Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day Nine–One of My Favorite Photos

I love photographing animals. So in pursuing this I visit a lot of zoos. I really like the newer zoos where the animal are in a more natural habitat. A perfect example of this is Tampa, Florida’s Lowery Park Zoo. When I was a kid I remember the old style zoo that was full of Tiger Yawnanimals in concrete pits with no foliage or shelters. Then in my late teens they renovated and went to an open air bars free zoo. Now the animals look happier and most important to me and the other photogs, the opportunities for unencumbered shots opened up. So one day with my do everything 28-200mm zoom lens, trusty Pentax K-1000 loaded with T-Max 100 film in hand, I was at the tiger enclosure. The tiger couple were enjoying an afternoon nap together when the male awoke and yawned. And I happened to be there at the right moment. The truth is I had been there ready for something to happen for over a half hour. I knew that if I waited for them to wake up, there was a chance of them running around, licking one another, or something interesting. The wait paid off, at least in my opinion. This picture represents everything I love in a photo. Good depth of field, extreme detail, and capturing a moment that tells the story without words. One of my personal bests.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Last Week-Road Trips Snaps

Last week I had a trip to Baltimore in the rain and fog. Then a few trips to Somerville, Hackettstown, and then down to Turnersville. Here are a few of the photos I got a long the way.


This was a single tree standing in an empty field just before the traffic circle on Route 70 and Route 206 and the only thing clearly visible in the fog. Its starkness called me to photograph it. Everything about this photo is bad, but at the same time I’ll be taking more like it as something about it makes me want to get it right.


This is the corner of 571 and 27 in Princeton. I think the nearest building is the college library. The sky was so striking, the tree so bare, and the curved stone so textured.


This was just a few blocks from my house in Brick. I was at the start of a long day waiting at the traffic light that is leaves my neighborhood. This is a small area were the soccer moms wait to pick their kids from the school bus. While sitting there waiting for the red to go green these wild turkeys came strolling by. The were big and fat from the Fall feasting they have been doing. The males looked to be 25 to 30 pounders.


when in doubt get in close. Find the angle. Get the light to shine.


Autumn makes a splash of bright colors and if you set it against blue water. I can be wonderful. I’m still working on it.


Yellows of Fall.


I have a thing for lighthouses and other tall landmarks.

20101113-0005 This is a proud shot for me. I was shot handheld with a 300mm zoom in the late afternoon. Never hold back from the taking the shot. You might just get lucky.


Large iron is always good to shot. curves and hard edges photograph with contrast and shadows.

This is but the first of my photos. Hopefully as time goes on both you and I can watch my pics get better. That’s really a large part of this project. Forcing me to get better or fail in public.

Stay tuned, there’s more to come.

Day One–Where I get Inspiration from

We all get inspiration for our photography from different places. I have several books on photography that I have collected over the years that have been the base of mine. My prime technical book is Kodak’s Complete Book of Photography. I also have books on photography from the early 1900’s where the black and whites photos are pasted into the pages, and newer ones that are rich in color like David Muench’s book of photos Nature’s America . While I have never been to the Southwest (Southern California is the exception) I long to visit the Badlands of Nebraska. I have relatives in the Southeastern part of the State, and have seen them a handful of times over the years, I have never had the time to make the trip to the Northwestern part while there. I vow to visit the family again AND also make this trip. I have been working on a tight to no budget for a while, so I find inspiration where I can. A local festival like a seafood fest, cranberry harvest, State Park, Landmarks, and what seems to be my fall back, Things that visit my backyard. So with that in mine here are three sources that I have been getting inspiration from lately that I feel will reach out to everyone at any level of photography.

1. What I see out my car’s windows as I seem to be in the car a majority of my life as of late. I am snapping, no other way to describe that point the camera in the general direction and try to grab the shot, of the landscape going by. If there is time I might even stop and get out of the car for a photo. This is more to share the sights I see each day there actual “good” photography, but maybe I will get lucky along the way.

