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.
Two winters ago I made my first visit to Tuckerman Ravine in hopes of capturing the bowl bathed in the beauty of alpenglow. This was also my first real winter hike, and even though I wasn’t able to capture the alpenglow as well as I had hoped, I still consider the trip a success.
The view that awaited as the sun came up was worth the sleepless night in a nearby hostel, temps in the teens, and the 3 a.m., lung and thigh burning, 2.4 mile(3.9km) hike (and that’s only to the fence shown in the image. The bowl is another .7 miles(1.1km) further). Ever since getting my first taste of “Tucks,” I’ve been dying to go back!
Same Fence, Different Day.
This years pilgrimage turned out better than I had hoped. My friend Tracy and I, after having left my house at 1 a.m., hit the trail at just after 4 a.m. for our long uphill slog. Only a day earlier and it would have been 3 a.m., but Daylight Savings Time kicked in during our drive and miraculously shot us ahead an hour, but trust me, my body still said it was 3 a.m.!
Anyway, as the sun rose behind us I was ready, and conflicted at the same time. The sunrise taking place behind me was going to be gorgeous! So now I had a decision to make, and it was going to be a tough one. Do I photograph the sure thing? I mean as the sun got closer and closer to making its appearance above the horizon, the sky was getting more brilliant, and the colors more spectacular by the second. I could see it unfolding before my eyes. I was witnessing about as close to a sure thing as there is in landscape photography.
Do I gamble on the alpenglow, that beautiful, elusive pink glow that may or may not materialize? Alpenglow can be fleeting, lasting mere minutes even at the best of times. So do I go with the guaranteed performance taking place behind me, or do I wait for the pink that, if it comes, could be brilliant, brief, or blah?
Pink It Is!
My choice made, I waited. And waited. Was that a hint of pink starting to show on the otherwise blue-ish tint of the pre-dawn mountains? It was! And it was getting brighter! When it reached its peak, the alpengow was beautiful, brilliant, and lasted longer than expected, though still no more than 3-5 minutes. But what a 3-5 minutes it was!
Sometimes it pays to gamble.
Yea, They Ski That Thing!
Tuckerman Ravine is one of the most popular ski destinations in the East. And there aren’t even any chair lifts!
Can you find the skier climbing the wall?
How about now?
Tuck’s has a long a storied history of skiing. And the skiing here is truly for the die-hard, dedicated, and adventurous, as there is no lift service here. It is a 2.4 mile(3.9km) hike carrying pack, skis, and all your other gear on your back, just to the AMC’s Hermit Lake Shelter, and the caretaker’s cabin, together affectionately known as “Ho-Jo’s.” The bowl is another .7 miles(1.1km) still, and you then need to climb about 1,000 ft(305m) to the top from there! Is it steep? With a slope of as much as 55° in places, yes, I’d say it’s steep!
Here’s a video that really shows the popularity of the Ravine. Judging by the crowds, you’d think it was a full lift service ski area.
As the title mentions, avoiding avalanches is a top priority when visiting Tuckerman Ravine. The Ravine has claimed many lives over the years, and while not all of them were lost due to avalanches, in the winter the smart hiker/photographer pays attention to the avalanche forecast. The forecast for last Sunday was listed as “Moderate to Low,” however just the day before it was listed as “Considerable.” If you choose to visit, don’t become a statistic, please heed the warnings!
If You’re Ever In The Neighborhood.
Come and join me in the bowl, you won’t regret it!
(Thank you Tracy for pressing the shutter. Cause goodness knows I can’t run that fast!)
In the ongoing effort to unearth forgotten gems hidden in my catalog of images, here is another Sunday’s Hidden Treasure.
Camera: Canon EOS 40D
Lens: Canon EF 17-40 f4 L
Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec.
Original Capture Date: 2/7/2009
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!
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.
THIS IS THE YEAR!
I’ve said that before, haven’t I?
Over the last few years, instead of being envious of my friends who ventured into to mountains, returning with spectacular photographs, I was going to hike to the mountain tops to make my own. But there was always something in the way. Lack of proper gear to hike in the frigid, wind-swept mountains, also, while always smoldering, I seemed to lack sufficient “fire” to give me the final push. Always something holding me back.
This is THE year!
With my friend Nate, the summit of Mt. Avalon in New Hampshire was a good place to kick it off.
2013 Is Going To Be A Great Year!
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!!
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.
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.
Reflections, times three.
North American Beaver cautiously checking out the guy with the long glass eye.
Louvers and flames meticulously painted on the hood of a hot rod.
Fly fisherman patiently waiting for a trout to rise and take his fly.
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.
Renewal = Spring .
Though it’s hard to imagine, with winters icy grip, and its cold white coating of snow, just around the corner, for me when I think of renewal, I think of Spring. Spring is the time of renewal. Soon after the snow melts the wildflowers will begin to emerge and the young animals and birds will soon begin to be born. A new generation is about to commence.
…to the Spring-time forest near you.
