I like to take photos of Vermont.  It gives me pleasure in many ways, it keeps me outside and moving when I am there.  It allows me to see Vermont in the best light – literally.  Whether its a pre dawn hike, or late afternoon, after sunset, in snow, rain, sleet, fog or anything else Mother Nature can dream up, there is always something to photograph.  But I also enjoy looking at photos of Vermont, especially those done by professional photographers.  Their photos often give a perspective that is both aesthetically pleasing and informative, often helping me with my own photos.   I personally focus my lens on the rural Vermont landscape like so many Vermont visitors.  Often there is  much more and the professional’s allow me to experience it through their images.  Here are some my favorites and you can check out their contributions to the Vermont story via their images and words.

Photo by Peter Miller


Pete Miller – www.petermillerphotography.com   Mr. Miller has spent a lifetime recording images that tell the story of rural Vermont people.  My favorite book is also his 1990 Coffee table offering simply entitled “Vermont People” (revised in 2003), followed by Vermont Farm Women (2002), Vermont Gathering Places (2005) and A Lifetime of Vermont People (2013).  Mr. Miller’s Black and White portrait images of ordinary Vermont’s since 1950 stand as a testament to the independent spirit that males Vermont and its people a special place.




DMNature ofVermont

David Middleton – www.davidmiddletonphoto.com  Mr. Middleton calls Vermont home and has spent a good portion of his life documenting the beauty that is the Vermont Landscape including it’s diverse wildlife and the daily rigors of the disappearing Vermont family dairy farm.  He has authored 14 books, including titles about Maine and Oregon.  I have two favorites, 2003’s “The Nature of Vermont” and “A Photographs Guide to Vermont” (also 2003).  The latter is still a valuable resource when heading out for a day of photographing the Vermont landscape.  His 2010 book, “Quite a Sightly Place, A Family Diary Farm in Vermont” is the product of his four years working on a Vermont Dairy farm.  Mr. Middleton still teaches many workshops in Vermont and other places and also recently started Crossroads Photographic Workshops.  Crossroads Workshops (www.crossroadsphotographicworkshops.com) looks to partner photographers with local non-profit organizations giving theses organizations access to quality images that help further their cause and give workshop participants purpose to their efforts.





Arnold Kaplan (2016 – 2013) – www.arnoldkaplanphotography.com  Mr. Kaplan authored one of the first and most popular handbook’s to help aspiring Vermont photographers find Vermont’s most iconic scenes.  The self published 1973 handbook titled “How to Find (and Photograph) The Photo-Scenics in Vermont” is a mile by mile, turn by turn  explanation to finding 23 different Vermont scenics.  Mr. Kaplan has taken his 30 years of Vermont photography prior to 1973 to select the most popular scenes, the handbook has had several reprints since then and is still available today.  The descriptions are specific and the hand drawn maps are presented as if a good friend was giving directions to a recently stumbled upon location.  The maps even tell you where to place your tripod legs.  Years and progress have changed many of the scenes but the handbook is still valuable to any new photographer looking some good Vermont Landscapes.




Tim Kirchoff – pixels.com/profiles/tim-kirchoff.html   I’m not sure if Mr. Kirchoff is a professional photographer but I still enjoy looking at his photos of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.  The “Kingdom” as it is known represents the upper northeast corner of the State.  The vistas are grand and the scenery is 100% New England.  Anyone looking to photograph the Vermont landscape in on a grand scale should visit the Northeast Kingdom, in any season.  Just head up Interstate 91 until you hit the town of St. Johnsbury, exit the highway there and head north or east to expolre the Kingdom.  Mr. Kirchoff’s photos are a good representation of what you might find.


These are some of my favorite photographers, there are others.  These are the ones I find most interesting.  I have never met any of them or spoken with any of them I just enjoy looking at the images for both enjoyment and information.

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I have always admired the Nikon Coolpix A from afar.  It’s been around for almost two years, so it’s not a new camera.  I loved the fact that it truly is a shirt pocket camera with a APS-C sensor,  not many cameras have that.  However, its $1,100 price tag was a little to steep for me especially since I already own a FujiFilm x100 ( sold and waiting for delivery of my x100t).  I could not justify the expense just for the sake of owning one.  Recently that all changed.  As I was leaving my home on Long Island to head north to spend the weekend photographing the Peacham area of Vermont, I received an email from a local camera store.  To my delight the email was about a big price drop of one particular camera – The Nikon Coolpix A.  The big news was that the price of the Coolpix A was dropped to $399 for that weekend.  Well now I had to have one and the camera shop was on my route.  I stopped in and purchased one, the last one they had in stock.  I was now off to Vermont with one extra camera.  I would have to work it into my camera rotation comparing it with my Nikon D800 and FujiFilm X-T1.  The harsh winter weather of central Vermont would be a good test.

