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, August 28, 2016

2017 New England Reflections Calendar

2017 Calendar Cover & October

The Crush is On
May : Reflected Spire, Park Hill, Westmoreland NH
This has been my calendar week.  As usually I am a couple of weeks behind in getting my 2017 New England Reflections Calendar off to the printer and, this week,  I have finally accepted that all my other, "critically late", tasks must take a back seat to getting the material together for the 2017 edition.


A Good Cause

November : Mill Falls, Weston Vt
As always, all proceeds from the 2017 New England Reflections Calendar will support Pulmonary Rehabilitation patients at Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock Keene in need of financial assistance and fund their participation in Breathe New Hampshire.

Breathing Free - Costs Money
2004 Pulmonary Rehabilitation Team
Cheshire Medical Center, Keene NH
Pulmonary Rehabilitation helps individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis and other chronic lung diseases.  Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock Keene provides a comprehensive outpatient program.  A multidisciplinary team tailors individualized education and exercise programs to help patients understand and cope with their disease and function with greater comfort and independence.

November 2016 Calendar

 Who Uses a Calendar Anymore?
I have been publishing the calendar for close to 15 years and I worry that today, with everyone depending on their smart phones, the interest in a wall calendar may be fading.  Perhaps I could come up with an alternative promotional device to gather the needed funds.  Coffee mugs, t-shirts or perhaps tote bags decorated with my images might work, but I wouldn’t be able to compete with Hew Hampshire Public Radio.  Besides, this time of year everyone I meet is asking, “When is the calendar coming out?”.  It has become part of my summer tradition and I realize that, at this point, I wouldn’t know how NOT to produce a New England Reflections Calendar.

March : Mist on the Hill, Dummerston Vt
So I have gone through the agony of picking my 12 pictures for next year, I’ve found banner images to compliment the large monthly photos and selected thumbnails to scatter through the empty date boxes.  I’ve decided on the important dates and holidays to include but, once again, “Belly Laugh Day” (January 24th) has failed to make the cut.  I have added the dates for the new and full moons and added the traditional names given to each full moon.  In 2017 the October full moon is closest to the Autumnal Equinox and therefore it is the "Harvest Moon".  September, which more often claims this honor, will have to be content with the "Corn Moon".

August : Morning Lamp, New Castle, NH
Always one image from the coast.

I used Microsoft Publisher to create the basic layout of the calendar.  I hate to surrender any part of the process, but in recent years I have come to appreciate that the refinements provided by a talented graphic designer and professional printing can provide a finished look to the final result.

The Nervous Time
November : Mill Falls, Weston Vt
This is an exciting and anxious time as I prepare to release my creation to the final processes of design and printing.   My work is largely done.  I have asked a number of folks to review the text for the inevitable errors and omissions.  The pictures have all been rendered in their appropriate sizes. Next week the calendar goes to the printers and then, in a couple of weeks, the hectic process of distribution will begin.  In the meantime, I’ll try to take advantage of the lull and catch up on some of my other overdue projects, including preparing for the upcoming "Art in the Park" and my fall educational programs.

July: Black-eyed Bee, Spofford NH

Old Saybrook Super Moon
My only chance to use a portrait oriented image

In this article, I have included a few of the featured images from the 2017 New England Reflections Calendar.  Your feedback would be appreciated.  

 Of course the greatest help come when you support our pulmonary patients by buying lots of calendars!  Remember any errors in the calendar are NOT their fault.

A more complete collection of calendar images can be reviewed on my web site at:

Jeff Newcomer

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Protecting Your Camera from the Summer Heat

Camera Melt

Living and photographing in New England it seems that there is
Land Iguana of Cerro Dragon, Galapagos Islands : HOT
always some kind of extreme natural condition threatening to wreak havoc on our equipment.  Rain, snow, sleet, numbing cold, crashing waves and blowing sanding are just a few of the environmental challenges against which we must struggle, but it is important to remember that it is those same conditions that make New England photography endlessly varied and breathtakingly beautiful.  I have talked about ways to function in the bitter cold of our winters, but, given the recent unrelenting heat, this seems the perfect time to consider strategies for surviving the summer scorch. 

