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.
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!)
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!
This weeks weekly photo challenge theme is “My 2012 In Pictures.”
Well as luck would have it I had already done a post of my favorites from the past year HERE. Let me tell you, it wasn’t an easy task narrowing it down to 20 for that post!
Never one to pass up a challenge, here are another dozen, give or take, images from the past year that I’m rather pleased with.
Don’t forget, there’s still time to vote for your favorite image that I’ve shared this year!
Details and rules (Please read them carefully) are HERE.
What a year!
2012 has been an unbelievable year. I’ve created more commissioned work for others, and more of my work is finding its way onto people’s walls. I also feel I’m continuing to learn and grow as a photographer. I’d like to share with you my favorite 12 images from the past year.
(For this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge theme: Surprise. The “surprise?” I can’t count, my favorite 12 of 2012 is actually 20! Enjoy!)
Didn’t see your favorite Jeff Sinon Photography image? Well then click HERE and cast your vote and you could you see it in the upcoming “Fan Favorites Of 2012,” AND you’re vote automatically enters you in a chance to win an 8″ x 12″ copy for your very own. Contest details and rules here
The oops, sorry I’m late, Monday edition.
Rye Harbor State Park, Rye, NH
Canon EOS 1D Mk IIN
Canon EF 50mm f1.4
iso 100, 1/4 second @ f11
Awaiting The Launch.
Not long after sunrise, large groups of photographers gather for the morning launch of the hot air balloons at the 2010 Pittsfield, NH Hot Air Balloon Festival.
Canon EOS 1D Mk IIN
Canon EF 50mm f1.4
iso 100, 6 seconds @ f11
Angle, Line, Architecture.
My first thoughts for this weeks theme, buildings, bridges, and other man-made structures. Not the usual focus of my photography, but from time to time I will include the man-made.
Enjoy this gallery of my take on geometry.
The First National Park East Of The Mississippi River.
Over the July 4th holiday my family and I finally made it to Acadia National Park. It’s a place I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. A quick drive through the park on our first day however, told me the four days we were going to be there would not be nearly enough time to uncover all Acadia has to offer.
It’s going to take many visits throughout the seasons to fully enjoy, and photograph, this wonderful National Park.
Here are a few of the scenes I was able to capture on my much too brief visit.
Seen here from just past Monument Cove on the Park Loop Road, Otter Cliffs is one of the first places in the U.S. to receive the suns rays in the morning. Often photographed, Otter Cliffs and this section of shore line, along with its amazing natural stone-work, yields composition possibilities too many to fathom. While the subject may be the same, with so many possibilities for composing an image, making this place your own should require little effort.
The Cadillac Mountain Sunrise Club.
No trip to Acadia would be complete without a trip to the summit of the tallest peak on the eastern seaboard. For almost half the year, from early October to early March, Cadillac Mountain is the first place in the United States to see the rising sun.
Here, a family sits looking out over the Porcupine Islands in Frenchman’s Bay, patiently awaiting the rising sun.
And The Crowd Sang Out.
Membership in the Cadillac Mountain Sunrise Club has but one requirement: experience sunrise from the top of the mountain. Not too tough, as long as you’re willing to get up early enough, and in the summer that means around 3:30 a.m., and be at the summit in time to greet the sun.
As the sun crested the horizon, the members of the Cadillac Mountain Sunrise Club, their numbers many and who had sat there peacefully, surprised me with a loud cheer! Hearing it brought a smile to my face and made me want to shout out as well. An outstanding start to the new day.
The club was much less exclusive than I had thought. Normally when I’m out shooting a sunrise I have the place all to myself. Or at least the only other people there are a few other dedicated photographers willing to forego sleep in pursuit of the perfect sunrise. On Cadillac there were dozens of people, many dozens. While I was the first one there that morning, I’m sure if I had gone back to the parking lot I would have found it full to over-flowing. Only on Mount Washington in New Hampshire have I seen a larger crowd up this early eagerly awaiting the sun.
The sun just crests the horizon with Frenchman’s Bay and the Porcupine Islands in the foreground.
And Then I Was Alone.
Or so it seemed. The sun was fully above the horizon, and the light going fast, by 5:30 a.m. Too early to head back to my campsite and wake my wife and daughter, so I lay back on the pink granite slope to relax and enjoyed the morning. By 6 a.m. I had the summit of the mountain all to myself, there wasn’t another human being around. But I soon found I was not alone. As I began my descent, this lovely whitetail doe was kind enough to pose for me.
