Sea Blue Lens

Laudholm Lessons


Laudholm Morning

Last weekend I went on a photo walk with my friend Susan. We visited the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, a historic saltwater farm on the coast of southern Maine. It’s a beautiful property that, shortly after sunrise on a Sunday morning, we had all to ourselves. Light frost covered the ground and lingered in the shade, but soon vanished wherever the sun touched.

Cold Clover

At first, I found myself so caught up in just being there that I kept forgetting to take photographs. I just walked around, looking, breathing, occasionally snapping the shutter.

We “worked” the old farmhouse and barn, a field full of weeds, and a frost-covered rail fence.

The Yellow House

Big Tree, Little Tree



We followed a path that skirted a marsh and led to the beach.

Blue Marsh



On the way back, we detoured along a boardwalk that passed through a wood, trees winter-bare against the sky.

Standing Out in the Crowd


It was fun to be out with a friend on a beautiful day, companionably each doing our own thing. I think we both learned things about our own photography. It was interesting to observe how we could stand practically side-by-side yet be photographing very different subjects. Or be photographing the same subject, but in very different ways. Susan was captivated by things I didn’t even notice, and vice versa.

Susan, illuminated

It was a great day! Then…I went home and downloaded my pictures. And I didn’t like them. Any of them. At all. I had a sense of “been there, done that” too many times before. It might have been a new place, but they felt like the same old images.

Several days later, the immediacy of the experience having passed, I was able to review them again, weed out the obvious mistakes, pick out a few favorites, and edit them to some satisfaction. The lesson learned from that is to cut myself some slack, wait a bit, and don’t make too-hasty judgements.

Still . . . I really do want to figure out a fresh approach to my old familiar subjects. I love grasses, trees, flowers, vistas, water. I will continue to photograph them, but I want to seek out new angles and perspectives, something to make them special. Something that better captures what I felt that drew me to the subject in the first place.

To do that, I need to get out more. Shoot more. Get more comfortable with my camera. Practice, practice, practice! Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? I’m looking forward to it.



7 thoughts on “Laudholm Lessons

  1. Lee, this is a lovely tour you have taken us on. I want to live in the yellow house! As you said, practice,practice,practice…or play, play, play. Just go out and have fun with the camera. Get down low, lie on your side, get above things, get close up, but most of all…play!

  2. Lee,
    I think we have all been where you are. The feeling that our photography is stuck, that we continue to do things the same way and there is no growth. But I think that what is critical is recognizing that feeling so that we can consciously work toward changes. I agree that practice and play are the key. And not being too hard on ourselves. We can learn from the bad shots as much as we can from the good ones.
    I really like “Treeline” – I have found myself incredibly attracted to horizontal shots like this, where there are multiple, distinct bands of color and/or form in an image.

  3. Thank you for the lovely walk. I love the yellow house and the barn.
    I relate with your feelings of ‘been there done that’. I’ve felt that with my same old subjects. Kat’s class though was very helpful. Just keep at it, try different perspectives. Fun, Fun, Fun!!!
    Please do cut yourself some slack because your images are very nice, several I thought very creative with composition like the big tree, little tree.
    At least you are getting out and shooting.

  4. I was awe-struck the first time I visited a nature preserve near where I live. Our group of three or four arrived at around 9 a.m. and slowly made our way to the marshes that are a feature of this preserve. It was soon obvious that the real action occurs much earlier in the day because on our way in we met a large group of SERIOUS photographers (judging by the length of their lenses!) who were already finished with their photowalk. My lasting impressing of that walk is that people were almost reverent in their response to their surroundings.

    I have that same sense from your account of this walk. Based on your photos, it’s a place I would love to visit. And I have to say, your “Boundary” photo made me catch my breath–weathered wood is one of my favorite subjects.

  5. here I’ve been awaiting a new post and missed it until now! these are extraordinary photos, each one, because of the light and how you’ve captured it. my faves are the frosty clover and the farmhouse window. well, I take that back. I love treeline too. I know what you mean about looking at your own photos and not seeing anything remarkable – I attribute that to familiarity with my own photographic eye. It’s a good idea to let things settle a bit before judging our images. I’m my own worst critic and I need to learn to withhold judgement and instead embrace the spirit in the photo itself. at any rate, it’s a journey of discovery. happy day to you Lee.

  6. Just wanted to stop by and wish you Happy Holidays!

  7. Hi Lee-
    I’m finally getting around to catching up on some blog reading. Somewhere between October and December my ability to “keep up” failed me. I am so thankful for a few days off to catch up.
    I love how we found different things to capture in the same setting. Is that not one of the beauties of photography? I love that opening shot-and why you were breathing in and drinking in the moment-I think I was too busy finding shots that I forgot to take in the beauty of the day. I love boundary, relics, and cold clover. You do yourseslf dis-service. You found so many gorgeous shots that I never even saw.
    Let’s shoot together again soon.

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