2. Actively pushing myself to photograph friends and family. This is really hard fro me. While I was a teenager, I always was the guy with the camera taking candid shots while out. Then my focus moved to nature and somewhere along the line, people got dropped out of what I called photos. I have been using my nephew to help me draw myself back into shots with people. Though I have been asked not to post his pictures on the internet by his parents, so you will not be seeing those images here, I hope to have photos of others to document my efforts presented instead.

3. Podcasts. I listen currently to 2 podcasts. Formerly they where under one umbrella known as TWIP or This Week In Photography, it broke into two different shows called This Week in Photo and PhotoFocus. This Week In Photo features several professional photographers like Alex Lindsay, Frederick Van Johnson, Steve Simon, Ron Brinkmann, and others. Scott Bourne was also on TWIP, and still appears from time to time, but has left to do his own podcast. Scott is the host of Photofocus, a podcast that is about photography but in a different way then TWIP. His often guess on this show is Nicole S Young, and she is the reason I am working so hard on photographing people.

4. The Best Camera is the One That's With You™. This is the motto and Trademark of Chase Jarvis. And it has moved me to carry a camera with me all the time. DSLR, compact camera, or Cellphone. Getting the shot is the biggest part. A good shot full of pixels is always nice, but if you don’t take it because you didn’t have a “good” camera then the shot is lost forever. Take the chance and push the trigger.

Scott Bourne made me see that while I was growing up in Florida and spending my time chasing Red-tailed Hawks, Ospreys, and Bobcats,  I missed the beauty of of all the other birdlife that I wrote off as just too common. His photos of seabirds are inspiring and make me see that while I will always love big cats, the sandpipers deserve just as much attention. So now I try to view everything as a photograph when a camera is in my hand. A leaf deserves as much attention as a bear, a lighthouse as much as a person.  I just need to capture it in an interesting way that holds a moment in time and can express “a picture says a thousand words”.

BTW: I was a very active writer in my younger years and that is yet another reason for changing this blog. So HOPEFULLY my writing skills will be cleaned up and sharpened as part of this project. Thanks for reading far enough to see this Winking smile

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Look and A New Goal

It’s time to take back control of my blog! It’s time to focus on the things that are important to my mental health and this is one that I have enjoyed. I am changing the focus to photography and points of interests that I travel to while moving through my life. So from here on I will be posting photos of the sights I see, places I’ve been and things that just flat out inspire me to take photos that every now and then, grab that moment in time and defines it, shows the emotion of it, or just shows the moment as it happened. So if you have suggestions, ideas or thoughts for me, please email me at m-zero-L-three-h-zero-L-three at Gmail dot com.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Animal Kingdom Zoo–The Report and Photos

Here’s the report finally. Back on July 31 Simmy & I headed out for a trip to Animal Kingdom Zoo (see previous post). But then life got really busy and I never got around to posting a review and pictures, so…. here goes. It’s a must do! The zoo isn’t big and can be seen in under 2 hours. It does have some animals in cages, but then for the $10.00 entry fee I can hardly expect top of the line topography. They do care for the animals very well from what I could see. Just like Popcorn Park Zoo on entry you can buy feed for the animals. Go for the largest package and have fun. You get a bucket of all kinds for food and a large handful of bamboo branches. You will be able to feed the camels,






and my favorite, the Giraffes.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Animal Kingdom Zoo in New Jersey?

heading out to Animal Kingdom Zoo today. A place that I have driven by several time in the last few months while working on work for my side business. Looks like it might be a real find. Will post pictures later.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Oysters on the half shell.
Fried oysters

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, April 04, 2010

New Beachside Dinner place


Headed out for a drive down along the shore looking for a place to eat. A seafood place that is not “dining”, but more li a sand on your shoe kind of place like where I grew up in Florida. Jake’s filled that spot tonight. Simple seafood served with fries and slaw.

