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.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Classes, Workshops and Exhibitions for 2018 - 2019

Lower Purgatory Falls, Wilton NH
I just finished a great Spring Waterfall Workshop, with enthusiastic people who were excited, not only about waterfalls, but also digital photography in general.  Now it seems a good time to announce my plans for the fall-winter classes and workshops.  

Introduction to Digital Photography
Sponsored by Keene Community Education
Four Tuesday Evenings from September 18th thru October 9th, 2018
Keene High School

My introductory class on digital photography has evolved over the years as I have tried to find better ways to inform and excite students about the amazing capabilities of digital cameras.  The course includes 4 two hour classes and two photo shoots. I cover a wide range of topics from understanding the differences in camera types, to image file formats, file management and archiving. Special emphasis is placed on exposure, composition and the use of different types of light.  All these topics are applied to the results of the photo shoots.  This class always fills very quickly, so watch for the announcement and brochure in mid-August from Keene Community Education and sign up early. 

Understanding Exposure

Email Erin White at ewhite@sau29.org to get on the list to be notified when the on-line brochure is available.

Intro to Digital Photography Class, Spring 2018

Fall Foliage Workshop Weekend
October 12th – 14th, 2018
Monadnock Region and Southern Vermont

This autumn, I will again be offering my Fall Foliage Weekend Workshop.   I will be following the same format that seemed to work well over the last two years.  Again, I picked the weekend after the Columbus Day weekend craziness.  It is an opportunity to see great color without the same crowds that typically congest our beautiful countryside.  Our base of operations will be around my dining room table in Spofford, NH.  I will host the participants at my home on Friday evening for snacks and a discussion about photography in general, and the specific opportunities and challenges of foliage photography.  It will also be time to plan the shooting for all day Saturday and Sunday morning.  


Green River, Guilford Vermont
Saturday, we will head out early to explore as many different locations as possible.  My goal. Will be to place the group in beautiful locations and then help them get the most from the opportunities. Depending on the state of the color we may travel west to some of my favorite locations in southern Vermont, such as Guilford and the magic village of Green River, or we may explore the hills and farm around the Monadnock region and my own village of Chesterfield.

In the evening, we will return to the dining room table for an informal dinner of pizza and some gentle critiquing of the day’s shoot.
We will head out again Sunday morning for more of our exploration of color, and I will finally let people go around noon. I promise you will come away exhausted but thrilled with the experience.  I look forward to sharing my love for photography in this special time of year. 

Foliage Workshop 2017
The three-day program is $195, including the delicious snacks and an elegant pizza dinner.  Please get in touch early, by email or phone, to assure your place on the workshop list. If you are coming from outside of the area, I can send you a list of some the best local accommodations


Introduction to Lightroom Classic – AND the Transition to Photoshop
Six Tuesday Evenings January 8th - February 12th
Monadnock Imaging, Main Street Keene New Hampshire

I am a dedicated long-term user of Photoshop, but over the last few years I have become increasingly impressed with the power of Lightroom, in terms of both its image management tools and its sophisticated editing capabilities.  I still bring almost all my images into Photoshop for final tweaking, especially when complicated masking is required, but I now use Lightroom for 80-90% of my global editing.  Given its power and ease of use, for the majority of digital photography enthusiasts, Lightroom is likely all they will need to get started with image management and editing. 

 During the last couple of years., I have offered a comprehensive introductory course covering all the essentials of Lightroom.  I run the class as a live demonstration.  Students are encouraged to work along on their own laptops, but a computer is not necessary to benefit from the material.   I’ve had a great time and, as is always true of teaching a course, I have learned a ton. Over the last couple of years Lightroom has evolved and grown, with increased capabilities, and I have worked to keep up with the changes.   

Lightroom CC
Recently Adobe has complicated our lives by splitting the Lightroom Program in two.  There are many good discussions of the differences between these very different programs, but simply speaking, the new Lightroom CC is an entirely new cloud-based program.  With a simpler interface, but significantly pared down capabilities.  It is designed for more casual photographers, and those who work primarily through a mobile interface.  For more serious photographers who store larger image archives locally on hard drives and who want to use the full features of the “old” Lightroom, the new program has no significant place. 

Lightroom CC Classic
For me and most serious photographers, the “new” choice is called “Lightroom Classic”.  It sounds disconcertingly like the old “Coke Classic”, but Lightroom Classic is just the old Lightroom CC with all the amazing features and functions and a few new tricks.  This split seems to be designed to create a simpler path for mobile, and other smart phone photographers, without stripping the power of the “Classic” Lightroom program.  Adobe promises to keep up with innovation on both versions of Lightroom.  We will be watching.

