Waterfalls at Mid-Day?

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Ideal Waterfall Light.

If you’d ask me to describe my ideal weather and lighting conditions for photographing waterfalls I would tell you that I hope for an overcast day and with any luck a slight drizzle. I would also tell you that it is definitely not during the middle of the day under harsh sunlight.

If I can’t have the even light of an overcast day, or at the very least the waterfall is in full shade, I wouldn’t even try to photograph flowing water.

And yet I was working under the harsh light of the mid-day sun when I made the above photograph of Jackson Falls in Jackson, NH.

Even Is Even.

Last weekend I was out with a workshop client and during a break we stopped to check out this beautiful road side waterfall. I was certainly not thinking it was going to be at all photographable since it was 2 in the afternoon. As we admired the flow I started to notice something about the light. It occurred to me that the waterfall was indeed illuminated by even light. It wasn’t the beautifully soft light of an overcast day, but it was even light nonetheless. So to satisfy my own curiosity I set up my Fujifilm X-T2 with XF16mm f/1.4 lens. Knowing I was going to need help getting a long enough exposure time to blur the water I attached my Formatt-Hitech Firecrest filter holder to the lens and inserted a 10-stop neutral density filter. As I was setting up my composition I set the aperture to f/16 and the ISO to 200. Much to my surprise with the 10-stop ND filter I found I was indeed able to get a long enough exposure, to the tune of 26 second! After I took my first shot I knew I was on to something.

Lesson learned.

I’d still prefer to photograph waterfalls when its overcast and rainy out, but at least now I don’t automatically put the camera away when it’s not.

 

Falling Water In Pinkham Notch.

 

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This past weekend I explored Thompson Falls for the first time. Had I known how beautiful this waterfall is I would have made a point of photographing here sooner. Located a short hike from the parking lot at the Wildcat ski area in Pinkham Notch, this is definitely one of the nicest waterfalls in the White Mountains.

More a series of falls rather than one single plunge, Thompson Falls seemed to go on and on. The higher I climbed the more there was to see. Give me a drizzly overcast day and I could easily spend 4-5 hours here photographing. Sadly, I had to cut this first visit short on account of darkness, but I have every intention of returning soon.

Horsetail, Thompson Falls, NH

These images are but a small sample of what this series of waterfalls has to offer. With the relative ease of the hike to get here I will certainly be adding this to the itinerary of upcoming waterfall workshops.

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For those interested in knowing, all of these images were captured using my Fujifilm X-T2 camera with the wonderful XF10-24mm lens. For all of the images I used Formatt-Hitech Firecrest filters, a circular polarizer as well as a 4-stop ND filter, all mounted in the Firecrest 100 filter holder.

 

 

WPC: Surprise

A little over a week ago, on April 1st, we here in New Hampshire received one hell of an April Fools surprise. A spring snowstorm dumped over 18 inches of heavy wet snow on us.

Unable to resist an opportunity to capture a few landscape images with a blanket of fresh snow I grabbed my camera and ventured out.

For more Weekly Photo Challenge Surprises click HERE.

The Art Of Seeing Differently. 

Been There, Done That. 

Now do it differently.

The world is full of iconic locations that have been photographed extensively, Mount Chocorua in New Hampshire, especially as seen from this bridge, is one of them.

The challenge for me was to come away with an image that wasn’t a cookie-cutter copy of many of the other images, including many of my own,  taken at this scenic, very recognizable, and oh so often photographed place.

To do this required seeing differently.

How could I capture the essence of this beautiful view, ensureing the recognizability of one of  New Hampshire’s most iconic scenic vistas? Composition, choice of aperture and focus point, thus affecting the depth of field and final image, were all questions I had to answer prior to pressing the shutter.

With this image I believe I’ve captured one of the most recognizable and most often photographed mountains in New Hampshire in unique way. Has a similar photo been made? I have no doubt there has. As the saying goes, “there’s nothing new in art.” My goal was not to reinvent the wheel, my goal was to see the mountain in a way I had never seen it before.

See the mountain, then, see it differently.

 

Below is are several ways I’ve seen the mountain in the past. 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

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Stairs Mountain.

It’s been several years since I spent my first night alone in the wilderness. This is where I slept, high atop the cliff face of Stairs Mountain, deep in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest. Peace, quite, solitude, with awe inspiring views in almost any direction.

The last thing I saw before before closing the flap on my tent in the night and the first thing I saw when I emerged in the morning, the beauty of the mountains.

That’s enough.

Should you get the chance, I highly recommend at least one solo wilderness camping trip.