Monday, October 12, 2015

Looking Down the Valley of Color

I came upon this scene yesterday when I was in the area. Unfortunately, when I came upon it the first time, the sun was high in the sky and although the foliage was stunning, the light was less than interesting. The second time I came upon it, the farm in the background was in deep shadow. Basically, I hit it too early and too late. I decided to take the trip back tonight (40 minutes from home give or take five) and wait out the light. This area of Schoharie County is really rife with photo opportunities. So many beautiful farms and hillsides.

I took this photo from several angles. I really wanted to incorporate the glowing sugar maple in the foreground along with that larger row of trees that helped add a sense of scale to the valley below. Another five minutes and that farm would have once again been in shadow.

Timing is really everything in photography. We wait all year for color in the trees and then sometimes our vision of the image we want to make can come down to just minutes of possibility. In another week, this scene will look drastically different, as it did one week prior I'm sure. That's life.

Taken with my 70-200 F/2.8 and trusty old D7000.

Sunday, October 11, 2015



Nothing increases motivation for photography like a beautiful October day. I usually find foliage reports pretty unreliable and that might have a lot to do with my expectations as opposed to those reporting. That being said, I checked out the I Love NY website's foliage reports and saw that the Otsego County area was near peak. 

I drove out to Cooperstown via Route 10 to 165/166 and checked out a scene I had photographed in the past. I drove by the scene you see here on the way out and thought to myself that if the location I had in mind didn't pan out I'd come back to this one. Well, the other scene didn't offer me the color I was hoping for so I came back to this one as the sun was setting. 

If you have seen any of my photos, you know that I generally gravitate towards farms and old farm buildings. I think this image would look much better without the house and willow trees in it but seeing as though this is someone's home I don't feel quite right just erasing it from the scene. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Harvest Moon Charlton

Hard to believe it has been almost a year since I posted here. As has been the theme in the past, other pursuits have gotten in the way of photography. It's never been far from my mind however and I've wanted to get out and shoot something for quite a while. This was taken in a familiar location in West Charlton, NY. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I took a short ride to the Landis Arboretum in Esperance, NY this morning. Lots of nice views but this one was my favorite. The sun was hitting everything just right and the view of the valley below was beautiful.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Autumn makes me guilty when I am not out shooting. I see the photos that other people take and that exacerbates the situation. I'm also usually easily disappointed in the foliage that I see. I read the foliage reports and various foliage maps but I usually come away feeling like what I'm seeing must not be what everyone else is seeing.

I woke up early this morning and went out with the goal of taking one photo that I was happy with. I headed up the northway, being sure to avoid exit 23 and 24 (Warrensburg's "World's largest garage sale"). I had no location in mind but I got off exit 25 and headed towards Brant Lake. It was before sunrise when I past the lake. I saw another photographer set up at the Brant Lake boat launch and figured that I would give him some space. I kept driving and came upon this barn with the foliage on the hillside behind. I probably would have taken a photo of the barn alone but when I saw the color in the trees behind it, I knew I had to stop. It was quite cloudy when I snapped this photo and the sun had not yet broken thru.

Taken with my trusty D7000 and Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.

Friday, August 29, 2014

I like the idea of shooting for the light. That is knowing where there is going to be nice light or seeing an area of nice light and finding something to shoot based on that light.  There is a small field behind my parent's house that gets great late day sunset light. On the edge of the field were these goldenrods. The late day sun really made these goldenrod glow and as I was practicing with my macro lens. This honeybee alit on the goldenrod in front of me.

Taken with a Sigma 105mm F/2.8 macro lens.

Monday, August 11, 2014

I haven't been shooting much lately (a theme on this blog) but I didn't want to let another full moon pass me by. For anyone interested in photographing a full moon or even just finding a good spot to watch from, there are two indispensable apps that I like to use to figure out just where the moon will be rising and at what time etc. The first one is called the Photographers Ephemeris. It has a desktop version as well as smart phone and tablet apps. I use Macs and iPhones/iPads but I believe that it is also available on Windows/Android. Another similar app which is really a great tool for photographers is called photopills. I won't go into all of the details of these apps but they are extremely handy for determining the points on a map that the sun/moon will rise/set and when. 

I shot this photo along a busy stretch of Route 67 in West Charlton between Amsterdam and Ballston Spa. I didn't want to spend too much time where I was as it was a bit unnerving shooting alongside a highway with tractor trailers going 55+ miles per hour just feet away. As with most of the images I take, I always see things I wish I had done differently after I get the photo onto my computer but there isn't much I can do about that now. Even though I shot this from a tripod, I shot it at ISO 800 because I wasn't confident in the footing of my tripod. I wanted to have a high enough shutter speed to counter any camera shake as a result. While I was happy with the focus of the image, the increased ISO did introduce some noise in the photo, which I removed in Adobe Lightroom. Whenever you remove digital noise, the trade off is a decrease in detail. 

Shot with my D7000 & 70-200 VRII.