Archive for the ‘robhansonphotography.com’ Tag

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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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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Back Whence It Came   6 comments


Back Whence It Came

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Tree. Wood. Ore. Metal. A wagon forged by the hand of a man. All will decay. Nothing lasts forever.

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We descended to the bottom of the trail shortly before 5PM, knowing our target. Placed near the equipment shed for the old Stone House, these wagons have been in place and deteriorating beautifully for years.

Unfortunately, since it was 5 o’clock, a few maintenance people were converging on the shed, parking their trucks in all the good spots. Problem. I didn’t think twice before walking up to one of them and jocularly saying, “You know, I traveled over 1,000 miles just to shoot these wagons.” Oh… you’ll move your truck? Why, thanks!

The guys were talking together, but surely also sizing up these people from ‘Away.’ One of them, an older gentleman in bright red suspenders who looked like a cross between Albert Einstein and Kris Kringle, was Frank. I know this because he had a huge sign made of welded pipe running across the back window of his pickup truck – his “Office”.

The sign said, “F – R – A – N – K

I asked him, “Are you Frank?”

“Nope. I’m Ernest,” he replied in a deep New England accent.

“Somehow I doubt that,” I said as we shared a knowing laugh.

And with that, we were introduced to Frank Eastman, a colorful local who has tended the grounds of the Stone House for several decades. After the other guys went home, we chatted with Frank for quite a while. He had worked with the Maine DOT for many years. We talked about how someone had once offered to restore the wagons for display, but Frank had declined, preferring to see them decay in their natural form. After a time, he felt comfortable enough to let us in on a local trail secret — a waterfall that most people don’t know about — and he asked if I could shoot it for him someday.

That’s for next year, when I’ll likely meet up with Frank again. Some people you just want to keep in touch with.

The Bates Cairn   2 comments


The Bates Cairn

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On the east side of Mt. Desert Island (Acadia National Park) are a number of spectacular hikes. We like them because the payoff in scenic views is great relative to the small amount of effort required to get there.

Across the open, rocky tops of the hills, a number trails feature the Bates Cairn, a rather unique feature designed by pathmaker Waldron Bates in the late 1800s – early 1900s. In addition to helping to guide hikers along the trail, they also make for some excellent photo opportunities.

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The Painter at the Wharf   3 comments


The Painter at the Wharf

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After experiencing the demise of more than a few fresh Maine lobsters one evening, we decided to celebrate by catching the sunset at a nearby wharf. There was some sort of seminar or class going on in the area – there were a number of paint artists in the area set up at different viewpoints, and some were being videotaped as they worked.

It was quiet and serene as I went about catching different scenes, with Susan recording some video segments. I asked this woman if I could take a few frames; she graciously said Yes. I’m delighted that she did.

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HDR from three exposures, 26mm, f/11, ISO100, merged in Nik’s HDR Efex Pro 2, modified with several filters in Photoshop with masking via Topaz Remask 3

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The Donkey Conveys   11 comments


The Donkey Conveys

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Leaving Moosehead Lake in Maine, we found this relic on the side of the road, causing a quick turnaround to take some shots. Luckily, the owners of the property were nearby, and they allowed me to have a look around (but not inside, thankfully.)

I was a bit surprised when I went around the back of the house and found a donkey on a line. Yes, a real donkey. Although I tried to avoid him, he kept coming after me, either looking for a handout or a free portrait.

I didn’t have any food on hand.

_DSC5749 - Version 2

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