An afternoon stroll

imageAlong the Shepaug River, Roxbury, Connecticut © Steven Willard

As I drove back from The White Silo in Sherman, where Susan, Marc, and I are having a group exhibit, I was reminded of a trail that follows the Shepaug River for a short way. The sun had managed to come out from behind the morning clouds, and I had a few  minutes to spare, so I stopped, grabbed the camera and a monopod, and took a short hike.

The trail, which comes right down to the river in some places, is overhung with hardwood trees, and is bordered with patches of ferns and skunk cabbage. Because the sun was out, the light was very bright and dappled in some spots and deep shade in others. It’s the kind of situation that can be helped by HDR, but I chose to take advantage of the K5IIS’s excellent dynamic range capabilities and a surprisingly good HDR slider in Snapseed. It’s not true HDR because it only uses one exposure, but it can really dig detail out the shadows. The trick to using it, in my opinion, is to dial it way down and back off on the saturation to keep things looking normal. As with so many things in post editing it’s easy to over do it and end up with a mess.

I used my new long zoom, 55-300mm, and a fairly wide aperture to focus on the little sucker branch growing from the main trunk of a tree growing out over the water, and did my best to steady the camera. I should have brought a tripod, but at least one of the exposures was sharp enough to do the job. Credit here goes to the in-camera stabilization and the K5IIs’ clean files at iso 800.

 

imageBare sapling with ferns, Roxbury, Connecticut © Steven Willard

Farther down the trail there is a fork, one trail continuing along the river, the other, climbing to the right away from the river and up towards a ridge and back to the road. It was along this trail that I saw this field of wild ferns punctuated by the bare sapling. By this time the sun was occcasionaly being overed by clouds and I was able to time it so there weren’t any hot, contrasty patches to worry about.

It’s always worth giving yourself a few minutes to take a walk, and take a few photographs.

Pentax K5IIs with 55-300 zoom lens, processed in Snapseed on my iPad Air.

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