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Tag : pond

19 Jun 2020

Milky Way fun in New Hampshire

I decided to head over to New Hampshire last night for some Milky Way photos. The state is only 15 miles from my house in Vermont and has a very different look than where I live. Finding good places to shoot the Milky Way is tough, I always want to have something interesting in the foreground and not just stars overhead. Getting away from light pollution is very hard and I use a couple of websites and apps to help but you never really know until you’re there on a moonless night. So finding a place with those two main criteria requires a lot of snooping around in daylight and then going back at night to see how it really looks. I went to one pond that I spotted an island on Google maps yesterday but there were houses along the shore and no place to park so I’ll have to go back during the day and make some friends to gain access. I went to another large pond, Goose Pond, to a spot I had scouted before. As soon as my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I could tell there would be a lot of light pollution to the south east, which is where the Milky Way is located. It was bright enough to light the water and some of the sky to diminish the Milky Way’s colors but the stars reflecting on the water looked cool.

Then I went over to a boat launch on Mascoma Lake, which I guessed would be bright and I was right. I street light in the parking lot lit up the moored boats which ended up looking rather good. Finally I went to a small pond I had scouted and tromped out into a wet field in the darkness. Again there was plenty of light pollution on the horizon which reflected in the pond but the area was open enough to photograph the entire Milky Way’s arch. After processing the photos today I was liking them more than when I shot them. That makes for a good night.

09 Oct 2019

Light painting a Vermont island

One of the techniques I enjoy doing with my photography is light painting. Much like it sounds, I illuminate subjects in a similar way as painting a wall. But I use a flashlight, sometimes a big one. During my Vermont Fall Foliage Workshop I like to take people to Chittenden Reservoir and light up an island that is about 250 yards from the shore. I have a big 18 million candle power flashlight that does a great job on the island. The best shots come 20-30 minutes after sunset when there is still some light and color in the sky and it is dark enough that the background is dark. We use a 30 second exposure which gives me time to light up the island. Just like painting a wall, I don’t try to cover the whole island in one splash of light, I paint across it so any one area may get only 5-8 seconds of light. When the conditions are right, it can be a fantastic photo.

22 Sep 2019

Facing the heat in Bucks County

I did a workshop in Bucks County, PA, back in July and it had to be the hottest day of the year. It was sweltering. Well, it’s September, how hot can it be? We found out! It was the hottest day in a month but again, we had a lot of fun getting out into the countryside. We drank a lot of water and stayed in the shade during the day and as the sun started getting lower the temperature dropped and we had a great day. There is something special about Bucks County, the rolling hills are perfect places for lovely farms, covered bridges and pretty streams. My favorite place is a private residence on a little dirt road with a small stream running through a green valley. A while back an old mill was moved there next to a large shed that looks like where Granny, Jedd and Ellie Mae could live. It sits on a small pond and is just a beautiful scene. The afternoon light pours and creates wonderful shadows.

30 Sep 2018

Exploring New York City at night

I’m not really a night owl but I had a great time last night hosting a mid town New York photography workshop at night. We started in Central Park before it got dark, which is always a great place to photograph but going alone can be a bit intimidating. This was the first of many workshops I’m planning in the city since I bought a 12-passenger van that makes it convenient for participants to get around. With the help of fellow pro photographer Ron Lake we were able to drop people off and pick them up right at the locations we wanted to shoot.

With the weather being near perfect, Central Park was full of people, which made for some great photos. We started near Bethesda Fountain and the boathouse. The pond was full of row boats, it didn’t look like too many of the people had much experience with oars but they were having fun. A little farther away from the boathouse the boat crowd thinned and I was lucky to catch a gondola floating past while I was on Bow Bridge. The buildings of the city made for a good background.

We left the park and headed for more madness: Times Square. It was packed and full of energy and so bright you don’t need a tripod at night! The lights of color are always awesome and there seemed to be a special energy going on. After getting plenty of shots we got back in the van and went to pretty much the total opposite, a quiet place I know on the East Side where we could get cool shots looking across 42nd St. and then looking east to Queens. They both made for neat shots of traffic moving and blurring with our long exposures.

The night ended in Grand Central Terminal, which is an architectural marvel but it is dark inside. In order to shoot with a tripod you need to get a special permit in advance, which I had done for the group. It is such a cool building and always makes for great photos. It was a good place to end the night.

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02 Jun 2018

Off and running at Acadia workshop

This afternoon was the start of my Acadia Photography Workshop in wonderful Maine. We started with a classroom session where we talked about light, creatively using a wide angle lens and we got to know each other. Four of the participants had gone to my workshop in France last year and decided there to join me in Maine this year. The other four photographers had done workshops with me before, so it was nice to have a workshop full of people I knew!

We went to nearby Eagle Lake to get our shooting started. It is a beautiful area with a couple of ponds and the amazing lake lined by large trees and some rocks along the shoreline. We were treated to spectacular light as the sun went down, turning the clouds into a colorful ceiling reflecting in the water. It was a great way to end the first day.

01 Jun 2018

A day in Acadia

The bad thing about loving to shoot sunrise is that I have to get up before the sun. And when I’m in Maine at this time of year, sunrise comes way too early. So I got up at 4 a.m. and headed into Acadia National Park to see the sun rise and, as usual, it was worth the effort.

I went to Monument Cove and was treated to beautiful light pouring onto the rocky coast. The first light of the day is special and it is always exciting to see the warmth of the sun illuminating Acadia’s coast. After shooting for a while I went over to one of the ponds, made some photos and enjoyed the gorgeous morning. Feeling a bit tired from the early morning, I took a good long nap, which really felt good.

Later in the day I went back out to catch the evening light. I went up to Cadillac Mountain to see what the world looked like today from the highest point on the East Coast.  The day had been fairly clear but the clouds were coming in as I got to the top of the mountain. Many times that can be a problem but today they rolled across the islands near Bar Harbor. As the clouds blew across the water they flowed around the islands. Looking down from above the clouds surrounded one island making for a fun photo.

I then went over to a beaver pond I had seen earlier. It was getting dark and I decided to light the beaver hutches with my large flashlight as the sky became dark. I was making long exposures and a beaver was swimming around. I shined my light on a beaver and followed it as it swam. Suddenly it slapped its tail on the water making a large splash and the beaver disappeared. The splash showed up nicely in my photo, it was great way to end the day.

31 May 2018

Blessed to be in Acadia

On Saturday is the start of the 2018 edition of my Acadia Workshop in Maine. I like to arrive early so I can do final scouting to see what has changed since the last time and to do some personal shooting. Being here alone gives me the chance to really work on getting a few really good shots because I can be selfish and shoot whatever I want for as long as I want. When I have the group, I need to make sure they are being cared for and it limits my shooting, which is OK, that’s my job.

I was recently talking to a client who told me about a workshop she did in Iceland and how the photographer leading the group was there to make pictures and didn’t care what the clients were doing. One evening they wanted to go out and shoot the Northern Lights and the pro said he was tired and they could look out the hotel windows if they wanted to see the lights. None of the clients will be going on another trip with that guy.

It is a long drive from N.J. to Acadia, I took my time and made a couple stops so it was almost 10 hours and I was pretty tired when I checked into the hotel. The devil hopped up on my shoulder and told me to stay at the hotel and rest while the angel got on the other shoulder and said to take advantage of the beautiful and get out and shoot. I made the right choice and got out of the hotel.

It was past dinner time so I pulled one of my favorite tricks and headed to the grocery store to get cheap food to eat in the car rather than waste time getting dinner at a restaurant. With an egg salad sandwich from the grocery deli and fresh bananas I headed into the park. I did some quick drive bys of favorite locations to see how they were looking and then settled in at Jordan Pond.

