Stormy Seas and Foggy Ports on the Maine Coast

May 8, 2017

The photographs will do most of the speaking on this post. My partner and I spent two glorious days exploring the southern Maine coast from Ogunquit to Portland. Rain, fog, a cold persistent wind, and stormy seas created the atmosphere for this series of photos, along with a little long exposure magic from my Nikon DSLR.

Plan a visit to Maine sometime. It’s such a special place. Hope you enjoy!

Stormy Seas and Wind: A View from the Marginal Way (Ogunquit)


Reflection and Fog in Wells Harbor


Moored in Fog (Wells Harbor)


Stormy Surf and Fog (Portland Harbor)


Portland Light (Portland Harbor)



All Content Copyrighted © Stephen Tavella

Vermont in Autumn – Transition (series 3)

November 29, 2016

fairlee_airport01_smallStick season, as we call it here in Vermont, occurs in that space between foliage season and the onset of snow. Generally, that means late October to early December, give or take some weeks on each end depending on how Mother Earth chooses to behave. Any wise person knows you don’t slap dates on Mother Earth. She has a mind of her own, and so it should be.

The mention of ‘wise’ people sets me to contemplating, especially as the rain pours down here in southern Vermont on a grey, chilly, late November day in Stick Season. It is the sort of day I consider near perfect for sitting, and contemplating, and writing.

But I won’t take much of your time. A few meandering thoughts, if you will…

I find this time of year of low light in the northern hemisphere drives not only my physical body to be sheltered inside in the comfort of my tiny home in the woods, but also sets my soul to settle on more solitary ground. As I sit here today my heart and mind travel across the years that seem to pass more swiftly despite my futile attempts to apply the brakes. Mostly, I am nonplussed to consider my situation. I am not in this predicament alone… friend. On the grey and chilly side of this current deliberation lies the reality of time passing more quickly than the many tasks and dreams I hope to accomplish and attain before that final hour. On the brighter side of the equation lies the wisdom I feel I have attained – and continue to attain – as a sum of the rich life I have lived and the providence the Universe, God, Spirit, Luck (call it what you will) has showered upon me. Yes, ultimately I see the glass as half full.

Pour me more wine, please!!

Attention! I did not claim to be wise! A wide chasm separates those who claim to be wise from those who claim to be attaining wisdom. I entreat you to consider me humbled at the feet of the ultimate wisdom of the universe!

I have gone philosophical. That’s what a grey, chilly, late November day in Stick Season will do to me. I will release you to a few photographs that evoke the season. I hope you will enjoy. And please do feel free to leave your thoughts and comments. I always enjoy hearing from those who are gracious enough to visit these pages.



On my meanderings through my neighborhood


The stillest of days with the waters of the West and Connecticut Rivers like glass

(iPhone photo)


The Dummerston Covered Bridge (Vermont’s longest), just down the road from my home


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

(iPhone photo)


Foggy morning and sunbeams on Beaver Pond Road

(iPhone photo)



All Content Copyrighted © Stephen Tavella


November 8, 2016

It is November 8th and it is time to vote, America! If you live in the United States and are registered, then you have no excuse – GET OUT AND VOTE TODAY! Voting Rights law requires an employer to give you two hours off to vote. So you don’t work, but can’t drive or take public transportation to the polls? Call family or friends to give you a ride. If you do not vote you are not exercising your most fundamental right in the oldest democracy in the world. This election is too important – every election is important – to not exercise that right. Your vote does count.

And here is my in-your-face opinion if you do not vote: You do not have the right to voice your opinion about how this country is run and the politicians who were democratically elected to draft our laws. Climb back in your hole and keep your mouth shut. Or better yet, maybe you should go find a country where you have no rights at all? Our democracy is far from perfect, but I do not think it takes a lot of contemplation to appreciate the freedom and rights we have in the United States.

Maybe you have become cynical to the fact that the system is rigged and your vote is not really counted? I confess to a degree of cynicism myself, BUT I vote. Maybe, if you consider a little more deeply, you might see that it’s not the system that’s rigged, but the fact that the electorate in this country has become complacent. Here is a cold fact for you: Voter turnout fluctuates in national elections, but on average only about 60% of eligible voters actually cast their vote. Consider, on the other hand, countries like Belgium and Malta, which have a voter turnout that reaches 95%!

