Monday, May 31, 2010
The White Mountain National Forest in the Spring is a little known yet prime location for shooting since crowds are small and hotel rates are very affordable. I held a workshop the third week in May, mostly waterfalls, sunrise and sunsets along with some digital darkroom work and a presentation on what I consider the most important aspect landscape photography to master, Composition. In addition to the workshop I arrived a day early to scout/shoot a few new places then stayed in the area for about five days afterwards to further scout new locations as well as do some personal shooting in the back country.
The White Mountain region is one of those places that has many hidden treasures. Hidden in the sense that optimal sunrise and sunset locations are not obvious, and the areas many waterfalls are well hidden from plain site. The way I see it many of the great shots in this area need to be earned, either from diligent scouting or through hiking. For workshops one must always consider the weakest link which in general means keeping walks/hikes to prime shooting locations within 15 minutes or less which is not a problem for an area so rich in opportunities. For those willing to push these boundaries for longer hikes to the areas many waterfalls or to mountaintops for the spectacular views, the region is a treasure trove of possibilities, so much so that I am considering adding on option for next year for those in good shape and willing to make a longer trek to get great captures that few photographers have in their portfolio.
Although this region has plenty of potential there is a price. This time of year and this far north sunrise comes very early and sunset comes late. Leaving around 4am is part of the price and despite the latest weather reports both sunrise and sunset is always a gamble as clouds can often obscure the fireball as is passes through the horizon and storms can seemingly come from nowhere in the mountains. This can test ones patience but the when everything works the payoff is worth it. I will be posting some of my favorite captures of the spring shoot in this gallery through June. I will also add a ‘Part II’ of this blog post discussing a little of the back country shoots I did on my own including hikes to the 2nd and 1st tallest waterfall drops in the state and my long hike up the Tuckerman Ravine trail towards the top of Mt Washington, the tallest mountain in the northeast. Also, I am considering expanding on my Composition presentation to create an eBook along with at least two other ebooks on Shooting Water, and Shooting Sunrise & Sunset, as these are my areas of specialty with regards to landscape. I hate missing a single sunrise/sunset and I seem to shoot about 100 waterfalls and streams a year so I hope to be able to share some of the finer points with those interested in mastering these highly rewarding areas of landscape photography.
The White Mountain region is one of the best fall shooting venues so I hope you can join me for my Fall workshop in October.