Archive for the 'lake' Category


10/28/2010: second helping of fall

One of the advantages of my travel schedule is that I get to experience extended springs and falls. Just as the foliage show is over in Maine, the last week in October, I always travel to Cape May, New Jersey, and, most years, the foliage in South Jersey is just at peak. Next month, just before Thanksgiving I will be in the Rio Grande valley in New Mexico. Fall is more variable in New Mexico than it is in New England, but about 3 out of 5 years, my visit catches the cottonwoods along the Rio Grande at their golden best. Spring is even more stretched for me, beginning in January in Florida, Feburary in Southern California, etc. I even occasionally catch Arizona’s second spring in August. 🙂

This is, according to my map, Ludlum’s Pond. Route 347, just north of where it comes back into 47 in Dennis, crosses the west end of it, and I have stopped several times on the way from Philadelphia to Cape May to photograph the foliage. This year the weather was chancy…with rain, thundershowers, and even a tornado warning in effect…but when I passed by the pond, it was no more than heavy overcast and a kind of watery light. With an HDR treatment, the weather actually shows the foliage to better advantage than full sun would have. Good thing, since that is all I had to work with.

HDR, in this kind of light, allows for a richly textured sky, while keeping enough light on the foliage and reflections to make for a very satisfying image. IMHO.

Canon SX20IS zoomed to about 48mm field of view for framing. Three exposures, auto bracketed, with the center moved down 2/3s EV. ISO 160.

Exposures blended and tone-mapped in Photomatix. My tone mapping in Photomatix is never extreme because I know I am going to do final processing in Lightroom: A bit of Recovery for the sky, some Fill Light, Blackpoint right, added Clarity and a touch of Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset.

And here is a more open, wider angle view, of the other shore. Another three exposure HDR.


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.


10/10/2010: old falls pond fall Hdr

Happy Sunday!

Old Falls Pond in West Kennebunk Maine is one of my favorite autumn color spots. It is across the road from Old Falls itself, which is my other most favorite autumn color spot. My most visited, most awarded, highest rated photo on flickr is a shot of this pond from several autumns ago. That was before I started working with HDR, and, though the leaves were not yet at peak, I took a run out last Sunday to see how it looked. (I am writing this from Jekyll Island GA, where I have spent every Columbus Day weekend for the past 8 years (work), so I never do see the traditional peak foliage in Maine.) Still, Old Falls Pond was looking pretty good, and with a sky that just begged for HDR treatment.

The low angle (camera almost touching the water), the floating leaves, the way the light runs on the  ripples on the water, the glimpse of the bottom through the foreground, the foliage itself, and the sky overall with its strong diagonal slant…this image has enough going on to overcome the otherwise rather static composition. I did experiment with cropping out part of the sky to “improve” composition, but I like the full shot better.

Three shots with the Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, auto bracketed, with the –2/3s EV exposure compensation. Exposure was blended and tonemapped in Photomatix, and the resulting image was processed in Lightroom using Fill Light, Blackpoint, Clarity and Vibrance, and the Sharpen narrow edges preset. Finally I applied a Graduated Filter Effect to the lower third of the image, reducing brightness slightly, which had the effect of making the water more transparent, for that hint of bottom.

Which goes to show you, I think, that if you are at your peak, in tune with the creative spirit inside, the foliage does not have to be!


10/8/2010: Fox pond under cloud

This scene, if taken today, would probably be even more awesome, as the fall color would be about peak, but we work with what we have! On the way back from Machias and daughter number 3’s first college homecoming weekend (she is a freshman) we stopped at Fox Pond on the short cut my GPS found on the trip back from dropping my daughter off at college in August. You may remember.

This is a three exposure, auto bracketed, HDR from the Canon SX20IS using Photomax. Final processing in Lightroom, for my standard Blackpoint, Clarity, Vibrance, and Sharpen.

I like the HDR effect here, which gives the sky and cloud reflection a dominant play, but keeps the foliage vibrant. The low angle (ground level) and the transparency of the water in the foreground and the tiny pebbles lock the frame down and keep it from receding into the clouds.


9/5/2010: Jordan Pond and the Bubbles

Happy Sunday!

