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Vermont Trip – Part I

A few Saturdays ago, I picked up Brad and Jimmy to head out to Vermont to take pictures. The initial plan was to go to Ausable Chasm, but in the end we just stayed in the Vermont hills for most of it. The weather was really nice, but maybe not perfect for shooting.

I had a pretty good mapped route set up using Google maps to find other photographer’s shots and locations that might be promising. It is hard going into an area that you haven’t been before, so I tried to plan out the most I could.

The new gear I had for this trip was a B&W 10-stop ND filter, and a polarizer for my Cokin setup. I was really excited about the 10-Stop ND and was hoping to find some nice brooks/waterfalls to shoot.

The first location I had chosen was this crazy looking power station/waterfall. We parked the car on the side of the road and walked down to a small beach. After setting up and taking a few quick shots, I put the 10-stop filter on my Tokina 11-16mm. The shots that came from it weren’t very good. The waterfall was to big, and the mist was just giving me a big white cloud. I went back to my GND and took a few from the shore, not really liking any of them.

Because of massive flooding in the area, there was great debris everywhere. Behind us was an amazing fallen tree. It had great texture to it and I positioned myself above, shooting the root system. The detail in the roots came out pretty well, but I find the foreground detail is a little weak. I do like the picture however. I walked around the back, but it really wasn’t as interesting vantage point.

As I looked further back, I noticed that I could probably walk along the rocks pretty deep into the river. There were huge rocks almost half way across. I found a good position on a level’ish large rock and set up the tripod. I really wanted to use the foreground, middle-ground, background – something that I really hadn’t been concentrating enough on. The shots came out ok, but as you can see below the foreground rocks and debris really aren’t all that appealing. The biggest issues is that ugly bush to the left of the frame.

I took a couple of other shots from different angles, but nothing that came out all that great. One of the biggest issue was the season. We were totally between seasons, and the trees without out leaves was really hard to make into an interesting shot. I will definitely try the route again in the summer… if I can find time.

On the way out, my mini-van got stuck in the dirt. Most of it was the fact that the parking break was on for part of it, but I am 100% blaming the wet weather for it.

… more in Part II

A Few Comments from the Shoot:

  • A bit of research before hand on locations helps
  • Season is very important – We were totally off season
  • Still have to figure out the 10 stop ND filter
  • I didn’t notice the benefit of the GND filter as much as during the sunsets
  • Focusing is much better, but have to work on hyper-focal distance
  • Work more on having something in foreground, middle-ground and  background

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