Category Archives: Transportation

My Top Images of 2012

My biggest fear as a photographer is being stuck in a rut.  That is photographing the same things over and over again.  Each year I do have a set of specific places I photograph.  There is the airshow at the Rhode Island National Guard and the Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, CT.  The challenge for me is first to perfect my photographic technique and second to look at the event differently.

This year, I added a few new techniques to my abilities.  I created star trails one evening from my front door and I started practicing portrait photography by setting up a rudimentary basement studio to photograph family and friends.

I also practices a lot more with off camera flash; lighting subjects in my back yard to bring out textures and colors.

Equipment wise, I added the Canon 5D Mark III to my tools.  I simply love this camera.  Moving to a full frame DSLR was also a learning experience with significant changes in how the lens perform at wider angles.  These larger image files are becoming difficult to process on my five-year old computer that was purchased without the thought of any kind of image processing.  So I see a high-end computer in my future.

This year I also exhibited for the first time in an Art Gallery and even sold a print.  I also set up camp at a “Harvest Festival” in my home town to see if any of my images would sell.  A few did but the rain all day limited the number of people attending the event.

With all that said, here are what I consider my top images of 2012…

Self Portrait. 

Inspired by Rodney Pike, I set off the create some manipulated portraits.  To to this however I needed to learn how to create portraits which sent me down the path of creating a rudimentary studio in my basement.  It was great learning how to set up the lights to create the portraits.  Syl Arena’s book: Speedliter’ s Handbook is an excellent reference to learn how to use flash from set up to capture.

Altered Ego |

Reggie – Mom’s Evil Cat

This image won Image of the Year at the Stony Brook Camera Club.  There were plenty of excellent images in this competition.  This image won on the cuteness factor.I think it brings out the true personality of mom’s cat.
Reggie | Mom's Evil Cat.

Circles of Light

Creating this image took learning a new technique, capturing star trails.  Lance Keimig’s night photography inspired me in a session he taught at the New England Camera Club Council Conference.  Pages 204 to 217 in his book “Night Photography: Finding your way in the dark” tells you all you need to know.

A circle of light |

Boston in the Morning

I love to photograph Boston.  For several years I have been photographing from the same location in East Boston.  This year I choose a new location and planned to photograph through the night staying at the Hyatt Hotel on this location.  (I was catching a plane out of Logan Airport in the morning).  Well mother nature was not good to me and that evening the wind was so strong, it kept vibrating my tripod and I was left with a series of “soft” images and two very cold hands…

The next morning, I had enough time to capture this single image of the city as the sun was just rising behind me.

Sunrise over Boston | Boston in the morning as viewed by the Hyatt Hotel in East Boston.

Butterfly with an Attitude

My daughter and I went to Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory in Deerfield, MA this year.  It was great making images with my daughter.  Afterwards, it was great seeing the images she created.  As I saw butterflies and flowers, she saw turtles, lizards and birds.  I realized afterwards I had missed so much and have a lot to learn about observation from my daughter.

Butterfly with an Attitude 1 | Photographed at Magic Wings, MA

(Looks like this butterfly has a nose ring…)

Boston Marathon

This year the Boston Marathon was one of the hottest temperature-wise.  Temp was 79 at the start of the race and topped out in the high 80’s.  My son ran this race.  It was his first marathon and he ran “unofficially”.  He made it to completion with a decent time.  I am very impressed with his determination to complete the marathon.

These photographs are early in the race where everyone are eager and full of energy.  I love the portrait of my son but am not sure of the haircut.
Boston Marathon 2012 |

Mike Runs |

Solo Heart.

These Bleeding Heart flowers, grow in my backyard.  This was the last flower of the year.  I captured this macro image in a basement setup.  This image is 24 images stacked using a technique to bring out a very deep depth of field.  The images were combined using a program called Helicon Focus.

Solo Heart | The last bleeding heart standing in the garden.  Multilayer Maco

The RI Airshow.

