Archive for the ‘waterfall’ Tag

Lower Falls at Graveyard Fields   6 comments


Lower Falls at Graveyard Fields

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Now back home from Germany, we decided to take a week to see the foliage in western North Carolina. Normally, we travel to New England at this time of year, camping out of the truck, so we needed a leaf-fix.

Go figure… The U.S. government shut down before we got there, so our usual campgrounds were closed. And it was raining. Pretty much constantly. After a week of this, we headed for home. Yep, you got it: The very day we left the sun came out and the shutdown was over.

Never to be daunted, we found this spot off the Blue Ridge Parkway at a place called Graveyard Fields. It has a beautiful heath meadow that lights up in autumn, and it’s one of the more popular places to pull the car over and peep. If, however, you drop down from the parking lot, there’s a loop trail that takes you to both “Upper Falls” and “Lower Falls.” Pretty imaginative naming convention, eh?

What you don’t see in this picture is Susan (a.k.a. “Lovely Assistant”) perched on the rocks behind me, holding an umbrella over the camera and tripod.

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Owl Brook   6 comments


Owl Brook

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We consider this our back yard when we’re camping in New Hampshire.

In a large campground that is often overrun with RVs in certain places, there is one loop we’ve found where the sites are large and private, no RVs allowed, and it has this brook running along the back of the site. After a long day of hiking, or on days where we just don’t feel like hiking at all, we spend some time along the rocks, listening to the running water, watching the autumn leaves fall, and soaking up a few patches of warm sunlight.

If I had any wish at all, it’s that we’d spend even more time in this spot. Really… why go driving around from one place to another when you can just spread out on a rock and soak up nature’s beauty? No driving – no effort – no worries.

We were in this same spot one night, watching the stars in the opening of the canopy, when a large owl flew into a branch just over our heads only a few feet away. He regarded us for a while, as we did him. After a couple of minutes, deciding that we were way too big for dinner, he flew off silently. Since then, we have a new name for the brook.

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This image came from three long exposures shot with a 10-stop ND filter. At f/10, 17mm, shutter speeds were 30s, 121.5s, and 291s. Those three gave most HDR tonemapping programs the fits, so I spread the exposures on each end by converting to TIFF in ACR, generating an even wider dynamic range. Seemed to work well. Post in PS-CS6 involved masking in elements of various tonemaps created with both Photomatix and HDR Efex Pro 2, spiced with Nik Color Efex Pro.

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Bemis Brook Falls (NH)   7 comments


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While sweltering in the heat and humidity of summers in NC, I sometimes go back through my library of images to remind myself of what autumn in New England is like: Cool, serene, colorful, playful, usually clear, sometimes moist, always gorgeous.

One day in 2010, the weather was socked in, making summit attempts pointless. Really… why work that hard in order to see nothing? So, we decided to hike up to Arethusa Falls in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Along the way, we descended to Bemis Brook Falls, a worthy side trip.

During wet weather, you have to be very careful with your footing on these rocks. The algae can make them very slippery. Don’t ask me how I know this. :)

You can see a different view of these falls in portrait orientation here, if you’d like.

Gotta Get To The Sea   5 comments


Gotta Get To The Sea

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Every autumn, we try to get up to New England to camp, hike and witness the stunning foliage. With equal frequency, we seem to be dealing with a major rain event. (The White Mountain National Forest in NH has been called “The Asbestos Forest”… it never burns.)

Such was the case on our trip in 2010. A major storm moved in over the area for several days. We lashed down the tent and tried to remain occupied despite the weather. Thing is, when you’re living outside, there aren’t many places to hide.

Knowing that local waterfalls would be epic, we descended the steep stone stairs of Glen Ellis Gorge to see what Glen Ellis Falls would look like. Standing in deep puddles and using covers to protect the gear from the rain, we took a series of ten frames on a dark, brooding sort of scene.

In the time since 2010, I’ve left this set untouched, not quite knowing how to approach it. There were many imperfections that needed to be addressed, including trees and foliage being whipped by the winds, rain on the lens, minimal light and a color balance that was far from good. It was only when I decided to capitalize on the dark, apocalyptic nature of the scene that I found what I was looking for.

We left shortly after this picture was taken. We had had enough.

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Tenacity   13 comments


A small rock and leaf hold on in the middle of a waterfall, Diana's Baths, NH

Tenacity (© 2011 Rob Hanson Photography)

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My apologies for not posting, lately. I try not to pin up a post unless I have a decent image to show (I could hope), or something to say.

Over the years, I’ve talked to photographers who believe that they’re in a slump. We’ve probably all felt that at times. Hoping to encourage, I tell my friends that in the realm of creating art, there are times of great expression, and times where the well seems to have run dry. We can begin to question our motivation, as well as our commitment to doing what we love to do. On the other hand, when creativity starts flowing again, we get invigorated and run out to capture even more, hoping to push the limit on art and communication with others.

Having to ride those waves of ups and downs, I think, is the hallmark of Creativity. If we didn’t know those dry spells, if we didn’t feel like we should just chuck it all, then how could we ever be enthused about great art when we make it?

I always try to convey: Just ride it out a bit. You’ll soon get back to doing what you love, and all will be well.

I’ve been feeling on the lower side of things. Our fall vacation was cut short because of bad weather, an event I drove hours to cover was a bust as far as pictures go, and there’s nothing cool to shoot in the garden… yet. ;^) During the past week I’ve had interesting and sometimes discouraging discussions with friends where we’ve discussed copyright violations (more common than we know!), whether or not to watermark images, registering copyrights, and whether someone can actually make a living doing this the way they want to do it. Are we avid photographers, or do we become ~ Eeeeek! ~ business people? If that weren’t enough, I had to calculate all the taxes – new ones, even! – that one has to pay to run such a business.

Joy.

Tenacity. “Not easily dispelled or discouraged.”

I was reminded of this when processing today’s image. It’s from Diana’s Baths in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. In a small part of a much, much larger waterfall, I saw this walnut-sized rock in the middle of the torrent along with the red maple leaf pinned to its upper side. Even though it took quite a while to shoot the brackets, the rock and the leaf didn’t move a bit, and they never even seemed close to being swept down the hillside.

Do what you love to do. It sure does beat the alternative.

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Out of Chaos Comes Water   6 comments


Out of Chaos Comes Water
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I’m not entirely sure what Nietzsche had in mind with his quote, “Out of chaos comes order”, but I figured I’d adapt the expression a bit for this image.

Taken along the trail to Diana’s Baths in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, this little vignette caught my eye. I was struck by how it looked like a miniature waterfall, and how the leaves in the lower left look so liquid. I guess there’s a benefit to all the rain that we endured while there.

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Bath Time   12 comments


Bath Time

© 2011 Rob Hanson Photography

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We’re back! If you’ve noticed an absence of images lately, it’s because we were on an extended vacation trip to New England. Starting along the coast of Maine, we eventually wound up in New Hampshire, one of my favorite places.

This is a view of a place called Diana’s Baths, near Intervale, NH. It used to be a little known ‘local’ place, which made it a real gem. Now that the the trail to the waterfall has been graded, with a large, pay-to-park lot at the trailhead, Diana’s Baths can get inundated with people. On the positive side, it makes this beautiful area more accessible to more people.

All in all, the weather was pretty wet and crummy during the two weeks we were up there, which is little fun when you’re camping in a tent. Again, though, looking at the plus side of things, rain makes for good waterfall shots.

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