5 Places to Treat Your Father in New England

Fathers Day-that day when we honor our Fathers, with something more than another tie, or pack of golf balls.

New England has some great places to celebrate Fathers Day weekend-either for a day, a weekend or maybe a full week!MirrorLake2015

1.How about Lake Winnipeasaukee in New Hampshire-get a cabin by the lake, enjoy some time fishing, boating or just sitting and chatting with a cold drink!

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2.Catch the First Sunrise in the United States on top of Cadillac Mountain in Acacia National Park in Maine.

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3. Seek out a great meal- or again make a round of best burger places-such as Worthy Kitchen in Woodstock, Vermont.

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4. Ice cream at the Ben and Jerry’s Factory tour in Waterbury Vermont

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5. Plan a trip to the White Mountains for Hiking-walking and Photography! Spend time with your Father!

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The Maine Objective- A Dream-A Lottery?

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The Maine Objective… Being a Dreamer somehow and as of this morning I am not sure why I found this or how I found it. The Contest fell into my path, but now it caused my to spend a few sleepless nights considering it…

My Maine Objective- to share the home and Maine with others- no, not good enough, how would my essay stand out among 4200 others. I am a hard-worker but in the end not a great business person. I currently take my vacations every fall and return to Maine-chasing sunrise and those magical places that maybe no one else has captured and shared with a paintbrush or a camera click. The way the light might be hitting the lighthouse, or the storm rolling in across the Kennebec river that divided Bath.

With 6000 lakes and ponds, 3478 miles of coastline not including the islands, 3,166 off shore islands, and 67 lighthouses it would take a lifetime and many seasons to even begin to see it all! But here Bath, Maine sits- right in the middle really of the whole of Maine-at least along the Ocean- 3 hours to Bar Harbor, and Acacia National Park, a few hours north of Portsmouth NH which I basically considered the starting point to any of my Maine trips.

What would one do with a 6000 square foot home- I eagerly thought great a place for those I like to go photographing with, a place for family to visit, or others… but then I thought… need.. I didn’t need the house-in fact did anyone “need” a house that large? Here I was trying to simplify-get rid of additional bills and worries- taking on a 6000 square foot home seemed maybe a step in the opposite direction.

But the house and the dream has kept me awake.
Maine is an incredible place to go-summers swell with tourists, but come October the coves go silent, the morning fog sits and slowly burns off sometimes revealing a storybook cove dotted with boats and trees painted with the brushstrokes of fall, reds, oranges, yellows!

So here’s the Link https://winamainehouse.com/
Good luck in writing a 300 word essay to score a lifelong dream of living in Maine, or in anyplace painted with the magical light that has drawn Artists for years!
I just don’t think I am that lucky!

The deadline is today so good luck with YOUR MAINE OBJECTIVE!
https://winamainehouse.com/

My name is April and I am an artist who enjoys sharing the beauty of nature in these 50 states, including the Fall Colors in Maine- if you want to join one of my trips/tours check out the details at www.fallphototrips.com

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10 Tips for Leaf Peepers!

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Somewhere I missed March, April and May… sorry my calendar has passed before my eyes! Actually I have been busy doing a combination of traveling and writing itineraries!

LEAF PEEPERS- that fun somewhat obnoxious group of people who descend on destinations like Vermont, Massachusetts and in general New England in a swarm come late September and last until sometime around the end of October.

Like the “Ugly American Tourist” we don’t want to be labeled as “that or Those darn Leaf Peepers” so it is important to follow a few tips!

1. DO get up EARLY for best light and to make use of the limited light in New England this time of year! Some of my best photos have been made in early morning light! www.sunrisesunset.com can give you exact times and if you look-most days in October you have about 12 hours of good light-give or take. Cloudy days or rainy days will feel like they get darker more quickly.

2. DON’T stop in the middle of a busy traveled road just for your Photograph. Choose your spot to park carefully and with consideration for other travelers or private owners. Don’t walk into chicken pens-barns private property!

