Blue skies and sunshine just wouldn’t have been the right way to experience Mount Washington, said to have the “worst weather in the country” according to some. We saw no sunshine today, and in fact were amazed at the strength of the blowing snow, ice and wind at the summit. We rode the cog railway – no way were they letting cars to the top in those conditions!
Lots of fall color around, although we were faced with a lot of fog, rain and tourists. Photos to follow, however!
We only had a few miles in New Hampshire this afternoon until we arrived at our motel. So instead of lighthouses we now have covered bridges! We visit Mount Washington tomorrow, where the forecast is for 50 mph winds and a temperature of 30 with snow and ice. Yikes! 🙂
Kathy & I are enjoying a little downtime this afternoon before we pack up for the short drive up to Acadia National Park tomorrow. It’s been on and off cloudy and rainy, but still a good day for getting out with the camera. I love working with a prime lens when walking around town, and used the 35mm 1.4 for this shot. It’s pretty nice in color, but I’m excited to actually have a B&W version that works for me.
When I started thinking about photographing the Maine coast, naturally the first thing I thought of was lighthouses. In anticipation of a day just like today, I purchased a variable neutral density filter. Today was my first chance to really try it out. It seems to work best on cloudy days and with long-ish lenses. It makes a mess on my wide-angle 10-24 lens except at the most gentle settings, darkening the corners dramatically. Works pretty well on the longer end of the 16-80 but works really well on the 55-200. I got a little buffeting from the gusty winds but a 3.5 second exposure like this one worked pretty well. I processed it using the Classic Chrome profile in Lightroom instead of my usual Velvia-based preset. I think it shows the raw power of the wind and surf.
We were very glad to have been on the water yesterday and on land today! Gusty winds and rough seas would have made for an unpleasant journey today!
In order to show that I did, in fact, get my self out of bed at a photographically productive hour, here are a few photos from around town this morning. Sunrise was 6:23 and I was out the door about 6:10, uncharacteristically early for me without a good reason. Fortunately I got some pretty decent results!
And yes, I did take a photograph of Mystic Pizza, although we haven’t eaten there. 😉
I took pictures at more places in Arkansas than this, but it was such a special morning that I wanted to do a separate post.
The Old Mill is a historic re-creation of an 1880’s water-powered grist mill located in T.R. Pugh Memorial Park in Little Rock, Arkansas. I didn’t confirm this by watching, but it is reportedly featured in the opening scenes of the classic movie “Gone With The Wind.” In addition to the mill and the beautiful gardens surrounding it, the park features sculptures by Senor Dionicio Rodriguez and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We lucked into a nearly perfect morning to photograph the mill. It was fairly early on a Sunday, the air was a little misty with a nice overcast and the flowers were blooming nicely. I don’t use a polarizer as much as I should, but as soon as I started composing I realized that I had better put it on. It made all the difference, saturating the colors and cutting the reflections.
I had to work around some construction activity that was happening on the hillside to the left (my left) of the mill and a few people that wandered in. The bare hillside and orange construction fencing limited my compositional choices, but I still came away with a few nice photos. I took some photos with the hillside in the background anyway, and may one day soon try my hand at Photoshop to “repair” some of the damage. My skills are pretty basic so we’ll see how that goes.
I haven’t taken the time to make photographs like these too much lately, but it is a good reminder that I still know how and to get out and do more of them! 😉
One of the five new states we visited on our Southwest road trip was Oklahoma. I’ll be the first to admit that we didn’t try real hard to find places to stop, but it was getting close to the end of the trip, it had been a long day, and we ended up losing a couple of hours due to their silly “exact change” toll road system (long story!). Otherwise we might have spent a little more time in the Tulsa area, as what we saw from the freeway made it look pretty nice.
We did manage to drive through Yukon, famous for being the birthplace of Garth Brooks. And we spent a little time in Catoosa, primarily to see the Blue Whale, a kitchsy Route 66 icon. And we grabbed shots of a few other places just to prove we were in the state. All in all we only ended up with 53 photos from Oklahoma, and that includes a few of Kathy’s “out the window” pictures. Not exactly our best effort, but it got the job done. We hope to make more trips out west to see more parks and visit our friends out there, so we’ll likely have more opportunity to visit the state. In the mean time, we’ve placed a check mark next to Oklahoma! 🙂
For those sweating out the latest heat wave or monsoon, or someone who just has some time on their hands, I’ve completed posting galleries from our recent Southwest US road trip to my Adobe Portfolio page. There is some stuff there that I haven’t posted here (yet) but a lot of it just expands on photos I’ve already shared. Just be aware that there are 1155 photos over 11 galleries! 🙂
It’s a bit of a paradox for me – it’s hard to make a bad picture of the Grand Canyon. But yet, it’s hard to make a really good picture of the Grand Canyon. Not because it is one of the most photographed places on Earth and has been done a bazillion times and a bazillion ways, but because it is so darned BIG!
Of course it is impossible to imagine what something like the Grand Canyon will look like in person. I’ve been to Niagara Falls, and it is big. I’ve been to Alaska, and places like Glacier Bay, College Fjord, Denali? Indescribable. But the Grand Canyon? I’ve seen it from the air and didn’t realize what it was, because it is so vast. And down on the ground where you can only see a small part of it, while that part was so big, well. Words fail me although it doesn’t stop me trying. 🙂
We originally weren’t planning to stop at the Grand Canyon, figuring it would be overrun with people, with no place to park, overlooks and shuttle buses crowded with people. But no. We arranged our schedule to get there on a Monday in early May, which turned out to be a great choice. We got a good place to park, never had to wait for the next shuttle, had very few people at the overlooks, and relatively light crowds in the Grand Canyon Village. We even got a reservation for lunch at the El Tovar Hotel and a table with a canyon view. Sweet!
We only had a day, so we made the most of it. We didn’t try to get there for sunrise or stay until sunset, partly because I knew that early and late in the day, when the canyon is all in shadow, is generally not the best time to photograph it. The middle parts of the day provide good, even lighting, while the hours before and after can provide some dramatic shadows. It’s also important (I think) to have some nice clouds to provide an interesting sky. We sort of lucked out on all those counts.
It was a good day and we were both very glad to have made the effort. There are a lot more parks that we want to see, and once we finish up our 50 states project, getting to those parks is going to be one of our priorities. The list is long! 🙂
As I’ve been doing, for those who are interested or just bored 😉 I’ve added a Grand Canyon gallery to my Adobe Portfolio site.
Skipping ahead a bit because I’m processing photos faster than I can write about them. If anyone is interested in seeing more of my “vacation photos,” head to my Adobe Portfolio page, where I’ve been adding galleries with more photos from places we visited. I’ll keep adding more galleries as I go and will eventually have a whole album.
The first stop on our Route 66 adventure was Oatman, Arizona. We had no idea what to expect, but suffice it to say that we could never have imagined it! We were expecting a sleepy little place with old buildings, a shop or two and some tumbleweeds blowing through town. But no…. We got there late morning on a Sunday, and the place was jammed with people, cars, motorcycles and…burros! Turns out it is a pretty happening place.
Our first concern was – oh, crap. Is this what Route 66 is going to be like the whole way? But no, I think we actually came across more people at one time in Oatman than we saw anywhere else on Route 66. It was amazing!
We didn’t stay long, only long enough to walk up and down the street, take in one of the “gunfights” that happens several times a day, then join the parade of vehicles out of town. But once we left the town limits the road was deserted, pretty much from there to Kingman.