September 2016

September 2016 (4)

Saturday, 24 September 2016 07:52

A Farewell to Day

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The lighthouse at Point Judith guards the headland between Galilee and the entrance to Narragansett Bay - including Point Judith Back Beach and its jetty - and its orientation is such that it receives the last rays of the September sunset light like a flame drawing a moth to its illumination. Caught between the lighthouse behind me and the incredible sunset light in front of me, it was not possible to be uncreative in the lingering rays as they slid slowly below the distant horizon. I chose to bring the line of the jetty from the extreme right near the bottom of the frame into a very low position to anchor the scene, while allowing the flaming sky to speak for itself as ninety percent of the image. A focal length of 27mm gave me the angle of view I wanted. An aperture of f/20 provided depth of field, and a shutter speed of 1.3 seconds at ISO 100 gave me a somewhat darker-than-medium overall exposure. The anglers on the jetty gave a sense of scale to the magnificent display.


Saturday, 17 September 2016 10:08

The Light on Castle Hill

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The original plans for Castle Hill Light were made in 1869, but through a long series of misadventures, its operation did not begin until 1890. It was the great naturalist Alexander Agassiz who sold the land to the Ocean State for the princely sum of One Dollar, but his concerns over access to the construction site across his property and the risk of substantial damage to it led him to delay the project's beginning as the initial obstacle and there were others to follow When it did begin operation, it became another valuable member of the series of navigational aids guiding ship through the East Passage of Narragansett Bay on the road to Newport and Providence. Today it remains active as well as a beautiful reminder of the importance of communication between ships at sea and those who would attend to their safe homecoming. A focal length of 27mm gave me the angle of view I wanted to include a large swath of rock in the foreground. An aperture of f/20 provided depth-of-field; and a shutter speed of 15.0 seconds at ISO 100 gave me an overall somewhat darker than medium exposure. After all, it was getting dark. The little structure on Castle Hill joins the beauty of the past with the practical needs of the present in a story about the drama of rock, water, and light.

Saturday, 10 September 2016 22:12

Morning Has Broken

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It is always a pleasure to be at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and to share the incomparable beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains with the students who come here, whether for a long weekend or for half of a month to immerse themselves in photographic creativity. And it seems the Luftee Overlook is always happy to see us and delighted to share a show from any one of its many faces. Even though the evergreens and hardwoods that line the rim of Beech Flats Prong Valley continue to grow taller with each passing year, there seems to always be some way to express the wonder of this place in an image. It is the time of year when the sun slips out from behind the foreground ridge of Newfound Gap to become an integral element in whatever drama may be created, and when accompanied by an atmospheric armada, the lightshow can be nothing short of amazing. Since this was an image primarily about the sun and its sky, I minimized the weight of the foreground ridge with just enough presence to reveal the mountains of the distant horizon and let the dawning day express itself light and cloud. A focal length of 42mm, squarely in the "normal" range, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/20 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/25 second at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure. The breaking of a Luftee morning is more often than not a sight to behold.

Friday, 02 September 2016 11:33

Where the Porcupines Gather

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To gaze out over the Big Carp River Valley from the Escarpment/Lake of the Clouds Overlook in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is to see the grand vista of the Upper Peninsula's fall foliage extravaganza. The bedrock of the Porcupine Mountains is ancient, a mere 1.1 billion years young. It records a portion of the evolution of the North American continent during geologic time known as the late-Precambrian, and it consists of a thick sequence of volcanic and sedimentary rocks that plunge to a depth in places of 15.5 miles. The Escarpment where I am standing is primarily a basalt-capped Copper Harbor Conglomerate, the children of vulcanism and sedimentation that accompanied the rise of an extensive Midcontinental rift system, the early stages of a continent pushing itself apart. When the sun rises far to the left of my angle of view - over Lake of the Clouds - the golden light sweeps the valley and the only descriptive word possible is "awesome." I knelt just above the rock to incorporate a portion of the escarpment wall into my foreground, replicating the diagonal of the river below. Using hyperfocal focusing, I chose a focal length of 27mm to provide the angle I wanted. An aperture of f/22 (along with hyperfocal focusing) provided depth-of-field; and a shutter speed of 1/5th second at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure. The Porkies are a place where you can stare into the depths of time and see turtles all the way down.

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