3. DO stop. Don’t rush past that pumpkin stand or country fair-stop and get out-wonderful home-baked goodies await as well as meeting the locals!

4. DON’T be LOUD-observe a quiet voice when walking in the woods or standing by a wonderful waterfall- a bit of quiet is important in observing nature and you may spot that elusive moose with a bit of quiet!

5. Do ask locals where to go- stay in a locally owned bed/breakfast, small hotel and get great tips on restaurants or where that beautiful trail is! Locals WANT to share the best places and are thrilled when you ask!

6. Don’t forget to pack proper clothes like any good traveler- Fall weather is a mix of sunny 70+ days and can be a chilly bite of frosty 32 degree mornings-bring a hat both for sun or cold. Rain-gear, boots, be prepared and you will find your days much more enjoyable!

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7. DO bring a camera with plenty of space even if you have been before I always see new things to photograph!

8. Don’t overplan. Leave room for spontaneity, you won’t be driving at 60mph (please no), and there is more to see than you will have time for- you can always return the following Fall! There is often much to see in a small area, historic sights, trails, and you need some time to just sit and enjoy. You need time to walk that trail that leads to a waterfall.

9. Do plan ahead for special excursions- boat rides or anything involving tickets especially on fall weekends! New England gets approximately 5 millions visitors in the fall from all over the world and this number may not account for residents who also get out on the weekends to enjoy the colors, fall foliage cruises, and train rides!

10. Don’t be that “Ugly Leaf Peeper!” Wave when driving down country roads, be friendly at the country stores, SMILE, be courteous especially to the locals who may just be trying to get to work in the morning. Pull over and let faster moving vehicles pass you, let the locals get in and out of the convenience stores quickly- be patient and most of all just enjoy!! You aren’t working you are enjoying the beauty of fall in New England! NE_LAKE11

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February -Photographers Calendar – Blossom Trail California

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California is a wonderful destination for February. While many parts of the United States are still receiving snow, cold and grey skies California has warm days and opportunities for landscapes abound.
Death Valley is bearable- and this year with some rains there is what is being called an EPIC bloom of wildflowers.
Yosemite National Park experience a unique phenomena when the setting sun can create a glow appearing like FIRE against Horsetail Waterfall in the Valley. Be prepared to get there hours before sunset to get a spot and hold it.
In the mid section of the state where acres of Fruits and nuts grow.. the rows of trees all briefly bloom- pale pinks, bright pinks and white blooms, meanwhile the surrounding hills can be carpeted in bright greens and other wildflowers.

To find the Trees- take Highway 99 and exit when you start to see the trees- follow any of these roads many follow a grid. Be aware many the groves of trees are private property. Stay near the road or obtain permission before you just start trampling into the trees.
Fresno California is a good place if you need to stay over=night or on the Southern end you have Bakersfield. In between there are some newer hotels along Highway 99 check with your local AAA office, Holiday Inn, Best Western or Super 8 for locations.

The blossoms are beautiful and getting close to afford some wonderful images.

Places you may want to look for : The Blossom Cafe (closes by 2pm I believe but serves homemade pie!)
Simonian Farms –
the giant Teapot at Kingsburg California

Tips:
Fixed lens.
50mm or portrait lens for some wonderful portraits
16mm, 18mm or 24mm for some wider angle images to include various compositions of the trees-trunks or rolling hills you may encounter on your way.
Filters such as a polarizer may be helpful to adding some dimension and depth to a washed sky or one that has only a hint of clouds.
Most of all take some snacks and water- there are a few small towns here and there but you may get caught up in the chase of the colors,fruit stands, nuts for sale and honey tastings along the way!

Thank you for reading my Photography blog.
My name is April and I enjoy photography, eating local foods and the thrill of driving down backroads in search of new vistas! Hope you will join me on my next Road Trip, day trip or longer adventure.

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January- Photographers Calendar- Birds

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January is stark. Basic colors of black, greys and whites in many places. The Northern Hemisphere is resting- and gone dormant- so often we sit and stare wondering where to take ourselves and our cameras.

