Every leaf has a halo

Simple beauty on a cold day

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Leafy halo

During the same day that I captured the images in yesterday’s post, Another shot of cold, I grabbed the opportunity to catch these leaves backlit by the sun.

I had just finished shooting some shoreline details and was walking back along the water’s edge to climb up the embankment and trudge through the snow.  The clouds were beginning to look more interesting, which caused me to look up and notice the small cluster of leaves still attached in this hard winter.

Positioning the leaves in front of the sun gave me exactly the look that spoke to me, with a bit of drama in the clouds and the structure of tree from above.  The way it is presented here is without any touchup in postprocessing, as I like the little bit of warmth that flows forth in this mostly black&white image.

Technical Details

I captured this with a Canon EOS 5D MkIII using an EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II.  The settings I used were a bit unusual, as I wanted a shallow depth of field, so I used f5.6 at 1/8000 second (probably the first time I’ve ever used that shutter speed).

Another Shot of Cold…

Snow on the beach

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Beachscape in Winter

In my earlier post, I talked a bit about finding a nice frozen waterfall to photograph, which was a blast. In case you thought that to be an isolated incident, let me set you straight with a couple of images from a tour of beaches on the Massachusetts Northshore and Southern New Hampshire.

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Crashing Waves

These are from the end of January, 2015, on a day that was windy and raw, as you can see from the waves crashing on boulders at the beach.  Luckily, I was dressed for this with warm boots, ski pants and sufficient layers to keep me comfortable.

Most of the day was pretty much overcast, which left the light rather flat…

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Flotsam

But in the afternoon, the sun started showing itself a bit more, which provided wonderful opportunity to photograph some of the more interesting pieces on the beach.

I wholeheartedly recommend going out on cold days to explore places that most people only visit when it’s warm.

Winter in New England

Frozen cascade

Over this past weekend, New England has been under siege by a cold front that has kept all, but the hardiest souls in-doors; Sunday morning the mercury dropped to -15F (-26C), which was downright chilly.

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Doane’s Falls in Ice

Regardless of this, Winter is one of my favorite seasons to photograph, as there is always such greate emotional content to be found.  I did go out to do a bit of photography, as I was looking into waterfalls in the area, so I thought it might be worthwhile to go check one out in this weather.

The particular waterfall I sought out is Doane’s Falls in Royalston, Massachusetts, which is about an hour’s drive for me.  When I arrived there, I found the falls very close to the road, which is rather considerate at these temperatures.  It’s a bit of an experience walking down a snow-covered, icy path next to a roaring stream, when you are all by yourself… a trifle unnerving, but luckily there were safety wires by the edge of the rocks.

In the image, you can see the massive amount of ice that has built up in the cascades; I’m not sure what the cause of the discoloration in the ice is, as I didn’t get close enough to find out.

Technical Details

I shot this with my trusty Canon EOS 5D MkIII using a 24-105 f/4 L lens with a circular polarizing filter attached.  Settings were f/7.1, 1/640 second at 400 ISO.  I kept the speed high, as I didn’t have a great spot for setting up my tripod (I did carry it in).

Hope you enjoy it, and stay warm!!

Shot of the Week – vol 6

Embrace the Sun

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Embrace the Sun

Yes, she’s back!  Here we find the Yoga Tree gently embracing the Sun, as it rises up into the Winter sky.  A heavily overcast day with a glimpse of better light to come along the horizon.

Simple beauty is something we can often find during this season, as form and shape stand out more than color at this time of year.

Hope you enjoy this one and have a wonderful day!

Winter Morning Solitude

Winter’s kind embrace

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Winter Morning Solitude

Winter is one of my favorite seasons, as it has this great ability to reduce the color palette of the world around us.  Additionally, winter tends to quiet the environment, in which we find ourselves, particularly during or shortly after a fresh snow.

