About Me

My photo
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.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Calendar Crunch

Cover & October : Giant Guilford Sugar Maple

Catsbane Falls, West Chesterfield, NH
This is my annual calendar crunch, the time when I rush to get my New England Reflections Calendar ready to send to the printer. Each year the goal is to get the calendar out by late summer, and into local stores before the Keene State students arrive for the fall semester. We depend on all those sad parents to snatch up a remembrance of where they have callously abandoned their precious children. It's as good plan.

My deadline for the draft design and all the finished pictures is this Friday, or, by the time this article comes out, last Friday. Given the time demands, this week's article must be dedicated to the calendar. I want to share some of my selected images and a few examples of the anxious decisions that are part of each year's calendar creation.

The Selections

September : Peecham Sunrise
Every year I share the pain associated with my struggle to select twelve main images for the calendar. Tradition states that the images must roughly match the seasons, they must be in landscape orientation and they must have enough interest to allow me to find something say about them. As I reviewed my initial selections, I was reminded of another requirement. My collection had only one picture from
May : Creamery Covered Bridge, Brattleboro, Vt
Vermont. The Great Guilford Sugar Maple is a wonderful image and it will be featured on the cover, but I always try to have a balance of pictures from New Hampshire and Vermont, my two primary markets. There was no problem finding great Vermont images and in the final version I have four, including the classic Vermont Country Store for December.

With more than ten years of calendars behind me, it is also important to check my archives to make sure that I am not reusing images from previous editions.

The Format

July : Barn Light, Jaffrey, NH
My calendars have always been printed in landscape format with pages at 8.5 x 11". This year I thought it might be interesting to experiment with a different size. I was hoping to publish a bigger calendar, and in portrait format. I have so many great pictures with this vertical orientation that I have been longing to use, but I ended up going with a larger, 10.5x13", size but still in landscape mode. It will be interesting to see if the bigger calendar is popular, but the increased size does place more pressure on the image quality. 

November : Forest Deep, Chesterfield, NH


Red Tail Hawk
One of my first steps in calendar design is to throw low resolution versions of candidate images into my rough draft. These are usually small web images that can look great in the draft, but may fall apart when the originals are brought to full size, and the increased format size made this issue more significant. I wanted to use a great picture of a Red Tail hawk taking flight for my March image. Sadly, when I opened the original, I discovered that the combination of extreme cropping and high ISO made the image too grainy to work at 10.5x13. Everyone loved that picture, but the good news is that I was able to replace the Hawk with a cute picture of two draft horses peaking through the trees at the Stonewall Farm's Sap Gathering Contest. No image is indispensable.

March : Peaking Pair, Keene, NH

A Dedication

 I always dedicate the inside back page of my calendars to a thumbnail of the next year's calendar and a list of that year's holidays. The page is also the one place for a portrait oriented image. This year I hope I will be excused for using that spot to remember my wonderful photography companion Nellie. Over the last 13 years Nellie sat patiently at my side as I captured many of my best images, including most in this year's calendar. I know I will be sensing her presence for years to come as I explore the trails and roads of New England.

I have to get back to work. Only a few more days to go.

Again I hope to see you at the Ewing Arts Awards on the 23rd at Keene State College's Redfen Arts Center. It should be a fun time.

Check out all of the selected images in the 2016 New England Reflections Calendar

Jeffrey Newcomer


  1. Hi there! I found your blog while looking for a nice place to visit and photograph in Vermont. It sent me to your photo of Jenne Farm (which I had never heard the name, but of course, the place looked familiar) I am an amateur photographer hoping to break into wildlife and travel photography. I have to say that I have fallen in love with your photos, your style and your blog. You have a fun "voice" and a FANTASTIC PHOTOGRAPHIC EYE! Needless to say (but I'm going to say it anyway lol), I am going to follow your blog and I'm definitely going to devour every word and every photograph. Thank you for sharing your wonderful work!

    1. Thanks for the nice word and good luck in your photographic explorations.

  2. Very natural to see these photography . Like such natural images .

  3. I am absolutely loving your gorgeous blog!