Archive for the ‘New Hampshire’ Tag

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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Autumn in New England: Bemis Brook Falls   2 comments


A view of Bemis Falls, New Hampshire, in the White Mountains on a foggy and rainy day

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Kay Gaensler’s recent images from New England had me feeling nostalgic for the trip we took there this past September, so I went back to the library to find this nice waterfall image.

On the trail to the outstanding 200′ Arethusa Falls lie a number of smaller cascades and pools. This is the Bemis Brook Falls, if I’m not mistaken, and the rainy, foggy day made for a perfect backdrop to the falls. Even though we love to climb and gain elevation, on days like this the effort just isn’t worth the limited view. Instead, we try to find nice walks in the woods, or waterfalls, or a dry camp shelter to hang out in for a while.

You can click on the image for a larger view in a new window.

Merged from six exposures +/-1EV in  HDR Express from Unified Color, with added Shadowmapping at 10%.  Nik Color Efex Pro White Neutralizer took the gray out of the water; Tonal Contrast to crispen details; Vignette Blur for enhanced mist effect. Topaz Detail brought up a bit of color.

How To Get A Buff Booty   1 comment


A buffing machine for boots at Peter Limmer and Sons, Bootmakers, in New Hampshire

This machine will get your booties looking nice and buff.

Located in the main workshop at Peter Limmer & Sons, Bootmakers, in Intervale, New Hampshire. Many thanks to Peter for letting me drag my camera rig throughout his shop.

For another image from this location, see They Never Call

Click on the image to see it larger in a new window on my Buildings Gallery.

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Processing: This image was derived from nine exposures taken using Promote Control and later processed in Photomatix Pro 4. I tried other HDR programs on this set, but the results were less than stellar, especially with a fluorescent glow around some of the highlights. I cropped it pretty closely, and then sent it for a grunge treatment with OnOne Phototools Pro, painted in some NIK Color Efex Pro Midnight filter (thanks, Fotofreq!), and finalized it with Darken/Lighten Center from NIK.

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?

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.

Guess What Happens Next?   Leave a comment


A bull moose and cow about to breed near Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire

Click on the image to see it larger in a new window on my Animals Gallery.

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Hint: Not what you think.

An amorous bull moose makes advances on a cow near Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire. This is a rather unusual sight, as the autumn rut & breeding usually take place deep in the woods, far away from populated areas.

We actually found this pair in the parking lot of the Pinkham Notch AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club.) I grabbed the camera out of the back of the truck, and followed the pair at a safe distance as they crossed the road into the Lost Pond area. The cow was feeding on the aquatic vegetation, but the bull had other things on his mind. Although he made several attempts, the cow spurned his initial advances, preferring to take him deeper into the woods before mating.  Can’t blame her… by that time, about a dozen vehicles had stopped, which is typical when moose are near the road.

Each of us were willing voyeurs to the event.  What struck me as odd was that right after the bull’s best attempt, a woman dressed in rather garish hiking garb said loudly, “Well! That isn’t the picture I wanted to get!”  Um, lady… If you’re reading this, just what did you expect to happen?

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This image is just about SOOC (straight out of the camera.) While I tried to do some tonemapping on it, nothing was better than the original RAW file. I did a little cropping, sharpening, and then used NIK’s Darken/Lighten Center filter to bring the eye towards the moose, then a bit of NIK’s Vignette Blur filter to knock back some of the foliage on the left.

It was kind of refreshing to stray away from HDR, actually.  I think I’ll try that more often. ;^)

What A Long, Strange Trip…   Leave a comment


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Some readers may say, “What? You were gone?”

We just returned from a three-week road trip, traveling from North Carolina to Maine and New Hampshire on our annual fall foliage trek. We live for that time in a tent, camping in a variety of places, hiking quiet trails, and climbing mountains. I consider it my great fortune that my wife enjoys this time almost as much as I do.

On this schlep, we stayed at Acadia National Park for a week, then on to ‘Down East’ Maine (which is oddly named as it is as far north on the coast as you can get), on to Moosehead Lake in northern Maine, and finally to the Presidential Range in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. During that last week, we endured rainfall coming down in biblical amounts, so it’s nice to be home and dry for a change.

That explains the long absence.  My apologies for not advertising the trip ahead of time, but the internet is an open environment, and I like to know that my stereo will be there when I get home.  It was.

Now that I’ve loaded up a few thousand frames, it’s time to start the long processing of culling, selecting, and post-processing. Hopefully, I have enough ‘nuts’ stored up to last me over the winter.  Coming up should be a couple of nice sunrises and sunsets, some moose lovin’ it up, moose babies, wild ponies, engorged waterfalls, phosphorescent mushrooms, and other cool stuff that you wouldn’t ever see in the city (well, maybe the mushrooms.)

Best wishes!

Rob

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