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
Hiking to the summit of a small mountain for the first time, in the dark, and watching this view unfold as the sun comes up. Makes me forget just how early 3:30 a.m. is.
To top it off, I ran into a group of young men at the summit who happened to be from my hometown in Connecticut. What are the odds?
Driving down from the above mountain, and seeing this view. If this doesn’t say “Autumn in New England,” nothing does.
Since it was quite dark, and I was paying more attention to the directions to the mountain, I never noticed this church, which the road went right by. So this was a very pleasant surprise on my return trip.
Successfully, I think, using subject motion, reflections, and camera motion during exposure, to create abstract images showing the fall color in a less conventional way.
The one image that made the entire day for me.
This fine gentleman caused quite a stir along Rt 302 in Crawford Notch. Traffic came to a stand still as crowds gathered to get a photo. Seemingly unfazed by all the fuss, this bull moose started walking directly towards me to cross the road. Obviously, I was standing in the best spot for a moose to cross the road, and he had every intention of using it. I graciously stepped aside as he passed by close enough for me to touch.
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.
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.
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.
Attempt Number One.
I love living on a lake, no surprise there. When I got my first camera, four years ago this month actually, one of the first things I knew I wanted to photograph was a sunrise over the lake. So one morning I grabbed my camera and tripod and went down to the beach closest to our house. There are a few boulders just a few feet from shore that I knew would be just the thing for that all important foreground element.
Being new to photography then, I figured all I needed to do was be there around sunrise, point my camera in the general direction of the rising sun, and wa-la, award-winning sunrise. Well it didn’t take long for that bubble to burst and realize that it takes just a bit more than that.
This is my first attempt, more of a “blue hour” photo than a true sunrise, but the clouds came in and this was as clear as it got.
It’s also pretty obvious, to me at least, that at this point in my journey to becoming a photographer I needed to learn a thing or two about composition as well.
My second effort didn’t turn out much better. If it wasn’t for the fisherman in the boat I’m not sure I would have kept the two images from this particular morning that have so far escaped the delete key. Not the most horrible photo I’ve ever made, but I don’t see any awards or sales orders in its future either. I do love the golden glow on the rippled surface of the lake though, so there is that going for it.
Third time’s the charm. I was all set to head to the seacoast in the morning, but just didn’t feel like getting up early enough to make it for sunrise. So I settled one more time on the lake.
One of the biggest reservations I have about putting much effort in shooting this lake is the utter featurelessness (is that even a word?) of the far shoreline. It looks like someone took a giant pair of hedge trimmers and went nuts. Not a hill or mountain in sight, just a straight, flat treeline. I was going to need a great sky, along with my already chosen foreground element to make it work to my satisfaction.
Yesterday morning it happened! And I almost missed it, can you believe that? I got up at 5 a.m., stepped out on the deck, looked up, seeing mostly clouds I seriously considered going back to bed. Then, while having my coffee I looked through the trees toward the lake and saw the horizon to the east was open. Not much, but enough to make me grab my tripod and camera bag and make a fast walk to the closest of our beaches. Knowing that with only a sliver of open sky at the horizon, things could be spectacular, but they would happen fast and be over quickly, I didn’t waste any time getting to the water’s edge.
Mother nature did not disappoint, and the sky lit up just as I had hoped. It also came and went as quickly as I had anticipated, so I was glad I picked up the pace when I did. At best, I had 7-10 minutes of the most glorious sky I have yet to photograph over “our” lake. And the reflection on the surface of the lake, I’ll just let the photograph speak for itself…
And to think I almost drove an hour to the coast…
Time to gloat.
Sorry, I can’t help it. For those of my blog followers not following me on Facebook as well, (we’ll get to the why on THAT in the future ), I just had to share this. I have just received what I consider a glowing critique of one of my favorite photographs from one of my favorite photographers. Recently, Jerry Monkman, who writes regularly for Outdoor Photographer magazine, and others, and has many books to his credit, featured this photo, “First Light On The Auto Road,” for the image critique for the Week 5 Composition – Perspective, Depth, and Scale assignment. To have someone at his level in the “photography game” take notice and have, what I consider at least, nothing but good things to say about one of my photographs…
Well, I gotta go, cause it’s time for more Happy Dance!
