This past weekend, 2/25 – 26/12,
I was in Old Forge to do 2 enjoyable and informative comprehensive one day photography workshops at View. While Saturday had a full blown snowstorm for weather, Sunday was bright and clear, but we found some great opportunities both days to play with the cameras and practice techniques after going through the classroom segment. Since I was in town overnight, I headed ourt early Sunday morning to scout new locations, and do some shooting in the crisp, clear morning light with the fresh snowfall coating everything with about 10 inches of new snow.
I headed to the Green Bridge first and took a few photos in the dawn light, then headed west from Thendara along 28, to a location I had never been to at a bend in the Moose River. The sun still hadn’t crested above the horizon when I first started shooting, allowing the use of longer shutter speeds to add some motion blur to the water, which gives a softer effect to the look of the river.
Mist was rising from the water in the near zero degree cold, adding a mystical effect to the river and snow covered trees along the shore. The sun came up in a location where the first rays highlighted the mist along the river bend just beyond where I had set up. While I had been lamenting the fact that the brighter conditions were making the shooting speeds faster than I preferred for getting a nice soft blur in the water, I quickly realized the magic hour light playing on the mist was simply extraordinary, and I quickly stopped worrying about motion blur.
As the sun continued to rise, I to shoot different angles on the mist and the river. After I was satisfied with what I had shot, I pulled out my most recent purchase – a Tiffen 2 – 8 stop neutral density filter. As the front element of this filter is rotated, it diminishes the light coming through the lens from as little as 2 stops, to as much as 8 stops of light. In addition to using a small aperture and dropping the ISO to it’s lowest setting, this is an easy way to slow shutter speeds down in any daylight situation. Instead of having to work at 1/15 or 1/30 second, I could increase the length of the shutter speed to seconds, and completely soften any ripple detail in the water.
After getting the images I wanted of the river and mist with the filter on, I started looking around for more angles on the landscape and river, and found some great reflections on the water around the ice formations as the frazil ice floated by on the surface of the river.