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Carolyn Bates' Blog

Read the latest from Carolyn in her blog! Photography, local events, Vermont happenings, and more.

Sneak Peek: Want to learn the secret to photographing a great night shot?

Echo Building - Commercial Architecture - Carolyn Bates Photography
I may be able to help with that! On August 18, I will be teaching professional photographers about shooting buildings at night. And I have chosen ECHO as the building to use. If you would like to come, contact me through my website or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Architect: Smith-Alvarez-Sienkiewycz, Architects ( )   •&...
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Featured Architects: Gardner Kilcoyne Architects

The Project: The Miller Center About Gardner Kilcoyne Architects Gardner Kilcoyne Architects was formed in 2002 by Bill Gardner and Liza Kilcoyne in Burlington, Vermont. They believe design should be an interactive solution-oriented process that fulfills the client's vision. Design should reflect each project's unique goals and aspirations. GKA is ...
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Congratulations! Morse Wins Environmental Leadership Award from Unity College

Sue Morse Wins Environmental Leadership Award from Unity College

Susan C. Morse of Jericho, Vermont, a nationally known tracker and expert on wildlife habitat, has won Unity College’s 2013 Environmental Leader Award.

The college will honor Morse on Tuesday, April 9, at its Maine campus for her accomplishments in wildlife monitoring and conservation, and raising public awareness of the need for habitat protection. The award will be presented through the college’s Women in Environmental Leadership Program (WE Lead). Each year the WE Lead program recognizes a professional woman who demonstrates outstanding leadership in an environmental field and serves as a model for future generations of women environmental leaders.

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The Two Faces of Joan

Business Portrait of Joan by Carolyn Bates Photography
Joan and I cruised around Ethan Allen Homestead (founded by author Ralph Nading Hill) today so I could take a business portrait for her new career. She wanted a blurred green background. She wore silver jewelry and white embroidered blouse. With our day being just a perfect high gray day, we had our choice of which direction we wanted to face. ...
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In Memory of Gwendolyn Ide Huneck

Dog Mountain Has Suffered a Great Loss
It was a sad day when I got this email from the Stephen Huneck Galler at Dog Mountain. Below is the email that was sent on Monday, June 3rd.      1-800-449-2580  Dog Mountain Has Suffered a Great Loss It is with heavy hearts that we share with our Dog Mountain community that our dear leader and f...
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80 Square Feet of WOW: Less is More

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  Give us a thumbs up, please, so we can win! Just click on this link, Eighty Square Feet of WOW: Less is More to vote. Read what Maggie Sherman, owner of WOW, posted when submitting my photos. Carolyn Bates, photographer extraordinaire, recommended I contact you about my recent kitchen remodel. Please consider including my "less is more" remo...
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Architecture Spotlight: Making a Barn into a Home

Architect: Ted Silius, Morrisville, VT


When MJ and Dan Davis were cruising around looking for something unique to buy for their home in the NE Kingdom of VT, it comes as no surprise that what they chose was originally a barn. It was a bank barn that was almost ready to fall over. There were holes in roof, and you could see the light through the walls. When most people would have walked away,  they bought it. Slowly over the years, they turned it around and restored it post by post, beam by beam. It has room for guests, their dog Bella, MJ's office and Dan's woodworking shop.

The renovation started with a new foundation that allowed them to turn the barn around because they wanted to enter on second floor faced the road and hill. Most would have destroyed the the old foundation, but not in this case. It was not destroyed and has been converted to a great outdoor grill and sitting area, that of course, the dogs love!

When I brought my dog, Lady Dickens, she had the chance to hang out with Bella. The two had a grand time! Lady D even showed Bella how to open the side door to get into the guest suite.....Just jump up and put your front paws on the handle and push down....  this is door in the small one story part of the barn.

The end result to this renovation is a truly unique home.

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We are All Boston Marathoners At Heart

See more images by clicking here.

We had a GREAT turnout at the waterfront in Burlington, VT on 04/20/13.  There were over 500 people present to walk/run and we raised $10,300!  Thank you all who came out to walk/run and volunteer! You can find out more on the Get Moving for Boston website. 

