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Saturday, 13 October 2012 22:18

Once Upon a Windy Marsh

Duck Brook is one of the most accessible free-flowing streams in Acadia National Park. It drains an extensive wetland on the northwest shoulder of The Whitecap before skirting Great Hill to the west as it flows north into Bar Harbor east of Hull's Cove. Earlier this week, as I scouted the area, I was drawn to the beauty of the marsh that forms New Mills Meadow Pond as Duck Brook flows through it, but the wind was gusting at 15-25 mph and there was no way to freeze the motion for a sharply focused scene. The solution seemed simple: photograph the wind. I used a focal length of 255mm which allowed me to zoom into the marsh and isolate the patterns of the blowing grasses that were outlined by the darker stems where the stream flowed more openly. I waited until the gusts seemed at their most frenzied and used an aperture of f/22 to give me the longest shutter value possible in the existing light for a medium-toned exposure. In this case 1/6th second at ISO 100. Since the moderate telephoto focal length offered a fairly shallow depth-of-field even at f/22, the softly out-of-focus areas in the front and rear of the image added to the perception of motion throughout, which was exactly what I wanted. And the wind took care of the rest.  

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More in this category: « On the Way to Great Head

6 comments

  • Comment Link Don McGowan Monday, 29 October 2012 11:44 posted by Don McGowan

    Thanks Gretchen, I'm really glad you enjoyed it. We returned during the workshop and everything was dead calm. Beautiful, but entirely different; and it produced different images. It's all good.

  • Comment Link Gretchen Cole Monday, 29 October 2012 11:17 posted by Gretchen Cole

    Don I love this image.

  • Comment Link Don McGowan Friday, 19 October 2012 14:20 posted by Don McGowan

    Hi Everyone,
    Thanks for joining the conversation. The workshop has just ended, and as I look at this image I am reminded of the great week we've had. We returned to this area during the week and the wind was dead calm. It was a completely different experience; both equally beautiful, each in its own way. This image will be a reminder of the work that is always possible if we are willing to consider the conditions that nature has given us and work within those conditions. Every image does not have to be sharp and abstraction can be a wonderful form of photographic expression.

  • Comment Link Helen Phillips Sunday, 14 October 2012 17:52 posted by Helen Phillips

    Wow, what a great idea/eye. The picture turned out beautifully and is very pleasing.

  • Comment Link margene odom Sunday, 14 October 2012 16:36 posted by margene odom

    Ethereal. Thank you for sharing your inspired work.

  • Comment Link Marcia Perry Sunday, 14 October 2012 10:05 posted by Marcia Perry

    I love the movement expressed and the patch of blue at the lower right third. It is so helpful to hear how and why you selected your settings.

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