This image comes thanks to encouragement from my friends who have been exploring light painting in the fog. The scene you see was taken in the dark on a very foggy evening.This gazebo is in a local park and I decided to give it a whirl with flash. The lights you see are lamp posts in the background,which if you notice, have been hidden behind posts and tree branches to keep them from overpowering the scene and the blue and yellow is from different types of bulbs. there was literally one spot where I could position the camera to hide all of them. I spent nearly two hours in the dark in this park in the fog and it was very magical with the lamps glowing in the stillness of the enveloping fog. I got there at the very edge of dusk,so exposures were running anywhere from thirty to sixty seconds plus. A light drizzle made things a little wet,but I shot several scenes this night.
This is one of the first images from a recent photo excursion to the cemetery with a friend,and initially this area caught my eye as the rays of sun spread across the grounds. We parked along a lane and I decided to walk about 30 yards in,which put me in the right spot to see the rays and various light and dark tones. We had an hour drive to get there,and we had no idea the morning was going to be enveloped in fog,so we wish we had left earlier.
This is a photo I took after putting on the hip waders and going out to about mid stream. The creek is a little lower than normal right now,so I was not worried about getting knocked over by the current,and it provided a nice vantage point during a slightly foggy day. Depth was anywhere from 8 inches to about 2 feet,which allowed me to navigate anywhere on the stream I needed. I carried only one camera with lens on my tripod and brought a polarizer,which helped with the reflection.
This image is one of those special moments that make being a photographer so rewarding for me. The young girls were riding on this miniature cart and were making their way to sunday church service at a local farm when they passed me at a covered bridge I was photographing with a friend. They headed on their way up the road and I decided to get in my truck and try and get one more photo of something I have never seen before, and figured never would again. They turned down this farm lane with others who were arriving on foot and I took this image through my open car window pretty quickly. Although I am extremely thrilled with the photo, For some reason I have this bad habit of tilting my head and consequently my camera when I shoot handheld,and the image was slightly tilted.My framing was less than ideal in this hurried moment so the image has a touch of tilt yet.
Something I missed was a shot from the front showing the miniature horse that was pulling them,and he must have been a little powerhouse to pull five youngsters. The other thing I really like about this image are the colors the people are wearing,and admittedly I am no expert on Amish ways and I have always wondered how or why they pick certain colors. they are usually very lovely hues and I have seen families dressed in the same color palette on more than one occasion.
This image was taken recently while I was out shooting with a good friend. We were hoping to get a sunrise shot and I was pretty sure we were not going to get anything till we rounded a bend and saw the foggy valley ready to see the first rays of sunshine. I parked quickly and grabbed my gear and rushed across the road barely in time to frame the shot before the flare overwhelmed the scene. Thirty seconds later,it was hopeless trying to shoot with the sun in the shot.
This is one of those images that frustrates me as I try to get it to look like it did when I shot it. The road was glowing from the previous night’s rain and the rising sun, and the sun was a nice ball through the fog,yet I could not get it to reproduce exactly like it was, so this is as close as it gets. I was hoping for an Amish buggy or some cool subject to be a silhouette in the opening, but unfortunately I was all alone on this foggy back road.
This weekend included another mud sale in the region, and the day started with heavy fog, which quickly burned off to reveal beautiful sunny skies. I would rather have overcast to shoot people pics, but you take what you can get. I arrived at the sale location almost an hour and a half early so I could park reasonably close to the sale, mainly because I absolutely hate taking shuttle buses to and from an event. The image shown here was the first image of the day and was taken as I walked the hundred yards or so from where I parked to the sale site. I liked the receding trees in the early fog and the sun making an appearance. I will share some Amish shots from the sale over the next few days, which includes a great image of some Amish girls I photographed,so stay tuned.
This was a last-minute photo selection for today, as I was busy dividing iris clumps in our garden this evening. This recent shot featuring a rocking chair was calling my name to sit down after two hours of digging in the dirt. The darn warm temperatures have everything starting early, so I am trying to keep ahead of the garden chores, which seem to get harder every year.
Several people who know me have commented that they enjoy my light painting photos, but want to see more of my nature and scenic photography, so I will appease them with a shot I did in Acadia National Park one fall morning. I really love traveling to the New England states in autumn, because the landscapes and quaint villages make for some terrific possibilities. Many times in the past I have made the trek to Vermont and New Hampshire, only to find a nasty batch of bad weather has destroyed most of the fall color, or I am slightly early or late. After suffering through that situation several times, I started to have a back up plan each trip, and that turned out to be the great state of Maine. The beauty of Maine is the fact that even if the color is a flop, you can hit places like Acadia National Park, which is really quite spectacular. It features a rugged rock lined coast, lovely pines, crashing surf and more. The title of my post refers to the fact that I headed to this mountaintop overlook Four days in a row, and on the very last day I was rewarded with this sunrise. This view is from Cadillac mountain in Acadia, which is the highest point along the atlantic seaboard and the first place you can see the sunrise in the United States. Each day before this one was full of nasty winds, rain, thick fog,etc, but this day awoke to the ocean being covered in a spectacular wave of rolling fog. The Sun made an appearance and provided the finishing touch to the scene. All the mornings of getting up an hour and a half before dawn for nothing great, were soon forgotten as I took in the awesome scene before me.