The three mile loop around Jordan Pond is one of my favorite hikes (walks?) in Acadia National Park, and that is saying quite a bit as there are a lot of hikes in Acadia that I really like. Of course, the fact that we have had a daughter (or two) working at the Jordan Pond House the past 6 summers only adds to the attraction. It does not matter how many times I walk this walk…there is always something new to see, even if it only the angle of the light, or the pattern of the ripples in the sun, or the way fog drapes the cedars on the south shore. Always something new. But then new is a gift we receive from the author all things new, inside, before we can see it outside. Or at least that is the way I see it.

This is another experiment in HDR using two SX20IS exposures 3EV apart and Photomatix to blend them. Final adjustments for Blackpoint, Clarity, Vibrance and Sharpness in Lightroom, plus some distortion correction for the challenging perspective.

From Acadia 2010.


9/2/2010: Fox Pond, Maine

And so we leave rainy Germany and merry old England (also rainy) for perhaps another year, and return to home and Maine. Last weekend I drove my daughter to her first days of college in Machais, and, on the way back to Bar Harbor, where we planned to spend the night, my TomTom (on the iPhone) took me a shortcut across the mountains inland from US Route 1 and the coast. The sign as you turn on Route 182 says it is a Maine Scenic Byway, and it is indeed. The road climbs through the low coastal mountains, up and down, past streams and lakes and ponds. It was a glorious day. Good job TomTom! The only complaint I have about this shortcut is that it was, considering the wonderful scenery, too short!

This is Fox Pond, about 2/3rds of the way between the two ends of the loop of US 1 that 182 cuts off. A low angle shot with the SX20IS flip out LCD to get the water hyacinth in frame.

I used a single image tone-mapping in Photomatix to give it an HDR effect, before bringing it into Lightroom for final adjustments of Exposure, Blackpoint, Clarity, and Sharpen. I also had to straighten it a bit.

Canon SX20IS @ 28mm equivalent @ f8 @ 1/400th @ ISO 80. Aperture preferred so I could use a small f-stop for depth of field. The hyacinth was barely a foot away.

From Machias 2010.


9/1/2010: Rutland Water UK

I had to crawl between a tent and flap, where, strictly speaking I was not supposed to be, to get to this image out over Rutland Water at the British Birding Fair, but honestly, who could resist? This is England at its best…or maybe on its best behavior, at least as far as weather goes. And, of course, it only lasted a few moments. Within 30 the sky closed and within 60 it was raining again. I especially like the mottled sun on the foreground.

iPhone 4 HDR, two exposures in ProHDR (which now has an auto mode that analyzes the dynamic range of the image and computes its own two exposures), sharpened and contrast adjusted in PhotoGene and uploaded to my SmugMug site with SmugShot.



Seawall Beaver Pond

The active beaver pond behind the Seawall at Acadia National Park is always picturesque. Here the beach roses set off the foreground and enough of the pond peeks over the hedge to make an interesting composition. Since the sky was largely featureless on this overcast day, I cropped most of it out, which gives an intimate feel to the landscape.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/320th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

Besides the crop, in Lightroom 3, Recovery for the sky (though it did not help much on this day), Fill Light for the foreground, Blackpoint just barely right, added Clarity and just a bit of Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From Acadia 2010.



Fly-fishing in First Light

We reached the Highpoint/Stokes Recreation Area soon after dawn in our World Series of Birding run on Saturday. One of the advantages of only being there to document the effort is that I had time (and attention) to spare for things without wings…like this angler in a pond in the early light. Zooming in, I as able to catch the arc of the line as he cast. This will repay a view at larger sizes on WideEyedInWonder (click the image for the link, and use the size controls at the top of the window to resize for your monitor).

Canon SX20IS at about 280mm equivalent. F5.0 @ 1/400th @ 1SO 80. Landscape program.

In Lightroom, a touch of Recovery for the glittering water, some Fill Light and Blackpoint right, added Clarity and Vibrance. Cropped from the bottom and top for composition.

From World Series of Birding 2010.



Frenald Pond

I stopped to photograph maple flowers growing on tree short enough to reach, but who could resist this clean sheet of reflective water. I would normally never but the horizon across the middle of the shot, but it works here somehow, with the bit of framing provided by the branch at the top and the strong reflections. Or so I think. I got down low to the water with the flip out LCD for the shot.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/800th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

Recovery for the sky in Lightroom. Added Clarity and a bit of Vibrance. Blackpoint to the right. Sharpen Landscape preset.

From Around Home 2010.