Jake’s Crab Shack at the Belmar Boardwalk

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Bobolink Press Release: Artisan Cheesemakers and Land Trust collaborate to preserve historic farm

Good News from Bobolink Dairy

Press Release: Artisan Cheesemakers and Land Trust collaborate to preserve
historic farm
Hunterdon Land Trust and local cheese makers work together to preserve
historic farmstead in Holland Township, Hunterdon County

in this issue

Press Release <>

Bobolink Dairy Relocation, plus slideshow <>
Cheesemakers Nina and Jonathan White purchase historic farm in New Jersey,
historic farm is now preserved

Stamets House from the North

The Stamets Farm sits atop a hill with beautiful views of the Delaware River Valley and has been farmed by just two families since the American Revolution. When William Stamets, whose family had owned the farm for
generations, passed away in 2001, many people feared the property would be developed, ending the tradition of family farming on the land that had endured for hundreds of years. On Monday March 29th those fears were put to rest with the culmination of a deal coordinated by the Hunterdon Land Trust.

By purchasing the development rights to the property the land trust simultaneously protected the land, ensuring that it will always be used as a farm, and made it possible for Nina and Jonathan White, local farmers and
cheese makers, to purchase the property as the new home for their environmentally sustainable Bobolink Dairy Farm. "This project has such a great outcome--the permanent protection of the largest unpreserved farm in the township and its transfer to a farming family with an established commitment to sustainable agriculture", said Margaret Waldock, Executive Director of the Hunterdon Land Trust Alliance.
Preservationists and farmers both have big reasons to celebrate the successful completion of this deal. The farm has great conservation value given its size, soils and the fact that it is located in the middle of
hundreds of acres of land that has already been preserved. To lose this property to development would have dealt a serious blow to preservation efforts in the region.
Holland Township Mayor Edward Burdzy indicated that the preservation of the Historic Stamets farm represents a milestone in Holland's farmland preservation effort. "Bill Stamets would be proud that the land will continue in agricultural use" said the Mayor.
Like many family farmers Nina and Jonathan White have found it challenging to find a farm to buy, given the cost of real estate in New Jersey which is often a significant barrier to famers. They are well known cheese makers producing high-quality artisanal cheeses from their Bobolink Dairy, established on leased land in Vernon, NJ. For many years the Whites had searched for a farm to purchase as a permanent home for their herd of 100 rustic Bronze Age cattle. Their long search came to an end when the land trust showed them the Stamets Farm in Holland Township. The Hunterdon Land Trust secured grant funding to preserve the farm through the purchase of an agricultural easement from the Stamets' estate and then the Whites purchased
the preserved property from the estate.The deal required the participation of a large group of partners to fund the purchase of the $1.4 million conservation easement, and a great deal of work to coordinate all of the partners involved. The Hunterdon Land Trust secured preservation grants through a variety of public and private sources. The state of New Jersey's farmland preservation program, the Hunterdon County
farmland preservation program, and Holland Township all contributed funds and the New Jersey Conservation Foundation provided $700,000 in Federal Farm and Ranchland Protection Funds to secure an agricultural easement on the farm. "We are very pleased to contribute a portion of our federal farmland grant
to the Hunterdon Land Trust and support their efforts to preserve this farm," said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. "Bobolink Dairy is a terrific example of a sustainable dairy
operation, and we congratulate the Hunterdon Land Trust on their success in helping the White family find a permanent home for their farm in Hunterdon County." The Open Space Institute provided a bridge loan which allowed the land trust to close the project in time to meet the March 29 closing date, while the land trust waited to receive a portion of the grant funding. "Hunterdon Land Trust has a great track record of agricultural preservation in Hunterdon County, and this is a project we're proud to be involved with,"
said Marc Hunt, the Southern Appalachians field coordinator for the Open Space Institute. "The acquisition of this easement will allow the farmer to purchase land that sustains his operation at an affordable price. This is a
model for an innovative project by a land trust that really does it right." The White's cheeses and breads are currently sold on their rented farm in Vernon, NJ, in farmer's markets throughout the NYC region, including the indoor market on Sunday in Stockton, NJ, as well as nationally via their website, After their move to Holland Township, Bobolink cheese and breads will also be available for sale at the Hunterdon Land Trust's Farmers' Market at Dvoor Farm. "Bringing Bobolink Dairy together with the Stamets property demonstrates how the preservation and farming communities can work together to keep family
farms a part of our county and to build the local food system" said Waldock. The Hunterdon Land Trust is Hunterdon County, New Jersey's only countywide land trust. Incorporated as a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization in 1996, the land trust is committed to preserving and protecting the rural landscapes and natural resources of Hunterdon County. To learn more about the Hunterdon Land Trust, please visit their website at