These are two different images than what I have created in the past.  The truck was simply luck.  I was tracking the truck as it raced across the runway when there was a Boom!  The pyrotechnics were spectacular.  Timing was great just as the parachute deployed.

The capture of the Mustang was something I have been trying to get a clean capture for years.  You need a slow shutter speed to give the feel of spinning propellers but be steady enough to bring the rest of the image in sharp.  I still see flaws and need more work perfecting this technique.

You can read more in a previous blog post.

Boom |

Never Miss | This P-51D Mustang, affectionately nick named Never Miss, was in service from 1945 to 1956.  Fortunately it never saw military action.   In 1996 she was named Never Miss by James Elkins who owned it for 13 years.

Lek Yuen Bridge

This is a foot bridge found in the new territories of Hong Kong that crosses the Shing Mun river.  This bridge provides a majestic view of the downtown area of the “New Territories”. Captured using both night photography and HDR techniques.

Lek Yuen Bridge | A foot bridge found in the new territories of Hong Kong crosses the Shing Mun river.  This bridge provides a majestic view of the downtown area.

Buttonwood Farm 2012

Every year the Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, CT grows 10 acres of sunflowers.  People come from all around to visit and photograph this field.  Donations are collected for the Make –A-Wish foundation.I needed to stand in the middle of the field to capture this image with the barn in the background.

Buttonwood Farm 2012 | Every year the Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, CT grows 10 acres of sunflowers.  People come from all around to visit and photograph this field.  Donations are collected for the Make –A-Wish foundation.

Adirondack Balloon Festival.

In what may become a new tradition, the Adirondack Balloon Festival is a great place to go in September to capture some great images.There are some risks however in that mother nature can limit the flights and the first launch was cancelled on account of winds.  The following three images provides a feel of what images can be captured.

In my Beautiful, my Beautiful Balloon. Captured in the early morning, this balloon was part of an early morning balloon launch of 100 balloons.

Up Up and Away | In my Beautiful, my Beautiful Balloon.  Captured in the early morning, this balloon was part of a 100 balloon launch at Glens Falls, NY.

Fireworks over Lake George.

Fireworks over Lake George |

Morning Glow as this balloon master fills the balloon.

Baloon Master |


Still life in my back yard.  After the rain one morning I set out to photograph the turning leaves.  This image was captured with the leaves still on the tree using off camera flash to light the subject.

Fall |

Paths to Nowhere.

The next two images is a new idea that I am developing.  They are simply paths to nowhere.  The first image is a roadway in Minnesota in a low population part of the region. The second image, is my last image of 2012 a walk along the Upper Charles Trail in Milford, MA.

I think I do need a subject in these images a payoff at the end of the trail.  Still working on this concept.

The Road Home | Route 59

A walk in the cold | Along the Upper Charles Trail Milfird during the last snow of 2012.

Martha Mary Church

Martha Mary Church at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn and Grist Mill – Sudbury, MA.  Couldn’t find the Grist Mill but found this beautiful church.

Martha Mary Church | Martha Mary Church at Longfellow's Wayside Inn and Grist Mill - Sudbury, MA.  Couldn’t find the Grist Mill but found this beautiful church.

Our Lady of Victory

Located in Tannersville, PA, this is my brother’s church.  A Roman Catholic Church with a very vibrant community.  Captured just after Christmas celebration.  The light reflected through the clerestory windows provides dramatic light across the crucifix.  I saw this light and immediately saw the symbolism of the resurrection of Jesus.  Just after this capture, the clouds hid the sun and the light show was over.

Our Lady of Victory | Love how the light luminated the cross in this image of the interior of Our Lady of Victory Church, Stroudsburg, PA.


Podcast: Rhode Island National Guard Airshow

Last weekend, June 25 and 26th I was given a unique chance to participate as a member of the media for the 20th anniversary Rhode Island Airshow run by the Rhode Island National Guard .  This year’s theme was 20 years of thrills.  The PAO team treated us all well on the first day and this was great since we had the best weather to photograph the event.  The Thunderbirds were the headlienrs and they did an incredible show for the media on the 25th and for the community on the 26, 27th. 

