I’m ready for fall. Anybody else? There’s only so many 100+ degree days a guy can take.
I don’t think I have posted this before…this was a quick shot of a tire swing in somebody’s yard. This was a small town in coastal Maine. I hopped out of the rental car and took a few quick shots here and there. Mid-day, harsh light, but what can you do? – waiting around was not an option. Besides, in such a situation I’m always afraid the camera police are going to show up and hassle me – they never do, but I still worry about it every time!
It’s sort of like trophy hunting I suppose. I sought out this specific farm in Vermont. Even if you don’t specifically recall, you’ve likely seen it on calendars or in books. It’s one of those iconic scenes I felt compelled to photograph. I must not be the only one, these folks have had to install a big electronically controlled gate to block their driveway. That’s not a country road in the photo, it’s their private drive. The timing seemed fortunate, as a carpet of red/orange leaves made for a nice foreground. This is a photograph that’s been done to death, but not by me, so I enjoyed shooting it anyway. After the trophy shot was in the bag, I tried to find another way to shoot the farm (from the public road) that would be more original. That was only partially successful I guess, there’s a reason everybody shoots it from the driveway…it looks darn good lol.
That barn is really super attractive, and as usual if I had more time, or was able to actually get closer there might have been more success. Below is my favorite alternate view. Seeing these again really makes me want to go back to New England in the fall.
The response to yesterday’s miracle post, which got me “Freshly Pressed” (thanks WordPress!) was a bit overwhelming. I’d like to thank everyone who took the time out of their day to take a look, and especially those who left comments. Sprinkled throughout the commentary were a few opinions that the HDR on yesterday’s image was overdone, or too saturated etc. I understand. While the general public seemed to like what they saw, HDR can make the more serious photographer’s noses turn up, especially when it is perceived to be overdone. I get it, and that is an entirely valid point of view. For those purists who wanted to see a more normal looking view of yesterdays scene, today I offer a .jpg practically right out of the camera. This is the same hillside and lake from yesterday’s post.
The dynamic range of the whole scene from yesterday’s image was way beyond anything the camera could handle in one exposure, the correct exposure on the trees resulted in a totally blown out sky (and the sky’s reflection in the foreground). The only way to have created yesterday’s image was either with HDR, or some major filter work with a neutral density grad. That would have been especially problematic due to the fact that it was not just the sky needing tamed, but the sky’s reflection in the foreground. If there are any skilled landscape photographers out there reading this, maybe you have an alternative, I’d be interested in learning. In a future post I may illustrate what I’m trying to convey here by posting the 3 original exposures I used to create the HDR I will probably do that if I sense anyone is interested in ‘how the sausage is made’ so to speak. Thanks again to wordpress for finding yesterday’s post as worthy, and to all of you for visiting.
Sometimes you get lucky. My wife and I were driving from Acadia National Park on the Maine coast to Woodstock, Vermont. I had researched the heck out of both those locations, but didn’t know much about what lay between. We were very tired, on a seemingly endless secondary highway winding it’s way generally westward. This was a remote area, towns and businesses were few and far between. Eventually it became clear that a….ummm…..’rest stop’ was needed. I parked on the highway shoulder as safely as possible, walked about 20 feet from the car, and there it was….a mirror smooth lake reflecting a hillside of spectacular fall foliage. I set up the tripod and shot a few bracketed sets of exposures, one set of which was combined using Photomatix software into the HDR image above. Google Earth provided me with the name of the lake – Lower Baker Pond. Sometimes you get lucky, just make sure you have your camera ready.
I know there is debate on the artistic merits of the HDR (High Dynamic Range) technique and how it is applied. I’m not one of the minimalists, but I do agree it can certainly be overdone. To tell you the truth my only barometer is whether or not I think it looks cool on whatever image I’m working on. I thought the more extreme HDR look worked for this one, but of course not everyone will agree. Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park, Maine is a photogenic location, but I was never able to catch it with a calm surface on my short time there. It is certainly a location I would like to revisit someday. This image was created from a bracketed set of three exposures, combined using Photomatix software with a final tweak in Photoshop Elements.
Cloudland Road in Vermont is one of those scenic stretches of classic New England scenery that really get the old photographic enthusiasm flowing. This was taken on the same morning as the image in yesterday’s post, Cloudland Road and Galaxy Hill Road are in the same area and actually intersect. The diffuse fog/mist/drizzle lent an interesting atmosphere to the images and make the fall colors stand out.
While it might seem counterintuitive, a rainy overcast day can really make colors pop. This was a favorite spot we found in Vermont, I visited it twice. The first day was rainy and I jumped out of the car for a few quick hand held frames. The second day was dry, and I came back with a tripod and took some time…but as it turns out I prefer the rainy day images. The light is what really matters.