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!!
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.
Give the gift that lasts all year long.
It’s that time of year again, the time for holiday gift giving. What better way to do it than to give the gift of local art. Since nobody really wants to fight the crowds on “Black Friday,” just to buy the same gift a thousand others have bought (do they?), why not give a unique, one of a kind piece of art from a local artist or crafts-person?
Starting today, November 20, and lasting through December 10, I’m offering 20% off site wide with the coupon code: BLACK20. That’s 21 days of Black Friday savings!
Thank you, BUT…
Here’s the important part. While I would be very appreciative should you choose to give one of my images as a gift this Holiday season, the main point of this post is this:
BUY LOCAL ART!!
Support your local photographer, painter, woodworker, sculptor, well you get the idea. Avoid the Mall and the Big Box stores, support the arts and BUY LOCAL!
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.
1) taken, passed, or performed without companions.
2) occurring singly and not as part of a group or cluster.
Often, but not always, my best work is created while I’m alone. While I enjoy the company of others, I find that solitude is much more beneficial to my creative process. I’m not saying these images represent my best work, but to me they do represent “solitary.”
Amidst the clouds, a solitary photographer near the summit of Mt. Washington, NH.
A mute swan rests, solitary as it seemingly admires its reflection, Durham, NH.
Solitary in the sand dunes, a snowy owl enjoys the early sunlight at Hampton Beach State Park, NH.
My Every Day Life.
Part of my every day life, the most important part, my daughter Nicole.
I’ve made several photographs of the Cape Neddick (Nubble) Lighthouse in York, Maine.( Along with every other person who has ever set foot in the state of Maine ). I’ll never make a better one than this. Nicole and her iPhone, shooting the waves. She is my every day life.
Each month at the New England Photography Guild we randomly select one lucky person to receive a free matted 5″ x 7″ print, donated by the artist of the month. For the month of August, that artist was yours truly
And the lucky winner is:
Elaine Somers of Rockport Massachusetts.
Here is the image Elaine chose as her prize,
Straight out of “Landscape Photography 101.”
Now here’s a theme I can sink my teeth into. A strong foreground element starts your visual journey into the photograph, with the main subject in the distance, the destination.
(from my favorite water-lily hot spot)
Winters Cold Embrace.
(I was particularly drawn to the apparent reflection, rendered in ice and snow, of the distant mountain)
A soon as I read the theme for this week I knew which photo I was going to use. This red tail hawk was a most wonderful and patient subject. He / she posed for me for almost an hour, then as if we could read each others minds, as I was finishing up with my last photos, it took flight.
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.
As Urban As I Get.
This weeks WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Urban.” Since I had already made plans to head into Portsmouth, NH today (Saturday) anyway, I was in luck. Also, since I would rather have a root canal than step foot into a “real” city, Portsmouth would have to do.
The weather wasn’t completely cooperative this morning, and fog prevented me from getting several of the photos I was hoping for. All in all, still worth the effort.
Portsmouth is an “artsy” town, even the graffiti is top-notch.
Okay, maybe not ALL the graffiti is top-notch.
Nothing says New England…
…like a towering white steeple above downtown. Unfortunately the fog made for less than inspiring skies as a backdrop.
Not a bad way to get around town.
I hope these images were “Urban” enough for you.
Where The Sand Merges With The Sea.
The Merge Of Man And Nature.
The Merge Of Exposures
I’ve been playing around with Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro 2, and for this image a preset called “Sinister” seemed appropriate.
A Note Of Full Disclosure.
I wish to mention here, that as a member of the Nik Software affiliate team, every time a reader clicks a Nik Software link in a post, or the Nik Software banner on the sidebar, I get credit for it. Should you make a purchase I receive a small commission. I need to make clear that I will never be mentioning, or recommending any product on this blog if I don’t use it myself and believe strongly that the product is of potential value to my readers.
With the Nik software, I felt it was such a great product that I wanted to be able to offer my readers a way to save on its purchase. Therefore, you will save 15% off of all Nik products by entering the code: JSINON when making a purchase.
All Three Of Them.
- At night, even if I wasn’t trying to capture the movement of the water fountain, I’d need a long exposure for this scene due to the low light. That means tripod -
If you want consistently sharp, well composed photos, buy a tripod. I don’t care how advanced the image stabilization is in your camera or lens, nothing will aid you more in making sharper photographs than having your camera mounted securely on a good sturdy tripod.