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Featured Work in Old-House Interiors Magazine | The House at Rockledge Farm

andrea house residential architecture Carolyn Bates
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Federal Farmhouse Restored in Colonial Revival Style

In the first quarter of the 20th century, this Federal-era house was stunningly renovated with Colonial Revival sentiment. Today it’s still a beauty.



They’d purchased not only a house and a farm, but also an important piece of Vermont history—though that wasn’t why Andrea Forrest Brock and her husband, Randy, bought Rockledge Farm in 1986. “Randy was commuting [from Vermont] to Boston then, and we frequently got snowed in,” Andrea says. “We had to move to a road that was regularly plowed—and we wanted an old house. Of course, in Vermont we don’t have that many new houses!”

The centerpiece of the farm is the 1799 Jennison house. Perched on a low knoll in the Green Mountains town of Swanton, the east-facing house was originally a two story, five-by-four bay Federal wood-frame dwelling with a one-story kitchen ell. Between 1918 and 1922, Clark Saxe Jennison transformed the farmhouse into the Colonial Revival manor it is today. The clapboarded main block has symmetrical wings that date to his renovation. A partially enclosed, shed-roof porch at the rear spans the width of the main block and north wing.

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Vermont Homes and Gardens: Custom Creation

Both the designers and the owner love the results of high-tech detailing and innovative finishing touches to this fine lakeside home.

Take the TourFlip through the online magazine.

Vermont Magazine • March/April 2013
Story by Jordan Werner • Photos by Carolyn Bates

As the owners of Sheppard Custom Homes, Tom and Donna Sheppard have lived in many spectacular houses. When they were designing a new house for themselves, they saw an opportunity to experiment on a large scale. The result is visually stunning, technologically advanced, and true to its environment. It is so great, in fact, that they never got to move in. As the Sheppard Custom Homes crew was starting work on it two years ago, Tom received a call asking if the house was for sale. “My wife thought it was a little big and over the top, so we decided to sell it,” said Tom. “The new owner was great. His instructions were to finish the house exactly as we would if we were going to move in.”

Tom Moore crafted all the woodwork for the house. Donna wanted the house to have an open floor plan, but the space was so large that it would have been overwhelming. Tom’s woodwork serves to make some separation and designate different rooms while leaving the floor plan open. Each room has its own angle, but the wood ties them all together. The beautiful woodwork that Tom Moore fashioned presented a challenge when it came time to light the house— there was very little room to put light switches without ruining the detail of the wood. To solve the problem, Tom Sheppard decided to program the whole house to run on iPad and iPhone technology. No matter where you are, you can turn on the lights. “I never thought I’d get excited about an electronic house, but it eliminates more than half of the light switches in a house this big,” he commented. “It’s my first electronic house but it won’t be my last!”

Read the full article by downloading the PDF here.

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A Spotlight on Landscape Architecture: A Garden and A Gate

What makes a landcape stand out from all the others?

In this case, it is a gate and the talent of Susan Els.


Read the story about how Susan made magic happen ...

I found the gate in the 80's on the side of the road in Amesbury, MA. It  was a "field gate" that came from an old estate in the area. I actually hesitated a bit at the price -- $150! It sat in our garage a couple of years, then moved with us to Vermont where it sat for another 10 years. While designing other people's gardens, my vision of the front entry was taking shape around the gate.

Two complementary desires propelled the design: first, I wanted a welcoming garden space that could be enjoyed by all my walking neighbors; then, a private interior garden that would be an extension of our home.

The lay of the garden was dictated by the white fir that had been awkwardly located by the original owner. The entry was shaped to give generous space to match the scale of the fir, highlight the gate and transform the awkwardness to a natural flow.

I knew I wanted standing stones to flank the gate and some kind of sculptural arbor-thing to hold the gate up. When it came time to do the garden, Ken Mills and I were working together and he very generously came on board, adding his vision of the beautiful Corinthian Granite pillars. He also set the boulders and did the doorstep landing.

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Take some time and enjoy the ocean view... Hampton Beach in NH

When walking around Hampton Beach in NH, there is so much to take in. The beach, the landscape, and the architecture are all around you. And then there is the sculpture. Just north of A street is the wonderful sculpture. It was surrounded by black fencing as though she were in prison, and landscape architects: ORW created a brand new home for her, ...
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WATER BOTTLE BAN SCULPTURE by Beth Haggart at our Vermont Statehouse!

