Archive for October, 2010



24
Oct
10

10/24/2010: reflections of fall

Happy Sunday!

My daughter was accompanist for a young lady in a voice competition at Bates College yesterday, and I was chauffer. I had my laptop with me to do some video processing, but first, of course, I took a walk around the campus to see what I could see. There is a decorative pond right next to the Olin Arts Center, and between the morning light, the lingering fall colors, and just enough wind to fracture the surface of the water, the reflections were irresistible. Here they are set off by the foreground cattails.

Canon SX20IS zoomed in to about 160mm equivalent for framing, f4.5 @ 1/200 @ ISO 200. Landscape program.

Some Fill Light for the foreground in Lightroom, Blackpoint right, added Clarity and some Vibrance, Sharpen narrow edges preset.

And here is a shot, similar processing, zoomed out to a little over 300mm to isolate just the reflections.

Which leads me to my Sunday reflection: I like both the bold splash of color across the wind fractured water, abstract because there is no particular resting place for the eye, a subject in itself, but hard to hold on to…and the way the mundane cattails in the foreground capture your eye and instantly put that glory firmly in the background. It is the way of life, isn’t it? Always confronted by the fractured reflection of the glory of eternity, our eyes are caught by the detail right in front of us…which should still, if we are seeing right, be displayed against that backdrop of glory. 

Smile

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23
Oct
10

10/23/2010: Old Falls pond, tail end of fall

The foliage show is just about over here in southern Maine. One more big wind and we are done. This is Old Falls Pond in West Kennebunk again. I used the zoom to frame a small section of still bright shoreline and its reflections. This is a 3 exposure HDR on a day of high winds, so there is some blurring in the evergreen boughs framing the top but I think it is still effective.

Canon SX20IS at about 60mm equivalent, three exposure HDR, auto bracketed around a center shifted down 2/3s EV.

Blended and tone-mapped in Photomatix. Processed for Recovery, Fill Light, Blackpoint, Clarity, Vibrance and Sharpen in Lightroom.

22
Oct
10

10/22/2010: hidden cove, Acadia

I am certain this spot has another name, but to us it is Hidden Cove. It is off the Park Loop road in Acadia National Park, and only marked by a small parking area across the road from what, if you are looking closely, is the head of a set of stairs that promises to lead down to the ocean. The stairs put you on that pebble beach. Walking the “ready made” trails out to the north of the stair head takes you to one of the points that frames the cove, and I took this shot from there. As you see it was still a foggy day and the vista is limited by the moisture in the air. At the same time, the moisture brings out all the rich tones in the rocks at my feet.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, f4.0 @ 1/160th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

Fill Light in Lightroom for the foreground and to bring up the detail in the evergreens, Blackpoint right for intensity, added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset.

This is the view from the beach looking out to the point from where the first image was taken.

Similar exif and processing.

21
Oct
10

10/21/2010: Cadillac cloud event

Our most recent trip to Acadia was not Cadillac Summit weather. We had mostly rain and mist and fog, and then fog and mist and rain. It was beautiful, of course, and we enjoyed it as much as any trip so far. But it really looked like we would finally make an Acadia visit without a drive up the winding road to the summit of Cadillac.

The last day there, after hiking in the heavy fog around Jordan Pond, and a pop-over lunch at the Jordan Pond House where our daughter who works there got to wait on us (lucky her) and we got fully fed, we started for home and suddenly, just before the Cadillac turn-off, drove right out of the fog and into sun. Looking up we could see the summit, standing out clear against a blue sky. Who could resist?

As we drove up though, it became obvious that we were racing the front. The fog was literally boiling up the south flank of the mountain on a strong wind ahead of the mass of fog and cloud that closed the whole south east horizon like a wall, and already hid the mountains behind us. The first wisps were crossing the summit as I got out of the car. It was the strangest thing. A clot of cloud would tear of the front of the cloud mass, which itself was moving so fast you see it come, and race on ahead of the mass across the summit like a living thing…boiling and rolliing, twisting into a thousand shapes as the irregular mass of the summit and its complicated air-currents caught it and tossed it every which way as it passed. The wind was so strong I could barely stand to take a picture. I tried to catch several of the cloud things (cloud beings) as they passed, but this (above) is the best I could do.

I finally turned, just ahead of the on coming mass of cloud, for the car…grabbing this shot as I passed. In less than 30 seconds I was in cloud where I stood.

I am sure it is not all that uncommon an occurrence on Cadillac summit…but it was the first time I had experienced it. My only regret is that I totally forgot to shoot some video of it!

Canon SX20 IS. Post processing in Lightroom.

20
Oct
10

10/20/2010: duck brook bridge, Acadia np

The bridges of Acadia National Park were built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. to employ master stone masons out of work due to the depression. They are, real works of art…but none are easy to photograph, and Duck Brook Bridge, which spans a deep little ravine, is particularly hard. Finding an effective vantage point is particularly difficult, especially among the trees. This shot catches some of the interesting features of the bridge, and puts it in is natural context…this is a view anyone who visits could see. The leading rail of the fence was an experiment that I think works, and between exposure and Lightroom processing I managed to preserve a relatively natural and balanced look. A slight crop from the bottom was applied to eliminate the more severely out of focus rail, and to improve composition.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/400th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

Recovery for the sky in Lightroom. Some Fill Light for the foreground. Blackpoint right for intensity. Added Clarity and a bit of Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

And a second view.

19
Oct
10

10/19/2010: otter cove with Birch

Otter Cove is a deep tidal inlet between on Mount Desert Island in Maine. The Park loop road crosses it on a causeway bridge about 1/3 of the way in, producing what looks like a lake on landside at high tide, and leaving a landlocked mud fat at low tide. Most of our days on our last visit in September were misty, rainy affairs, with distances fading off into fog. I did a lot of experimentation with HDR to see if I could capture the effect of the vivid foreground, the few early bright fall trees, and the persistent fog, but this is a straight on Landscape program shot.

Of course, what I like here is the sharply defined birch and the brush underfoot, the touches of color on the sides of the inlet, the glisten of the light on the mud and water and the more colorful hill in the background shrouded in fog.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/100th @ ISO 80. Landscape program. Processed in Lightroom using Recovery, Fill Light, Blackpoint, Clarity, Vibrance, and Sharpen. Cropped slightly for composition.

18
Oct
10

10/18/2010: Mousam fire

There is a little park around what used to be a skating pond on the banks of the Mousam River in Kennebunk Maine. It is mostly now a picnic and dog walking area, but it also provides access to the rapids for fly fishermen…and photographers. This little foliage tapestry is from the bank of the Mousam looking upstream.

Canon SD4000IS zoomed into its max 106mm equivalent for framing, f5.3 @ 1/250th @ ISO 125. Foliage program (yep. Canon puts a foliage program on all its P&Ss, and it works!, tweaking the sensor response and internal processing to retain all the richness of the fall color).

I shot with the SD4000IS because this was taken on a grocery run and it is what I grabbed on the way out the door.

Processed in Lightroom with some Fill Light, Blackpoint right, added Clarity and smidge of Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset.