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Reflecting On Reflections. September 16, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Reflections in water are a favorite subject of many landscape photographers, partly because they can be fun and interesting, and partly because they’re there when actual landscape photography is less than interesting.

As an example of both rationalizations, here’s a shot from the Chesterfield Gorge on the Westfield river in Massachusetts:

It has a nicely reflexive geometry, but has neither the saturation of a real-world moment nor the contrast of a great black and white photo, so I’m at a loss as to what to do with it other than to throw it out there as a Potential Thing lost in the miasma of mediocrity. I probably ought to have more pride than to publish it at all, but then, we all have visions which go unfulfilled despite our best efforts. This is one of mine, and I welcome your input as to how it could amount to anything or why it never will.


Evening Along The Deerfield. August 8, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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This evening’s skies looked like they might light up, so as the light grew low I headed down to the river.  First stop, the Route 8A bridge in the center of Charlemont, where the setting sun danced on the waters of the Deerfield river:

The light was nice, but the color wasn’t there.

After a few shots, I packed it in and headed eastward toward home.

But as often happens when  I pack it in, the light began to shift, and the colors bloomed, and soon I was accelerating past my driveway, heading toward a riverside view in East Charlemont which regular visitors to this site might recognize.  As I drove the eastern skies lit up, and I hit the binders just in time to get these takes on the fading light reflected in the river:

Our river is unusually low for this time of year, and the bones of its bed are exposed to whatever voyeurs happen by.  I’m embarrassed for it, and wish the roadside weeds would dress it more decently in its diminished state.

But that’s just me being anthropomorphic, feeling Nature in a way to which I haven’t a right.  It is what it is, and it isn’t really my business.

Still, I hope this is a passing phase.  My river can’t stand very much of this without losing a good deal of what it once was.

Reflections. May 9, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Here are some shots of reflected scenes, now that the wind has finally  died down.

From North Pond up in Savoy, red maple catkins viewed through an evening fog:

The muted forest amplified itself in the tannic waters:

Up the shoreline, three locals drank beer and waited indifferently for the fish to bite.  One of them, seeing my camera, put down his Budweiser and mooned me.  But I was too slow to inflict that horror on you, and just got this view of the “action:”

And lastly, a shot from this afternoon, of a sunken walkway at the edge of a pond in New Hampshire:

It was far less foggy, but the composition caught my eye.

I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed finding them.




Burnett Pond. November 24, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Got out to Burnett Pond in Savoy the other evening, a spot not quite visible from the road, but nonetheless worth a visit or two.

The ice is just beginning to form up there (Savoy’s a “hill town,” whereas I live in the Deerfield river valley) and I found a few views worth setting up for.

Here’s one, perhaps my favorite [who in God’s name leads with ‘their favorite??’ ], a reflection of ice forming beneath a nascent sunset:

The pond was still enough to see past the coalescing ice to its shallow shoreline bottom:

…to the wind-whipped ripples of golden sand beneath a textured slurry of water in-between states:

Finally the sunset did its thing, coloring the sky in hues of citrus and garnet:

It’ll be colder tonight, and at the risk of boring you, I’ll be up way before dawn in search of ice.

Icing On The Pond! November 21, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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A fringe of ice appears along the shore of a pond high up in Savoy:

December’s coming, and with it, I expect we’ll see an end to this aesthetically challenged Season of Brown.

I’m looking forward to it!

Reflections. November 11, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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This evening’s sky was dreadfully clear, and thus unlikely to produce much of a sunset.  But on a hunch that the wind which had blown moderately all day might die down at dusk, I headed up to some high marshes and ponds to see what there was to see.

The wind didn’t quite quit, but it slacked up enough to get these reflections.

A beaver pond up in Windsor:

Mr Beaver glided through this scene moments after I snapped this shot, but as my exposure time was two seconds, I enjoyed watching him rather than getting all busy trying to photograph him.

