It took 3 hours, and I ruined pretty much 300+ photos from some of the time-lapses due to high ISO noise settings on the camera. Can’t complain, I am learning to shoot the star trails in a hard way.
It was another cold and miserable night, where I was all alone photographing from a boardwalk near the Concord Point Light House. The occasional dog walkers also started disappearing after dark. Even though I wanted to get these photographs at any cost, and I knew these time lapses are going to take good amount of time, I wasn’t so far from being agitated with the fear of loneliness, darkness and unfamiliar surroundings. Every time someone wearing a hoodie, walking in my direction, a deep sense of panic was all around the air.
In between the time lapse shoots, I met a nice guy who is on a sailing trip across the east cost ports on his motor boat. I hardly remember his name now, but he and his nice dog gave me good company for quite some time while I waited on camera to finish these time lapse sequences. He passionately talked about his old minolta 50 mm along with his love for photography and even a little bit of current politics. That conversation turned out to be surprisingly comforting. I managed to keep my internal daemons chained for a while, and managed to hurry up on grabbing more photos amidst of all the conversational distractions.
It was quite a bit of work to clean up the trails of light from flights in these photographs during post processing, and you will realize how crazy our skies are polluted with lights from artificial sources. One another reason why we are are not able to see the milky way above us! Thin and light air of the winter sky might have also helped in better view of the stars.
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Here are few photos from my trip to Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland during March. It was really cold outside, and I decided to try star photography by heading towards the Island around 3.00 in the morning. This is one of the places in east coast of US which is away from city lights where you can sometimes watch the even watch Milky Way rising. There was bit of moon still hanging around the night reducing the shininess of the stars, but I still decided to give star photography a try and possibly hang around the Island for finding some sunrise photographs. Even though the stars where feeble due to moonlight, I was able to witness a beautiful sunrise with exploding colors over the high clouds.
My first attempt to shoot the star trails, over the Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland. Hoped for a better starry night, but clouds and the moonlight pretty much ruined it though.
Since those stars weren’t that shiny, I just waited for another hour in the freezing cold for the dawn. When the first light of morning rays showed it was beautiful with vibrant colors.
Took another shot from the same location, but with even better vibrant tones exploding over the high clouds and it’s reflections over water.
While I stayed for few more minutes to watch the free roaming wild horses over the island, just realized I was hearing their noises all over the night accompanying my photography experiments.
It’s always hard to wake up early in the morning and get out for the sunrise… It will get more tricky when it is too cold outside during the winter days. It seems like the trees without leaves adds a bit more character and beauty when mist is hanging around the lake or when morning sun lights up the trees from the side. Drinking a warm coffee and watching the sunrise with the chirping birds is no less than epic that I generally dream and don’t care to wake up, These are some of the photos from my morning walks around the Marsh Creek state park during sunrise, where I actually won over my laziness .
Abstracts created by Ice
Sometimes, chilly mornings of Jan/Feb months will give opportunities to capture ice formations over the water near the shore line on days where temperature falls sub-zero. These are photos that were framed with my telephoto lens. It’s quite interesting and a time passing job wandering close to the lake to find abstract compositions with layers of transparent ice over the water. If you are lucky you will find a leaf or a small branch that got trapped within ice, creating a beautiful abstract subject against pitch black water surface. Once the sun shows up, the icy layer above the water starts to melt down, and it will be all just water soon. I was freezing, but managed to get away with a few cool abstract photographs even though there weren’t any branches or green leaves that I could find inside the water frozen by the ice.
Waiting for the sunset
Here are a few more photos from the Marsh Creek Park that was shot during sunset. What really pulled me into the first photo was the contrast created by the last bit of sunlight over the woods that was lighting up a small patch of yellow leaves left over from fall season. Along with the light, reflections on the water made the scene quite photogenic. When the blue hour started, a flock of Canadian goose just flocked into the lake for me to pack up the day…
It’s been a while I have gone out wandering for good compositions and light, and proving myself I am learning photography in the right spirit. For a couple of months most of the photography learning was just around sitting on the couch and watching YouTube videos… I had this dilemma to go out and try something practically and however the cold weather wasn’t co-operating much. Finally I did find a bit of time today and decided to break my daily routine to find some place nearby to get some fresh air and if possible a decent shot.
