Category Archives: Trees

Pacific Palisades Palms

Pacific Palisades Palms

Santa Monica, California. We took a walk along the pacific palisades and these spindly palms were crying out to be shot. It was tough actually because the sun was bright and in the wrong place. Decided to use a Ricoh GR produced high contrast JPEG instead of the RAW, it just worked better.

By the way, the people watching on this walk is most excellent. If I were a street shooter I’d have had some serious fun.

Trees on Schaghticoke Ridge

Two oaks on Schaghticoke Ridge

Two oak trees

Schaghticoke Ridge, Appalachian Trial, Kent, Connecticut. The section of the Appalachian Trail between Bull’s Bridge and Rt. 341/Kent is called Schaghticoke Ridge because it goes over Schaghticoke Mountain and skirts the Schaghticoke indian reservation down on the Housatonic River. It’s actually the section of AT that’s closest to my house in Warren; it’s about 20 minutes away. When I’m not hiking the entire ridge (8 miles, two cars) I like to hike in from one end or the other and then double back.

Each end has nice features and the north end, which I did today has some very nice trees including a small grove of large tulip trees that I’ve photographed a lot over the years.

I keep a journal of my hikes and one of the things that I’ve been recording over the years are good photo ops on various hikes. It never changes the gear I take (one small camera) but, for example, I enjoy doing certain hikes along certain ridges with a lot of mountain laurel in late June, early July because the mountain laurel is in bloom then. All of that said, pretty much any hike I do during fall is going to be interesting because of the color change but also because the light is different in fall. Of course, winter is coming and there will be ice… Okay, okay, there’s always something to shoot on a hike, it’s (me) the photographer who has to be ready to do the shooting.

Two tulips on Schaghticoke Ridge

Two tulip trees

Maples are turning

Maples are turning

Along the Appalachian Trail on Schaghticoke Ridge.

Many people enjoy shooting larger landscapes with a “fruit loops” collection of fall colors but somehow I prefer early fall where only a few trees are turning.

I keep seeing these small pockets of maples leaves turning in a matrix of oaks and other leaves that aren’t and when the sun is backlighting them they’re brilliant.

Tulip trees from below

Tulip trees

Kent, Connecticut. This is a repeat of a group of trees I’ve photographed a lot as they’re quite spectacular.

Hiking south along the Appalachian trail on Schaghticoke Ridge we crossed Thayer Brook where we came upon a small grove of large tulip trees. One tree has three trunks, the other two.

Some of these images were taken with a new Sony RX100 II, some were taken with a Ricoh GR. In short, the Sony’s articulated LCD is wonderful for these kinds of shots but the Ricoh’s ergonomics and speed are second to none. Both cameras have their strengths and weaknesses which are overlapping so I thought it would be good to carry both.

Tulip trees

Tulip trees

Tulip trees

Tulip trees

This last one was taken with the Ricoh GR, the rest were taken with the Sony RX100 II.

Morning on the Shepaug River

Morning on the Shepaug River

Steep Rock Preserve, Washington, Connecticut. For the past few summers I’ve been leading photo walks for the Steep Rock Association. For this walk (which took place in early August) we walked down the Shepaug River to the Hauser Bridge, crossed it, and walked back on the other side. The object is not hiking but taking photographs so we stop often and when appropriate I attempt a bit of photography instruction.

I was pleased with this shot of one of our group shooting down river. Got a bit of the early morning light and dampness and the stillness of the river in this spot. The Ricoh GR’s APS-C sized sensor can record quite a bit of detail and I’m extremely pleased with that. A bit of chromatic aberration in the high contrast of the tree branches against the sky but it’s not much and no doubt a better post processor than I could kill it easily.

Trees reflected on the Shepaug River

Looking across the Shepaug River at a stand of trees and rock.

Ferns

The ferns along the trail are dense and beautiful and again, I’m very pleased that the Ricoh GR’s sensor can pick up as much detail as it does.

Along Schaghticoke Ridge

Tulip tree and canopy

Kent, Connecticut. Hiking south along the Appalachian trail on Schaghticoke Ridge we crossed Thayer Brook and came upon a small grove of large tulip trees. This is a single tree with three trunks close together.

I decided to set the Ricoh GR to record both jpeg and RAW files and the jpegs I set to “regular” black and white (as opposed to high contrast). I must say, seeing a monochrome image on the LCD viewfinder is extremely useful in composing these kinds of images and while I don’t think the jpeg had as much information in it as the RAW, I decided to use it here.

Thayer Brook

On an extremely hot day like yesterday (and today) a brook is a godsend as a head dunk makes all the difference in the world.

Thayer Brook

Tree reflections distorted by ripples

Tree reflections distorted by ripples

West of Gaylordsville, Connecticut. We hiked from Bull’s Bridge south on the Appalachian trail over Ten Mile Mountain (ugh) and this small swamp/pond was right next to Rt. 55 on the southern end of our hike.

I had the bright idea to get some ripples going by tossing a stick in and at one point had two sets intersecting. I guess this is considered “moving the pyramids” but hey, I’m not selling this as “natural” to National Geographic and here I am giving you full disclosure.

Tree reflections distorted by ripples

Tree reflections distorted by ripples

Water droplets on leaf

Water droplets on leaf

Descending Mt. Everett in southwest Massachusetts we saw a leaf on the trail that was shimmering in the bright sunlight. On close inspection it was full of water droplets. Unfortunately the leaf was bowed which meant that even stopped down macro images were likely to be out of focus on the edges. What an amazing property of water to hold together through surface tension in a droplet.

Reflection in Pine Swamp Beaver Pond

Reflection in Pine Swamp Beaver Pond

On the Appalachian Trail near West Cornwall, Connecticut. We visit this beaver pond often and it’s surrounded by trees* so when the sky is right the reflections are great.

*Beavers choose waterways to dam that have a ready supply of food (tree bark) and building materials (branches) nearby. It’s absolutely amazing how much they can change a landscape in such a short amount of time, building lodges, dams, and food supplies so that generations can live in one place, continuously improving it.