January brings me to mind also of poets such as Emily Dickinson sitting at her desk staring at a cold quiet landscape.
January is a time for photographers to embrace these stark landscapes, chase winterscapes, go to the deserts which often prove to be too hot in a few months and look to the skies. Birds- there are many places where birds migrate to – more moderate places such as California so we watch and see many many birds sharing open water-open fields and sticking together.

There are many places that attract many birds such as Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico, the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, Humboldt Bay California, San Diego Bay and many other spots- check online or visit www.fws.gov for complete listing of sites near you.

Tips for photographing BIRDS:
You will need a long lens- like a 300mm or greater depending on your budget, what feels comfortable to hand hold and the larger the lens the closer you will be able to zoom in and capture more details of the birds. tur
If you use a tripod when photographing birds which tend to move a lot you will want a tripod with a gimbal head to be able to quickly move your camera, refocus and lock in on the bird.
Personally I prefer hand-holding for more mobility.
Patience- I think getting a good solid bird photo you need to stay focused and patient to wait- wait for the birds, and wait to compose the shot you really want to take.
Image stabilized lens- if you will be handholding as I sure some of you will it is important to turn the stabilizer function on to increase getting a strong solid image.
Like any other subject you can photograph many birds and create landscape images, or create portraits with single birds- try to get in as close as possible or you feel comfortable and capture the “expression” of that bird.
Watch your edges- be aware to give extra space around the image you want. Make sure there isn’t an odd object such as a stick going the wrong direction in your photos, heads, hands or binoculars you didn’t want in your image.
Compose with elements such as tree branches, telephone lines or early morning sunrise.
Remember it is not the CAMERA that creates the image- even a cell phone can capture a great image.. it is being at the right place, right time and strong composition skills!

For more information on WHERE to capture Bird Images- try the Audubon Society, follow a local birding group, and check the internet.
I will close with a few lines from Emily Dickinson who wrote…
“Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all, And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm. I’ve heard it in the chilliest land And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity, It…
Read more at: http://www.azquotes.com/author/3956-Emily_Dickinson/tag/bird

January is a time of hope- new ideas- new creative challenges!
My name is April and I am an avid photographer and traveler. I enjoy sharing the beauty of the world around us and leading others to explore their creative spirit!
I hope you will get out and capture the magnificent world around us and take some photographs to remember and treasure!

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United States-Destinations to Photograph in 2016

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Happy New Year 2016!
The Lists are out.. Where to go in 2016 by CNN, The Guardian, Budget Travel Magazine, Travel and Leisure Magazine.. and more.. The National Park System turns 100 and appeared on each list.
The 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade also featured the National Park System and Ken Burns as Grand Marshall who did an entire documentary in 2009 on the Parks System.
If you haven’t visited the parks… what are you waiting for…
Living in California I will feature Yosemite National Park today-

Yosemite National Park is a gem and located here in California.

Tips for visiting and photographing Yosemite National Park-
The park has all kinds of lodging-from tents to the Grand old Ahwahnee Hotel which opened in 1927 and became a model of “parkitecture” that tries to integrate indoor and outdoor space.
Lodging can fill up fast- weekdays are best to try and snag a room and off seasons such as winter. Or you can always find rooms just outside the park generally but be prepared for the long drive in and out of the park.

Yosemite holds claim to the Tallest Waterfall in North America but being fed by snowmelt the waterfall can literally almost disappear in times of drought- as was the case last summer when I visited.

For the best experience I would plan to book early, stay in the park so you can experience first light and last light. Visit in different seasons- the Park does experience changes in its plants, colors and look with each changing season.
Free Photo walks are organized thru the Ansel Adams Gallery. Check their website to preplan-walks are limited in participation size.
Travel with a buddy- be it a friend or fellow photographer- the park is large and it is an outdoor space with animals etc…
Check weather conditions- it can be sunny in Los Angeles and a winter storm can be howling in the park- dress appropriately.