As for how a tripod can aid in composition, for me it’s simple, it slows me down. Setting up the tripod gives me time to think about the composition possibilities before me, and not just stumbling upon a scene and then, “Ooh pretty, click, click, click.” off to the next spot. The slower I work, the more thought I put into the image, the better the results. Every time!
Not Just Another Accessory.
- I don’t care who you are, a 61 second exposure, like the one above taken in Acadia National Park, is pretty darn tough to do hand-held. The water and the clouds wouldn’t be the only thing soft silky if I attempted to hand hold this shot.-
Most people new to photography are giddy with excitement when they get their new camera. But the lowly tripod barely gets a second thought, if it gets any thought at all. They can’t wait to get out there and start taking pictures, but when their first sunset doesn’t come out nearly as sharp as it should, they wonder why.
As far as I’m concerned, a tripod is not an optional “accessory,” something to maybe buy later on, but an essential piece of gear for anyone interested in nature and landscape photography. For me a tripod is a must, not a maybe.
- Soft flowing water and sharp stream side forest, all because I used a tripod.-
I make a lot of photographs in situations where it would be impossible to get the shot I want without a tripod mounted camera. Think low light, and long exposures. If I’m trying to photograph a stream for instance, I want the silky look to the moving water that only a long exposure can give. But the boulders in the stream, and the trees along the stream bank need to be tack sharp, not just as blurry as the water.
A tripod allows the long, 2 to 30 second (often longer) exposures that I need to blur the moving water, while holding the camera perfectly still to capture the other elements of the scene in sharp detail.
Three Legs For Three Shots.
- The above image is a three shot HDR image processed in Nik’s HDR Efex Pro 2 -
Another good reason to use a tripod is HDR photography. Basically, for those who have been living in a cave for the last few years, HDR or High Dynamic Range, is the blending of usually three, sometimes more, photographs, each exposed to capture detail in a different part of the scene, from shadows to highlights, to create one final image. In every instance I can think of, you want all the images to be perfectly aligned to get the best final image.
You Have Got To Be Joking, Right?
Now comes the painful part.
When it comes to purchasing a tripod you have three choices, cheap, light, and strong, you can have any two. I thought I was going to have a stroke when I started looking into purchasing my first “real” tripod. So, as many before me have done, I went cheap.
The aluminum tripod I first bought was dirt cheap, and light weight. The problem was that it was about as sturdy as a wet noodle with my Canon 40D and even a modestly sized lens mounted on it. My next tripod was, I thought, reasonably priced, and very sturdy, even with my largest lens, Canon’s 100-400L. But heavy, oh man was it heavy! Taking it on a long hike was no fun at all. After a few hikes, I knew this tripods days were numbered.
It was time break the bank and get a good tripod. After a LOT of research I decided on the Gitzo GT2541 Mountaineer. It’s light, sturdy, and strong, and it cost more than my first car, yikes!
At less than three pounds once I removed the center column, it was a joy to carry. An added bonus, since I do a lot of shooting in very cold weather, unlike aluminum, the carbon fiber legs didn’t suck the heat right out of my hands on even the coldest days. In fact, I can actually feel the tripod getting warmer in my hand, and not my hand getting colder. With my aluminum tripod, after a short time I could barely feel my fingers.
Things To Look For.
- Overcast day + flowing water = tripod is going to come in handy for the exposure time required for this shot -
There are several factors in deciding what tripod is right for you. First is load carrying capacity. The tripod needs to securely support your camera and the largest lens you plan to mount on it.
Second is weight. If you are only going to walk a few yards from your car, you may not need the lightest tripod you can get. This can also save you money, because a quality aluminum tripod is much less expensive than a carbon fiber one from the same manufacture. If you plan to do a lot of back country exploring, your back and shoulders will thank you for buying the lightest, and strongest, tripod you can afford.
Overall height and number of leg sections are also things to think about. It is recommended that the tripod holds the camera at eye level with the legs fully extended and center column down so you don’t have to hunch over to look through the viewfinder. Also, three leg sections are almost always more sturdy than four in a given support class of tripod.
