Monday, October 31, 2011


Hi Everyone!

I guess I've still been working too hard, because I see it's been awhile since my last entry.  Unfortunately, I didn't get out photographing much this fall... too busy trying to make a living I guess.  No, that's not a complaint.  Over the weekend during our recent October snow storm, I was reminded yet again, how truly fortunate I am.  While the storm was causing havoc with so many other folks, I was in my workshop cutting mats and printing images, music playing as the wood stove made my house nice n'cozy.  Can't complain about that!

October has been a busy month.  My show schedule brought me to my home town of Woodstock, Connecticut where I got to visit a bit with family & friends.  I don't get home enough, it was so good to see everyone.  During the week or so that I was away from my home office, I was contacted by "The Scene" magazine, a free publication from the mid-coast Maine area.  They are promoting the upcoming ARTFULL GIFTS show in Northport, Maine in November and wanted to use one of my images as their cover shot.  Hopefully, this will be great exposure for both my business and for the ARTFULL GIFTS show.  I will also have an advertisement in the November issue of  THE SCENE, which is distributed along much of the Maine coast.  It will be exciting to see how much new traffic it may bring to my website!

Another message I received while still in CT was from a wonderful reporter from the ISLANDER newspaper, in Bar Harbor.  Mel Rice called & said she'd like to do an article on me to accompany my month long exhibit this November at the Southwest Harbor Public Library, on Mount Desert Island.  At first, she wanted to join me on a photo shoot, which sounded like fun!  However, the more I thought about it, the more nervous I got.  Although I make every effort to ensure a productive photo op, when it comes to Mother Nature & wildlife, neither is ever quite as predictable as I'd like.  We opted for her to come to my workshop to do the interview instead, since weather & lighting had not been cooperating with  my attempts to get out all week.  After I had the chance to get to know Mel, I realized she would have been great company if we had gone out, even if the photo shoot was not as productive as I would have liked.  We sat & discussed why I do what I do and I shared some of my experiences with her, the progress I've made over the years and the frustrations of the slow pace, considering that I am self taught at all of this.  I'll be anxious to see her story when it runs later this week.  If anyone has the opportunity to see the article, please let me know what you think!

Typically, this time of year my show schedule is winding down and I only have one or two shows left.  This year, I have FIVE more to come!  Check out my schedule online and see if I'll be doing a show near you:  Lori Davis Photography Schedule  If there's merchandise that you'd like and I'm coming to your area, let me know ahead of time and I can bring it to the show & save shipping fees!

In the meantime, please remember my website as you are doing your holiday shopping.  I just added gift certificates, which can be emailed or snail mailed.  What a great way to give the gift of photography, but allow your recipient to select the image they like the best!  My website also allows you to select merchandise, have it gift wrapped & shipped to someone on your holiday gift list!  Over the years, many of my customers have used this service and compliment me not only on the convenience of their shopping experience, but also on "how good I make them look" once the gift arrives! 


Thanks for reading!  I guess I'd better get back to work now!  :-)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Kayaking & Seals...

WELL!  I am finally able to say  my kayak has gotten wet... other than by rain water, that is.  I'd be embarrassed to admit how long it's been since I've been kayaking.  Facebook has been a good way to meet new people with similar interests.  My new photographer friend Bill, who has a place a few towns over from me was kind enough to share an amazing location with me!  Although I've been kayaking for a few years now, this was my first time in salt water.  Even though it was a protected bay along the Maine coast, I was a bit nervous about tides & waves. After all, I'm used to ponds, lakes & calm rivers at best!

I did make sure the insurance policy on my camera gear was paid up before heading out.  (It's scary, there is a  list of "friends" who are more than willing to claim my photography equipment, should anything happen to me.  I could even say there's a waiting list!)  Lucky for me, they were all disappointed yet again.

