Escape: break free from confinement or control
A pair of rock climbers escape the confines of everyday life on the face of Cathedral Ledge. Conway, NH.
Sharp lens, blurry photo.
Having recently added a Canon 70-200 f/4L IS lens to my camera bag, I needed to go out as soon as I could to test it. Reported to be one of, if not the, sharpest zoom lens Canon has ever made, you might think I’d be out shooting trying to see just how sharp it really is. You’d only be partly right.
While I did come away with a good hand-held shot of a favorite wildflower, the purple trillium…
…my favorite photo of the day is this abstract reflection titled “Water Colors.”
Sometimes you want it sharp, sometimes you don’t.
Sharpness does not make a photograph, there is so much more. And in the case of “Water Colors,” capturing a tack sharp image was the furthest thing from my mind.
Patterned In Green.
I eagerly await the arrival of the false hellebore every Spring. This extremely toxic plant, with its deeply patterned leaves, is one of my favorite plants to photograph.
Patterned In Ice.
On my way home from a winter photo shoot I took a route I seldom travel. I’m very glad I did. As soon as I saw these wonderful patterns in the ice floes I couldn’t turn my car around quickly enough. In my excited haste, I then nearly tumbled down the snow-covered bank of the river as I searched for a good composition.
Patterns In The Flow.
This morning (May 10th, 2013) I found myself standing in the middle of the Mad River in Farmington, NH photographing a favorite waterfall. The long white streaking patterns on the waters surface were created by the bubbles on the water flowing towards the camera during the 30 second exposure.
From above on the slopes of Cadillac Mountain, sunrise over Frenchman’s Bay and the Porcupine Islands. Acadia National Park, Maine.
(Click on the photo to see the full image)
From above on a 50 – 60 ft (15 – 18m) ledge, looking down on Bridal Veil Falls. Castle In The Clouds, Moultonborough, New Hampshire.
From above on the Mount Washington Auto Road, the headlights of a lone vehicle pierce the pre-dawn darkness. Mount Washington, New Hampshire.
Not for the faint of heart. Looking down from above over the lip of Falls Of Song at Castle In The Clouds. It’s a long way down, 49 ft (15m), from the top!
When out photographing landscapes have you ever wondered, “when is a good time to try a vertical composition?”
Immediately after photographing the scene horizontally of course!
Personally I find that in a scene like this the vertical composition adds more depth to the photograph. Which is also why so many of my waterfall and stream photos captured this way.
The Pondicherry National Wildlife Refuge.
One of my favorite views in all of New Hampshire is this one looking out over Cherry Pond towards Mount Washington and the Presidential Range.
Cherry Pond sits on the Pondicherry National Wildlife Refuge in Jefferson, NH. It’s a beautiful place, and if you ever find yourself in New Hampshire I highly recommend a visit. It’s an easy hike of just under 2 miles along an old railroad bed.
I look forward to returning again and again.
I spent a lot of time “Up” this past weekend.
First I spent some time looking “Up”-stream at one of my favorite waterfalls. That’s Bridal Veil Falls at Castle In The Clouds peeking out from between the walls of the gorge.
Then I spent a bit of time on my knees looking “Up” at the ruins of the abandoned Redstone granite quarry in Conway, NH.
The following morning it was “Up” at 1:30 a.m. for a hike “Up” for another sunrise visit to one of my favorite locations in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Tuckerman Ravine.
As Tuckerman Ravine is on Mount Washington, “Home of the worlds worst weather,” the weather can be, shall we say, unpredictable. Living up to its reputation, the scene below is what greeted us as the sun came up. Extremely high winds, snow, and often near white-out conditions.
(Take a close look in the base of the bowl in the photo below. What was once “Up” has come down, in the form of an avalanche. You can see the debris field in the center of the frame.)
That sign wasn’t there a month ago!
Since sun-”Up” was a slight disappointment, we decided to simply enjoy the weather. And take a few shots of ourselves. When the wind wasn’t trying to blow us over that is. You can really see the wind whipping the snow behind my friend Tracy.
You just gotta love April in New Hampshire!
A gentle reminder.
I’m still seeking donations for the upcoming “Seek The Peak” hike-a-thon to benefit the Mount Washington Observatory. You can read more about the history behind the Observatory and all the work they do by clicking on this LINK.
Please click HERE to make your tax deductible donation. Each $10 donation enters you in a chance to win a signed 16″ x 24″ print of the photo below. To sweeten the deal even further, the largest single donation(available to residents of North America only, sorry) wins you a 20″ x 30″ stretched canvas gallery wrap of the same image.
