Monday, February 18, 2019

New England Fall - Part 2

After spending a good hour at Grist Mill taking photos and then exploring the area around there for a little while, I decided it was time to start working my way north and into Vermont.  One of the first things I noticed once the sun came up, was that most of the trees in Massachusettes were still green, but there were a few bare trees sprinkled in among them, so it got my hopes up that maybe I would still get lucky and find fall colors as I drove north.

 I had marked a few places to check out on my trip north and with how pretty the day was, it made for a really nice drive just exploring as I went.  There was a small time along the way, where the town square was built around a nice little pond, and I thought it might have the potential to be a beautiful photo in the right kind of light. When I got there though, the skies were mostly blue and it was just too close to mid-day to really get any kind of special photo there, but I still stopped to walk around and enjoy it, and took some shots to try to figure out what would be the perfect spot for a photo if I make it back out this way again in better conditions.  This spot has great potential to give you a beautiful photo at sunrise or sunset, or maybe when covered in snow and the pond is frozen over.  I love the location and wished I lived closer so I could visit it over an over again until I get that great photo here.  Even just catching all those trees at peak fall color would have made a world of difference to this shot.

Well, now that I've put this on my list to revisit someday, it was time to explore some more.  I could see why people talk in such glowing terms about the Northeast because I was passing so many pretty towns, on small country roads that just made me smile and think of the photos I could try to take there.  Even some of the everyday buildings would catch my eye and make me want to take pictures just to see what I could get.

I mean, something like this isn't a normal hot spot for photography, but the shape of the building and the way the light was hitting it as I came down the road, caused me to stop, and then I couldn't help but think how cool it could look if those trees behind it were bursting with fall colors or once again, everything was covered in snow.

I was starting to notice that my luck for catching great fall colors wasn't looking too good for this trip though.  From what I was seeing, I was about a week too late and many of the trees had already lost all of their leaves.  Those that hadn't lost their leaves were already past peak color...

Was I disappointed?  Yeah, I do have to admit I found myself kind of bummed at this point in time and decided I would just make the best of the trip that I could and use it more as a scouting trip than I'd hoped it would be.  Since I'd never been here before, it was the perfect chance to explore even more than I would have if I'd been totally concentrating on taking photos instead.

I knew there would still be opportunities for some nice photos, but they would just have to be things that didn't fully depend on fall colors to really make them special.  I'd already seen a number of cool old barns and some covered bridges and so I'd just set my sites on taking photos of them more than of the landscape.

My next two stops did wonders to cheer me up and put me back in the right frame of mind.  

Okay, so the fall colors aren't looking so great right now and it's looking like I had bad timing, but I can see now that there will still be some great photos to be had and that has me excited again.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

New England Fall - Part 1

Vermont in the Fall has been on my bucket list for many years. I've always heard about how beautiful it is there that time of year and that it ranks up there as one of the prettiest places for Fall photography in the U.S.

I hadn't really had a chance to travel much last year so I decided that I should finally take a trip back east to see as much of Vermont and New Hampshire as I could and see if I could get lucky with my timing and catch the peak Fall colors while I was there.  The one downside with planning a trip around Fall Foliage is that there is no set time that the colors change every year, and there are so many variables that come into play, the best you can really do is just hope luck is on your side.

When I booked my flight, I really only had one location in mind that I knew I had to visit for sure, and that was Sleepy Hollow Farm. It is one of the most photographed places on the East Coast outside of New York City that I see, and every time I would see photos of it, I would just stop and stare for a while and it would make me want to make a trip there even if that was the only photo I came away with.

I flew from Seattle to Boston and then rented a car for the week that was big enough to carry all my gear and that could double as a place to sleep at least a few nights on this trip to both save money, and to put me much closer to places I wanted to be for a couple of Sunrises while I was there.

My flight landed a couple of hours before the sun was due to come up and my plan was to visit Sleepy Hollow Farm in Vermont before Sunset,  so I planned a stop along the way that should also make for a great photo and hopefully I could get there early enough to catch sunrise there. I knew it was going to be close, but I figured I had the timing just about right as long as I didn't run into any huge delays in rush hour traffic or something.

Turned out I got really lucky and even though the rental car place at the airport took MUCH longer than I expected, traffic was so light getting out of town that time of morning that I still managed to make it to Grist Mill as the sun first lit it up.

Grist Mill

So my trip had officially started, and I already had a photo that made me happy, even though it's nothing spectacular.  It was just nice light at a very cool spot, and a photo I knew I'd like.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Travel and Planning - Part 1

I'm often asked about some of the trips that I've taken, not only questions about how the trip was, but also questions about how I was able to plan out what I was going to do when I got there.  Especially when I travel to places I've never been before that seem like they are way off the beaten path for most people.  I've realized that as time passes, I tend to forget a lot of details about my trips, so I think I'm going to start using this blog as a way to document them for myself as much as for anyone else that might be interested in hearing about them later.

I'm am honestly still surprised at how many people tell me they just finished reading my Iceland blogs and about how much they really enjoyed them.  I don't think of myself as a very good writer, and sometimes cringe when the subject of my blogs come up, since I never really tell anyone they are here, but I guess if you're reading this, you've either just discovered them, or you're one of the few people I know that tell me they check in once in a while to see if I posted anything new.

So I think I'll start a little "travel" series here to not only talk about how I prepped for a trip, but then to talk about it either when I get back or if I can find the time and internet connections, post from the road like I did in Iceland, while it's all super fresh in my head.  I can point out the good and bad things as well as things I might wish I had done differently or places I think I should have skipped because they just weren't as exciting as I thought they might be.

I hate to admit it, but do know that I have gone back and read my Iceland blogs a number of times myself now just to help re-live that trip and it's been fun each time I've done that, so maybe it's not a bad thing to at least use this as a travel log of sorts for myself.  Hopefully, I can make it a little interesting and funny for others as well.

To follow up on this, I might start with a few posts about my Fall trip to Vermont at the end of last year before those memories fade too much more than they already have.  Some of you will think I'm a little nutty at times I'm sure, when I admit to things like not having any hotel reservations at all or when I talk about how many nights I just slept for a few hours here and there in my car, but hey, it's all part of the adventure for me and a good way to not only save money, but to allow me to make the most out of the little bit of time I have to see as much as I can.

Enough rambling for now. I'll title this Part 1 as I'm sure I'll come back and add to the travel and planning parts of it this year as I prepare for a few trips already on the books, and then between those parts, I'll post about the trips as well... in the same style I did for my Iceland trip.  If you are actually reading these, I really hope you enjoy them and maybe even pick up a few ideas along the way for your own travels.