Photographs by Frank

25 September 2014

Margins Redux

Filed under: Early Fall,Monadnock Region — Tags: , — Frank @ 12:00 PM

One of the peculiarities of landscape photography is that even though parts of the landscape are seemingly constant, other parts (e.g. the light and the weather) are constantly changing.

These facts have two consequences for photography:

#1 — Keep revisiting the same landscape; your photos will always be different.

#2 — If you see an interesting landscape in good light, stop and make a photograph right then and there; second chances on great conditions are rarely granted. Of course, in order to do this you always have a camera with you!

Thus, yesterday morning while out running errands, I could not (once again) resist the combination of puffy white clouds, blue sky and red swamp maples.

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Half Moon Pond, Hancock NH
Half Moon Pond, Hancock NH
Moose Brook, Hancock NH
Moose Brook, Hancock NH
Unnamed Beaver Pond, Hancock, NH
Unnamed Beaver Pond, Hancock, NH
Gregg Lake #1
Gregg Lake #1
Gregg Lake #2
Gregg Lake #2
Gregg Lake #3
Gregg Lake #3

 

24 September 2014

Tomatoes… and Garden Flowers

Filed under: Early Fall — Tags: , — Frank @ 4:00 PM

This year the squashes (zucchini and otherwise) have been pretty much under control. On the other hand, the tomatoes seem to be out of control!

For a number of days, I have been contemplating the counter of our kitchen island completely covered with tomatoes of all sizes, shapes and colors. I knew there had to be a photograph or two in this bounty.

Thus, yesterday afternoon, I set up a “studio” outside on our deck*.

I began by lining up some small tomatoes on the railing and made the photograph that had been rolling around in my brain for the past few days (see the first photo below). Since I was all set up to make photos, I looked around for other subjects in the tomato pile. When I finished there, I moved on to the flowers Joan grows around the perimeter of the vegetable garden.

All-in-all a good time was had by moi!  I used up some creative energy and amused myself for a couple of hours

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Tomatoes
Tomatoes
Tomato #1
Tomato #1
Tomato #2
Tomato #2
Garden Flower #1
Garden Flower #1
Garden Flower #2
Garden Flower #2
Garden Flower #3
Garden Flower #3
Garden Flower #4
Garden Flower #4

* Warning… photographer talk ahead! My “studio” consisted of a small translucent white scrim arranged to diffuse the sunlight hitting the subjects which were set upon the deck railing. I started by using the natural scenery as background, but I eventually used a reversible white/gold reflector as the background; it was roughly ten feet beyond the deck railing.  I set my exposure to over expose the background giving relatively featureless backgrounds. I used a 70-300 mm zoom lens on my camera.


 

Margins

Filed under: Early Fall,Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Tags: , — Frank @ 2:00 PM

Ecologically, the transitions between different environments (forest and field or water and land, for example) are very important areas. These transitions often provide shelter for animals on one side and hunting grounds on the other side.

In the early autumn many of these margins (especially those involving water) are often highlighted in the red of early-changing swamp maple foliage.

On days with puffy autumn clouds and deep blue skies one can make wonderful photographs of the landscape.

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Gregg Lake
Gregg Lake
Wetland in Hancock
Wetland in Hancock
Newly Mown Field
Newly Mown Field
Gregg Lake #2
Gregg Lake #2
Untitled #1
Untitled #1
Untitled #2
Untitled #2
Wetland, Fitzwilliam NH
Wetland, Fitzwilliam NH
Wetland, Fitzwilliam NH #2
Wetland, Fitzwilliam NH #2
Gregg Lake #3
Gregg Lake #3

 

20 September 2014

Early September

Filed under: Birds,Early Fall,Landscapes,Mammals,Monadnock Region — Tags: , , — Frank @ 2:00 PM

The beginning of September brings three harbingers of the autumn that is just around the corner…

The hawks and other raptors begin their migration. We, in the Monadnock region, are lucky to have a wonderful spot from which to observe this world-class spectacle. New Hampshire Audubon organizes and staff an observatory on the summit of Pack Monadnock in Miller State Park during September and October each year. Visits are always interesting; I tend to go on weekdays when it is not quite as busy.

The swamp maples begin to turn red. For some reason, the swamp maples at the north end of Gregg Lake seemed to turn especially early this year; there were signs of red in late August. Currently, these trees are about at their peak and there it little change most of the other trees.

The chipmunks become manic. Living more-or-less in the woods, with a property bounded by stone walls, we are well acquainted with chipmunks. However, in early September as the acorns start to drop, the chipmunk activity really picks up. One does not even have to go outside as their squeaking vocalizations are clearly heard when the windows are open.

Late yesterday afternoon, I noticed “nice light” on the chipmunk highway (i.e. the stone wall) down by the road. I headed down, with camera in hand, hoping to get some photos of “flying” chipmunks as they jumped from stone to stone, often with an acorn in their jaws. I failed miserably… they are just too fast for me! I did manage a couple of frames of individuals who stopped to eat along the highway!

