About Me

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Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer had 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 blog about photography in New England.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Pumpkin Festival Lives

Keene New Hampshire's 21st Annual Pumpkin Festival

Main Street Clock
Keene New Hampshire's Annual Pumpkin Festival was last weekend and as usual I avoided the mobs and came early. There are considerably fewer pumpkins at 7:30 AM but at that hour you can actually see the mass of gourds without the gaggle of gawkers. The packed crowds of people who show up later in the day tell a different story, but I've taken those pictures before. I'm usually gone by the time the festival officially begins around 10 AM. I have photographed at least ten of the past Pumpkin Festivals and it has become an increasing challenge to try to find something new and fresh to record from the event. I keep coming back because I love the atmosphere and because, against all odds, I generally do find something new every year. I guess this speaks to the value of returning to favorite locations. Conditions are never quite the same and with experience you can get the most from the light. Familiarity also breeds a willingness to experiment with different angles and techniques.  
Infrared Pumpkins

This year, by intention and by tragic accident I had the opportunity approach the fesitval from two different directions.  I continue to enjoy shooting with my IR converted 20D and It was especially interesting to apply infrared to scenes that I have photographed so many times before and which, in the past have always depended on brilliant color for their impact. Sadly, since I "bricked" my 5D earlier this week by dropping it into a stream, all my "straight" images came from my Canon G11. I usually use the G11 when I want a small unobtrusive "carry-around" camera that still allows full control and RAW format. It was trickier to get accurate focus compared to my DSLR, but it was interesting to use the camera in a more controlled landscape approach.  It was also nice to be reminded that with a smaller sensor you get a broader depth of field.  Overall I was pleased with how the images came through.

Church at the Head of the Square

This year's festival was, by design, a scaled down event. The goal was to bring it back to a celebration of our special community and away from artificial attempts to break records for pumpkins or people. Hopefully it will continue in this direction.

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