Vermont Water Bottle Ban Sculpture: Editorial : Vermont Photographer Carolyn Bates

UVM and Rep Ginny Lyons supported the sculpture designed and made by Beth Haggart, artist, and art professor at UVM.  UVM banned all water bottles on their campus earlier this year and featured a two leg arch by Beth Haggart. This three leg arch has 3000 used, empty water bottles and old bicycle rubber tires, copper pipe, plastic tubing, and cardboard supporting the water bottles. Beth Haggart is a widely known artist for her creative use of Trash. 

Vermont Water Bottle Ban Sculpture: Editorial : Vermont Photographer Carolyn Bates Vermont Water Bottle Ban Sculpture: Editorial : Vermont Photographer Carolyn Bates Vermont Water Bottle Ban Sculpture: Editorial : Vermont Photographer Carolyn Bates

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Jan Blomstrann, President and CEO of NRG Systems featured on ReWiring Success

nrgbuilding vermont architectural photographer carolyn bates
Social Responsibility in Times of Financial Crisis . . . from an Interview with Jan Blomstrann, President and CEO of NRG Systems Posted on February 24, 2013 on ReWiring Success In 1987 NRG Systems formally acknowledged the effort Jan Blomstrann was contributing to the young company by bringing her on payroll. Founded in 1982 by David Blittersdorf, ...
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AIAVT Holds Its Largest Ever Annual Meeting At State House

AIAVT Holds Its Largest Ever Annual Meeting At State House Photos by Carolyn Bates
Design Awards Bash Breaks Attendance Records 12.12 AIAVT News: AIAVT’s largest group ever—130 members and their colleagues—got together at this year’s Annual Meeting and Design Awards, held at the elegant Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier on December 6. Attendees began celebrating with drinks and appetizers in the dining area, moved to the awe-inspi...
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Bringing Wilmington Vermont Back to Life

Wilmington Vermont - Photographer Carolyn Bates
Wilmington Pulls Together To Bring Its Historic Downtown Back To Life Vermont B/A A year and a half ago, Tropical Storm Irene ravaged many Vermont towns, including Wilmington. By January 2012, the Wilmington Fund VT was established and hard at work. Tamara and Dan Kilmurray, longtime second home owners, felt the losses and destruction of Wilmington...
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Moon and Historic Barn win Photo of the Day!!

Moon and historic Barn : Friends of mine found a dilapidated bank barn, you could see through. Turning it around, and putting it back together again, beam by beam, created this beautiful new home. What People are Saying David Jennings - "i keep coming back to this, find yourself an agent, you could retire on this shot." Lauren Morrill - "It's perfe...
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Featured Cover in Home & Cottages Magazine

We Got the Cover! To see more from this project, click here What People are saying: Zoë Barracano: "Where's the triple like button??!!" Orah Moore: "Carolyn you do a great job!" Carolyn Kingman Javick: "Fantastic! Congratulations! You are amazing at what you do!" Judith Versweyveld: "Beautiful work as always Carolyn and thanks so much for the birth...
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FULL MOON: Ten Star Class

I may have had frozen fingers, but look at what I learned how to shoot!

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Lenses on the Land by  Moonlight: Fabulous Class, Taught by Marshall Webb and Sebastian Ventrone, at Shelburne Farms tonight.
Click here to see more photos.

What was on the agenda?

We learned how to shoot sunset, moonrise and moonlight photography on a winter afternoon and evening. With this knowledge, I was able to photograph the Breeding barn, the porch at Shelburne Farms Inn, and on the land around the barn. Click on the thumbnails below and see my new photos.

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Make the Promise


Sandy Hook Promise

Here's the full petition:

Make the Promise

I Promise to honor the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  

I Promise to do everything I can to encourage and support common sense solutions that make my community and our country safer from similar acts of violence.

Sign here:


Learn More

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Stay Connected

Mailing address:
Carolyn Bates Photography
PO Box 1205
Burlington, VT 05402

Shipping address:

Carolyn Bates Photography
20 Caroline St.
Burlington, VT 05402

Telephone: (802) 238-4213

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