considering the array of Digital Single Lens Reflex and the new Mirrorless cameras.

But that is for next week.
Jeff Newcomer
partridgebrookreflections.com

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Photography Calendars

2015 Cover

Assembling the Right Stuff
I will ask forgiveness in advance for devoting this weeks blog to my experience designing my yearly New England Reflections Calendar. With the deadline for the 2015 calendar coming up next week, I have little time to think of much else. I have been publishing my calendar of New England photography to benefit the Cheshire Medical Center Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program for more than a decade and I hope my experiences will be of some interest to those who publish their own calendars or those who are considering taking on the challenge. 

Last year, and for the first time, I actually got my calendar out on a reasonable date. Our goal has been to have the thing in stores by
The Cover is Critical
the time the students return to Keene State College for the fall semester. This year it means that I need to get the files and my rough layout to the designer by July 25th. In the early years, I had to design the calendar in Microsoft Publisher and then work with the lovely people in the hospital print shop to try to get the images to look something like I had seen on the screen. The results were remarkably good considering that they were coming off of a laser printer that was intended to produce large volumes of hospital forms and not fine art images. The calendars sold well, but they were not of professional quality. 


Beginning in 2010 we made the jump to a professional printer and the differences have been amazing. Not only are the images sharper and more brilliant, but the process for me has been much easier. I now do

May, Peacham, Vt
the initial selection of images and set the rough design in Publisher, but from that point I hand off the images and layout to a designer who prepares the final files in InDesign.  The calendars come back in a couple of weeks all bound and shrink wrapped with a piece of cardboard in the middle to avoid curling. It is wonderful that I don't have to collate, punch and bind hundred of calendars. The calendars are more expensive to produce, but we get a reasonable deal from Silver Direct, Inc, a local printer who does a nice job and is a pleasure to work with. The bottom line is that we get a lovely calendar and most importantly we can still make money for the Rehab Program.

While the process is all painfully fresh in my mind, I thought it might be helpful for those considering putting together a calendar of their own work, to provide a short list of the resources I need to assemble for my yearly project and it all starts with the painful chore of selecting the images.

The Big Pictures
My first step is to assemble a collection of potential images for the large monthly calendars and , of course, for the all important cover

October, Green River, Vt
shot. The first basic criterion is that all the images must be in landscape orientation. Someday I will put together a calendar using portrait oriented images and that year I will have a ton of pictures available that I have been desperate to use.  Although what I do is called "landscape" photography, I love images which feature a wide depth of field and that, more often than not, means shooting in portrait orientation.  Knowing that the
April, Winchester, NH
calendar is coming every year reminds me of an important photographic axiom; "The best time to take a landscape oriented picture is right after you have taken the portrait oriented image". After shooting a portrait image, I always try to remember to flip my camera and look for a composition that will work in landscape mode. This not only works for the calendar but also gives me important options for future clients who may need the landscape view.




Location, Location




March, Rye Beach, NH
My calendar is titled "New England" Reflection, so I can't use any of my spectacular pictures of Prague or the amazing wildlife of the Galapagos Islands, and, to satisfy my audience, I try to include a selection of images from both New Hampshire and Vermont. Traditionally I try to add one sea coast picture and, to provide a break from the endless trees and mountains, I look for at least one wildlife image. This year I knew what my wildlife picture would be even before I clicked the shutter on this year's remarkable Snowy Owls. 




The Seasons
Of course it is tradition that the images should match the season,

January, Spofford, NH - Why Not in July?
but it has always been a source of wonder to me that, in the middle of the nose numbing cold of winter, people would rebel at seeing anything other than a winter scene on the January calendar. I swear that someday my calendar will switch the seasons. Why not a warm summer pasture in February and a refreshingly cold snow covered village to offset the steamy heat of August. I swear, I'm going to do it! I'm retired now and I can do anything I want, I think. Anyway, I digress, you can check out my selections for this year in the Calendar Gallery on my partridgebrookreflections.com web site.



The Little Stuff
After the agony, of picking my twelve images from all those I would like to include, I move on to the other graphics in the calendar. I have to switch my vision to look for complementary banners and thumbnails.





Banners
Finding banner images that will complement the main pictures both visually and contextually is often a more difficult task than picking the primary images themselves. I have to scan looking for a slice that will work, understanding that even my least favorite image may contain a sliver that will work perfectly. I move candidates into photoshop and, after setting my crop ratio to the needed 11.25" x 8", I move the crop window up and down to see if something clicks. 







