04.20.2015 Me and the Beav

Before I drove by the barn in Hadley yesterday, I was in Petersham for sunrise at Harvard Pond.  The sky was clear of most clouds and just a few dotted the horizon although there were quite a few to the north.  There was a nice spring chill in the air and a slight breeze, but all in all I had a nice quiet start to the day with just a relatively friendly beaver for company.  Maybe it was even the same one who stopped by to say hello last fall.

Harvard-Pond-Beaver-041915-700WebHe or she swam by me countless times and only slapped at me once which I took as a friendly gesture rather than a “scram you!”.

Before that image, I was waiting for the sun to rise.  There was no rich dawn glow in the clear sky, so the sun was to be the subject of the morning.  I usually get a lot of flares when shooting into the sun, which is true of most sun photographs, and decided I would try the thumb trick to eliminate flaring…a procedure that requires two exposures…one for the scene and another with your thumb sticking down into the frame and blocking the sun thus eliminating the source of the flares.  The two are then combined with the flares and thumb being masked out.  It was my first effort and the main lesson I came away with was to not wear gloves.  The backlighting sun highlights all the little fibers and made things worse rather than better.  Maybe it would have been different with nylon gloves or leather, but I was wearing micro-fleece.

So instead of my first thumb combo, this is my first use of Nik’s Tone Compressor for single shots.  There was minimal flaring in this earlier shot…the later captures with the sun higher in the sky made the flaring much worse and in several places where it just could not be corrected.

Harvard-Pond-Sunrise-041915-700WebThe beaver was swimming around in front of me but managed to stay out of the scene while I was shooting.  Good manners that one.  🙂

Today we are getting some needed rain after several warm lovely days.  I am sure next weekend will produce the first flowers of spring here in the neighborhood…not counting the daffs and croci.

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 Central Massachusetts, Fauna, Landscape, Nature Photography, Sunrise, Water and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to 04.20.2015 Me and the Beav

  1. I know this is simple of me, but I really prefer the rays in this beautiful shot to how I imagine it would look without them. Nice you had the Beav for company 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lottie Nevin says:

    i love the sunburst photo and I adore the ‘beaver shot’ though I know that is not remotely PC!! Steve, I do worry about you….at long last you’ve got half-way decent weather and now you are pleased to see much needed rain? Per-leeeze relax and enjoy your springtime! Looking forward to seeing your spring flowers soon 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I am enjoying spring, but if it’s gonna rain I might as well put a positive spin on it. And, to boot, this spring rain might lead to a longer waterfall season. 🙂
      I am glad that you like the images, Lottie.


  3. Your talk about using your thumb reminds me of the line from the Frank Capra movie “It Happened One Night”:

    “Well, I proved once and for all that the limb is mightier than the thumb.”


  4. Jim in IA says:

    As I read, I was hoping to see the two individual shots, then the masked final product. Maybe a Tootsie Pop could be used instead of your thumb.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hadn’t thought to post multiple images. I know that a lot of folks post a series of shots at various stages of processing. Maybe I will try that some day too.
      A Tootsie Pop is a good idea…I usually need a snack in the morning.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the stillness of early morning and the sun flare adds a nice spot of interest. It’s difficult to imagine that the weather requires you needing to wear gloves. Just makes me appreciate the weather here even more.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Andrew says:

    This is a gorgeous landscape Steve, however you achieved the effect. Maybe a flying beaver to mask the sun flare?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lyle Krahn says:

    Sounds like you and the beaver were getting along quite fabulously. A good morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. shoreacres says:

    I’m always delighted by photos of beavers, muskrats, and such. All we have here are nutria, which aren’t nearly so social, and are far less attractive.

    The detail I keep going back to in the photo of the sunrise are those three little clouds. At first I thought the image would be better without them. Then, after a bit of experimentation in which I blocked them out with my own finger, I decided the photograph actually profited by their presence. Always, it’s the details that count!


    • I wish there had been a few more clouds dotting the sky, but these were all I had at the moment. Others came and went, but then so did the sun. 🙂

      No nutria here, so a picture of one would be something new to see for me. I don’t get to photograph beavers and muskrats very often. I did get a nice image of a muskie a few years back, chomping on a waterlily with its eyes closed. I might post that later. It’s cute.


  9. neihtn2012 says:

    Your shot with the sun flare is superb!


  10. krikitarts says:

    Very nice work with the Nik tone compression. I’ve used it with very satisfactory results, but haven’t tried it on sun flares yet. Great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

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