Whitetail doe on the slopes of Cadillac Mountain.
Bridges Of Stone.
In the park there are 45 miles of gravel carriage roads, built between 1913 and 1940, and financed by John D. Rockefeller Jr. as a gift to the park. The roads are only open to foot, bicycle, and horse traffic. These carriage roads often travel over one of the 17 stone faced bridges, 16 of which were also financed by Mr. Rockefeller, found throughout the park. This one below, on Stanley Brook Drive, with its three arches and amazing detail, is my favorite of the ones I’ve seen so far.
One of the 17 stone face bridges in Acadia National Park.
Not Just For Photographers.
Acadia National Park offers opportunities not just for photographers but for outdoor enthusiasts of all types, from hiking, cycling, horse-back riding, swimming (if you dare brave the frigid Atlantic), and rock climbing. Otter Cliffs is a popular destination for the latter. Myself, I’ll photograph it safely from a distance, thank you very much.
Rock climbers on Otter Cliffs.
I have only had the chance to process a few of my Acadia images. As I work my way through the rest I’m sure I’ll be sharing a few more. In the mean time, if you find yourself in New England, Acadia National Park is well worth the visit.
Third times a charm.
June 24th, 2012 was going to be the day I photographed sunrise from the summit of Mt. Washington, NH. The mountain on the other hand was not informed of this plan and did its best to thwart the effort.
The tallest peak in the Northeastern U.S., Mt. Washington’s claim to fame is being “Home to the worlds worst weather,” where on April 12, 1934 a wind gust of 231 mph was recorded, a record for the highest wind speed measured on the earth’s surface that stood for 76 years, until 1996 when Cyclone Olivia snatched the record away. The summit is also shrouded in fog an excess of 300 days a year.
Somewhere in that cloud is the summit.
Not far after we passed the 5 mile mark on the auto road, we were directed to a pull-out, the summit was completely fogged in and it was suggested we go no further. From past experience, I wasn’t going to argue. The first time fellow photographer Denise Ryan and I tried for a summit sunrise, we waited hopefully as the fog teased us with the possibility of clearing. It didn’t. As I recall, neither one of us pressed the shutter button that day. Lesson learned, if the summit is in the clouds, head down.
A tough act to follow.
On this years adventure I was accompanied by John Vose of Jericho Hills Photography. John’s wildlife photography is outstanding, take a look when you get a chance.
Anyway, this year I was going to better last years photographs, plain and simple. Easy right? The first two images in last weeks Weekly Challenge post are from last years attempt at sunrise on the “Rock pile,” as Mt Washington is affectionately known. Shouldn’t be too hard to top those, just be on the mountain for sunrise, piece of cake.
Not so much as it turns out. Remember those 300+ days I mentioned, this was one of them. The clouds obscuring the sun to the east weren’t any help either.
To say I was disappointed would be an understatement, at least initially. The sunrise was a non event, with clouds off to the east all but blocking out the sun, add to that not being able to get as high on the mountain as I would have liked, and almost all my enthusiasm was gone. My unrealistic expectations for coming away with photographs topping last years was in hindsight, foolish. I shouldn’t have even been trying to “top” last years photos, I should have concentrated on making this years. Looking at the images from this year, on their own, I’ve become pleased with the results. The sky may not be as dramatic as last year, but overall I think the the images are basically good.
In a first for me, I’ve actually included a person in one of my photographs.
“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
- Ansel Adams
All the photos below were made, “created” if you will, not simply taken.
To me, taken implies I just showed up and happened to be pointing my camera in the right direction at the right time. Made however, conveys the effort that went into the creation of the photograph. From choosing the subject and composition, to the willingness to be on location at 3 in the morning or kneel in an icy mountain stream, all to capture the image you have envisioned.
Moments before sunrise from just below the summit of Mt. Washington, NH
As the sun peaks above the horizon, it sets the sky on fire. Mt Washington, NH
A foggy sunrise over New Hampshire’s granite coast. Rye, NH.
Early light over the salt marsh at Odiorne Point, Rye, NH (9 image pano)
My suggestion to you is to get out there and create!
Life depends on it. As a photographer, I live to chase it. Without its golden glow, photography as we know it would be lacking.
With it, the flowers grow.
Not there, and yet, there.
Even when not within the frame of the image, the suns presence and impact is both seen and felt, adding drama to the landscape.
For the birds.
Even wildlife seems to eagerly await the dawn of each new day.
The end is near.
The sun sets, and the anticipation of its arrival the next morning begins.