Evening Fountains

I shot this on Saturday evening before the rainy weather came up the East coast. The top photo is what I got by using a thirty-second exposure and letting the fountain spray combine with wind to get the glassy blue water. The bottom photo is pretty much what it looked like to my eye as I was standing there in the near dark to capture this.I like the illumination that emanates from the gazebo and spotlights it nicely as a focal point.

The Kancamagus

The Kancamagus highway is 32 miles of unspoiled wilderness cutting through New Hampshire and with a little effort, you can see views like this just off the road. Getting this shot required making my way down a 20 foot hill and some boulder jumping to get out into the stream a bit.

Birch Lake

This fall scene was right off the road in Northern New Hampshire and the birches mixed with the autumn color were just crying out to be captured. I ended up here after hearing two park rangers talk about one area that was on fire with color,and I ended up behind them on a back road after they gave me directions,and I was itching to get there fast but they were taking their time,so I had to keep my enthusiasm in check.The really funny part was about two hours later I passed them again collecting trash at a rest stop almost 50 miles away and as I pass the lady ranger looks up directly at me and smiles,as if to say I told you so.

Roadside Pond

I photographed this gorgeous little pond from the roof of the jeep I rented on my New England adventure recently. Parking across the road and using a long lens allowed me to isolate the foliage and reflection without the bland sky to distract.

Quick,Snap it

This is a waterfall along the Kancamagus highway in New Hampshire and I had about thirty seconds to get this shot before another twenty people walked into the shot. When you are in a spot like this , you come to realize that nobody cares if you were there first, want a nice clean shot etc etc,so you just do the best you can. I waited a while till everyone left and I was getting ready to fire a series off when I see a mother and her grown daughter navigating across the rocks as they headed for the big rock in the middle of my shot right beside the waterfall were they proceed to sit down and relax. I was very patient for the first three minutes,but then I started giving them the “you gotta be kidding look” which only seemed to make me more frustrated when they stayed put for another five minutes. If you hang around places like this long enough you will see things that make you scratch your head, like the dad who decided to walk on a ledge that was about 6 inches wide and slippery as all get out with his 8-year-old daughter holding his hand and halfway through the exercise,he realizes this was not the best idea and starts getting a little tipsy as he tries to safely get himself and her back up where sane people are. The water was not raging here but you look at the falls in my shot and imagine you fell in and how sketchy that might become real quick. They were just to my left in the area where the rocks drop into a ravine.

Above & Below the Bridge

These two images were taken at the same location,except one was taken on top of the bridge and the other facing the opposite direction was taken beneath the bridge.As I get older, I notice I think about the possibilities of getting hurt on my adventures a lot more than I used to and the fact that I had five stents put in this year after a near heart attack is probably a big factor in all that. I am starting to see my athletic ability wane a bit and I find myself more deliberate in my moving about places like the lower shot,where I am going from boulder to boulder and one slip or twist the wrong way,and I am in a bad spot. Consider the fact I was alone on this trip, in northern New Hampshire in places that maybe someone does not notice an empty vehicle for a day or two,and the fact that I don’t always call home each day, and you start to see why I ponder things more. Now don’t get me wrong,I still hiked under the bridge to get the shot I wanted because I would rather enjoy life than let fear dictate things, but I just try to balance the two better these days.The main reason I hiked down under the bridge in the first place was because I thought the yellow tree would be reflected in the water better than the top view,but it was terrible the lower I went,so thankfully it was good looking the opposite direction,making my little descent worth it.

It Came From Below

This image was taken on the last day of my four-day trip up to New England and of course it was the best day for foliage that I had the whole trip. I drove 18 hours this day,starting at 5am in the far northern regions of New Hampshire and ended in Pennsylvania at 11pm that night. I was driving rt 9 in New Hampshire and literally stopping every 5 miles because the color and scenery were so nice,and I noticed this bit of color along the creek,so I turned off the road and parked.As I was parking,I noticed a group of three young indian teenagers who were speaking their native language and snapping a few photos and I said hi as I approached,and just as I got past them,a huge stick about 4 feet long and maybe three inches thick flies by about two feet in front of my face? They start laughing and yelling over the edge of the bridge we are on and then explain they had a fourth friend down below in the stream who was trying to hit them. Since I was carrying my camera on the tripod in front of me,I was not very humored by the explanation,which by the way came without any apology. After the stick incident I headed down the bank to the creek below and captured this image that I really like and thankfully I was able to capture such a serene scene.