 

Thumbnails
August, Port Clyde, Me


Finally I get to pick images for thumbnail, those little pictures that fill some of the open blocks in the calendar. This is where I get to honor some of the images I would have liked to have included as main monthly pictures. Some of these occasionally show up as big pictures in future calendars.






Thumbs


Once I have selected all my images I have to go back to the original full resolution files and adjust the size, color and sharpness to fit into the calendar. I keep my monitor calibrated and I haven't found a need to apply a separate printer profile to get reasonable color balance. 



The Text

I have always tried to include helpful information in my calendars. 

After the images are ready, I start by writing short informational blurbs" for each image. I try to write a short story which describes something about the location or the process that went into capturing the image. Some picture come with great stories to share, but for others this can be a challenge,  when the only thing I can come up with is "Red Barn".  I do my best, but sometimes I will sacrifice a great image just because I can't find an interesting story to tell.  This year, where appropriate, I've decided to supplement my "Blurbs" with links to complementary articles in my Blog archive. Next, I update the information for the back of the calendar that describes the work and honors all the great things that Pulmonary Rehab does to help our patients who struggle with the challenges of living with chronic lung disease. Finally I have to decide on which holidays to include
My One Portrait for 2015
in the calendar. Federal Holidays are obvious, but which Christian, Jewish or Moslem holidays, AND how exactly do you spell
"(C)Hanukah".  I throw in Groundhog Day, Fathers, Mothers Day and Valentines day (to help out Hallmark), and, sadly for our Native American readers, Columbus Day. Google "holidays" sometime and you will see that it is impossible to include everything and I am bound to piss off lots of very earnest celebrants of National Explosive Ordnance Disposal Day (May 3rd). I do my best. All that is left to add are the phases of the moon and I'm done.






 




Letting Go
I package all the files onto one or two disks and drop them off at Silver Direct. It usually only takes a week or two to get the PDF

July, Winchester, NH
proof back for review. I have learned to get as many people as possible to proof read the calendar.  I do this to catch the inevitable mistakes and to involve as many critics as possible in the blame for the one or two gaffs that always slip through. One year the printer actually left out a day, just skipped it!, and no one caught the mistake until the calendars were distributed to stores throughout the region. I had to chase down every calendar and insert a sticker strip to correct the offending week. The flawed calendars that I missed are still out there and are undoubtedly valuable collectors items.




So that's my process. If you want to produce your own calendar, I hope this description will be helpful, and not horrifying. I would only add that the best decision I ever made was to donate the profits from my calendar to a worthy cause. It makes the marketing much easier and benefits some very lovely and needy people.  So if you get a chance, buy one (or 10) of my calendars, they make great gifts for a GREAT cause.  I could say more, but I am only half way through my banner images and that deadline is freight training its way to my door. 


Jeffrey Newcomer
Partridgebrookreflections.com

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hanging Art, Showing Your Work at Its Best






First I get some shameless self-promotion.


 I am excited to have a solo exhibition of my New England photography at the Jaffrey Civic Center from July 11th through August 16th. The Center is one of my favorite places to show my work. The downstairs Auditorium Gallery is spacious, well lit, and has an excellent hanging system. Most importantly, the director, Dion Owens , is a delight to work with and has a tireless commitment to supporting the arts in our region. The only challenge of showing at the Civic Center is that the galleries are enormous. Exhibitions in Jaffery are easily the biggest that I have had the opportunity to stage. Thank goodness I framed 13 new pieces for the show, since I ended up hanging all 30 of the pictures that I jammed into my car. Jaffrey is a bit out of the way but the Center is one of the best places to enjoy art in the region and the getting there from Keene leads you down Route 124, which is my favorite scenic road around Mount Monadnock. Come by if you are in the area. The Civic Center is open Tuesdays 10 to 6, Wednesday through. Friday from 1 to 5 and Saturday from 10 to 2 . It is located on Route 124 just west of the town center and almost across the street from Sunflowers Restaurant, an excellent place for lunch or dinner. For more information and directions check out the Jaffrey Civic Center web site, you may even notice some of my pictures scattered through the pages.



 


 Hanging Art
Enough advertising!  As I Assembled the Jaffrey show, I realized that in my long stated effort to "show the work", I have displayed my photographs in nearly 50 solo shows and group exhibitions. Hanging a show requires considerable effort and care both to display the work to best advantage and to protect the pictures from damage. Over the years I have dropped, bumped and scraped pictures leading to broken glass and scratched frames as well as dislodging dust to float in the frame. Through painful experience I have develop a system to simplify the process and reduce the risk of damage to the work. This includes a simplified approach to packing and transporting the images as well as a tool box of resources that make the hanging easier and more precise.


