This is another image I captured after looking for water collecting in fields this spring. This old mill sits right along the road and with just a short walk down the bank here,I was rewarded with the morning sun creating this lovely reflection in the ice.A barn across the street adds to the composition in this country scene that would make a gorgeous painting.
This home in Rockport Massachusetts beckoned me to capture its unique seacoast charm after I noticed the many old lobster buoys adorning the entrance. As I was speaking to the owners wife,she told me her husband had collected these authentic buoys along the shoreline years ago and this quaint scene had been featured in magazines more than once.
Rockport Massachusetts was one stop on my brief new england photo trip and shooting this classic scene was among my goals. I learned something new about this spot after hearing a term mentioned by three separate people in about an hours time. This place is referred to as motif number one,and is located on Bradley Wharf in the harbor town of Rockport, Massachusetts.It is a fishing shack well-known to students of art and art history as “the most often-painted building in America.” It is even listed on my atlas as motif one,which surprised me. It s very interesting to watch the fisherman stand in these little boats in the foreground to paddle out to their fishing boats in the morning. Super storm Sandy undermined one wall at the harbor but they escaped with much less damage than most. Our motel owner said the water came up to the ice machine there and the motel sits about 40 feet or more above the ocean and they stayed for the whole storm.
This is an old mill I photographed in Weston Vermont on my fall foliage trip. Thankfully it was not overrun by tourists and we had the place all to ourselves. I shot it in sun about an hour before and thankfully my friend was patient enough to drop me off for another shot after sunset. The Vermont country store is a stones throw away,so my buddy went there to shoot while I was here. I took my hip waders along and without them,I never would have been able to access this vantage point. Crossing streams that are around a foot deep is always nerve-wracking when you are carrying your gear along.
This early winter scene was made possible by a large puddle on the road,allowing for a reflection of sorts.This was hand-held and had to be shot rather quickly because of cars zipping along the road.I did not feel like having either myself or my camera take a bath,so I got as close to the water as possible and snapped. Nothing spectacular,but not bad considering. Warm temperatures helped to put a little fog in the air as skies cleared.
This peaceful little scene was at our motel in Lake Placid and was worthy of a shot. We stayed at the motel three days and it was only on the last day that I walked out back and saw this view.Sometimes the shot is right under your nose,but you need to look. The cabin runs around 500 bucks for two nights but being able to look out your bedroom window at this scene might be worth every penny.There was only one Adirondack chair out front,so I shot one frame with it on the right side and then moved it to the left for a second shot.I then layered the two images together to end up with the final image,which was possible thanks to the tripod.
This falls called the flume is located along a scenic stretch of road about ten miles outside of Lake Placid. As I get older I seem to be getting a little less brave or perhaps wiser,but on this morning I decided to navigate my way onto a hard to reach rock outcropping to get this shot. To get this shot,I left my camera bag in the woods,carried only my camera and tripod and clung to several trees as I descended a hill.Next I crawled on hands and knees along a two foot wide rock ledge that included low hanging roots brushing my back.I took my sweet time getting there because any mistake would put me into the raging water,which included more nasty falls just downstream. Getting there right after sunrise insured I would hopefully be there alone,which I was.The water was flowing pretty strongly,so extreme caution was in order.Fall color on the mountain provided a nice backdrop.
This was taken recently at a local park. I Shot the top image using a Nikon D70 with an infrared filter supplied from lifepixel. The camera can only shoot infrared,but it does a good job with infrared.The bottom image was taken with a Nikon D200 and a color infrared filter from the same company. It is called false color infrared and to be honest I am not sure why the color reproduces as it does.
Once again I have no clue what this flower is called, but it seems to have a rather ingenious method of catching water for survival. I wanted to photograph it weeks ago because it looks even neater before the flowers shoot skyward, but it still is a rather unique plant. Reminds me of an upside down umbrella.