Very good advice, that I chose to ignore. I never shoot at eye level, how boring is that, everyone shoots at eye level. I’m more likely to need knee pads than a taller tripod, so I chose four leg sections over three, for its shorter, more packable, collapsed length. Plus, since I’m usually shooting from less than conventional positions I almost never extend the fourth, and least stable leg sections anyway. My tripod fits my style of shooting perfectly.
Which brings me to price. There is no way to sugar coat it, buying a quality tripod from one of the major manufactures, like Gitzo, or Really Right Stuff, to name two, especially carbon fiber, is going to hurt, a lot! But when you factor the cost of all the cheap tripods you buy, before you get the one you should have bought in the first place, you will probably have spent almost half the price of a good one. Ask me, I’ll tell you all about it.
Three Legs, Three Final Answers.
Yes, a good tripod is a worthwhile investment. Yes, I never leave mine at home. And yes, I think it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to have captured the photographs in this post without a tripod.
I usually don’t keep photos that I consider “wrong”. But after a little digging I found a few that I felt had some “wrongness” to them, but were otherwise worth saving.
Everything I wanted, and then some.
I broke one of the basic “rules” of photography while capturing the power of the Spring-time flows of the Mad River in Farmington, NH. Can you tell me what is “wrong” with this photo?
I’ll give you a hint. The last thing you should do when framing a shot, just before pressing the shutter. (You may want to click the image to enlarge it to see what’s wrong).
The color is all wrong.
The image below really showcases the power of the Swift River as it flows into Rocky Gorge in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The off-color water caused by recent heavy rains didn’t appeal to me, so…
I thought, “if you don’t like the color, get rid of it all together.” A little time with Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro, and all that I felt was “wrong” with this image was made right.
My latest article for the New England Photography Guild (NEPG), and a reminder on how you can win a free print from one of the very talented photographers of the NEPG.
Click for article > Plan Your Shot With These iPhone Apps.
And now for the good stuff!
Free print of a beautiful New England scene? Who wouldn’t like that?
How would you like a matted, 5″ x 7″ print of a beautiful New England scene, for free? Just a few clicks of your mouse is all it takes to be entered in our monthly drawing. Each month, one lucky winner, drawn at random, will receive a matted 5″ x 7″* print from that months featured photographer. This months featured photographer is Jane Ogilvie, and as luck would have it, September’s featured photographer is ME!
All you need to do to get your name in the drawing is subscribe to the NEPG blog.
No purchase necessary, contest rules can be found here.
* Restrictions apply, see rules for details.
From the debris littered forest floor, each spring brings new growth to one of my favorite wildflower spots.
Lately I’ve garnered a bit of attention from other bloggers. Over the past few months I’ve been nominated for several awards. The Versatile Blogger Award, three times, the Inspiring and Very Inspiring Blogger Award, once each, and a Liebster Award. While I feel it is an honor to have been nominated, I have chosen to, as graciously as possible, decline them all.
While I do think it is an honor that other bloggers feel I’m worthy of such praise, I simply do not have the time to complete the required tasks that come with acceptance of the awards. All of these awards come with certain requirements should I accept. The numbers vary, but they are all variations on the same theme.
Thank the person who nominated me,
Tell 7, 10, a dozen things about myself,
Lastly, nominate 10, 12, 15 other bloggers for the same award.
As it is, I find there are hardly enough hours in the day, without adding to the “to do” list. With a full-time job, a family, Facebook fan page, website, this blog, and trying to add fresh content to each, I already spend so much time at the computer that I often wonder if my wife and daughter remember what I look like. On top of all that is the, time-consuming in its own right, task of actually making the photographs that keep my readers coming back.
All of this may sound ungrateful and that I don’t appreciate the thoughtfulness behind the nominations. I assure you, nothing could be further from the truth. To me however, it is award enough when I read a nice comment left about one of my photographs, or the email notification I get every time someone subscribes to my blog.
In closing I would like to properly and publicly thank all of those outstanding bloggers who felt I was worthy of an award.
My heartfelt thanks go out to:
Vladimir and Johna, from Wind Against Current , for a Versatile Blogger nomination.
Amruta, from Not So Creative, also for a Versatile Blogger nomination.
Cornel, from Words, Versatile Blogger nomination #3.
