Autumn 2010






Here is some of my "latest work" from a recent photo tour to New England. I spent a week living out of my jeep shooting from sun up to sundown. I visited Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. The fall colors were good in Vermont and especially in Maine where I spent most of my time shooting in Baxter State Park. This collection of photographs is from the north country of central Maine. This posting is a little late as I have been very busy with details including backing up and sorting thru tons of image files. I ruthlessly edit out all but the very best images. Stay tuned, there's more to come. Enjoy!








Rendered in "Digital Velvia"






Posted Thursday December 16, 2010




Nightfall, Ambajejus Lake

Spencer Cove, Ambajejus Lake. Northwest of Millinocket

While traveling down Golden Road, on my way to Millinocket, this scene appeared suddenly to my right. The remaining color of the setting sun, along with the twilight blue sky, beckoned me to immediately pullover and capture this scene. This photograph is a composite of two files from the same RAW exposure. The first file was printed to preserve the low values and then a second RAW conversion was made to preserve the hi value color detail in the sky and crescent moon. An HDR (High Dynamic Range) composite was made and the two were blended using a layer. The composite image was then flattened into a single file and further reworking was performed to produce this very pleasing photograph. It effectively captures the original mood of this placid lakeside setting. This photograph is dedicated to Jim of Katahdin Air.









Ranger Station, Chimney Pond

The South Basin, Mt. Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine.

"Snapshots Along The Way" - Here is a quick snapshot of the Chimney Pond ranger station. Nestled between Chimney Pond and the Chimney Pond camp ground, it serves as the last outpost and check point for some of Katahdin's most grueling trails. From this point hikers can directly access Cathedral, Chimney Pond, Dudley, and Saddle trails. As with other stations in Baxter State Park, power is limited to only solar electric and heat is provided by wood stove.








Baxter Peak

From Chimney Pond camp ground, Baxter State Park, Maine.

This photograph is a composite of two exposures. A second tripod mounted "over exposure" was used, as a separate layer, to open up the muddy shadow detail in the evergreen branches. This made for a cleaner silhouette of the trees. Another example of subtle HDR (high dynamic range) photography. This was necessary as the light ratio between the mountain and the evergreens was too high.









Clouds, Baxter Peak

Mt. Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine








South Peak, MT Katahdin








Over Basin Pond

The Great Basin, Mt. Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine








Sandy Stream Pond, Fall

Baxter State Park, Maine

This photograph, and the one to follow, are good examples of "Digital Velvia".








Morning Color, Elbow Pond

Baxter State Park, Maine








Trail Near Elbow Pond

Baxter State Park, Maine

Although this photograph is not that compositionally strong, lacking a definite subject, The scene itself is the subject, and a beautiful one at that. Don't be overly bound by the rules of composition; sometimes a photograph is a good photograph just because it is. Relaxing the rules, now and then, can free up a great deal of creative potential. This is one of my favorites in this collection. It makes me feel like I am standing on that trail again, and it preserves that brief moment in time when I was. You can almost smell the pine needles.


"Time stands still,
ever frozen within the borders of the simple snapshot;
enabling all to relive a moment from the past
never again available to the present in quite the same way".


"Still" photography is the closest we can come to stopping time.








North Country

North of Kokadjo, Maine.








Silk Cascades

Black Brook, north of Kokadjo, Maine.

I made this exposure late one afternoon en route to Baxter. The brook is well named as the water is deeply tea stained, and from a distance looks black. The sun was getting quite low in the sky which cast a beautiful soft warm glow over the scene. When photographing moving water, shutter speed is the most important consideration. The proper shutter speed required, for the effect you desire, changes according to the camera to water distance. I always make many exposures with different shutter speeds when shooting water scenes like this one. This 6 second exposure was made with my D200 and a polarizing filter. The polarizer not only minimizes glare and enhances color, but also adds about 1 1/2 stops of density to allow for longer exposures at a given aperture. This is important when photographing water. I usually use a polarizer instead of a neutral density filter (less gear to carry).









Swirling Foam

Detail on Black Brook, north of Kokadjo, Maine

God's Fingerprint?

Mouse over image for black and white rendering.








Dawn, Marden Pond

An Amber Morning

While driving from Millinocket to Baxter one morning I passed this scene rapidly unfolding just before sunrise. I turned around, pulled over, and quickly made my way through a thick tangle of swampy brush. I managed to find a rock to set up my tripod on and made this exposure just before loosing the rapidly changing light. It's great to start the day with a great image like this one, it gives you a momentum for the rest of the day.









Golden Hues, Chimney Pond

As I made my way "rock hopping" along the shoreline of chimney pond I came upon this patch of faded grass among the rocks. Backlit by the warm sun, the grass took on a strong golden color which seemed to compliment the similar gold hues present in the submerged rocks. The golden hues are what make this photograph. A polarizing filter was used here to enhance the color, minimize the reflections on the water, and increase the overall contrast.









