Friday, August 22, 2014

Mainely Maine

 So I planned for this to be an art ed post about creating art with roofing felt, but I have postponed it because when I looked at some of the photos, I realized I needed to re-shoot a few for better quality.  I'm rather picky about photos.  So  in the meantime...
...I'm going to do a vacation-sharing post with you!  This past week we were in beautiful Kennebunkport Maine.  Which means, of course, it was time for our annual family beach sand sculpture ridiculousness at lovely Goose Rocks Beach.  In past years our 'best' work has included a cat/mouse standoff, a couple of dragons, an octopus, a Buddha-like cat, and an alligator.  But we were stumped this year, and in the end decided on this large and silly snail, which we named Melvin.  We are by no means sand sculpture authorities; we are just a family having fun at the beach.  So, what Melvin lacked in sophistication, was more than compensated by his monumental size.
 My son, who joined us for the weekend from his home in Boston, dug the sand pile with my husband, and I did the basic design and shaping, with assistance from my son.  My husband found a couple of rosehip buds that became perfect eyes, placed on top of hollow sticks, and my son shaped a piece of kelp into the mouth. Here we are with our work.
 Melvin surveys the incoming tide with trepidation!

Shark! (or maybe driftwood...)
 My  husband and I also spent a day at beautiful Parson's Beach, where I photographed all the driftwood and the crazy blue skies (with a little help from my polarizer).
Below, I caught hubby in what looks to me like a Georgia O'Keeffe moment!
And then another day, on a walk through a nature preserve, we made a beach discovery, at the Wells Preserve at Laudholm Farm.
 First, we walked about 1/2 mile through a wetland trail.
 And found ourselves here.
 Enormous stretches of the most spectacular beach at low tide, with almost nobody there!
I followed my son, also with camera in hand, across sand and tide-pools, for what seemed like miles. He had discovered this tidal inlet (below) that had a reddish cast to the water due to the clay underneath, I presume.  That weird hunk of 'rock' on the right was actually sort of spongy underfoot.  Some sort of clay formation I presume? 
And of course, we ate our fair share of lobsters, clams, and more, but I'll spare you from looking at photos of food.  This isn't Facebook, after all.

When it was threatening to rain, we spent an hour or two roaming around the Old House Parts Company, which we discovered on a rainy day last year.   I took these photos there.
 If you ever need a doornob (they have thousands) or a door, a hinge or a window,  bathtub or a sink, or any of a zillion other strange and wonderful things, this is the place to go! 
 I'll finish this post with a view of a rainstorm over the Goat Island Lighthouse, as seen from Cape Porpoise.  Next post, roofing felt!  Lesson ideas galore!  I promise!!!!


  1. Thank you for the Maine pictures. We went there for our 10th anniversary and it was beautiful. Your pictures took me back there.

    1. Glad you enjoyed! There are so many lovely places in Maine.

  2. Your pictures are gorgeous! I wish I had the time to learn how to use my DSLR to full capacity. :(. I am very literally challenged with directions, and need a class....shocking for an art teacher to be visual I know!

    1. Thank you so much, Kristin! I've had my DSLR for almost 2 years now, and still struggle with the menus frequently and I know I am only scratching the surface of my camera capabilities. I have a good understanding of the basic physics of depth of field, aperture, and shutter speed, because decades ago I was a high school photography teacher. But I was a DARKROOM photo teacher in the pre-digital age, so I struggle with all the digital stuff, which is mostly trial and error. But the physics of capturing light, and the rules of composition don't change!

      I did take both an evening 'getting to know your new camera' class that met for 2 sessions at a local camera store, and a also a one-day class that was a little more in-depth, but so much of it goes right out the window when you are outside and see something pretty and can't remember which button to push to to change the ISO!

      So, when photographing at the beach, I frequently used the beach 'preset' in my scene settings, which means that the camera made the shutter and aperture choices for me, appropriately balanced for sun and sand. Most newer DSLR cameras will have a setting like that, and actually our family point & shoot cameras have this setting also. I also frequently bracketed my exposure (which I learned to set up in the one-day class) which means I took three exposures at different shutter speeds or apertures, and gives me more choices when I import the photos to the computer. You have to shoot a LOT of photos to get a few you like.

      I bought a book, but, like you, I don't do well with printed directions, and prefer someone standing over me helping to point the way. Which is why I am now hunting for a local Photoshop class.

      What kind of camera are you using? Good luck! Let me know if, with my limited understanding, I can be of any help!

  3. lovely, phyl. this is the first time in 15 years we haven't visited maine in the summer. I love the driftwood shots!

    1. Thanks. Though your Big Sur photos are just as lovely! Where do you like to go to in Maine?