Thank you for your support.
Some of the most dramatic “Changes” take place in nature. Here’s one.
From the striped, almost clumsy appearance of the caterpillar, to the fluttering gossamer wings of the Monarch butterfly.
This summer is THE summer I climb Mt. Washington, the tallest peak in the Eastern U.S. and the “Home of the worlds worst weather.”
And what better motivation to get me on the trail than to be able to support the Mount Washington Observatory (MWOBS) in the process.
This coming July 19-20 I plan on participating in the “Seek The Peak” hike-a-thon to raise money for the non profit MWOBS.
Rarely will I subject my readers to appeals for donations of any kind, but I truly believe this is for a worthy cause. If any of you would like to help, please click over to my fund raising page HERE to make a small donation.
“What’s in it for me?”
I know only a small number of my subscribers or fans of my photography live anywhere near Mount Washington, and may not have any interest in supporting the work they do. So to sweeten the deal, how about a chance at a signed 16″ x 24″ (41cm x 61cm) print of the image above?
For each $10 U.S. donation you’ll be entered in a chance to win an archival quality, hand signed print of “Mount Washington Summit In The Alpenglow.” All you need to do to enter is click HERE, and then follow the instructions to make your donation. That’s it!
Thank you for your support, and I’ll see you at the summit!
Color Color Everywhere!
The brilliant white of the church steeple towering over the roof tops of historic Portsmouth, NH.
The vibrant greens and golds of the salt marsh grasses as the sun burns off the early morning mist.
The fiery colors of a day at the drag races.
The vivid purple of a wild orchid.
I could go on and on…
Out To Pasture
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Tamron 17-50 f2.8
Settings: iso 400, 19mm @ f9
This is a 3 shot HDR. The original RAW files having been first imported into Lightroom 3, were then processed in Nik HDR Efex Pro.
I’d like to take this time to thank all of my readers who took advantage of my status as an affiliate for Nik Software. As most of you know, as of April 2nd I will no longer be able to offer a 15% savings on Nik products with the code: JSINON
I appreciate all of your support, and if you are hesitating on buying what I still consider the best image enhancing plugins on the market, now is the time to do it. After tomorrow at midnight the affiliate links on my blog, and in my posts about the great new low price of these plugins, as well as the code JSINON will no longer work to bring you the additional savings. While they should still bring you to the Nik site, you will have to pay the full $149 U.S. price.
PLEASE NOTE! As of midnight April 1st, the code JSINON and any affiliate links WILL NOT allow you to save an additional 15%. Any links within posts will now bring you to the Nik Collection site. Thank You.
As Told By A Couple Of Beaver.
“Really, you’re an auto mechanic?”
For some strange reason the thought that I fix cars for a living takes people by surprise. The idea that an image they profess to love was created by someone who gets grease under his fingernails seems completely foreign to them. As if creating art and having one of the bluest of blue-collar jobs is somehow mutually exclusive.
I don’t get it. Is there some “standard” career path that artistic people are supposed to follow that I’m unaware of?
While a few people upon seeing my photographs have expressed surprise that my “real” job in not that of a professional photographer, (I can’t thank you enough for that one Cindy!) Most know that is just a dream for the time being, and that I do “something else” to pay the bills. So when clients or buyers find out what that “something else” is, a look of total bewilderment comes across their face. I can almost see their brain working as the try to reconcile the art before them and their image of a dirty, greasy, auto mechanic.
I’m not complaining nor am I even the slightest bit offended by their surprise, I just don’t understand it. Maybe if more of my photographs looked like the one below, would they be less surprised?
Maybe I’m not alone in this, what is your “real” job? And are people surprised that someone in your field can create something beautiful, whether it’s photography, painting, or some other art form? Id love to hear your experiences.
Or, if you’re one of those that are surprised at the images I make coming from a “grease monkey,” Why Does That Surprise You?
Two winters ago I made my first visit to Tuckerman Ravine in hopes of capturing the bowl bathed in the beauty of alpenglow. This was also my first real winter hike, and even though I wasn’t able to capture the alpenglow as well as I had hoped, I still consider the trip a success.
The view that awaited as the sun came up was worth the sleepless night in a nearby hostel, temps in the teens, and the 3 a.m., lung and thigh burning, 2.4 mile(3.9km) hike (and that’s only to the fence shown in the image. The bowl is another .7 miles(1.1km) further). Ever since getting my first taste of “Tucks,” I’ve been dying to go back!
