Photographs by Frank

15 October 2014

Gregg Lake Panoramas

Filed under: Autumn,Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Tags: , — Frank @ 12:00 PM

The autumn foliage has been about peak for the past few days.

My photographic tendency, when it comes to landscapes, is to concentrate on the details; the “intimate landscape” a lá Eliot Porter.

However, every once in a while, I figure out how to capture the larger landscape. One mechanism for doing this is the panorama; digital photography has made it easy to build panoramas without special equipment.

The first of these panoramas was constructed by combining three frames shot from Gregg Lake Road on a cold, gray day (last Saturday). The second combines two frames shot from my kayak on a warm, mostly sunny day (yesterday).

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Gregg Lake from the Road (three frames)
Gregg Lake from the Road (three frames)
Patten Hill and 'Our' Cove (two frames)
Patten Hill and 'Our' Cove (two frames)

 

4 October 2014

Ashuelot River at Gilsum

Filed under: Autumn,Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Tags: , — Frank @ 6:00 PM

After a day of rain on Wednesday, Thursday dawned with a heavy overcast. However, by mid-afternoon the skies seemed to lighten a bit and I headed out to see if I could photograph the stone arch bridge in Gilsum, NH. One of the tallest bridges of its type, it spans a mini-canyon carved by the Ashuelot River.

The terrain (high steep river banks and the curve of the river) and a gauging station conspire against nice photos of the bridge from river level, but I was able to make some nice photos of the river just upstream from the bridge.

As I was headed north on route 10, back towards home, I noticed some “interesting” light developing and was able to find a spot to pull off the road and take advantage of the short interval (two minutes, maybe) before the light turned dull and drab again. The last photo is the result of this quick stop.

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Craig Road Bridge
Craig Road Bridge
Ashuelot River #1
Ashuelot River #1
Ashuelot River #2
Ashuelot River #2
Ashuelot River #3
Ashuelot River #3
Ashuelot River #4
Ashuelot River #4
Ashuelot River #5
Ashuelot River #5

 

27 September 2014

Autumnal Abstracts

Filed under: Autumn,Landscapes — Tags: , , — Frank @ 3:00 PM

Thursday afternoon, I went for a walk hoping that the clouds would break near sunset and I would have interesting skies and “good light” on the landscape.

This was not to be.

While waiting for the “good light”, I entertained myself in the drab gray light by playing with long exposures (10-20 seconds) and deliberate camera movements as I am wont to do on occasions such as this*.

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Autumnal Abstract #1
Autumnal Abstract #1
Autumnal Abstract #2
Autumnal Abstract #2
Autumnal Abstract #3
Autumnal Abstract #3
Autumnal Abstract #4
Autumnal Abstract #4
Autumnal Abstract #5
Autumnal Abstract #5
Autumnal Abstract #6
Autumnal Abstract #6
Autumnal Abstract #7
Autumnal Abstract #7

*Warning photographer talk ahead! Dull, low light makes long exposures easier although I still needed a neutral density filter for these photographs.


 

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

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

 

2 April 2014

Keeping Busy in the Late Winter and… Signs of Spring

Arrrgh… blasted computers!

I went to write this post (the first in two months… how time flies!) and found that WordPress was asking me to update a number of things; which I dutifully did. This broke gallery plug-in that I have been using to display sets of photos. I have spent part of two days trying, without success, to get things working again! I have given up (at least for the moment). Thus, you will note a much less elegant presentation of the photos included in this post. Please click on each thumb nail for a larger version and then click on the larger image to close it.

Here is the post I was contemplating before update hell intervened…

February and March are always the slow time in my photographic year and this year has been no exception. Stretches of cold gray weather followed by a day or two of  cloudless bright sun… neither of which are very conducive to landscape or wildlife photography. Most years we see signs of spring by early April and the photographic opportunities reassert themselves… not this year, as yet!

There is still more than a foot of snow on the ground and “ice out” on the lake  is no where in sight. There are a few meager signs that spring is coming… the snow has a nice wet slushy consistency, a few robins have appeared, the temperatures are falling to barely below freezing at night and the road is a quagmire! Yesterday, it was even warm enough to spend some time making saw dust fly in the garage Spring can’t be too far away… right!?

Although the making of new photographs has been slow, I have been “photo-active” in other ways. For instance, I put together and submitted a portfolio of fifteen 8″x 10″ prints (matted to 11″ x 14″)  in support of my application to become an exhibiting member at the Vermont Center for Photography. I am glad to say that this portfolio was favorably received and I was accepted as an exhibiting member at the end of February.

The Vermont Center for Photography is a gallery and resource center located in Brattleboro, VT (about an hours drive from the house). For the moment, I plan to take part in their group exhibits. I also plan to use their darkroom facilities as I experiment with hand-made cameras (see this post, for example).

Here are the photographs I submitted:

 

21 October 2013

The Waning of Autumn

Filed under: Autumn,Landscapes,Monadnock Region,Uncategorized — Tags: , — Frank @ 5:00 PM

In my view, Autumn can be divided into three sub-seasons. Early, when the bright deep red of the swamp maples appears. Middle, when the reds, oranges and yellows of  the upland maples and birch dominate. And finally, late, when the yellow-browns of the oak and beech appear.

Late autumn is now in full swing around here!

I have, in my minds eye, a photograph of the rising moon just above the local horizon with an “interesting” foreground bathed in the warm light of the setting sun. I know that this is somewhat of a visual cliche, but I want to make my own version.