Bobolink Dairy on the move!
That's right, folks, Nina and Jonathan bought the farm. Last Monday, after over a year of Hurculean effort by all involved, Bobolink Dairy found its home in the hills of Hunterdon County, an hour and change from NYC, and about the same from Philadelphia. We are both excited at the opportunity and humbled by the challenge, but over the next few months, our eight year experiment in Vernon New Jersey will be reinvented on 185 acres of Delaware Valley farmland. We will continue our current operations in Vernon until the Big Move, most likely in June. We expect to be at all of our farmer's markets, and mail order continues as well. although moving family, business, and cows is likely to strain our capabilities. thank you for your forebearance!
In the next few weeks, we have a lot to do: planting grass, building fences, creamery, milking parlor, bread ovens, retail store, clearing old barbwire, etc.
We plan on inviting you, our loyal customers, to come up to the farm for a Field Day of work, food, sun (or rain....), and camaraderie: planting, clearing, building, and restoring. Details will follow via this newsletter.
Meanwhile, we just want to thank all of you for helping us to change the world!

Here is a link to a slideshow of the farm click here

BobolinkDairy Bakeyard | 42 Meadowburn Rd | Vernon | NJ | 07462

Monday, March 22, 2010

14th Anniversary Get-Away – Day One

A weekend in the mountains is a wonderful and fun thing. We headed north on 94 from Highland Lakes and made our first stop fo the day… Bobolink Dairy. jswhoopingsmall[1] The Dairy is home to some of the best cave ripened cheeses and fresh red brick oven baked breads. They make nicely tangy cheddars and pungent soft cheeses. This time we got a Frolic, a cheddar, and the very bitety soft cheese called Endgame. Jonathan White was there behind the cheese cooler offering samples of cheese to encourage us to try new and exciting tasting cheese. He matched the perfect cheese with the perfect breads. And talking about breads, there were racks of still warm loaves giving off a very pleasing smells. Jonathan, like a proud father, displayed each type, describing it’s flavors and body.image I selected an unusual loaf, one rubbed with garlic and duck fat before baking. My wife got her favorites, Cranberry Walnut breadsticks and a large cheese ciabatta. We continued on 94 and crossed from New Jersey into New York heading for the home of the best Hard Cider I have found, Warwick Valley WineryWinery bandAs we pulled into the parking lot, we could hear the band playing just outside the main building. It was a mix of 60s and 70s rock ‘n roll. Gathering our cheeses and breads we headed inside to purchase our much needed Doc’s Hard Cider. We settled in at a table on the back courtyard and let the sun beat down on us and IMGP2181enjoyed the music, breezes and blue sky. The stress and anguish of our lives slowly started to peel away. Pints of cider and a 1/4 pound of the Endgame cheese later the hours had ticked away.  We decided to move our anniversary dinner to the next day and instead drive around the mountains and valleys. We headed north again on 94 and took a right turn onto 17A, taking a chance that the Belville Creamery would be open with the weather being so nice.   We weren’t the only ones. several cars were there, but the doors were locked, and a sign in the window stated “opening April 12”. SIGH. But the view was still spectacular, as the store is on the edge of a cliff the overlooks a valley. From IMGP2196IMGP2197there it was off to dinner. We needed a really good burger… were… were…. How about the place were “In-n-Out” was filmed. It’s called the Homestead. And they make the absolute best burger and sweet potato fries. The house homestead-1[1]burger is a bacon, mushroom, grilled onions and cheese. The place is in the middle of no where, but its worth the drive. After dinner we headed back to the “Lake House” high in the mountains. My wife then broke out the 2nd of my gifts… Seasons 1 and 2 of “The Big Bang Theory”. We settled in and laughed until it hurts. There are few things in life a great as sharing things you enjoy with someone, but having a wife that just as, if not more, geeky then myself is a joy. And it has made the last 14 years pass quickly and smoothly. Good, bad or just day to day life, she is by my side, keeping me stable. Love you my little girl. 