A few tidbits of info for anyone contemplating visiting Acadia or anywhere along the coast of maine. First take plenty of high-capacity memory cards, wake early and see things that 99 percent of tourists miss by sleeping in. Next, if you are one that likes to get unique perspectives, be aware that if you fall in the surf or get washed out in Maine, chances are fairly good that you are finished. Maine pretty much figures if you are brave or stupid enough to be pulled in, that’s your problem. I basically like that view and will tell two simple stories of my escapades in Maine.
The first is from a trip I took to Acadia years ago, and as I was working the rocky coast, I made my way along a ledge that lead to a small cove of rocks that was almost ten feet high by about twenty feet wide. I was dazzled by the crashing surf on the rocks below,which were at least 8 feet below me,and even though I knew the tide was coming in, I was oblivious to that fact. After about thirty minutes of shooting, I noticed the ledge I came in on, was now under two feet of water. If you ever had a scare where you feel your heart racing, then you know what I felt at that moment. My only possible way out was to climb the sheer walls in this cove, and I did that by using my Gitzo tripod,which is very strong,and I literally stood on it to reach the top. All this while The surf was spraying me occasionally and getting closer. It was a real eye opener, because had The surf got me, that would have been all she wrote.
My next memory of Maine involves a trip to the Portland Headlight, which in my view is a very gorgeous lighthouse. Anyway, as usual,they have a fence to kind of keep you off the rocks, but again, if you are after that special image, you most certainly feel the call to jump that fence. I have ventured into this usually very safe landscape of granite many times, and gotten great images over the years. On this particular trip I was somewhat close to the ocean, but I was standing on a mountain of a rock that no kidding was at least 25 feet high and 20 feet square.This rock was far enough and high enough from the crashing surf that the incoming waves were only just nipping at the rock next to mine. To get a clear picture, imagine you are on a 25 foot high rock and there is a two foot gap to the next rock and you can look down and see surf at the bottom. wave after wave mildly washed around the bottom few feet of these house sized monsters. As I was looking through the viewfinder, I hear a thunderous crash and look up to see the entire rock next to mine covered, the 25 ft deep crevasse filled with water and water washing up to my ankles. If you have never heard the term, rogue wave, familiarize yourself with it, before hitting Maine. Those memories are forever etched in my mind because of the intensity of the experience.
Okay, one more funny one,to me anyway. I was photographing at the pemaquid lighthouse one fall morning. There was only one other guy there shooting. I said hi and noticed a small sticker on his tripod that said John Shaw. I asked why he had a John Shaw sticker and he said well, it’s because I am John Shaw. For anyone who does not know him, he is a fairly well-known nature photographer who has published numerous books. I had all his books, but in person, he looked different than I remembered. He was very cordial, left me load a roll of 220 velvia slide film in his fuji panoramic camera and shoot a series with it. I was dazzled by the meeting and even had my wife snap our picture together.
Winter has once again relinquished its icy grip, and today temperatures climbed to the high forties. I personally enjoy a good hard winter, with lots of snow and intense cold, but this winter season has been a real let down thus far. Thank goodness a good batch of fog rolled in overnight to envelop the landscape in an atmospheric wonderland, full of opportunities for photography. Once again, I had every intention of sleeping in, but looking out at 5am, I saw the fog building and figured I better get moving. As I dressed, my mind rapidly ran through all the locations I could think of and I finally decided to head to this church which sits on a hill overlooking a valley. Floodlights at the church backlit the fog, and as I worked the possibilities, I kept thinking, boy it would be great to have the sanctuary lit, and to my delight, a car pulled in and a member of the congregation agreed to turn them on. While I am pleased with my result, I must say the shot was taken at the very edge of where the ambient light starts to overwhelm the interior light and I literally got a few shots off till the balance tipped too far.If the interior had been lit a half hour earlier, the result would have been even better. Thanks to Glenn Buffenmyer for helping to make this church shot possible. The second image is an afterthought that I added tonight after shooting it on the way home this evening. I luckily had my camera with me to capture this colorful sunset. The best part is the images took only a few minutes on the computer instead of the hours I invest in the light painting photos here. If anyone cares to click on my gallery pages at the top of my page, you can see a couple other church location images under the fog gallery.