From late October through most of November, the most gorgeous golden light passes through the woods on the side of the road to my house. So far this is the best I’ve done to capture it. Taken back in 2008, only a few months after I bought my first camera, this is also my first attempt at HDR, not half bad if I do say so myself.
Canon EF 24-70 f2.8L
ISO 100, 45mm, f8 @ 1/100
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.
Dedicated to Valentina. She asked to see more abstract images, and I’m happy to oblige. Enjoy!
North American Moose (Alces alces).
They can stand almost 7 feet (2.1 meters) at the shoulder, and an adult bull can weigh anywhere between 840 and 1,500 lbs (380-700kg).
So yes, BIG!
For anyone wondering, yes this is a 100% wild moose, and yes I was very close. In fact, since I had to step out of his way as he went to cross the road. Moments after the last shot in my previous post was taken, he passed by close enough that I could have reached out and touched his antler.
If you have any questions about my encounter with this wonderful guy, or any other photography related questions, please feel free to ask.
Grand mountain vistas, spectacular Autumn color, and a beautiful mountain top sunset,
are what I wanted for my trip to the White Mountains to capture fall foliage images this past Sunday, but what I got was rain. Not a heavy rain, but on and off, mostly on, showers all day long. And when it wasn’t raining, there was always a steady drizzle. Not that I minded much, the color in norther New Hampshire was spectacular! And the overcast conditions really made the colors all the more vibrant and saturated. The colors were popping in the Whites, that’s for sure!
Silver Cascade, Crawford Notch, NH.
(Arguably the most spectacular falls in the White Mountains that you can see from your car).
Stay home where it’s dry?
Not likely. With a tight schedule, and a short window of opportunity for the best fall color in White Mountains, I wasn’t about to let a little rain put a damper on my plans. I packed a few towels, several plastic bags of various sizes, and I headed north.
As soon as it became clear that the weather wasn’t going to cooperate, one word popped into my head, “Waterfalls!” New Hampshire’s White Mountains are loaded with waterfalls of all shapes and sizes. I haven’t photographed many of them, and none of them in Autumn, so if I couldn’t capture the mountain top sunset I had hoped for, then a few nice waterfalls surrounded by some spectacular Autumn color would have to do.
Lower Falls on the Swift River, Albany, NH.
(Not quite peak color yet. In the summer, Lower Falls is a very popular swimming hole, and the rocks and water would be covered in people)
Ripley Falls, Hart’s Location, NH.
(This was my first visit to Ripley Falls, but unfortunately it was a short one. Since the rain was getting a little heavier, I took off my sweatshirt and grabbed my rain jacket. All day long I was constantly using a micro-fiber cloth to wipe rain drops off the front of my lens. I kept the cloth in the front pocket on my sweatshirt, guess where it stayed after the wardrobe change. I was only able to make three exposures before I lost the battle with rain drops on my lens. This was the only “keeper.” In an effort to keep the rain at bay, I held my hat over the lens, so of the three exposures I made, one had my fingers in it, and another had the bill of my hat, both deleted)
“No Swimming.” Rocky Gorge, Swift River, Albany, NH.
(My favorite image from a wet day in the mountains, and my favorite so far of Rocky Gorge).
Tips for shooting in the rain.
Keep it dry, as much as possible anyway. Unless you have a weather sealed camera body and lenses, try to keep as much moisture from them as possible. While there are many commercially available rain covers on the market, I went the DIY route with large clear plastic bags to help keep the elements at bay. Though if it was only a light drizzle, I just kept a had towel with me to periodically wipe the camera down. I also took the camera out of whatever bag or “rain cover” it had been in and set it on a towel on the car seat while driving between locations, giving the camera a chance to dry out a bit.
Keep a micro-fiber cloth handy, and use it. Constantly check the front element of your lens for water droplets. There isn’t much worse than having to delete that “winner” shot because you didn’t notice the water drop on the lens.
Use a circular polarizer when shooting on rainy, foggy days. It will help remove the glare from wet foliage, and really make the colors pop.
Finally, if it isn’t already, get your gear insured. Adding it to your homeowners or renters insurance is pretty cheap, and takes some of the stress out of shooting in potentially camera killing conditions, knowing that should anything go wrong your gear is covered.
Focus on the intimate.
