Sunday, November 28, 2010

Shapes, Patterns, Colors

Photographers often talk about ideas like composition, color, shapes, patterns, etc. I recently came across a great example of seeing and then really seeing those ideas.

While chasing fall color and hoping for big landscapes across Acadia National Park I spent a part of one morning at Bubble Pond. It was a morning I had started at another location early and sometime after sunrise I thought I might be able to still find some soft light or even nice reflections at Bubble Pond.

This was the scene I found there. Just a hint of clouds, some nice fall color, smooth water. Yes, things were looking nice.

Using a combo of ND grad filters and bracketing I was able to bring back images that stacked fairly nicely to capture the entire dynamic range of the scene. I had the color landscape I was after.

I pulled out my trusty LX3 to take some black and white images to see what fall looked like in monochrome. It was then that I saw something more.

The far end of the pond had the shape of a goblet (or wine glass if you prefer) when viewed as a monochrome.
I liked what I was seeing so I walked around and reframed the scene to give it even more of the look of a goblet.

Now I have an image to show people to see if they "see it".

On another note, I have added a few of my favorite images from Acadia to the galleries. Take a look if you get a chance.



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thinking Inside the Box


Thinking inside the box.

Maybe I need to set the scene first. After several mostly clear days in Acadia last month a Nor'easter blew in and did it bring the rain. I photograph in the rain. I also always go out on a photo trip regardless of the weather. This rain was a challenge though. Buckets of rain and wind gusting past 40mph made things really tough.

After waiting out the gray light of dawn I sat up my tripod put on the camera and used a large plastic bag as a rain cover. It worked ok at first but after several stops and some walking it was starting to be a losing battle to the wind and rain.

Not wanting to give in yet plus wanting to drive up Cadillac Mountain, I did a little thinking inside the box. Here is where the car came in. My rental car had rear windows the rolled down all the way. So I rigged the tripod in the back seat facing out the passengers rear window. This allowed me to be able to operate it in Live View mode from the drivers seat. I could photograph from the car.

Viola-a dry place to shoot from!

Now, I was ready to go, all I had to do was stop and aim the side of the car at what I wanted to photograph. Roll down the rear window. Focus with Live View. Get the image.

It actually worked out quite well. I was a bit more limited in what I could photograph but I made up for distance from the road with distance on the road.

This plan worked great in the sheltered forest and even worked out on the more open Cadillac Mountain. The winds were worse there but I was able to make images and stay dry.

I was the only fool, er photographer, out on the mountain that day.

Here are a couple of images from the mountain. First up the lead image of the waterfall. I had seen a trickle of water here when it was sunny. However, with all the rain from the Nor'easter, it was a raging waterfall. A rare moment and one I was happy to photograph.

I also spied this lone tree. A day earlier it was full of fall color, but the wind and rain had claimed most of its leaves. I hoped a long exposure would show the full fury of the storm.

Challenging weather conditions turned out to be a fun morning where I was able to photograph. It might be a popular thing to say think outside the box. On this day however it was thinking inside the box that really paid off!