Archive for the ‘White Mountains’ Tag

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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Storm at the Stage   14 comments


Storm at the Stage, a view of the White Mountains, New Hampshire, in autumn foliage

Storm at the Stage – @ Rob Hanson Photography

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One of our favorite places to spend our vacation time is in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We drop our tent in a campground located a bit to the right of this frame, and spend as much time as possible hiking the hills.

The weather doesn’t always cooperate.

I know that there’s merit in climbing a mountain in almost any weather, but as the years go by I see less and less sense in spending the day going up, only to not see a thing. I’ll leave that for the younger ones…

When the weather turns foul – as it frequently does in the mountains in autumn – we retreat to a certain spot along the road, where we can sit in the warm truck, watching the clouds rolling over the peaks, while plotting the next day’s adventures… weather permitting.

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Initially, I wasn’t sure what to do with this image as there was no distinct subject in the full frame that came out of the camera. I found that cropping it as a 2:1 panoramic did the trick. HDR from seven exposures +/-1EV, HDR Express, 32 Float, and Photomatix for the base, Nik and OnOne for the embellishments in Photoshop.

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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Oh, No… I’m Getting Happy Feet!   12 comments


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Oh, No... I'm Getting Happy Feet!
~
With apologies to Steve Martin for the comedic reference…

On our 2010 trip to New Hampshire, I finally bought a long-desired pair of Limmer hiking boots. Peter Limmer & Sons are fifth generation Austrian bootmakers, and a pair of custom Limmers are pretty much the Holy Grail of footwear for hikers.

Based on the popularity of last year’s images “The Bootmaker”, “They Never Call”, and “Homeless”, Peter once again kindly allowed me to bring my camera and tripod into the shop, but this time, he pointed me to the attic of the old barn building that houses the business. (With customers in the shop, maybe he wanted me out from underfoot, or was trying to figure out just how creeped out I could get…)

Built in 1758, the barn was once used as a dance hall. Geez… That’s over 250 years old! Today, the outer wings and attic of the barn are used mainly for storage, and in this case, for storage of old lasts used in the bootmaking process. Peter assures me that there’s no real system to the arrangement, although they are sorted by size, and are sometimes used as firewood.

I spent about an hour up in the attic. Susan, for some reason, chose to stay downstairs most of the time, chatting with some of the customers.

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The Yearling   2 comments


Yearling Moose resting at Dolly Copp campground, White Moutains, New Hampshire


All right. So I tonemapped a moose, okay?
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Click on the image above to see him larger in a new window in the Animals Gallery.
We were concerned as we got toward the end of our trip, as we hadn’t seen a single moose in the two weeks we had been out. One morning, as we were having coffee and deciding whether to stay or to go, Susan said, “Look left!”

A mother moose and her yearling calf strolled through our campsite, between the truck and our chairs. They were so close that I didn’t dare get up for the camera until they had moved away a bit. We had heard about them frequenting the campground, but we never expected that they’d pay us such a personal visit.

Mother and baby browsed the trees in our site for a while, then moved out onto a grassy area, where the young one frolicked and then sat down for a bit of rest. We (and by then several other photogs) followed them around the camp at a respectful distance for about an hour, providing plenty of opportunity for images.

This image was taken from a single RAW file, tonemapped in Photomatix Pro 4. Although I did take a handheld bracket set, he moved just enough to cause ghosting, and none of the current HDR programs produced an acceptable result.

After using Imagenomic’s Noiseware to knock back some background noise, I used NIK Color Efex Pro filters to bring the eye toward the yearling, rather than risking getting lost in all the colorful foliage. This was done with the Darken/Lighten Center filter, and then dark Vignette knocked back to about 50% opacity.

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