I invited my friend Ed to go with me, since he was wanting to try out his kayak & I was new at the coastal kayaking.  It just so happens that he's also a Maine Guide who specializes in traveling water ways & rivers.  Figured it couldn't hurt to take him along... besides, he was great company!
Ed Warren

I ventured out two days, hoping to get some photographs of harbor seals with pups.  Bill has a number of wonderful images of the seals that he's captured and he made it look so easy!  Boy, was I humbled!!  It probably doesn't help that I took my 7 pound, 500mm lens out in the kayak with me.  The seals with pups were right out on these rocks ... how hard could it be, right?  Well!  As soon as I came around with the kayak, they were off the rocks, in the water & on the move!  Do you have any idea how frustrating it is, to try to steer a kayak to photograph a seal in the water?  As soon as I would get lined up with a face in front of me & in my lens, they would dive and come up on  my side.  In a kayak, you can't hang a 7 pound lens over the side and turn to shoot without the risk of tipping over.  So... the lens had to be put down, the paddles picked up and I'd attempt to steer again.  Ed would give me subtle little whistles or signals, as they seals would pop their heads out of the water BEHIND me!  I'm completely convinced they knew what they were doing... in fact, I'm pretty sure they were laughing at me!  Although it was very frustrating, it was also a blast!  It felt so good to get out on the water and the seals were so cute & fun to watch.

The next day I tried again, but used a different approach.  I stayed even further away from the rocks where the seals were and came way around off to their side.  That approach worked much better, however, the water was much more rough in the bay that 2nd day.  One minute I'd have a seal face in my lens.. and when I'd click the shutter, I'd end up with a picture of sky!! It was laughable!  Frustrated again, yet still had a blast!  That day, I went with my friend Gail Cleveland, an artist ( painter.)  Check out her work at Smart Studio.  While she was laughing at me out on the rough water attempting to photograph, she was also relaxing on the beach of a nearby island, creating some wonderful paintings.  She made some comment about how I looked like "Charlie Brown trying to fly a kite..." or something silly like that.  I don't think it was meant to be a compliment!
Lori in Kayak.  Photo by Ed Warren

The second day did not produce seal images, however I did get some interesting bald eagle shots.  A number of them (5-6) had gathered on the rock feeding on something they'd found.  In this photograph, you will see one adult bald eagle and varying ages of immature & juvenile eagles as well.  I've never a variety like this together before.  It was really quite interesting.

Thanks again Bill for sharing this magical spot with me!  And for Ed and yes... even Gail, for keeping me company!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Neighborhood Bear Cub...

The phone rang the other night, it was my friend & neighbor RJ.  He very casually asked if  "I was busy, or did I have a minute?"  I told him I could talk and his next question was "So... what do you feed a bear cub?"  Needless to say, I dropped what I was doing.  He had my full attention!  RJ is also the animal control officer for my very small town.  Typically, his calls are for roaming or misbehaving dogs.  This call was different.  Someone had told him about this little bear cub they had seen, staggering around alone.  He showed up fearing he may have to destroy the animal and instead, tossed a blanket over it and brought it home!  The cub appeared to be dehydrated, hungry and quite wobbly.  From my previous experiences w/ wildlife rehabilitation, I knew not to give it pasteurized milk, as it's little body would not be able to digest it.  Instead, Lauren (RJ's wife) gave her a little canned cat food.  Before we knew it, she was on  her 2nd little can.  They didn't want to feed her too much, as we didn't know how long she had been without food.


Look at this sweet face!  All you wanted to do was scoop the scared  little cub up in your arms and give her a "bear hug!".  But, she was only handled enough to move from a carrier, to this pen, then back into a carrier to be delivered to the game warden.  I hate to think of how many "photographers" would have taken this opportunity to exploit the young, sick cub and pose it for some pictures.  I can't say it didn't enter my mind, but as soon as that thought was there, it was gone again.  It was important to me, especially if the cub were to be released again, that she not be handled anymore than was necessary.  And even though it didn't seem to traumatize her too much, she was sick and scared.  And always, you need to remember that cute & cuddly or not, this is still a wild animal.  My parents taught me well!  I wish more folks would think in this manner.

Lauren transferring cub to dog crate for transport

Lauren & RJ ... had to get one photo of everyone, on the way to the dog crate
I was very pleased that they thought to call me!  This was a wonderful experience!  The game warden suspected this was a 2nd year cub.  RJ has invited me to go along when they go back to the wildlife rehabilitator's place to find out more.  When he got his crate back, he was told it was a female.  Don't worry Mom, I didn't try to check myself!!  Perhaps I'll have an update before too long.

RJ thinking.. "Honey, are you SURE we can't keep it??"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Beautiful Bald Eagles!!

