Archive for the ‘Rob Hanson Photography’ Tag

Creamer Cemetery, Maine   2 comments


Creamer Cemetery Maine

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Alongside of Route 191 in Cooper, Maine, lies the family plot for the Creamers.

I’m not usually one to skulk around cemeteries with a camera unless the statuary is notable, as in the case of Cave Hill in Louisville. But every now and then, you can pass by an alluring small plot that commands attention. They are often near the road and off the side of a small farm, and they tease with a story that you’d likely never hear unless you know the family.

In this case, thanks to the resource of the Internet, we know that Otis, off to the left there, died in 1860 at the age of 22, almost 23, and was the son of Thomas Creamer. Winslow, also a son of Thomas, died a little over a year later at the age of 19. Poor Phinemas on the right didn’t make it much past 6 years. A daughter of Thomas, Hannah, passed just short of 29 years old.

It caused me to wonder why these siblings all passed away at what we would consider today to be such an early age; how Thomas and Emily could possibly cope with having their children precede them, all in only four years time. Was it a rampant virus? Was it the long Maine winters? Something more nefarious, perhaps?

It was a family. Perhaps that’s all we’re entitled to know. But there is a story held in a few square feet at the side of a remote Maine road – a remembrance of people who were born into a time that was surely much more strenuous than we’re accustomed to today.

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Tinman at Saint Croix Island, Maine   2 comments


Tin Man, at Saint Croix Island, Maine

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Traveling along the coastal Route 1 in northern Maine, there is a wayside area that commemorates one of the earliest French settlements in l’Acadie, an endeavor that did not go terribly well for the settlers. Along the wayside, there are a number of beautiful statues along with storyboards that tell of a miserable first winter in the area.

Members of a French expedition led by Pierre Dugua, intending to colonize North America, settled the island in 1604.

Seventy-nine members of the expedition, including Samuel Champlain, passed the severe winter of 1604-1605 on the island. Thirty-five settlers died, apparently of scurvy, and were buried in a small cemetery on Saint Croix Island. In spring 1605 the survivors left the island and founded the settlement of Port Royal, Nova Scotia.

You can read about it here at the National Park Service site, if you’d like.

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Weathered Barn Door   9 comments


Weathered Barn Door

It was a beautiful autumn day in New Hampshire. After finishing a hike with Susan and my ol’ college friend, Tom, we were hanging around the truck having some lunch. No need to go anywhere else, as we warmed the bones in the sun.

A woman came down the road walking her dog, and as often happens in New England, we wound up having a nice conversation with her. I had my eye on an old, weathered barn across the street. The woman knew the owner of the barn, and suggested that the owner would have no problem if I moved in close for some pictures.

I loved how, in addition to the weathered wood, shadows from a nearby tree were playing across the doorway. This is the kind of rustic scene that, sadly, we don’t see too much of these days.

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Sunset over Somes Sound, Mt Desert Island, Maine   8 comments


Sunset over Somes Sound, Mt Desert Island, Maine

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Just another sunset from our campsite in Maine, autumn of 2012.

I understand that we should ‘shoot where we live’ – and there are plenty of opportunities to do so – but the Great State of Maine, with its natural beauty, presents a target-rich environment for beautiful shots. Sometimes, you don’t even have to wander out of your campsite, as was the case here. We were just sittin’ around chilling as the sun went down, and the sky lit up as you see here. While snapping the shutter furiously, I had to remind myself to soak it in.

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Merged in Photomatix Pro to 32-bit TIFF, pre-processed without tonemapping in ACR, finished in Photoshop CS6 with Nik Color Efex Pro filters.

There Was a Time…   10 comments


Yes, There Was a Time...

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… when gasoline was cheaper.

I doubt we’ll ever see this at a working gas station again, but at least the moment was immortalized in a decrepit station sign. Being that I live in the south, I couldn’t help but notice that the sign has been repurposed into a target.

Found at the side of the road – of course – in northern Maine, at the same location where Gamble was found.

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Challenging Perspectives   10 comments


Challenging Perspectives

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“Perception is reality,” as the saying goes. I first heard that many years ago in a business environment. The context may be different now, but it’s still something that I ponder frequently.

We assume that the world ‘out there’ is exactly as we perceive it to be, solid and stable, but that is not generally the case. (Just ask Neo, from The Matrix.) Instead, our perceived ‘reality’ has to do with our own internal position, our perspective. There’s a good, digestible article on this from Scientific American Mind, Looks Can Deceive.

