About Me

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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, November 10, 2013

Autumn Revisited

The Color is Gone, But not Forgotten
Mine Ledge, Hinsdale, NH

Hemlock Gateway, Colors at Home

There are still patches of brown foliage on the oaks and the persistent yellow of the beach groves, but my New England autumn is winding down to the last gasps.  As always, I'm exhausted and ready for long quiet hours with a cup of coffee at my desk working through the hundreds of late September and October images.  I say it every year, but it is worth repeating, thank god for the dull colors of November!

Otter Brook, Roxbury, NH
As I work my way through the autumn splendor, this seems like a good time to review the season and share some of this year's
bounty.   I'll let Jeff Foliage provide the final official verdict, but overall I think it was a good fall, not the best for weather or color but probably a bit better than average. The color seemed to come early, but I suspect this is a general manifestation of the warming climate.  We had one major wind and rain storm in early October which striped some of the brightest color.  The weather was often overcast, but that is not a tragedy for the capture of the rich colors of the season and the rain managed to keep the streams flowing.  As always, the season was expanded by small patches of early color in the damp areas and by the surprising color in the occasional late bloomers.  

Vermont's Route 100
Top of the Valley, Hnacock Vt
Most years I try to get a head start on the color by heading north.  This year I traveled up Route 100 along the central spine of Vermont.  My eventual goal was the dramatic Moss Glen Falls in Granville, Vermont.  The falls were great especially during the brief periods when the bright sun slipped behind the clouds.  There
Moss Glen Swirl, Granville, Vt
quite a crowd at this road-side attraction, but I was still able to catch some nice fresh angles on this old favorite.  The trip was about 100 miles each way and it gave me the opportunity to judge the progress of the fall change and get an early sense of the quality of the color.  On that day, in late September, the foliage seemed to blossom around the Killington area.

Autumn Boil, Chester, VT

Camden Harbor Sunrise
A Maine Coast Escape
Just as the colors were building at home Susan and I headed over to the Camden area to spend a few days on the Maine Coast. It was a lovely escape.  The colors were a bit early along the shore, but I did get some nice shots of the morning light on Camden and Lincolnville Harbors and a lovely sunset at the always dramatic Marshal Point Light.  I was nervous about missing some of the best color at home, but it was while we were away that the intense wind and rain storm hit the Monadnock region.  

Marshall Point Light, Port Clyde, Maine

Hancock, NH
The damage was not as bad as I had feared but the storm did seem to accelerate the season.  Of course through all of this I spent every available moment looking for color throughout the region.  I roamed the back roads of both the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont, simultaneously scanning for grand landscapes and intimate color details.  It was enough to make me dizzy, but there was always the feeling that any time spent away would mean risking the one spectacular image of the year.  I was convinced that the best weather was confined to the days that I was stuck in the office.  In other words, I was fully captured by Autumn Fever. 


Follow the Color
As usual, this year I tried to extend the season by following the
Pumpkin Festival Race, Keene, NH
color from north to south.   It started with a drive up Route 100 to Moss Glenn Falls, and our sea coast interlude.  In the middle of the season, I explored more locally including lovely farm land in Chesterfield, Walpole, Hancock and southeastern Vermont.  We had great weather for the Keene Pumpkin Festival and when I wasn’t lighting candles I got nice light both early in the morning and at night in the midst of the celebration of Keene’s new World Record for lit Pumpkins (30,581).  As the colors began to fade locally I went south to shoot at Doane’s Falls in Royalston Massachusetts.
Doanes Falls, Royalston, Ma.

Embrace the Clouds
Field of Asters, Walpole, NH
Limit the Sky
Throughout the season we had a mix of sunny and overcast / misty weather.  In general, I prefer the softer light which allows the
autumn colors to shine through the glare.  The keys to shooting in overcast conditions are to concentrate on more intimate colorful scenes rather than grand hillside panoramas, and to limit or eliminate the dull gray skis.  Problems with flat uninteresting skies have been improved with the capability of powerful editing software, such as Photoshop and Lightroom 5 to salvage detail in the
Color and Sky, Walpole, NH
Embrace the Sky
highlights.  Although zooming in on the color is still a good solution, I find recently that I have been including more brooding gray skies in my images. A polarizing filter is a must on bright days, but it can also add depth to the color when the light is diffused.  The effect is often subtle but noticeable especially if the leaves are damp and reflective.  The combination of soft light and a polarizer is also the best combination for capturing lacy waterfalls against the autumn glow.

Tame the Brilliance
Hunts Pond, Hancock, NH
We had a few classic brilliantly sunny days this year.  These are the days that most often come to mind when we think of the “glorious colors” of fall, but they do offer special challenges for photography.  The high contrast and reflections tend to mute the colors, but here again a polarizing filter can make a
Reflected Sunset, Chesterfield, NH
significant difference.  Sunny days are best for broader autumn landscapes, but on these days I most often think about looking into the sun.  The trans-illuminating light works to ignite the foliage.  The effect is especially striking when the electric yellows and reds are contrasted against a deep blue sky. Of course we need sunlight to capture beautiful sunrises and sunsets, but the the most dramatic results come from a mixture of light and clouds. The warm light of the golden hours can only be fully appreciated by capturing what it illuminates, and, when there are no clouds, 
we often need to step back and celebrate the glow on the foreground elements.

Trans-illumination, College Bridge, Henniker, NH
Well I have to get back to work.  I love settling back and scanning my images from the season.  Each time I find new perspectives and I can't wait to discover the beauty which is held within those little piles of pixels.  Stay tuned.

Bald Mountain, Camden Maine


  1. I love your photographs - makes me so homesick for New Hampshire, though!

  2. how do you do that?
    your each photograph seems to be so live!!
    clipping path

  3. you have remind me a quote,
    “Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
    thanks for sharing.
    clipping path

  4. great post and look at the pictures, stunning. I just love your work. Keep sharing such pictures with us as they fresh our soul and mind