When I arrived in Vermont I immediately  opened the box; grabbed the battery and charger and proceeded to give the battery its first full charge.  My goal was to spend the next day using the Coolpix A exclusively.   The battery charger does not require an electrical cord the entire charger sits in the electrical outlet – this is good for traveling.  The initial camera setup was easy since I am a long time Nikon user and the menu set is similar to their other cameras.  The camera is very easy to operate the layout and design is very initiative and user friendly.   I even found it easy to use while wearing winter gloves.

The first thing you notice when you hold the camera in your palm is it’s sturdy solid construction.  It is 4.4″ wide and 2.6″ high and even though you can place in your shirt pocket its got some weight to it.  The back screen is a large 3 inch 921,000 dot TFT- LCD screen that is clear and bright even outdoors on sunny days.  The top has a program dial and selection wheel and the on/off switch surrounds shutter button.  The back has a fly wheel for selections and buttons on either side of the screen for various functions.  There are two program able function  buttons, one on the front and on on the back.  The camera is equipped with a pop-up flash and a hot shoe that can accommodate any of the Nikon Speedlights.  I find the very small SB-400 to be a nice fit.

The camera sports a Nikkor Prime 28mm f2.8 lens.  This is a high quality Nikkor lens and is very sharp.  It’s not the fastest lens but f2.8 should be plenty fast for most needs.  Remember this is a prime lens so if you want to get closer or father away you are going to have to use your feet.  The images are recorded on a large 16.2 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor capable of producing very sharp well balanced images even in low-light situations.  I believe that this is the same sensor that is in the Nikon D7000 DSLR, but I have no way of confirming if that is fact.

Before I get into the rest of the camera let me talk about what it does not have.  The two big items missing are image stabilization and a view finder for your eye.  I did not find any problems with camera shake since it is a wide fast lens and any shutter speed over a 1/30th of a second should be fine, below that you will need a tripod or some form of support.  Nikon makes an Electric Viewfinder (EVF) that attaches to the flash hot shoe however, it costs over $400, but if you need it you can get it.

The Coolpix A is equipped with Nikon’s Smart Portrait System that can track faces in a image to make sure you always capture sharp faces.  You can set the ISO sensitivity from 100 up to 6400 with three different equivalent settings that take it to ISO 25,600, although I have not taken it past 500 yet.   It’s top continuous shooting speed is 4 frames per second so this is not a sports camera.  Available shutter speeds are 30 seconds up to 1/2000 of a second.  The camera could use a faster shutter speed than 1/2000 of a second especially if you are working with the aperture wide open in the bright daylight.  The camera comes with 19 different scene modes available, most are common to all cameras although the Autumn colors setting was new to me and does add some vibrancy.   There are 17 different in-camera image editing settings available including Nikon’s popular D-lighting which helps keep shadows and highlights under control.   The in-camera RAW conversions performs well and can be expected to yield JPEG’s that are very usable right out of the camera.

The camera has excellent video capabilities with full 1080p HD at frame rates of 24, 25, & 30 per second.  Movies are recorded in stereo sound.

There is a robust list of accessories available from Nikon.  Along with the previously mentioned EVF you can purchase a Wireless Mobile Adapter to give the camera wireless capabilities.  You can also add a wireless remote control, a lens shade with filter adapter (46mm filters) and a leather or vinyl case.

As an $1,100 camera it has a very robust feature set that would be desirable to many photographers, especially those looking for a good street camera or small second camera.  At that price, it does give one pause but as a $399 camera it is a must have as it would be difficult to find all these features in a camera of this size from other manufactures.  I don’t know the reason for the price drop, either it is being discontinued due to poor sales or the Coolpix B is ready to be announced.  I’m just glad it was reduced.

The photos below were taken on a snowy day in Peacham, Vermont with my Coolpix A and all are hand held and processed in Adobe Lightroom 5.7.



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