Photography can give us an excellent opportunity to challenge our notions about the world around us. While many people think that photography should only capture the world as-it-is, taking an image also presents an excellent opportunity to play around with our most basic assumptions. Some people might look at this image and say things like, “That’s just too weird.” Or, “That’s wrong.”

Is it?

Kids do this all the time. As a child, did you ever hang upside down on the monkey bars? (Are those death-trap monkey bars even still legal?) Did you ever lie on your back in bed and hang your head over the side? Perhaps it’s because the child hasn’t spent decades conditioning their thought processes to match what they perceive with their senses. At any moment children can pretend that they’re a pirate, a Jedi knight, a princess, or anything else that the mind can conjure up, and to their unconditioned minds it seems completely real.

We seem to lose that ability, that playfulness, as we get older.

As I was flipping through the images taken on our recent autumn trip, I ran across this set from Flagstaff Lake, one of my favorite places. I ran it through the usual steps, and when I saw the result, I thought, “Meh. Same as many others I’ve taken there.”

Then, in a fit of playfulness one night, I flipped the image. Bam! Perhaps it was my state of mind at the time, but it completely messed with my well-conditioned perspective of the place I think I know so well. Suddenly the image took on a new dimension and meaning, and I couldn’t neglect to publish it, even though it bears substantial similarity to other images.

Interestingly, I did the same thing on an image of an egret, in Masnavi. I sent that image off to the print lab for a client, and when the print came in, someone at the lab had flipped the image into what they thought was the ‘correct’ orientation! For my purposes, of course, this was a complete “mistake” and I received a re-print from the lab, with the “correct”… no, wait… “incorrect” orientation.

Hell, now I’m confused.

That’s the point.

We’re free to challenge our most basic assumptions. We’re free to play around with the reality that’s presented to us. We can change things by simply altering our perspective a bit.

Why don’t we do that more often?

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On Top of Dorr Mountain   12 comments


On Top of Dorr Mountain
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The general consensus in photography is that you don’t shoot at the height of the day. I can understand the reasoning, but… I dunno…. sometimes it seems to work out just fine. I think such is the case here, where we’re presented with a stunning view from Dorr Mountain in Acadia National Park (Maine), looking south toward Otter Cove, Blackwoods, and Southwest Harbor, where a few lobsters await us after the hike.

The ‘model’ is my lovely bride, Susan, and yes… that’s a teddy bear in her pack. “Bobo, the Magnificent” he calls himself.

As with my previous image, Boats on Somes Sound in Early Morning Fog, I employed the approach of working with multiple merged frames in 32-bit mode, without the ‘standard’ tonemapping that’s used with Photomatix or other HDR programs. It seems the results are much more crisp and ‘realistic’, while still bringing in the extended dynamic range that multiple frames can provide.

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Boats on Somes Sound in Early Morning Fog, Maine   9 comments


Boats on Somes Sound in early morning fog, Maine

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Ahhhhh… This was the view from our campsite while we were at Acadia National Park/Mt. Desert Island. Placid water, cool temperatures, and mysterious fog rolling through Somes Sound made for one of those delightfully perfect mornings. No coffee was necessary to be fully alert in a place like this.

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In a departure from my usual workflow, I took a new tack by merging three frames in Photomatix to create an .HDR file, but instead of tonemapping in Photomatix, edited the resulting file in 32-bit, then 16-bit mode directly in Photoshop. Since I’ve tended to post-process in a more ‘realistic’ style lately, the steps were perfect for the look I wanted to achieve.

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Moonrise Over Flagstaff Lake, Maine   3 comments


Moonrise Over Flagstaff Lake, Maine

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“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” ― Anton Chekhov

This particular location just keeps cranking out the beauty. Taken from our campsite late on a September evening, 2012.

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A Certain Symmetry   2 comments


A Certain Symmetry

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Normally, we’re not supposed to line things up in the center of the frame, but every now and then nature offers up an almost perfect symmetry. That makes it a good time to break the rules.

This pond, called The Tarn, is found in Acadia National Park in Maine, at the foot of a remarkable trail that leads off of Dorr Mountain. The trail features some of the most engineered sections of pathway I’ve ever seen, with curving staircases, overhead arches, and ‘paved’ areas made of carefully fitted natural stone.

Or, you can simply park at the Wild Gardens of Acadia and take an easy, flat walk over to The Tarn, but that wouldn’t be as sporting, right?

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