Fall in New England is definitely photography season. Though actually any season is “photography season” if you play your cards right. But fall brings with it color. Our eyes are have been trained by evolution to see green. That’s where there’s food and where other critters tend to hide. Being good at seeing green is as such helpful. That’s what we do for a living. What we really like, however, is color, red and yellow in particular.
These are a few final shots from this past fall. The image above was taken on a very windy day at Gate 35 in the Quabbin Reservoir. Below, Silver Cascade in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Now we move to a different color palette. (The Quinapoxet River, West Boylston, MA)
And I get the urge for going. (Thank you Joni Mitchell.)
Traveling throughout New England presents an on-going opportunity for surprise. One of our favorite stops on our visit to the White Mountains was a brief couple of hours at the Mt. Washington Hotel. Not to sound like I’m pursuing a job writing their brochures, the back of the Hotel really does offer some of the most stunning views of the Presidential Range. Depending on where you sit and your willingness to get out of the chair and try a different vista, you can easily get a 180 degree view. It was a chilly, overcast day when we visited, making for a spectacular mood.
The Hotel is steeped in history, a history that the proprietors try to keep alive through a sensitivity to space and interior and exterior design. Love it or hate it, this is where the Bretton Woods Conference took place establishing our current economic order, the World Bank and the IMF. The documents were signed just to the left of where I was standing when I took this image.
The service fits the decor. This is time travel indeed. If we only all treated each other the way the staff treats the guests… We did ask permission to put down tripods, and were given friendly access to the first two floors. The quid pro quo: we all had brunch there, which was to die for. Bad deal? I don’t think so….
Technical note: Both images are high dynamic range (HDR) photographs, utilizing Photomatix pro (above) and HDR Efex Pro (below).
I spend a lot of time on location at the Swift River, which is actually three rivers, in central Massachusetts. There is another, equally interesting but more mountainous Swift River in New England. This Swift River runs along the Kancamagus Highway outside of Conway in the White Mountains. It’s a powerful body of water that cuts a valley through mountains ranging from 2000 to 4000 feet on each side. (Click on the images for a better view.)
If this image makes the River look powerful, that’s appropriate. However, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, the River completely overwhelmed the area, and most of what you see here would have been under water. The Forest Service is now repairing the damage, and the river seems more like its old self.
Powerful, and beautiful with reflections from the fall foliage and tannin from the decaying leaves.
New Hampshire as it turns out is the second most forested state in the U.S., coming in at over 80% forested. Yes, this figure is down a bit from the peak, due largely to development. Still it remains an impressive resource. Not surprisingly, the forest there is somewhat different from that in Massachusetts, at least to the eye. My subject impression is that they’ve got far more birch trees there. Birch trees make for a most interesting photographic subject, particularly when they are found in a group. Across the street from the entrance to the Mt. Washington Road (“This car hasn’t climbed Mt. Washington and probably won’t”) is a beautiful stand of birch. It had rained that day, so an impromptu street cut through the forest. (Click on the images for a better view.)
The (mostly) white trunks of the trees make for a nice contrast with and framing for the foliage of course. The trunks aren’t always white, though. We came upon two older silver trunked birches caressing one another amidst all the white birches.
Brich trees love son. They live about 70 years and many took root during the reforestation of New Hampshire just after the turn of the last century. As such, we often see old ones, toward the end of their lives.
There are a variety of ways to try and capture the spiritual feeling of a place. A birch forest has such nice vertical lines that suggest a multiple exposure, which you see here. This was ten images with camera movement up just slightly between images. Nikon DSLRs will compile them for you right in camera, a very nice feature.
It would be remiss of me not to report one other observation from this particular forest. We had a visitor during our efforts. Not a particularly great shot. As usual I was prepared for trees when another opportunity happened by, but here he is.
Now all we need is a squirrel.