Friday, September 25, 2009

It's The Hap, Hap, Happiest Time Of The Year

It's late September. The time of the year when photographers go crazy. I'm sure the road to the "Jenny Farm" will be mobbed during the next couple of weekends with hordes of shutter clicking shooters hoping to prove the definitive shot is still within their camera. They'll put their tripod right next to the other hundred photographers on the road and think they have the magic formula to "get it right". Chances are good, no chances are extreme that they will get a shot that looks pretty much like the one the person standing there last year, or yesterday or tomorrow will get. There will be days with better skys and overcast days when the colors explode, but the farm is the farm is the farm. Do a Google image search on Jenny Farm and you'll see that most of the shots are basically the same. Up the road, down the road, with the tree included, without the tree in the shot, but the same old, same old. Today's image is not of the Jenny Farm or of any of the iconic shots of northern New England. To find out a little more about the shot, hit the "read more".

Today's image was taken at a highway overlook in the White Mountains. Exactly where? I don't know. (Another case for geo-tagging.) Too many photographers zoom past a hundred opportunities for a unique shot of some of New England's fall color to get to the iconic shot that "everyone" has shot. It certainly doesn't hurt to ask, Google or read about area you'll be traveling to for photography. I've definitely been an advocate of shooting close to home, but I do have to say, if you're going to be in a "target rich environment" like New England in the foliage season, there's nothing wrong with getting lost. Specially today, with "almost" everybody having a GPS unit in the car to get you "unlost".
Fall in New England is the one time of the year when I do recommend driving aimlessly around. I've stumbled across some of the nicest scene and vistas I've ever shot by driving down some nameless road and slamming on the braking. Another benefit of rural back roads is that you're not likely to cause an accident by "slamming on the brakes". We've found barns and fields, fences and stonewalls, trees ablaze with color and leaves piled up along the sides of roads (dirt and paved) and all sort of other things on "the roads less traveled".
If you happen to live along the New York, Connecticut border, go find Route 22. It runs due north just inside the New York side of the border. Don't bother with Route 22. Less than a half mile to the east is a road that runs parallel to Route 22. That's the one to take. It goes past farms that rival those you find in Hew Hampshire and Vermont. A couple of places crest a hill and down the flank is a quintessential "Jenny Farm" type scene. The farm is in the dale, the tress beyond are on fire with color and the foreground trees provide a great frame. Another area on that road is a tunnel of maple trees with a distance view down the road. Either wait for a car to pass or have your companions walk up and down the road ("costumes don't hurt) to get some human interest shots.
Whatever you do, get lost, get found, use Dave Middleton's book, use a GPS or visit Jenny Farm, get out and shoot. This is the season in the northeast.