Tuesday, April 23, 2013

 Walden Pond

I went back to Walden Pond to capture some images of early spring for the year long project I am doing on Thoreau and Walden. Unfortunately, I was too early for the spring flowering. There were only a few early buds around. I did, however, manage to pick up some shots of other life at the pond.

Thoreau was interested in detailed observations of life in the woods and pond and examined nature up close. I used a macro lens quite a bit to explore the close-up nature he would have seen and to capture some scenes he described in his journals.

Just as I was leaving the pond these mallards obliged my by swimming out towards the middle.  Their wake formed a composition echoing the shape of the reflection from the background shore in the pond.
I was shooting directly into a very hot sun for this photo.  The pine cones in the foreground were in deep shadow.  So I took 6 exposures at one stop intervals, and fused them later in post-processing. This resulted in full detail for the sun and the deep foreground shadows of the pine cones. Taken with a Nikon D800 and 18-35mm lens at f/22.
Thoreau specifically described looking through the clear water of the pond at life on the bottom, which is why I took this photo.

For this photo, I held a pine cone in my hand directly in front of the late afternoon sun and pond, and opened the aperture for shallow depth of field. I also over exposed the shot to enhance the flare, open the shadows, and emphasize the pastel colors.

This photo and the one below were of the few instances of new spring life I found in the woods. I put the camera directly on the ground and composed the scene using live view.  This allowed me to position the leaf against the bright out of focus background.
I brought along this early edition of Thoreau's Walden book to photograph on the forest floor.

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