Beyond Help

Todays image was taken along the Kancamagus highway in New Hampshire and although the sunrise was a let down, this shot still turned out okay. Once again I slept in my truck,this time in the town of Lincoln,which is the western gateway to this highway and my internal clock had me up at 430,so I said what the heck,let me drive the 12 miles or so to this lookout and wait for sunrise.Well obviously I was the first one there and was all alone up here for at least 45 minutes in the dark before others started slowly trickling in to join me. There were some strange noises up here in the woods,and I have seen moose grazing in the brush here in the past but not this time. The title today comes from the idiot I passed along the highway later this morning who was stuck in his very expensive Mercedes. There are numerous places to pull off the road along this highway, but this gentleman decided to pull off onto a pile of tennis ball sized rocks that formed a small spot along the road. I passed him as I was going up this long hill and after going about three miles and telling myself to go back and help him,I finally turned around. As I pull up I notice he has all 4 tires buried in the stones and he is resting on the frame of his car, so since I had the jeep and my tow strap,jack and all that,I walk up and tap on the window to offer help. He rolls the window down and the first thing that comes out of his mouth is not thank goodness you stopped, but JUST WALK AWAY?. I told him I was pretty confident I could get him out with a little jacking each area and filling stones in under the tires and a little tug from the jeep, but again he says JUST WALK AWAY. He tells me he sent his wife to get help and he is waiting for whoever she brings? First I thought who sends their wife alone with some stranger on a road that has no service for 32 miles to get help? I decided he was a total idiot who had more money than brains because for one thing he had an all wheel drive car that he spun all four tires into the earth and he was on large stones to boot,so he was clueless and should probably stick to city living and skip the wilderness.Next time I see something like this,I will snap a shot to offer a visual to illustrate my experience better.

Moonset over Portsmouth N.H.

This is one of my favorite images from last weeks fall foliage excursion to New England. It took me about seven hours to get here and I was exhausted after the drive so as the sun set I began driving around Portsmouth New Hampshire looking for a safe place to park and settle into bed in the back of the jeep I rented for my nights sleep. I found a very quiet neighborhood, parked, slipped under my covers and zonked out pretty quick. I never need an alarm because I am usually so keyed up to shoot that my internal clock gets me up long before the sun comes up and this morning was no different.I awoke at 530,got dressed and ate my delicious breakfast of five Oreos and milk as I drove a couple blocks to the spot shown here,and as I pulled around the boat dock I noticed the full moon was setting in my planned shot. Well you never saw someone rush so fast to get their equipment out to capture the moon before it went out of sight,which happened about a minute later. The church clock says 555 and had I slept just a tad longer, I never would have got this. This shot is very serene and is what I envision when I picture the Coast of New England. The water was calm and mirror like at sunrise but by lunch the wind obliterated any possible reflections,so getting up early was a real plus. This is the first time I actually stopped off at Portsmouth,and in the past it was always a town just off the highway as I headed to Maine.This visit gave me a real appreciation of the history here and there was also a gorgeous coastal town nearby called Rye that was full of expensive ocean side mansions that were awe-inspiring. I hope to go back around December and maybe get a snow shot of this spot,so wish me luck.

Rugged Beauty

This is one of several images I captured along the Kancamagus highway in New Hampshire last week. The highway is 32 miles of untouched beauty with no services whatsoever,so you better be fueled up before getting on it. This shot required me to hike past everyone else that stays right at the bridge and go about a hundred yards down stream till I found this small pool of calm water that reflected the autumn color perfectly. I would love to see this spot in winter or with a heavy flow of water tumbling the boulders about. If you stopped and really looked at the boulders you could see some amazing colors,and a few were actually a purple color,which was really pretty. As a suggestion to others,try to eliminate the sky in shots like this because it can distract,rather than help often times. This was actually shot with a stronger telephoto to compress the scene.

Beat the Crowd

I went to New England for a few days last week by myself and was treated to some great fall color. This photo comparison is meant to encourage you to get out early and beat the crowds, even though they were taken minutes apart. The top view is what I saw most of the morning as I traversed back and forth along the Kancamagus highway in New Hampshire,but about three hours after sunrise,the bottom photo became the norm. I slept in my vehicle,a rented jeep wrangler during this trip to save on motel costs and even though that might sound rough,I was actually quite cozy on my 6 inch foam pad with blankets to keep me warm on the 40 degree nights I had. I definitely could feel my age creeping up on me as I slowly hiked down stream banks where only ten years ago,I bolted and hopped across boulders without any thoughts to safety.I drove over 1400 miles in four days by myself and got some great images that made me glad I went. I will share them in the weeks ahead.