Archive for the 'river' Category


10/26/2010: Down the Mousam to the sea

This is another autumn HDR, looking down the Mousam from the Route 9 bridge toward Great Hill and the sea beyond. The sky is interesting, but for me, it is the light on and in the water that makes the shot, especially balanced against the fall foliage behind the marsh. I like the way wind and current draw patterns in the water. The two posts redeem what would otherwise be a rather ugly patch of mud and stone, and, for me, draw the eye to the transparency of the water along the shore.

Canon SX20IS. Three exposures, auto bracketed over 2EV with the center moved down 2/3rds EV. ISO 160.

Exposures blended and tone-mapped in Photomatix. A touch of Fill Light and Blackpoint just right in Lightroom. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset.


10/25/2010: old falls on the Mousam

Old Falls and an old fall combine in this HDR shot of the Mousam River in West Kennebunk Maine. This is right across the road from Old Falls Pond of a few days ago, but here the ravages of wind and rain and late October are more obvious. Now we just hunker down and wait for snow. 🙂

If you click the image above you will see a different view of the larger shot. If you just click the Info button on the right a panel will drop down with full exif data.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, three exposures auto bracketed around a center shifted –2/3 EV. ISO 160.

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


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.


10/15/2010: autumn silver river

With the forecast for heavy rain and winds gusting to 40 mph overnight, it seemed wise to get out for an hour at lunch time yesterday to catch a bit of foliage. By some reckonings we are just at peak. Some were holding out for an even better show in a a week…but the storm may change that! The sky, running in ahead of the front, was an unexpected bonus, and no one could have predicted the way the light interacted with the tide pushing up into the mouth of the Mousam River. Taken from the bridge on Route 9 in Kennebunk Maine. (The line in the water, by the way, is the shadow of a telephone pole 🙂

This is a three shot HDR from the Canon SX20IS at full wide angle (28mm equivalent), auto bracketed around a center shifted down –2/3 EV with Exposure Compensation. Exposures blended and tonemapped in Photomatix Light.

Medium Recovery in Lightroom to tame the reflections on the water somewhat. A touch of Fill Light for the foliage, Blackpoint right for intensity, added Clarity and just a smidge of Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset. Some distortion control for a more natural perspective.


10/11/2010: color on the Mousam

Happy Columbus Day! In New England, Columbus day weekend is celebrated primarily by motel and restaurant owners, as the height of the short, but profitable, leaf peeping season. I am, of course, still in Georgia, though I am headed home today.

This is a week ago, right across the road from Old Falls Pond of yesterday’s post. This is the Mousam River above Old Falls, framed at the medium-tel end of the zoom on the Canon to catch a pocket of color and the reflections in the surface of the moving water. Sometimes less is more…or at least as much.

Here is the full scene.

Both shots are three exposure HDRs using autobracket shifted –2/3 EV on the Canon SX20IS. Exposures were blended and tone-mapped in Photomatix, and processed in Lightroom for using Fill Light, Blackpoint, Clarity and touch of Vibrance, and, of course, Sharpen narrow edges. One advantage of the HDR method, if you like the effect, is the automatic blurring of moving water, even at higher shutter speeds. The three different exposures catch the water, as in the falls here, in three slightly different positions and Photomatix, though it does a really good job of blending exposures, does produce some blur for the overlapping motion. A rapidly moving surf line, for instance, or foreground vegetation moving in a strong wind, is death to HDR. Here it actually, I think, adds to effectiveness of the image.

So I am looking forward to seeing what the foliage is like in Maine the day after Columbus Day…


9/24/2010: Back Creek iPhone HDR

Early morning light along Back Creek where it meets the Mousam River. This is an iPhone 4 HDR. With the 4.1 upgrade to iOS, HDR is now built into the iPhone camera, but, though very fast, it is pretty mild compared to the effects that you can get with the dedicated ProHDR app. The built in variety is great for opening shadows in difficult lighting, but for dramatic landscapes ProHDR is the app you want.

I am learning where HDR is appropriate and where it is not. This shot, for instance, did not benefit all that much from the HRD treatment, and I probably could have achieved the same results with a standard exposure and post processing…and there are a growing number of excellent post processing apps for the iPhone.

In this case, I straightened the horizon, sharpened the image, tweaked the color temperture, and adjusted shadows and highlights in PhotoWizard. The tools (filters) in PhotoWizard will be familiar to anyone who has worked with any variety of PhotoShop or most other dedicated image processing applications.

This version, with a bit more sky, made more of the HDR treatment.


9/12/2010: Self Portrait in the Shadow of Earl

Happy Sunday!

The morning after Hurricane Earl passed by Southern Maine was still showery and very windy, with lots of moisture hanging in the air and some high clouds building where a cold front pushed the storm further out to sea. I was out early to see what could be seen. The whole marsh behind Parson’s Beach, where Back Creek, here still full with the flood tide, flows to the Mousam, looked, in the early morning light, like it had been tousled by the retreating waves (see 9/9/2010)…producing interesting textures and patterns in the wet grasses. Here I attempted to set off the marsh patterns with a touch of vivid color from the rose-hips.

In doing so, I inadvertently created a self portrait. I try to keep my shadow out of landscapes, but for this shot I intentionally left it in. Can you see me in the rose bush? I will give you a clue…I am wearing a Tilley hat with a wide brim.

And, of course, every image I capture and publish is a self-portrait, whether I caught my shadow or not. I can not avoid intruding on the landscape I photograph…and there you go:  “avoid” and “intrude” are already casting the matter in the wrong light.

Myself, the way I see and respond, is what I bring to the image…my gift…my contribution to creation…to the creation. All any photograph says is “I saw this and it moved me…I wanted to show it to you too.” And the only honest response to any photograph is “I see it. I see what you were looking at, and why it moved you.” When the photograph is truly great, we can also say “It moved me too!”

Of course, what is moved in us is not shadow, but light…which is, I guess, why I try to keep my shadow off the landscape.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent @ f4.0 @ 1/640th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

Recovery in Lightroom for the sky and clouds, Blackpoint right, added Clarity and Vibrance, Sharpen narrow edges, and slight crop from the bottom for composition.