Jim Salge Photography Blog

Images of New England captured in dramatic light and atmosphere

Top 10 Photos of Twenty Thirteen

The flipping of the calendar offers a symbolic fresh start, and a chance to refocus and prioritize.

Finding balance with new priorities has been the major theme of 2013 for myself and my photography, and it will continue to be in the year ahead.  This past year, my wife and I welcomed our first child, Evelyn into the world, and this has meant tremendous changes in all aspects of my life, and has definitely forced a change to my style of photography.

Time and priorities have allowed fewer long hikes and overnights outings, and getting out early has often been challenging as well.  In response, I’ve looked to smaller scenes, local scenes, and the traditional New England rural landscape.  In some case, the experiment has worked, and has allowed me to experiment within the discipline to capture some great scenes this past year.

At times though, I’ve felt that the new style has been derivative and uninspired, and focused too much on visiting iconic locations and trying to make something that is not my own work for me.  For the first time, photography sometimes felt frustrating, and a bit pressured.  To overcome this, I need to get back to being true to what inspires me, and focus on enjoying my time spent outdoors, letting the photos come to me.

Ultimately, I know that I’ll return to my style…broad landscapes captured in dramatic light and atmosphere.  I will, in time be able to return to the mountains that I love with more regularity and consistency, and will be able to introduce my daughter to them too.

In the mean time, I’ll have to look to be creative, be patient, and take advantage off all the opportunities that I can, while making sure that I find balance with all the other important factors that my life has been blessed with.


In chronological order, my favorite images from 2013:

#1: January Thaw in the Glad … Nottingham, NH
Warm weather over a cold snowpack always means ground fog.  Conditions like these are perfect for shooting simple, graphic shots like this one in the open woods.  I have worked on a list of locations to shoot nearby this year should these conditions arise again!

January Thaw in the Glade

#2: Swift River Covered Bridge Pano … Conway, NH
Sticky snow only hangs in the trees a short time, but I was fortunate to catch it against the red bridge.  An iconic scene that I’ve tried for years to make my own.

Swift River Covered Bridge

#3: Sunset From Mount Pierce … Crawford Notch, NH
One of my few hikes to a mountain summit this past year, and I picked the perfect day to do it.  Temperatures just below freezing, no wind, and bright sun made the forest look magical on the way up, and the peaks glow at sunset.

Sunset From Mount Pierce

#4: Bloodroot Trio … Rumney, NH
Bloodroot is my favorite early ephemeral flower, as it is large, showy and stands out against the otherwise bare ground of late March and early April.  I found this grouping in Rumney, NH and spent a good deal of time fine tuning this compelling shot.

Bloodroot Trio

#5: Dusk in Sugar Hill … NH
Every year, after capturing sunset in the beautiful town of Sugar Hill during their June lupine festival, I find myself drawn to this church, trying to perfect a composition I’ve long been working on.  This one finally really works for me!

Dusk in Sugar Hill

#6: Dependence and Connection … Nottingham, NH
The past few years, I’ve been drawn to the lakes in July to watch the beautiful connection that loon families have when raising their young.  When photographing them, I’m really trying to capture their interplay, and this shot captures everything that I love about young loons!

Dependence and Connection

#7: Summer Morning Light … Brentwood, NH
A local scene, less than five miles from my house, captured right after Evelyn was born.  It represents balance to me, both in the frame, and in my new life.  My favorite summer flowers, Joe Pye Weed, Cardinal Flower and Goldenrod are all in the frame below the tree.

Summer Morning Light

#8: Swamp Maple Reflection Abstract … Auburn, NH
While walking along the local trails at Lake Massabesic I came upon a pond nearly completely filled with lily pads.  The reflection of the swamp maples on the far side in the early morning sun made the most interesting frame for me this year.

Swamp Maple Reflection Abstract

#9: Ossipee Stream Swirl … Ossipee, NH
I blocked the Columbus Day weekend out this year as a time to get away and capture some fall images, but the weather did not cooperated.  Gray and dreary weather dominated the weekend, forcing me to look at smaller scenes.  This stream in the Ossipee Mountains allowed for some creative shutter work.

Ossipee Stream Swirl

#10: Blue Hour at Deerfield Barn … Deerfield, NH
A local barn that has been drawing significant attention over the past few years by local photographers.  I tried to do something different with it, and after driving by and seeing the wreath, I knew a blue hour shot would bring some originality to it.

Blue Hour at the Deerfield Barn

Bonus:  Lobster Boats in the Mist … Stonington, Maine
Professionally this year, photography was very good to me.  I was fortunate to go on assignment for nearly a week aboard a Maine Windjammer and capture a part of New England I’d never seen.  This image represents the working side of my photography, one which I am always striving to expand.

Lobster Boats in the Mist

Ten plus one of my favorite images this year.

Thanks for following along!

3 Responses to “Top 10 Photos of Twenty Thirteen”

  1. Xar A. says:

    Impossible to pick a favorite. The maple reflection is beautifully unique, the ground fog one is breathtakingly simple, the Pierce sunrise is truly inviting… Keep up the amazing work.

  2. Brenda Doolan says:

    Top 4 for me: #10 just love that barn & the Maxfield Parrish Blue; #1 -love the simplicity but have a feeling you spent much time setting up the composition of the shot, #2 classic New England winter!, #5 I grew up in Franconia … so many great photo ops in that area.

    Keep on keepin’ on … takes a lot of energy to do what you do so well.

  3. Mary Hafele says:

    Love the sticky snow & covered bridge….and the trillium, and the barn with the wreath, and the church with the lupines. Keep up the good work!

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