The sun was getting low and the sky was clear, which isn’t great for sunset photos. I walked a little ways around the pond and got away from the only people, a family with too many kids. I love being here this time of year because the crowds haven’t arrived yet. I sat on a big rock at the edge of the pond and had my egg salad and banana picnic while watching the bright sun set over the horizon. I rarely photograph the setting sun, especially on a cloudless day, so I just sat there and enjoyed the incredible scenery and lack of humanity. After the picnic was devoured and the sky was starting to get darker I got out the camera and mounted it on the tripod. Once again I was amazed to be treated to an outrageous show by nature and it seemed like it was just for me. I am blessed.

About 40 minutes after sunset the colors I had been waiting for appeared in the western sky. What a great show. I am truly blessed.

10 Oct 2016

Making an island glow

Glowing islandAt Chittenden Reservoir in Vermont there is a pretty little island about 300 yards off shore. It is a favorite  place for photographers and I’ve photographed it on many occasions at different times of day and different seasons. I decided to try it at night and use a large flashlight to illuminate the island using a technique called light painting, where you pass the light over the subject many times during a long exposure, I usually do 30 seconds.  So tonight I started about 30 minutes after the sun went down and shot for the next hour. There was only a slight breeze which gave me the nice reflection on the water. Then I was lucky to have a shooting star which gave me a beautiful final touch. This is one exposure with only minor adjustments in Lightroom. As the sky got darker I needed to bump my ISO up to 400 and I was shooting at f/5.6.

11 Oct 2014

Always finding something new

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I’m always amazed at how often I’m looking for one thing and finding another. During this weekend’s Vermont Fall Foliage Workshop, I was looking hard for the beautiful colors produced by the maple trees when I noticed this plant along a pond’s edge. At first I wasn’t too interested, I was looking for bright reds and yellows. But when I looked closer, I loved the way this plant’s leaves intertwined and how it stood out against the deep blue of the water reflecting the clear sky.

I worked the angles a bit to make sure there wasn’t anything but water behind the leaves and shot like a fool. It wasn’t the colors I was looking for, but I sure like the outcome.

10 Oct 2013

Birches and reflections make a good mix

pomfret_birch-2478I was up at my favorite pond in Pomfret, VT, this afternoon and enjoyed the way the foliage was reflecting on the water. There were two small birch trees on the near side of the pond in the shade and made an interesting shape. Since they were in the shade, they tended to look a bit blue when I opened them in Lightroom, my photo editing program. So when I made the trees look white it really enhanced the yellow of the reflections.

16 Aug 2013

Learning about the New London, NH, area

20130816-LEF_128320130816-LEF_1252I have spent a lot of time scouring the backroads of Vermont looking for great photo locations but I haven’t crossed the Conneticut River much to see what is in New Hampshire. After a recent workshop I got an invitation from Mary to show me around the New London area and I took her up on it today. There are several lakes and large ponds in her area and very few near me in Vermont. We started the day a bit after sunrise and caught the mist rising on Little Sunapee Lake, it was a beautiful day and there is plenty to shoot there. We drove around the lake to an esker created by the glaciers that nearly cuts the lake in half. OK, I didn’t know what an esker was either and Mary explained that it is sand and gravel deposited by a river flowing under a melting glacier. It made a nice background and good place photograph Mary on the trail.

20130816-LEF_1383We went to several lakes and ponds and I learned the New England difference between a lake and pond is not the size but the depth. In theory, light can hit the bottom of a pond but not a lake. She then took us to Muster Field Farm, a collection of historic buildings that are preserved on a farm that was where the local militia was mustered and trained, thus the name. By the time we got there, the light wasn’t great, but I was amazed by the boards on a barn, I’ve never seen boards that wide, it took only eight to cover the barn’s side.

