Up All Night

From time to time I go meet up with a few other local photographers.  We are all part of the same flickr group and it’s pretty much the same core of people who go to them.  We usually try for a sunrise.  Winter shooting seems far more popular.  Probably because sunrise is at 7am instead of 5.  Sunday was such a day.  Of course I got about 2 hours worth of sleep the night before.  I hate that.  Couldn’t get comfortable.  I’m coming down with something and kept coughing.  The cats kept bugging me.  It was brutal.  After getting up and reading for a while, I finally went back to bed and was able to sleep for a couple hours.  After a bit of a Plan A snafu, we ended up at Adams Point on Great Bay (one of our usual locations) and I got this –

Tranquility Base

Jeff and I trekked across the meadow heading for the milkweeds hoping for some interesting side light close-ups.  I wasn’t feeling it though.  Didn’t like any of the compositions I was able to get and didn’t feel like changing lenses for the 10th time (I should have brought my 65-200mm zoom, but had the straight 135mm f2.8 instead – mistake!) so switched tactics instead.  Looking up out of my tunnel vision, I saw this beautiful vista.  The sun had crested the treeline, but it wasn’t very high and so there are still shadows on the snow.  I love the blue of those shadows against the soft pink of the sunlit snow.  And the vertical lines of those naked milkweed plants break up the horizontal in an interesting way.  The rolling hills and the trees give interest all through the shot.  And the sky is equally soft all adding to a hushed, tranquil feeling.  Think of it as anti-HDR.

Instead of using my graduated neutral density filter in the field (because my hands were already cold enough) I decided to use the same tool in Lightroom.  I added just a little bit of underexposure and saturation in the sky and treeline.  Just like a physical filter would have given me.  Normally I like doing things in camera, but I just didn’t have the where-with-all yesterday.

I still haven’t gotten a decent sunrise or sunset at this location.  Every time I go the sky refuses to cooperate.  No clouds or no color.  It’s like a conspiracy.  Luckily there’s plenty of stuff in the foreground to work with.  Here are some from previous shoots –

Adams Point sunrise January 2010

Boring sky with no clouds, but plenty of color…just look at it reflected in the ice there.  That shot is almost straight out of the camera.  A little contrast adjustment and I think some sharpening.  Now look at this next one – great clouds, but zero color.  Sunset bid almost fail.  Luckily there was enough interest in the sky for a monochrome.  I walked around until I got some other elements to include and later had to climb up that oak tree because the bank was too muddy and slippery.

Gathering Gloom at sunset on Adams Point

As a whole, I think they work well to showcase some of the reasons why Adams Point is a nature preserve and also hosts a marine lab.  It’s not going anywhere and the pack ice is forming, so one day maybe I’ll get my wish – good color, good sky, pack ice and fog.  A girl can dream.

 

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