Moss and Migraines

There is always a story. It never seems to be a simple quiet day of photography when I shoot. There is always a bigger lessons to be learned I guess. I was heading out to photograph an area slightly north of Ellenville,NY in the southern Catskills. A beautiful spot that fellow blogger Dean Cobin had taken me to weeks earlier.  My intentions were to shoot the same brook again and explore the area a little further. It’s always interesting to go back to the same spots under different conditions. On this day the stream I wanted to shoot had turned into small ponds because of the fallen leaves, not what I was expecting. Walking was treacherous and I wasn’t prepared to get wet. Mistake numero uno. Having been discouraged I hiked back out and set off to look for a swimming hole named Blue Hole. It was at this point that mistake two kicked in. I didn’t eat and drink enough when I left my house. A headache was coming but I could sense this was heading down a bad road. I was at the intersection of headache and migraine and it was one way on to migraine. Of course mistake three is in now in play immediately. You guessed it….no migraine medicine. I always have some around…..not this day. Now, I had driven all the way up there and I wasn’t letting a migraine slow me down or so I thought. I found the swimming hole I was looking for down a path. Slightly up above the swimming hole is this spot. Amazing moss on the rocks. hairyblogIt looks like flowing hair. However it was on the other side of the creek. At this point the migraine is worsening but I could see the shot. Am I really letting this stop me? To make a long story much  shorter I got the shot, smartened up and got out of there as my condition was getting worse. I drove back to Ellenville and feel asleep in a McDonalds parking lot. I woke up an hour later feeling slightly better, got some food and downed some medicine.

Reflecting back it may not have been the smartest move to continue shooting. I’ve had these problems in the past and it can get a little dicey. My preparedness needs to be much better. Lesson learned. You learn every time you shoot. Maybe it’s not always about photography. There are plenty of other realizations that you come to that weren’t expecting as your shooting. Having said all of that I think the image is successful and I will be going back on a full stomach and a bottle of migraine medicine close by.

©Larry Zink

 

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Sunday in the Park

I spent a Sunday morning recently shooting in Harriman State Park  with fellow photoblogger Dean Cobin. While we had talked about shooting together in the past on this particular Sunday it was a spur of the moment shoot concocted the night before. So, with some mad social media skills  we arranged a time and location. According to my trusty accu-weather app the forecast wasn’t great…….sunny skies no clouds. Atmospherics always play an important role in the ever allusive epic image whether it’s at Harriman State Park or at Yellowstone National Park. brookExcept for some early morning passing clouds it became a cloudless bright blue sky by early morning as predicted. Undaunted, Dean and I ventured off.  While I’ve  shot at the park numerous times it’s actually Deans backyard having spent much of his formative years there. As we traveled around we went to some of the more off the beaten path sections that he was familiar with.

For a state park so close to New York City Harriman has such a varied landscape for photographers. Lakes, creeks, pine groves, flowers and vistas are all hiding within its boundaries. On this day though, we spent most of the morning shooting all along Tiorati Brook.  To our surprise, especially considering the lack of rain, we found many pools of water that had beautiful reflections along with interesting cascades guiding the water along. Given the light that morning it played out perfectly as the pools became reflective of all the colors and shapes around it. harriman deanThe moss on the rocks was becoming a  beautiful electric green that occurs in the springtime along brooks and creeks.

Life is regenerating again all around us and springtime in Harriman is a wonderful place to be …….especially as a photographer.

©Larry Zink

©Dean Cobin

 

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Lone Rock in the Water

I’m always looking for simple graphic images in any chaotic environment. The river at Ken Lockwood Gorge is filled with so many photographic opportunities.  I spent a fair amount of time in this one river location working the composition and waiting for the light. I’m sure the hikers who passed me coming and going were curious as to what I was shooting. Was I photographing  a fish?  Was it a cool Amphibian? No, it was a lone rock in the water.

River rock-BThere are 3 main elements that caught my eye: the colors reflecting into the water, the way the water was moving around the rock itself and finally the distinct shape and colors on the rock. Presenting those 3 elements in a neat and tidy composition is the challenge.

My 70-200 allowed for the tighter composition and I purposely positioned the subject low in the crop and used the rest of the frame to enhance the story. Next, taking a cue from Dean Cobin’s blog (see below….thanks Dean) and his use of neutral density filters I broke out my 4 stop ND filter. This filter doesn’t get to see the light of day very often but coupled with my polarizer it gave me about six additional stops to play with. Having the ability to shoot with a longer exposure allowed the cascades to be soft and white. The curves of the water are essential  elements in the composition without over powering the rock.

