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Along The Ammonoosuc. October 6, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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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:

…and:

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.

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Comments»

1. Randal Graves - October 7, 2011

Man, and here I thought you did all this by magic, not hard work & a discerning eye. Way to spoil it!

2. Spinny Liberal - October 7, 2011

Wow. Those pictures are gorgeous. Good choice to put #1 in the #1 position. My favorite. 😉

3. littlebangtheory - October 7, 2011

Randal, sorry. Honesty will be the death of me!

SL, thanks, I like that first one a lot as well. 🙂

4. susan - October 10, 2011

I like them all including the photographer’s official set-up but I’m partial to #4. Glorious golds in trees and rocks are very artistic but in a perfectly natural way.

5. littlebangtheory - October 10, 2011

Susan, thanks. I like #4 too, as much for its close-in crispness as for its colors. It was one of those “turn around, don’t miss what’s behind you” moments.


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