Following Tradition

In the first week of November, I tagged along with Carl Diener while he explored the woods to hunt deer in the waning days of muzzleloader season in Hanover, N.H., for a Valley News story. Oblivious to a steady rain, Diener spent the afternoon waiting for his prey while warm in wool. “I like the old way of doing things,” he said. “You feel like you’re actually accomplishing something.”

From top, Carl Diener, of Hanover, N.H., quietly walks into the woods near his home while looking for deer tracks on the second to last day of New Hampshire’s muzzleloader season. Diener began hunting in the 1980s with a co-worker and was attracted to muzzleloader season because it’s a two-week head start on rifle season; A collection of photographs in Diener’s shop shows the deer he has harvested over the years with his muzzleloader rifle. Once rifle season begins, Diener will not use a modern gun, dressing in his wool capote coat, carrying his powder in a horn and ammunition in a pouch; Diener takes aim at a doe he sees nearby — but does not shoot — while hunting. During muzzleloader season, the state allows the taking of any deer only for the first four days in the G1 Wildlife Management Unit where Diener hunts; Stepping in from a rainy afternoon of hunting, Diener checks to be sure the flintlock’s priming pan is dry where gunpowder was to be struck in his muzzleloader rifle. Diener had covered the area with a cow’s knee, originally named for the piece of leather made from the appendage. Diener made one himself from two pieces of suede.

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Artistic Endeavor

Last weekend Miranda and I got together to do senior portraits at the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, N.H. It is where sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens worked in the late 1800s, part of the Cornish Colony of artists. Miranda chose the place and locations — it was a lovely day and made for fun photos! Follow this link to see more (and to order prints and downloads) in the Galleries section of my website.

Family Fun

Last weekend I enjoyed photographing Elizabeth, Jeff and their children in Hanover, N.H., and Norwich, Vt., as they did activities and, while they were catching their breath, a few portraits. They’re a fun group! Follow this link to see more and to order prints and downloads in the Galleries section of my website.

School Days

This fall I have had the privilege to spend time in and around Upper Valley schools to catch moments while working working for the Valley News. I especially liked catching the Rock-Paper-Scissors Championship above on video, with a great touch by Web Editor Maggie Cassidy!

From top, Richmond Middle School seventh-grader Mandi Shi, center, is encouraged by classmates Elizabeth Pollock, left, and Reilly Loughman while twisting to pass a hula hoop made of duct tape to Loughman at the annual Class Day activities held after lunch at the Storrs Pond Recreation Area in Hanover, N.H. In addition to playing other team-building games, the students learned to dance the Macarena and had a brownie bake-off; Randolph Union High School junior Shea Fordham works to solve a problem in her Advanced Placement Calculus class at Randolph Union High School in Randolph, Vt.; Marion Cross School third-grader Sophie Hopkins gives crossing guard Fred White, 81, of Wilder, Vt., a hug after a surprise all-school assembly honored the retiring White for his 19 years of service in Norwich, Vt. White said he’s enjoyed meeting the students over the years and staying in touch with some of them through adulthood.

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Rest Stop

Vermont Gov. Howard Dean would occasionally stop by the Valley News offices to speak about issues he and the state were working with. When I noticed the governor had slipped off his shoes, I was pleased to get a different photograph from a predictable situation.

Vermont Gov. Howard Dean rests his feet while talking with the editorial board at the VALLEY NEWS in West Lebanon, N.H., in April 1994. Dean, who was a five-term governor, ran for president as a Democrat in 2004.

Archival Quality is a series looking at Geoff Hansen’s favorite photos from over 30 years as a photographer.


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Marie & Sheldon

Before the sun melted the morning fog, I got together with Marie and Sheldon at Riverview Farm in Plainfield, N.H., to do engagement portraits. They’re getting married over Labor Day weekend in Connecticut and wanted to send along a bit of rural New England to their invited guests. I was happy to oblige! Follow this link to see more (and to order prints and downloads) in the Galleries section of my web site.

Grand Slam

I recently spent the weekend with Team Film Flam to document their effort to compete in the annual Film Slam sponsored by the Cohase Chamber of Commerce in Bradford, Vt., as a photo story for the Valley News. Alan Haehnel, his daughter Omega Haehnel and her best friend Pearl MacLeod were amongst the six teams to write, shoot, edit and present a seven-minute film in 48 hours. Their result — Hearts Ajar — was not only clever and funny, but also won several awards. Totally impressive!

From top, with Peanut the family dog keeping watch, Alan Haehnel starts writing the script to be used by his team; As Pearl MacLeod shoots close-ups of Cecelia, played by Omega Haehnel, her mother Heidi Haehnel pokes her head into her bedroom in Hartford Village, Vt., to ask a question during the filming; Because a dead camera battery puts a halt to their shooting Heidi Haehnel makes calls to see if she can find a store that stocks a replacement as Alan Haehnel calls their son to see if one of his friends has the same battery. They resolved the problem by using a simpler camera Alan Haehnel borrowed from Hanover High School, where he works; In character as Pam, MacLeod cradles a jar of pickles while making the film HEARTS AJAR. As part of the competition, each of the six teams had to include a jar of pickles in their film; Pam reacts as her stepsister Cecelia throws Pam’s cherished jar of pickles; While Alan Haehnel is filming, Cecelia is hit with a pickle thrown by her stepsister Pam on the dock at the public beach on Lake Morey in Fairlee, Vt.; Omega Haehnel, left, and MacLeod work on editing their film first thing in the morning, with about 10 hours remaining in the slam; Cohase Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Erik Volk leans over to get reaction from Film Slam first place winners Omega Haehnel, MacLeod, and Alan Haehnel after the six teams presented their films in Bradford, Vt. HEARTS AJAR was also awarded Best Direction and Best Use of Genre awards by the judges. The audience at the screening also gave it the People’s Choice award.

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