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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:


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.

A Few More Shots… August 22, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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…from New Hampshire.

At Diana’s Bath, a series of cascades and pools coursing toward North Conway:

Diana's bath

A kid wading in the Ammonoosuc River, west of Mount Washington:


…and a White Mountains sunset, rode hard and put up wet:

Whites sunset

I may not have gotten what I wanted this past weekend, but I got what I needed.

Back. August 19, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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From New Hampshire’s White Mountains, on a beautiful summer weekend.

Here are a few shots from along the way.

Followed the Ammonoosuc River up valley:


…to its source, high up on the western flanks of Mount Washington, the loftiest peak in the Northeast:

MWV Hotel

That’s the Mount Washington Hotel, by the way.  I’ve only admired it from a distance; they say if you have to ask, “How much?” you can’t afford it.

I first became aware of this area at the age of ten, a little young for Boy Scouts, but my Dad was an Assistant Scout Master, so I got to go along for the summer fun.  I remember we swam in the Ammonoosuc River, at a roadside swimming hole which is now miles from the nearest pavement (think “road relocation.”)  It’s prettier without the cars, though it still draws plenty of visitors:

crowded pool

I had to work to get clean “nature” shots without my fellow tourists in them:

Ammonoosuc River

turbulent wall

Not that I minded the work.  🙂

Anyway, I was soon off to Cathedral Ledge, a 500′ monster overlooking North Conway:


Again with the tourists – sheesh!

Nearby Whitehorse Ledge is similarly scenic, though without a road to the top, it’s left to climbers and hikers:


I’ve climbed both of these faces more times than I can count (as has my buddy Frau B.,) but this trip was just for looking; perhaps in the future I’ll get back on the rock.

I love this area.  The White Mountains are somewhat of an anomaly for the Northeast, having relatively large areas above treeline and hosting remarkable swaths of sub-alpine eco-niches.

I expect to get back up there as autumn approaches; it should be spectacular if the wet weather continues into September.