 

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Photographer to check out-Dwight Hiscano

I’d like to introduce everyone to a another photographer by the name of Dwight Hiscano. FROZEN DOGWOOD, BLACK RIVER PARK, MORRIS COUNTY, NJAn accomplished  landscape photographer of 30 years from New Jersey  who has published a book entitled New Jersey :The Natural State and is a trustee of the New Jersey Highlands Coalition. His beautiful work is in many private and corporate collections through out the country. Reading his biography from his website you realize that Dwight has a deep seeded concern for the environment and its protection for our well being. As an aside, for the past year I’ve been giving talks  about New Jersey and its photographic possibilities and at those talks Dwight’s name has come up many times as another photographer who has combined his interest in photography and conservation.Rahway River Headwaters, South Mountain Reservation, Essex Count Dwight was raised in the NJ Highlands and is very familiar with the NYNJTC region and we look forward to seeing more work and contributions from Dwight. Check out Dwight’s website. www.dwighthiscano.com Larry

©Dwight Hiscano

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Photographer to check out-Dean Cobin

In the fall of 2012 on a beautiful foggy morning I was shooting in Harriman State Park. The combination of weather and colors brought out many other photographers looking to take advantage of the near perfect conditions. While wandering around looking for different perspectives I struck up a conversation with a photographer by the name of Dean Cobin.

_MG_2236

Talking photography, equipment and other locations within the park it became apparent that Dean knew his craft. While his day job allows him to travel and shoot in exotic locations, his love for our local parks, such as Harriman, became evident in our conversation. Whether in Harriman State Park, the Catskills or further north in the Adirondacks his body of work shows our parks in their best light. I hope you are inspired by his images and if you would like to see more of Dean’s work check out his website www.deancobin.com.   LarryIMG_9955_MG_7619 Panorama-2-Edit-3-Edit

©all images by Dean Cobin

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Thomas Teich

My photographic work in the Catskill Mountains now spans almost four decades. I began in the mid 1970’s using a 4×5 inch view camera given to me by my grandfather which years before had been given to him by my great uncle uncle. Though no longer in use, that early Korona view camera combined with modern Kodak Ektachrome color transparency film produced some of the best color images I have ever made, many of them still being reproduced in books and magazines today.

Although photography has changed considerably since the advent of digital imaging, I continue to work traditionally using large and ultra large format film combined with very sophisticated (and very large) optical enlargers to print my images. My work is now done entirely in black and white.

What hasn’t changed over the years is my attraction to the wild and unpeopled regions of the Catskills. Thanks to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and The New York/New Jersey Trail Conference we enjoy an extensive network of well maintained trails throughout the Catskills. I make good use of these wilderness paths in my endless journeys in search of evocative mountain images. For landscape photographers familiarity with a location is an important factor in making successful pictures. Knowing the lay of the land, the seasons and the effects of weather are crucial to achieving the single most important element of landscape photography; timing. Being in the right place at the right time. Without that, the best equipment and the keenest sense of composition actually mean very little. We photographers, unlike our luckier counterparts the landscape painters, rely entirely on truth. The truth of the scene unfolding before us as we set up our cameras. Granted one can manipulate in the darkroom or photoshop, but only so far. Beyond a certain point the image becomes obviously unreal and doesn’t work.

Thus, familiarity with and access to a particular region can be critical in making dramatic, believable photographs.  A good example is the work of Ansel Adams during the 1930’s when he and his family lived full time in Yosemite National Park. Many of his greatest images like Clearing winter storm, Yosemite Valley were only possible because he was there and could run out the door when he saw something amazing about to happen. Luckily, the Catskill Park is a sort of live-in wilderness with quick road and trail access to glorious places when nature summons us. All one has to do is plan, watch and wait. ©Thomas Teich

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Photographers to check out- Thomas Teich

Spruce forest, ferns, fog, Catskill Mountains.  Eerily silent is a good way to describe this place during the making of this picture. I visit this little known section of the Catskill Forest Preserve fairly often and have made good photographs here. On this particular early October afternoon, thick fog formed by morning rain literally enveloped the entire mountainside and cast a hush of silence over the land. That kind of prolonged silence has an amazing effect on me. It stops time. Or at least my perception of time. After I made this exposure, I checked my watch and was stunned to find that it was nearly 5 pm. I had arrived, what seemed like moments ago, shortly after lunch! Such is the calming power of the forest on the human mind. The winding course of autumn ferns had brought me to this cathedral-like stand of spruce. With my 8×10 camera positioned with a wide-angle lens, the exposure using an aperture of f/90 to render the entire image sharply was nearly 10 minutes! Luckily there was absolutely no wind to move the ferns or tree branches. This same lack of wind was responsible for the incredible silence as well. To me, this gentle image gives peace but it also evokes a sense of mystery as my eye is lead on and on into the silence and the fog. ©Thomas Teich

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