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.

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About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Autumn Color, Fall Foliage, Landscape, Mountains, Nature Photography, Sunrise, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to 10.14.2014 A couple of early views

  1. Wonderful photos of nature’s beauty.

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  2. Jim in IA says:

    I really like both pictures. I like the way the fog settles in the low areas with the clear sky above. The air is at a critical value of saturation. A small temperature and pressure difference makes a big change in what is seen.

    I think your efforts were quite successful.

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    • The fog in the valleys is an element I look for on the cools mornings following a warm day prior. There are a lot of watersheds in this area which give up a lot of warm moisture in the cool overnights. I’ve often been out at the balancing point of what you describe. You can actually see the fog rising at times just before dawn.

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  3. You’ve done right by the autumn colors Steve … these are all quite pleasing. You do manage to give the impression that the part of Massachusetts you are traveling is wa-out-the-back-of-beyond. I’m wondering about your choice NOT to edit out the antennae in the first image, I would have. Perhaps there’s call for a bit of back-and-forth here. I am of the opinion that it’s AOK to remove bits such as those antennae, especially if they detract from the scene, and if their removal does not alter the scene in a significant way. I wonder why you chose to leave them there? D

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    • There are a few reasons. Firstly, I try not to do that if at all possible. I will remove small things that detract, say a bright twig sticking into the frame with no attachment to any element or a very bright object in a dark background. Secondly, this is easily recognized and I am sure most people who see this view realize they are there. So it would not be an honest portrayal of the scenery. If they had just been erected last year, well, then I might think about it as the scene did exist recently without them. But they have probably been there for several years. And….if I do that to one image, then people will suspect I have done it to many. I would rather have them there and let people have confidence that what they see in my images is relatively real.
      Several posts back, Rod asked me how I got the surface of a pond so clear for an abstract image. I answered honestly that I had removed a few lily pads that I did not want there. Now the next time I post an image similar, it will be wondered if I removed anything. I’d rather not have the doubts about my images.

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      • I suppose it comes down to your motivations and intentions as a photographer and for your photography. If you see yourself as more of a photojournalist … one who documents places as they are in ‘real life,’ then removing those antennae would not have been the thing to do, for sure, and for just the reasons you pointed out. If you see yourself as more of an artist, who’s medium simply happens to be the digital photograph, then removing very minor elements which might otherwise distract from your ‘vision’ for the image is OK, in my view. Notice my use of the word ‘minor,’ for I do not believe in ‘wholesale’ photo manipulation. I don’t imagine that removing a distracting twig or a leaf is going to lead any of those who appreciate your photographs to doubt the validity of your images. Now, having said that, I cannot abide the practice of generating composite images using Photoshop … you know, the ones in which clouds taken on one day are combined with a landscape taken on another day. I hope I never, ever, find myself doing that. If you catch me at it … please call me on it. D

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      • I am balanced on a fence between documentary and artistic photography. I try to provide a view of what I experience in as artistic a way as possible. If I am photographing an insect, I still see it as a portrait that needs to be appreciated as art if possible.
        I have never combined images…aside from doing a pano or stack. Nothing added though.
        Anyway, the upshot is that I would rather spend half an hour looking for just the right composition for a flower portrait than to either destroy the life surrounding it or alter the captured scene to make a pretty picture. Sometimes it is harder work than some would imagine, but the satisfaction is greater when it is done that way.
        And….I took one Photoshop class that was to last 10 weeks. After three sessions I quit and forfeited my tuition as compositing was the thrust of what the teacher was teaching. There is a place for that but it isn’t anywhere I wish to travel.

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      • Ha! Good for you with regard to the PS class. If one wanted a course in altered-reality or altered-states, then so be it. I would have quit too – more power to ya. I simply don’t understand that approach. I also agree with taking the time in-the-field to ensure good composition. I don’t believe poorly-composed shots can be corrected with any amount of manipulation in any event. And we are agreed when it comes to captures which do-no-harm to the surrounding environment. I cannot tell you the number of times I have tip-toed into a field to position myself for a shot and Joanna has yelled from behind, “Be careful of the ______ , you’re just about to step on it” (fill in the blank with any number of wild flowers). Finally, what qualifies as ‘altering’ a scene is something that I suppose may be defined differently by each of us. I think we both agree however to the general statement and approach that less (alteration) is more. D

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  4. Lyle Krahn says:

    I’m glad that forecast turned out right. You made the most of it with these photos.

    Interesting discussion on photoshop. I come at that from a different angle. The problem is when there’s a disconnect between what the viewer expects and photographer has done. I tried to explain what I do so hopefully that disconnect doesn’t happen.

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    • I will do the same at times, Lyle. It depends on what I have done and whether it is important for the viewer to know. If I combine a bunch of images for a focus stack, then yeah, people should know. If I digitally removed litter, then I’ll tell if asked.

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  5. I had to “look” to find the antennae in the first photo. “They” do not stand out and actually blend into the background. I’m not fond of what I call overly processed photography. When a pic is manipulated then it ceases to be something other than photography, in my old and set ways of how I view the world. “Fixing” a photo is about good composition and light and what those two elements do for a particular scene. I don’t care much for HDR or Photoshop. HDR I think is vastly over-rated. However,I follow a photographer in Wales who is what I consider a master technician of HDR and I like most of his work a great deal.

    I side tracked here and I really want to get across to you that I feel you are excellent at what you do and need not apologize for what you do or don’t do to any photograph.

    And I like both of these pics very much. The fog is interesting to me. You’d never find anything of the sort here in Central Texas. We have fog rarely and the scenery could not even come close to anything as beautiful as the area where you live.

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    • In most cases I would agree, Yvonne. But there are times, most especially with litter as I just mentioned to Lyle, that I simply cannot get to where it is. So things like that I may choose to remove. But as you said, it is always better if one can create the composition by improving one’s vantage point and using the old foot zoom.
      I am glad you are able to enjoy some vicarious fog through my images. 🙂

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  6. Andrew says:

    The second is magical and you were fortunate with the weather and of course your peripheral vision for shot 1 was excellent. You should vacation more often.

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  7. shoreacres says:

    Both are lovely, but I much prefer the second. I’m not sure why. I think it’s because it shows off the hills in a way the first doesn’t. It’s so different from what we see here, I enjoy looking at it.

    As for the antennae — what antennae? I had to go back and really search for them. I was so taken with the photo as a whole, I didn’t even see them the first time around. Now that I’ve found them, I don’t think they’re at all distracting. They’re part of the landscape, too, as much as a falling-down shed or a fenceline would be. It doesn’t have to be a pristine wilderness to be beautiful.

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    • I would have a hard time favoring one over the other as they are quite different. As you will see, there was something different again sandwiched in between. Fortunately, so to speak, that has some flaws that don’t allow it to get in the mix of preferences.
      Regarding the antennae, I have this thing about including human elements in my images. It is often hard to avoid them, but I try. Yes, they are part of the landscape and it can be beautiful with them, but I prefer it without. Funny you should mention a falling-down shed. There is one plus a barn to the left, but I framed them out.

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      • Like you, I generally do my best to exclude human elements, and a viewer who could look just outside the borders of many of my pictures that look purely natural would see streets, stores, wires, poles, houses, etc.

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  8. You’ve caught the subtle morning
    When it was still aborning.

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  9. Pingback: 10.19.2014 Hawley Road in Ashfield, MA | Stephen Gingold Nature Photography Blog

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