Weekly Photo Challenge: Warmth

Cold winter morning.

The New Hampshire seacoast.

Fire in the sky.

Warmth an illusion.

Fiery sunrise over Hampton Beach, NH

Find more warmth Here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Between

 

 

 

Panoramic photo of the Pemigewasset Wilderness

This past weekend a couple of friends and I made our first attempt at completing the infamous Pemi Loop. A circuitous hike through the Pemigewasset Wilderness in northern New Hampshire. Between us and the completion of what is considered one of the toughest hikes in the U.S., was 31.5 miles, 8 summits on the New Hampshire 4,000 footer list, and over 9,000 feet of elevation gain over some of the most grueling terrain New Hampshire has to offer.

By the time we reached camp on our second night, we had come to the realization that our goal of completing the Loop was not going to happen this time around. We decided to call it a night at the Garfield Ridge shelter and tent site, located at the approximate half way point on the Loop, and head out through the middle of the Wilderness in the morning. By completing only half the Loop we still managed over 25 miles of hiking.

Not a bad way to spend a weekend if you ask me.

Had we not stopped frequently to enjoy the scenery we probably could have done it, but what would be the point? Enjoying the spectacular views and the company of good friends, our party actually increased from 3 to 5 with the addition of a couple of great guys who happened to be staying at the Liberty Springs tent site the first night as well, is what made the effort more enjoyable.

We’ve all decided we’ll be back next year.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resolved

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.

Alpenglow reaches the summit of Mount Washington, piercing through a gap in the clouds. The snowy peaks of the rest of the Presidential Range trailing off into the distance towards image left.

2013 Is Going To Be A Great Year!

Sunday’s Hidden Treasure.

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.

Mist covers the glass smooth water reflecting the clouds that are colored in shades of pink and purple from the rising sun. A small island image left, about a third of the way up frm the bottom has a flag pole with the U.S. flag on it. Among the shoreline trees on the point of land behind the island stands several photographers eagerly awaiting the 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

When It Rains, Get Out And Shoot!

Grand mountain vistas, spectacular Autumn color, and a beautiful mountain top sunset,

are what I wanted for my trip to the White Mountains to capture fall foliage images this past Sunday, but what I got was rain. Not a heavy rain, but on and off, mostly on, showers all day long. And when it wasn’t raining, there was always a steady drizzle. Not that I minded much, the color in norther New Hampshire was spectacular! And the overcast conditions really made the colors all the more vibrant and saturated. The colors were popping in the Whites, that’s for sure!

Vertical image looking from the base of Silver Cascade in Crawford Notch State Park, Crawford Notch, New Hampshire. Bright autumn foliage in red, yellow, and orange hues line both sides of this tall, narrow waterfall as it desends out of the mist.

Silver Cascade, Crawford Notch, NH.

(Arguably the most spectacular falls in the White Mountains that you can see from your car).

Stay home where it’s dry?

Not likely. With a tight schedule, and a short window of opportunity for the best fall color in White Mountains, I wasn’t about to let a little rain put a damper on my plans. I packed a few towels, several plastic bags of various sizes, and I headed north.

As soon as it became clear that the weather wasn’t going to cooperate, one word popped into my head, “Waterfalls!” New Hampshire’s White Mountains are loaded with waterfalls of all shapes and sizes. I haven’t photographed many of them, and none of them in Autumn, so if I couldn’t capture the mountain top sunset I had hoped for, then a few nice waterfalls surrounded by some spectacular Autumn color would have to do.

Panoramic image of Lower Falls on the Swift River, Kancamagus Highway, NH. Autumns vibrant colors line the far shore of the river, and upstream of the falls.

Lower Falls on the Swift River, Albany, NH. 

(Not quite peak color yet. In the summer, Lower Falls is a very popular swimming hole, and the rocks and water would be covered in people)

Vertical image from the base of Ripley Falls, a red maple leaf rests on a large granit boulder in the foreground

Ripley Falls, Hart’s Location, NH.

(This was my first visit to Ripley Falls, but unfortunately it was a short one. Since the rain was getting a little heavier, I took off my sweatshirt and grabbed my rain jacket. All day long I was constantly using a micro-fiber cloth to wipe rain drops off the front of my lens. I kept the cloth in the front pocket on my sweatshirt, guess where it stayed after the wardrobe change. I was only able to make three exposures before I lost the battle with rain drops on my lens. This was the only “keeper.” In an effort to keep the rain at bay, I held my hat over the lens, so of the three exposures I made, one had my fingers in it, and another had the bill of my hat, both deleted)

Vertical image of Rocky Gorge on the Swift River in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Vibrant fall foliage can be seen on the far bank above the gorge.  

“No Swimming.” Rocky Gorge, Swift River, Albany, NH.

(My favorite image from a wet day in the mountains, and my favorite so far of Rocky Gorge).

Tips for shooting in the rain.

Keep it dry, as much as possible anyway. Unless you have a weather sealed camera body and lenses, try to keep as much moisture from them as possible. While there are many commercially available rain covers on the market, I went the DIY route with large clear plastic bags to help keep the elements at bay. Though if it was only a light drizzle, I just kept a had towel with me to periodically wipe the camera down. I also took the camera out of whatever bag or “rain cover” it had been in and set it on a towel on the car seat while driving between locations, giving the camera a chance to dry out a bit.

Keep a micro-fiber cloth handy, and use it. Constantly check the front element of your lens for water droplets. There isn’t much worse than having to delete that “winner” shot because you didn’t notice the water drop on the lens.

Use a circular polarizer when shooting on rainy, foggy days. It will help remove the glare from wet foliage, and really make the colors pop.

Finally, if it isn’t already, get your gear insured. Adding it to your homeowners or renters insurance is pretty cheap, and takes some of the stress out of shooting in potentially camera killing conditions, knowing that should anything go wrong your gear is covered.

Focus on the intimate.

With even the lowest peaks in the White Mountains with their heads in the clouds, grand scenic images were all but impossible. A good idea is to focus on small portraits of the beautiful color before your eyes.

An intimate portrait of the gorgeous fall color to be seen in New Hampshire's White Mountains. A small stand of bright white birch trees among the vibrant red, yellow, orange, and remaining green, fall foliage.

Be careful, use your head, but most of all, don’t let a little rain keep you from that fall color. It’s only here for a very short time, enjoy it while you can.

 

This is also part of Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Challenge, the theme is Foliage. You can see more entries here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far

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.

Summer Warmth.

Lilypadss dominate the foreground looking out over the Bellamy Reservoir towards the setting sun. A sky filled with clouds adding drama to the scene. The suns bright glow appears like a fire on the horizon just over the tree line on the far shore. Faint pinks, purples, and golds ever so slightly coloring the clouds.

(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)