Same Fence, Different Day.
This years pilgrimage turned out better than I had hoped. My friend Tracy and I, after having left my house at 1 a.m., hit the trail at just after 4 a.m. for our long uphill slog. Only a day earlier and it would have been 3 a.m., but Daylight Savings Time kicked in during our drive and miraculously shot us ahead an hour, but trust me, my body still said it was 3 a.m.!
Anyway, as the sun rose behind us I was ready, and conflicted at the same time. The sunrise taking place behind me was going to be gorgeous! So now I had a decision to make, and it was going to be a tough one. Do I photograph the sure thing? I mean as the sun got closer and closer to making its appearance above the horizon, the sky was getting more brilliant, and the colors more spectacular by the second. I could see it unfolding before my eyes. I was witnessing about as close to a sure thing as there is in landscape photography.
Do I gamble on the alpenglow, that beautiful, elusive pink glow that may or may not materialize? Alpenglow can be fleeting, lasting mere minutes even at the best of times. So do I go with the guaranteed performance taking place behind me, or do I wait for the pink that, if it comes, could be brilliant, brief, or blah?
Pink It Is!
My choice made, I waited. And waited. Was that a hint of pink starting to show on the otherwise blue-ish tint of the pre-dawn mountains? It was! And it was getting brighter! When it reached its peak, the alpengow was beautiful, brilliant, and lasted longer than expected, though still no more than 3-5 minutes. But what a 3-5 minutes it was!
Sometimes it pays to gamble.
Yea, They Ski That Thing!
Tuckerman Ravine is one of the most popular ski destinations in the East. And there aren’t even any chair lifts!
Can you find the skier climbing the wall?
How about now?
Tuck’s has a long a storied history of skiing. And the skiing here is truly for the die-hard, dedicated, and adventurous, as there is no lift service here. It is a 2.4 mile(3.9km) hike carrying pack, skis, and all your other gear on your back, just to the AMC’s Hermit Lake Shelter, and the caretaker’s cabin, together affectionately known as “Ho-Jo’s.” The bowl is another .7 miles(1.1km) still, and you then need to climb about 1,000 ft(305m) to the top from there! Is it steep? With a slope of as much as 55° in places, yes, I’d say it’s steep!
Here’s a video that really shows the popularity of the Ravine. Judging by the crowds, you’d think it was a full lift service ski area.
As the title mentions, avoiding avalanches is a top priority when visiting Tuckerman Ravine. The Ravine has claimed many lives over the years, and while not all of them were lost due to avalanches, in the winter the smart hiker/photographer pays attention to the avalanche forecast. The forecast for last Sunday was listed as “Moderate to Low,” however just the day before it was listed as “Considerable.” If you choose to visit, don’t become a statistic, please heed the warnings!
If You’re Ever In The Neighborhood.
Come and join me in the bowl, you won’t regret it!
(Thank you Tracy for pressing the shutter. Cause goodness knows I can’t run that fast!)
My “Neighborhood” is large, very large.
From my front door,
To the lake I live on,
To the seacoast,
To New Hampshire’s White Mountains,
Within an hour or two, in any direction, I can find myself in photographic bliss.
A guy with a camera, or iPhone, could do a lot worse.
Wide and all-encompassing is not the only way to photograph a scene.
While out photographing, I’m often drawn to what I refer to as intimate portraits within the scene. While the grand scene before me may very well be quite spectacular, the overlooked details often provide the beauty within the beauty.
I do love Tucker Brook Falls.
Both in it’s entirety…
…and up close and personal.
While looking for that grand nature scene, it pays to look a little closer.
And don’t forget to simply look down.
Focusing on the details can often yield spectacular results.
One of my favorite landscape lenses is the Canon EF 70-200 f2.8L. In fact, if I could only own one lens this would be it. For isolating small key features of a landscape, a moderate telephoto lens and the way it has a compressing affect a scene, is often the perfect lens for getting “Lost In The Details.”
Getting up close and personal with one of my favorite summer visitors to the lake.
And there’s a snake in the picture too!
Canon EOS 40D
Canon EF 300 f4L IS
Exposure info: ISO 400, f7.1 @ 1/250
Original Capture Date: 5/30/2009
The Weekly Photo Challenge Theme: Forward.
This weeks theme actually has me looking back and Forward. Again I’m participating in the Lens Pro To Go 52 Week Photo Project. This week we’ll have completed Week 8, the theme being “Coffee.” So here I’m looking back on the first 8 weeks images, and looking Forward to the next 8. Enjoy!
