Brrrrrrrrr! January 23, 2013Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: Canon 2X tele-Extender III, Canon 400mm f/5.6L lens, cold river, Gizmo, ice, moonrise, New England, Western Massachusetts, winter
Well now, this is winter!
We got a fresh inch of snow overnight, not enough to shovel, just enough to freshen up the older snow pack. And with a daytime high in the ‘teens assuring clear, crisp air, it seemed like a good time to scout some river scenes.
I headed up the Cold river a bit after noon, beneath blue skies and scuttling clouds:
The valley is still a tangled mess from Irene, but winter disguises her scars.
I’ve always liked the way tumbling rivers look when they rise up around snow covered rocks, saturating their marsh mallow hats, turning them into emerald slushies, washing them down river like slow moving ghosts. This cold weather grows the well-anchored ones into wonderful ice islands:
Quartzite cobbles complement the color scheme, wavering from below the fast-moving surface:
A faster shutter speed captures the kinetics of the flow:
The wind was brutal, and after an hour of walking the river bank, my fingers had had enough, despite my beefy gloves, and I headed back to the car, noticing on my way down river that the moon was rising. At the car I put Gizmo and his little buddy Tele on the box and got this:
I packed it in, cranked the heat and ran a few errands.
My day ended with a drive home along the Deerfield river, where I snagged this shot of the frazil ice building it’s tortuous tangle as the sun disappeared behind the near hills:
That one’s from Elliot, with a degree and a half of tilt and a hand-held three-stop graduated ND filter. It took me all of fifteen minutes, by the end of which my tripod had frozen into the river, my fingertips were wooden and I had wind-whipped tears frozen to my cheeks.
Good thing I spent all those years climbing ice, or I wouldn’t have enjoyed that one bit!
Well that’s all for now, friends. I have 909 shots from last weekend’s climbing competition to process, so I’m off to work!
Weekend Round-Up. September 18, 2011Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: Elliot, fall colors, moonrise, salt lick, Savoy, star trails, steers, tilt-shift photography, Wilmington VT
Some shots from this weekend, which was lots more work than play, but nonetheless coughed up a few keepers.
I knocked off working around the house with time to take a ride through nearby Southern Vermont to see where things were bad and drop a few bucks at local businesses; they’re really going to need some support from those who can visit or send something ahead.
Well, I tell ya, they don’t call me “Mr. Softie” because I need the Little Blue Pill, but rather because my heart breaks when I see others’ suffering, and I had tears in my eyes going through Wilmington. What a mess, homes and buildings washed away, the main drag a sodden wreck. If you know of organizations keyed into helping, I ask you to participate.
Anyway, I’ve got enough disaster pics to string together into a Hollywood block-buster, so instead I took pictures of the changing foliage, like this one along devastated Route 100 in Readsboro:
Some red happening there, despite the crappy light. That was taken from atop my car to get over the roadside mess.
Here’s some Vermont Beef getting just salty enough to be worth grilling:
They were intent on Hoovering that salt block perched on the rock, and I thought they made cute food, so here they are.
More scenics -
North Pond in Savoy, trying to grow some colors:
It’s a long way from “peak,” but that’s Today’s Version.
And here’s a shot of Bog Pond in Savoy MA, taken patiently between the agitated tail-slaps of the local beaver, who apparently disapproved of my presence:
North Pond was an Ollie capture, while this last shot was courtesy of Elliot. I like his ability to get that foreground pond lily as well as the rest of the shot, and hope to get something more as the colors evolve.
And then, of course, the sun set and the stars came out, with a nascent moon threatening to rise:
That’s all kinds of beefed-up, ’cause I haven’t yet figured out my Korean substitute remote shutter release. This may be the shot that makes me dive headlong into debt for the real Canon remote, which comes complete with instructions and a a five-hundred-dollar-plus price tag!
A Taste Of Summer. July 13, 2011Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: gravel road, July, moonrise, river cairns, summer
July is an intense month – the blazing sun, the misty nights. Frogs and flowers, storms and crickets. Everything heats up, gets larger, more insistent. Working men with bronzed backs feel every inch of their glistening skin, pretty women in sticky sun dresses stand back-lit by the July sun, unfurling themselves like sails in search of a breeze. Babies startled by ice cream brain-freeze lunge gleefully for more as you drive slowly past, turn the wheel and head up-country for your Daily Cool.
You motor past thinning neighborhoods to where the barns live, then out past that, and before long the pavement turns to gravel, the poles and wires fall away, and you’re alone in a green Cathedral, your face dappled with sunlight and shadows, green light and birdsong accompanying the crunch of the road beneath your tires:
There’s a stream with a nice swimming hole up here, and you head for it to sit watching the cool water swirl around your feet as you study the efforts of whoever was there last:
This is how summer should be, the stuff of muted memories, less spectacle and more substance, life in the slow lane.
