Posts Tagged ‘New Hampshire Lakes’

There is a very beautiful photo which has etched itself into my memory. It was taken in Iceland and showed a black sand beach and a mirror smooth, blue green sea with snow white icebergs looming up out of the water. There were also smaller stranded icebergs on the sand leading down to the water. Two things made the photo so special; first was the incredible depth of field that made it seem to go on forever.  Second was the height perspective-it looked as if the photographer had his camera sitting right on the sand when he took the photo. I wish I could show it to you but I saw it only for a moment on a nature show on television. It made such an impression on me that I’ve never forgotten it, and over the last few weeks I’ve tried to re-create it here in New Hampshire, with somewhat disappointing results. It takes a fair amount of thought and planning to create the illusion of three dimensions in a flat, two dimensional space, not to mention the often large amount of time it takes to find the scene in the first place, so I’m going to show them-disappointing or not.

1. River View

We don’t see too many icebergs here in New Hampshire but we have plenty of rocks, so I tried to show them looming up out of the water like the icebergs in my remembered photo did. It didn’t really work in this river view-the rocks didn’t loom quite the way I wanted them to, even though the camera was almost sitting in the water. Now that I see the photo I think I had the camera too close to them, even though in reality it seemed much farther away.

 2. Waterfall View

This didn’t work either. I think it would have worked better if the waterfall wasn’t there, or was farther off in the distance. The idea is to have the horizon stretching off into infinity and the waterfall is too close for that. The rocks were looming a little more though. There was a drunken cedar waxwing sitting on one of them, waiting for me to leave so he could eat some more fermented dogwood berries.

 3. Meadow View

Not really what I was after, but getting a little closer as far as depth of field goes.

4. Forest View

In the forest this view seemed to go on and on but there are so many trees that they look more like a wall, rather than converging on a point in the distance as they really were. It’s amazing how the camera can create such a flat scene out of what was a good example of depth perspective. In this case I think if I had raised the camera up off the forest floor a bit it might have worked. It took quite a few tries to find what I thought was the perfect spot, so this one was especially disappointing.

 5. Road View

This view of an abandoned road doesn’t work at all. The scene is so distorted you’d think I used a fisheye lens. Something that doesn’t help here is the fact that, though the yellow line was once in the middle of the road, nature has been growing over one side more than the other. If you want to show the yellow line the scene is now skewed, with more open space on the right side of the line than the left.

6. Trail View

This shot has depth but the light is far too harsh and the only thing looming is an old dry leaf. Again, a long walk and a lot of time and experimentation for something that isn’t even close to what I was trying for.

7. Stream View

Another one with some depth, but again the light was too harsh. I almost fell in getting this one-the rocks I was trying to crouch down on were small and slippery.

 8. Pond View

The pond weeds in the foreground help this one, but it’s not a very interesting scene.

 9. Pond View

This was a hard shot to get. Too bad it isn’t what I was hoping for. The camera should have been lower and even though I knew that at the time there was no way to get it there without either going for a dip or crawling around in a patch of poison ivy.

10. Monadnock View

This shot of Mount Monadnock probably comes closest to what I was trying to do but it’s still not quite there, so I’ll have to keep trying.  I think a large part of the problem is that the landscape views that I’m seeing aren’t really comparable to the iceberg photo. But, because of this experiment if the view I’m looking for ever presents itself I think I’ll at least know what not to do when I try to get a shot of it.

Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment.  ~Ansel Adams

Thanks for stopping in.


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1. Beaver Pond

Last Wednesday I was floating in a canoe on this beaver pond with friends from north of here. It was a lot of fun but we got rained on and the canoe took on enough water to soak anyone sitting in the bottom of it, meaning me. Still, even though I got wet I’d happily do it all over again.

 2. Canoe

This beautiful cedar strip canoe was able to glide over most of the pond with ease and though we ran into an occasional log or stone, our trip was uneventful. Meaning we didn’t end up in the drink! Jim, who writes the jomegat blog, built this canoe and is in the process of re-building another one.  He drove for a couple of hours with them on top of his car so we could use one and so I could see the other one. It was interesting to see it in person after seeing it on his blog. If you’d like to see it for yourself, just click here.

