While trying to find the “perfect” shot of these smoke stacks, we took a wide route around the nearby blocks looking for any clearings to see them as the sun was rapidly setting behind. This is one of several shots I snapped from across Naval Square. It isn’t precisely what I was looking for, but some of the unintended elements in the foreground ended up working for me. The problem with having a specific idea of what you want a photo to look like is that it almost never turns out that way. You just have to make the best out of what you can get.
Going back to last month in D.C., I got this shot at the Jefferson Memorial, which is photogenic in many ways. I love the warmth of this shot as the sun was going down, and the temperature was dropping with it. It’s funny how photos can evoke a warm feeling even when the memory associated with that place is one of bitter cold. I just really enjoyed the light here and the way the columns open up to the sky as it curves.
We went out last night in Philly for some food and a show and decided to look for some photos at sunset. I couldn’t find the shot I was looking for near an old factory, but while we walked around I found some unexpected shots using wires and smokestacks. The moon was out early so I took some shots over the stacks and in the wires. Shooting the moon is always a challenge to make it interesting and natural because it becomes so small in photos, so I was happy to get this different shot, trapping it inside another element of the shot.
The hike to the Lonesome Lake Hut in the White Mountains was a long and strenuous one even though it was just over a mile and a half. The uphill climb mixed with the snow, getting used to the snowshoes, carrying big packs, and overheating in our clothes made it for a taxing learning experience. We were never too cold (except maybe my toes,) and it got dark before we reached our destination. Luckily we could see the lights of the hut as we got to the other side of the lake and could walk across. This is our exodus after sub-zero temperatures pushed us to our breaking point and we realized it was time to head back to lower altitudes.
Hiking to Arethusa Falls in the White Mountains of New Hampshire was a lot of fun in heavy snow. The path was pretty well packed down for us, but it was certainly still slippery and deep in some places. Sometimes being sure of where the path was could be the part we had to figure out. I loved to just stop once in a while and look ahead at the completely blanketed forest and wonder where the path might lead us. The serenity and beauty of winter have been really fantastic to experience this year.
While at the Bretton Woods resort we stayed at The Lodge, which is a renovated motel with nice views of the White Mountains. As it is part of the large resort, we had access to the Mount Washington Hotel and its amenities. We got to swim and use the hot tub both nights, which is more than I get to swim pretty much any time of the year. It was relaxing after days of skiing, but we also had a good time doing a photo shoot with the pool light. This is one of very many shots I got that I really like including some attempts at feet shots. The light was really fun to work with, and I’ll be posting more soon.
Bretton Woods is a great mountain for skiing and staying, and they are also very good at marketing themselves and their history. At the top of the West Mountain lift there is an old railway car from the Cog Railway that takes visitors to the top of nearby Mount Washington, which is a part of the resort. The colorful car sits perfectly among the snowy trees and the bright blue sky on an amazing ski day. I could spend days at this place.
On our trip to New Hampshire recently we had the opportunity to try out some new things. We did some snow hiking which required some new footwear including snowshoes and these microspikes for traction. Both were surprisingly comfortable and easy to adapt to walking with. It was exciting and fun to be able to venture into new places that would otherwise be inaccessible during the winter and experience them in their snow-covered beauty.
Some days the snow is just perfect, the sun is out, the skies are blue, and everything is wonderful. That was the case recently at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire. Two days of perfect conditions with few people and beautiful views. I looked forward to every run, and we had an amazing time. I’m hoping for more of this kind of days this weekend in Vermont!
Spending a couple of nights at The Lodge at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire was a great little vacation. Besides being a nice room, with access to a hot tub, pool, bars, and game rooms at the swanky Mount Washington Hotel, we also got this view just off of our balcony. We got ourselves up at sunrise (which is actually quite later than the posted time since the sun has to get over those mountains…) and had this brilliant golden glow fill the room as it filtered through the hanging ice and lit up the valley. Absolutely worth the wait.
Some days while skiing you can get really lucky with the weather. On clear afternoons in Vermont the mountains stretch out beautifully across the landscape while you glide down wide lanes of white. The state doesn’t seem quite as frozen from this view, and the rolling hills seem to go on forever out to the horizon from the top of Killington peak. As I’ll be heading back to Vermont this weekend for some skiing I was looking back at some of the old photos. This will not be a view I’ll see since Killington is so often overwhelmed by people. Hoping I have more time skiing and less in lines!
For the last D.C. photo for a while, I picked this one of the Washington Monument. I tried several ways of shooting the monument in an interesting and unusual way. This is my favorite of those attempts, with the abstract lines and colors creating more than just a straightforward image of a landmark and more of a thoughtful close up on it that almost has some ground-reversal qualities. I also like that it reminds me a bit of a flag and that the tone of the bricks changes so dramatically from the late day sunlight to the shadows.
