2018 The White Mountains in Fall (Oct 13)

The White Mountains are a famous mountain range located in New Hampshire which is a few hours drive north of Boston. This blog is about my road trip to the White Mountains to see the fall foliage. Hope you like the photos.

For this photography assignment the main gear that I took was a Canon 5DIV camera, Canon 24mm f/1.4L II lens, Lee filters (graduated neutral density, neutral density, and polarizer filter), Really Right Stuff tripod, and a remote cable release.  Also had plenty of snacks including Mentos, muesli bars, chips; and plenty of water.

Left Boston around 6.00 am for the 3 hour road trip north along I93 to the White Mountains. Along the way the skies were very dark and the rain was coming down, and I wasn’t sure if their was going to be a break in the weather. Was thinking, even if I didn’t get a chance to photograph, it was good to get out of the city for a drive and to listen to an audio book and music. When I arrived at the White Mountains headed along route 302 along Crawford Notch Road to the Crawford Notch State Park and stopped at a car park opposite Willey House near the Saco River. The car park was located near a small lake which had a beautiful view of a mountain valley surrounded by Mount Wiley, Mount Field, and Mount Jackson. By now the rain had eased to a slight drizzle, so got out of the car and headed to the small lake to scout for photography locations. Photographing with a prime lens has its pros and cons, including a fixed focal length (in this case 24mm). However, I find having a fixed focal length helps develop my photography skills since it provides a constraint which forces you to move around for finding the desired photo composition, rather than staying in one place and adjusting the focal length with a zoom lens. Also, after a while, you begin to visualize the fixed focal length in your mind and “see” the composition without putting the camera viewfinder to your eye. As I was scouting the area the rain stopped, so went back to the car to get my photography gear.

2018 White Mountains (DLY_7177)This photograph was taken near the edge of the small lake on the side next to the car park. Tried different exposures times with ND filters to see the effect of “smoothing” the water, but liked this photograph with no ND filter and a short exposure time. The overcast skies really made the fall foliage color “pop”.

2018 White Mountains (DLY_7199)Walked across the bridge to the other side of the lake and took one of the short walks through the forest. The warm glow of the fall foliage was beautiful and relaxing.

2018 White Mountains (DLY_7214)Upon exiting the forest trail, walked along the lake and saw this beautiful mountain valley view. Really like the contrast between the fall foliage colors and the dark rain clouds above.

2018 White Mountains (DLY_7229)Here’s another view of the mountain valley, this time with part of the lake edge leading you into the photo. By now it was about 11.00 am, and was getting hungry, so headed over to Willey House for an early lunch and some rest.

2018 White Mountains DLY_7271)Headed back to the car and continued along route 302, past the Sawyer River car park, and parked at a small car park next to the Sawyer River. Got out of the car and walked upstream along the Sawyer River and found a location with a mountain in the background (could be Mount Hancock or Mount Carrigain), fall foliage, and the river in the foreground.

2018 White Mountains DLY_7280)Downstream their is a railway bridge that spans the Sawyer River. The rust covered steel bridge blends well with the colors of the fall foliage.

2018 White Mountains (DLY_7324)Continued alone route 302, then route 16 past Jackson, and stopped at a small car park next to the Ellis River near the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. Walked to the center of the bridge that spans the Ellis River for photographs of Mount Washington framed by the clouds above and fall foliage below. BTW, Mount Washington is the highest mountain in the north-east with a height of about 6,300 feet.

2018 White Mountains (DLY_7365)It was now late afternoon and was thinking about the 3 hour drive back to Boston, so headed south back along route 16. Along the way, noticed the sunlight starting to make its way through the clouds, so stopped at a lookout next to the side of the road for a view of Mount Eisenhower. The light was constantly changing as the clouds made their way across the sky, leading to light and shadows moving across the frame. I like in this photo, how the clouds led to shadows in the foreground and background, which added depth to the photo.

2018 White Mountains (DLY_7392)Continued along route 16 and in the town of Conway as I was crossing the Saco river, noticed a covered bridge. So changed my plans, and found a car park next to the Swift River Covered Bridge. Walked across the bridge, but due to the angle of the afternoon sunlight wasn’t able to get a good composition. However, when I looked upstream, noticed this beautiful view of the sunlight illuminating the fall foliage lining the Swift River.

Was really glad that I took this drive to New Hampshire to see the fall foliage under overcast and sunny skies. Thanks for reading this blog of my photography adventure.


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