Nautical Images Gallery

Welcome Back -


In this blog post you will find:

     - Introduction to a new gallery of Nautical Images
     - A featured image of sailboats at sunrise and the story behind it.
     - Photo Tips - Horizontal vs. Vertical Composition
     - A New feature coming to the website



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New Gallery Added to the Website

During my travels over the past 20 years, I have visited much of the Pacific coast from Southern California to Alaska, the Atlantic coast from Florida to Newfoundland, and much of the Gulf coast and the Great Lakes shorelines, photographing the scenery along the way. Recently, I have been reviewing many of the image files from those visits and have selected a group to be added to the website. These are now being added to the Nautical Images gallery. Many more images will be added as I work through the backlog of files.

View the Nautical Images Gallery here


Featured Image:

This sunrise picture was taken from the shore at Sutton's Bay, Michigan.

Morning on Sutton's Bay

In the summer of 2004 and again in 2007, we spent several weeks camping in upper Wisconsin and Michigan, exploring the small towns and shorelines of the Great Lakes region. The featured image “Morning on Sutton’s Bay” is one of my favorites from those visits.

Sutton’s Bay is a small town on the eastern shore of Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan. It is located on the shoreline of Sutton’s Bay which is part of the Grand Travers  Bay on the East side of Lake Michigan.

We camped in this area for several days and this picture was made early the morning as the sun rose over the bay.The previous day I had scouted the area to find potential sunrise photo locations and found this one right along a walkway on the shoreline. It was easy to get to and there were sailboats moored in the bay. 

I got up before sunrise the next morning and returned with my camera and tripod. Three sailboats were still anchored on the bay which made for interesting subject matter so I focused on the sailboats and waited for the sun to come up.

You can never tell ahead of time how sunrise and sunset scenes are going to develop. You just have to be in location and wait for it to develop. It all starts about 1/2 hour before the official sunrise and sunset times and the shooting opportunities are usually based on the type of cloud cover near the horizon.

This morning I hit the jackpot. This was one of the most beautiful sunrises I had ever had the chance to photograph. The wind was calm so the sailboats were stationary and the cloud cover produced a smooth red exposure over the entire scene as the sun came up.

I composed this shot in vertical (portrait) format so that I could emphasize the sailboats and include the reflections of the masts in the water as a foreground element.

View Print Details Here


Photo Tip - Horizontal vs. Vertical

Look through your picture collections. How many of your pictures have a horizontal (landscape) format and how many are vertical (portrait)? Chances are most of them are horizontal.

Why do you suppose that is? I suspect it is because our eyes are designed to capture a larger view side to side than up and down. So we spend our whole lives visualizing horizontal picture. Today's camera viewfinders, computer screens, TV screens and theater screens all have a horizontal view.

Professional photographers often use cameras with a vertical grip that has a second set of controls to make it as easy to hold the camera vertically as it is to hold it horizontally. Professional landscape and nature photographers that shoot almost exclusively on a sturdy tripod often have an attachment on the tripod that allows them to easily flip the camera to the vertical position.

One of my rules of thumb is to shoot at least 30% of the time in the vertical format.

I look for the vertical composition in every scene I shoot. I have trained myself to look for this second perspective to the point that I often see the vertical composition before I see the horizontal.

Once you start looking for vertical compositions, you will capture pictures you would have passed up before. You will be surprised at how many good pictures you have missed or could have improved upon.

 Some scenes work better as a horizontal composition, and others work better vertically. But many will work well both ways and give you 2 good pictures instead of just one. Here is an example:


Winter in the Desert #2

Horizontal Composition


Both of these pictures were taken from the same camera position.

The camera was turned to the vertical position on the tripod and the scene was cropped with a zoom lens to produce the vertical picture.



Winter in the Desert

Vertical Composition


I believe this is one of the easiest ways to improve your photography. It doesn’t take any additional equipment, just train yourself to see the vertical picture in the scene.

Good Luck

Upcoming new Features

I am developing an way to easily (1 click) view galleries of pictures on the website based on State, Region, National Park, etc. Just click on a link and a fully functional gallery of images from across the entire website will come up.

Stay tuned -

Thank you for visiting.

Until Next Time --

Jim