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Tag : river

26 Oct 2019

Streaking at the Brooklyn Bridge

A fun workshop that I do with fellow professional photographer Ron Lake is a tour of New York City’s big bridges. We can’t hit them all in one day but we go to five of the most photogenic. Our first stop is usually the George Washington Bridge and the little known Little Red Lighthouse that sits underneath. I’ve written in my blog about it before but it is still fun to take people to something they didn’t know existed. We then go to one of the prettiest bridges, the Queensborough, then the industrial Williamsburg Bridge. Finally we go over to Brooklyn to shoot the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. Photographing the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk as the lights of lower Manhattan start glowing is always a favorite. A helicopter zipped past tonight as I was doing a long exposure creating a streak of light and dashes from a flashing light. It is a lot of fun and the scene never gets tiring.

20 Aug 2019

Playing around Iceland’s largest glacier

Iceland is known for waterfalls and glaciers, yesterday I took my workshop to the waterfalls, today it was glacier time. I know this little spot where a tongue of Vatnajökull glacier comes down into a lagoon. There is a little dirt road back to it off the highway, it isn’t marked and too small for most people to take a chance to see what is there. Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Europe and covers 8% of Iceland. It is big. 

Driving over from Vic we encountered some rain and wind but all of that stopped when we got out of the van. There were a couple of other people for a while but we mainly had the place to ourselves, which is always fun. In the summer the glacier melts and leaves a layer of dirt in the ice. It is cool to see but not pristine. This is one place that looks better in the winter but it is still fun to see how big this little part of the glacier is and it makes some great photos.

After leaving my little glacial hideaway we drove down to Jökulsárlón where another tongue of the glacier meets the ocean. A large lagoon is there and a short river has formed to drain the lagoon into the ocean. At high tide ocean water surges back into the lagoon and the salty water breaks off large chunks of the glacier. Year round you’ll see large icebergs floating in the lagoon and out the river. When they get to the ocean they break up more and float back onto the black sand beach. As the ice gets smaller it looks like diamonds on the beach when light shins through it. The weather had turned bad and it was raining pretty hard when we arrived. I drove to a couple of spots hoping the rain would ease and it finally did so we went over to Diamond Beach. The light was pretty bad, it was windy and it was spitting rain so shooting wasn’t easy. We still made some fun shots and went back over to the lagoon. Huge pieces of blue ice were floating and breaking apart. It was fun to see and to shoot. The rain came back so we started back toward the hotel.

As we were driving the rain was falling and then the sun came out. It made of one the biggest and brightest rainbows I have ever seen. I pulled the van off the road and we jumped out and shot some pictures while trying to stay dry. It was a lot of fun and great way to end another fabulous day in Iceland.

19 Aug 2019

Peace and waterfalls in Iceland

Toady we made the long drive from Grundarfjörður down to Vic, our Summer Iceland Photography Workshop home for the next two nights. One the way we stopped at three tremendous but different waterfalls. Two of them are well known, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. They are too well known, all the tour buses stop there and there is always a huge crowd unless you go extremely early or late in the day. Since they were on our way to Vic, we went at the same time as everyone else. Seljalandsfoss is a very long drop and you can walk behind it, which make for great photos. If you work it right you can eliminate a lot of people from your photos, but it is tricky.

Skogafoss is much wider but you can’t go behind it without drowning. You can get out in the river below the falls and keep some of the people out of the shot but you need to be prepared. I bought some cheap plastic boot covers and gave them to some of our photographers to try but they fell apart about as fast as it took to put them on. When you get close enough to be in front of most of the people you get a good deal of spray hitting you. So I also brought bright yellow micro fiber towels for each person and showed them how to play peek-a-boo with the towel over the camera lens to keep the front dry.

But the highlight for me and the other photographers is a smaller waterfall that most people don’t know about and that is a good thing so I won’t mention the name. You have to climb over a fence and hike about a 1/2 mile back to it. There are a couple of rather tricky spots where you have to climb up and over rocky humps, which also keeps some people out. But once back there the scene is serene and magical. It may be my favorite place in Iceland, I could spend hours there surrounded by the lush green gorge, flowing river and the only sound being falling water. You can also go behind the falls and look out through the gorge and see only the people you came with. Before you get to the falls you are up on a hill looking down on the stream going through the valley. There isn’t a more peaceful place to be.

Click on an image to see a larger version, then you can scroll through them.