While visiting the Botanic Garden in D.C. there were plenty of beautiful flowers, but some of the coolest plants weren’t flowering at all. It was great to be in a humid, warm environment while it was so cold outside. As we walked through a very warm rainforest environment in winter coats, it was hard to imagine actually being in that climate in the summer. I’ll try to remember how cold it has been when I’m in the desert this summer.
Yes, another photo from Washington, D.C. The Washington Monument isn’t the easiest thing to photograph in an interesting way, but the curves along the tidal basin as we returned to our car at sunset just caught my eye leading up to the stone obelisk bathed in golden light. The water is that choppy because it was very windy and blowing icy cold air across the water at my fingers while I took this shot.
Another memorial in the D.C. area that doesn’t get a lot of attention is the Iwo Jima Marine Corps Veterans Memorial. It’s outside the city next to Arlington National Cemetery, and it’s a great monument with a great view of the city from a high point. We stopped by at night and I enjoyed getting some more interesting shots that didn’t include the entire sculpture. I think cropping it in like this gives it a more dynamic feeling and somehow makes it feel more real.
I’ve been to this particular area quite a few times, usually at the end of a hike to the summit of Mt. Tammany. This time we took the AT to Sunfish Pond so I finally started the trail along Dunnfield Creek. It’s even better in the snow since all of the water is still flowing and exposed but the rocks and banks are covered in fresh white. It was great hiking along this area while we could before the trail split off into the forest. I look forward to returning again when it gets warm to spend some more time walking along, over, and through the creek.
The United State Botanic Garden has a ton of amazing plants and flower, many of which are orchids of many varieties. They are all intriguingly unique and beautiful. It seems like they have a personality. Some seems welcoming and friendly, while others seem fierce and intimidating. Their exotic shapes, colors, and spotting make it easy to spend a long time getting lost in a single flower. This one caught my eye as it seemed to be stretching out to get a look beyond the bushes it hides in.
When we were in D.C. we spent a good amount of time at the Jefferson Memorial exploring the angles and seeing how the light changed as the sun went down. I really love this image of TJ looking out hopefully over the country he helped build while the sun sets peacefully over the nation’s capital. Even though it was pretty bitter cold, there were still busloads of people coming out to visit these landmarks, and the monument lit up beautifully inside with the late-day sunlight.
Since I will be skiing in New England again this week I figured this would be appropriate. Especially with the storm that’s coming through the area. This was at Stratton in Vermont, where the expert diamond trails are plentiful and definitely different than Pennsylvania mountains. The rating system is relative to the trails at that resort so a diamond at one place could be an intermediate trail elsewhere. Either way, these trails were fun and challenging, and I can’t wait to do some more!
I can’t get enough of the snow-covered trees at the tops of mountains. The tranquil beauty of the soft, silent snow laying heavy upon pine needle-filled branches just makes for a pretty picture. I spend too much time with my hands out of my gloves shooting photos when I should be skiing. This shot is from Stratton, near the top of the mountain. I like the gradient followed by the abrupt shift form sky to the foreground trees. It’s a sharp contrast in an otherwise soft image.
I think the Jefferson Memorial is one of the more overlooked of the major monuments in Washington, D.C. It sits a little farther away from the Mall, but the area around the tidal basin is gorgeous (even when there are no cherry blossoms in bloom.) It was freezing with the wind coming across the water, but the sunset was great and I caught this image as we hurried back to the car for warmth. The sky lit up perfectly after the sun dropped below the horizon and let these trees makes some really amazing dancing silhouettes.
This is a False Sago tree from the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. I’ve always wanted to check out the garden, but somehow I never made it into the amazing (and free!) space just next to the Capitol Building. The place is filled with orchids, cacti, endangered plants, interesting information and exhibits, and the jungle exhibit where you can climb up to a walkway around the canopy. It was a really great respite from the cold and a lot of fun. I’d highly recommend it.
We just got back from a couple of days in D.C. and we had a great time rushing around to do what we wanted to in the short time we were there. One of my favorite museums anywhere is the Hirshhorn Museum, which always has rotating exhibits of amazing contemporary art. This piece, Lawrence Weiner’s “Reduced, Cat. No. 102,” is just the word repeated on windows in a second-floor room of the museum. I love the idea of this and that it is so open to interpretation. As such, I will not spend any time philosophizing on my thoughts about it, but instead I’ll leave it up to anyone viewing to do it for themselves; it’s much more fun that way!
I recently did a photo shoot with an old friend and her husband and daughter. I have been shooting with her since college and have been there for most of the big events in her and her family’s life. From her engagement to the wedding to pregnancy to family photos now. While going through these photos I couldn’t help but smile thinking about how nice it is to have that relationship even though we don’t get to see each other much outside of these shoots. This is one of my favorite solo shots from the day. Here’s to many more years!