Pink Lady among the birches.
Pink Lady’s Slipper orchid.
The Next Generation.
And soon there will be four.
Canada goose eggs sitting safely in their down lined nest.
A pair of black bear cubs and their sleeping mother.
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)
Water, as a solid, as sculpture, as art.
Spring is almost upon us here in the northern hemisphere, with warm weather, waterfalls, and wildflowers right around the corner. With these warm thoughts in mind, I hope these images send chills down your spine.
Crystal Clear Or Icy Blue.
I love to photograph ice. From frozen waterfalls to stream side ice sculptures, I spend quite a bit if my winter photography time traversing steep icy slopes and laying prone, freezing, freezing in places no man wants to freeze, all in search of the wonders that await when water becomes cold and hard.
Wine glasses, beer bottles, mushrooms, what do you see?
My friend Melissa in one of her favorite positions for making photographs.
For those of you who are now stuck with Vanilla Ice rapping in your head, you are welcome!
Distorted, and then some.
Here are a few, all taken on the same day, on the same small section of stream.
A special thanks to Rochelle, for the updated title / caption of the last image. Hers was much better than mine.
Have you ever been to a location you just couldn’t bring yourself to photograph because every nut and their brother with a camera has photographed it? Well, the Cape Neddick, “Nubble,” Light in Maine is that location for me.
I first came to know of Nubble Light back in the 80′s when I was learning to SCUBA dive. The location is popular with dive instructors due to it’s ease of entry and exit from the water, and the cove is well protected from the often rough sea. In fact, if conditions prohibited safe diving anywhere else, it was always “off to Nubble” if we just had to get wet.
Anyway, back above the waves, and on to the photography part of this post. My biggest reason for not wanting to photograph Nubble Light stems from a desire to be different, to not photograph the same things in the same way everyone else does. And part of the reason that I have resisted the urge to photograph Nubble Light is the limited number of good shooting angles, I would call it a somewhat “compositionally challenged,” location. If you want a view that doesn’t show the utility lines that go to the island the lighthouse sits on, and I don’t want the lines in my image, you only have one basic view of the Light. Yes, you can get creative with some of the large blocks of granite that line the shore, get down low to the water, a little left, a little right, but the view of the Light itself is pretty much the same. I have however seen some extraordinary photographs of the lighthouse, but all the ones that really WOWed! me, did so because of the sky in the photograph. A dramatic sky, such as the tail end of a storm, lit by the setting sun, will certainly make for an impressive image.
I have decided that just because everyone else does it, is not a reason for me not to try to create my own image of Nubble Light, or any other subject or location for that matter. With that goal in mind, I have paid very close attention to the weather lately. And this past Sunday I thought I had it. Looking out over the Long Sands stretch of York Beach as I approached the Light, there was the cloud bank I was looking for. I could “see” how it was going to light up with the rays of the setting sun, the perfect backdrop for my lighthouse image. Unfortunately, as I arrived at the Light it was obvious the clouds were too far out to sea, and therefore too far below the lighthouse to give me the dramatic sky I was hoping for. I was able to capture a nicely colored, pastel pink and blue sky that I feel makes a nice image.
I will go back, and recommend others do the same. Not photographing your “Nubble Light,” just because everyone else has, is never a good reason not to photograph a location you enjoy. It took me a while to come to this realization, I hope others aren’t as slow a learner as I was. I will never not photograph something or somewhere I enjoy, and will always do my best to make it my own when I do.
Kahtoola MicroSpikes, I can’t say enough about them. Short of full on crampons, you will not believe the grip these slip on goodies offer. I picked mine up at the local EMS store for $59.95, which I thought was a very reasonable price. And, when you consider where they will get you, and the images you will be able to create from these harder to reach vantage points, I feel it is money well spent.
They are extremely simple to put on, just find the portion of the red elastomer harness marked “front,”(there is no right or left) slip it over the toe of your shoe and stretch them over the sole. A little adjusting of the chains that hold the spikes may be needed to get them aligned evenly across the bottom of the shoe, but other than that, as simple as pulling on your slippers. I did have one issue while wearing them that resulted in a fall that was not the fault of the MicroSpikes. The problem had two causes. The first was wearing them with my hunting boots, the deeply lugged sole caused the chain to ride deep in the lugs where it was unable to contact the ice. The second was operator error. I would normally try to get a grip on a steep hill by side stepping down while digging in the side of the aggressive boot sole. This caused too much rubber and nowhere near enough nice grippy metal to contact the ice. A less aggressive boot sole combined with placing my foot as flat as possible on the ice would have allowed maximum contact of the spikes to the ice, and prevented a nicely bruised shin at the same time.
I don’t believe these would be ideal for general use such as shoveling the driveway, since I don’t think the spikes would last very long being used on asphalt, and only time will tell home many stretches the elastomer will be good for before breaking. Other than those two reservations I would highly recommend these to the outdoor enthusiast wishing to get off the beaten path, and not let a little frozen water get in the way.