Archive for August, 2010

Lily of the Valley – Part 9

Phew!

The berries that I’ve been watching turned orange before I have to go on hiatus.  I spent the last few early mornings photographing them and some of the leaves.  Am pretty satisfied with how things came out, but I’m irritated that a certain shot just won’t come crisp.  Given the lens I’m using and my previous results with it, I can’t understand why it’s not coming up sharp.  Bah.

Anyway, here’s what I do have –

Made in the Shade (OM 90mm f2 macro)

Ripening (OM 90mm f2 macro)

The light in the morning really brings out the warmth of the colors.  Yesterday the left over rain made that second image a tad more interesting.

Here is a look at how the leaves and the plants as a whole are looking.  Bedraggled about sums it up, but I like the color variations in the leaves themselves and think isolating parts of them still works.  Those weird spots on the upper middle leaf are spiders.  Will have to go out to investigate more.

Loner (OM 90mm f2 macro)

Convergence (OM 90mm f2 macro)

I really like that last one for some reason.  I think it’s the texture of the leaves.

Oh and look who stopped by to check out what I was doing.

The Veteran (OM 90mm f2 macro)

Even down to 6 legs it was still able to evade another daddy long legs that came by.

Anyway, I hope I can continue with this project, soon.  Although the plants aren’t getting any prettier I am committed to documenting them all the way to full die back.  It’s been a fun project and thanks for keeping up with it.


C by my A

So I’m going to take a break from photography for a while.

An enforced break.

Against my will.

I’m in receipt of a rather alarming medical diagnosis and will be undergoing treatment that will basically render me incapable of photography for a while.  Certainly for a month, possibly longer.

Which totally sucks since fall in New England is the best time for photography, but I have no real choice in the matter if I want the best results.

So…I don’t know what the future holds or if this blog will remain active for the foreseeable future.  If I have the strength and the desire to keep posting while in photography hiatus, I’ll do that, but I don’t know if I will.

So…good vibes all around, ok?


Vermont Views

The other weekend we took a road trip to Vermont.  We had destinations of sorts, but it was really just an excuse for my husband to get some seat time in his new Audi S4.  I brought the camera along as usual even though this wasn’t a photography trip per se.  He’s used to it by now.  It was sunny with a few clouds in the sky and pretty warm.

This first one is so quintessentially Vermont that I’m almost embarrassed I took it.

Down the green valley

Not the same barn, but this is what happens when they fall into disuse –

Onslaught of Decrepitude

We got out of the car for a bit to stretch our legs in a new little park on Route 2 in Marshfield.  The restored covered bridge went up last year and spans the Winooski River.  It is one of the only agricultural bridges left.

Martin Bridge restored

Winooski River

There’s a meadow with a funny little henge in it –

Henge

Shadegrown

You didn’t think I’d get through a whole post without a black and white did you?  I particularly love this one.  It’s a slight crop from the original – to get is square essentially and even though the color version works well, monochrome works even better.  I spent a lot of time in Lightroom getting it just the way I want it.

Meadowcrest

Anyway, that’s it for the moment.  I’m thinking of heading into the woods today to see if I can find some microscapes to shoot, back willing.


Lily of the Valley – Part 8

After some weeks of relative sameness, the plants are beginning a new phase – the die back.

August 4 - ZD 12-60mm

I love the contrast between the still verdant leaves and the dying leaves.   The textures are still terrific.

August 5 - OM 90mm f2

And of course I couldn’t resist a monochrome conversion.  The shapes and light variation in the early morning is perfect for this kind of interpretation.  A square crop adds to the classical feel I think.

August 5 - OM 90mm f2

I also noticed that the berries from the last session are still hanging in there, although they haven’t changed in color enough to warrant new photos yet.  Keeping my eyes peeled though.

August 5 - OM 90mm f2

Overall I’m pleased with my messy little patch of flowers and the project so far.  As the die back continues I’ll be out there again.  There’s one more shot on the SmugMug Gallery if you’re so inclined.


The Hike that Kicked My Ass

It’s true that mountains in New England aren’t particularly tall (the tallest being barely over 6000 feet).  It’s true that they aren’t particularly awe-inspiring as say the Rockies, Alps, Himalayas or Andes.  No one would call them the roof of the world.  They don’t have hidden enclaves of ancient civilization or host Olympic games.  They do however make you work your ass off.

Hiking in New England is destination hiking, meaning you will have to toil long and hard for a view.  In Utah and Arizona there’s always a view and it makes whatever work is involved that much easier.  Ditto for parts of Washington, California, Colorado and Oregon.  Lots of terrain in those locations provide for views and places to hang out and catch your breath.  Not so in the White Mountains.  Here you hike in dense forest on a trails that can be mostly boulders and sometimes are outright stream beds.  It’s not uncommon that the trails can run with water all spring and summer.  I’ve heard it said that a hiker doesn’t need Gortex boots unless she hikes in New England.

So in keeping with the challenge of White Mountains hiking, we decided to tackle Mts. Jackson and Webster.  There’s a 6.x mile loop trail that goes up one mountain and across a ridge to the other.  Little did we know that it was all up or down, extremely rocky and steep as hell.  Some niggling voice in my head made me take my hiking poles just in case and I’m seriously glad I did; they helped immensely with balance, like having a tail.  Because I had to manage the poles, I couldn’t hang the camera in it’s usual spot on my pack shoulder strap and instead stowed it inside.  I did break it out for little gems like this though –

Tiny ferns huddle inside a barrier of roots

On the way up Mt. Jackson we came to our first of many stream crossings (I suspect we crossed the same stream over and over) and I couldn’t resist getting in a few photos.  I also shot some film here, too and have to send it off to be processed.  Ah the old days.  This shot of the brook falling away out of sight will give you some idea of the constant uphill pitch of the trail.  It hardly ever switchbacks and just basically plows straight up.

Unnamed, lifegiving brook on Mt. Jackson

From here until I was almost at the summit the camera stayed in the pack.  We really had to get a move on if we wanted to get back home at a reasonable hour.  I stopped just before the final rock scramble to take this next image.  I just loved the nearest trees contrasted with the farthest and the colors of the mountains and sky.

View near the summit of Mt. Jackson

So let me turn around for a second and let you see the final ascent –

The final rock scramble up Mt. Jackson

Yeah.

Anyway I finally made it up and damn, it was pretty spectacular.  The clouds hung in there and the light cooperated.

Summit cairn on Mt. Jackson

After a quick lunch of turkey sandwiches and homemade graham crackers, I found some mountain sandwort among the rocks on the summit –

Mountain sandwort

Such fragile beauty in a relatively harsh environment.  I wondered what in the world pollinated them and then found some bees, so I guess there are lots of hardy creatures in New Hampshire.

After much sliding and semi-falling, we got off the peak and started over the ridge to Mt. Webster.  There’s only about 100 feet of difference in altitude between the two and so after a bit of down (ow!  visions of what’s to come) we found a few rare flat spots on the trail.  None lasted more than a minute, but they had their own secret beauty –

Into the Greening

Parasol

Soon we made it to Mt. Webster, had another snack, shot some more and headed out.

The view from Mt. Webster

The camera only came out one more time on the way down, to shoot a waterfall in such bad light that I am not sharing them with anyone.  On a nice overcast day, it would be spectacular though.

The climb down Mt. Webster was a personal misery.  The relentless pitch and lack of any flat spots that stretch the legs and release the pressure on tendons and ligaments did me in.  I hadn’t been in as much knee pain in years and it took an extraordinarily long time for me to descend.  But I did and was soon ensconced in the Audi for the 90 minute ride home.  A shower and a beer were never so welcome!