You say you don’t like the choices we are given? Neither candidate represents you? Then write in your choice. This blog is not telling you who to vote for, it’s just asking you, telling you, pleading with you to vote. So get out there and do your duty! But before you do, enjoy these few long exposure photos I took of the White House, Washington Memorial and Capitol Building during a visit to DC in September.

Happy Voting!


The White House – telephoto lens long exposure


Moon and Birds Over the U.S. Capitol Building

(I will talk about this blended photoshop technique in an upcoming post)


Looking Down the Mall at the Washington Monument



All Content Copyrighted © Stephen Tavella

Vermont in Autumn – Reflections (series 2)

October 29, 2016

Light is most kind to a photographer at the beginning and end of the day. The light is softer, richer and saturates sky, earth and water with deeper hues. Clouds are more dense. Subdued winds invite mirrored reflections on water. Fall’s colors are amplified in those reflections. In this post I share photographs taken at the ends of the day – early morning and late afternoon – with nature’s mirror (water) amplifying the adjacent colors of the landscape.


Morning Fog and Reflection on the West River

Location: Brattleboro


Foggy Morning on the Meadows

Location: Brattleboro


Morning Fog and Reflection at the Dummerston Covered Bridge

Location: Dummerston


Mt. Wantastiquet (New Hampshire) in Color

Location: Brattleboro (VT)


Late Afternoon at the Green River

Location: Guilford


Set Alight by the Sun

Location: Connecticut River between Brattleboro (VT) and Hinsdale (NH)



All Content Copyrighted © Stephen Tavella

Vermont in Autumn – The Year of Brilliant Color (series 1)

October 28, 2016


For more than a year much of New England has been suffering a prolonged drought. My photography friends and I anticipated the fall colors that turn Vermont’s scenic green mountain landscape into a Wolf Kahn painting would be muted this year as a result. Not so! In fact, this year’s foliage has been one of the best in the 30 years I have made southern Vermont my home. The brilliant colors, combined with the dynamic weather conditions, have provided a smorgasbord of photographic opportunity.

This is the first in a series of posts highlighting the short October foliage season that draws thousands of visitors from urban areas to our beautiful state.

Also, enjoy all Vermont seasons – and share the beauty with family and friends – by ordering your Vermont fine art all-occasion/all-season note cards featuring my photography and designed by me, by clicking here. These unique, one-of-a-kind cards are perfect for sending thank you’s, announcements, birthday and holiday greetings, or just simply to say, “I am thinking of you!” Professionally printed in the United States using ecological soy ink, with high gloss, spill-proof coating. You will not find this quality by Hallmark, or any other card sold in a big box store. I have been told by customers that the quality of images, layout and printing is so high they would even consider framing them. Email me directly at, or call 802-254-0057 to discuss special discounted pricing on bulk orders of 20 or more cards.

Thank you for visiting; enjoy your days!


My foliage photography season always starts north of where I live in Dummerston. This photograph was taken in early October on the road leading to the Ball Mountain Dam on the West River, a tributary of the Connecticut River (New England’s longest at 410 miles), which runs the length of the border between the states of Vermont and New Hampshire.

Location: Jamaica


Emerging Color on Ball Mountain Brook

Location: Jamaica


Tree Tops and Birds on a Rainy Day

Location: Dummerston


Going Home to Roost: The Waning Day

Location: Brattleboro

Come back and visit soon for a second set of images in this fall foliage series.



All Content Copyrighted © Stephen Tavella


Vermont Photographic Note Cards – On Sale Now!

Four classic landscape prints from southern Vermont: Grazing horse in a spring pasture, a summer sunset on the river, vibrant fall foliage, and an old barn on a wintry day. You need not have visited the Green Mountain State to enjoy and appreciate the classic rural American beauty captured in these images. These unique, tastefully designed, 4 1/2″ x 6 1/4″ (11.43 cm x 15.875 cm) professionally printed note cards are printed on front and back sides and blank on the inside. Spill-proof coating; individually packaged with envelopes.

Photographed and designed by Stephen Tavella.

Perfect for all occasions – holidays, thank you’s, invitations, or a thoughtful note to family or friends – and as a gift!











