Saturday, October 11, 2008

White Mountains

The rising sun over the ridge, seen from an overlook in Bear Notch, in White Mountain National Forest.

I spent most of last week in the White Mountains with Tony Sweet's photography workshop. The group consisted of ten students, with Tony Sweet and Susan Milestone as our instructors.

In the mornings, we went out to the overlooks to photograph the magic light on the mountainsides, so we were out bright and early. We headed over to a second location after the dawn to shoot some more, and then broke for brunch. In the afternoons, we showed some our images for critique, and then we went out and did some sunset photography.

The critiques were great, because in addition to getting some feedback on our images shown on a big screen, we also got a chance to see what everyone else in the group had come up with in the same places.

The other photographers in the group were quite talented. Seeing their work was very inspiring.

The shot above is from the second morning. While shooting the hillside as the rising sun cast its soft morning light on the hillsides with the developing color, I saw the sun beginning to crest the ridge to my left, and quickly swung the camera over and captured it, intentionally leaving the aperture at its smallest (f/22) and letting the foreground fade to a silhouette.

A leaf closeup, shot through
a frame of reddening maple leaves.

This was from the first day. Tony and Susan were showing us how to do a "shoot through" where you use an extremely out of focus foreground to frame the subject with washes of translucent color. Susan got us started framing white birch trunks with coloring leaves, but I wasn't having much success with that. Instead, I started framing green leaves with colored leaves, and ended up with this, which I was quite pleased with.

Naturally, I have quite a few more images to sift through, so I will be posting more of them over time.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Phantom Ship

The Phantom Ship is a remnant of Mount Mazama's original cone before it's cataclysmic Plinian eruption 7700 years ago. Whent he dome collapsed, some of the magma dikes survived, and this is one of them. The water immediately around it is only around 20 feet deep, but only 40 or 50 feet away from it, the depth increases drastically to over 1000 feet.

It really looks like a tri-masted square-rigger, and it's even about the right size, and its spires are nearly the right height for the masts.

The only way to get close to it is to take one of the ranger-guided boat tours around the lake. The park service only allows its tourboats, one research vessel, and a their skiff in the water, so there aren't that many options for exploring within the lake. Around it of course, you can explore to your heart's content, and there's a lot to explore in that park.


The water in Crater Lake really does look that blue. Since the walls of the caldera are so steep, it the gradations in color are suprisingly sharp. Some of the overlooks near the Crater Lake Lodge give you a view of such an area, and that's what caught my eye here. Since the deep, blue color is from a combination of reflected sky and scattering in the water, the deeper the water, the bluer it looks.