Backstory

This is but a small peek into what I did and how I did it...

This is an absolute favorite of mine. It was shot on AGFA Ultra 50 film (long since discontinued) during the height of foliage season in New Hampshire's White Mountains.

It was late day and the sun was shining brilliantly on the trees across the river. Long-exposure photographs have a tendency to create a surreal image under the right circumstances and I was hoping this was one of those times.

First, I applied a Circular Polarizing Filter to the lens. This is a special filter that can control any reflective light hitting water (or windows) and will also cut down on the amount of light hitting the lens. When shooting outside in daylight, this filter is almost always on my lens.

Next, I applied a 10-stop Neutral-Density filter. This filter acts like a pair of VERY dark sunglasses, so I was able to cut down on the light even more.

My ISO was set to 50 (the film's speed) and then I stopped the Aperture all the way down to f/22 for that particular lens.

With all these things in place, my Shutter-Speed would be a full 30-seconds, to bring my exposure into balance. An insanely long-exposure time for daylight.

Unlike digital, with film you have to wait until it is processed in a lab to see the results and when it finally was, I was overjoyed at the results. I have done similar photos over the years in the same area and with such long-exposures, I love the orange-sherbet colors I get.

"Light and Shadow"

This was taken not too far away from the previous photo, only this was shot on digital.

In this case, my intention was for a High-Dynamic Range (HDR) image. I took 2 exposures, one where I metered for the trees and the other for the water and shadows. Notice that the same "orange-sherbet" color from the previous photograph can also be seen in the water here, though not as brilliantly.

I processed both images separately, then blended them together myself.

I find that HDR-specific programs (Photomatix, HDR EfexPro, etc.) can have a heavy-sledgehammer approach to processing that I don't particularly care for. I may turn to them if the image is too complex for me to do myself, but I'd rather not.

"Moose Calf"

This was a total surprise and one I would not as easily repeat. 

Driving down a dirt road in the northern White Mountains, I came upon the parked car of a gentleman Michelle and I had encountered at a waterfall just a few miles up the road.

They guy signaled me to pull over and also to be quiet as I slowly approached. Expecting a deer, I saw a young moose calf standing there, just looking at us. He advised me to put his truck between me and the moose and very carefully, I started photographing while the guy talked to the moose in a very soothing manner.

The moose made no threatening moves and after a few minutes, just walked off into the woods. The guy and I laughed about the encounter afterwards, then went on our merry way.

I cannot stress enough to be very careful when it comes to moose. They can frighten easily and will kill you if they feel threatened.

"Morning Shadows"

I saw this scene early morning right after sunrise, but I didn't have my gear with me. Noting the time, I went back the next morning and got setup so I would be ready in case the lighting would repeat itself.

As it did, I took one photograph after another, often times changing my position, until the sun rose to the point that it just fizzled out. Getting home, I immediately loaded the digital card into the computer and was more than pleased with the results.

Recently, I saw a scene involving the late day sun and shadows, as they stretched out across a frozen river. I was unable to stop due to circumstances and the next 2 days it would rain. Going back on the third day, the ice had melted sufficiently that the scene was gone.

Oh well, such is life. Sometimes you just CAN'T take the photograph and you just have to enjoy what you see...

"Admiring Audience"

A very special photograph.

I had just purchased a new camera and had taken it with me to a Halloween party. I wasn't planning on taking photos at the event, but I was thinking about taking the long way home the next morning and you never know what you may see.

We had a freak snowstorm that evening and my friend (pictured here) was lighting off his fireworks display. I had left my tripod at home (BAD, JIM) and had no stable platform which to rest it on. Cranking up the ISO to a whopping 6400, I knew the noise was going to be quite pronounced but with the snow coming down, I was hoping it would add a nice touch to the photograph.

I balanced the camera on a deck rail, while one photograph after another was taken. This was the best of the lot, by far. 

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