Click on thumbnail images below to see the featured photos magnified








Pack of 6 cards (with envelopes): $11 + $3 postage

Total Price: $14

Place your order by Paypal or Credit Card by clicking



(Note: Unfortunately, I am only able to ship to U.S. destinations at this time)



All Content Copyrighted © Stephen Tavella



“Time is Like a Jet Plane, It Moves Too Fast”

October 13, 2016

With news this morning of Bob Dylan’s receipt of the Nobel Prize for Literature, I recalled a line from “You’re a Big Girl Now,” from Dylan’s incomparable Blood on the Tracks record, while I was considering a title for this post. I have had many conversations over the years about this concept of time moving more quickly as we age. There seems to be a general consensus: it certainly seems to do so as we get older. Don’t ask me why. Or better yet, as Neil Young once sang, “Tell Me Why.” I am as confounded by it as many others I have spoken to. Still, I continue to instigate this conversation. I think not so much out of the hope of figuring out why, but more so, I believe, to listen to and consider the many fascinating viewpoints on this ageless subject.

With that in mind, as I was cutting and stacking firewood yesterday in the brisk fall air while yellow, red, orange and brown leaves sprinkled down around me like autumn snowflakes, I thought to myself how quickly, once again, spring has passed into summer, and summer into fall. Where did spring and summer go? The memories of my partner and me turning our vegetable garden soil in April, planting our seeds and seedlings in May, tending to and eating from the garden in June, July, August and September, and finally taking down the bean poles and dried tomato plants yesterday seem to have all happened within the span of a few weeks.

Time is like a jet plane.

I haven’t posted a photograph here since June, but I have taken a few pictures between then and now. So before I start posting photographs from another picturesque fall in Vermont, I would like to share some summer memories from around my beloved southern Vermont.


Early summer at the Green River Crib Dam, Guilford


Discovery at the Beaver Dam, Guilford


Aquatic Friend on a Trek Up Stickney Brook, Dummerston


Riverbed, Dummerston


Nighttime on the Meadows, Brattleboro


The Secret Pond, Marlboro


Ball Mountain Dam, Jamaica


A Stop Along the Interstate, Westminster



Sunset on the West River, Brattleboro



All Content Copyrighted © Stephen Tavella

Republic of Georgia Photo Exhibition: June 20 – August 8 (more info!)

June 23, 2016

Photographic Exhibit now on display in Brattleboro, Vermont, USA



through the

Republic of Georgia

         Photography from the Caucasus region


                     Eastern Europe and Central Asia

June 20 – August 8, 2016

Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, USA

Official opening with artist meet & greet

Friday, July 1 from 5 – 6 PM at Brattleboro’s monthly art’s walk

 Click on the Gallery Walk link to see more

The sixteen photographs featured in this exhibit were taken over a six month period from September, 2015 – March, 2016. During this time, Stephen lived with a Georgian family in Tbilisi while working as a strategic management advisor for an international peace center.

If you are unable to make this exhibit you may still enjoy it by purchasing the Companion Guide on the website. The guide is an 8 1/2″ x 11″ (22 cm x 28 cm) magazine format with a high quality glossy cover. It features a table of contents, a full-color map indicating where each photograph was taken, and one page dedicated to each photo that includes detailed descriptions, stories, artist personal insights, and historical facts that provide a unique and detailed perspective into each of the images.

The cost is only US $7.99. This is an unbeatable price for a 20 page, high-quality, professionally printed companion piece to this unique exhibit. You, your family and your guest will enjoy paging through it to experience a virtual getaway in an exotic land.

See for yourself. Click on the link below to see a full preview.

See a preview by clicking here

Dummerston, Vermont, resident Stephen Tavella has been exploring and photographing landscapes and cultures from around the world since he spent four years in the Peace Corps in the 1980’s. Fifty countries and six continents later, he recently returned from six months of work in the Caucasus country of the Republic of Georgia. With these sixteen select images, Stephen hopes to convey a sense of that which is uniquely Georgian despite Greek, Roman, Arab, Persian, Mongol, Turkish, Russian, Christian, Muslim, eastern and now western invasions and influences spanning over two millennia. Experience the magic!



You can also follow Steve on the following sites:


All content Copyrighted © Stephen Tavella

Photo Exhibition Opening June 20!