 

Packaging
Life-Time Supply of Corrugated
For years I have used the same plastic bins to transport and store my pictures. I struggled with various materials to protect the images as they bounced around in the bins, but I have finally settled on wrapping each frame in a sheet of corrugated cardboard. I bought a massive roll of the material and have cut sheets that completely unfold the work. There are many different materials to use to protect your work during transportation and storage, but I have found this approach to be simple, economical and effective. I use foam and bubble wrap to stabilize the load when the bins are not tightly filled. When fully loaded the bins can become quite heavy, but my newest container has rollers which makes transport much easier.


The Wrap


The Bins


How's It Hanging?
Over the years I have assembled a collection of tools that make the hanging process much simpler, but he greatest difficulty is that
Wire Hanging System
venues have a wide variety of hanging systems or, all too often, no system at all. I especially hate contributing to the carnage by pound nails into sadly scarred walls. The background looks terrible and the security of the work, suspended from the crumbling plaster, is often quite tenuous. Happily many of my host are learning that the investment in a hanging system is much less expensive than regular wall reconstruction (Are you listening Kristin's Bakery ?). The Jaffrey Civic Center has an excellent system of wire hangers suspended from a simple clean molding on the wall. This is my favorite approach and it is what I use in my own gallery at home. It allows infinite flexibility to adjust both position and height and the walls stay undamaged and clean.


 


My Hanging Toolbox
The contents of my hanging toolbox has expanded over the years as I have attempted to be prepared for all the possible challenges of different venues.  Given  all the possible scenarios, I recently had to get a bigger box.







What's in the Box
It will NEVER be this clean again
Let's start with the basics, a hammer, screw drivers, wire cutters, needle nose pliers, hanging wire, and various hooks. I have a collection of round and flat S hooks to attach to moldings or wires.  I know that, if I want to be invited back to a gallery, I have to take every precaution to leave the walls undamaged. I use a special hanging putty, called UHU Tac, to attach show lists and other information to the walls without stripping the paint upon removal.   This product attaches easily, is reusable, and is available at most framing stores. Similarly I use painter's tape to stabilize excess wires without causing damage (thanks to Dion for this tip).




Other key elements include a level and measuring implements. I have a tape measure to evenly position the pictures, but for final alignment and especially to adjust the height of the frames, I find it is easier to use a rigid yard stick.  A small foot stool occasionally comes in handy when hooks are especially high.  When I have the flexibility, " I like to arrange the pictures at average eye level and with their bases all at the same height. This is almost impossible to do when I must pound hangers into the walls and in those situations I will often purposefully stagger the picture at different heights. It looks better than having the pictures all slightly out of alignment.  Finally, before I level the pictures I do a detailed inspection and clean smudged glass with ammonia free glass cleaner on a lint free cloth.  I never spray the cleaner directly on the glass since it has a tendency to flow into the frame and contaminate the mat.

 




Labeling 
Show List


For a few early years, I attached separate labels to the wall next to each image, but this proved to be a hassle with labels falling off and stripping the paint or wall paper. Now I wait until the show is hung and then prepare a single, ordered list of the works to post with the exhibition. I identify the pictures with numbers placed on a lower corner with small white adhesive dots. In addition to the list of works, including titles, locations and prices, I add basic information about my interests and process. The list also provides me an easy way to keep track of the work in each show.


 
 

Once the show is hung, plumbed and labeled my last step is to photograph each wall as a further record of the exhibition. Finally, I grab a picture of the outside of the venue to use in my inevitable, self promoting Facebook and blog posts.






Sit Back and Enjoy the Show
I hope you get a chance to visit my show at the Jaffrey Civic Center.  Let me know what you think of the images. There are great places all around to "show the work", so get started on your own hanging tool box.  If you have already assembled your box, I would be interested to hear what you feel is the most essential part of your kit?  I still have a little room in my tool box.








