About Steven Perlmutter

Blair Bridge in Fog

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.

Garwin Falls II

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.

Garwin Falls

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.

Silver CascadeI 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.

Dawn's Early LightA 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.

Stronger, Faster, Betterjavascript:void(0);

Words to live by.  At least they are if you’re a rower in the Boston area and you pass by it every day as you train.  This graffiti message is written on the train bridge that runs beneath the BU (Boston University) Bridge over the Charles River.  The Charles is where the crew teams from Harvard, Boston College, Boston University, etc. train and compete, and also home to the annual Head of the Charles regatta.

I had visited this spot recently to get a sunrise shot of the Boston skyline, but was disappointed by too much cloud cover to the east to allow for the image I was wanting.  So instead I aimed my camera at this train bridge.  I love the bright colors of the graffiti against the old rusted metal of the bridge and tracks, and found this angle to get some leading lines through the image.  The glow from the rising sun on the water added some additional color.

On a side note, I believe that this location on the BU Bridge is one of the only places where you can swim beneath a boat, while under a train, while under a car, while under an airplane – all at the same time (at least in theory).

Lights Over Boston

Not much to say about this image.  Just that my love for both long exposures and the Boston skyline magically came together the other night just after the sun set.

It was incredibly windy, so there’s unfortunately a bit of blur in the buildings.  Certainly not enough to stop me from posting this shot, however.

The Gahden

No, that’s not a typo.  It’s how you say “garden” when you’re from Boston.  Or at least every movie made about our city in the past 20 years would make you think that’s how you say it.

Anyway, this is a fairly common view of the Boston Garden and the Zakim bridge, and one I’d been wanting to get for a while now.  So when I had a chance to go into the city a few nights ago for some sunset shooting (images to follow later), I made sure to stop at this spot before I drove home.  Traffic was just strong enough to create some light trails, and although the clouds had mostly disappeared when the blue hour hit, there were still enough to add some additional interest.

Ducking Into the 21st Century

The Duck Mill in Lawrence is an amazing mill that’s located between the Merrimack River and the North Canal in Lawrence, MA.  It’s about to begin a full renovation over the next year and a half, converting this beautiful old mill to a modern mixed-use facility.  Anytime one of these mills is rehabbed, I’m both happy and sad.  Happy for the city of Lawrence as these projects create jobs and revenue for the city.  Sad, because there’s now one less mill that represents the Lawrence of old – a city once at the heart of the Industrial Revolution.

When I learned that the renovations at this historic property were about to begin, I contacted Bob Lussier, and then the mill owners.  They were kind enough to let us back in for a few final shoots before this building no longer has the old abandoned appeal that draws us to them.  It had been about 2 years since we were last there, and it was great to get back in with a sense of urgency to capture every last corner of this fantastic property.

I’m looking forward to getting back there one or two more times before construction gets too far along.  I’m also looking forward to the future where the Duck Mill will provide a new purpose in serving the city.


Weber House at Dusk

One of the highlights of our recent trip to the Palouse was the afternoon/evening we spent photographing the Weber House just outside of Pullman, WA.  It’s a fairly well-known landmark among photographers, and we weren’t at all surprised to see a dozen of them set up there when we arrived a little before sunset.  What did surprise us was the fact that all of them left before the sun went down, leaving the whole place just for our crew.

And we certainly took advantage, getting shots as the sun went down, then at dusk, some light painting when it got dark, and lastly some milky way shots.  Although I really loved the shots of the house and the milky way above, I think this was my favorite from the shoot.