FYI, following one of Jerry’s suggestions in his critique I brightened the road just a touch with the adjustment brush in Lightroom 3.
Is a cascading stream in the New Hampshire forest.
Watching the sun peak over the horizon as ghostly waves caress the cobbled granite shore.
A mother and her young.
2011 was a great year for me. I’m writing a blog, and this more than anything else really took me by surprise. I absolutely hated writing when I was in school, go figure. The Jeff Sinon Photography website is up and looking better all the time, and I have a Facebook fan page, almost 100 fans and still growing, Hint, Hint . If someone had told me five years ago that I would be doing any of this, I would have suggested they get their head examined.
This past year has also been a year of new friendships. Through my photography I have met many outstanding photographers, several of whom are becoming close friends. A few are regular companions as I travel the back roads and back woods of New Hampshire searching for new images to make. All have helped me see in new ways, and to grow as a photographer. To these wonderful people I say, Thank You.
To celebrate my first anniversary, I want to share some of my favorite images from the past year. In roughly chronological order, here are 25 of the images that I am most proud of from 2011.
Or, why it takes me forever to share images from a shoot.
At least it should anyway. I love to share my images, plain and simple. Ever since the first person complemented me on my photography I can’t get enough. Who doesn’t like a great big boost to the ego every once in a while, right? Usually, because I would rather be behind the camera than behind the computer, the images have a chance to sit on my hard drive for a while, waiting for me to step back and look at them with a more critical and less emotional eye. Then I’ll choose what I feel are the best from that day. After a shoot, I will import them into Lightroom right away, and go through and delete the obvious garbage. My images live in fear of the delete key, and I am brutal. Not only do the out of focus, poor composition, and “what the hell was I thinking,” experiments get the boot, but if they don’t meet my personal “is it print worthy?” standard, they are gone. Not too many images getting a free ride on my hard drive, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, every once in a while I’m so excited about what I have captured that I just blast through the editing process, and in my rush to judgement pick the wrong image to show. I’ll also often pick an over processed version to show, but that is a subject for another day.
The two images here are prime examples of this. After coming back from a sunrise shoot on Mt Washington this past July, I thought I struck personal gold with the above photograph. Then, as I was doing a little housekeeping in my Lightroom catalog I came across the image below. The first thing to cross my mind was, Wow! Followed very quickly by the realization that this image was considerably better than the above. Just the sheer drama in the sky made for a better image. I also find that different choices during post processing can make or break the final photograph, and here is no exception. Admittedly, while I think both of the images are good, I do feel the second one is much better, if for no other reason than the more dramatic sky.
Take a look at the image below and let me know if you agree.
I’m always amazed at how fast some of the friends I shoot with get their photos out, be it on their blog, on facebook, flickr, etc. For me, for the time being at least, I’m going back to my foot-dragging when it comes to sharing images from a day’s shooting. I feel this will give me the emotional detachment from the photographs and avoid a rush to judgement.
To the people who may have been with me that day, sorry, you’ll just have to wait to see my version of what we shot that day.
You know the old saying, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well I did just that after my last trip to the New Hampshire seacoast to photograph the sunrise.
My shooting partner that day was none other than Kris, The Wicked Dark chick herself. Based on the weather forecast, both of us had hoped for a sky full of dramatic clouds to give us a gorgeous, colorful sunrise just begging to be photographed. I should have known the morning wasn’t going to work out as planned when I couldn’t find the location I had spotted on my drive along the coast the previous day. Those of you with kids know how much of a challenge location scouting can be when they just want to get some lunch. So after our little detour, we ended up along the coast just south of Odiorne Point state park.
There we where we were greeted by the third guest to our little party, the fog. It was pretty obvious that we weren’t going to get the dramatic sunrise we had both dragged ourselves out of bed to capture, so it was time for some lemonade. The sun filtered through the fog combined with the smokey water created by the long exposure, made for a successful morning on the coast, and some tasty “lemonade”.