If you, like many, are still confused, just know that the CC and Classic versions are both included among the options in the Adobe Photography Subscription Plan, and still for $9.99/month.  

My course will be covering the full power of the Lightroom Classic Program. 

I initially thought that that four, two-hour classes would be enough to cover the program's many features, but because of my tendency to ramble and lots of great questions, I added a fifth class to cover the Slide Show, Book and Web Modules.

A Sixth Class
Complicated  Photoshop Selections for Focus Stacking
Lightroom is a great program which covers most organizing and editing needs of the majority of photography enthusiasts, but there are many aspects of fine tuning that can be performed best from within the scary confines of Photoshop.  My Lightroom students frequently ask, “When are you going to do a course on Photoshop?”.  The prospect of trying to organize a comprehensive course on this massive program scares me to death.  But perhaps an easier approach is to take a smaller bite of the apple.  Some time ago I added a fifth class to my Lightroom course and this time I will be adding a sixth session.

I will focus on the transition from Lightroom to Photoshop.  Starting with pictures which have been optimally edited in Lightroom, I will examine some of the important ways that Photoshop can refine those images using more precise selections, layers and compositing.  Consider it a chance to dangle your toes in the ocean of possibilities that is Photoshop, but for many who already own Photoshop as part of the Adobe Photography Plan, it can be an encouragement to take the plunge.

I have held previous Lightroom classes at my home in Spofford NH, and had to limit the classes to the 8 people who could fit comfortably around my dining room table.  Last year, the great folks at Monadnock Imaging in Keene generously offered to host the class at their store in Keene New Hampshire.  This allowed me to expand the group to a maximum of 12, and it also made the location more easily accessible, especially during the snowy winter weeks. With my next course in January, I will again gratefully accept Monadnock Imaging’s hospitality.  There will be no struggling over Chesterfield Hill in a blizzard, except for me.

There will be. not five, but six, two-hour, evening sessions, and of course, snacks will be provided. The expanded course will be $225.  Please get in touch by phone or email as soon as possible to reserve your spot on the list.



 Show the Work
As I have been planning my teaching, I have also been working on scheduling my exhibitions.  I have always understood the importance of showing my work throughout the region and it is well known that I have never seen a public wall that I didn’t like.  The number of my framed work is finite, and It can be a challenge juggling my pictures between the various venues in the region.  Spring also seems to be the season for fund raisers, and I have been honored to donate several of my works to worthwhile local causes.

Currently a few of my pictures decorate the walls and entertain the sweaty patrons of the Keene Family YMCA. Not the best place to find enthusiastic buyers, but it at least gets me to the gym a few days per week.

I also have a larger exhibit in one of the function rooms of the Keene United Church of Christ.   It is the iconic white church at the head of the square.  The show is up now and will continue through June.

In July I will be moving to one of my favorite local venues.  Kristin’s Bistro and Bakery at 28 Washington Street, just off Central Square in Keene New Hampshire.  Kristin’s has nice walls, friendly people and some of the best soup in town.  I will be showing there for the month of July.

Keene’s Annual Art in the Park is scheduled for September 1-2.  I’ll be there with my old 10x10 pop-up and its jerry-rigged hanging system.  This is the only art festival that I do all year, primarily because it is a great time to hang out with all my local friends and make them look at my work.

Not all exhibitions are large or solo affairs.  As part of Keene’s Annual Art Walk, for a week beginning on June first, I will again be at the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, showing a few of my pictures in their two big windows facing Central Square.  For the duration of the show, the Chamber has generously offered to remove from the windows their posters advertising local events.  I plan to feature two of my big new canvas-wrap images.

Keene is fortunate to have a very active historical society and I am happy that beginning on June first two of my pictures will be part of the society’s show featuring art celebrating our Monadnock region.  The Historical Society of Cheshire County is located at 246 Main Street in Keene New Hampshire. The exhibition will run through December 4th 2018.

Finally, several of my pictures continue their long-term exhibition at Syd’s Carpet and Snooze Room at 43 St. James Street in Keene.  For a long time, Syd’s has offered their showroom walls to displace the work of the Monadnock Area Artists Association.

I think that is definitely enough for now.  I hope to see you at my exhibitions and that you will join me for one, or ALL, of my workshops and classes.  I’m getting too old for this, but hey, what is “retirement” for?

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for future programs or venues for my work.

Jeffrey Newcomer

Thursday, May 17, 2018

2018 Spring Waterfall Workshop

Big Drop, Garwin Falls, Wilton NH
Garwin Falls Green
I had an exciting time last weekend presenting my Second Annual Spring Waterfall Workshop.  I enjoy nothing so much as getting together with a group of people who are enthusiastic to learn about digital photography while sharing some spectacular waterfall locations.  I promised my workshop participants that I would get them a list of all the places that we shot, and what better way to do that than to revisit them in a blog.

