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Good Morning! November 29, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Two shots as the sun came ’round the bend.

Crack O’ Dawn, No Witnesses:

…and then, this:

Sunrise over Hawks Ridge in Charlemont.

That’s from Gizmo at 400mm. And no, I didn’t boost the colors; as a matter of fact, I reduced the vibrance by 10%.  🙂

Good Morning! December 17, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Sunrise along the Mohawk Trail, Route 2 in Western Massachusetts:

The big bronze elk at the Veterans’ Memorial at Whitcomb Summit:

The snow is mostly gone from the high country for now, but will doubtless return soon.




Morning, Hereabouts. October 25, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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On the way to work today, I snagged a quick shot of the sun threatening to rise over the Deerfield river valley:

If you’ve been watching this site for a while, this shot will bore you – I’ve taken dozens of such photos from near here, but somehow the sight just keeps me snapping away, past shots be damned.

Later this week we’re anticipating our first snow, which will again transform our landscape into something magical.

I can’t wait!


Road Trip, Part I. June 23, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Spent part of last weekend traveling up to New Hampshire’s White Mountains, intending to take advantage of one of three “Sunrise Opening” days on Mount Washington’s auto road, giving photographers and romantics a chance to see the sun come ’round the bend from atop one of the East’s most spectacular mountains.

This presupposes that the weather will cooperate, which is a totally daft thought to those of us who know the mountain well; we’ll get to that part soon enough.

At any rate, the ride North on Saturday afternoon started out splendidly, then devolved into periods of rain:

That’s approaching Franconia Notch, with Canon Mountain on the left and Mount Lafayette on the right.

The sun popped in and out all afternoon, illuminating splendid views of fields of lupines:


…and wild rivers, this one the Ammonoosuc:

The Whites hold countless places for swimming and trout fishing, and plenty of places to stay if you like.  The Mount Washington Hotel, anyone?

…complete with its namesake looming over it to the east.

The surrounding forests range from birches:

…to boreal:

By the time I connected with my friend Lizz, the clouds had moved back in to obscure the sunset:

We waited expectantly, but Jesus was a no-show.  It’s just as well, as we needed to be in line at the toll road gate by 3:30 the next morning.

And we were, along with a couple of dozen other crazy folks.  We’d checked the weather report for the summit and were dressed for high winds and temps in the upper thirties.  Not everyone on the road was, though – a little convertible sports car with a very fashionable couple in it passed us, hastening, as the say, the Darwinian Eventuality.

The light began to come up as we broke tree line, along with the wind, which howled mercilessly, buffeting Lizz’s truck alarmingly.  I thought grimly of the little convertible up ahead of us.

Lizz stopped at a small pull-out, and we braved the elements long enough to catch some views of Mt. Adams across the Great Gulf:

The lenticular cloud above it signaled high winds, and as advertised, it was brutal, freezing our fingers into clubs and tossing us around like puppets, negating the possibility of “keeper” photos.

We jumped back in and continued onward through thick cloud banks and sixty mile an hour winds, quickly losing the light and any semblance of a view as the appointed time of sunrise approached.  By the time we reached the summit parking area I had all but given up hope for a decent sunrise photo, when suddenly, through pea-soup clouds, an orange glow grew into a fiery blaze.  We dashed out for a hastily set up shot:

My tripod was splayed ridiculously low to elude the wind, but even so, I had to crank the ISO obscenely to counter camera shake in the tempest.  Without Image Stabilization lenses I wouldn’t have gotten even this!

Through thinning clouds the light came up, revealing the Lunar landscape of the high flanks of the mountain, a thousand feet above tree line:

We had hoped to photograph the wildflowers which bloom this time of year, tiny things found few other places below the Arctic circle, but were forced by the fierce wind to abandon that idea in favor of general scenic vistas.  Here’s a shot of Boot Spur across Tuckerman’s Ravine:

The weather observatory towers on the summit buildings, just out of view:

…and a self-portrait, me and Mount Washington writ large across the landscape:

Land form shadows like that aren’t something I see every day here in the East, so I spent a while hunkered down behind a boulder, just diggin’ it.

About the time we were thoroughly chilled through, the clouds rolled back in and we turned and headed back down the mountain, hoping to get below the wind before we got below the wildflowers:

We succeeded, but that will have to wait for Part II.




Good Morning! April 17, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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…Well, it’s past noon as I post this, but it was taken around sunrise from Whitcomb Summit along Route 2, looking out over the Deerfield river valley:

Such is one of the consolation prizes for rainy Spring weather!

Soon the trees will leaf out and wildflowers will add to the daily beauty I’m surrounded by.

I can’t wait to share that with you!  🙂

Consolation Prize. February 18, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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I’m a loser, Baby, but don’t kill me just yet.

