My October 2nd Journal post reported my arrival in Vermont for a four day photography workshop. It was sponsored by Mountain Trail Photo with whom I visited Charleston and the Lowcountry plantations last March (see my April 6th post). This workshop was under the direction of Joseph Rossbach, an accomplished nature photographer whose work has appeared in a number of national and regional magazines and galleries. He was an “Energizer Bunny” who kept us moving from pre-dawn to past dusk, providing lots of advice along with his knowledge of locations in which to photograph. There were eight of us and it was a great experience.
At my age I was wondering if I should really be skootching down on to slippery rocks in moving streams in order to get a better waterfall angle. One of our group, however, a lovely older lady named Eva, an active photographer for some twenty years shamed me with her participation. In addition, while driving between locations, she was fascinating, a child whose father foresaw the Nazi tyranny and got the family out in the 30’s and into South Africa. Then, with the advent of Apartheid, she and her family emigrated to the US in the 60’s and created a life here.
I arrived a day early and took the opportunity to visit some favorite spots from earlier years. (Did I refer to my age? Well, I realized that I was visiting up here before our guide,Joe Rossbach, was born?!?) Anyhow, here’s a different Weston view. Everyone (me included) shoots the waterfall behind the Weston Playhouse (and I did too) but here’s a shot of the stream that’s headed for those falls around the distant bend. I have great memories of the antique show at the Playhouse which was going on while I was there.
As I have said in this Journal before, one of the values of these workshops is in the drilling in good practices. All too often it’s grab the camera and shoot a scene. The workshops provide the time to take time and practice. The things that I will remember to take the time to do from Joe’s drilling are: (1) use the mirror-up capability of the camera. With this the mirror which reflects a scene into the viewfinder is pulled up and stable seconds before you shoot; hence its movement doesn’t induce vibration into the image. This is particularly important with the slow shutter speeds we were using in the low light levels (the weather could have been a little brighter.) (2) Use the live view capability of the camera to better frame your image. It provides a more accurate view of the scene than does the view-finder, and I found that I re-composed several scenes as a result of seeing them in live view rather than just in the view finder. (3) Leave your circular polarizer on at all times. Of course, it helps in reducing glare and reflections but it also makes the colors “pop.” Yes, it costs you a couple of stops so you’ll have longer exposures but you’d better be shooting on a tripod anyway.
Here’s a calendar or picture-book farm called Sleepy Hollow. It’s on Route 12 north of Woodstock. I discovered this on my own in 2002 and photographed it at that time. Only later did I learn that it’s an iconic scene for Vermont photographers.
There is a gallery of more images on my gallery web site. Click here. Meanwhile, here are some samples:
Above is the creek which drove the 1882 Kingsley Grist Mill near Clarendon.
To the right is along the shore line of the Chittenden Reservoir at dawn.
Below is a spider web at sunrise with droplets from the low hanging clouds that had been here earlier. Click on the picture to see a larger version with the drops more visible.
And, finally, the Chittenden Reservoir at sunrise as the clouds lifted.