Tonight I watched a group of eight white-tails feasting on late summer greenery. I walked slowly, tripod in hand. The two fawns, still with white spots, seemed more trusting of my presence, while the largest doe watched me carefully—guarding the little ones. As darkness wrapped the rich blue sky, the wildlife around me emerged for an evening of hunting, gathering and playing. A beaver splashed its warning in the Pond, small green frogs retreated from the trail to the safety of the marsh, a downy woodpecker beat rhythmically on a birch and ducks flew overhead. Learn about my new Nature Photography eBook here
Tonight I arrived at this peaceful pond in Andover, just after the sun had set, but in time to catch these subtle colors and shadows. Harold Parker State Forest is a great place to visit in all seasons, on foot, cross-country skis, road bike or mountain bike. Click here to see a larger version of this photo or to inquire about purchasing usage rights or an archival print for your collection.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of flying over Toms River, New Jersey, where I had been retained to photograph a bridge on the Garden State Parkway. My client builds temporary bridges to support emergency or planned construction of highway sections. Recently, I’ve photographed bridges on Martha’s Vineyard, the Merrimack River, and The Connecticut River. After shooting the bridge from the ground, I went to a local airport where I had arranged a private flight with an instructor and a Cessna 172, single-engine, top-wing airplane. I was impressed that my pilot Tom asked if I wanted the left or the right seat. He observed that since most people have a preference to turn one way or the other, that photographers he’s flown with have a preference for left or right. No planes were queued up at 2 PM so we headed straight for the runway and took off. We flew east over some of New Jersey’s vast Pine Barrens, and in the distance saw Lakehurst, NJ, the town made famous by the Hindenberg disaster. Atlantic City was visible about 30 miles away to the south. The Toms River section of the Garden State Parkway has multiple construction sites and from 1500 feet they all look similar. Had I not visited my client’s job site earlier in the day, finding the right spot would have been challenging. Finally I spotted the right cluster of trucks and heavy equipment. Tom dropped the airspeed down to about 125 and I opened up the top-hinged window on my left. Before the flight Tom removed a small restraining arm from the window so that it would open far enough to give full clearance for my camera. I ensured that I had a good grip on the Nikon D7100 and its strap before I pointed the wide-angle zoom toward the ground. As the pilot banked the plane to the left, making small right circles around the site below, I was perfectly positioned to get the shots I needed. I took care not to stick the lens beyond the edge of the window frame where the strong winds would buffet the camera and blur the shots. Based on prior experience I set my shutter speeds between 500th and 1200th of a second. I took care not to rest my elbows or any part of my arms on the plane’s door—which would transmit the intense vibration of the plane into the camera. I punched off a 100 or so frames with an 18-50mm lens, bracketing shutter speeds throughout. I was confident that the even light of mid-day would not pose a challenge for the camera’s advanced metering system. After a few loops around “the target” with the short lens I switched to a 70-300. I’d considered taking a 70-200 but in the end opted for the lens with the shorter overall length. In hindsight, the heavier lens might have been easier to hold steady. Real aerial photographers sometimes use gyroscopic-balanced systems for stabilizing the camera. I had to…
At Pawtuckaway State Park in southern New Hampshire. Today I felt like returning to my black & white roots.
I love the richness of the green in early summer, especially after a heavy rain.
This photograph is available as a custom fine art print in many sizes and also as a licensed stock image. Click here to see a larger version.
In late May the White Mountain National Forest is bright green, wet, and beautiful. If you are lucky enough to visit on a cool and cloudy day, the black flies will be asleep in the mud, allowing you to fully enjoy the high streams and spring flowers. Painted Trillium are among my favorites at this time of year.
Tonight after a portrait session at the Old North Bridge I rushed down to Walden Pond to catch the last rays of the day. Hardy swimmers were just removing their wetsuits in the parking lot.