Harrisville Mill Pond

Meet and Greet

Linda Learning the Gear - Tucker brook Falls

As always, we started the workshop with a Friday evening gathering around my famous dining room table to get to know each other and discuss the plans for the next two days of shooting.  I presented a talk about photography in general, as well as the special challenges and opportunities that waterfalls provide.  Topics included the importance of a polarizing filter, the effect of shutter speed and, of course, safety precautions to protect both body and, more importantly, the precious equipment.  

Pond Brook Falls in Time

Finally, we discussed the itinerary for the next two days and why it was important to get an early start.

Day One : Wilton New Hampshire
Our first day was spent mostly in and around Wilton New Hampshire.  The environs of Keene New Hampshire have some lovely waterfalls, but I have always felt that Wilton has the best concentration of dramatic falling water packed into a small area.  It was well worth the 45-minute drive from our meeting place in downtown Keene.  

Tucker Brook Falls
Tucker Brook Falls
We started at Tucker Brook Falls.  Tucker Brook is a peacefully ambling stream that almost unexpectedly drops into a dramatic falls.  It was a great place for my folks to experiment with their equipment and techniques.  I jumped from person to person trying to help with their individual issues, but as always it can be frustrating not being able to help everyone at once.  I spent most of my time looking over shoulders, but for each fall, I tried to take one or two shots of my own to demonstrate techniques and to give me something to show in the blog.  I have been to all of these falls many times, so for my images, I tried to find new angles.

Tucker Brook Drop

Lower Purgatory Falls

Purgatory Rocks

Lower Purgatory Falls is found at the end of a short hike along a flat trail.  We were rewarded by a vigorous flow down into the fall’s pool.  The falls provided interesting angles, combining the rocks, the pool and the brook.  I was excited to see how quickly my group applied what they had learned and scattered off to find their own opportunities. Everyone agreed that they could spend all day shooting this beautiful spot, but I promised that there was more, and better to come.

Garwin Falls
To me, Garwin Falls is the most spectacular collection of cascades and falls in the Wilton area.  Last year, I made the mistake of beginning our tour at Garwin, making everything that followed slightly anticlimactic.  This time, I found that by visiting a couple of other waterfalls first everyone had a chance to become comfortable with their equipment and technique and were better prepared to appreciate and capture the drama of Garwin’s falling waters.

Lunch and Frye’s Measure Mill Falls
Much Gear!
During previous workshops I had learned the importance of not starving the class, so we took a much-needed break for lunch at Shaka’s Bar And Grill.  The nice folks were happy to accommodate our damp and swarthy gaggle of camera geeks.  Our table was packed with gear leaving little room for food and drawing bemused glances from the boys at the bar.  

Frye's Measure Mill Falls

After lunch, we headed to Frye’s Measure Mill in Wilton to enjoy the classic mill falls as well as the well stock shaker box shop.  These beautifully crafted boxes continue to be made by just a few master box makers on site in mill.  

We had been threatened by rain all day and I had my group prepared for possible downpours, but we had only felt occasional drops.  It was at the mill that we experienced our first and only significant, but still gentle, showers.

Harrisville Mill 

Factory Brick - Harrisville NH

We finished our first day with a visit to Harrisville New Hampshire, a carefully preserved example of a small New England manufacturing village. The town does not have and major falls, but water tumbles through it, cascading from the mill pond, under and past brick factory buildings, toward Skatutakee Lake. 

It was a long first day of shooting, but remarkably my group was excited to return to my home for pizza and a chance to review everyone’s shots. I think everyone was exhausted, but happy, and remarkably, they stayed on till about ten PM reviewing pictures, chatting about photography and planning the next day’s adventure.


 Sunday Morning
 Our second day focused on waterfalls closer to home.  Our first day was a bit damp, but offered overcast skys, perfect for dramatic waterfall photography.  Sunday started foggy but quickly turned warm and sunny – beautiful, but a much greater challenge for waterfall shooting.  

Chesterfield Gorge

John and Rich - Chesterfield Gorge

We started at Chesterfield Gorge in Chesterfield, New Hampshire.  The deep gorge blocked the early morning sun making it easier to capture the flowing cascades and falls. I tried to give everyone a shot at the big waterfall in the gorge before the dappled sunlight crept in to complicate the process.

Chesterfield Gorge Slide

Pond Brook Falls Shooting
Pond Brook Falls
Pond Brook Falls flows into the Catsbane Brook in West Chesterfield and forms one of my favorites little waterfalls. The falls faces west and therefore is partially shielded from the morning sun. 