June 16, 2016

I am pleased and excited to announce my photography exhibition of sixteen selected prints from the Republic of Georgia opening at the Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro, Vermont, on Monday, June 20th. The exhibit features 14″ x 22″ (35 cm x 56 cm) prints of landscapes, historical sites and people from across the fascinating and beautiful country of Georgia. These photos were taken during a recent work assignment from September, 2015 – March, 2016.

The exhibition opens on June 20th and closes on August 8th. There will be an artist Meet & Greet from 5:00 – 6:00 PM on Friday, July 1st during the monthly Gallery Walk art walk. If you are in the local area, please stop by, especially on July 1st. I would love to meet you and share my experiences, love for photography, techniques, or anything else you may wish to discuss.

Below is the poster advertising the event, along with some of the sixteen images that will be featured. I look forward to seeing you on July 1st. Or, if you are unable to make it for the July 1st official opening and would like to meet, please feel free to email me at Perhaps we can arrange another time to meet.

Order forms for prints will be available at the show. Coming soon: order directly online!




Tbilisi in Fog
Anchiskhati Orthodox Basilica & Narikala Fortress (6th century)



Grilling, Georgian Style
It’s What’s for Dinner



Fireworks on the Mtkvari (Kura) River
Where Modern and Ancient Meet



In the Shadow of Mt. Kazbek
Gergeti Trinity Church (14th century)
Georgian/Russian border


All content Copyrighted © Stephen Tavella

Book and Calendar Sale!

Updated: April 20, 2016

Dear Friends,

I am announcing a final clearance sale on my book, Waterfalls of  Vermont and New Hampshire, and my 2016 Vermont Desk Calendar. Prices are reduced by over 50%!  I am almost sold out with only three books and one calendar remaining. I will not be ordering more of these limited edition items, so first come, first served.

The waterfall book is a beautiful lay flat design with solid, spill-proof pages. 19 pages of long-exposure photography of waterfalls from throughout Vermont and New Hampshire recently photographed on my Nikon DSLR in 2105.

Dimension is 6″ x 8″

Here are screen shots of some of the pages:

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 3.29.39 PMThis shows the front and back covers with the book laid out flat.


Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 3.30.23 PMThis view shows the last two pages of the book (laid out flat) with an index and map indicating location of each waterfall.


Cost is $11 plus $3.00 shipping. You will not find a book of this quality and price featuring beautiful waterfalls from throughout the region at this price. I am sorry, but I can only accommodate U.S. orders at this time. If you wish to order a book, please email me directly at Payment in the amount of $14 – personal check or cash only – should be made to: Stephen Tavella and mailed to 1171 Wickopee Hill Rd., Dummerston, Vermont 05301. Please provide your mailing address.

Allow at least two weeks for delivery.


The desk calendar is a very high quality heavy-weight paper stock you will not find anywhere else. Photo quality and the paper it is printed on is frameable. It features over a dozen of my own photographic images throughout the seasons of Vermont. Dimension is 5.5″ x 10.8″. Here are some of the images from the calendar (images on the calendar itself are much higher quality than the lower resolution screen shots shown here).

Cost is $7 + $3.00 shipping. Same terms and mailing address apply as stated above for the book. I have one calendar remaining at this time, so act quickly!!

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 3.32.27 PMFront page


Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 3.33.43 PMDecember


Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 3.33.29 PM



If you are not satisfied with the product upon receipt, please return it, postage paid, and I will refund your money. However, I feel strongly that you will not find a calendar of this quality at this price.

To all those who have supported my blog and my work I want to say THANK YOU! You are all so kind and generous.

Peace and love (I really mean it!!)


All content copyrighted  © Stephen Tavella

This May Not Be the Georgia You Are Thinking Of

January 23, 2016


Back in September of 2015 when I told people I was going to move to Georgia for six months to work, a common reply was, “Why are you going to Georgia?”

Well, this may not be the Georgia you are thinking of. The Georgia where I have been living and working for the past four months is sandwiched between Russia to the north, Armenia and Turkey to the south, Azerbaijan to the east, and the Black Sea to the west. See the blue dot  ⇓

Georgia (Republic of)

As mentioned in my previous post, I will be doing a series of posts that will feature photographs from the regions I have visited so far, as well as types of photographs I have taken, such as landscape, long exposure night photography, rural, urban, people…

For this post I would like to take you for a quick tour of the places I have been so far. I am in love with this country! This is an absolutely, spectacularly mind-blowingly (I just made up a word there) beautiful country. Not only that, it’s culture and history are extraordinary, and its people welcoming. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to live, work and travel here for six months. Thinking of your next international vacation? Consider Georgia.