My mother recently joked about an experience I had in maine a few years back, so I figured I would share the memory here. My wife and I were on a new england vacation, and had stopped in Cape Porpoise in Kennebunkport Maine to look around at several shops and I also wanted to do some photography. While there my wife got the brilliant idea to do a whale watch, but the idea of going 25 miles out to sea in a small boat was not my idea of fun,but since it was clear blue skies and totally calm seas, I said sure. We headed out and kept going and going and going, and about halfway out it gets cloudy, and I thought no big deal. When we are nearing the whale area, the captain comes on the loud-speaker to say conditions look like they are going to deteriorate and we wont be staying long. Well things did deteriorate rapidly and just as my wife tries to shoot a whale coming out of the water, I grab her to tell her how horrible I am feeling,and she basically says go get sick somewhere else so I can enjoy the whales. Anyway, the waves were rolling now at 6-8ft and the whole way back in, the captain literally was riding the waves with his boat till we crashed into waves ahead of us. I was certain we were going to be lost in this storm, and because I was sick, we sat on the outside of the boat as everyone huddled inside with life preservers on. The two parts of this trip that are the most indelibly etched in my mind are when I went inside to use the bathroom, everyone was watching me head to the door, and as I open the door, this poor woman is standing there with her clothes around her ankles and the whole crowd looking at her. I thought who lets a door unlocked in that state? The second memory is of these two teenage girls who stood on the very top of the boat in the front and screamed with utter joy as we crashed into each wave. I thought we were dead and they were having the time of their lives, so I guess it’s all in your perspective. Needless to say whale watches are no longer high on my to do list. I remember getting to shore and hearing a crew member say, the captain told them it was the worst conditions he had ever navigated, but I am not sure what that meant since he was only about 25 years old. This photo was taken that day, but its nothing earth shattering.
We had a decent amount of rain over the last two days,so my mind started thinking about all the heavy storms we had in the last year, and this image came back to my memory. What appears to be a lake, is actually a field for this herd of goats, and over near the green grass there was a tiny stream that severely overflowed its banks. As the goats were down to their last few feet of pasture, the owners came out with the tractor and cart. They loaded the young ones in the wire cages, and persuaded the nervous parents to follow them to higher ground. It was comical to watch, but the waters were still rising,so they got out at just the right time.
Since we are now into the weekend, I thought maybe its time to share another one of my misadventures near water. That blurred man in the lower photo is me standing on a beach in washington state alongside one of several dozen huge tees washed ashore. My morning started out with my wife and I taking in the beauty along the washington coast, and as you can see, sunny blue skies were in abundance. I said, lets walk all the way down to that island, which you can see in the background of my image, and I calculated it to be only a half hours walk. Well, we walked and walked, rested and walked, and as we get within a hundred yards of the island, you could see a fog bank quickly coming in off the ocean. I thought oh that’s neat, but that was only up until the fog got so thick that you could only see 10 to 20 yards in front of you.
Now in most situations fog would not bother me, but guess what? As soon as that fog hit us, you could literally see the tide starting to come in, and on a normal beach one would just move up on the boardwalk or something similar, but considering the entire length of this beach was strewn with trees that had trunks 10 feet around, it was quite clear,we were not getting over them, and had to get back to the parking lot quickly. I was like a marine corps drill sergeant, telling my wife to keep moving as fast as she could, and carrying all my gear was really wearing me out. We went on and on, and waves were washing ever closer the entire time, and the final straw was realizing the little sign marking the parking area was nowhere to be found in the fog. we had no idea if we passed the lot a half mile ago, or had a half mile to go, UNTIL we saw the lovely bloated dead sea-lion that was washed up right at the path. luckily we noticed this poor creature at the beginning, and I can truly say I was never so glad to see a blob of blubber as I was that day. My heart was just pounding as adrenaline and survival instincts were on high alert.
The calming feather on rounded stones image was taken the same morning, up the road a bit after our little nature hike. The whole ordeal was magnified in my mind as it was happening, because we had read many signs warning about getting trapped in coves etc along the beach at high tide. Just another great memory around the peaceful waters.
The other day I posted an image from my Canadian Rockies photo trip a few years back, and I got to reminiscing about the experience I had at Moraine Lake, which is shown here. As usual I like to travel in the fall, because I thoroughly enjoy the early mornings with frost and the fresh air this time of year, and I always wait till the bitter end to make any sort of reservation. This trip I decided I would stay at the moraine lake lodge with my wife for several days to take in the mountain grandeur, but I was quickly told we were not staying there after hearing it was almost 400 dollars a night. I stood my ground and we stayed one single night in a room with a fireplace looking out at this lake. To me it was worth every penny,as I woke to head out before dawn to shoot under a lovely sunrise.