With even the lowest peaks in the White Mountains with their heads in the clouds, grand scenic images were all but impossible. A good idea is to focus on small portraits of the beautiful color before your eyes.
Be careful, use your head, but most of all, don’t let a little rain keep you from that fall color. It’s only here for a very short time, enjoy it while you can.
This is also part of Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Challenge, the theme is Foliage. You can see more entries here.
I Love To Make Photographs…
…but I hate the time spent behind the computer once the image has been captured. Time behind the computer is at best, time away from the camera, and at its worst, time away from my family. I’d much rather be out shooting or spending time with my wife and daughter, than working on photographs.
So, that is why I”ve tried to make my time in the “digital darkroom” as quick and painless as possible with presets and plugins. My photo editing software consists of Lightroom 3 (Lightroom 4 is the current version now available), and Nik Software’s Complete Collection for Lightroom. I have absolutely no desire to become a post processing wiz, in fact, I’m perfectly happy in my “photoshop ignorance.” I want to be in and out and done with a photo in 5-10 minutes, tops! It’s also why I’m brutal when it comes to deleting images, but that a story for another time.
Hi, My Name Is Jeff, And I’m A Lazy Post Processor.
First, I have to say that I do not subscribe to the “I can fix it in Photoshop” school of thought. I believe in getting it right in camera as far as exposure and composition goes. I don’t try to “rescue” crappy photos, I delete them.
I do know how I want my final image to look though, but do I care how I achieve that look after capture? No, not at all. To me the end results are all that matters. That is why I rely so heavily on Lightroom presets, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of free presets available with a quick Google search*, and Nik plugins. Since I started using the Nik software however, my use of Lightroom presets has dropped considerably. Once I correct white balance, if I need to, set my blacks, lens corrections, and capture sharpening, it’s off to one of the Nik plugins. Usually, the first stop is Viveza 2. The control you have over every aspect of the image in Viveza is phenomenal. With Nik’s Control Point Technology, you can correct the color, brightness, contrast, white balance, and more, of an individual color and have the effect as locally or as broadly applied as you wish. Next, it’s off to Color Efex Pro 4. With 55 filters along with a long list of recipes(multiple filters applied together), there is no end to the look you can achieve.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Is mastering image editing software part of becoming a “complete” photographer? Or are you like me and just want to realize the image you envision when you press the shutter, as quickly and easily as possible?
* Here’s a great source of free presets for Lightroom to get you started.
A New Twist on The Photo Challenge.
I love a challenge, and the chance to win free stuff!
The folks over at TravelSupermarket.com have come up with a Capture The Colour photo challenge. The object is to post five travel photos showing the colors blue, green, yellow, white, and red. Well I don’t travel much outside the New England area, and even that is pretty much restricted to New Hampshire and Maine. I was given the heads-up about this challenge by The Retiring Sort, and figured “what have I got to lose?” The prizes are pretty good too, and if all I have to do to enter is share a few photos, I’m in.
If you’re planning a visit to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and a drive up Mt. Washington is on your itinerary, why not make it a sunrise drive. The auto road to the summit is opened several times over the summer for people to be able to witness sunrise from the summit of the “Home of the worlds worst weather.”
The White Mountains of New Hampshire are full of waterfalls in all shapes and sizes. The one above, Silver Cascades, is located just off Rt. 302 in Crawford Notch State Park. The mist that hung in the air the morning I made this photo added a dream-like quality to the image.
For the motor sports fans, here in New Hampshire we have New England Dragway, where “Hell Camino” was photographed. Personally, I enjoy the pit area, over the actual racing, for all the rolling works of art on display. We also have Lee USA Speedway, Star Speedway, and for the NASCAR fans there’s New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Whether it’s a quarter-mile at a time, or lap after lap, there’s plenty of go-fast fun for the whole family.
One of my favorite destinations in the White Mountain National Forest, Pondicherry National Wildlife Refuge offers spectacular views of the Presidential Range. An easy 2+ mile hike along an old railroad bed brings you to this wonderful area.
Nothing can compare to the vibrant reds, along with the yellows and oranges, of Autumn in New Hampshire. People come from the world over the see the explosion of color blanketing the mountains during the peak of the Fall foliage season.
Here are the 5 people I’m inviting to give it a shot.