10.18.2014 Regulating Dam Road

Like a broken record….I left the house this morning with some openings in the cloudy sky and hoping the sun would be able to get through them for a nice start to what was forecast to eventually be a rainy day.  The closer I got to Quabbin, the more obvious it became that the clouds were filling the horizon.  Plan B.

The shoreline of Quabbin is visible in a few spots along Route 122 in New Salem.  The road is not terribly busy, so shooting at the edge can be done in relative safety as long as you pay attention…not easy for one who gets wrapped up in his subjects.  But I do manage to hear approaching cars and stay safe….unless, of course, we are talking electric vehicles.

I was hoping to find a single tree with yellow leaves against an all evergreen background for a black and white composition.  Instead, I found this.Regulating-Dam-Road-Foliage-101814-600WebI think I will keep the color in this one.  But if you are missing monochrome, here it is from this past March.

The techs are 5D Mark II, 300mmf/4+1.4Teleconverter+Circular Polarizer, f/8@1/4sec, ISO 100, tripod and remote.  That was all the reach I have and I did crop a bit around all edges.  At first I felt it would have been better to just have the birch and conical trees along with some of the upper foliage, but decided that was too much crop plus I like the hint of a possible path at the left which is so contrary to the rule of keeping interest in the frame and not leading out.  As well, I think it works better within the context of the surrounds a little bit rather than filling the frame.

Posted in Autumn Color, Fall Foliage, Intimate Landscape, Landscape, Nature Photography, Quabbin, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

10.17.2014 Quabbin Hill Birches and Foliage

Early one cloudy morning, October 8th, I wandered around Quabbin Park looking for compositions.  While on Quabbin Hill, near the tower, I saw this red maple between two birches and decided to make an image.  I tried several different positions and actually found one that I liked better, but at that point the sky was entirely white which I just didn’t feel comfortable presenting.  I went back to an earlier spot and shot this with my rental Zeiss 21mm.  Maybe the birches could have been separated a bit more, but the angle required started to hide the maple.  So we’ll go with this one.

What attracted me the most was the light, the white on the birches, the illumination of the birch leaves facing the sun and the red of the maples.  The foreground ferns aren’t bad either.Quabbin-Hill-foliage-100814-600WebWhat little blue sky there was disappeared shortly after this shot.  And, again, WP is boosting the reds in this.  Grrrr

Posted in Autumn Color, Fall Foliage, Intimate Landscape, Landscape, Nature Photography, Quabbin, Sunrise, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

10.16.2014 Autumn abstract

Something to reflect on….


Posted in Abstract, Autumn Color, Fall Foliage, Intimate Landscape, Landscape, Nature Photography, Patterns in Nature, Trustees of Reservations, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

10.15.2014 Subdued View

I mentioned yesterday that I had a spot in mind for sunrise near High Ledges.  This is the spot.  I was there in time, but I am not happy with the images.  For the most part, the sun looks awful.  I am not sure if it is me or my camera’s sensor, but the sun has formed some unattractive rays and my 24-70, like my 70-200, flares big time.  But I aimed away from the rising sun and this one is decent.  Unfortunately, the Canon sensor also creates awful pattern noise in the shadows and, as I didn’t quite hit the exposure, they had to be opened quite  bit and the noise reduction killed the detail in the foliage and foreground grasses.  This will never qualify as a wall hanger, but it is passable as a web shot.  I will visit here again and do a better job.

Dawn at The Patten.Patten-Dawn-101314-600WebI am hoping to get another shot this weekend while there is still color, but the forecast, which is always so reliable, is calling for winds and who knows what the sky will look like.

Posted in Autumn Color, Fall Foliage, Landscape, Nature Photography, Sunrise, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

10.14.2014 A couple of early views

For the last day of my vacation the weather presented me with the proverbial pea soup of fog.  It was so thick that I almost stayed home and, as I drove through it, I wished I had.  But my plan was sunrise at The Patten, an area where the High Ledges Sanctuary is located.  There is a nice view towards the east in front of a farm that I have been eyeing for a while, and I thought the sun would rise over fog filled valleys.  I was doubting myself as I drove up Route 91 towards Greenfield and the ride west on Route 2 wasn’t helping much.

But once I turned on to Frank Williams Road things started to improve.  The forecast was for a sunny day and, for once, it appeared they got it right.  As I drove up the hill, this caught my peripheral over my shoulder:Dawn-from-Frank-Williams-Road,-Shelburne-101314-600WebIt always pays to see what is behind as well as ahead of you…although it is much safer at 15 mph on a back road rather than a highway.

From here, I made it to my target location before the color left the sky and prior to the sun rising above the horizon.  I am not sure about those images though, so we will skip down the road, Patten Road, to another view I had in mind.

I think we are looking at Colrain Mountain and Mount Hope, but I am not sure.  Sunrise-overColrain-Mountain-and-Mount-Hope-1013140600WebOn my way home, I got one more in Ashfield, but that’s for next time. As for the weather, well they only got it right for a short time.  By the time I got to Ashfield the weather was overcast and not at all sunny.

It was a good week and I think I got a couple of portfolio worthy images to print up.  There should still be a few weeks of color although probably not quite as prolific in view.  We’ll see.

Posted in Autumn Color, Fall Foliage, Landscape, Mountains, Nature Photography, Sunrise, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

10.13.2014 Quabbin under fog

Sometimes you get lucky in seeing something that was not expected. I was on my way to New Salem yesterday which most often takes me by this Pelham Overlook on Route 202.  I’ve photographed here before, but it generally doesn’t offer much to work with.  The foreground is often too dark and captures with lots of pattern noise (one of Canon’s specialties) even when shooting a series of exposures for the different zones (HDR).  When I saw the wonderful shapes of the clouds over the reservoir and the soft pastel light of the impending sunrise I stopped quickly…probably losing a couple of months worth of tire wear.  :-)

Here are two versions, portrait and landscape format, and I wonder which works best for you?Quabbin-under-fog-from-Pelham-Overlook-1-101214-600Web

Quabbin-under-fog-from-Pelham-Overlook-2-101214-600WebThese are both single exposures at f/16, 2.5 sec for the portrait and 3.2 for the landscape, ISO 100, with the 70-200, 3-stop hard GND filter, upon a tripod and using a remote.

Posted in Autumn Color, Fall Foliage, Landscape, Nature Photography, Patterns in Nature, Quabbin, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

10.12.2014 An island in the light

We often say that photography is all about the light.  And quite often it is although often it is about the subject and I’ll shoot it whether the light is great or not so much.  This is bout the light.  :-)

The shoreline of Quabbin is lined with a great number of these small islands, many of which I believe to be leftover rock piles and sandbars from the preparation of the valley before the flooding started.  This particular spot was a second visit for me and I found the conditions a bit better….less wind and nice color.  The water level was lower which made getting to my spot easier.  When the level is this low, sometime one can find a few fish nests, sunken circular areas where the water generally would be deeper, and having said that I should have photographed one to share.  Next time.

It was a cool morning after a relatively warm day and there was some nice low lying fog over parts of the water.Island-in-nice-light-Gate-27-101014This is a long exposure of 13 seconds at f/16, ISO 100 with my 70-200 f/4 zoom plus a circular polarizer and a 6 stop neutral density filter on a tripod using a remote release.   WordPress is oversaturating that red tree in the upper right.  It is not quite that intense in Photoshop.

Posted in Autumn Color, Fall Foliage, Landscape, Nature Photography, Quabbin, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments