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An annual tradition, this year’s performance by the 13-member Solstice Singers on December 21 and 22 was a delight. Held in the 1878-built Woods Hole Community Hall, audiences were treated to a potpourri of musical pieces in the style of the Renaissance.

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Performances included a variety of songs by the Solstice Singers – from soulful to silly – and an elegant dance by three couples.

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Instrumentals and accompaniment by Ensemble Passacaglia blended beautifully with the light voices:  Jan Elliott on recorder, Lisa Esperson on percussion, Molly Johnston on viola da gamba, and Tom Hanna on lute.

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A solo by baritone Dan Hotchkiss enchanted the audience.

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The second set began with a traditional dance by Vineyard Swordfish led by Jan Elliott.

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An annual favorite, the Boars Head song and processional has been sung by the group since its founding 21 years ago

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A new twist this year was a mini-play written and directed by singer Wendell Bishop, with acting by a handful of the singers.

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The lilting voices of the Solstice children, all of whom have participated for a number years, rounded out the show.

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Kudos to artistic director Lore Loftfield DeBower and to all performers for presenting such a colorful and entertaining show in celebration of the winter solstice.

What a beautiful evening it was last night for family portraits in Osterville on Cape Cod. And what a picture perfect family!

Here are a few favorites captured entirely by natural light during our hour of exploring and having fun on the beach.

Father and baby girl

Young girl walking on beach

Mother and baby smiling

Mother and daughter Cape Cod

Father tossing daughter

Daughter peeking

Girl Osterville Cape Cod

I had the opportunity to capture a variety of dramatic images of Artistic Director John Yankee conducting the Falmouth Chorale & Orchestra performing The Creation by Franz Joseph Haydn. Concerts were held on March 16th and 17th to packed houses at the Falmouth Academy in Falmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Here are a few of my favorites, reflecting the many facets of the emotionally-charged connection between conductor, chorus and orchestra as they interpreted this well-loved oratorio celebrating the creation of world.

Artistic Director John Yankee conducts Falmouth Chorale

Artistic Director John Yankee conducts Falmouth Chorale

Artistic Director John Yankee conducts Falmouth Chorale

Artistic Director John Yankee conducts Falmouth Chorale

Artistic Director John Yankee conducts Falmouth Chorale

Artistic Director John Yankee conducts Falmouth Chorale

When most photographers think about having some fun shooting, they usually think about driving somewhere. But it’s good to remember that sometimes… there’s no place like home. Well, near home anyway, especially on Cape Cod.

I’m grateful that Falmouth owned Peterson Farm is just across the street. I escaped for a few hours this afternoon, walking over to the farm with my camera and favorite lens (Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II). It was one of the first warm, sunny days we’ve had this spring. Capturing images of the sheep and goats at Peterson Farm is a special treat in spring since so many newly born lambs are romping around.

Here are 6 of my favorite photographs.

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Historic Highfield Hall of Falmouth, Cape Cod was built in 1878 as a “summer cottage” of the Beebe family. Its long history can be viewed here. Since extensive restoration was completed 5 years ago thanks to extraordinary support by donors and volunteers, the hall has become an architectural and cultural treasure of Cape Cod, hosting a variety of programs, musical events, and art exhibitions year round.

I had the pleasure of attending Holidays at Highfield several times during the past three weekends, as well as performing with our recorder group. Tempting aromas of fresh baked cookies and music continually filled the air. Here are a few of my favorite memories.

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Highfield Music director, Steinway Artist and Smithsonian Scholar Robert Wyatt gives an insightful talk on the history of holiday music.

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The Sansonnette duo of Barbara Blair and Ron Geering perform French tunes and answer questions about their fascinating instruments…

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Notescape harmonizes on holiday tunes to the delight of Highfield visitors…

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A magnificent array of sparkles and colors decorate both floors of the halls thanks to the cadre of volunteers that make this happen each year.

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I bit the bullet and upgraded to Canon’s 70-200 f/2.8L IS II professional zoom lens. From everything I have read, this new-and-improved Mark II lens is not only Canon’s finest zoom lens ever, it’s perhaps THE highest quality zoom lens ever made by any manufacturer. Tack sharp. Vibrant color. Improved image stabilization enabling hand holding at slow shutter speeds.

So as soon as it arrived today, I grabbed some shots outside of my home for 30 minutes or so before it began to rain. (Why is it that it always seems to rain on days when I receive new camera equipment?). I am blown away by the lens and image quality which more than justifies its 3+ lb. weight and $2,000+ price tag.

Here are some of my favorite test images – straight from the camera with the exception of basic post processing of RAW files in Adobe Lightroom (similar to what cameras do for JPEG files automatically).

I can’t wait to use it for portraits of individuals, children, and small families. The lens will also be great for covering concerts and events. What do you think? A keeper?

The town of Falmouth, Cape Cod has been named one of the top ten dog-friendly communities in the United States! The contest was sponsored by Dog Fancy Magazine, with results in their September 2012.

With many dog friendly amenities, it’s no wonder an increasing number of tourists come to Cape Cod with their canine friends in tow according to Stanton Terrell, publisher of Falmouthvisitor.com. Our new Falmouth Dog Park on Brick Kiln Road, their recent Pool Party complete with kiddie pools, walking paths, and shops such as Uptown Dog on Main Street are a few examples.

While most Cape Cod beaches are closed from May to September, there are a few beaches off the beaten track in Falmouth that are accessible to dogs year round. I recommend these to clients whose family beach portraits would not be complete without their beloved 4-legged furry ones.

Family Beach Portrait with 3 dogs

An added benefit:  it sure brings about real smiles and makes for an especially fun portrait session, as five cousins and their 3 pups discovered during their recent family portrait!

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