This past weekend, I had the good fortune to be able to shoot two of my favorite subjects - Angel Falls and the Cape Neddick Light. My good fortune was expounded upon by being able to learn something new while shooting at both locations. Lets Begin!
My intention at the start of the day was to drive and hike to several falls in one day. As Angel Falls was the farthest waterfall I planned on shooting, that was the logical place to start. I hiked in to the falls to get a couple of shots great shots of the falls. This is a grand 90 foot waterfall in a narrow canyon - the choices of angles is limited if you want to get the entire waterfall in the shot without getting wet. I've been here before and knew what to expect - I got my shot and started on my hike out. It was then that I realized how many wonderful small waterfalls there are that I've overlooked before.
I spent more time shooting the small falls on the way out than I did the rest of my journey. The smaller falls are varied and offer many different angels to shoot from. It's a wonderful experience to be able to shoot on one trail all day.
Needless to say, I did not get to any other falls, and I will have to plan my trips to Angel Falls differently in the future.
Cape Neddick Light (The Nubble):
I chose to try my hand at sunrise at Cape Neddick in York, Maine. The Cape Neddick Light - also called The Nubble Light - is a wonderful spot. The light and keeper's house are situated on an island 200 yards off shore. The shore line is rocky and easy to access. It is one of the most picturesque places in Maine and, due to its accessibility, one of the most photographed.
It was no surprise when I arrived at 4:55 AM that there was a rather large group of photographers and artists at the light this morning. It was going to be a gorgeous sunrise.
I set up two cameras - one for long exposures (1-2 minutes) and one for standard exposures. I've done this before at the ocean and thought I knew what to expect. After several shots, I checked some of my long exposures - they looked good on the 3" screen and curves were looking good. I continued shooting for about 25 minutes until the sun was sell above the horizon. It had, indeed been a great sunrise.
What I hadn't paid attention to was my 10-stop filter for my long exposures. It had accumulated a fairly large amount of condensation. This was a problem as the sun came up and I had neglected to notice the moisture. When I got to a computer, I realized my mistake - the condensation had caused both flare and haze on my long exposures. Something that can not be fixed in Post. Ah well - I got one good long exposure and plenty of great shots from my standard exposures as I would have noticed condensation by looking through the viewfinder.
So - 2 lessons learned -
1. Don't pass up the photographic opportunities on your way to a specific shot. You may miss something worth shooting.
2. Don't neglect your equipment. While nothing extreme happened to my gear, I did ruin several long exposure shots by neglecting to see the condensation on my filter.