About Me

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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, October 22, 2018

2018 Fall Foliage Workshop

Green River above the Village

Exploring Opportunities 
This last week I have been struggling to work through images from this year’s Fall Foliage Workshop.  The pressure has been relaxed by all the great pictures that my group has already posted to public media.  I have been amazed by the variety and quality of the work. 

Dan Shooting in the Rain 

West Guilford Valley, Vermont

In past years I have recounted a chronological story of the weekend, from our departure early Saturday morning to the reluctant wrap-up around noon on Sunday, but this time I thought I might organize things a bit differently.  Our workshop included a wide range of opportunities, and challenges across the two days and this seems like a good way to share something about the experience. 

Weather: It’s always about the weather

Barn in the Rain, Chesterfield
Saturday morning started over-cast with intermittent showers.  The rain gave me a chance to discuss methods of protecting the gear from the wet, while taking advantage of the special light.  I tried to convince everyone that cloudy conditions were often the best to capture the fully saturated colors of fall foliage, and I was happy to see everyone adapt to the conditions.  

Green River Falls, 16 seconds with ND
We shot on the back roads of Chesterfield New Hampshire and up to the remarkable Roads End horse farm, but much of our day was spent in Vermont.   With many stops, we worked our way to the classic village of Green River in Guilford Vermont.  Within a compact location, Green River provides an arrangement of almost everything which makes an iconic New England village icon; a waterfall, a covered bridge, a white church and more.   Everyone found their own approach.   I had the opportunity to demonstrate the use of a neutral density filter to soften the waterfall and create leaf swirls in the pond below.

Reach Maple, Guilford Vt
As the day progressed, the rain thinned, and we saw some sun, but the clouds were never very far from view.  We had more sun on Sunday which allowed us to appreciate the value of a polarizing filter and the dramatic effect of strong back-lighting.

The Group, Precious Monadnock View

Flowing Water

Broad Brook, Guilford Vt
I am always enthusiastic about shooting flowing water in all its manifestations and the recent rain, provided several opportunities on Saturday.  Brooks and rivers tend to open gaps in the trees allowing light to penetrate, highlighting the color of the foliage and creating contrast with the dark blue water.  We found beautiful views at a couple of locations on Broad Brook, and along the Green River in Guilford Vermont.  Of course, the falls over the wood crib dam in Green River provided many different opportunities to capture the flow at various shutter speed

Sherman's Pasture Jaffrey NH

The Human Touch

Shack ion the Woods, Marlborough NH
Our corner of New England is known for its pristine farms and, as always, we found that the autumn colors contrasted nicely with lovely barns, sugar shacks and farming equipment.  The trick was to allow the color to comfortably envelop the human touches.  On Sunday, we completed our tour with a visit to Jaffrey where the streets were lined with hundreds of scarecrows.  The “Scarecrows on the Common” is just part of a family-oriented autumn celebration which included face painting, hayrides and somethings called a “Donut Dash”.

Jaffrey Scarecrows

There always must be animals.  Horses, sheep, goats, and cows, we found lots of opportunities to capture farm animals.  The remarkable thing is how oblivious these creatures are to the spectacular colors which are all around.  The trick is to get the critters to stop paying attention to the mass of photographers and return to doing “critter” stuff.  It usually just took patience.

Chat Break
Everything Else
Not all the attractions of our workshop fell into neat categories.  It is Autumn and sometimes things where just plain beautiful.   What is not captured in the images is the great fun that we had chatting, often about photography, and sometimes about nothing vaguely related to photography.  Frequently I had to break off the conversations and suggest that we might want to take a few pictures!  

I have more of my own images to process, but much of my time was spent helping the group find great locations and then get the most from their expensive equipment.  From all that I’ve seen so far, the group took LOTS of great pictures!

I am continuing to add pictures to my
2018 Fall Foliage Workshop Gallery
Check it out.

Jeff Newcomer, NEPG


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