Dave McCullough

Shooting reflections

Dave shooting a reflection

Dave shooting a reflection on the Appalachian Trail north of Sheffield, Massachusetts. The light and sky were perfect for shooting reflections on streams and swamps yesterday and we spent a lot of time doing it. Sometimes still water makes interesting images, sometimes a bit of wind rippling the water and distorting the reflection makes interesting images but either way we saw and shot a lot of them yesterday and it made a great hike even better.

Swamp reflection

This is the same image Dave was shooting (shot by me with my camera). I used to think a sun hot spot was something to be avoided but I’m liking what a “sun ball” does to a brooding sky. Mostly I position the sun behind trees but sometimes I let it shine through repeating the shot with each of the S100’s three light meters to make sure I get it.

Dave shooting on Guilder Pond

Dave shooting on Guilder Pond

Mt. Everett Reservation, Massachusetts. We hiked up Everett and then around Guilder Pond and I caught Dave out on a cliff shooting an island in the pond. Everett isn’t a hard hike although it’s the second highest point in Massachusetts. Guilder Pond is a jewell that makes the entire hike worthwhile.

Wild orchid

Wild orchid

Behind Mt. Everett, Massachusetts. Dave was out hunting wild orchids in a meadow he knows they grow in. This is the flower he’s hunting with him shooting another one behind.

Walking through the meadow they all looked like weeds to me until he pointed them out. This one’s called “lady’s tresses” or something like that. I have no idea how he remembers these things.

Nora and Dave on Money Brook Trail, Mt. Greylock

Nora and Dave on Money Brook Trail, Mt. Greylock

Mt. Greylock, Massachusetts. We hike Greylock quite a bit but we’d not done this particular trail which was wonderful. About 12 miles on varied terrain; up the Hopper trail, over the top, down the Appalachian trail, then connecting to the Money Brook trail through Money Brook falls and the switchbacks (this shot) and the ravine. Very nice hike and we had a nice time.

Rattlesnake on Schaghticoke Ridge

Dave shooting a rattlesnake

Schaghticoke Ridge, Appalachian Trail, Kent, Connecticut. We’ve been hiking this section of the AT between Bull’s Bridge and Rt. 341 for three years now, done the hike dozens of times all year round and have never seen a single rattlesnake. This ridge is sometimes called “rattlesnake ridge” because of the number of snakes on it. Everyone seems to see snakes but us.

Well, today we saw one and not anywhere near where we thought we’d see one. Dave came close to walking into it and backed off as it rattled. We took some pictures and it crossed the trail and went into the woods. I’d say it was between 3 and 4 feet, Dave thinks maybe a two year old animal.

It scared the shit out of both of us.

Rattlesnake

Queen Anne’s lace with snow

Snow on Queen Anne's Lace

Washington, Connecticut. At the start of a short winter hike up to the Pinnacle Dave and I got distracted by Queen Anne’s lace with snow cones on them.

Dave photographing Queen Anne's Lace

The flip out LCD on the G11 meant that Dave probably didn’t have to break his back for this shot; he could have swiveled it to allow him to stand up strait and use it like a vertical viewfinder.

Snow on Queen Anne's Lace

Fun experimenting with the G11 meter to best catch the plant and the sun going down.

Snow on Queen Anne's Lace

We stayed out on this field shooting plants a bit too long, the temperature dropped fast as the sun went down and after I took this we headed for home.

Schaghticoke Ridge

Bull’s Bridge to Kent, Connecticut. Dave and I hiked a rugged 7.5 mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail from Bull’s Bridge to Kent. There was 3" to a foot of snow on the ground and it was rough going although it’s one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve done yet.

It took us about 5.5 hours and halfway through it we looked at each other thinking "what the hell have we gotten ourselves into." It’s a tough walk in clear weather, in snow it’s a challenge. Many hills, up and down, very rocky and in summer an oasis for rattlesnakes. I knew there was a good reason for us to have done it in winter.

Me and my shadow

Me and my shadow.

Dave photographing the NY/CT sign

Dave photographing the NY/CT sign

Tough going on a cliff in snow

Tough going on a cliff in snow.

Two more hills to go, Kent in the distance

Two more hills to go, Kent in the distance.

Slogging with Housatonic valley in background

Slogging with Housatonic valley in background.