Along The Ammonoosuc. October 6, 2011Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: Ammonoosuc River, Canon 24mm TS-E II f2.8L IS USM, fall colors, tilt-shift photography, White Mountains
Well, a trip to the Whites conjures images in my mind of lofty peaks, this time of year draped in unlikely colors.
But this time up, the rain had different ideas – there would be no expansive views, no tableaus of mountains and rivers and intricate foregrounds. Anything at a distance would be obscured by clouds or diffused by the intervening rain, with the foreground details inopportunely shaken by the incessant wind.
Oh well. I’d come this far with the knowledge that I had a 70% chance of getting nothing worth sharing, but that if I turned around and went home, the chances went to 100%.
So up the Ammonoosuc river I went, climbing toward its headwaters on Mount Washington. A couple of nights in the sweat-lodge of my Toyota was a small price to pay for a chance to try.
And don’tcha know, Mother (Nature) provided, like she always has. The high country around Twin Mountain was beginning its transformation, and though well before “peak,” the nascent colors framed the river in glory:
There should have been an impressive view of Mount Washington’s western flanks in the background, but conditions were such that there was no background; a dense rain saw to that.
Shooting in these conditions necessitated a good deal of extra work which doesn’t show up in the photographs, but rather makes them possible – I had to construct a wooden tripod, lash an umbrella to it, and anchor it against the wind so that it freed me to hand-hold graduated filters in front of my lens to deal wit the low light conditions. A typical set-up looked something like this one above the Lower Falls of the Ammonoosuc:
In this case the mainstay of the wooden tripod is pounded into a drill-hole in the granite ledge, probably an anchor for an earlier structure. The drill-hole was a fortunate find, allowing me to take photos such as these:
If you follow this blog with an eye toward what I’m doing to produce it, you might have discerned the hand of Elliot in those last two shots. I was getting a little bit desperate to find compelling foreground elements with backdrops worthy of the tilt-shift paradigm; these two photos were about as close as I got to realizing my vision….all taken in a steady rain and a pernicious wind.
More shots to follow, though sadly, nothing as grand as the White Mountains venue is capable of delivering.