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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Camera Body: Canon EOS 1D Mk IIN
Lens: Canon 70-200 f4L non-IS
ISO 400, f11 @ 0.5 seconds.
Original capture date: Oct. 3, 2010
You have until January 5th, 2013 to cast your vote for your favorite JSP image of 2012. You can win print of it too! Details HERE.
New England at its finest!
There are four reasons I love being a photographer in New Hampshire.
As is typical of New England weather, the stream-side rocks and surrounding forest was covered in 6 inches of late April snow the day before I made this photo. The remnants of which can be seen is the forest beyond the stream.
In the summer, sunrise comes too early, and sunset too late, but there are flowers, oh yes, plenty of flowers. Whether in my yard, deep in the woods, or waist deep in a pond, flowers of all kinds are one of my top choices for photographic subjects.
The colors of Autumn, there is no single better reason than Autumn’s glorious color to live and photograph in New England!
My second favorite season, after Autumn, Winter provides some of the best photographic opportunities. As long as you’re willing to brave the cold.
My first thoughts are of Spring, and new growth. But with Winter rapidly approaching, and the snow that will hopefully come with it, the vibrancy of Spring green is a long way off.
However, several of the images below were captured in the dead of winter.
For those of you thinking “I’d like to create amazing photographs but I don’t have a big fancy DSLR.” Take a close look at the image of my friend Melissa sprawled out on the ice. That’s a Canon G11 in her outstretched hands. Now take a look at the images she makes with it, here. I often envy her ability to put all her gear in her pocket when we get together to shoot.
Canon EOS 1D Mk IIN
Canon 16-35 f2.8L
16mm, iso 100, 0.6 seconds @ f11
Buried treasure, hidden gems, forgotten images.
Beginning today, I’m starting a new weekly series titled, you guessed it, “Sunday’s Hidden Treasure.”
I love to make photographs, and I make a lot of them. That’s not to say I’m a “spray and pray, hope for the best” photographer. I am quite deliberate when I press the shutter. However, I am also big on experimentation, unconventional angles, compositions, when everyone else’s cameras are pointing up, mine will be pointing down, etc., so I shoot a lot.
Usually only one or two favorite photos from a day’s shoot catch my eye. I’ll then enhance them to my liking, to then be shared with the world. The other photos, many of them as good, for whatever reason go forgotten as I move on the next shoot.
This series is dedicated to those images that are overlooked. The “Hidden Treasure” buried deep, lost and forgotten, on my hard drive.
Without further delay, this weeks Hidden Treasure.
This weeks Hidden Treasure is an intimate portrait of Garwin Falls in Wilton, NH. Captured on 9/15/2012
(Click on image for a larger view)
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Tamron 17-50 f2.8 with B+W CPL filter
Settings: 23mm, iso 100, 13 seconds@f8
Are there any Hidden Treasures waiting to be rediscovered on your hard drive?
Go on a treasure hunt, you may be surprised at what you might find. I’d love to see what you come up with.