28 Apr 2019

Another shot at New York City bridges

One of the really fun workshops I do is a day in New York City photographing some of the bridges. We start the day under the George Washington Bridge where there is the Little Red Lighthouse that not many people know about. They literally built the huge bridge over the tiny lighthouse and since the lighthouse is so small it didn’t get it the way much during construction. Once the bridge was completed and was lit up the lighthouse was decommissioned. It went into disrepair and was about to be torn down but there was public outcry because of a children’s book that had been written about it. Now it is part of the NYC park system and there for all to see, if you can find it.

Then we went to the tan and black Queensboro Bridge, which may be the prettiest large bridge in the city. It is officially the Ed Koch Bridge but not many people call it that. We ended the day in Brooklyn, walking up on the bridge, which is always exciting. Then we went to the DUMBO section of Brooklyn. DUMBO stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass and is a cool area. There is a spot where you can photograph the Empire State Building framed by an arch in a Manhattan Bridge stanchion. It had been cloudy and threatening rain all day but the clouds cleared and we had a great sunset.

After the sun went down we walked over to the side of the Brooklyn Bridge as darkness fell on Manhattan and the lights of the city came up. It is always a spectacular sight and it doesn’t get any better than tonight. What a great way to end a beautiful day.

There are more of my photos and images made by the workshop participants at https://lorenphotos.com/nyc-bridges-4-28-19-photos/

21 Aug 2018

Things that are uniquely Iceland

If I could only spend one day in Iceland and want to see things that are fairly unique to the country, then we went there today during my Iceland Photography Workshop. Since it was raining we started the day shopping in Vic, which isn’t unique, but it is fun to see things made in Iceland. I warned the group to watch for thins that look Icelandic and are made in China. They did pretty good with that.

As we drove the southern coast the weather started getting better and by the time we got to a secluded tongue of the Vatnajökull glacier, Europe’s largest, the rain had pretty much stopped. This is one of the coolest places I go in Iceland, there are no other people around and the view of the glacier, a lagoon and mountains is stunning. High clouds hid much of the mountain but the color of the glacier and sheer size is daunting.

Then we stopped at Diamond Beach, a truly unique Icelandic experience. Another tongue of the glacier comes down to a large lagoon that is connected to the ocean by a short river. Salty sea water goes back up the river into the lagoon helping break off chunks of ice that float back down the river and wash up on Diamond Beach’s black sand. The pounding waves wear down the ice and when sunlight hits them they look like diamonds sitting on black velvet. Quite the sight. It is fun to make pictures of the waves flowing past ice and see what happens when the shutter is open for a long time. I could spend days on that one beach.

I’m also fascinated by the Aurora Borealis, the northern lights. They are such a weird phenomenon, with the colorful display of light glowing at night. I first saw them during my trip in March and was awed and I keep a eye on several iPhone apps that let me know when they are active in hopes I can see them back in Vermont. The aurora is active all year but it doesn’t get dark enough in the summer months to see them. I checked my apps before this trip and saw the activity level was pretty high and we would have enough darkness to possibly see them. What a bonus! Tonight the activity was fairly high and the sky was giving us some major breaks in the clouds so we went to a hilltop away from town to see what would happen. We got a show! Green light danced along the horizon and an occasional red/orange light popped in. We could see clouds heading our way and knew we wouldn’t have long but what we saw was awesome. I can’t wait to come back in Feb. for another workshop when the main focus will be the aurora!

10 May 2018

A pretty evening on the Delaware

The weather was looking pretty stormy this afternoon so I decided to see if I could run down a thunder storm. I headed west from my Somerville, NJ, home looking for a fun rural storm shot. There wasn’t much going on as I drove so I thought I would go to the lovely burg of Frenchtown on the Delaware River bordering Pennsylvania. Frenchtown is quaint and pretty and it was getting pretty dark as I rolled into town. The sky wasn’t great so I walked along the canal looking for something unusual. I didn’t find it and went back to the bridge crossing the river to try some long exposures. Moving water and clouds always look great during a long exposure so I set the camera on 30 seconds and started shooting. It’s not my favorite photo ever but it was a nice evening on the Delaware.

07 Feb 2016

Fun at the Winter Photography Workshop

LT_fallsHosting a photo workshop is fun, it is hard work, but boy is it fun.