Denis Hall conveyed to me that  The US Air Force Thunderbirds flew in from from Nellis AFB, NV in one long stretch of several hours strapped tightly in their cockpits.   They take off and climb out early in the a.m. up to about 41,000 feet with cruise at 600 knots, then take on the fuel from either a KC-10 or KC-135 tanker for the transit across and over several states and weather cells.  It must be one hell of a routine. 

Anyway, here is my show. 


24 Hours on the USS Lincoln – the podcast

I am finally posting my 24 hours on the USS Lincoln in Podcast form for iTunes use.  If you wish to watch on your computer try this link.

RI National Guard Airshow

This weekend June 26 and 27th 2010 is the Rhode Island Air National Guard 20th annual airshow.  This is always a great event to see all kinds of aircraft from Antiques to F-18s.  There will also be skydivers and a combined arms demo.  The Thunderbirds cap off the event as the headliners.  Here is their schedule.  Maybe I’ll see you there.

1000 – Opening Flag Jump – Black Daggers
1010 – Tucker Teaser – Sean D. Tucker
1020 – Kevin Coleman Air Shows
1030 – Kent Pietsch
1040 – Rhode Warriors – C-130J Demo
1055 – John Klatt – ANG
1110 – F-18 Hornet Demo
1125 – Mike Goulian
1140 – Kent Pietsch
1150 – Black Daggers
1200 – Vandy 1 – Hak Hickman
1215 – Red Bull Air Force Jump Team
1225 – Kent Pietsch
1235 – Chuck Aaron – Red Bull Helicopter
1250 – John Klatt – ANG
1305 – A-10 Demo
1320 – Mike Goulian
1335 – F-18 Hornet Demo
1350 – Sean D. Tucker
1405 – Combined Arms Demo
1430 – Thunderbirds

You can learn more at

People and Machines

Untitled Document

People and the Machines

It has been a little over a week since I completed my trip of a life time aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.  I have to say, this trip was a life changing experience for me and I want to share it with my friends and family.  But how? 

I think it is natural for people to find it hard to understand something unless they experience it firsthand.  After all we learn by experience.  That said, I find it interesting that we can be very opinionated on what we do not experience.  People like me can be very judgmental on what we don’t know.  The older I get the more aware I become of the shades of gray that do indeed exist in our world.

So the challenge for me is to get you to experience what I felt on the USS Lincoln.  It will not be the same as being there.  Buy maybe I can provide some justice towards communicating this life through my photography.  So I’ve posted a slide show that showcases my twenty-four hour experience aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln .  You can watch the slide show here.  (There is a sound track so you may wish to crank up (or down)  depending on where you are when you watch the show.)

Stills from the slide show can be seen here .

Some thoughts to ponder. 
The flight deck is one of the most dangerous places to work in the world.  Everyone on the deck is wearing vests, goggles and hearing protection.  Communication is with hand signals and shouting.  Goggles limit visibility.  Vests and uniforms add weight, are uncomfortable and can be very warm on a hot day.  Your uniform has strange colors but these colors all mean something from purple (fuel) to white (safety).  You are a part of a carefully choreographed, controlled chaos, ballet.

The ship is not made for comfort.  There are sharp edges everywhere.  The stairs are really ladders.  Elevators for people?  Are you kidding?  Sleeping is 4 bunks high.  Everything you own fits is a few square feet of real estate under your bed.  You work hard from cleaning the kitchen, carrying cables, to lifting armaments to pulling some Gs on catapulting off the ship in a million dollar fighter aircraft.  You don’t sleep well.  You have no down time, you are always on in some compactly. 

The equipment is high tech yet old.  This class of ships and support aircraft are going on 30 years old.  Yet the Navy innovates by keeping theses platforms modern and saving the tax payers money by not building new every time.  
And through it all, you know you have a real purpose.  You are ready for any mission.  To Protect, To Deter, To Secure and To Relieve those in need.  It is an amazing thing these sailors do for us and our country.

Some additional information from others who had this adventure can be found through the links below: