Archive for the 'forest' Category

13
Feb
11

2/13/2011: Who Goes There

Happy Sunday!

Snow had fallen heavily the day before, but people had already cross-country skied and snow-showed the trails at Rachel Carson NWR, so, with care, a booted photographer could get back pretty far in the woods. These tracks must have been made just before the snow ended. Though I thought I was capturing the tracks, it turns out this is mostly about what the light is doing with the texture of the snow. A Black and White conversion brings that to the forefront.

Canon SX20IS at about 285mm equivalent field of view, f5 @ 1/1250th @ ISO 80. Snow Mode.

Processed in Lightroom for clarity and sharpness. Converted to B&W using the Green filter effect.

And, being Sunday: Like the image itself, our spiritual journey is often more about what the light does with the snow than it is about the tracks we, or others, leave. And yet, without the tracks, what is there to draw another’s eye? We are much more likely to stop to see the light on the snow if someone has laid a track across it. That seems to be a part of what it means to be human. “Who goes there” is our first question. But it eventually leads to the realization that there is a there to go and a going…and that every step, to the eye of the spirit, is through textured light!

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14
Jan
11

1/14/2011: You can’t keep a good moss down!

The boggy fir forest that surrounds Saco Heath is always an interesting place. The water there must be on the warm side, perhaps from the peat decomposition, because despite several inches of snow covering the forest floor, there were these little bare patches of moist moss showing in odd spots. The contrast of bright green with the snow and old oak leaves is what caught my eye here. Then it was just a matter of framing it.

Canon SX20IS at 360mm equivalent, f5 @ 1/400th @ ISO 160. Snow Mode.

Processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity.

11
Jan
11

1/11/2011: Light in the Forest

After church on Sunday, my daughter and I stopped at Saco Heath again, just to see what it looked like in winter. She was impressed with the beauty of the light under the tall fur trees where the trail works its way toward the bog, and we were discussing how difficult it is to catch that particular (and undeniable) beauty in a photograph…how the eye and the brain…the mind…absorbs the impression of beauty without needing any center of focus, as we move through the landscape, but how in an image, once you place a frame around it, without that center of focus, the result is, most of the time, just a clutter from which we fail to recapture the original impression.

So I took a few shots to demonstrate the limits of what can be done. I explained as I worked and showed her the results that I was also visualizing the image in B&W, using a green filter effect, which lead us to discussions of how B&W photographers used to tailor the light and the response of the film with a whole bag full of different colored filters…how it was, in a very real sense, the one control they had over the image once basic exposure decisions were made. I told her that often, in situations where it is really the light you are photographing, B&W can be more effective, or at least, just as effective as color.

So here is the same image processed in Lightroom using the green filter B&W effect. This treatment brings the little fur into some prominence and is perhaps better focused as an image than the color version.

I am not sure which I like better, or, even if I like one better. Of their kind, and given the limitations of forest photography, they are both satisfying. Just. Unfortunately the experience is fresh enough so I still remember the impression I was attempting to catch!

Canon SX20IS at about 110mm, f4.5 @ 1/160th @ ISO 80. Snow Mode.

Processed for light, intensity, and clarity in Lightroom. Cropped for composition. Green filter B&W effect.

08
Jan
11

1/8/2011: the corner of simple and green

Sometimes you see an image very clearly, but when you attempt to frame it, it turns out harder than you thought. That was the way here. Simple image. I saw it right away.  It then took me an inordinate amount of time to find the angle, zoom setting, and particular section of branch. Still, I like it.

Emmon’s Preserve, Kennebunkport, ME.

Canon SX20IS at 180mm equivalent, f5 @ 1/250@ ISO 125. Snow Mode.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

28
Dec
10

12/28/2010: After the Blizzard

It stopped snowing late in the afternoon yesterday, at the tail end of Maine’s first blizzard of the winter of 2010, and I got out for an hour or so…until the light failed. This is Rachel Carson NWR, where someone had already been around the trail a few times in snowshoes…which made it considerably easier for me in my boots. I like the light here and the subtle leading line of the snowshoe prints…and of course the trees painted white by snow on the wind.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, f2.8 @ 1/60th @ ISO 80. Landscape mode.

Processed for intensity and clarity using my normal methods in Lightroom (see page link), but more fill light than normal to pick up the green in the trees, less blackpoint, and some added brightness.

27
Dec
10

12/27/2010: Snow on the Little

As I post this snow-storm image from last week, we are in the middle of our first real blizzard of the winter in Maine. It is not light enough to see the damage yet, but the wind is howling around the house and there is snow stuck in the window screens. It is not scheduled to pass off until late afternoon. Should be interesting. 10-18 inches of snow. Watch this space!

This shot, however was during a much more gentle storm, as you can see from the snow built up on the branches. This is one of my favorite views at Rachel Carson NWR, where the Little River makes it’s classic “S” bend on its way to the sea. It is an all weather view, just as attractive here in the snow with snow closing the horizon, as it is in full summer with a dramatic sky.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, f2.8 @ 1/200th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

Processed in Lightrooom for intensity and clarity, and adjusted for brightness.

25
Dec
10

12/25/2010: Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! May joy find you today!

Walking down paths at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters during a snowstorm, where mine were the first footprints, I discovered that someone with a Christmas spirit had been there before me (and before the snow). I was blessed. I am hoping you will be too, especially on this most blessed of days (or on the day we celebrate such a blessing).

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, f2.8 @ 1/250 @ ISO 80. Landscape mode.

I did my usual processing for intensity and clarity in Lightroom, but I wanted the wreath to stand out more than it did in the original exposure. I boosted the saturation and the luminance of of the greens and yellows using the spot HSL control, but even then the wreath was too dark. I resorted to the local adjustments brush, with which I painted over the green of the wreath, increasing brightness, contrast, and clarity. And all of that just to present something closer to the feeling of the place, so that you can, hopefully share in it. 🙂

Merry Christmas!