Jeffrey Newcomer
Partridgebrookreflections.com

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Done! Retirement and Discipline


Retirement



Some years ago I captured a picture of a broken down and decaying farm implement descending into the earth of a field in Vermont. I glibly entitled the image "Retirement". Hilarious! But now after 34 years of the practice of pulmonary and internal medicine in rural New Hampshire and Vermont, I find myself wandering out into that overgrown field and wondering where I go from here. My final day of clinical practice was a little over a week ago. I have been looking forward to this day for some time, anticipating the opportunity to devote more effort to my photography and other interests. I am relishing the ability to sleep late and control the pace of my activities, but I'm also sadly aware of the inevitable losses and the need to apply self-imposed discipline to my future endeavors.

Saying Goodbye
 
Halloween Deb &  Katy
 

 I will greatly miss the support and friendship of my staff and the interaction with MOST of my patients. Following the announcement of my retirement, I have enjoyed my office "farewell tour" receiving many expressions of appreciation, best wishes and a tsunami of hugs from so many of my friends who just happen to have also been my patients. It is greatly reassuring to know that I am handing them over to
Donna Pushing the Calendars
the excellent care of the physicians and staff of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene Pulmonary Medicine Department, but I hope I can be excused for pointing out that it will take two physicians and a future associate provider to do what I did by MYSELF for nearly 30 years, both in Keene New Hampshire and Brattleboro, Vermont. Of course I was never really "by myself". I could have done nothing without the constant support of the amazing group of women who kept me on task and who managed the endless details of a busy practice. They told me where to sign and I signed. 






"Better Breathers" Heading Out to Cruise Lake Winnepesaukee
Donna Keeping Me on Track
For several years it has been a clinic tradition to recognize retiring
employees with a "retirement tea". The proceedings includea cake and the presentation of a framed print of one of my photographs. It has been nice to contribute to the honoring of so many loyal staff, but I never felt the honor so acutely as when I was presented with one of my own pictures at my 'tea'. What were they to do? Give me someone else's photograph? At least I will be able to celebrate the closing of the circle when I sell the image back to the clinic with the next batch.




 

Done




So I'm done. What to do now? Obviously photography. Over the last years as my commitment to photographing my special corner of New England has increased I have longed for more time to pursue both the creative and marketing side of the art. After years of struggling over daily decisions which, not to be too dramatic, involved varying levels of life or death consequences, I look forward to the time when my most portentous quandaries are over the choice of f-stop or the selection of an image to submit to a juried exhibition.

 For years retired friends and patients have told me the same thing, "Now that I'm retired, I have no time whatsoever". I have already become aware of the tendency to take everything slower now that I have a less dictatorial schedule. It is lovely to know that if I don't accomplish everything on my daily "to do" list that there is always tomorrow. But there lies the trap, and, knowing myself, I am certain that I will need concrete long and short term goals and a plan to reach them. So here goes.


 



Long Term:
Photography. Ok, no surprise here. I would like to use my time to expand my vision, not only to include broader coverage of my
New England home base, but also to explore aspects of photography beyond my landscape comfort zone. I have always been drawn to the study of the human face and I would love to delve more deeply into portraiture. It has been my honor to be a member of the New England Photography Guild. The Guild is undergoing a reassessment of its goals and I hope to be part of an expanded commitment to use the great expertise of our members to celebrate the unique beauty of our region and to share our appreciation of high quality photography through classes and workshops. Of course, I will continue my work with the Chesterfield Conservation Commission to protect and promote the natural beauty of my wonderful New England home. Oh, and I better mention that I promised Susan to try to bring some order to my chaotic office and studio.  I can rely on her to keep me on task for that one.

Shorter Term
Given my innately lazy nature some degree of discipline will be required. I have been actually retired for all of about a week, so it is undoubtedly early to formulate a detailed list of retirement resolutions, but here is a quick and preliminary list of some of the goals that I would like to place on my new "task list".

  • Up for sunrise at least once per week. I am old and lazy, but I can no longer use the standard excuse; " I have to get to work today".
  • At least one sunset per week. Much easier to manage.
  • In the studio one day per week or at least a half day to produce physical work.
  • Out of town trip at least once per month.
  • Office promotional work once per week, although lately this seems to consuming most of my time.
  • Blog weekly. I'm approaching 200 blog articles and finding new topics is not getting any easier.
  • Gym at least 3 times per week.  The secret to exercising is just showing up.


Settled In - NOT at the Gym



 




That's a start, but please don't keep track of the success of my program. After putting this article together I know one early goal should be to try to get more pictures of broken down farm machinery for my portfolio, but I'm retired, and if I don't get it done today, there is always tomorrow. 


Jeffrey Newcomer
Partridgebrookreflections.com