Sunday, March 07, 2010

A Winter’s catch up

I haven’t had the time to to post as much as I would like. so here’s a quick review in pictures….

We had a few minor snows in January but then we got the double punch in Feb only 5 days apart.

Blizzard Feb 10, 2010-The morning after (5 of 15)

fun digging out.

Blizzard Feb 10, 2010-The morning after (6 of 15)










Blizzard Feb 10, 2010-The morning after (7 of 15)


Blizzard Feb 10, 2010-The morning after (10 of 15)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Photo Mission: Tundra Swans

It started as just a daytrip. An afternoon with my wife doing something that we both could enjoy. The weather was to provide a large hurtle. No photo walks as the wind was blowing at 50-60 Mph and the temps we only climbing up to 28 degrees. A search of the internet and I finally found a photo forum for New Jersey. A place not far from home, out on the cranberry bogs call Whites Bog and the winter inhabitants… Tundra Swans. Little did we suspect that there would be such a challenge. First finding the place. The directions  on the website looked so straight forward, but they were anything but. The 30 minute drive turned into a 1.5 hour. When we finally arrived it was late in the and the beginnings of the golden  hours. We literally  drove out on the bogs, on “roads” no wider then our car. The roads had once been mud, but with the temperatures out they were frozen stiff. The car path out through the ponds had been marked out by a local Boy scout camp and consisted of small red arrows on sticks. the boWhites Bog Pemberton, NJ 006gs were frozen over and the wind raged over the open water, bringing the wind chill down into the minus zero range. We drove the path for a while seeing nothing but frozen lakes, leafless trees and blue sky. Then while crossing a causeway between two of the largest bogs, I glanced right and Whites Bog Pemberton, NJ 017 there they were, just as my research had shown. In the middle of a nearly frozen lake, in the possibly 20 feet of open water in the dead middle of the lake, were about 14 swans, faces pointed into the wind, floating on the surface of the water. I go out, grabbed my camera bag and went for my largest lens. That's when the wind hit me. My fingers freezing instantly. I shrunk down beside my car trying to use it to Whites Bog Pemberton, NJ 037 block the wind. I started to shiver. Telephoto lens and shaking are the worst of combinations. Then they saw me. Even though I was over 200 yards away, they got nervous. Their heads shifted left and right in rhythm. Then the honking began. The wings started to lightly flap, then as one they took to the air, swirling around the lake several times, then forming a straight line, they did a wonderful thing, they Whites Bog Pemberton, NJ 041flew directly overhead. They were a wonder to see flying by. The largest birds I have ever seen airborne, gliding thru the air so  gracefully, yet struggling with each wing beat to gain elevation as the flew directly into the blowing wind. Off into the distance they went searching out a new, safer, place to spend the night. Back in the car we started our way out of the bogs. We got one more look at the swans as they settledWhites Bog Pemberton, NJ 047 in for the night. The sun was starting to set and it was time to say goodbye to the land of frozen bogs, bare trees and the beautiful Tundra Swans. Then we continued to enter a forested area. I came upon a puddle in the middle of the road. deciding not to just drive through it I got out and found a rock to throw onto the ice to see how firm it was. The ice broke ( about 2 inches of it) and there was a large sloosh of water. It appeared that the puddle was at least 2 foot or more deep. Soooooo…. I followed a “path” through the trees, looking at my GPS for a near by road. When we got to the road we were across the road from two artillery ranges in Fort Dix.  Across the base and back on route 70 westbound, sun setting in the rearview mirror, heading home. We got the shots we set out to get. Sim got a few beauties by shooting through her binoculars to get the reach she wanted. An inovention that she came up with on the spur of the moment. Photos gotten, and a refreshing day by my wife and I was enjoyed.

Mission: Tundra Swans was accomplished!!!