Then the sky pinked up, not in a fireworks kind-of way, but rather in a pastel haze kind-of way, and I got these cat-tails posing tranquilly:

A short ways farther down the road, Plainfield Pond was catching the last of the delicate sky, this view being to the North:

That last one’s with a half degree of tilt and a two-stop graduated filter, which gave me a pretty good foreground at a really wide aperture.

Thanks again, Elliot!

Reflections. October 21, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Shelburne Falls, the Shelburne side, reflected in the Deerfield river:

I think the dappling of the water’s surface makes the shot look rather painterly, if you know what I mean.  Kinda European, very not-New England.

Now that I’ve seen the result of this effort, I’m going to pursue this thread as opportunities arise.

I hope you like it.

Morning On The Deerfield. September 19, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Frau B. and I got up before dawn on Saturday to try for some “Sunrise on the Deerfield” photos.

Turned out that the sunrise was a good deal less spectacular than it might have been, but the location where we set up was still productive.

The river was low enough for me to ford it at a thigh-deep rapid, and with a full compliment of camera gear on my back, the swift water provided something of an adventure.  I used a piece of “beaver wood” as an upstream support and crossed tripod-style to the rocky shallows on the opposite side, arriving dry and jazzed, thanks to a pair of felt-soled hip boots I’d thought to bring along.

With the sunrise fizzling, we turned our attentions to details closer at hand.  I found these chickory blossoms curling inward against the cool mists of morning, and with the time pressures of an exploding sunrise removed, took the time to set up Elliot at an eight-degree tilt.  I tweaked the angle to get a decent focus from about a foot on the right to the distant skyline at center left:

Mists rose from the upstream waters as Mount Todd appeared and disappeared in the clouds rising through the steeper valley upriver from us.

The trees here have begun their seasonal transformation to Technicolor, and though the shoreline foliage has a long way to go to “peak,” an occasional scarlet leaf can be found drifting down river or clinging to anything which emerges as the dam-released water drops, in this case a birch log:

I dug the reflection in that scene enough to look for more of the same, and discovered that the so-so sky looked more intense in this reflecting pool:

Things were still enough in this shot to use my 16-35mm L-series lens, one of my favorites.  A long (several seconds) exposure gave me enough depth of field to capture both the reflected clouds and a very distant Frau B (opposite bank center, in a green shell jacket.)

All in all, it wasn’t a wasted trip despite the uncooperative sun.

A later post will show you this river in a much different light.  😉

Reflections, Continued. September 7, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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I’m working with a new lens, which purportedly delivers sharp images over a greater depth of field than I can access with my other lenses.  So forgive me if some of these shots are less than artistic; I’m really trying to see what my new tool will do.

Here are the previously promised reflections.

At the Quabbin, a local reservoir which supplies Boston with much of its water:

Quab reflection A1

In this case the “tilt” function of this lens afforded me sharp focus from the foreground to the back.

Here’s a sky reflection, which utilized less of the “tilt” function of this new lens and more of the “shift” function:

McLeod reflection

I liked what happened there.  I got shifted out of the photo, though an observer might never know.

Here’s one with me left in, a “self portrait” if you will:

McLeod shaddow

I expect that this will become my most interesting (and most challenging!) lens, a twin in utility to my 16-35mm L series.

Sorry to get technical on you there, but I’m pretty jazzed.

Random Shots. September 5, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Life is ever changing, and I’m feeling myself swept up in currents which aren’t necessarily about blogging.  If I’m scarce for a while, it might be that I’m busy consolidating my life, moving to a new place and diggin’ my favorite time of year.

I’m prejudiced, of course, being a Child of Autumn.

Here are a few shots from this past week.

Mount Negus on a typical morning, with the river rising up its flanks:


A Purple-flowering raspberry with Goldenrod and Spotted jewelweed:

raspberry, etc

Laurels at lakeside, taken earlier in the year:


A bear running from an unwitting pic-nicker:

running bear

…do you see the guy behind the tree?  He just walked up from the river and surprised this yearling bear.

And lastly, a carpet of White wood asters surround a pic-nic table at Mohawk State Forest:

white wood asters

Gotta run – I have mountains of wild mushrooms to dispatch.  I’ll let you know how that goes.