Without further ado, allow me to take you on a quick tour of THE REPUBLIC OF Georgia (the country, not the state).

◊ ◊ ◊


This is a panorama shot taken with my iPhone from Narikala Hill (the Narikala Fortress itself) overlooking the city. Future photographs of Tbilisi will show you some of the ancient and modern that mix in this city that was founded by King Vakhtang I Gorgosali of Iberia in the 5th century A.D.


Shio Mgvime

An easy day trip from Tbilisi is Shio Mgvime Monastery. It was founded by the 6th century monk, Shio, one of the Thirteen Assyrian Fathers. This is the second country in the world to adopt Christianity. Its roots run deep. Orthodox churches and monasteries are so prolific it is hard not to see one nearly everywhere you turn. And they are old. This small chapel is on a hill overlooking the monastery. This was the first significant hike I took on my second weekend in the country in September, 2015.


Jvari Monastery

Jvari overlooks the town of Mtskheta. Both are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Jvari is a 6th century monastery built on the site where Saint Nino, a 4th century evangelist, is credited with converting King Marian III of Iberia to Christianity.



Built on a rocky bank above the Mtkvari River is a 3,500 year-old cave city that saw its final eclipse in the 14th century with the Mongol invasion.



This castle complex was built in the 13th century. Its history includes peasant revolts and various battles from rival duchy. It remained in use until the 19th century. Its location is iconic, overlooking the Aragvi river and reservoir.


Kazbegi (Stepantsminda)

Located directly north of Tbilisi on the Georgian/Russian border, this area is known for the Gergeti Trinity Church, built in the 14th century on a plateau overlooking the villages of Kazbegi and Gergeti, and in the shadow of Mt. Kazbek (16,600 ft / 5047 meters). It is a symbol for Georgia.

Look closely at the top left side of the photo to see the church on the plateau.


Rabati Castle

Located in the southwest of the country, it was built in the 9th century and recently renovated. It is a massive complex that has a church, synagogue and mosque – a reflection of the many cultures that passed through and invaded Georgia over the millennia. Today, Christian, Jew and Muslim live peacefully side-by-side in Georgia. In Tbilisi you will find churches, a mosque and a synagogue – all with thriving communities – within several city blocks.



This cave city built in the 11th and 12 centuries under the rule of Queen Tamar – one of the most fabled monarchs of Georgia – at its height housed 50,000 citizens, extended 13 levels and contained 6,000 apartments. Visiting Vardzia is like visiting something out of the Lord of the Rings.


Okhatse Canyon

Walking over the Ohkatse Canyon on this several kilometer skywalk is almost like walking on the air over an open canyon. The engineering of the skywalk is incredible! And the views are even more so.


Sataplia Nature Reserve and Cave

Established in 1935, this nature reserve protects pristine ancient forests where dinosaurs once roamed. Footprints are preserved in the entrance to the vast cave complex that is still mostly unexplored.
















Located on a cliff-edge on the outskirts of the western city of Kutaisi, Motsameta’s current monastery dates to the 11th century on the ruins of the original 8th century church.



Located in eastern Georgia, the Kakheti region is known for its wine. This wide and fertile valley presses up against the white-topped Dagestan Caucasus to the north and Azerbaijan to the south. The history of wine goes back to the VI millennium B.C.!  500 out of the world’s known 2,000 grape species are Georgian. Pictured here, the Italianesque hill town of Signaghi.



The 15th century castle and church of Gremi, located in the Duruji Valley of the Kakheti region.


Davit Gareji

This rock-hewn Orthodox monastery in southern Georgia is a remarkable historical site surrounded by arid, almost lunar landscape. It was founded in the 6th century by David Garejeli, one of the 13 Assyrian Fathers. At one time it housed thousands of monks. Today it is undergoing renovation, although a significant cave complex in a border area disputed by Azerbaijan and Georgia is unfortunately crumbling and suffering from outright vandalism.


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All content Copyrighted © Stephen Tavella