Sheila, from Shecall, for the Liebster Award
Ioanna, from life portOfolio, for a Very Inspiring Blogger
and lastly, from The Retiring Sort, an Inspiring Blogger award nomination.
Every one of these blogs is worth a read. When you get a minute, pay each of them a visit, you’ll be glad you did.
So, in the future, rather than nominate me for an award, simply stop by and say “Hi!” I’ll be glad you did.
Since it’s my favorite color, of course I have photos that include it.
A Purple Fender
Purple In The Sky
What Is The Point?
When I first became interested in photography, a little over four years ago now, I used to see so many people working on a photo project. 52 this, 365 that, and I wondered, “Why?” What was the point? Aren’t you just going to burn out and start shooting crap photos of whatever happens to be in front of you then just to meet the goal? Seriously, a new photo every day for a year, that’s nuts!
Open The Creative Flood Gates.
Then it clicked. A photo project was a great way to exercise your creativity. By forcing you to create a new image to meet a specific theme or time frame, be it daily or weekly, a self-imposed theme, or one provided for you, it gets you shooting, and that’s never a bad thing. Hopefully all the while your creative drive is in full gear, helping to see things differently in hopes of not “burning out and shooting crap just to meet the challenge.”
Currently, I’m participating in the Lens Pro To Go, 52 Week Photo Project. LPTG is a photography gear rental company based near Boston, MA. My first experience with them has earned them my business for any and all future gear rentals.
I had placed an order for a lens rental through their website, and the next day was contacted to tell me they were out of the lens I wanted, in this case the Canon 17-40 f4L. Would I mind if they upgraded me to the 16-35 f2.8L at no extra charge? Then, because the 16-35 had an 82mm filter thread, and my 77mm circular polarizer wouldn’t fit, they threw in a circular polarizer too, also at no extra charge. That is some serious customer service! Thanks LPTG, you’ve earned a loyal fan!
Now, back to the photo project. The idea was simple enough, they would send out the themes for each week to all who signed up, then by the end of the day on Sunday we all had to post our images to the LPTG 52 Week Photo Project Flickr Group .
There is a lot of great talent sharing to the Flickr Group, well worth a look, so check it out when you get chance.
Rather than simply go digging through my Lightroom catalog to find images that fit the weekly theme, which would defeat the purpose entirely, I decided early on that to get the most out of the challenge I would create images specifically for each week. For the most part I’ve been successful in that, but there have been a few times life has gotten in the way and I’ve used a previously shot photo. But not often.
Aim For Daddy’s Head.
We have just reached week 29, a little more than half way through the 52 weeks, And I think I’ve gotten a lot out of the challenge so far. Below is a gallery of my first 29 photos, a few you may have seen before, most you have not. I had a lot of fun making these, the “Paper Airplane” theme was the most fun. “Aim for daddy’s head,” is what I told my daughter. She laughed, and then did her best to do just that!
So if you’ve been in a creative slump lately, find a photo project to take part in, or make one up for yourself. You might be surprised at how much fun it is.
Dreaming? This is going to be tough.
Images that make me think “Dreaming?” This is going to take some thought. Along with an in-depth search of my Lightroom Library.
Here goes nothing…
A misty morning on my home lake.
My little girl fresh out of the water with a dreamy look on her face.
(I wish I knew where the RAW file for this image is. I have no idea what I did to get the image you see here)
I think this shot through the window of my favorite north country barn has a dreamy quality to it. Maybe not a good dream, but a dream none the less.
(To me, it’s the reflection in the window of the leafless winter trees that lends a creepy feeling to the photo)
A dreamy walk along the pier towards the setting sun.
Sure I might be reaching a bit, taking a little creative license so to speak, but that’s how I like to play.
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.
Movement: The Camera.
In both of these images the camera was moved during exposure. One was completely accidental, the other was created completely on purpose.
Can you tell which was created on purpose, and which was the “accidental art”?
Movement: The Subject, part 1
Generally, when I think of movement in one of my photographs I think water. I am a fan of the soft and silky look that a long exposure gives moving water.
Here are a few examples.
Movement: The Subject, part 2
Next I think of wildlife. It would be nice if they just sat still and posed for the camera, but they don’t always cooperate.
there’s one in every group portrait that won’t sit still
this beaver thought searching for dinner was more important than having its picture taken.