Soaring Eagle

What a wonderful experience I was able to have this weekend, thanks to some awesome friends and my new Master Maine Guide friend!  Anyone who knows me, knows how much I respect wildlife.  For that reason, I'm not listing the names of folks who led me to this wonderful new location, or where it is.  Whenever someone trusts me enough to share a proven wildlife location or especially a nesting or den location with me, I vow to keep the location private and not compromise the privacy or safety of the animals or birds.

With that said, I'd like to share a bit of my experience with you.  One of my Maine Guide friends got me in contact with his Master Maine Guide friend, who impressed me immensely with her knowledge of wildlife & birding locations in her area & beyond.  Her enthusiasm was contagious!  A friend & I met her at the location and even before the car had stopped, I saw the most gorgeous bald eagle soaring overhead!   Most eagle nests I've seen have been rather cluttered and hidden with branches, trees & sticks blocking a clear view for photography.  This location was about as perfect as it gets!  A clearing allowed me to setup my tripod & lens a good distance away & have a clear view of the nest and an even better view of the eagles as they soared overhead.

Bald Eagle in Nest

Lori photographed by KTGAW

Saturday was an extremely windy day, gusts were estimated to be around 40mph.  I was on my way back from visiting family & friends in Connecticut and I'd been hit with spring fever. I didn't even have hat, gloves or a warm coat in the truck... how unlike me!  The conditions were so windy, that for over an hour & a half, we watched as two, and sometimes FOUR bald eagles soared directly overhead.  The pair kept trying to get back into the nest, but the wind had definitely compromised their steering abilities.  It was exhilarating and frustrating at the same time!  I found myself cheering out loud for the eagle each time they came at the nest... imagining they must be getting exhausted from all the failed attempts to land.  Finally, we went back to the house for a hot cup of tea & homemade cookies, leaving the eagles to continue their struggle.  I felt guilty... not that me staying there cheering them on would have made a difference.

Eagle fighting the winds

Determined Eagle

On the way by the nest later that afternoon, I was relieved to see a white head peeking over the edge of the nest.  Thankfully, one of them was able to make it back.  The next morning, my Maine Guide friend & I (with hot coffee cups loaded & peanut butter on toast) headed back to the nest.  It was 23 degrees sometime after 7am and the wind was just starting to pick up.  Rather chilly, but thankfully, with borrowed warm clothes, I was more prepared.  There was one eagle in the nest and within an hour, the second one appeared.  Soon, they were both up in the air again!  We weren't sure if there is an egg (or eggs) currently on the nest, but judging by their behavior, I'd say not yet.  Both eagles were bringing nesting materials to add.  I'm guessing that they're preforming last minute prep work. Incubation for bald eagle eggs is 35 days. My Master Maine Guide friend says they are nesting late and should have eggs already, but they are a young couple.  Perhaps something happened to their first clutch and they are preparing to lay a second. 

Eagle bringing nesting materials

Eagle bringing nesting materials         

Lori & her lens   Photo by "Bad Jimmy"
I will try to check back on the progress of this nesting couple and will keep in touch with my Master Maine Guide friend, who I know will also be keeping an eye on their progress as well.  All I can say, is I wish them luck!  The top of that tall tree, on the hillside overlooking the water doesn't seem like a very warm, dry place where I'd be wanting to sit for 35 days this spring in Maine! 

Thanks everyone for checking in!  I'll be adding some of the eagle shots to my website over the next few days.  As always, I welcome feedback!

Thanks for the input!

Well, it's pretty much unanimous.  Folks like the first Acadia image from my last post much better than the second.  The blue sky and contrast seems to be much more appealing. Thank you everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to share their thoughts with me!  That is the image I printed large and framed for my upcoming show season.  And if I may say so myself, it looks pretty good!

Monday, March 7, 2011

I would LOVE your input!

Hi folks!

Perhaps spring really is on its way?  Its been raining here in Maine for the past day and a half.  The snow in my back yard is now only knee deep!  What a nice change.  I may feel differently as "mud season" approaches...

I've been plugging away in indoor work much of the winter but have gotten out photographing a bit.  Last week, I took a ride to Acadia National Park and Mt Desert Island early, early on some very chilly mornings, in search of some nice lighting and sea smoke. 

