While there is a person in this photograph, it’s the background that steals the show.
It’s a long way down from here! Is that Spiderman in the background.
My friend Tracy has more enthusiasm for life than anyone I’ve ever met. Which is why I titled this image ”Tracy Is Energy”
While she is busy photographing me, the view in the background is impossible to ignore.
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.
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.
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…
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.”
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
Longer Days Ahead.
The sun is rising earlier and setting later, a sure sign that Spring is on the way. With the onset of Spring my attention is inevitably drawn to waterfalls. One of the great things about living in the state of New Hampshire is the abundance of waterfalls that can be found around the state. Luckily, one usually doesn’t have to drive very far to find them either. Whether it’s a popular named waterfall in the White Mountains, one where you may have to wait your turn for the best shooting spots, or the little known unnamed falls scattered throughout the state. Large or small, they’re everywhere and Spring is the best time to photograph them.
The Etherial Flow.
Soft, silky, like cotton candy, however you describe it, that silky flowing appearance of the water, so common in waterfall images, requires a long exposure. I generally want at least a 1/2 second exposure, but 5, 8, even 10 seconds or more isn’t uncommon. Because of these long exposures, the most important piece of equipment you’ll need for your waterfall photography is a tripod. For capturing the flowing water while rendering the surrounding scenery as sharp, a good sturdy tripod isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. Besides camera and lens, my tripod is the one thing that never gets left behind. This goes for any of my landscape photography, not just waterfalls.
Controlling The Light.
A Circular Polarizing filter(CPL) is another must-have in my camera bag. Not only does it help remove the glare and reflection from the surface of the water, wet rocks, and leaves that may be in the photo, it also reduces the light coming through the lens by 1 1/2 to 2 stops. Reducing that light can help you achieve those longer exposures on brighter days. At times the light will still be too bright to allow a slow enough shutter speed even with a CPL in place. This is when a neutral density filter comes in handy. I carry a 4 stop square ND filter made by HiTech. This filter is designed to slip into a filter holder mounted on the front of my lens, but I often just hand-hold the filter in place. ND filters are available in several variations, both glass or resin slip in type, and round screw on style with as much as 10 stops of light stopping power. Becoming more and more popular are Variable Neutral Density filters, screw on filters that can be adjusted by rotating them to give from 2 to 8 stops of light reduction. As with most anything, you get what you pay for so buy the best you can afford. Another tip with screw on filters, buy a filter that fits your largest diameter lens and then buy step up rings to fit it to your lenses with smaller diameter filter threads. That way you don’t need to buy multiple expensive filters in different sizes to fit all of your lenses.
The Blinkies Are Your Friend.
While shooting waterfalls I always pay close attention to the histogram to help avoid blowing out the highlights. I also turn on the “Blinkies” the highlight alert warning that flashes in the image preview. Overexposed highlights will flash as black, and you want little if any in the photo. I say little because if you’re shooting in RAW, as you should be, a small amount of overexposure can be brought back with the highlight recovery slider in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw, or other RAW converters.
The Weather At It’s Best.
Is not the best weather for waterfalls. The best time to photograph waterfalls is on grey overcast days. This will give you nice even lighting across the falls, enabling longer exposures, and more importantly, helping to reduce hot spots on some of the white water on the falls. Trying to get a decent exposure when part of the fall is in the shade and part in the sun will result in either a lot of blown highlights (there won’t be much detail in the flowing water, but it shouldn’t be a featureless bright white either), or a perfectly exposed waterfall surrounded by dark blocked up shadows. The nice even lighting of an overcast day makes getting good exposures almost easy.
(The image of Garwin Falls, above, is a perfect example of what can happen when part of the falls is in the sun. Because of this there are several spots in the white water of the falls that are much brighter than I’d prefer)
Adventures In Composition.