3. Beaver Lodge

Everything was so wet that afternoon because of the rain and all that I took very few pictures for fear of destroying my camera. I went back to the pond on a dryer day and took some of the shots that appear here so I’d be able to illustrate the adventure for you. We took a spin around this beaver lodge but nobody seemed to be home.

 4. Bullhead Lily

We saw hundreds of yellow pond lilies, also called bullhead lilies (Nuphar lutea.) Jim brought along his young daughter Beth, whose natural exuberance and happiness was contagious. I think we were all surprised by how shallow the water was. I’ve read that beavers like shallow ponds, but this pond was barley 6 inches deep in places. I don’t think we saw anything deeper than 18 inches.

5. Unknown Seed Pods

This caught my eye as we floated past. Because it was raining at the time I couldn’t see well, and couldn’t really even tell if these were flowers or seed pods. They turned out to be dry seed pods, and I think they might be last year’s turtlehead (Chelone glabra) seed pods.

 6. Rhodora aka Rhododendron canadense

Jim and Beth spotted pinkish / purplish flowers off in the distance, but we couldn’t get near them because of all the obstacles in the shallow water. Though I hoped they were orchids I guessed that they were most likely Rhodora (Rhododendron canadense,) which is a small, native rhododendron that loves swampy places. Unfortunately, even with binoculars we couldn’t make a solid identification. These plants I’ve used for illustration grow at a cranberry bog that I know of. They are in full bloom right now.

 7. Rhodora aka Rhododendron canadense

Rhodora blossoms appear delicate-as if they would blow away in a strong wind- and are very beautiful. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote poems about this flower.

 8. Leather Leaf

Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata)i s another shrub that likes swampy places and we saw what I thought were several examples of it. The plant’s stems and leaves have an odd, leathery feel to them because of their pebbly texture. From a distance both the flowers and leaves look like smaller versions of the blueberry.

9. GBH Nest

We saw a great blue heron fly over us towards this nest, but it didn’t stop. It just flew around the nest and left as silently as it had come. When I suggested this pond as a good place to find wildflowers I didn’t know that herons, ducks and other birds were nesting here. I realized later on that this nest could have had heron hatchlings in it. Mid May would be about right, so I hope we didn’t scare the parents away permanently.

 10. Marshland

Last weekend I saw what I thought would be a perfect spot for canoeing in Dublin, New Hampshire, which is east of here. When I stopped I saw that someone had put up signs saying boating here was very dangerous and shouldn’t be attempted. All I can do is wonder why.

11. Monadnock from Dublin Lake

Shortly after passing the marshy area in the previous photo Dublin Lake appears on the right if one is traveling east. There is a good view of Mount Monadnock from the lakeshore. Dublin has a reputation for having wealthy summer residents and many famous people have been here. Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson came and climbed the mountain. Mark Twain spent two summers here, and well-known American master painters Abbott Thayer and George DeForest Brush owned homes here. They and several other well-known artists painted views of the mountain. At 2,834 feet (864 m) above sea level Dublin is also the highest village in all of New England.

12. Brook

I couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8 years old when my father started taking me along when he went fishing for brook trout. He did this 3 or 4 times before finally realizing that it was hopeless, because all I was interested in was exploring the forest. I didn’t care a whit about catching fish and his relaxing fishing trips turned into a living hell of chasing a whirlwind-pretending-to-be-a-boy through the woods and over slippery boulders. I stopped at this roadside stream last weekend to explore its banks and had to smile when those memories came floating back through time.

13. Brook Waterfall

I don’t run much anymore and I make a point of staying away from slippery boulders, but I still enjoy the forest.  Hearing the sound of falling water and following that sound through the trees  until you come to a deep, still pool that is fed by a waterfall is what makes it all worthwhile. Sitting quietly on the bank of a stream enjoying the power and beauty of nature is one path to true joy, and my father knew it. I don’t think that he really cared  about catching a fish any more than I did.

We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey. ~ John Hope Franklin

I hope everyone is safe and was able to stay out of harm’s way during the recent tornado outbreak. Thank’s for coming by.



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