Showing posts from December, 2012

Full Moon Ski on the Mt. Ascutney Auto Road

For a night owl like me, a 1:00 am ski is just the ticket.

Over the past four or five days, our region has been blessed with abundant snow. At my house here in Windsor, Vermont we got about 10" the other day and another 5" or so last night. Many of the mountains picked up over twice that.

Yesterday morning at 1:00am, which was actually still a continuation of Friday for us, Dave and I decided to climb and ski the Mt. Ascutney Auto Road by moonlight. We went VERY leisurely with a lot of photographs and breaks along the way. By the end of the climb (we only made it about 3 miles) the amazingly bright moon, which had previously been so bright we could read under it, began to get obscured by the incoming front.

The snow was very nice. We skied down using our headlamps. Although the auto road isn't very steep, it's a fun downhill ride, and can be skied with very minimal coverage. During our descent, when we needed speed, we got in the track up and when we needed a littl…

Dude, where's my chairlift?

A quick skin and ski of Mt. Ascutney
When I bought my house in 2003, I thought it would be so wonderful living just five minutes from a chairlift at the Ascutney Mountain Resort. Unfortunately, the ski area part of the operation went out of business three years ago.

For us backcountry lovin' locals, it's been pretty nice having a mountain all to ourselves. It seems however, after today's excursion to reap the foot of new snow we received, I realize that nature comes back quickly. I think backcountry skiers will find it difficult to ski there in coming years unless there's an effort to tame some of the growth.

Nonetheless, after deciding I didn't feel like driving very far, I decided a quick tour up the mountain with the dogs would be just the thing. After skiing in a snowtorm yesterday, this afternoon's weather was a beautiful sky, with wisps of clouds reflecting the light of the early setting sun.

I was excited to try out my new skis, Liberty Morphics along w…

My plow guy is nine years old & Pico + Powder = :-)

Maurice, my awesome nine year old neighbor does a fantastic job plowing our driveway with his little John Deer tractor.

Well, we finally got our first snow storm. (In fact, it pretty much was our first winter snow storm here in almost two years!)

Dave and I got out to Pico this morning. Unfortunately the summit quad was closed due to wind (although I understand it opened for an hour at the end of the day) but we were able to make a number of quick hikes over to the trails off of the Outpost lift and were skiing multiple runs of 10"-14" of untouched pow.

What a great day. Still deciding where to head tomorrow.

Here's to awkward moments!

When I used to ski race in college, we'd come back from training and watch video of our runs. Occasionally (well, actually frequently with me!) we would crash. The crashes were the most fun parts of the video, and Vince our coach would always stop recording mid fall. I would always look forward to these, and in still photography, you can get people in seemingly impossible positions that fly by in video.

From now on, I'm shooting all the falls I long as they're not falling into me. Here's a great one from 2010. Not much snow there Jevan, ouch!

I expect a lot of falling tomorrow, when we get hit with a big storm.  Hopefully I'll be posting great powder shots from Pico tomorrow afternoon!

A Rainbow over Dartmouth on the Solstice

Well, on Friday those of us in Hanover who happened to be outside around four in the afternoon were treated to a beautiful double rainbow. I rushed outside, ran through the Hopkins Center out onto the green, where there were no less than fifteen people taking pictures.

Anyways, each of these photos is composed of about a dozen vertical photos stitched together.

I can't say I'm happy to see rainbows (signifying rain) and green grass on the winter solstice, but it was a nice photo opp. Now, bring on the snow!

A Prayer to the Snow Gods

Although I'm a fundamentalist agnostic (just kidding... sort of) I'm going to use Pascal's Wager as my guide.

Snow Gods, if you exist, please bestow your heavenly goodness upon this great Earth, or at least Vermont, so that we may be able to slide down the mountain, through the forests, to enjoy what you have so graciously provided.

And if you don't comply, well, see what happened to the last Snow God who didn't fulfill his responsibilities.

Best Camera Deal Ever! - Nikon V1 Two Lens Kit

I thought I'd start off by saying that I don't have the Nikon V1. I'm also not an affiliate of any store (yet), so links are for your benefit only. I do however read incessantly about cameras, and "virtual shop" way too often. 

SO CHECK THIS OUT!!! At B&H, and other retailers, you can get the Nikon 1 V1 camera, with the 10-30mm and 30-110mm (27-81, 81-297 35mm equivalent) lenses for $399.95!!

Anyways, if you're not familiar with the Nikon 1 system, here's what it's about:
It's the smallest sensor, at 1" diagonal, of any mirrorless system on the market (with the exception of the Pentax Q, which you're better off ignoring)It has a hybrid autofocus system of phase detection and contrast detection. This boils down to the best autofocus for action of any mirrorless system, and performs as well as many high end dslrs.The lenses are tiny. Small and light. Very.The compromise of a small sensor? Resolution and noise. The Nikon 1 system raised…

Quick Reminder - Snow Please!

This is just a quick reminder to Mother Nature, that it's mid December in Vermont!

I hiked over Mt. Ascutney today and even at the top (3,200ft) there wasn't a speck of snow to be seen. (At least other than the white trails on Okemo.)

Here's proof that occasionally we do get winter. It's supposed to get a little snowy starting tomorrow night. Fingers crossed!

Dartmouth Men's Hockey vs. UVM

I don't know much about hockey. Dartmouth won 4-2. I enjoyed it.

I did however realize that I am not much better than a novice when shooting this, and other fast paced team sports.

Anyways, I don't have much info, but here are a few keepers.

I'd love to hear any feedback you may have about these shots. I take advice too!

Quick Shot #3 - Takeoff from Logan

It's okay to crop.

I know some people would look at this image and immediately notice that it is cropped. He messed up and felt the only way to save the image was to crop it.

Well, the answer to this is both yes and no. Did I get home and bang my head in frustration that I'm just an idiot and think why did I compose the shot that way? No. I liked the original image, but I like this crop better. That's all there is to it.

Each time you self-impose limitations, you are limiting your possibilities that much more. Sometimes when I compose a shot, I know that I'm going to crop it. Whether it's because I have a shorter lens than I need and the resolution allows me to use crop as a faux telephoto lens, or I see an amazing panoramic but only have my typical 3:2 aspect ratio sensor, I think cropping should be used as a tool in achieving your best image.

In the real(ish) professional photography world, a client may want to use an image for an advertisement or feature photo, …

Our New Dartmouth President - Philip J. Hanlon '77

After our President Jim Kim left this summer to become the head of the World Bank, the search began for a new President of Dartmouth College while Carol Folt (the Provost) took over for this year as the Interim President.

The search committee, led by Bill Helmen '80, gathered input from students, alums, faculty and staff to inform their decision. Well, after meeting him this past Friday, I have to say I'm very pleased with the decision.

Philip J. Hanlon '77 is currently the Provost at the University of Michigan. There's no need for me to go into all the details, as you can find better information on Dartmouth Now. He's an alum, which I like because it means he's already familiar with the area and the culture. More importantly, he seems like a genuinely likeable individual.

I had three opportunities to photograph him, albeit only for a few minutes each time. As I was heading up the stairs to the Parkhurst building, he was too. He stopped and introduced himself …