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.

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.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

Happy First Day of Winter Everyone!

Get outside and enjoy the snow and ice.

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For those of you in the southern hemisphere, have a great summer!

(Too bad you’re missing out on all the winter fun) ūüôā

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′.

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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

Depth, Creating The Illusion.

The Problem With Landscape Photography.Lead The Way

We see the world around us in three dimensions, unfortunately our camera does not. Trying to convey the depth and dimension our eyes see with the two dimensional medium of photography can often leave the final image looking flat, without depth.

Fortunately, by using a few simple tricks when composing your photos you can effectively create the illusion of depth in your landscape images.

Converging Lines.

Falls In The Forest.

I like to use converging lines, both subtle and obvious, to create perceived depth in my compositions. In the photo above I used a rather winding interpretation of converging lines to help create the illusion of depth.

The waterfall and granite stream bank, very wide and taking up the entire foreground, then gets progressively more narrow while leading the eye deeper into the frame, eventually converging at the point where it disappears into the forest.

Railroad tracks as they appear to come together in the distance are another more obvious example of converging lines.

Rails. Pondicherry NWR

Place The Foreground In Shadow.

Odiorne Salt MarshThe human eye is attracted to bright light. By having a prominent foreground appear darker than the brighter, more brightly lit background can provide a sense of depth in your photos.

Shoot Vertical.

Moonrise Over Lonesome LakeI’ve found that by photographing with the camera in the vertical, more commonly referred to at the “portrait” camera position, can help create depth. Include a strong foreground, leading lines, and by placing the main subject in the upper third of the photo works really well to bring out the depth in a scene.

What tricks do you use to create the illusion of depth in your photos? In the mean time, check out these other interpretations of Depth.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself

Your Photographs Are You.

Painted Morning

The photographs you make are unique.

No matter the location, they are a piece of you.

Ten, a hundred, a thousand times, regardless of how often a place as been seen through a lens, the pictures you make will be different.

A small part of everything you are, the life you’ve lead up until the moment you press the shutter, will become the photograph.

Find inspiration in others, visit the iconic places, photograph uniquely.

Express yourself.