Archive for the ‘sunrise’ Tag

Early Morning Sunrise, Late September, Otter Rocks at Acadia NP, Maine   3 comments


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I’ve said it before: I’m not an early morning person… usually.

While in Acadia National Park last autumn, we got in the habit of waking up early — around 4:30AM — so that we could get a cup of coffee and transport down to the waterfront for sunrise shooting. During the two weeks we were there, most sunrises were rather mundane due to the clear weather, but on occasion… this. It was well worth the effort, and had the added benefit of putting us in a place where there were few other people, if any at all.

This was taken from a set of 9 frames, merged in Photoshop Merge to HDR Pro, finishing with a bit of Topaz Clean (for the rock foreground), and a slight radial filter in the clouds to accentuate some of the long exposures.

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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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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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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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Flagstaff Lake Revisited   5 comments


Flagstaff  Lake Revisited

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…Annnnd, we’re back!

About a month ago, I posted the previous image Into The Dark, mentioning how we unplug from all the conveniences and trappings of modern culture. When we do this, we like to travel around the less visited spots in New England, sleeping in a tent, soaking in the scenery from some of our favorite places.

About the second week in, we traveled up to far northern Maine, just short of the Canadian border, to Flagstaff Lake, near the Bigelow mountain range. This is the view from our campsite. If it looks a bit familiar, it’s the same location where I shot Flagstaff Lake Sunrise in 2009.

When you have a great scene in front of you, it’s tempting to try to recreate a previous success. I fought the urge to do just that, trying my best to come up with new compositions and angles. Besides, the conditions never seem to cooperate for a repeat performance, so I cleared any previously held notions and just regarded the new view, the clouds draping the mountains, and yet another spectacular sunrise event.

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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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Early One Morning   13 comments


An early sunrise through fog at Hammonasset Beach State Park, Connecticut

Early One Morning

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In coastal North Carolina, the summers can be absolutely stifling. With temperatures steadily in the upper 90s and humidity levels to match, just moving through the day can prove difficult. Three changes of clothing per day are not unheard of.

It’s no surprise that we usually flee the state late in the season, heading up to New England to camp and hike. As we travel from NC toward New England, each day brings progressively cooler temperatures. Like stepping into a walk-in refrigerator, the relief is palpable, and we breathe a little easier for every degree of latitude we gain.

Two days into our drive north in 2010, we stumbled onto Hammonasset Beach State Park in Connecticut. It was surprisingly nice given its proximity to large metro areas, and if we had more time in the schedule, we would have stayed an extra couple of nights.

Early one morning, I rolled out of the tent to find the sunrise bouncing through a fog bank that had rolled off of Long Island Sound. The grasses were wet with dew, and the local wildlife was just getting started for the day.

It has been dastardly hot in NC for this time of year. Through late May and into this early in June, we’re already breaking temperature records with highs of around 98. I felt I needed a little relief from the weather (and from posting farm and garden shots!), so I dragged this one out of the archives as a reminder — an incentive to get through the upcoming summer months.

Handheld three exposure HDR, f/7.1, ISO 200, 70mm. Merged in HDR Express, adjusted using 32 Float, finished with Nik Color Efex Pro in Photoshop CS5

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