forest things

While camping in the White Mountains last week, I went on two very beautiful hikes.

Living in downtown Boston there are a few parks and some little beaches near us but not much other nature and sometimes I really feel like I'm living in a concrete jungle... trees are confined to little sidewalk boxes and our wildlife consists of tons of noisy, CRAZY seagulls and one random skunk that frequents our parking lot at night. (I know. A SKUNK. Worst wildlife ever. Sorry skunks.) I love and am so energized by the city... all the people and architecture and activity... but I always miss the peacefulness and beauty of the outdoors and being away from manmade things. It's so refreshing and helps me think more clearly and calmly. This trip was much needed.

First thing on Friday morning I went for a walk by myself down the river away from camp, but the shoreline was still so messed up from the Hurricane Irene flooding that I only spent half an hour taking photos before heading back. As soon as I walked out of the forest three of the camping moms pulled up in a car headed out for a hike... I was so happy they thought to come pick me up because the hike to Diana's Baths was gorgeous. The air was thick and warm, the sun was low and it was just perfect for taking pictures. I think photographers call it the sweet light.

So much moss. So many mushrooms, rays of sparkly light, tiny sprouting trees, huge shady ones, fallen decaying ones. So many beautiful, intricate things to appreciate out in the woods. After a short, maybe mile long walk on the path we got to the "baths"... dreamy waterfalls and natural rock ponds shaded and sun-dappled by a canopy of turning leaves. It felt like something out of a painting.

One of the moms took this photo of me taking photos :)
I appreciated it... I am usually the one behind the camera.

Transient

Someone commented after my last post asking what lenses I use... all the photos from this trip were taken with a Canon 50mm f1.4, 16-35mm wide angle, 70-200mm telephoto, and a new 100mm macro lens. I pack it all in a Lowepro Sport 200 backpack that is super light and the perfect size for a short girl like me. Alone it only holds a camera body and one lens in a padded side-loading pocket.... but  the padded ONA bag insert I've had forever fit perfectly into the top gear compartment to hold two more lenses. I was really proud of this. Ha.

I am also really (actually) proud of how much I've learned about photography over the last year and how much improvement I can see in the photos I take now. I want a photo to look a certain way... and now I can usually accomplish it. Maybe I already wrote about this? But it is immensely gratifying to notice that practice and learning and making mistakes are paying off and i'm getting better at a new skill. Being out of college for three years has made me feel like I don't learn a lot of new stuff anymore, and I don't like that. There is so much that goes into taking a photo vs. taking a good photo... it fascinates me.

 "Don't take a picture of what it looks like, take a picture of what it feels like." I don't know who said this but it's the best photography advice I ever heard so I try to remember that when snapping away.

Did it work? Do you feel like you were in a mossy, sun-dappled October forest? :)