This weekend was my Vermont Winter Photography Workshop and even though conditions weren’t perfect people were excited to be there and made the best out of the situation. Earlier in the week it was pretty warm and I was worried that all the snow would melt and there would be no ice. We did lose a lot of snow but it got cold so at least there was ice in the river when we photographed covered bridges and when we went to the water falls.

One of the great things about workshops is that people are there to learn and have a good time. We all seem to leave our troubles at home and we just concentrate on making good pictures, enjoying the scenery and making new friends. This group was no exception. I had people from Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut and Florida. They bonded right away, helping each other, learning from each other, sharing ideas and trying new things.

A couple of people had never been to the ski area so that was fun to show them how that looks. We went to one of Vermont’s largest waterfalls, Moss Glen Falls, which looked great after the freezing cold overnight. Since there was a lot of melting during the week, there was plenty of water coming over the falls, which made for really nice pictures.

I’ll soon be posting photos that everyone made during the weekend, so check back.

I can’t wait for next year’s winter workshop. Let it snow.

03 Nov 2013

A fitting last day for an Oregon adventure

20131103-LEF_4627Today was the last of our short Oregon weekend photo adventure and we concentrated on waterfalls. Walter and I headed out from out hotel in Salem to Silver Falls State Park, home to several large waterfalls and plenty of hiking. The first falls was near the parking area and it is spectacular, it is one of the most photogenic falls in the state. Even though it was a short walk, Walter and I were shooting like fools before we even got to it. The trail leads behind the falls and to the other side and we worked our way around, shooting too much and trying not to get too wet from the blowing mist coming off the falls.

The next falls was about a mile away so we hiked the trail and made plenty of photos. The hike was pretty nice, of course water flows downhill and after shooting the second falls we had the choice of hiking farther for more falls or heading back toward the car. Time was getting late since we constantly stopped to shoot mushrooms, leaves and the green moss growing on trees, so we headed back for the car. The trail back was a little over a mile and, like usual, I was carrying a lot of camera equipment and the hike back was uphill. When I ran out of breath I’d find something to photograph so I didn’t look like the total out-of-shape old man I’ve become. Other hikers a bit younger than us were on the trail and struggling as much as me and they weren’t carrying extra gear, so I took solace in that.

We got back to the car and ventured back north to shoot waterfalls along the Columbia River gorge. Not long after getting in the car the rain started and stuck with us the rest of the day. The weather prognosticators got it right, they said 100% chance of rain and that is what Oregon got.

When shooting moving water I prefer cloudy days so I can keep my exposures long, the longer the better. The waterfalls in Oregon are huge and spectacular but very hard to shoot in a way that makes them look like anything more than a long, thin white ribbon. We stopped at several falls in the gorge and hiked down to Bridal Veil Falls, which surprising seemed like a long hike going down than coming back up. Walter and I were pretty tired at this point, we had driven a lot and fought the rain all day and when we got to the falls it pretty much looked like the other long, thin Oregon falls. The sky was very dark and as we were walking out I noticed a couple of bright yellow and red leaves at the edge of the water rushing away from the falls. The light was dim and everything was wet and the colors popped. Green moss on the rocks seemed to glow and with the water flowing past I knew it would make a great photo. My 13 second shutter speed made the water look milky everywhere and I came away with a photo that will be hanging big on my wall for a long time.

20131103-LEF_4399

09 Sep 2012

Waiting for the color to fill the sky

The weather today was one of the top five of the year. It just doesn’t get any better than clear and 72 degrees. Those big puffy cumulus clouds just floated around the sky.

I knew the clouds would make a nice picture at dusk, so I headed to the Raritan River in Bridgewater, N.J. As the sun went down the clouds got more dramatic, orange highlighted the white clouds for a few minutes and then the sun faded over the horizon.

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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.

23 Jun 2012

An afternoon along the canal

Old tools are visible inside a building along the D&R canal

I spent the afternoon with my good friend and photographer Nat Clymer wandering along the D&R Canal in East Millstone and Somerset, N.J. Nat lives nears the canal and knows the history and most of the people along it. There are several old buildings in various places along the canal that served as houses or vantage points while the canal was in operation many years ago. In fact, Nat used to have his office in an old canal house in Kingston.

A canal house is reflected in the water.

The houses are pretty neat but they have a major flaw, they are near the water and when the big floods came from Hurricane Irene last year and Floyd in 1999, many flooded up to the second floor. Most have been repaired but a few need tons of work.

