Landscapes+ from the First Hike of Spring

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VisionLight
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Landscapes+ from the First Hike of Spring
4 months ago

The beginning of Spring was a beautiful day in the upper 40s here in the U.S. Northeast with high winds but only a small threat of rain. So it was a good opportunity to take a full afternoon hike all the way around the point that juts out into the Hudson River, from where I've posted a number of recent threads. Of course I had my SX50 with me, with the main intent to capture some landscapes of the early changes in the season. Although as usual, I didn't take many images, I thought I'd share those few that told the story of the day:

The hike started on the beach along the North Cove with the Hudson River in the background. Just a few weeks ago my images from the same area showed a beach covered with snow, and solid sheets of thick ice extending miles out to the far mountains. I'm kind of glad to know, hopefully, that the snow is almost gone.

Out on the river side, the waves were so choppy that all waterfowl took refuge on the land. This group found a comfortable retreat in a pool of still melting snow to nap or have an afternoon snack.

Around to the South Cove, the Sea Oats grew to over 12 feet high on the very narrow beach, making for an unusual tapestry playing on the landscape. As they became thicker and thicker, it became a strenuous slog through the water, so I had to climb back up the cliff to continue my journey.

Storm clouds were moving in behind me as I was approaching the mainland on the North Cove. But the strong yellow sun bore through an opening wide enough to light up the Sea Oats in the near distance while keeping the far mainland mountains in the darker shade. When I saw how the sun was peeking through in spots, I had waited 20 minutes here until the sun shone exactly on the grasses. I like the effect so I'm glad I waited.

Note that all images are from raw files and each was photographed in a three step process to attempt to get the greatest quality from our small sensor cameras. The first step was to choose the focus point and lock it in (I have AFL on my "S" button). The second step was to use the spot meter to read the light and shadows to balance the lighting effect I wanted (with -1/3 EC already dialed in) and lock in the exposure with the shutter/EC combination. The third step was to compose the image in camera as I rarely crop in post. The raw images were processed in DPP where I adjusted the white balance if needed and removed the in-camera sharpening. I prefer to do the sharpening myself where I can control the radius and amount for individual components of the image separately. Converted 16 bit TIFF files were then finished, including the sharpening, in Photoshop with TOPAZ Plug-ins.

Earlier in the week when it was still below freezing but with a strong sun, I came across this little harbinger of Spring moving at a very healthy pace down the middle of my driveway. As you may see from the look on its face, it was a little annoyed at me for following it, even form 4 feet away with the 1200mm lens. But when it slowed down to take that look, I had my chance. Then I let it travel on its journey.

This Woolly Bear was moving at a pretty good pace when it slowed down a bit to see what I was doing.

About fifteen minutes later I found it again as it made it to its destination in the Dragon's Blood Sedum along my driveway. Apparently I came too close so it bundled itself up into a defensive position. Made for a nice but unusual image though.

If you can't see me, I'm hiding.

I hope you enjoyed my first images from Spring and, as always, your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Ed

 VisionLight's gear list:VisionLight's gear list
Canon PowerShot S100 Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Canon EOS 5D Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM +4 more
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