(If the images don’t readily seem to fit the theme, visit my Flickr page to see my explanation. Or just ask in the comments section)
My goal this year is not to use any pre-existing images for the weekly themes. As we are given the themes in 8 weeks at a time, that should give me plenty of time to think of something new.
Here are the themes for the next 8 weeks.
Week 9: Colors
Week 10: Cheese
Week 11: Where I Live
Week 12: Planted
Week 13: Balloons
Week 14: Textures
Week 15: Something I Don’t Like
Week 16: Cookies
If You Just Can’t Wait.
If you’d like to keep up on my new images for the Project as they are made, hop on over to the Jeff Sinon Photography Fan Page, as each weeks image will be posted to the LPTG 52 Week Photo Project Gallery. While you’re there, BECOME A FAN! You know you want to
One of my favorite things to photograph…
…Is water, moving water in particular. And one key to getting the look I’m after in any moving water image is a long exposure. It’s that long exposure that gives the water that silky smooth, etherial look that many, myself included, find so appealing. To achieve that soft, silky look a long exposure is required. The most important step to take during these long exposures is to have the camera securely mounted on a sturdy tripod. Having the camera on a sturdy support during exposure makes sure the surrounding scenery is rendered sharp while the shutter is open for an extended period. Something virtually impossible to achieve while hand-holding the camera.
All of which brings me to the point of this post. Really Right Stuff, manufacture of machined aluminum art, that happens to do double duty as camera support equipment, is holding their 2013 Photo Contest. The theme of this contest is, as you may have guessed, WATER.
Below are the two images that will be submitted as my entries, both of which have graced the pages of my blog before. I have also included camera, lens, and exposure info, along with the Really Right Stuff equipment used. Click on either image to see it large!
Rocky Gorge, Swift River, White Mountains, NH.
Canon EOS 7D, Tamron 17-50 f2.8, ISO 100, f16 for 1.3 seconds.
RRS B7D-L Camera L Plate.
RRS BH-40 LR II Ball Head.
Tucker Brook, Milford, NH
Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 17-40 f4L, ISO 100, f16 for 6 seconds.
RRS B40DL Camera L Plate
RRS BH-40 LR II Ball Head.
In case you’re wondering, I’m not asking for your votes, I simply hope those who’ve seen these before enjoy seeing them again, and those that haven’t, enjoy them for the first time. Also, I have absolutely no affiliation with Really Right Stuff, I just think they make some of the best camera support equipment on the market. They are true works of art and worth every penny!
The contest is open to Really Right Stuff customers, more information can be found HERE.
A Mother’s Waking Kiss
Breakfast With A Kiss
It Must Be Love
What, you expected people kissing?
Canon EOS 7D
Tamron 17-50 f2.8
ISO 100, 1 Second @ f11
Capture Date: 5/19/2012
Do you zoom in as far as you can looking for the slightest flaw in your images? My latest article for the New England Photography Guild tells a few of the reasons I have stopped myself from becoming a Pixel Peeper.
Digital noise is one example of the things most photographers obsess over and pixel peep at. But should they? The image above, Masts In The Mist, is a prime example of why I no longer worry about noise. It’s a very noisy, very grainy image that is one of my most popular. Nobody has ever said, “looks great, if only it wasn’t for all that noise.”
If pixel peeping causing you to reject perfectly good images because of the slightest perceived flaw, have a look at my latest article and you might peep a little less and enjoy your photos more.
In the ongoing effort to unearth forgotten gems hidden in my catalog of images, here is another Sunday’s Hidden Treasure.
Camera: Canon EOS 40D
Lens: Canon EF 17-40 f4 L
Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec.
Original Capture Date: 2/7/2009
A Black Among The Green.
Who doesn’t like the mallard duck? With its beautiful iridescent green head and mahogany breast feathers, a beautiful bird my anyone’s standard. For me though, the American Black Duck, a drake seen above bowing to the camera, is a more attractive bird. Not being a very flashy guy myself, perhaps what draws me more to what most consider a rather drab looking duck, is the subtle beauty of the iridescent green visible only on the sides of the drakes head, compared to the “in your face,” bright green covering the entire head of the much showier mallard. Does anyone really like a show-off?
Often mistaken for a hen mallard, the black duck has darker plumage and while the violet-blue speculum on the mallard’s wing is bordered by white on both sides, the black ducks usually has no, or only one faint white border on the speculum’s leading edge.