Archive for the ‘Intervale’ Tag

Limmer’s Workbench   9 comments


Limmer's Workbench

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The main workbench at Limmer & Sons Custom Boots in Intervale, New Hampshire.

You might recall this location from other images, “The Bootmaker”, “They Never Call”, and “Consigned”, among others. Let’s suggest that it’s a target-rich environment for an HDR photographer.

When talking to Pete Limmer last fall, he had mentioned that some of those earlier pictures were “very detailed.” I never really found out if that was a good thing, or not, but for this image I thought I’d hedge my bets by presenting a more realistic, less ‘hyper’ image. In fact, I had processed this scene some time ago and kept it on file, but when I opened it up for review, it was sort of an assault on the eyes. So, I reprocessed it completely to come up with this version.

I’m planning to create a new video tutorial soon, titled something like, “Why Photomatix Pro alone isn’t enough.” Often, when trying to come up with a realistic-looking HDR image, Photomatix falls short for me — I find that the output can often be soft. Other programs such as HDR Expose (from Unified Color) or ImageFuser tend to be better choices, although I almost always wind up blending in some Photomatix versions before doing more detailed processing. For this version, I started with the output from HDR Expose, adjusted it using 32-Float, and then layered in a Photomatix tonemap at 24% Normal and a Shadowmap at 22% Hard Light as a base before setting about with other adjustments (brightness, skew, de-fringe, etc.) and filter techniques (Nik Color Efex Pro.)

In the end, I think it created a balance between the high-detail of a very complicated environment, along with a good dose of realism. I also really appreciate Peter and Ken letting me into the back of the shop during working hours to capture this unique scene.

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


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Oh, No... I'm Getting Happy Feet!
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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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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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They Never Call…   4 comments


An old, grungy telephone at Peter Limmer & Sons in Intervale, New Hampshire.
You know how it is. You give someone your number, and…

Inspired by a recent Brian Matiash webinar, I used onOne Phototools to grunge this scene up a bit, only to realize that it was pretty darned grungy to start with.

This old telephone — and one only slightly newer — can be found at Peter Limmer & Sons, Bootmakers, in Intervale, New Hampshire. The shop is a a curious and eclectic sort of place… just perfect for HDR. They do make a great boot, and I’m happy that Peter let me get a pair as well as grab some brackets.

(If you haven’t seen the HDR of the homeless Limmers in my photostream, visit Consigned )

The phone looks cool when viewed Extra Large, so please click on the image above to see it Extra Large in a new window.

This image was derived from a set of eleven exposures taken with the Promote Control. This worked out well, as the lighting was very dim in the shop. I merged and tonemapped them using Photomatix Pro 4, settling on settings that Matiash had suggested in his recent “Grunge” seminar.

I used several different filter effects from onOne Phototools to set up the grunge look, as well as the slightly blue cast in the windows. Following that with NIK Color Efex Pro Darken/Lighten Center (one of my favorites) and then a little dark vignetting seemed to work well.  Last thing was to block out the phone number that had been written on the shelf.  I was going to put in 867-5309, but does anyone really remember that song anymore?

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