After getting skunked in my quest to capture a full moon photo Wednesday night I thought I’d get up early enough Thursday to catch moonset.

So with only four hours sleep I popped out of bed at 5am, microwaved a mug of joe and headed for the high country.  A very hazy moon was just ducking below the hills to the west, and I figured if I hustled I’d have a clear view of the horizon as Luna took her last bow.

But “clear view” was the kicker; turns out my hazy glimpse of Her Fullness was to be my last for the day.  The western horizon was a solid mass of clouds, and though I got to the vantage point I’d planned on, there was nothing to be seen of her.

All was not lost, though – I’d noted that sunrise would be about an hour after moonset, giving me enough time to get across Florida to Whitcomb Summit to catch that phenomenon, if indeed it was worth catching.  For some reason that spot has yielded some of the most amazing raspberry skies I’ve ever seen in the East, and most especially in winter.

I wasn’t disappointed.  The eastern horizon was just cracking a wry red smile as I arrived, and I had time to set up and snap away until I got this:

It was another iteration of the corrugated clouds of the night before, painted pink through a fortuitous gap between Heaven and Earth.

I did nothing to that shot in post-processing other than to bring the levels up; the clouds were moving quickly and a long exposure wouldn’t do, so I under-exposed it at two seconds.

As consolation prizes go, I was satisfied with this one.

Then I was off to brew a fresh pot of coffee and pitch another porch full of firewood.


Morning In Amerika. January 5, 2011

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I’m driving through the pinchingly cold pre-dawn air, a house-warmed camera and lenses on the seat beside me, up into the hills of Conway.  The eastern horizon cracks, emitting the long, low rays of the day’s first light.

I pull to a stop alongside a working farm, grasping for a piece of the morning’s glory, coming away with only this:

It was better than that, I swear, but my skills are rudimentary and my fingers were going numb.

I raced the rising riot of light to the valley floor, arriving in time to throw Elliot at this scene from the river’s edge, a lace of high-water ice suspended above a low-water dawn:

Tilt/Shift photography benefits from slow breathing and sensitive fingertips, but even lacking half of that equation, it beats sleeping in.

Sea-Side Saturday! November 23, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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I went back East this weekend for the third Saturday in a row – a record for me, as I’m more of a mountain-type guy, but hey, one mustn’t be narrow, eh?

So I packed up Friday night and, at the invitation of my friends and local housemates Lizz and Holly, spent the night at their place in Arlington with the intention of catching sunrise on The Coast with Lizz.

We got up a bit after 4am, and I have to say, I’m glad Lizz was driving (she always does!)  I swilled a cup of coffee from the first place we encountered which was open, but that didn’t prevent me from drifting in and out of a pleasant stupor as we headed east, then north.

Our first stop was a lighthouse known as “The Nubble,” and our timing was close to perfect – the first hint of light was growing in the East, allowing us to pick our way down the rocks and set up just above the rising tide.

It was still dark enough to get some really long (15+ second) exposures, and we did:

I was pleased at the way the waves came and went and left their ghosts on the jagged rocks.

The sea itself was magnificent as the sky grew radiantly red.  I played with my graduated filters, then did virtually nothing to these two shots in post-processing:


As the dawn progressed the colors were swallowed by thickening clouds, muting the landscape of crashing waves and tortured granite:

But alas, it was friggin’ freezing out there, with the wind lashing at out coats and tripods so that we had to hang on to everything:

…and as the light flattened, we bundled ourselves back into Lizz’s truck and trundled off to a big breakfast at a place which came highly recommended, and proved to be worthy of every word spoken on its behalf.

Man, that was a great way to wake up!

I’ll have the rest of the day’s catch up soon – right now it’s getting late, and I have another 4am wake-up scheduled, this time for work at a bit of a distance from home.

G’Night!  😉

Today. November 3, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Sunrise over North Adams:

Hand-held in low light at ISO 3200; sorry ’bout the grain.

After work, high on Mount Greylock, I came across a small stagnant pool:

…and made something else of it entirely.  I like the way the elements of this one came together, with the only sunlit vegetation in the scene suggesting a blazing sun and the trees seemingly being re-leaved.

Higher, I caught this detail of icicles adorning a road-cut:

The surface was decorated with a strange, raised crazing which looked alive, and I dug it.

I hope you dig it too.

All shots with my 16-35mm L-series lens which, surprisingly, focused down to about 8″ for that last shot!


Photo Quickie! October 30, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Because my internet has been in-and-out for the past several days (mostly out!) I’m gonna cut to the chase and just dump these photos on you.

Sunrise and sumacs:

St. James Episcopal in Greenfield:

The French King Bridge over the Connecticut River in Gill, MA:

The Westfield River as it runs through Chesterfield Gorge:

And lastly,Pegasus makes an appearance at sunset:

Now to hit the “send” button before I pop offline again…