Let me explain a bit about my one and only trip to a place where you can be the main course on the menu at any moment. When we arrived, there were two nice sized bears in the parking lot roaming around, which gave me reason to ponder my usual early morning escapades. Signs were everywhere to travel in groups of 4 or more, and make lots of noise. Upon checking in, I said I wanted to hike the 30 minutes or so to this lookout to shoot sunrise, and the girl at the desk said you have two options. First was simply sleep in, and the second was to carry a bottle of pepper spray that was about the size of a small fire extinguisher. I opted for the spray, headed out at dark in the morning and was totally alone for at least an hour. I made so much noise going up that trail, hand on the trigger just in case, and a few prayers said along the way. I kept thinking all they will find is my gear, a chewed up pepper spray bottle, and a bear taking a nap. It really was nerve-racking, but the view up here was unbelievable. I have never seen such aqua/turquoise color in water ever. The angle of the rising sun was less than ideal,but it was sweet nonetheless.
The following day we stayed at a B&B in Banff, and the owner showed us his scrapbook of a mountain lion he shot under his porch. The thing was being held under its front legs and was taller than this guy,who was pretty darn tall. Its kind of humorous, because I started seeing signs for mountain lion activity in places we hiked and I would extend my Gitzo tripod legs all the way out,thinking I would whack this thing if it got any bright ideas. Someone said if they are stalking you, you would never know it till they pounce. Nothing gives you a better sense of being alive than to know you are not the king of the mountains and you better tread cautiously.
Today I thought I would share an image from a trip I took to Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada some time ago. This was my only trip to this part of the world and it was simply breathtaking. The image shown is of the location called Spirit Island on Maligne lake, and it requires a 45 minute boat ride through incredible aqua colored waters to get to this final destination. The water is so cold,about 39 degrees passengers are briefed on what to do in case of problems with the boat and the guide joked no one ever drowned here because hypothermia gets you first. Upon arrival at the landing area, passengers are told they have precisely ten minutes to get off the boat and shoot whatever pictures you can, and be back on the boat for the return trip. I have never been in such a beautiful place with such a miniscule amount of time to shoot. I remember setting a land speed record to get to the overlook before anyone else claimed the best angle, and I also remember some poor soul who had an expensive 35mm camera and his batteries were dead and he had no backup battery. Who on earth goes to such a destination with one battery? Anyway, as I recall, this area is untouched by man except for the boat that pulls in, and seeing such a pristine landscape really was something special,even if it was for only 10 minutes. I know there are many amazing landscapes throughout the world, but this image is one of my most memorable from my few travels.I went in the fall and will hopefully share more images and experiences of this grand place in the future. I have a slide show presentation I do and within that show I have several quotes including this one from John Muir. ” Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves”.
As a photographer, I am always on the lookout for beautiful locations, and this spot is one I had bookmarked in my brain for the right moment. Many times, I will just drive around looking for opportunities, and this particular evening I saw the potential building in the way the clouds were positioned in the sky, and the angle the sun would probably hit them. I headed to this locale to look things over and after coming across a no trespassing sign at the edge of the public parking area located across the river from the farm, I decided I would put on my hip waders and venture into the water directly from the lot. I had to traverse slick rocks for about a hundred yards to get to this point in the river. All the while I was thinking about all my past experiences with water, and maybe this was not a great idea after all. As I got to the final spot where the reflection looked good, The water was about 6 inches from the top of my hip waders, and I was getting slightly nervous as a slip would mean big trouble for my gear. I mounted a wide-angle on the camera and had it locked to the tripod before I set out, and had my loaded camera backpack on my back, which has to weigh 40 plus pounds, so any misstep can get dicey real quick. The sunset materialized nicely and the water was really pushing against my tripod legs, so I shot a series as things kept building, till everything faded and I made my slow and deliberate way back to shore. Sometimes going the extra mile yields images that others can’t get or are too lazy to try, and I take pride in giving it my all.