Posted by: kerryl29 | February 27, 2017

New England, Day 14: Primarily Pinkham Notch

On Day 14 of my trip to New England, I decided to leverage much of the scouting that I’d done during Day 13 in Pinkham Notch, starting with sunrise from an overlook I’d found along the highway (NH-16).

Pinkham Notch Sunrise, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Pinkham Notch Sunrise, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Pinkham Notch Sunrise, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Pinkham Notch Sunrise, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Pinkham Notch Sunrise, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Pinkham Notch Sunrise, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

From the overlook, it was a short drive to the open fields below Mt. Washington, where, I’d discovered, 360 degree views of the surrounding peaks were available.  I was particularly attracted to a bright red maple that stood near a stream, not far from the (empty) overflow parking lot for the ride up to Mt. Washington.

Mt. Washington View, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Mt. Washington View, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Compositions including this tree could be created from multiple positions and I slowly moved around to all of them.

Mt. Washington View, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Mt. Washington View, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Mt. Washington View, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Mt. Washington View, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Mt. Washington View, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Mt. Washington View, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Finally, I pulled out the long lens and produced a shot or two that excluded the red maple.

Mt. Washington View at Sunrise, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Mt. Washington View at Sunrise, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

My next stop was a quick run up to Square Ledges, a rock outcropping up a steep trail that leads to a great view.  The final ascent up to the ledge required a bit of scrambling, but nothing too onerous and soon I found myself looking out at the White Mountains, facing directly into a stiff breeze.

Square Ledges Overlook, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Square Ledges Overlook, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

I made my way to a spot on the ledge where I was standing in a gap with a huge boulder to my right and a tree to my left.  It was too windy to incorporate the tree directly in the composition (the tree was probably too tall to effectively include in any event), but the angle of the sun was casting a shadow of the tree–a conifer–on the boulder and I very deliberately included it for foreground interest.

Square Ledges Overlook, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Square Ledges Overlook, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Square Ledges Overlook, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Square Ledges Overlook, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Before I descended the trail I produced some telephoto images of the colorful trees below.

Square Ledges Overlook Color, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Square Ledges Overlook Color, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

I then made a quick run–or hike, more accurately–to Lost Pond, which I’d scouted the previous day.   Compositions here were limited.

Lost Pond, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Lost Pond, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

While the skies at day break–and shortly thereafter–were mostly clear, the forecast for the day was for overcast conditions and it wasn’t long before the clouds rolled in (as you can see from the Lost Pond image).  I had anticipated this and planned the day accordingly.  My next stop was a pullout along NH-16 that I’d discovered during the previous day’s scout.  I’d identified several tight shots at this location that required even light, something that hadn’t been present during the scouting session.  Now it was and, fortunately, this spot was relatively sheltered, so the trees weren’t significantly disturbed by the wind.

Pinkham Notch Color, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Pinkham Notch Color, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Pinkham Notch Color, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Pinkham Notch Color, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Pinkham Notch Color, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Pinkham Notch Color, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

I now returned to one of the trails that I’d hiked without equipment the day before.  This one led to Crystal Cascades, a series of cataracts topped off by a 90-foot waterfall.  I had to wait out the breeze when trying to photograph this location, but I thought it was well worth it.

Cyrstal Cascade, Ravine Trail, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Cyrstal Cascade, Ravine Trail, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

One tier of cascades allowed fairly close access, so I descended from the trail into the creek bed and produced a series of shots.  Again, patience was required because the scene demanded a slow shutter speed (to render the water) but the breeze was playing frequent havoc with the foliage.  I had to wait for lulls, particularly for those compositions that included overhanging branches in the foreground.

Cyrstal Cascade, Ravine Trail, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Cyrstal Cascade, Ravine Trail, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Cyrstal Cascade, Ravine Trail, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Cyrstal Cascade, Ravine Trail, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

I finally made it up to the main waterfall, which really only had one good vantage point from which to photograph it.  It was impossible to get the depth of field I needed with one shot, so I produced two, which I stacked to produce the image you see below.

Cyrstal Cascade, Ravine Trail, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Cyrstal Cascade, Ravine Trail, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

My next destination was Glen Ellis Falls, a spot I hadn’t been able to scout the previous day.  A guide book I had access to highly recommended a visit to this spot and, though it was rather crowded, I didn’t regret doing so.  The falls are accessed by following a relatively short paved walkway that runs along the Ellis River, downstream.  I though the rapids above the falls were fairly interesting and decided to explore them on the way back.  There are several observations points built into the trail, one of which is worse for photographing the falls than the next.  I determined quickly that good perspectives of Glen Ellis Falls could only be obtained by descending down to creek level.  Doing so required climbing down a series of boulders–nothing too onerous.

The falls are divided into two tiers, a principle one lies above a series of smaller cataracts.  I decided to do the smaller set first.

Glen Ellis Falls, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Glen Ellis Falls, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Glen Ellis Falls, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Glen Ellis Falls, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Glen Ellis Falls Black & White, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Glen Ellis Falls Black & White, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Any chance of including both tiers of falls in the same shot would have required crossing to the other side of the river below the lower cataract and I couldn’t find any safe we to do that and thus abandoned the idea.  The best shots of the upper tier, I determined, also required crossing the river, something I could see that would be fairly easily accomplished with a bit of rock hopping above the lower tier of falls.  I managed to do so without incident.

Glen Ellis Falls, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Glen Ellis Falls, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Glen Ellis Falls, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Glen Ellis Falls, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

I then climbed back up the path to check out the Ellis River rapids above the upper falls.  There were a couple of perspectives I found highly compelling but it was a tricky matter to get into position to photograph them, because the rock surfaces were so slick.  There wasn’t any real danger of falling down into the creek; the concern was tumbling down a rock face to a lower ledge.  But I persevered and got the shots I was looking for, both of which required focus stacking.