Tree line, Chimney Pond

South Basin, Mt. Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine

Mouse over image for a black & white warm tone paper rendering.

The grandeur of this scene cannot be fully expressed with a camera. Standing on the shore of Chimney Pond in the bottom of South Basin is an experience worth all of the effort required to get there. Towering high above this tree line are most of Katahdin's grandest peaks. While making these exposures I could hear the echoing sound of ice dislodging from the cliffs and falling hundreds of feet down the rock face. The sound was amplified by the acoustics of the enormous half "basin". This is some of the best that Maine has to offer.



Click here for a pop up page showing this photograph rendered in 7 different print tones.






Posted Tuesday November 23, 2010





Logging Road

Near Kokadjo, Maine








Land, Water, And Sky

First Roach Pond, Kokadjo, Maine.

This is another composite image using the best detail from two RAW exposures. A 2 stop graduated neutral density filter was used in both exposures to deepen the sky which was very hot. One exposure was made while the sun was veiled by a cloud, yielding better sky detail. Another exposure was made while stronger sunlight fell upon the stones. After each file was carefully converted in Adobe Camera Raw, the warmer stones and certain other shoreline details were painted into the first image using a layer. The resulting image was then reworked further to create what I saw that day standing on that shore.









Autumn Beneath Katahdin

Mt. Katahdin From Elbow Pond, Baxter State Park, Maine








Autumn On The Water

Elbow Pond, Baxter State Park, Maine








Stillness, Elbow Pond

Baxter State Park, Maine

This photograph, rendered with warm saturated colors, and rich velvety blacks bears the characteristic Digital Velvia look.









Colors Of Earth

The Great Basin, Mt. Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine








Contours, Mt. Katahdin

The Great Basin, Mt. Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine

Mouse over this image to view a black and white rendering.

I made this exposure late in the day near Basin Ponds while returning from my hike on Chimney Pond Trail. I released the shutter just as a passing cloud cast a shadow on the middle slope. This afforded a composition with greater depth separating the foreground, middle ground, and background. There are actually 4 planes of depth to this reverse Z composition (from foreground to sky). The diagonal line also adds to the separation. Without the low values on the slope this picture would lack a strong third dimension that only good compositional depth can deliver. I use depth in my compositions whenever I can. Compositional depth, as well as, darkroom adjustments are things that I use to impart more of a 3D look to 2D images. A good photograph should look like an open window to a real scene. I prefer this photograph just as much in black and white as I do in color. The separated tonal values work very well in the monotone rendering and preserve the 3 dimensional effect. Although it looks great in color, it almost demands to be printed in black and white. The scene will often tell your eye which medium is better. In this case the scene cannot decide. What is your preference?









Edge Over Edge, Ice On Baxter Peak

Mt. Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine

I had been planning to hike up to "The Knife Edge" but Knife Edge and Cathedral Trails were closed due to icy conditions at summit elevations. Instead I settled for a half way climb up Saddle Trail which gave me a fabulous vantage point for alpine photography. This exposure was made off of Chimney Pond Trail just above Basin Pond. Shooting from this lower vantage point imparts a "high country" feel to the composition. In the darkroom, I saturated the highlights with warmth (Yellow and Red) while leaving the mid tones and shadows cooler (blue). In so doing, the cold "feeling" of the snow and ice is preserved along with the pleasant warming effect of the direct morning sunlight within the overall scene. See the rich black and white rendering below.









Edge Over Edge, Ice On Baxter Peak

This scene also looks beautiful as a black and white photograph. Printed in high contrast, it carries greater visual impact than a softer rendering would lend it. I gave this image a neutral instead of a warm tone to impart a colder feeling appropriate to the icy summit.  Both this photograph and the one above share the same flavor as the scenes from "Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail", one of my favorite Ansel Adams publications. I particularly enjoy the "look" of the prints reproduced in that book, a characteristic of the photographic materials of that era. Mouse over this print to see how it might look if it were printed back then.









Sky And Treetops

Baxter State Park, Maine

This photograph, with it's low horizon, emphasizes the great expanse of sky over an earthy evergreen forest. What struck me, as I was framing this shot, was the unique detail in the tree line. Like snow flakes, each tree within this scene has it's own unique and definable character. This, to me, is the most important element within this composition and really makes this photograph work.









Sky and Treetops

Rendered in black and white as if printed on a warm tone photographic paper.







Contours, Mt. Katahdin

Here is another look at "contours" as it would look printed on a warm tone paper. Wow, I just love it. Very dramatic.

Mouse over image to see it in neutral tone.








The Featured Photograph









"Digital Velvia"








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