**Let me start by saying that safety should be your primary concern when around swift running water, especially during the height if Spring runoff, and on the slippery rocks along the riverbank.**
That being said, a willingness to get a little wet, maybe more than a little, can often be the difference between your images being “me-too” copies of every other photograph of that particular waterfall, and being truly unique photographs you can call your own. Always with an eye towards self-preservation, more often than not, I can be found standing, even kneeling, and occasionally sitting, in the water downstream of my chosen waterfall.
Be careful. Be sure to empty your pockets(this one is very important, your iPhone probably won’t enjoy a swim). Give it a try. You’ll dry off on the hike back to the car. Just remember, no photograph is worth risking your safety.
Odds And Ends.
Here are a few pieces of equipment that, while not necessities, can make your waterfall photo adventures easier and more enjoyable.
Remote Shutter Release. Sure you camera’s self timer will work, but a remote means you don’t have to wait for the timer to count down. (Yes I am that impatient).
Knee Pads. My knees aren’t getting any younger and kneeling on stream side rocks and stones doesn’t help. Available at any home improvement store for little money. Not just for waterfalls either, they’re always with me when there’s no snow on the ground. Your knees, and pant legs, will thank you.
Micro Fiber Lens Cloth. If like me you find yourself kneeling in the water below a waterfall you’ll also find yourself dealing with a water drop or two finding its way onto your lens. There is nothing worse than getting home to find that “Winner” image ruined by a water spot in the middle of the frame. Check your lens often, and gently wipe it off.
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.
Canon EOS 7D
Tamron 17-50 f2.8
ISO 100, 1 Second @ f11
Capture Date: 5/19/2012
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
The third time’s the charm, right?
On a recent trip to Great Island Commons in New Castle, NH to photograph sunrise I came across this composition and knew the photo I wanted to make. The barnacle and seaweed covered rocks made a great foreground element, the points of rock on either side lead the way to Whaleback Lighthouse beyond made nice leading lines, the water is given a nice, ghostly appearance and the clouds convey their motion by the 30 second exposure. All I needed was the sun to make it over the horizon in time. The incoming weather front foiled my plans and the tiny hint of color silhouetting the lighthouse was the only “sunrise” I saw.
If at first you don’t succeed…
Attempt #2, foiled again!
Try, try again.
Attempt #3, I didn’t even try, but since I was there…
The black and white really expressed the mood and feel of the scene that day.
Sucker for punishment.
Did I mention it was very windy and very cold on all three attempts? Winter on the New Hampshire coast is a great place to photograph, as long as you don’t mind a little wind and cold. Of course I’m going to try again
File this post under persistence!
Livermore Falls, Campton, NH.
I’ve always loved the patterns and colors in the ice along the cliff and now I’m finally getting around to doing something with this image.
I’m coming to realize that winter might very well be my favorite time of year to make photographs.
Original date of capture: 2/6/2010
Camera body: Canon EOS 40D
Lens: Canon EF 17-40 f4L
iso 100, 40mm, f16 @ 1/4 second.
THIS IS THE YEAR!
I’ve said that before, haven’t I?
Over the last few years, instead of being envious of my friends who ventured into to mountains, returning with spectacular photographs, I was going to hike to the mountain tops to make my own. But there was always something in the way. Lack of proper gear to hike in the frigid, wind-swept mountains, also, while always smoldering, I seemed to lack sufficient “fire” to give me the final push. Always something holding me back.
This is THE year!
With my friend Nate, the summit of Mt. Avalon in New Hampshire was a good place to kick it off.
2013 Is Going To Be A Great Year!
On the eve of the eve of the New Year…
…I finally made it to Nubble Light to photograph it decorated for the Holidays. This is also officially the last image I made from 2012.
It was brutally cold, winds in excess of 30mph(48kph), several shots ruined by car headlights illuminating the island, but it was worth it! Just the right exposure to avoid excessive star trails, I couldn’t ask for more.
Pop-quiz: Who can tell me which constellation is featured in this image? (Without looking at anyone else’s answers )
You’re cutting it close, but there’s still time!
To vote for your favorite image of 2012 that is. Vote HERE, but please read the rules for casting your vote carefully.
WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY, SAFE, AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR!!