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.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Fallen Eagles Gallery

Over the last four years I have been privileged to have my own pair of nesting bald eagles, returning every year to hunt and breed across the Connecticut River, from my town of Chesterfield New Hampshire.  They nested at the top of an old snag at the edge of the river, from which they could swoop down on food and eject their young for their first perilous flights.  I found a spot across the river on the New Hampshire side, from which I could watch the early season nest building and the appearance of one or two fledglings.  

This spring I was saddened to discover that the dead snag with the nest on top had fallen into the river.  As we get into the breeding season, I have been scouting up and down the river hoping that my eagles will build a new nest close to home, but, so far, I have no eagles or nests.  I will continue to patrol the river, but my loss has encouraged me to recall all the majestic beauty that I have been privileged to observe over the last four years.  I have covered this in my article for this week’s  New England Photography Blog, but here I would like to show some of the pictures of “my eagles” that didn’t fit in the NEPG article.

Photographing Bald Eagles, much like all birds, takes a great deal of patience.  Long periods of quiet nest sitting are punctuated every 40-50 minutes by the split-second excitement of a bird landing or taking off.  It is always fun to catch the eagles bringing nesting material or a morsel of food for the checks, but any excuse for them to spread their dramatic wings is exciting.

Occasionally, the interactions between the birds can be more interesting as the adults, or more mature juveniles, vie for dominance in the nest.

Enjoy the pictures in this gallery and those in my NEPG blog.  Also check out the links to other articles in my “Getting it Right in the Digital Camera Blog.  And, of course, join with me in calling my eagles home!

Jeffrey Newcomer

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Spring Waterfall Season and Workshop

Fryes Mill Falls, Wilton, NH

Wilton Reservoir Falls
Spring is some weeks away, but it is still time to begin thinking about the spring runoff and the seasonal rains which hopefully will be invigorating our many regional waterfalls.  I am an enthusiastic fan of waterfall photography and there is no better time to capture the excitement than in the early spring.  

This May I will be running another Spring Waterfall Weekend Workshop, from Friday evening, May 11th through Sunday May 13th at noon.

2017 Spring Waterfall Workshop
The Workshop at Porcupine Falls
Gilsum, NH

Last year I hosted my first Waterfall Weekend and, with a great group and wonderful falling waters, we had a fantastic time. The weather was great for waterfall photography, with overcast skies, occasional fog, and some of the strongest flows that I had seen in our area.  The light, intermittent rain required shielding of the equipment, but I heard no complaints from my intrepid team.  

Garwin Falls, Wilton
The weekend workshop followed my usual, time-tested format. We first gathered Friday evening, around my dining room table, for a chance to meet everyone, and review our plans. It was my opportunity to assess the varying levels of photographic experience among the participants, and consider how everyone would be accommodated.  As always, it was a mixed group, but the consistent factors were the high level of interest, enthusiasm and the excitement to learn.   I was able to discuss key elements of the photography of flowing water.  We reviewed the importance of a sturdy tripod, a cable release and, of course, a polarizing filter.  We also had a chance to plan Saturdays schedule.

Pond Brook Falls, Chesterfield
Over all day Saturday, and Sunday morning, we explored some of our region’s most dramatic waterfalls, from the marvelous group of falls in Wilton New Hampshire, to some lesser known falls in Chesterfield and Gilsum.  In total we explored ten different waterfall locations.

Saturday evening, we all gathered again around my dining room table for pizza and discussion of the day’s experiences. We also had a chance for review and gently critique many of the images from the day’s shooting.

Porcupine Falls
This year I will be following the same schedule.  The Friday evening get-together on May 11th, followed by an all-day shoot on Saturday and ending with an evening of pizza and sharing around my informal table.  Sunday morning we will gather again for more falling waters and I will let you all escape, exhausted but full of wonderful waterfall images,  by noon.

It should be an exciting weekend and I’m looking forward to sharing many of my favorite spots.

Spring is also Flower Season

To allow for individual attention, the workshop is limited to only

 8 participants.  The entire program including snacks and an informal dinner will be $195.  

Get in touch as soon as possible, by email or phone, to get on the workshop list.  I look forward to seeing you.

