East Cayman & The Crystal Caves

Yesterday, I ventured off the eastern side of Grand Cayman to check out the more densely forested western Bay Area, including a stop at the Cayman Crystal Caves, one of the newer tourist spots. The barren parking lot belied how awesome this place truly was. After about a ten minute drive down dusty roads, we arrived at a pristine set of trails and visitor center nestled in the dense Caribbean jungle.

The tour encompassed three caves of increasing size, culminating in the bat cave, a refuge for hundreds of fruit bats. Each stalactite tools tens of thousands of years to form, and even the slightest touch can cause them to “rot” away. The chemicals on human skin disrupts the delicate calcium formations that make up these breathtaking spaces.

Hell (and other worthwhile tourist destinations)

Kicked off a trip to the Cayman Islands with a visit to Hell’s own post office. An odd geological formation on the northwest point of Grand Cayman, the spot was a choice birdwatching location as well as a cool photo opportunity. Hints of the Giant’s Causeway and the Burren, but in a tropical locale.

Next stop was the west coast of the island, where the ocean was too violent to entertain the idea of a swim, but it made for some dramatic waves.

Thankfully, along the way was the Cayman Turtle Center, where I checked out some sharks, a big ol’ croc, and hundreds of green turtles. Something about the place was a bit sad, but I was heartened to hear that they are the only place to achieve two generations of green turtles bred in captivity, which reintroduces thousands of animals to the Caribbean Sea each year, with a survival rate 50-200x greater than wild bred animals.

Lake Champlain at Dusk

One of the downsides of Portland is that, despite our beautiful harbor, it faces east, away from sunset. I’m an unabashedly bad sunrise photographer. I’m up at the right time most of the year, but the comfort of my bed often outweighs golden hour in the morning.

Maybe that means my photographers license should be revoked, I don’t know, but what I do know is that catching a great sunset over Lake Champlain in Burlington was an awesome end to a fantastic trip.

First Impressions of the iPad Pro 2018 as a Photographer

Ever since Adobe announced they were bringing full-fledged Photoshop to the iPad at this year’s Adobe MAX, I’ve been secretly considering picking up an iPad Pro to act as an on-the-go photo editing machine. When they announced revamped devices last week, now seemed as good a time as any to jump.

I ducked over to Scarborough to get in some good shooting time with my trusty Fujifilm X100F to catch the last gasps of fall and snag a few choice shots that I could use as a test. So far, I’ve been very impressed.

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I snagged the 11” model with 256GB of storage, enough to accommodate oodles of RAW photos and Photoshop files and got to work. I’d used Lightroom CC on my phone before, and was mildly happy with the results. Mostly, I felt like it began to chug when adding more complicated color corrections and effects. That issue is completely solved with the iPad.

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One issue that I’ve had, and it’s entirely a software issue, is the inability for Lightroom to apply color-specific hue adjustments, a feature I’ve grown to love in the deskstop app. That’s a minor concern, though, as this is a device I see as facilitating more enthusiast photography rather than supplanting a dedicated laptop or desktop.

I’ll be spending the next few days with this device in Burlington followed by a week in Grand Cayman, where I will see what it’s like to use just a mobile device like this for capture and edit of photos.

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SnugHouse – Firefly

 

Earlier this month, folk-pop quartet SnugHouse released their second EP, “Like Water.” I’ve been fortunate enough to work with them over the past year to capture some video of their performance style, but this was their first attempt at a music video.

Band leader Nikhil did an awesome job choreographing this piece and, after a surprisingly small number of takes, we got this one-shot video showing their namesake apartment building.

Take a peek, and give them a follow on Spotify!

SnugHouse – Irie

 

The latest SnugHouse video has debuted! It’s amazing to see how far this band has come over the last year. In fact, you can catch them this Sunday at the Old Port Fest in Portland, Maine.

Check out their newest single, which I was privileged to film.