In order to do this successfully, one needs to understand that on the day of the full  moon, the sun sets at roughly the same time as the moon rises. On each succeeding day thereafter, progressing towards the next new moon, the moon rises a bit later relative to the sun setting. Conversely, on the days preceding the full moon the moon rises before the sun sets.

In September, I made it out to (unsuccessfully) photograph the moon rise the day after full moon.

Late Friday afternoon (i.e. on the day of the October full moon), I pointed the truck towards the Peterson WMA in Dublin to see if I could make a photo of the rising full moon. The road (NH 137) passes this large wetland on its west side so there are expansive views to the east. I was hoping that the ridge on the west side of the road was not too high so that the foreground would not be in shadow when the full moon made its appearance over the ridge to the east.

Alas, this was not to be… a day or two before the moon is full would work better… I know this. Next month!

On my way to Dublin, I made a side trip to one of my favorite spots (in Marlborough)  for viewing Mount Monadnock. The first two photos shown below were made there.

The third and fourth photos were made as I waited for the moon to make its appearance over the ridge at Peterson WMA.   The third photo (made at 5:15 PM) gives a hint of the disappointment to come… the sun light has already disappeared from most of the foreground and sunset was still forty five minutes away. Moonrise was about ten minutes before sunset.

The fourth photo was made at 5:56 PM (four minutes before sunset) and there was no moon in sight yet… uggh! The moon, when it finally appeared roughly twenty minutes later, rose just to the left of the trees at the far right of third photo. By then, it was too dark for an effective photo. Maybe next month in a different place and a day or two before the full moon!

The last four photos were made on Sunday. The skies were a perfect combination of bright blue and crisp clouds for making landscapes.  The clouds made for rapidly changing light on the landscape so one makes lots of exposures and spends considerable time waiting for “good light”.

The first two of these photos were made at the wetland were Craig Rd., Reed Carr Rd. and Old Pound Rd. meet; a couple of miles from the house. The last two were made at the “upper” beaver swamp a short walk behind the house.

All of these photos show the oak and beech dominated late autumn foliage. The drab gray of November is soon to be upon us.  Making interesting landscapes between now and the first snows will be a challenge!

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Mount Monadnock (from the north; long view)
Mount Monadnock (from the north; long view)
Mount Monadnock (from the north; closer view)
Mount Monadnock (from the north; closer view)
Mud Pond #1 (Peterson WMA)
Mud Pond #1 (Peterson WMA)
Mud Pond #2 (Peterson WMA)
Mud Pond #2 (Peterson WMA)
Local Wetland #1
Local Wetland #1
Local Wetland #2
Local Wetland #2
"Upper" Beaver Swamp #1
"Upper" Beaver Swamp #2

15 October 2013

Lakeside Foliage

Filed under: Autumn,Monadnock Region,The "New" Yard & Environs — Tags: , — Frank @ 6:00 PM

Most folks consider Labor Day the end of the season for summer vacations… not us! We leave the boats out and readily available until Columbus Day.

Thus, yesterday after lunch, Joan and I headed down the lake in the kayaks to spend a bit of time at camp and with the ultimate goal of getting the Sunfish out of the water for the season.

The afternoon was mild. The temperature was in the low 60s, there was a gentle breeze on the lake and the skies were partly sunny.  Joan decided to take one more sail around the lake. I headed back out in the kayak to photograph the lakeside foliage.

After we got the boat and rigging stowed away, we meandered back down the lake in the kayaks. By then the skies had become overcast and the wind had died out. I made some more photos on the trip back down the lake.

We had a truck load of boats (two kayaks and a canoe) on the way back to the house. We won’t put them away for good until roughly Thanksgiving… there are probably a few more nice days between now and then!

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Lakeside Foliage #1
Lakeside Foliage #1
Lakeside Foliage #2
Lakeside Foliage #2
Lakeside Foliage #3
Lakeside Foliage #3
Lakeside Foliage #4
Lakeside Foliage #4
Lakeside Foliage #5
Lakeside Foliage #5
Lakeside Foliage #6
Lakeside Foliage #6
Lakeside Foliage #7
Lakeside Foliage #7
Lakeside Foliage #8
Lakeside Foliage #8
Lakeside Foliage #9
Lakeside Foliage #9
Lakeside Foliage #10
Lakeside Foliage #10
Lakeside Foliage #11
Lakeside Foliage #11
Lakeside Foliage #12
Lakeside Foliage #12

13 October 2013

The Stone Arch Bridge in Stoddard, et al.

Filed under: Autumn,Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Tags: , — Frank @ 5:00 PM

Yesterday was a cool, gray day… there were periods of fog and light rain. A perfect day for photography!

I headed out about noon with the goal of the old stone arch bridge by Route 9 on the Stoddard/Antrim line. I had no plans other than to photograph the bridge and river along with the fall colors.

After about ninety minutes there, I headed off on a backroads drive through Nelson, Harrisville, Stoddard and Hancock. I arrived back at the house just after five. I was a bit damp and chilly but happy none-the-less.

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Stone Arch Bridge (from upstream)
Stone Arch Bridge (from upstream)
Stone Arch Bridge (from downstream)
Stone Arch Bridge (from downstream)
Contoocook River Bend
Contoocook River Bend
Contoocook River Flow #1
Contoocook River Flow #1
Contoocook River Flow #2
Contoocook River Flow #2
Contoocook River Flow #3
Contoocook River Flow #3
Pond in Harrisville
Pond in Harrisville
Barn in Harrisville
Barn in Harrisville
Pond in Hancock
Pond in Hancock

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