For more information on planning your visit to Yosemite National Park-check the official National Park Website
http://www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm

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What to SEE and Photograph in 2016

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January 1, 2016 !
Good Morning! Being on the West Coast for most of you it is mid afternoon! But here goes- I am determined to get a blog post done today-now before today becomes tomorrow!

Each year dawns with a Fresh Start- a clean slate and an open palette for creatives.. what shall I say thru my writing, my Art, or not say.. or share.. or SEE !
So as I contemplate what I want to SEE in 2016 … most of you probably are out doing just that SEEING !

Being a photographer to me is all about SEEING and to see you need to DO … it is an action- get out there!
And sometimes to SEE we must imagine… dream a little ..no 2 people I find SEE the same way-try it- go out somewhere new and take some photos- each of you will probably SEE in a bit different way. Of course we will all capture the establishing image.. here I am say at the top of the mountain but after a few moments- some of you will focus on the way the light is hitting the blades of grass wet with dew.. some will zoom in on the blaze of colors painting the sky, while someone else may seem an incredible silhouette created by a gnarled old tree. It is a constant fascination to not only SEE and capture new places but surround myself with others who SEE and share in the excitement of discovery!

Was I not going to share a PLACE TO PHOTOGRAPH… well I am and speaking of SUNRISE ..if you want to capture the FIRST SUNRISE (most of the time) to occur in the Continental United States- you need to find yourself at the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Maine!

SUNRISE is a fresh start to each DAY and that light that breaks changes and is different each morning- angle of the sun- weather.. and of course where you are ! But how exciting and inspiring to be one of the first to see the Sunrise (Oct thru March approx) in the United States!

So add ACADIA NATIONAL PARK to your Places to SEE and experience SUNRISE… and hope it is not clouded or fogged in 🙂

My name is April- and I have a passion for SEEING new places and experiencing all that is around us- trees, water, sky and sharing it… if you want to join me check out my longer trips on FallPhotoTrips.com or for day trips and shorter explorations check out Meetup.com/tours4women

Happy 2016!

PS. this image was photographed in Acadia National Park in October with my Cell Phone!

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Caring for your Photographs and Sharing the Love!

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Here we are at the end of another Year- where did it go? Like many of you I have been out collecting photos and images… going here and there and wow now I am at the end of the year and I have so many photos stuck on hard drives, up on a cloud and still on a memory card or stick somewhere… not to mention all of the old photos ….

It is time to give these images some LOVE and it is time to Care for your Photos if you have not already.

As technology continues to change at lightning speed- looking at these gems- family photos-travels photos and other images we have collected will quickly become a challenge as well- if you forget you have stored images to a cloud site, no one else probably knows they are there either.
Printing and creating physical items with your images is the best way to Care for your photographs and “share the love”. What better time to do this than now-at the holidays!

Caring for your photographs:
1. Make a photo book – a souvenir of your travels or a book of the family from the past year or a book of photos from a milestone event such as a wedding, graduation or new baby!

2. Make prints- yes this old school BUT without photos printed, years from now no one may be able to read them off your hard drive, get them off a cloud or have a device to look at them from a cd or memory card.

3. A large image for your home or office- enlarge one of your favorite images to hang in your home or office and enjoy it everyday!

Right now is a wonderful time to check the many offers and deals

Mpix-
Shutterfly
Snapfish
Vistaprint
Canvas On Demand
Frames- check Aaron Brothers or Michaels often run a Buy one get One
even places like Walgreens
and Groupon lists many of these special offers everyday!

Share the love- share your history and share your current images!
Happy Holidays!

My name is April and I enjoy sharing the beauty of the world around me- right here in my backyard or a bit further- join me on my next Phototrip! For local events check out one of my Meetup groups

Tours4Women or Los Angeles NomadChicks

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New England Fall Foliage Photo tours 2015

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Wow what an incredible two weeks in New England chasing Fall Colors and if I could I would still be there… as I hear the leaves are still hanging on in a few places!

