Over the past few days I have been playing around with my camera once again and rediscovering the joy of landscape photography. I love getting out early and shooting in some seemingly remote location. and Rhode Island doesn't disappoint. We have such a great variety and diversity of landscapes in Rhode Island, from the sea to the cities to the forests and there seems to be an abundance of waterfalls just about everywhere. My trusty Nikon D750 took a bath a couple of weeks ago and is out to the Nikon repair facility... so I dug out my old Nikon D300s which has always been a workhorse and have been out a few times to see what I can see. Early one morning, a few days back my artist friend Kathy and I did a tour of a few waterfalls. I took a lot of photos, got some decent drone footage and even got in a watercolor sketch. It pays to get up early. Click on nay image to view it larger.
In the photo above, of the Old Stone Dam, I was using a 24mm prime lens with a 10 stop ND filter to smooth out the water, making this shot a 30 second exposure. The sun had just begun to peek over the treetops as you can see in the background. To get this view I had to do some considerable rock clambering, brush whacking and navigating a lot of slippery spots to set my tripod up in a very wet area. But, in the end, I was quite pleased with this exposure. The old D300s still holds up, not bad for a seven year piece of technology.
In this shot, taken just off of Route 91 in Carolina, Rhode Island, I again had the tripod set up in the water and the ND filter on my 24mm lens. It was here that I almost lost my drone. As I was flying over the water the drone suddenly seemed like it had a mind of its own and almost flew into the trees and into the water. I was able to get it back and land safely in a dry spot. I had a warning on my controller (a bit late I might add) saying that there was magnetic interference. Scary moment. After flying and having a good scare, I sat up my chair and did the little sketch you see above.
This is the last of the mornings waterfall images and once again I had my feet in the water. This little brook in the Arcadia Management Area in Exeter at Browning Mill Pond. To get this view I climbed down the river bank and went up under the bridge over quite a lot of slippery rocks and made several exposures. For these shots I used a 3 stop ND filter and the same 24mm lens. I develop my shots in Lightroom and Photoshop. I am particularly pleased with this shot as it really conveys the feeling of that morning. I am always surprised of the beauty of these quiet spots which are in abundance here in Rhode Island and all seem very accessible.
This last image of the Providence skyline at sunrise was big experiment for me and feel that it may be a step into a new way of shooting. I arrived at the park around 5:30 in the morning while the city was in darkness and lit only by the streetlights and other lights of the city. I set up my tripod, composed my image and shot a few exposures. I had brought my chair and had picked up a coffee at the local Dunkin Donuts. Over the next hour and a half I shot many exposures, exposing for lights, sky, shadowy areas and such, taking over 80 exposure in all. Back in my studio I imported these images into Lightroom and developed 14 images which I though were the best of the lot. Exporting these as a stack into Photoshop I used bits and pieces of each to create the image you see above. The purpose is to convey the moment as I felt it. This is a truly lovely view of the city and there is just so much going on with the changing light of early morning as the city wakes up that I wanted to capture my feeling. All in all I think it came out OK, this was my first experiment with this type of exposure blending/time blending and even though it is time extensive, it will not be my last.