I have worked in the city of Boston for the majority of my professional career, and I feel as though I know the city quite well. It’s buildings, streets, etc. are all very familiar to me. Yet when I have the chance to take in the city from an elevated point of view, it always seems to take on a new look for me. The view from the observation deck of the Custom House is no exception. This was taken a short while before the sun set to the west of where I was standing, and I love how the last of the warm sun was lighting up parts of the various buildings that make up the Boston skyline.
There are pretty amazing views from all four sides of the observation deck, and I ended up moving around more than I probably should’ve trying to get the “shot” of the city at sunset. Fortunately I spent more time before sunset at this specific location, and was able to frame the image exactly as I wanted, and could wait for the light to be as I wanted it too. This is definitely a spot I plan to revisit soon.
The sunset over the city of Boston last night was spectacular. I had chosen a new vantage point for some skyline shots, and was on the observation deck of the Custom House tower. This building is a Boston landmark, and appears in many if not most images of the the Boston skyline. Aside from being a beautiful structure on its own, its observation deck provides some great views of the city and surrounding area. The only challenge here is the fact that the deck is surrounded by a serious fence, and you need to conduct tripod gymnastics to get your camera to point through the fence.
This image is looking to the north towards the North End and Charlestown further in the distance. The sky put on quite a show, and added great mood to this city skyline image. I’ll have more images to share in later posts.
There are certain colors that you seem to only see in the summertime in New England, and the colors of the clouds at sunset are a perfect example. Incredible pastels can light up the sky when the sun rises or sets. On this particular night, the sunset I was hoping for didn’t materialize at my original destination. So I decided to jump back in the car and head to the salt marsh house in Essex to see if the post-sunset sky would have anything to offer. And as you can see, it certainly did. The 500+ mosquitos and gnats per square inch was a steep price to pay for this shot, but definitely worth it.
After the stormy weather moved through Boston this past weekend, we were left with windy conditions, and plenty of leftover clouds just as the sun was getting ready to set for the night. In other words, ideal conditions for some long exposure photography. While the sky was on fire to the west – the vantage point of my post from the other day – it was more pastel to the southwest where I was now aiming my camera over the Back Bay skyline.
Now the price you pay for having the streaking clouds and smooth water is of course the crazy movement in the trees. And while some may disapprove, I actually really like this effect. The contrast of the sharp buildings against the movement of just about everything else in the frame is a look I’m constantly searching for. And on this night, I was treated to a brilliant opportunity to create such an image.
Who says autumn images need to be in color? This is the Blair Bridge in Campton, NH, and my visit here a few weeks ago was a bit early for peak fall color. In addition, the fog was quite thick when I arrived just after sunrise, and I immediately knew I wanted a B&W image from this scene. Fog can look great in a color photo, but I think it adds even more mood to a monochrome image instead. An exposure of 0.7 seconds gave me a little motion in the water without having too much movement in the leaves and trees, and it was a simple conversion in Lightroom CC.
It was an amazing morning, and I can still feel the chill in the air and hear the sounds of the river. The leaves are now mostly gone, and although it’s been unseasonably warm and pleasant this week, I already miss the fall.
I can’t stress enough how much I enjoy photography at places like Garwin Falls. For several hours on Sunday morning I was the only one there, and had free reign to explore the area without worrying about anyone or anything else. It’s just so peaceful to be at a beautiful location where the only sound is the water rushing over the rocks and the occasional click of the camera’s shutter. I had the flexibility to really take my time, and made far fewer images than I typically would as I spent more time enjoying the moment. Had the sun not come out from behind the clouds to create very contrasty light, I would’ve been content to hang there all day. With multiple levels of cascading water, surrounded by both evergreen forest and changing leaves, this is truly a magical place.
This is probably my favorite image from the morning. A six second exposure was all it took to capture the swirling water in the pool at the bottom of the falls, while adding that smooth, milky appearance to the water. I manually blended two images together for this shot – one of the falls and one of the trees in the center background that were blown out with the long exposure.
As we move further into October, we continue to be a bit short of peak colors here in central New England. I’ve been trying to get out each weekend to see the progress, and was able to get out for a short trip yesterday. My destination was Garwin Falls in Wilton, NH, and yesterday was my first time visiting it. It’s a beautiful waterfall, it’s reasonably close to my house, and I was the only one there. Couldn’t have been a better morning. Even the sun stayed hidden behind overcast skies for the first few hours of the morning, giving the falls and the trees the soft, even light they deserve.
The colors are definitely on their way towards peak, and I spent the better part of the morning exploring the area. This is one of the more traditional views of the falls, and with lots of water flowing from recent rains, it did not disappoint. I’ll have more images from here to share in future posts.
I spent a day this past weekend exploring the White Mountains in New Hampshire looking for some early fall images. The color in New England is late this year due to the dry weather we had at the end of the summer, so I wasn’t expecting to see peak colors, but was hoping that there would indeed be some color in the area. While definitely not widespread, there was certainly some nice color in specific areas, and the Silver Cascade waterfall in Hart’s Location definitely provided a preview of what’s to come in the next week or two.
The weather forecast had originally called for overcast skies and possibly some drizzle, which is exactly what I wanted. The clouds provide nice even, soft lighting, and any rain can cause the leaves to look even more colorful when using a polarizer filter. The other benefit of cloudy weather is that it can keep the crowds much smaller than you’d find on a sunny day. Well the forecast was wrong, and the sun was out the majority of the day. And of course so were the tour buses full of leaf peepers. This particular location changed by the minute in terms of the amount of people. At some points there were just a handful of people there, while other times a bus would dump 40 people toting iPhones and iPads trying to capture the beauty of this very accessible location. So because of the crowds, I put on my telephoto lens and pointed up where no one could get in my shot. This waterfall is about 300 feet tall, and there are plenty of smaller scenes to shoot without trying to force everything into one image.
I’m definitely pleased with how this image turned out, but next time I’m going to spend more time at the less-accessible locations to avoid the big crowds.
A few weeks ago I spent some time in Ogunquit, Maine with my family for our annual end of summer vacation at the beach. While this is always a family vacation first and foremost, I did make some time to get out and do some shooting, mostly at sunrise before the rest of the family was up. I’ve been coming to Ogunquit since I was a child, and have photographed it countless times. This location at the entrance to Footbridge Beach, however, is one that I’ve paid far less attention to than other more popular spots, so I felt it was time to give it some love.
It’s a great little spot with the long footbridge across the Ogunquit River just to the left of this scene, and I was really fortunate to also find this small boat up on the grass which made for a great foreground interest. I tried a variety of compositions with the boat as the sun started to rise, and this one was easily my favorite. It was a beautiful sky that morning, and I was also able to get some reflections of its colors in the river. Now if I could’ve only done something about those mosquitos.