This year the higher temperatures did keep the colors from progressing as quickly as in years past but we also weren’t shivering at sunrise as we tried to capture the light painting the brilliant colors of the trees. In fact I think we only saw a slight frost around Bennington one morning, though in some tall grass out at Jenne Farm I did manage to get my feet pretty wet!

We did not have much rain which did allow us to maximize as many hours as we could photographing, finding new places, and tasting maple syrup and a few cider donuts!

But with the warmer temps almost 75 along the New Hampshire coast I found I had packed things I didn’t even need- hats= gloves and extra layering pieces.

Each year even though I may return to some favorite photography locations in Vermont and New Hampshire I also find new places or see things in a different light!
Speaking of light- when you stay in bed/breakfasts and historic inns you may want to throw in a small travel power strip for all of your electronics and invest in a flashlight. Many of the camera bags are lined in black- that against a black battery or other item just disappears… I am considering lining all of my camera bags with a florescent fabric!

So I am already counting the days for my next Fall Photography trip to New England in 2016 and would love to have you join me!
If you enjoy more than just skimming the surface of a place… join me- we will stop and sample cider donuts, local cuisine, find a broken down barn or pull over for that zebra … yes I did see a zebra in Vermont… maybe Michael Jackson is still with us but living in Vermont with a zebra….hmmm..
We meet the locals, eat organic local foods and sleep in historic places… that date back to our forefathers.. full of character and history! Join me for an experience you won’t forget..

My name is April and I love photography, travel and the joy of discovery- join me and see what’s right here in these United States!

Thank you again to all of you who joined me this year it was a pleasure!

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What are we Waiting For…Photography…color..what are we doing?

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What are we waiting for? What are we doing? It’s dark it’s cold… and we are out on the road. I often get asked by those who don’t know why we are getting out of a warm cozy bed to go out in the dark and cold… what are we doing?? Sometimes I get someone “new” to join us curious as to what might be out there… I don’t know if it makes sense to them …

We walk across wet grass and find a spot to stand… we wait and watch.. sometimes depending on the place… there are others quietly shuffling around.. jockeying for a spot.. watching for where they step and their breath sending a trail into the early light.
A lot of photography is waiting.. whether it is for Northern Lights or sunrise to paint the trees or birds to lift… a lot of landscape photography involves patience and waiting.

Photography by definition and origin means “drawing with light”- a photographer creates with light- composing and working with light. Waiting and anticipating where the light will break on a subject often produces images filled with drama, emotion and intrigue. I find setting up in the dark or just as the light is appearing gives you an opportunity to compose the elements you have in front of you- a barn a tree… and think thru where you want to place yourself. Will you be low.. will it be a close up image, are you trying to include the sky or not. It is also helpful to visually think thru the image prior- what you are looking for? Sunrise or sunset can happen quickly.

To a non-photographer though it may seem like we spend a lot of time just waiting.. and sometimes we do!
Each day is new and sometimes even a bit of rain will clear and the sky will break with a brief but brilliant burst of color!

So for those who wonder … get out there and wait.. wait for the light of day… embrace the morning.. if nothing else breathe in deeply, thankful for yet another day and continue to seek what moves you..
We wait for the magic.. we wait for the LIGHT and we wait for something incredible that we can witness and capture with our camera! As a creative anticipation is part of the driving force-

HELPFUL tips: dress for the weather, have batteries charged, a split filter can help even very contrasty situations that can occur with early light, and a flashlight can be helpful to find your way!

Be part of the üs”and join us on our next Photography Trip or Tour. Bring yourself, bring your creative spirit, bring your curiosity, and bring your tools.. your camera, your eyes, a pencil, a cell phone or just yourself. Embrace the beauty around you!

My name is April and I seek to see all that makes up this beautiful country we call the United States of America. I chase the light, I chase the seasons and I hope you will join me on my next Photo trip or tour!

April Bielefeldt
www.fallphototrips.com
FALLLODGING

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