The True Sword-maker

grampy_040117_1We are Spadoni.

Since I was a small child, I wondered what our last name meant. I knew it had Italian roots, but I wanted to know more. Grampy use to tell me that it meant, “sword-maker,” which pleased me very much. However, whenever I relayed this information to my friends, they would laugh and tell me I must be joking them.  Continue reading

The hands of this journey

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For someone so accustomed to creating visual mementos for every milestone, for each venture into new, for every unfolding journey, I did not know how to capture this.  This was not familiar, though the instinct was unchanged.  I wanted to remember.

Tonight, my dad passed into forever… and into the loving arms of the creator God.  We gain confidence in the truth of Jesus’ words as he comforted the mourning Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)

As I observed through the vigil, it was the hands I noticed.  Always the hands, sometimes alone, often embraced.  Wife, child, friend.  An unyielding grasp, a gentle stroke.  Patient, anticipating.

These told the story.

Golden Hour

“Photos graphe,” or light drawing, can sometimes say more about the photographer than it does about the scene being captured.

Have you ever looked at a photograph online, one that depicts a stunning landscape with emerald colored canopies or oceans of vivid blue? Have you ever seen a portrait where the subject’s eyes are illuminated with a sparkle? I have, and I think we are all conditioned to think to ourselves, “wow that person got lucky,” or “I wish I had the camera that person had.” This is foolishness. More often than not, a stunning photograph is indicative of an artist’s hard work, dedication, and commitment to her/his craft.

Boston sunrise


There is a time of day when the light stretches across the earth, gilding everything it touches in a golden glow. Photographing during this time can create truly breathtaking images, but it can be hard to predict. There are some who plan out weather patterns and try to anticipate the golden hour, while others simply stumble across it. I would like to say that I tend to be the former, but in reality, usually I’m the latter. This image was taken during the most intense golden light I’ve ever been fortunate enough to experience. I took it from a top floor of a Boston skyscraper. The cars, the water, the buildings, everything seems to be dipped in molten gold!

I look at this image and it reminds me to make an effort when it comes to taking photographs. The best photographers rise early, stay up late and are planners. They don’t stumble upon golden hour, they seek it out! I hope to be more intentional with my landscape photography. 

So, how about you? Does interesting light find you, or are you out there finding it yourself?

The Versatile Fujifilm X-Pro2

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You could say I got spoiled a few years ago when I traveled to South Africa.  We touched down in Paris for a few days to break up the long flight there and because I had never been, though Laura had traveled to the City of Lights back in her college years.  At the time, I was shooting only a Fujifilm X100S and surely that wouldn’t do for the lions and cheetahs of our safari adventure.  So, I rented a Nikon D7100 and a long lens for that portion.  A few shots from that trip can be found here.  In the end, the X100 series body was perfect for Paris (and some broader vista shots in Africa) and the Nikon body was incredible for the safari.  This awesomeness subsequently became known as my “Paris-Africa Solution” and every camera kit I’ve tried since has been judged against it.

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Timing and Patience

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Are you the type of photographer who walks up, assesses a scene, and snaps a few photographs before lowering your camera from your eye and moving on? Perhaps all of us do that at one time or another, but I urge you to experiment with patience, and try to wait for a scene to develop before you press the shutter button. Continue reading

Staring Into the Sun, Unmoving

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With a Lightroom library overstuffed with hard drive clogging images, I’ve taken to some housecleaning of late.  It’s not an easy task as any venture onto my photographic memory lane tends to weigh me down in nostalgia and reminiscence.  I’ve enjoyed these side trips immensely but they don’t help with the task at hand, a task of unclogging.

It’s a useful exercise as I am simultaneously reminded of my progress as well as lack of it.  I rediscover the various phases of pursuit including high contrast monotone, long exposure, high key, and high dynamic range (oh, all those bracketed shots).  I recall the rendering characteristics of the different cameras I’ve owned, for example the cooler leanings of the Nikons, the warmer toning of the Olympus’, and so forth.  I think about the macro lens experiments (flowers, flowers and then more flowers), the long telephoto zoom (how many interesting shots of pigeons does the world actually need?) and the fine art portrait lens (our Lhasa Apso, Shadow, was an unwilling but capable subject).  I think about the many phases of my photography.

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