Nat and I stopped a couple of the canal houses to look around. Nat has photographed the canal and the people around it for years and is preparing for a show in the fall and gathering some fresh scenic shots and I was just hanging out, making some photos and enjoying his company. I liked the reflection of one canal house in the water, so I spent some time working on a shot of it. The colors turned out pretty good.

Across the street from the canal at Blackwells Mill is an old studio that was used by an artist Nat knew. The man dies a few years ago but Nat has several of his paintings. The building got hit pretty hard by the flood and the man’s sister hasn’t been able to restore it. His tools are still hanging in a window as ivy creeps up the side of the building. It a classic look at Americana and I hope it stays for a long time.

Near the studio was a solitary tiger lily with the sun shining on it. Almost everything behind it was in dark shadows so I framed the shot so only the flower was illuminated. It looks like it is growing out of the darkness.

A tiger lily grabs the sunlight.

26 Feb 2012

Taftsville Covered Bridge stripped down to the arches

The support arches are still standing on the Taftsville Covered Bridge in Woodstock, Vt.

Last fall when Hurricane Irene made its way to Vermont, it did an amazing amount of damage. One of the victims was the Taftsville Covered Bridge in Woodstock. The bridge is two spans and 189 feet long and the Ottauquechee River came up to the deck during the flood and damaged the bridge and supports. The bridge was scheduled for repairs next year, so they decided to get to work on it early. The entire deck and cover has been removed on half of the bridge while the abutments and deck are repaired. Work will take about two years.

25 Aug 2011

Clouds rolls over Vermont’s deepest gorge

Clouds hang over Quechee Gorge in Vermont.

Today was one of those rainy days that don’t make for great photos, unless you’re looking to make a rainy-day photo. I was going past Quechee Gorge and saw the clouds hanging over the gorge. Route 4, the main east-west highway in central Vermont, goes over the state’s deepest gorge so I parked the Jeep and walked out on the bridge. It is 165 feet down to the water from the bridge and not for people who get queasy from heights.

06 Nov 2010

Parks closed: gotta cull the deer herd

Frost covers a leaf at Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary.

This morning I thought it would be good to go to Lord Stirling Park in Basking Ridge, NJ, which is adjacent to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.  They are essentially the same place, they are only separated by the Passaic River and a different name. I got there while it was still fairly dark, taking advantage of the last day of daylight savings time. Now I have to get up an hour earlier to see the sun rise. I got out of the Jeep and saw a sign that said Trails Closed and then a rope across the main trail. Hanging off the rope was a little sign saying something about deer management. In other words hunters were in there culling the herd. So I thought I’d just go over to the NWR, I still had plenty of time before the sun came up. Of course, only hunters were allowed. I’m sure I could have found a trail in but a bored hunter might take a shot for fun.

Mist rises from a waterfalls at Lendells Pond in Mendham, NJ.

I understand the need to hold down the deer population. There are too many and when there is a tough winter, there won’t be enough food for them to sustain themselves. They are changing the landscape, you can see a browse line at their head height in any woods in the area. Many people complain about the deer eating their scrubs, I don’t care about that, but no new growth is happening because the deer eat tree saplings before they have a chance to grow. But I hate having the image in my head of a deer being shot by an arrow and then running in pain for however long it takes for the deer to bleed to death. I guess that is better than starving to death.

So I went over to the Audubon Society’s place, which is only a few miles away. They didn’t have any hunters but I was there before they opened the gate. So I drove around the property and came upon a water falls at the end of Ledells Pond in Mendham. It seems like I have been shooting lots of waterfalls lately but it looked good as the mist rose.

I went back over to the Audubon sanctuary and while I was driving around I saw three large bucks. I couldn’t tell if they were in the rut or scared by the hunters, but they looked nervous. Hopefully they didn’t stroll under a hunter’s tree stand.

08 Oct 2010

Leaving Vermont colorful and blurry

A river flows beneath bright yellow fall foliage in South Londonderry, Vermont. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

A river flows beneath bright yellow fall foliage in South Londonderry, Vermont.

I finished my week in Vermont by driving some back roads and scenic highways on the way south. I took Route 100, which has to be one of the most scenic roads in the east. It runs the length of the state, from Massachusetts to within a few miles of Canada. The whole road has something to see. In South Londonderry, I drove down a small dirt road along the river where the water was running fast over rocks. Trees were showing some color, so I climbed out on rocks in the river and used a long shutter speed to make the water blurry. A fitting end to the trip, colorful and blurry.

See all of Loren’s Vermont fall foliage photos.