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Hawk in Flight #1
Hawk in Flight #1
Hawk in Flight #2
Hawk in Flight #2
Swamp Maples #1
Swamp Maples #1
Swamp Maples #2
Swamp Maples #2
Chipmunk #1
Chipmunk #1
Chipmunk #2
Chipmunk #2

 

Home and Harvest – 2014

Filed under: Early Fall,Monadnock Region — Tags: , — Frank @ 1:00 PM

One of the markers of early autumn for me is Antrim’s Home and Harvest festival; this year was the eleventh annual edition.

Along with many vendors spread out along Main Street and a multitude of activities for the kids, the main activities for the weekend are a parade on Saturday morning, skateboard racing all day long and a chicken barbecue organized by the Lions Club topped off with fireworks.

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Antrim Elementary School Mascot & Friend
Antrim Elementary School Mascot & Friend
Lions Club Float
Lions Club Float
Marching!
Marching!
Bob Flanders & T-bird
Bob Flanders & T-bird
Skateboarders #1
Skateboarders #1
Skateboarders #2
Skateboarders #2

 

Mount Washington Cog Rail

Filed under: Early Fall,the White Mountains — Tags: — Frank @ 12:04 PM

Last year, right after Labor Day, we took a trip to the White Mountains with our now-adult offspring. One of the things we did on that trip was to ride the Cog Railway to the summit of Mount Washington.

We must have talked up the trip well because this year we repeated the Cog Railway excursion with my parents. We did just a day trip but a good time was had by all and my father got to check off an item from his “bucket list”.

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Engine M4 (detail)
Engine M4 (detail)
Old Engine (detail)
Old Engine (detail)
Headed Up
Headed Up
At the Summit
At the Summit
Summit Cairn #1
Summit Cairn #1
Summit Cairn #2
Summit Cairn #2
View from the Summit
View from the Summit

 

22 September 2013

A Windy Day in Early Autumn

Filed under: "Camp",Early Fall,Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Tags: , — Frank @ 9:00 PM

Late this afternoon, we took a quick “spin” on the lake in the kayaks. It was breezy and cool but the interesting clouds made for good photography.

September Skies #1 (Gregg Lake Near Our Camp)

September Skies #1

September Skies #2 (The Gregg Lake Shore)

September Skies #2

A Hint of Things to Come

A Hint of Things to Come

21 September 2013

Moon Light Madness

Filed under: Early Fall,Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Tags: , — Frank @ 7:00 PM

Thursday was the full moon for September… the harvest moon.

I spent the evening at a Monadnock Camera Club meeting and therefore did not have time to photograph. However, I was so smitten by the moonlit drive home that, yesterday evening I headed out so see what I could photograph.

In preparation, I spent a bit of time in the afternoon using a wonderful program called The Photographer’s Ephemeris. This program shows you in what direction the sun|moon rise|set will occur on any day at any location. It is an incredibly useful tool for landscape photographers.

After a bit of exploration with this program, I decided that the view looking east across the south end of Gregg Lake was a good candidate for a moon rise photo. So I packed up my gear and made the roughly a quarter mile walk from the house to the lake shore. I arrived shortly after 6 PM and caught the last of the days sunlight on the shore as it disappeared behind the ridge to the west of  the lake. Sunset was 6:48 PM yesterday. As I waited for the moon to rise (7:17 PM), I enjoyed the peace and quiet and a loon out on the lake kept me entertained.

Patten Hill & Camp (6:17 PM)

Things did not work out perfectly. The moon did not begin to appear over the ridge and trees to the east of the lake until about 20 minutes after it rose; the sunlight was completely completely gone by this time. Thus, there was no light on the foreground as the moon rose.

I really should have tried this a day or two before the full moon not the day after… next month!

Moonrise at Gregg Lake (7:40 PM)

I packed up and headed home in the dark… LED head lamps are a wonderful invention!

After dinner, I decided to head down to the bridge and the “civilized” end of Brimstone Corner and see if I could make photos of the north end of the lake by moon light. I think that I got a keeper… what say you?

Big Dipper over the north end of Gregg Lake (9:30 PM)

Technical note: This is a 1 min exposure (at f/8 and ISO 400). The only processing applied is noise reduction… and a lot of it!

The same is true of the moon rise photo (30 sec at f/8 and ISO 400)  immediately above.


12 September 2013

Retirement, Taking Advantage of

Filed under: "Camp",Early Fall — Tags: — Frank @ 1:00 PM

Yesterday (Wednesday)  was a hot, sticky, summer day.

After lunch, we decided to take full advantage of retirement and headed down to camp. We had the lake to ourselves.

I took the “ode rig” along, but saw only seven or eight odes (all on the wing) over the few hours we were out. Ode season is coming to an end and there are signs of autumn everywhere.

I spent some time wandering the woods near camp and practiced my photographic “seeing”.

Here are the results:

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Decaying Bole #1
Decaying Bole #1
Decaying Bole #2
Decaying Bole #2
Fungi
Fungi
Early Autumn Leaf #1
Early Autumn Leaf #1
Bark
Bark
Early Autumn Leaf #2
Early Autumn Leaf #2

Yes… the colors in the first photo (Decaying Bole #1) are “true to life”.


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