Refreshed, you meander homeward. As the sun gathers its rays together for a Last Hurrah you glide along beneath a rising moon, tall grasses wave to the fading day:
Friday night the moon will be full; make a note to bring the camera out on Thursday, weather permitting, to catch it rising fifty minutes or so before sunset.
Goodnight, my friends.
One More From The Shore! November 28, 2010Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: Bray's Beach, Gloucester, moonrise, private property, Rafe's Chasm, snorkling
This is the last of the North Shore photos, I promise. I think. Until next time.
I mean, until I either
a) get back there or
b) find more shots worth sharing.
Here’s a random stray one taken near Portland Head Light:
I kinda liked the geometry of that one and didn’t want to lose track of it before I shared it with someone.
An earlier visit to Bray’s Beach, south of Gloucester in the Magnolia area, found high surfs pounding an otherwise placid beach:
The locals were taking it in stride, whether reading on beach chairs while swaddled in blankets, or practicing yoga between snorkeling adventures:
Lizz and I got to Rafe’s Chasm this past weekend. It’s a (relatively) spectacular little slot in the Massachusetts shoreline, a 60-foot cleft in the trademark golden granite characteristic of this part of the coast:
The right side in this photo is accessible, the left is posted as Private Property. I didn’t go there, but I resented the convention that The Filthy Rich (hereafter referred to as The FFR, you can fill in the blanks) get to “own” such magical pieces of OUR coastline.
Oh, and across the head of this great crevice, a couple of feet to my left as I took that shot, there was a very nice steel fence, not some eyesore, but a piece of art built exactly for its circumstances. It pained me to give credence to the claim of ownership, but as I wasn’t alone and didn’t want my impetuosity to adversely affect others, I was a good boy and went no farther.
From below Rafe’s is like a piece of the Southwest dropped on the New England coast:
The fence blocking passage is just below that fancy stone gazebo at the top, which comes complete with a video surveillance camera, in case one forgets whose Earth this is.
Down by the water there was barely a sign of civilization, thanks to the convoluted shoreline – the expensive homes weren’t far off, they just weren’t visible.
And again it looked like the desert Southwest to me, set incongruously against a deep blue sea:
Not exactly my stereotypical vision of southern New England, but there it was.
I was hoping to have found a place to photograph a full moonrise with a lighthouse in the shot, but wasn’t sure I was far enough south on the coast to do that. Turns out I wasn’t, and a band of clouds obscured the actual moonrise anyway so that it wasn’t visible at all until it had long since cleared the horizon:
I was disappointed not to have gotten to use Gizmo on the lighthouse shot, but glad to have spent the wait-time a Rafe’s Chasm rather than somewhere else.
On the way out I took this shot at Lizz’s suggestion:
Good eye, that woman!
I’ll end this sea-tryst with a sunset shot from my first Eastward foray to this spot, looking south toward Boston:
That was a great evening of power and magic, and I’m happy to be able to share it with you.
Peace from The Coast,
Sunset, Moonrise. January 24, 2010Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Politics and Society.
Tags: half moon, moonrise, sunset, tracks in snow, Windsor
Half-moons are an odd lot; if they’re waxing, they rise mid-day, like the two idle classes here in America. If they’re waning, they rise around midnight, like the graveyard-shift working poor and the junkies and the lost souls whose fortunes are likewise waning.
But I digress.
Here’s a shot of Friday’s sunset on tracks in the snow:
…and Saturday’s mid-day moonrise:
Given a good polarizer and cooperative weather, this last week approaching the full moon makes for what are to me the most interesting moon shots.
And The Very Same Day… December 2, 2009Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: dam, Gardner Falls, moonrise
A sunrise, a moonrise, and a few night shots to top it all off.
The dam at Gardner Falls, an hour after sunset, illuminated by the moon and by a nearby shore light::
I did nothing to this other than bring the brightness up a bit. I’d call that lucky; I’ve worked much harder for less return.
Excuse my 30 second exposure.
Another shot from the same visit, the spillway and its accompanying light:
Again, I didn’t touch the color here, at least not after releasing the shutter. I think my automatic white balance may have struggled a bit with this, but I nonetheless like the effect and am happy to take credit for the result.
And finally, before being driven out by lens-wetting mists from the dam, I took a shot downstream toward the full moon:
Without changing any camera settings, the palette was totally different yet similarly compelling.
I’m inclined to come back here regularly, as this was fun.
An Acidental Sunset February 21, 2008Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: moonrise, sunset, windsor mountain
Went looking for the (essentially) full moon tonight, but froze my butt off atop Windsor Mountain, with temps in the single digits and a consistent westerly wind of indeterminate speed. Suffice it to say that my many layers, from micro-pile undies to down coat, were insufficient.
The moon was playing hard-to-get, but you know, as a “real” photographer (and a guy who paced a mean track in the snow trying to stay conscious) I happened to look around, and snagged this “consolation prize” :
Never piss on a sunset while you’re waiting for the moon.