10 Mar 2013

A duck of a different color is still just a duck

I went to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge today to see what might be flying through. I have several favorite places, some require a little hiking and I was feeling lazy so I drove to the spots that have easy access. I pulled up to the largest pond that you can park beside and there were a couple of people out taking photos.

On the far side of the pond was a bunch of ducks. This time of year usually the only thing I see floating is Canada geese. When I see them, I don’t even stop, but the ducks looked interesting. The ducks were pretty far away, too far to get a very close photo. The other two people with cameras were moving around quite a bit, which kept the ducks away. When everyone stood still for a while, the ducks would slowly move closer and then one of them move around and the ducks would move away.

The two camera toters finally gave up and left, I guess the ducks were too far away. That was fine with me, so I froze in place and the ducks slowly got closer. The ducks were diving and popping back up, they were fun to watch. I remember reading that diving ducks use their feet to help them take off. I don’t know why, but they run across the water as they take to the air. They were almost in camera range when something gave them a little spook and several took off to the other side of the pond. I didn’t spook them but I was ready.  They weren’t in the light I wanted but it is a fun photo anyway.

And once again, waiting for the shot pays off. The other two with cameras left without anything, if they would have been quiet and hung out another 10 minutes they may have made a shot.

I’ve shot a lot of ducks, but I don’t know what kind this one is. I looked it up in my bird books, but I still am not sure. If you have any thoughts, let me know.

23 Aug 2012

Special Maine sunrise makes getting up early worth it


I’m not naturally an early morning person, but it is rare that I’m upset when I see the sun rise. Sunday was one of my favorite sunrises ever. I was along Flagstaff Lake in Stratton, Maine, as the sun rose in a clear sky. Fog filled the mountains and hovered over the lake, which was fine by me.

I was on a narrow road that sliced through the water, so every direction I looked was water, mountains and fog. It was one of those times when there was so much to shoot I was running in circles to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I had cameras on two tripods and was firing away like a mad-man, literally screaming joy into the wind.

A couple of photos are posted here, you can see more over on my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LorenFisherPhotography.

25 Feb 2012

You otter see this

An otter peeks through ice in Woodstock, Vt.

 

At first light I headed out to see how Vermont looked after five inches of snow fell overnight. The short answer: beautiful. As I was heading out of the village, I looked down at a small pond that had a few holes in the ice. I noticed something dark moving in one of the holes, so I pulled over. Another something was moving and my brain registered I was seeing a couple of otters playing in the water.

I hopped out of my Jeep with my telephoto lens and tripod. Even though I was 100 yards away and up a hill, the otters weren’t thrilled with my presence. They craned their necks to get a better view of me and then dropped back into the water. One would pop up out of another hole, take a quick look at me and go back under the ice. Even though I stayed right by the Jeep, I was in their comfort zone. I thought if I hung out for a while they would realize I wasn’t a threat. After 3o minutes and no sightings, and strong winds trying to blow me over, I headed off to enjoy the beauty of the day.

Trees on a hillside in Woodstock, Vt.

Wind blows snow around ice fishermen on Silver Lake in Barnard, Vt.

24 Aug 2011

Hang out near a beaver pond and you’ll see beavers

A beaver swims in a pond in Barnard, Vt.

I drove back past where I photographed the bull moose yesterday, just hoping he might still be hanging around. He wasn’t. So I went to a beaver pond near Barnard, Vt., about a mile away. I photographed some cedar wax wings flying around the trees. I hung out for about an hour and a half but there wasn’t much going on. On the road I saw a candy wrapper, so I walked over to pick it up. I looked at the pond and beaver was swimming toward me. I went back to the Jeep to get the camera, but I feared my movement might scare it. The beaver turned around and twacked the water with its tail. I thought I was done, but it kept swimming around. It came closer to me and didn’t mind my presence. As it was going back and forth another one appeared. They both swam around in front of me for a while but I was blocked from clear shots by branches and weeds. They would pop into the open and I got a few shots I like.