Heat Damage

Modern digital cameras are marvelously complex machines, with a combination of delicate coated glass, sensitive electronics, mechanical components, batteries and memory cards all of which can be damaged by excessive heat. The lubricants that keep the camera running smoothly can melt and migrate in high heat causing severe damage.   

How much is too much heat? Every camera has its own recommendations for acceptable temperature range. For my Canon 5D Mark II, the manual sets the working temperature range for both the camera and the battery from 32 deg F – 104 deg F.  Although I have gotten away with using the camera for short periods at temperatures substantially below zero, I would be nervous about pushing the upper limit.  As always, prevention is the key to protecting your valuable equipment, but first don’t forget to take care of yourself.

Protect Yourself

Before talking about shielding your camera equipment, it is important to remember to protect yourself from effects of the sun and high heat.  In the excitement of a great photographic opportunity, it is easy to ignore the simple measures needed to keep yourself safe and functioning at top capacity.   Light clothing, a hat and sunscreen are a start, but equally important is to keep up with your fluids.  It is hard to capture the perfect shot if you are weak and lightheaded.


The Death Mobile

Keeping your camera equipment cool can be a challenge especially when stored in your car.  Temperature inside a closed vehicle can easily rise from 120-160 degrees.  Again, if we just think about the problem, preventive measures seem obvious.  Try to imagine that your gear is a cute little puppy that you would NEVER allow to roast in your death mobile.  Parking in the shade, providing for ventilation and using reflective window screens can all reduce the internal temperature.  In the case of the reflective screens, they can also be used as reflectors and shades for your photographs.  Inside the car, keep the gear out of the direct sunlight and covered with a light colored towel or other fabric.  An insulated cooler can provide even better protection. I've never actually used a cooler, but it sounds like a great idea.  I'll give it a try - at least until Susan figures out that I stole her cooler.  The car trunk can shield gear from the direct sun, but, especially in dark colored vehicles, the temperature may still climb to excessive levels.

When outside in intense sun and heat, a light colored camera bag or cover can help, and I feel embarrassed to mention this, but it is important not to leave your camera with the lens cap off pointed into the sun – just think about the fun you monsters had frying insects with a magnifying glass.

Internal Heat
Digital cameras can be a source of their own heat.  The biggest culprits are the Live View screen and the sensor, but the rest of the electronics can contribute to the internal temperature, especially if the camera is kept on for prolong periods.  In hot weather it is advisable to limit the use of Live View and set the Auto-Off to no more than one -two minutes.

If your camera becomes excessively hot don’t use it until it has cooled completely.  Move it carefully to a spot with moderate temperature, good air flow and low humidity.  You might also place the camera and lenses in tightly sealed plastic bags (see condensation below).


The most common problem that I experience on hot humid days occurs when I go from a cool air conditioned room or car into the heat and humidity.  Condensation clouds lenses, and the moisture can gather on the internal surfaces of the camera encouraging the disastrous growth of fungus.  It is the same problem that occurs in the winter when I bring a cold camera into a warm house or car and the treatment is the same.  First, try not to go crazy with the air conditioning in the car.   If you are frequently jumping in and out, try to approximate the outdoor temp inside the vehicle.  As you would in the winter, when moving cool gear into the heat and humidity, allow the camera and lenses time to warm in a plastic bag.  It may take 20-30 minutes for the surfaces to adjust to the ambient temperature. It is frustrating to leap out of your comfortably cool car to catch the perfect shot and find that you have to wait for the moisture to clear from the lens. It should take only a few times before you learn to go easy with the air conditioning.  A soft cloth may be helpful to wipe moisture from the lens, but if you suspect internal condensation consider storing gear in air tight containers with Silica gel packets to absorb the moisture.  The packets are cheap and easy to find on the internet.  


Unless you shoot only at dawn or dusk, or even better, only at night, hot conditions are unavoidable.  The most important thing is to recognize the problem and take precautions to avoid a global warming catastrophe.  And cheer-up, this is New England and soon new problems will surface.  After all - 

“Winter is Coming!”
Mount Washington, 20 degrees Below

 Jeff Newcomer