Archive for the ‘fall’ Tag

Early Morning Sunrise, Late September, Otter Rocks at Acadia NP, Maine   3 comments


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I’ve said it before: I’m not an early morning person… usually.

While in Acadia National Park last autumn, we got in the habit of waking up early — around 4:30AM — so that we could get a cup of coffee and transport down to the waterfront for sunrise shooting. During the two weeks we were there, most sunrises were rather mundane due to the clear weather, but on occasion… this. It was well worth the effort, and had the added benefit of putting us in a place where there were few other people, if any at all.

This was taken from a set of 9 frames, merged in Photoshop Merge to HDR Pro, finishing with a bit of Topaz Clean (for the rock foreground), and a slight radial filter in the clouds to accentuate some of the long exposures.

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Otter Cliffs at Acadia National Park, Maine   4 comments


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I never was much of one for waking up early, nor much for black & white photography. But, some places suggest pushing past those preferences into finding something new.

Crawling out of the sleeping bag (the nice… warm… sleeping bag, mind you) at about 4:30AM each day, we made a daily pilgrimage down to the cliffs to catch the sunrise. Due to the great weather we had during the trip, the sunrises were a bit droll because of few clouds, so I started playing around with long exposures, neutral density filters, and alternative views of the area.

During post-processing, I tried to conjure up some of Bob Lussier’s great B&W photography. Bob sets the bar quite high, but at least it’s something different to try out.

1/8sec at f/14, 36mm, ISO 100, way too early.

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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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How To Hide If You’re A Moose   4 comments


How To Hide If You're A Moose

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It’s not a very effective technique, if you were to ask me.

Moose are pretty amazing creatures. They can be huge, gangly, and somewhat threatening when close by, especially during rutting season in autumn. Despite their size, they can turn into the woods and disappear after taking only a few steps. Yeah… they blend.

As we entered the area where we were going to camp for the night, we saw this bull at the side of the road. Two other people had already drawn him out of the woods by making various moose sounds and calls – again, not really recommended during rutting season unless you like surprises. But their efforts gave us the opportunity to shoot a number of frames of this beautiful beast, a rare treat because most bulls stay deep in the woods during the rut.

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Flagstaff Lake Revisited   5 comments


Flagstaff  Lake Revisited

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…Annnnd, we’re back!

About a month ago, I posted the previous image Into The Dark, mentioning how we unplug from all the conveniences and trappings of modern culture. When we do this, we like to travel around the less visited spots in New England, sleeping in a tent, soaking in the scenery from some of our favorite places.

About the second week in, we traveled up to far northern Maine, just short of the Canadian border, to Flagstaff Lake, near the Bigelow mountain range. This is the view from our campsite. If it looks a bit familiar, it’s the same location where I shot Flagstaff Lake Sunrise in 2009.

When you have a great scene in front of you, it’s tempting to try to recreate a previous success. I fought the urge to do just that, trying my best to come up with new compositions and angles. Besides, the conditions never seem to cooperate for a repeat performance, so I cleared any previously held notions and just regarded the new view, the clouds draping the mountains, and yet another spectacular sunrise event.

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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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Stone Cold Kitty   8 comments


Stone Cold Kitty

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Phew! Almost done working on a non-photography related job, so hopefully I’ll soon get a chance to shoot and produce more than I have over the last month.

In the meantime, meet “Stone Cold Kitty.” She sits on top of a rustic, hand-built wall at the Good Life Center in Maine, the same location where Alien Landing was taken. (More info on the Center can be found on that page.)

During processing, I had to figure out how to effect the best crop. In most cases we should try to follow the Rule of Thirds, placing the key subject at one of the intersection points, but it didn’t work out well in terms of retaining the goodness of the wall texture and the colorful plantings. In this case, the best solution was to leave the subjects at the top third line, even if kitty winds up being dead center. After locking in the crop, I think it improved the original composition quite a bit.

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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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