Ellis River, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Ellis River, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Ellis River, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Ellis River, Pinkham Notch, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

By this time it was mid-afternoon and given the persistent overcast conditions, I decided to return to Crawford Notch and photograph the waterfall there that I’d scouted the previous day:  Ripley Falls.  This required a 2.5-mile roundtrip hike, but I’d made it during the scouting session the day before and found it quite easy.  Given the low water flow and the maze of boulders at the foot of the falls finding compelling compositions was a bit tricky.

Ripley Falls, Crawford Notch State Park, New Hasmpshire

Ripley Falls, Crawford Notch State Park, New Hasmpshire

Ripley Falls Black & White, Crawford Notch State Park, New Hasmpshire

Ripley Falls Black & White, Crawford Notch State Park, New Hasmpshire

Ripley Falls, Crawford Notch State Park, New Hasmpshire

Ripley Falls, Crawford Notch State Park, New Hasmpshire

Ripley Falls, Crawford Notch State Park, New Hasmpshire

Ripley Falls, Crawford Notch State Park, New Hasmpshire

After returning to the trailhead, I made an image or two of the notch itself.

Crawford Notch Color, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Crawford Notch Color, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

With only an hour or so before “sunset” (there would be no visible sunset on this day), I decided to end the day with a quick stop in Bear Notch, to focus on some intimate images that I’d identified during my visit to this location on Day 12.

Bear Notch Maple Intimate, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Bear Notch Maple Intimate, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Red Maple, Bear Notch Road, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Red Maple, Bear Notch Road, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Bear Notch Maple Intimate, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Bear Notch Maple Intimate, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

When darkness fell, the penultimate full day of photography on this trip to New England came to an end.  I was determined to make the next day–the last full day–in New Hampshire a productive one and I would succeed, almost in spite of myself.

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Responses

  1. Great post! Love the photographs!

  2. Kerry, thou hast slayed me yet again. 🙂

    • Thanks very much, Frank!

  3. Beautiful images of lovely locations. Surprising even myself, my favorite of this set is the Bear Notch Maple Intimate. The “flow” of leaves through the frame is really nice.

    • Thanks, Ellen!

  4. Great colors!

  5. Kerry, the wait was well worth it. The color in these latest group (especially Pinkham Notch) were the best in show!

    • There’s one more day of images to present, Andy. Things were pretty impressive in Crawford Notch, among other places, on that day–comparable to what I saw in Pinkham on Day 14.

  6. Loved all the Photographs. Great Work and Efforts i must say. Appreciate your work.

    • Thanks very much!

  7. I love the warm glow in the first photo and the detail on the boulder in the last of the Ellis River series.They were my favourites, but all bring the essence of the beauty of landscape to life.

    • Thanks, Jane!

  8. Years ago, I found a single red tree flaming away in the Texas hill country. I didn’t even have a camera in those days, let alone any skills at all, but if I ever see one again, I’ll remember this and have some fun.

    It occurred to me this weekend that one thing you talk about a lot, but haven’t really highlighted, is the importance of scouting. It’s one thing to just go out and wander. It’s quite something else to put some intentionality into scouting a place. I did that two weeks ago, making an exploratory trip to a burned prairie before going back the next (sunnier) day to take some photos. It really made a difference in how I was able to use my time.

    And — yes! Spot focusing helped me out. There’s still a lot I have to learn about it, but it did allow me to get the correct color on some mysterious something that was growing on burned wood. It was hard enough to get sharp images of what looked like pinhead-sized pink fuzzy slippers, but with all that blackened wood, the color always was white and blown out. With spot focus, the photos were sharper, and the color was right. Many thanks!

    • First, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

      Second I’m glad to hear that spot metering (?) was helpful to you. (That’s what we were talking about a few entries back, so I’m assuming that’s what you’re referring to re “spot focusing.” If not, I apologize for the incorrect assumption.)

      And third, you’re right: I’d swear I’d written an entry on scouting at some point over the years, but it appears I haven’t which is an oversight of ridiculous proportions on my part. I refer to scouting almost incessantly–perhaps this is the reason I thought I’d dedicated a post to the topic–and it really deserves (“demands” would be more accurate) a post of its own. I’ll put together something in the coming weeks. Again, thanks very much for pointing out this omission; I really appreciate it.

      • Oh, exactly. We newbies sometimes have a less-than-tight grip on terminology. Spot metering is exactly what I meant.

        • Gotcha.

          BTW, I think I realized why I thought I’d produced a post dedicated to scouting. When I posted a series of entries relating my trip to the Oregon Coast a couple of years ago (the initial entry can be found here), much of the discussion in the first four or so entries dealt with scouting. And in the comments in the fourth entry, a discussion about scouting in principle (as opposed to relating specific experiences) ensued. (Scroll down to the comment by quietsolopursuits.) In my reply I even reference a possible follow-up post…something I never got around to doing. As I mentioned earlier, I will rectify that oversight in the very near future.

        • So many topics, so little time. 🙂 I’ll enjoy reading the linked pieces.

  9. […] spending most of Day 14 in Pinkham Notch I had returned to North Conway via Crawford Notch where a brief inspection had […]

  10. Fabulous photos! I love all the colors and tones.

  11. […] reader Shoreacres astutely pointed out as part of a comment in response to a recent post on this blog, (and I quote):  “It occurred to me this weekend that one thing you talk about […]

  12. Love, love, love the shadow of tree on rock. And the color of the Pinkham shots – stunning. I second Frank King’s comment 🙂

    • Thanks, Lynn. You’re too kind. 🙂


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