Catsbane Brook

Tutelage by the Catsbane 

The Catsbane Brook runs through West Chesterfield over several cascades and old mill falls.  Many are difficult to reach, but one convenient view comes from a bridge which crosses the brook close to where it flattens out to join the Connecticut River. The view at this spot is topped by a picturesque barn which overhangs the embankment.

Forty Foot Falls

Rich and Joyce at 40 Foot Falls

Our final stop was Forty Foot Falls in Surry New Hampshire.  This combination of cascades and powerful falls, is easy to reach, located only a few yards off the road, but it is less well known. By the time we reached the falls it was closing in on a sunny midday, and the light was more difficult.  I did get a chance to grab a picture of workshop members Joyce and Rich.  They represent a very rare pair.  A married couple, both of whom love photography, and even own the same camera, two Canons of course.  They recognized that it would be tragic for their relationship if they had a Canon and a Nikon.

It is always amazing how quickly these workshop weekends pass.  On Saturday we spent about 12 hours shooting, and another three hours discussing our shots and eating pizza.  Sunday was another four hours of waterfall photography before everyone dragged themselves home.  We managed to visit nine major waterfalls of all types and in a variety of conditions.

Garwin Falls - My Favorite Cascade
Everyone seemed to have a great time and I was amazed by their enthusiasm and remarkable energy.  Many of the group expressed a desire to come back for future classes and workshops and I would love to see them again.

 Next week I will be announcing my up-coming programs including my next Introduction to Digital Photography Class, my Fall Foliage Workshop and Introduction to Lightroom Course.  Stay tuned!

Jeffrey Newcomer

Monday, May 7, 2018

Abigail is Getting Married

High School Grad

Abigail is getting married this weekend, and I hope that I can be excused from my usual celebration of cold and impersonal trees and mountains to indulge myself with a few images that reflect my beautiful daughter’s spirit, love, wit, brilliance and dedication to the service of others.  

There are no tears here.  Abby is marrying a wonderful man. Grayson is a good match for her strong personality, and after seven years it is about time!

Determination, Abby and Susan

Gap Mountain, Nelly, Ab and Dad

  The only crying comes from the fact that Abby has made it clear that I am NOT allowed to take any pictures of the ceremony.  I guess I understand.  She has a wedding photographer and she wants me to be free to be part of the ceremony, without a camera around my neck.  Abby has even taken my camera to be used for the video.  Ok, she is definitely the boss, but of course I will have my little Canon G11 neatly hidden in my pocket.

Ab and Bart
I have reviewed lots of old pictures, and have picked out about one hundred, ranging from her birth and first vocalizations (immediately after), all the way to her time with Grayson.  I will largely let the pictures do the talking.  In addition to the few images here, I have placed a larger collection in a Gallery on my website.  I hope Abby will not be too embarrassed, but I have seen an endless procession of  pictures of young children from my friends, and I feel that I can be allowed my chance to show some old 
pictures -  at least while we patiently wait for Grandchildren!

Jeremy and Abigail

My few words cannot remotely approach a resume of all of Abigail’s activities and accomplishments.  Simply speaking, I am endlessly amazed by my daughter’s intelligence and poise, and her ability to disarmingly connect with all sorts people, and I am so proud.

Early years
From birth, Abby had an often exhausting store of energy.  She loved to talk but also to quietly ease-drop on the adult conversation.  Throughout her local schooling she had a remarkably talented group of friends who spent much of their time in friendly, loving  competition.

Reading with Grampy

Away to School

Abby in Washington - Not her real Office

Abby went to Bates College in Maine and then completed a Masters in Public Policy at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy.  Since then, first in Washington DC and recently in Cambridge Massachusetts, she has worked on projects designed to help the underprivileged and disadvantaged.  Of course, we are happy that she was able to move her job closer to home in Cambridge.

Chesterfield Friends

The Wedding
Beautiful Abby at Fresh Pond

Of course the wedding was beautiful.  It was an intimate affair with only about twenty close family and friends.  We gathered in a park on Fresh Pond in Cambridge and, happily, rain held off.  Grayson's sister-in-law Kerry did an amazing job with the ceremony and surprised us all by hiring an acapella group to float in at the end of the service singing All You Need is Love. It was the perfect "Love Actually" moment.  After the ceremony, we all retired to a local beer pub to continue the informal celebration.  

It was a great weekend.  Abby wouldn't let me take many pictures and I had to sneak some with my pocket Canon G11, but the end result is that I have a married daughter and a wonderful son-in-law.  And I'm sure the "Professional" pictures will be great.  Yeah! 

Abigail Has Her Grayson

But She Will Always be Home With Us

Jeffrey Newcomer