Last Thursday morning, I meandered back home from Peterborough stopping to photograph buildings (or, more accurately, parts thereof) in Peterborough, Harrisville, Nelson, Hancock and Antrim.
Warning photographer talk follows:
When one points a camera up, say to photograph a tall building, the optics cause the problem of converging verticals… vertical lines, that are parallel in reality, look like they are converging and the building looks like it might fall over backwards.
This problems can be overcome in three different ways. There are special cameras and lenses with “tilt shift” mechanisms that allow one to compensate for this effect. Digital photos may be corrected (to an extent) in the computer using the proper software. Lastly, there is the solution I used for many of the photographs in this post. Tip the camera so that there are no vertical lines. No verticals, no convergence… Simple as that!
Yesterday afternoon I headed back to Washington (NH) to make the photo I had envisioned the day before.
Being Saturday, I knew that the vehicles that were there the day before were not likely to be present. However the light was not quite as nice. There were a few scattered high clouds about but none to the west where they could diffuse the sun light. I prevailed none-the-less.
After I finished at the common (at a couple of minutes past four), I headed over to East Washington; there is both a church and a Grange hall to photograph there. I was too late for the Grange, it was in the shade already. The church which is up a hill from the Grange was still in good light. The light on the church lasted ten or fifteen minutes.
I caught the last of the sunlight on a few low clouds at Gregg Lake on the way home.
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Yesterday afternoon looked good for photography… there were high clouds which softened the light and this time of year the sun gets low enough for nice directional light by mid-afternoon. I spent a couple of hours (roughly 2 – 4 PM) making a circuit of favorite places to photograph.
My first stop was an old barn which I recently learned is scheduled to be demolished at some point in the not too distant future. Thus I am feeling a sense of urgency in making photos of this barns last ‘gasp’ as it were.
This sense of urgency was heightened later in my drive when I passed an old house in East Washington that I have photographed in the past; it is now in the process of being dismantled.
My second stop was Hillsborough Center. I have photographed the church there a number of times. Yesterday, I looked for other subjects there.
My last stop was the Washington (NH) commons.
I have photographed here many times and was hoping to make some photographs using my camera obscura. However, this was not in the cards for yesterday. There was a police vehicle parked next to the school house (which now serves as the police station) and there were other vehicles near the town hall. Plan B was to make photographs “looking up”… i.e. of various roof lines.
I recently discovered that the subject of Paul Strand‘s famous photograph usually titled “Town Hall, NH” is, in fact, the Washington, NH town hall. The exterior of building is unchanged since Strand took his photo in 1946. However, the flag pole has been replaced (and moved).
By four, the light was pretty much gone (even on the hilltop site of the common) so I packed up and headed home.
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Early yesterday afternoon, the light was nice… soft but directional.
I spent an enjoyable couple of hours in a favorite out-of-the-way corner of Hancock making photos.
I headed home only when the clouds thickened making the light dull and drab.
Yesterday, while photographing stone walls, I noticed that, when the sun peaked out from behind the clouds, the nearby trees were casting shadows upon a nearby granite ledge.
Me thinks that there might be a project in this idea… we’ll see!
Have you ever noticed that folks who put bumper stickers on their vehicles are not usually satisfied with one?
Found in Peterborough yesterday…
Yesterday afternoon found me in the lovely village of Grafton, Vermont.
On Thursday evening, in snowed at the higher elevations in both Vermont and New Hampshire and there were still remnants on the ground on Saturday afternoon.*
These photographs were made by photographing the ground glass of a camera obscura.
*Here in Antrim we got mostly sleet and just a trace of accumulation. A fellow from Marlboro, VT said they had about six inches and there was still patches of snow in the woods at higher elevations, including the upper reaches of Lempster Mountain (about 20 miles from Antrim).
I spent last Friday evening and Saturday morning/early afternoon making photos of people at the Antrim 2020 community planning event.
People are not my usual subjects – my father once commented that I was the only one he knows that goes on a six week vacation and comes back with nary a single photo of a person – and I won’t bore you with photos of people you don’t know.
On Saturday morning, after the rain had stopped, I slipped outside for a short break from ‘event photography’; this diptych is the result:
This year’s foliage season has been quite spectacular.
Last Thursday, we headed to camp to take the sailboat out of the water. While Joan scrubbed the summer’s accumulation off the bottom of the hull, I headed out in the kayak to photograph the lake shore. The first three photos are the result.
On Saturday, I headed out for a short drive. On the outbound leg, I headed up towards Hillsborough Center and then on to East Washington. I headed back towards home via Washington and Route 31. The Pierce Homestead is near the junction of Routes 31 and 9 in Hillsborough.
On Saturday, I photographed down by the bridge on Gregg Lake three times. The skies were cloudless, bright blue when I passed by in the morning. In the early afternoon there were scattered clouds and by late afternoon the skies were mostly cloudy. The early afternoon skies made for the most interesting photos; the last thee above and the four below.
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Yesterday afternoon, I took a walk up the “wild” section of Brimstone Corner to work on the 2016 edition of my Autumnal Abstract series.
This is my third year of making Autumnal Abstracts; here are the 2014 and 2015 versions.
All of these photo are made using a slow shutter speed* and deliberate movement of the camera. A moderate telephoto lens (a zoom set to 80 mm this year) was used. The maxim “less is more” seems to hold here. Thus, the narrow field of view of a telephoto seems to work better than a wider lens.
The resulting exposures are unpredictable and irreproducible; this is what makes it fun!
Processing in the computer is limited to the usual adjustments (black and white point setting, contrast adjustment and cropping). The “abstractness” comes from the camera not the computer.
This year I seem to favor the very abstract with swaths of bold color.
However, there were a few less abstract frames that caught my eye as well.
* Typically the shutter speed is in the range of one to four seconds. A neutral density filter is used to achieve these shutter speeds.
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