Vertical, Extreme, Motion.

Big Air On The Headwall, Tuckerman Ravine

In order to freeze the motion of this skier as he flys through the air, I used a fast shutter speed.

Camera settings – 100 ISO, F/5.6, 200mm @ 1/1600 sec.

Tuckerman Ravine.

On the shoulders of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington rests one of my favorite places in all of the Granite State. For the past five years I’ve made a pilgrimage into Tuckerman Ravine to photograph the immense head wall of the ravine bathed in the pink-orange of alpenglow.

Looking out over frozen, snow covered Hermit Lake, the headwall and surrounding mountains of Tuckerman Ravine glow in the pink alpenglow as the first rays of the sun hit the snow covered slopes. In the foreground is the weathered cedar fence on the shore of the small lake.

 

This year I wanted to capture something a little different.

Tucks is a must visit destination for extreme skiers from throughout New England. People will drive great distances to ski the infamous runs, The Ice Fall, Hillmans Highway, and Lobster Claw to name but a few. All of the routes are steep, with some sections as steep as 55°, skiing the head wall of Tuckerman is not for the faint of heart or the novice.

This is no lift serviced ski resort either, for that there is Wildcat just up the road from the trail head. To ski Tuckerman Ravine requires dedication and a lot of effort. All skiers must carry their gear up the Tuckerman Ravine trail, with the first stop the Hermit Lake shelter, and then another .7 miles into the base of the bowl, for a total of about 3 miles.

Spring Crowds, Tuckerman Ravine

Once in the bowl is when the real work begins.

Skiers must then climb up the very steep walls of the ravine, often climbing the very run they will ski down, in order to earn their turns.

Climbing For Their Turns

 

 

 

As for the skier in the first photo? Six skiers flung themselves off The Ice Fall while I was there enjoying the sun and the action. Two stuck the landing, skiing down to the roar of the crowd.

The rest, well for them it went something more like this…

skier_face_plant_1414-Edit

 

For all the face plants, yard sales, and ass over tea kettle cartwheeling action, all those with less than perfect landings skied away with nothing but bruised egos and the adoration and cheers of the crowd below.

Making Better Waterfall Photos

Precipitous Plunge

Everyone loves to photograph waterfalls, by clicking HERE, or on the image above, to learn four of my most used tips for making better waterfall photos.

Starry Night.

Loon Island Light.

Starlight Lighthouse

This past Sunday morning, really, really early in the morning, long before the sun was even close to rising, I ventured out onto New Hampshire’s frozen and windy Lake Sunapee. I, along with two camera wielding friends, Garrett Evans, and Tony Baldasaro were out to photograph a lighthouse under the stars. Nothing adds that little extra something to your lighthouse photos like adding the Milky Way to the mix.

It was cold and windy, so windy Tony had to chase down my camera bag, with my Canon 17-40 and 70-200 lenses inside it, as it blew across the lake. Thanks, Tony! if I had been out there alone I’d still be looking for it.

Not long after the rescue of the runaway camera bag, the wind decided that it was time to blow over my tripod. With my camera on it, lucky me! The camera survived without a scratch, my Tokina 11-16 on the other hand is no longer the pristine lens it used to be. Fortunately it’s still alive and kicking, with but one small battle scar from its sudden encounter with the lake ice.

While my lens took a beating, and my stars aren’t quite the pin points I’d like them to be, all in all it was a very good night to be out on the ice and under the starry night sky.

Milky Way Over Loon Island Light

The Reward As Orange Fades To Blue.

Winter Light.

The view at 4,802′.

moosilauke_summit_winter_0724-Edit

There are 48 peaks on the official list of New Hampshire summits with an elevation of over 4,000 feet. Mount Moosilauke is #10 on that list. “The Moose,” is also the western most peak to be included on the list, and one I had yet to climb.

My reward for the effort, a snowshoe hike on a gorgeous brilliant winter afternoon under a clear blue sky, was to watch the sun as it set over windswept mountains and a moonlit hike back to the car.

As orange,

Winter Sunset, Mount Moosilauke

fades to blue.

Capturing Sunset, Photographer On Mt. Moosilauke

Thirds And Symmetry

The First Rule.

Know it.

Frozen Climb

One of the first “Rules” of photography that most people learn when first starting out is the Rule Of Thirds. 

When composing a photograph, visualize a grid across the scene, dividing it into thirds vertically and horizontally. Just like in a game of tic-tac-toe. For a more dynamic composition you should place your main subject at one of the intersections of these imaginary lines or along one of the lines themselves.

You should avoid placing your subject dead center in the frame. In the case of landscape photos you should also avoid placing the horizon through the center of the frame, placing it instead on or near one of the imaginary horizontal lines either 1/3 up from the bottom or 1/3 down from the top.

Pretty simple, right?

Then break it.

Cherry Pond Blue Hour Reflections

Photography rules were made to be broken.

In this case, due to the Symmetry of the reflection, placing the horizon line perfectly centered in the frame works quite well.

What other instances can you think of where you can break the Rule Of Thirds and still make a good photograph? What about using symmetry in your compositions?

Big, But How Big?

Just how grand is that landscape anyway?

Franconia Ridge From Mt. FlumeAre those mountains in the distance some of New Hampshire’s tallest, or just a few small hills? Without anything in the photo to provide a reference of scale it’s really hard to say for sure.

So what’s a photographer to do?

Simple, by incorporating something of a known size, like a person or a building into your photos you’re more easily able to give viewers a sense of scale in your image.

Fly Fishing At Sunset, Stonehouse Pond.

The fly fisherman standing in his canoe helps to give an idea of just how tall the granite cliffs along the shore of Stonehouse Pond are. (Can’t see him? Click on the image to see a larger version and look for the fisherman along the far shore towards the right side of the image).  

A lone hiker rests on his way to the summit of Mount Washington

Mt. Washington is the tallest peak in the northeast. Having my friend Glen, seen here taking a break on our way to the summit last July, gives an idea of just how big the mountain is. And how much farther we have to go before we reach the summit.

Washington And The Ravines Above Joe Dodge Lodge

Here’s another shot of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, (the peak in the center of the frame), shown with the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Joe Dodge Lodge in the lower foreground. The lodge, the cars in the parking lot, as well as the roadway all provide scale to the mountains looming over them.

People and buildings aren’t the only thing to use to give a sense of scale. Anything of a commonly known size will work.

For more interpretations of this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge, click HERE.