Thus, Winter is a great enabler for getting landscapes that are stark with a sense of being alone, no world intruding upon our moment in the space-time continuum.  Such a moment I captured this week in this image.  A Sun that is highly filtered by the gray sky, a grouping of trees and an expanse of snow covered field with a single set of tracks.

Yoga Tree Sun Salutation

Yoga Tree readies herself for the day

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Yoga Tree Sun Greeting

This Monday morning I’d like to present a view from last week, before the snow storm hit the area, the start of which was visible in Yoga Tree Loves Snow.  On this morning, Yoga Tree was in the middle of her Surya Namaskar routine, when I arrived.  You can see her arching back, as she welcomes the Sun into her day.

She breathes deeply, as the Sun begins to warm the air around her.  Appreciating the beauty of the sky, to which her branched arms reach, Yoga Tree infuses her entire being with the energy of the Universe.

It will be a good day!

Yoga Tree Loves Snow!

Yogawhite may just become a color of choice!

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The Lady in Snowdress

When I saw this morning that the snow was sticking to trees with all the beauty that provides, it was clear that a visit to my lovely Yoga Tree was in order on my way in to work…

As you can see, the stop was very worthwhile, as she is positively radiant among the white!

Shot of the Week – vol 4

Getting down with the noble grasses…

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Morning Frost

The shot of the week came about on Thursday morning during my commute; yes, there may be a pattern here, as you may have noticed that I’m often inspired during morning travel.

The quality of the light was that beautiful warm tone, that occurs on chilly days when the air is nice and clear.  As I traversed into Westborough, Massachusetts, I decided to stop near a pond that I had frequented before and check out what caught my attention.

In all honesty, I had first thought to do something with the way the sun’s light was playing across the trees, but the sun was still too low in the sky for the desired effect.  As I walked along a path, my eye caught the tall grasses with still quite a bit of frost on them; I thought they looked pretty interesting in this color light.

Now, all I had to solve was how to make it pop in the image with just my iPhone as a tool. You can see what I did: put the sun behind a fence post, get low enough and ensure that the focus is on the front grasses to create some extra depth in the image.

Hope you like the result!

Frozen Friday

A cold shot to wrap up the week…

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Winter Revisited

A Cold Shot

As we’re wrapping up the week, I figured it might be a good opportunity to look back a couple of years, when I took this photograph.  Although I didn’t give it a title right away, I have come to call this image ‘Winter Revisited’; this sprang forth more from going back to this image again and again than anything in the subject matter, other than the obvious.

This shot was taken on February 7, 2014, at Rocky Pond in Boylston, Massachusetts; this is along one of the variants of my commute.  I had pulled over, because I wanted to see what could be done with the sun’s warm glare off the ice, juxtaposed against the blue of the morning sky.  Nothing really satisfied my desire to create something worthwhile, so I walked a bit along the edge of the pond.

That is when I noticed the frost still on this small brush and how the frost had grown into fractal patterns along the branches and twigs.  Looking through the frosty brush toward the sun, the overhanging tree provided a nice bit of framing to the photo.  All in all, I felt, and still feel, pretty good about the end result.

Random Notes

You’ll notice that a good percentage of my photography doesn’t adhere to the standard edict of keeping the sun in your back to properly light your subject.  There are plenty of times when that is a good idea, but I find that allowing light to come from some more unconventional angles can provide dramatic images.  Of course, for portrait photography it is not at all unusual to put the sun behind your subjects and use flash to light them; that provides for pleasing edge lighting (aka hair lighting) and full control of the light you put on their faces.

Using the sun to a similar effect in landscape images provides rather nice results, such as in this image, where the hoar frost gets to stand out rather than disappear.

This photo was taken with an iPhone 5S.  With a minor bit of Photoshop work, I was able to enlarge the image for a large print with rather dramatic results.  Thus far, I have printed it on 2’x2′ acrylic, which lifts the glow from the sun’s glare off the ice even more.

Hopefully you enjoyed this image, and, thank you for reading my ramblings!

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