Sunday, April 17, 2011

Waterfall Photography Workshop

I had taken several workshops with Ian Murray through his Photography Workshops meetup group at But I was really looking forward to this particular workshop. This was going to be an full day workshop in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire. We met up at 9:30am at the Dunkin Donuts on Route 112 in Lincoln, NH. I was 30 minutes early so I stopped by Lahouts Summit Shop first, browsed a bit and spoke with Chuck about ice climbing boots.

At Dunkin Donuts Ian handed out workshop notes and the 8 of us carpooled in 4 cars. The plan for the day was to start out at Dunkin Donuts, making our way up route 112, then onto routes 302, 16 and 3, southbound on I-93, and finally meet back up at Dunkin Donuts.

We started out east on 112 and our first stop was about 20 miles away, at Sabaday Falls. The parking lot was plowed but the trailhead wasn't. We decided to skip this falls and headed back out onto 112. We stopped in Albany at the trailhead of Rocky Gorge. The trailhead to the bridge is paved so there isn't a hike. Very easy access and our group spent about an hour photographing the Rocky Gorge from the bridge.

We had lunch at the Chef's Market in North Conway. By then the sun had come out and any signs of rain was gone. The Chef's Market is a quaint deli with healthy lunches at very reasonable prices. Chef Bryant Alden was behind the counter taking orders and his medals are proudly displayed on the wall behind their counter. I ordered the Hummus on wheat wrap and a cup of soup. It was delicious and the service there was both professional and pleasant! I highly recommend this deli if you are ever in North Conway. I do know that I will back to dine there again.

After lunch, we continued onto the town of Jackson. We stopped at the Honeymoon Bridge where Ian gave advice on shooting the covered bridge at different angles. I learned some tips on bringing out the 'red' of the bridge. 

On the other side of the covered bridge is Flossie's General Store and Emporium. It was closed but its front lawn provided many photo ops! 

Up the road a bit is Jackson Falls and it's such a lovely sight and sound - I just  love the sound of falls! At this falls I got to try out a filter I recently purchased, a Moose Warm (81A) Circular Polarized filter. I left my tripod in my truck, so I ended up setting my camera on the rocks at the falls edge.

Along route 302 we stopped at the Silver Cascade Falls. This is a no-hike falls. Just park your car, cross the street and setup your tripod and camera on the sidewalk....easy peasy. You don't even have to stop, just slow down as the falls can be seen from the road.
The Upper Falls in Bretton Woods was our last Waterfall stop and I donned my MicroSpikes as there was still a fair amount of snow on the ground. We parked along the roadside as the parking lot was not plowed. The bridge over the falls was just a short walk from roadside. 

It wasn't on the schedule, but we drove up the road a bit to the Mt. Washington Cog Railway. Half the group decide not to continue so there were only the four of us. It was exciting to be here at the base, as this was the closest I've ever been to Mt. Washington! 

Our very last stop of the day was the Irving gas station on the corner of route 302 and Base Road. We didn't expect it but there he was in the forecourt, a beautiful Red Fox begging for food. Slices of roast beef were tossed to him while we took photos. He didn't seem to mind posing for us, so long as we had food for him!

It was a long day and I didn't get home until well after dark, but I loved every minute of this workshop! I always enjoy Ian's workshops. He has a very calm method of teaching. He provides a comfortable setting for students of any level and is patient while providing guidance.

** Click on the photos to see a larger view 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Remote Exposure by Alexandre Buisse

Remote Exposure
A Guide to Hiking & Climbing Photography
by Alexandre Buisse
ISBN 9781933952659

I've had a love affair with photography for as long as I can remember. When I didn't have my own camera, I'd envy other photographers' work. My very first camera was a Kodak Instamatic and I put it to good use for several years photographing my growing family. With my first 35mm I've taken endless rounds of photos and to this day, I still have many rolls of undeveloped film. With my first digital point and shoot I relished the ability to delete photos I didn't want, but longed for more versatility.  Now I have a DSLR and wide angle lens that I absolutely enjoy photographing with.  And part of the fun of photography is also learning whether by workshops or publications. Over the years I've purchased many  publications on photography but the one that I enjoy the most is recently released Remote Exposure by Alexandre Buisse.

I ordered this book back in October of 2010 and eagerly awaited its arrival. I was not disappointed. This book, by far, is the most comprehensive book on hiking and climbing photography. Beautifully illustrated with photos, I could not put this book down. I've even read and re-read the Foward and Introduction chapters as well as they serve as both informative and inspirational.

If you're a hiking and climbing fanatic like me who loves photography, you'll appreciate all the photography techniques geared specifically towards mountaineering, hiking and climbing. Each chapter spans a specific topic from motivation to equipment, to workflow and advanced digital photography techniques.

And Buisse's photos are truly inspirational. There are over 100 photos depicting his hikes and climbs throughout three continents. I highly recommend this book; for those that love beautiful wilderness and outdoor images, as well as for those who love mountaineering, hiking and climbing and want to preserve those memories through photography.

The Alpinist Magazine has chosen a selection of Alexandre's photos as wallpaper. They can be found at:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Halibut Point State Park - Photos

This was a scheduled workshop meetup with the North Shore Photography Lovers group but, I got lost and ended up at the parking lot 30 minutes late. The group had already left and since I was already there with my gear and lunch, I figured I'd just go ahead and shoot on my own. The parking lot is located on Gott Avenue, which I had no problem driving by the first time. I didn't expect the park to be in a residential area and I missed the 'brown sign'. I ended up back on Rt 128, so I stopped and did something I should've done from the get-go, check the GPS app on my iPhone.  Anyhow, the parking fee is $2 on the weekend and yes, there are park rangers to check and issue tickets on a Sunday if you don't have that day pass displayed on your car. From the parking lot there is a short trail to the Visitor's Center and right next to it, the Babson Farm Quarry. I took the self-guided trail along the edge of the quarry and was also able to climb down to water level and get a few shots.  I walked around to the Overlook and then eventually made my way down to the ocean for tidepool shots. After lunching on one of the large boulders, I continued on to the 'Sea Rocks' taking more shots. As the morning wore on, the park became more crowded with folks and their small children and dogs. It was such a beautiful day for a day at the ocean....sunny with a slightly cool ocean breeze.

** Click on the photos to see a larger view  


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mt. Chocorua - early Spring Hiking

Mt. Chocorua
Elevation: 3,474ft
Trails: Liberty  Trail
Elevation Gain: 2,714ft
Distance: 7.8 miles roundtrip
Duration: 6 hrs

Difficulty:  Strenuous

Two words to describe this peak...."beautiful summit!" But then again I'm partial to slabby cliffs and ledges. On this hike, the pace along the Liberty Trail to the Jim Liberty cabin was a bit too fast for me and I welcomed the rest and snacks at the cabin. But I got my second wind climbing the remaining mile to the summit. There were a couple of ledges to walk across and slabs to scramble on up to the summit. Once on the summit, the wind picked up just a bit but the 360 view was spectacular! I had been reading others' Mt. Chocorua hike reviews and the exposed summit can get very windy. But on today's hike it wasn't so bad. The sun more than made up for that little bit of wind. I would love to hike this mountain in the late fall!

** Click on the photos to see a larger view