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A Visit To Dunbar Brook. November 12, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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My friend and housemate Lizz and I took a ride out to Upper Dunbar Brook this past Sunday. Ostensibly, we were churning the fluids on her little truck Ubu, who has been sitting idle in the driveway for a couple of weeks, but really we were just out joy-riding, as we overgrown kids are wont to do.

To kinda set the mood, this was a drive out a wash-board dirt road with enough big rocks and “thank-you-ma’am” erosion bars to keep vehicles with lesser clearance at bay, ending with an encounter with Dunbar Brook at a place where it tumbles through a steep set of cascades.

The afternoon light was nice as we glided to a halt in the little dirt pull-off for the brook, and we both had big smiles on as we shouldered packs full of lenses and headed down to the water.

As it turned out, I needn’t have bothered with the pack; I had Elliot on the box, my Canon 24mm Tilt-Shift lens, and he found more ways of seeing this patch of place than I had time for.

We started with a couple of “overview” shots, kind of getting the lay of the landscape, if you will. The brook tumbles through a little tunnel which probably used to be a natural bridge, but has collapsed into its current presentation of left-side rock set against right-side ledge:

This is a decent example of Elliot’s capabilities. I spun the “tilt” function 90 degrees, then “swung” the objective (front-most) lens 8 degrees right, planting the plane of sharp focus just right of my camera and dialing the focus out until the image was crisp from the lower right through the upper left, with the opposite corners losing crispness. The result, as I appreciate it, is to focus the eye on a series of visual elements which makes me feel like I’m right there in the moment (it’s that mental compilation effect I’ve talked about recently.)

I used the same “swing” to get this larger view of the same scene:

…with the intention of drawing a viewer’s eye right up the crisp middle, while the edges of the photo release the eye by dint of their softness.

I hope that worked as intended.

Just a bit down river, the view excluded the arch but showed the geological tumult of these New England rivers:

This is with Elliot’s forward element spun back into “tilt” mode, and the plane of sharp focus planted along the scene with about a degree and a half of downward tilt. I’m painfully aware that this blog platform won’t show you the details of what that means, but I’m doing this as much for me as for you, and the high-resolution version of this shot totally knocks me out.

Hey, I’m disappointed by my efforts often enough that I feel entitled to gloat on the rare occasions that I get it right.¬† ;)

I’ll end this little self-indulgence with a couple of details which¬† I liked, including this shot of a stranded pot-hole:

…and this detail of a little cascade, the only shot I have which is from Ollie, my 24-105mm zoom lens, as I needed his compositional flexibility to get what I wanted:

That’s an in-focus shot of a fast-moving subject. Parce that as you will, or just call it “art” like I do.

And that is all.

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Comments»

1. susancrow - November 21, 2012

These are truly breathtaking shots – all of them. The breadth of light, form, and color you captured is stunning. After I sat and looked for a while I eventually came to the conclusion my favorites were the last two – just because I tend to get lost in details.

littlebangtheory - November 23, 2012

Me too, Susan. Even in the landscapes I capture, it’s the details which get me. And thanks for the kind words regarding the overall scope of the post, within which the details have their place.


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