WELL!  The first morning I was out the door before 5am, but that wasn't quite early enough.  By the time I got to Ocean Drive, the sun was peeking over the horizon already.  Of course, it didn't help that the roads were very messy from the snow the night before and the folks ahead of me on the roads didn't seem to care that I was racing against the sunrise!  It was 5 degrees when I captured this image that morning.


It didn't feel too cold and would have been nice to just sit, take in the view & sip on a hot cup o'coffee.  Unfortunately, my coffee was long gone and would have been pretty darn cold at that point anyway!  Still, couldn't think of a more beautiful spot to start a morning of "work"!

The next morning I was up & out even earlier.  Out the door before 4:30 AM!  You'll notice the difference in lighting on these two images.  The image below, I had to wait for things to brighten up, since I was there way before sunrise.  I did make some images prior to sunrise, but they were so flat compared to the natural light and glow on the red rocks!


The second morning, the temperature was 9 BELOW zero!  I was pleasantly surprised that once I was out there & busy photographing, I hardly noticed the cold.  I was disappointed that even though the temperature & lack of wind seemed ideal for sea smoke, there really wasn't any.  Perhaps next time, conditions will cooperate a bit more.  Looking at these results and the beautiful location, the first light of the morning and the sounds of gulls & crashing waves, I wouldn't dare complain!

So, here's the question.  Which image do you like better and WHY?  I find there are attributes to each image that I like and I do like one slightly more than the other.  But before I influence your decision, I'd love some feedback.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Digging out...

You would think, coming into another Maine winter, I'd be talking about snow!  But I'm not.  I have started the rather daunting task of digging out my workshop space, now that my busiest season yet has slowed down to a crawl.  Yes, it was a busy season.  You have no idea how grateful I am to be able to say that, after struggling through all this "poor economy" fearing for my financial security and desperately hoping to be able to continue to do what I love so much.  I have watched so many of my fellow artists & crafters struggle with poor sales, bad shows and the stress of it all.  Trust me, I've experienced my share as well.  I am just so very relieved to have made it through another season!  With the economical situation starting to sound a bit more positive, I'd like to think the hardest times are behind me now.  We'll see.  I have never taken my situation for granted and hope that as we enter a new year, my good fortune will continue.

In case you haven't noticed, the old website hosted through Hostway is no longer.  Thankfully, my site has been transferred over to PhotoShelter and I must say, I've been quite impressed with their capabilities.  If you go to www.LoriDavisPhotography.Com it will now bring you to the new site.  Some pages of the old website may still be found on the web floating around as saved pages or bookmarks.  However, if you attempt to make a purchase on that old site, I expect you will get an error.  If you have time, check  out the new website format and let me know what you think.  I still have to do some cropping on images, add file names and do some tweaking, but that will all get sorted out this winter.  Both positive and negative feedback are welcome.

The Maine Crafts Association Holiday Store at the Bangor Mall was a huge success!  I had more sales than I had expected and with my show season winding down, the extra money was a welcomed addition heading into another long, Maine winter.  Too bad it was probably only a one time thing, since the mall had a store front that they wanted to fill during the holiday season.  NICE JOB MCA.  Thank you!

Now, the 6x10 enclosed trailer that hauls all of my product to shows is protecting my lawnmower from snow.  All of the show merchandise, racks & tables that  filled my 10x10 craft tent now clutter my one car garage "workshop".  That clutter accompanies the merchandise I've taken back from shops & galleries that have closed for the season.  Add this, MORE clutter I've left behind while rushing to get out the door after working all night preparing for a show and I've got quite the cluster going on!  If there was room for a backhoe, that would probably be the most effective way to clear a path!  However, there certainly is not enough room for that!  One of my many winter projects, is to organize my workspace.  Its a much bigger task that you'd think.  Once I have found table tops again, I can then take on the next daunting task of taxes.  After that, mat cutting, printing and production getting ready for another season of art shows.  I certainly hope I can produce enough merchandise in the off season, so I can get out & "play" a bit more this upcoming season.  With shows every weekend and producing more merchandise during the weeks in between, there hasn't been much time to get out & photograph.  That needs to change this year.

Amongst the winter projects, I plan to enjoy a bit of quiet time unwinding in front of the cozy wood stove.  I've been on the go so much, its nice to have some quiet time to  myself to regroup and recharge for the upcoming season!

Belated Happy New Year to all!  Thanks for checking back!