Finally I decided to head to photograph the old sycamore tree near the old Wetherill Barn at Pawling which I came across while wandering in google map for interesting locations nearby.
This one can be called as one of the totally unplanned and underprepared shot of the day, as the sun was almost about to hide behind the horizon line and I was just walking into the scene. There were a lot of low clouds ready to block the sunlight soon enough. With a bit of challenge to shoot against the sun, all my options were just limited to place the sun inside the frame in a way that it is masked partially behind the curling branch of the sycamore tree. Tree was fantastic, and had its branches twisted in all directions creating a different dimension leading the eyes to the old house. Talking to someone who was dog-walking on the trail, I learned the tree in my frame above is a 250+ year old sycamore tree and has a bit of history connected with it. With the chaos created by all the branches and fairly busy twigs from all the trees around, it is no grand vista to be in a portfolio. I would rather call it a sensible try to get outside and do some photography along the trail walk after a while.
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Beautiful rays of the setting sun peeking through the sunflower petals… The warmth of the scene is such a feast to the eyes. I was just driving without any plans in mind over a weekend, just to kill the time and went pass this beautiful farm at Elverson, Pennsylvania. Watching the setting sun lighting up these golden flowers was such a beautiful scene. Most of the flowers in the farm were almost died, and I had to run around the place before the sunset to find the few remaining sunflowers that have fresh petals.These pictures are a humble try to recreate that evening feeling…
Overcast light glowing the greens against the silver thread lines created by water adding up to the beauty of Delaware Water Gap in Bushkill Falls during the spring. Here are some photos from my day trip.
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And this blog post is no different. It’s just the obvious shot of the Niagra falls, that you find everywhere in the internet, that everyone have on their phone. Still, ‘Cave of the winds’ and ‘maid of the mist’ are the other obvious things worth trying in the Niagra Falls state park if you consider yourself as a tourist. The sound and feel of the water when you go close to the bottom of the American Falls is something I quite enjoyed.
Two times I have been there, it’s hard to find something that’s worth a portfolio image. All I find is people taking their own selfie. I can not cross the US border to get the wide angle view of Horseshoe falls either. So this is one of the trips, where camera either stays inside the bag, or in the car itself. When the lights are on after the sunset, I thought of trying a horizontal pano with three images(which I have never tried before), and a wide angle shot of the same composition.
Here are some experimental long exposure photographs of the Ben Franklin Bridge over Delaware riverfront in Philadelphia. I have been there, walking through the Race street pier towards Penn’s landing multiple times watching the beautiful lights from bridge, letting the cold air breeze through my hair. These lights and peer always feels bit historic, but with the wonderful smell of draft beer from beer gardens near the walkway.
This photos are taken over different days mostly after sunset, but with one thing in common – cloudy overcast miserable sky. It did worked well to bring up the contrasty and vibrant bridge.
Boston is a beautiful city with lot of history and good seafood. While it is a city to be explored on the feet, a 30F day during the winter was’t the best time to be around. I reserved all my energy for two photos, one from the skywalk observatory on the night and other one from the Fan pier park during the noon.
First plan was to head to the Skywalk observatory as it was open till 10 at night and there was no point in exploring the downtown in freezing cold. My prior observatory experiences in New York city as a tourist, didn’t let me take my tripod on to the skywalk. Shooting handheld at high ISO, fighting with the reflecting lights from large glass windows of the observatory was something I had to fight with, even though it was not that bad due to less crowd.
Next day late morning we were at Fan Pier park. Harsh light, no clouds, freezing cold, and chilly winds frequently hitting the pier did cut down my options to explore for better composition, and ended up with a black and white. I would go there again if I get a chance to shoot a beautiful sunset with with city lights. Until then these will photos remain the favorites from Boston.