Face in the Falls, Wilton

Harrisville Spectator


Sunday, February 11, 2018

2017 Retrospective Part 3

Bunelleschi's Dome, Duomo, Florence

In this third edition of my 2017 retrospective, I am picking up a few less dramatic loose ends of the year’s activities.   Loose, but nevertheless important parts of my photographic year.  Finally, I will touch on the most exciting part of 2017, both personally and photographically, our family trip to Italy.

Fenway Park

On a good year we will get to Fenway to see the Red Sox several times.  This year it was only once, but we had good seats and a chance to join our daughter Abigail and her boyfriend, now fiancée!!, Grayson.   Before the game, we enjoyed seeing all the team’s kids frolicing on the grass.  It still takes my breath away when I first glimpse the brilliant Fenway green

We had beautiful July weather and, although the sox were not victorious, it was a great time. Photographically I had a chance to use my little Canon SX50HS with its ridiculous 1200mm zoom. At sporting events, I am never sure that my monster DSLR will be allowed into the venue, but my little SX50HS is unobtrusive, and still has that great reach.  Also, its tiny sensor provides a wider depth of field for the action shots.

Full Moon Rising

Full Moons provide great opportunities for exposing for the detail in the cratered surface while there is still light in the evening sky.  It is the one time when the bright moon and dark sky do not create impossibly stark contrast.  This year I only got out for one full moonrise.  I planned to catch the early December super moon rising behind the holiday decorated Nubble Lighthouse in York Maine.

Using Photographer’s Ephemeris, I was in the perfect position along the beach south of the light.  Unfortunately, the clouds did not cooperate.  I was only able to see a momentary sliver of moon as it first peaked above the horizon.  It was not yet in the perfect location over the lighthouse, but, zooming in, the reflected sunset light made the moon appear like a golden sunrise.

It was not the perfect result for which I had hoped, but it was still a dramatic shot and a nice trip to the coast, and Susan actually came along for the shoot!

Learning Lightroom

The last couple of years has been all about Adobe’s Lightroom.  Lightroom is an amazingly powerful program for managing editing and sharing digital images.  Its database image management system makes it a choice for many professional.  Although Its editing tools are not as robust as those in Photoshop, it is capable enough to meet the needs of most amateurs, and its intuitive workflow makes it much less intimidating to master.

I am now finishing up the fourth offering of my Introduction to Lightroom Course.  The course has been a lot of work, but it is also great fun to share my understanding with so many enthusiastic participants.  Each session has been an opportunity for me to discover more about Lightroom, especially since the program keeps evolving.  Part of the my learning, has been to write blog articles about special aspects of the program, and this year, I have published eight blogs, from the mysteries of the Lightroom Catalog to what’s new in Lightroom CC Classic.

Check out more links to image editing articles in my Blog Index.

Our Villa in Tuscany

Adventures in Italy

Piazza del Campo, Siena

Last autumn, Susan and I explored Italy for a three-week celebration of her birthday.  We traveled to Rome, Florence, Bologna, Lake Como and Venice, but the most magical part was nearly a week sharing a villa with our children and their significant others in the Tuscan countryside.  Beautiful landscapes, great food and even better wine. It was amazing.  After Tuscany the kids followed their own itineraries but still joined us for parts of our explorations of Florence and Bologna.

Gina and Jeremy Florence

Best Family Lunch, Montalcino

Of course, I did bring my camera along and I am only beginning to wade through the 4,000 images.  You can see some in the blog articles and the Italian gallery, but there will be more to see and to write about whenever I can get to it.

Lake Como
Bologna Market
Grande Canal Venice

January 2018 Storm

That should be sufficient looking back for now.  When it comes time to review, I am always surprised by how much we have done in a year.  I still have thousands of pictures calling for my attention, but now we must look forward to 2018.  The winter is beautiful and pristine, and Spring is coming!

Jeffrey Newcomer

Sunday, February 4, 2018

2017 Retrospective 2

Portland Head and ram Island Lighhouses

Christmas Day 2017, Grayson, Abby and Susan
Visiting the photographic highlights of 2017 is lovely way to get through the cold dark months of winter.  It is also a ready source of blog material as I’m preoccupied with my current Introduction to Lightroom course and trying to prepare for this spring’s Introduction to digital Photography course, and the Spring Waterfall Workshop (tentatively scheduled for May 18-20).  With that necessary apology, here are five more adventures from 2017, a year made possible in no small part by my fully-function artificial left hip.

