Sunday’s Hidden Treasure.

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.

Mist covers the glass smooth water reflecting the clouds that are colored in shades of pink and purple from the rising sun. A small island image left, about a third of the way up frm the bottom has a flag pole with the U.S. flag on it. Among the shoreline trees on the point of land behind the island stands several photographers eagerly awaiting the 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

When It Rains, Get Out And Shoot!

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!

Vertical image looking from the base of Silver Cascade in Crawford Notch State Park, Crawford Notch, New Hampshire. Bright autumn foliage in red, yellow, and orange hues line both sides of this tall, narrow waterfall as it desends out of the mist.

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.

Panoramic image of Lower Falls on the Swift River, Kancamagus Highway, NH. Autumns vibrant colors line the far shore of the river, and upstream of the falls.

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)

Vertical image from the base of Ripley Falls, a red maple leaf rests on a large granit boulder in the foreground

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)

Vertical image of Rocky Gorge on the Swift River in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Vibrant fall foliage can be seen on the far bank above the gorge.  

“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.

An intimate portrait of the gorgeous fall color to be seen in New Hampshire's White Mountains. A small stand of bright white birch trees among the vibrant red, yellow, orange, and remaining green, fall foliage.

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreaming

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

The Challenge That Wasn’t.

Since it seems there is no “official” weekly challenge forthcoming from the powers that be at WP, Ailsa over at Where’s My Backpack? decided to throw down the gauntlet and present us with one.   http://wheresmybackpack.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/reflections/

Reflections.

Here are a few of mine.

Pink Fragrant Water Lily.

Boathouse, Chocorua Lake.

Masts In The Mist

Memorial Remembered.

(The Memorial Bridge, connecting Portsmouth, NH and Kittery, ME has recently been torn down and is slated for replacement).

Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey

I got nothin’

At least I thought I didn’t. I was really drawing a blank for this week’s challenge. In fact I had pretty much given up and was looking forward to Friday for the next challenge so I could redeem myself.

Thanks to Paula, from Lost In Translation, who gave me a “motivational push,” I was able to find something hiding in my archives that I could squeeze in for this week.

The Journey,

Every one begins with a single step, as they say. My journey through the Saco Heath began with a nice stroll through the misty woods before coming to this boardwalk that winds through the bog itself. Before you ask, the walkway is more sturdy than it seems, but I did have to watch my step. Since I had timed my visit to coincide with the rhodora bloom, I was willing to brave a few rotten boards. I couldn’t have asked for better conditions either. The mist and fog were perfect for photography in a bog.

Saco heath bog, Saco, ME.

Thanks for the push Paula, this one’s for you!