Archive for the ‘rocks’ Tag

Alone + Nature = Nurture (2015)   2 comments


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At Acadia National Park, Otter Cliffs area, 2010.

Going through my photostream, I found a number of images that didn’t seem “right” to me. At the very least, I wasn’t interested in having them on display any longer. My processing techniques have changed over the years. Whereas I used to tonemap with one of a number of programs, I no longer tonemap at all. I generally find the results to be “soft”, unrealistic, or downright hideous if the settings are not handled properly. Such was the case with the version of this image back in 2010, I felt.

The image has been reworked with new techniques and an entirely new approach. As I compare the two versions side-by-side, I’m rather amazed that I let the previous version go out into the wild. I’d show it here, but… nahhhhh.

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Lately, I’ve been reading interesting information about personality types.

I’ve always been one who enjoys solitude, preferring a quiet, solo hike in the woods in favor of large gatherings of people. In the past, I believed that this was “anti-social behavior,” a notion perhaps perpetuated by my bros at the time. Don’t get me wrong… I love good people and enjoy their company immensely. But, all in all, I prefer quietude and places that are not seething with too many humans packed closely together.

In my reading, I’ve found that I exhibit a particular personality type that tends to embrace solitude (T1/w9, for those who know.) While there’s always room in one’s life for a raucously good time in large groups, there is comfort in knowing that wanting to be alone in nature is not a “flaw” of any sort.

This is why this image appeals to me, and why I’ve chosen to revisit it. I’m drawn not only to scenes like this, but can relate to that one person standing there, cup of coffee in hand, taking in the natural beauty in much the same way that I appreciate it.

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Sunrise at Otter Point, Acadia National Park, Maine   8 comments


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“Missed them by that much.”

Susan and I had a lovely autumn vacation in 2014, graced by some of the best, driest weather we’ve ever experienced in New England. When you’re living in a tent for a month, rain is not usually welcomed. The only disadvantage to all that dryness is that on most mornings, there weren’t any clouds that would provide photographic interest.

Still, we’ll take it. After sunrises, we got a lot of hiking and biking in on the trails of Acadia.

We spent a total of 16 nights on the island — surely a record for us. Despite the long stay, our circumstances dictated that we leave for New Hampshire to meet up with my college buddy JUST before the NxNW crew arrived at Acadia — Bob Lussier, Mike Criswell, Mark Garbowski, Chris Nitz, Len Saltier, and a number of other photographers that I would have loved to meet in person. Perhaps next year would work out.

Enjoy the scenery — A delightful sunrise on the rocks near Otter Point, remarkably devoid of other people, which can be a rare event on the island.

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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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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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Thanks! And Hope…   9 comments


Cobscook Bay

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Happy Thanksgiving to all!

The way I see it, it has been an incredible year. Since this time last year, I’ve been fortunate enough to continue doing what I love, part of which is sharing the results with all of you. The friends I’ve met and the camaraderie we’ve shared is truly something special, so thank you for following along and hooking up with me, as I have in turn been watching what you create.

This has also been a year of extraordinary change, both in the world and in our perspectives on what we’re doing here. Having been around for better than a half century now, I can’t recall a period of such transformation, save perhaps for the late ’60s. Some of the changes may be unsettling for some, but I can’t help but think that it will result in something better for all of us. At the very least, things aren’t boring and certain, which suits me.

There is currently – and always will be – suffering in the world, and on this Thanksgiving I think of all the people who are actively transforming (or even maintaining!) the status quo at their own peril, hoping for a better, freer, and safer place to be. Not all of us will agree with their messages or methods, either side, but their dedication should never be challenged, nor should their perspective be marginalized. As always, no one perspective is the single ‘right’ way, but neither can anyone ever be 100% wrong. There is something important to all points of view; now it’s a matter of figuring out how they – and we – will fit together.

We’re living in a time of unprecedented adventure. Will we make it? Sometimes it seems like a horse race, but we can hold out Hope, which is really all we can hope to have anyway. In the meantime, as photographers and creatives, we can satisfy ourselves by finding the beautiful things in the world and bringing them home to share with others. In a rather big way, that’s what gives me Hope.

So, thanks for what you do… you enrich the lives of others with your creativity and thoughtfulness.

Rob

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The image was taken at Cobscook Bay State Park in northern coastal Maine. Although it’s an HDR taken from eleven exposures, it would look much the same if I used the single middle exposure… the sunrise really was that spectacular. 

 
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Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse   13 comments


The lighthouse at Bass Harbor Head, Mount Desert Island, Maine

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse - © 2011 Rob Hanson Photography

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On the southwest side of Mount Desert Island, far from the tourist-laden areas of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, is the easily accessible Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse.

Since it’s just a short walk from the parking lot down to the rocks, it’s probably one of the most frequently photographed lighthouses in Maine. I can safely suggest that on this evening, at least 100 pictures were taken, judging by the small crowd that crammed into nooks and crannies on the craggy rocks. As the sun began to set, more and more people filtered down the steep steps, looking for a place to shoot the lighthouse while simultaneously avoiding having other people in the frame. Not an easy thing to do…

I rather quickly tired of maneuvering with the crowd down below and decided to move up the hill a bit for a different perspective. I had my heavy boots on, so it was pretty easy to scramble over the rough rocks and set the tripod in a safe place to catch the sun behind the pine tree. Even that didn’t stop one intrepid couple from hiking directly into my frame, causing me to throw out one of the exposures.

It’s a jungle out there, but the rewards are great.

Since so many images have been taken of this lighthouse, I wanted my version to be as distinctive as possible, so I pushed the ‘painterly’ feel in processing rather than keeping it hyper-realistic. For this scene, I like how it worked out.

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HDR from eleven exposures +/-1EV, f/22, 31mm, processed with HDR Express, Photomatix Pro, Nik Color Efex Pro 4, Photoshop CS5

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.

The Shadow of Coincidence   6 comments


Photographer Rob Hanson catches his own shadow at Otter Point, Acadia National Park, Maine

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You think the shadow is the substance — Rumi

Like the shadow
I am
And
I am not. — From “Love Poems of Rumi”

Recently, I was flipping through my library of shots from the fall journey to coastal Maine, and found this one. I thought I’d post my first “self-portrait” of sorts.

The day I was going to put it up, though, fellow HDR fanatics Jacob Lucas and Bob Lussier did an interesting cross-post that involved shadows. I figured I should wait a bit, so as not to interfere with their fun.

I’ve long thought that shadows were an interesting concept. We point to them as though they have substance. “That’s MY shadow.” “Look, there is a shadow over there.” As though shadows are a thing. Yet, they are no-thing; only the absence of reflected light.

Keep up to date with our HDR friends: Follow Bob and Jacob on Twitter. I’m there, too.

In other news, good friend Captain Kimo just dropped his new e-book, Mastering the Secrets of HDR Processing. Click Here for more information.

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This was taken from a single frame which, sadly, was rather washed out. After a little work with ACR and multiple exposure files, fed into the usual HDR programs, something interesting came out of it.

Serenity Now, and then…   Leave a comment


Susan enjoys a serene sunrise at Otter Point, Acadia National Park, Maine

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I love you more than words can express, and far more than I ever imagined myself capable. You’re my friend, my teacher, my inspiration, my love.

— The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.    (Rumi)

Remain centered. And if that center ever falters, I’ll be there. I can be nowhere else.

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