Wealth of Photo Potential at Highland, NY

It was by accident that I discovered what I believe is the only spot on the shore of the Hudson River that has a good view of both the Walkway over the Hudson and the Mid-Hudson Bridge. It’s at the new Highland Landing Park and is reached via a steep downhill drive from the main road. The fact that I arrived later than planned worked in my favor: too early would have had the rising sun glaring directly at me–maybe nice for a classic sunrise view from an elevated spot, but not when I’d deliberately chosen a vantage point from which everything I’d be shooting was above me.

With two bridges, a railway line, and a shore, there were plenty of lines to create interest as well as tension. I deliberately underexposed my first shot in order to emphasize these lines as well as to accentuate the moody sky (one of my trademarks).

In the next two images I used lines in a different way: to zoom in for close-ups, almost creating abstracts. This was a technique learned from one of my great mentors, Kerry Drager: virtually stop thinking of your subject as a particular object and conceive it, instead, as a pattern.  In both of these shots I moved the clarity slider in RAW way up to emphasize all the lines, and later, in CS5, applied some Unsharp Mask.  The first image I kept in color, having tweaked the white balance a bit in RAW to warm it slightly, but even so it resembles a tint rather than a true color image.

The second image, inspired by the work of another mentor, Harold Davis, I turned to B&W in CS5, experimenting with different settings until I decided I preferred the high-contrast red filter.

This industrial riverfront location offered still other kinds of photo opportunities. I’ll describe them in my next blog.

PRINT OF THE MONTH! My Print of the Month for February is Journey into Autumn, a favorite that has been exhibited and has just been purchased for corporate use. It’s available at a special 10% discount in three different sizes through February 29. To purchase, please visit my website. Here’s a preview:

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The Hudson Valley and Catskills Post-Irene

Walkway 1Those of you who are familiar with my obsession for making funky images of paths and walkways won’t be surprised by this one — I took this picture yesterday while navigating the Walkway Over the Hudson, New York’s newest State Park, a 1.28-mile (each way) walkway connecting the historic village of Highland and the town of Poughkeepsie on the opposite side of the river.

But here’s another photo I also took yesterday from the new Walkway. It shows the Lordly Hudson, now muddy brown and with green debris–I think it must be some form of algae; anyway, my boots were full of it after I walked out of the now flooded and damaged trail that leads to the Saugerties Lighthouse–as a result of Hurricane Irene.Walkway 2

This is all I’m going to say in my photo blog this week. Instead, I’m going to direct you, no, ask, even beg you please to read my Hudson Valley and Catskills blog. You’ll find more pictures there.