Porcupine Falls

Porcupine Falls
I thought I had the region thoroughly covered, and so it was exciting, and a little annoying, when, this year, I discovered a new waterfall to explore.

Porcupine Falls is part of the 355 acre John and Rosemarie Calhoun Family Forest in Gilsum New Hampshire.  The forest is now managed by the Monadnock Conservancy and is a peaceful woodland with a well maintained trail leading to the interesting chutes and cascades of Porcupine Falls.  

The site includes a sturdy wood bridge which spans White Brook just below the falls and above a lovely pool.  

Porcupine Falls is a beautiful and easily accessible addition to my growing list of my regions waterfalls.

Conservation Photography

California Brook Clean-Up
The Monadnock Conservancy is a strong local advocate for conservation.  As a land trust, the Conservancy “works with communities and landowners to conserve the natural resources, wild and working lands, rural character and scenic beauty of the Monadnock region”.  This year the conservancy staff and board ask me to give a presentation about conservation photography.  Sitting around my dining room table, we discussed how photography can help celebrate the special natural beauty of
Friedsam Town Forest 
our region and to illustrate the important the work that is done by the conservancy and other conservation organizations to protect these priceless resources for generations to come.  We also covered a broad range of their general questions about photographic techniques and best practices for the recording, storing, archiving, transmitting and printing of digital images.  This coming year I plan to dedicate my 2019 New England Reflections Calendar to support the work of the Monadnock Conservancy.


Prime Roast, Keene NH
“Show the Work” has always been my moto and goal to promote my photography, especially throughout my home region.  Again in 2017, I have taken every opportunity to display my photography in a range of venues, from galleries and windows along the street, to restaurant, cafes and the walls of local businesses.  Where-ever there is an open wall, my pictures have been visible.

Bellows Walpole Inn

Art in the Park
Showing the Work and then Some
Savings Bank of Walpole

In addition to periodic shows my work continues to be visible as permanent instillations in various businesses around town.  My favorite remains the SavingsBank of Walpole which has chosen to use my images to highlight their focus on the local community

Six Lighthouses of Portland

Portland Head Lighthouse
Portland Maine is famous for the magnificent Portland Head Lighthouse.  Built in upon the orders of President George Washington, it was completed in 1791 and is widely considered to be the most beautiful lighthouse on the Maine coast.    For me, Portland Head light is a must visit anytime I get to the area, but it is not the only lighthouse guarding Portland’s rocky coast.

Spring Point Ledge Light

There are five other lighthouses ranging from the isolated and abandoned Rear Range Tower of the Twin Lights, to little Bog Light at the head of the channel to Portland Harbor.

Bug Light

On a trip to the Maine coast this summer, I decided to spend an afternoon cruising the seven miles of coastline, south to north, visiting each of the six lighthouses.  Some like the Twin Lights are not easily approachable, but five of the six are still operational. It was a great exploration and all the details, including the and GPS locations are detailed in my New Hampshire Photography Guild article, and my Getting it Right in the Digital Camera supplemental blog.

Ram Island Light

Holiday Lights

Radio City Bulbs
The End of the year always provide the opportunity to rediscover the magical beauty of holiday lights.  This year I was called on to refocus my attention on the opportunities and challenges of night photography when I was asked to discuss these topics for the South Shore Camera Club in Quincy Massachusetts.  Given the time of year the group was particularly interested in the technical aspects of capturing holiday lighting.  It was a great excuse to get out and shoot, especially in late November, when I was visiting my son Jeremy in New York City, and had the chance to photograph the amazing illuminations.  

Central Square Keene
Closer to home, this year’s Christmas tree in Keene’s Central Square was one of the fullest in many years.  The tree was missing its peak, but otherwise I was able to capture a perfect “Winter Wonderland” image of the square.

I’m having such a great time reviewing my 2017 highlights I will continue this self-indulgent exercise for at least one week longer.  There are more adventures to review and, of course, I haven’t even mentioned our amazing family trip to Italy!

Jeff Newcomer, NEPG