Race Brook Falls

Race Brook Falls with ice

Race Brook Falls with ice

Race Brook Falls Trail. Southwest Massachusetts.

We hiked up the Race Brook Falls Trail (the trail I maintain for the Berkshire AMC) today and it was a beautiful day for hiking and for photography.

I was surprised that this waterfall still had ice on it as did sections of the brook; the weather has been warm enough down at our house that I thought for sure this would have all melted.

There was some sun flare coming in from the top left but I liked the image anyway.

This was shot with the Fuji X70, a small camera that’s much like the Ricoh GR. I don’t have enough experience with it yet to talk about it with any certainty but I was able to shoot with it with my glove liners on which is important to me in winter as I suffer from Raynaud’s syndrome (cold finger tips) and like to keep thin gloves on at all times. And, unlike the Ricoh, it has an articulating LCD which I find useful (not for this photo but for others). The image quality of the few images I’ve shot with it is breathtakingly good. This is a very nice camera and one worth considering along with the Ricoh GR II.

Race Brook Falls with snow

Race Brook Falls with snow

Race Brook Falls Trail. Southwest Massachusetts.

We hiked up the Race Brook Falls Trail (the trail I maintain for the Berkshire AMC) yesterday and it was a beautiful day for hiking and for photography.

The trail had a few inches of snow on it at the bottom and about six inches up on top. We used micro spikes but didn’t need snow shoes. We stayed relatively dry even with mountain laurel loaded with snow impeding the trail.

I took pictures with both the Ricoh GR and the Sony RX100 III and while the GR files almost universally had more information in them, they needed both exposure and white balance adjustments in Lightroom. Once that was done there was no comparison between the two, the GR files almost universally showed more detail, sharpness and have a nicer look to them. This is fascinating to me: the Sony focuses better in low light, seems to expose more accurately, and has a more pleasant automatic white balance but in the end, a larger sensor makes a very big difference. There may be other factors but there is no doubt about it, the GR is a very strong camera.

Race Brook Falls with trimmed tree

Race Brook Falls with trimmed tree

Race Brook Falls Trail. Southwest Massachusetts.

We hiked up Mt. Race yesterday via the Race Brook Falls Trail (the trail I maintain for the Berkshire AMC) and it was a beautiful day for photography.

The falls looked great: just enough water to show the falls but not so much that it would be difficult to shoot without blown highlights.

Dave noticed that the dead pine tree that fell down in front of the falls had had its limbs cut off closer to the trunk. Amazingly, on earlier hikes I’ve heard from photographers with big iron camera gear set up here to shoot the falls that they wanted that tree removed.

Let me repeat that: a few landscape photographers who lugged big DSLR gear and tripods up here to shoot these falls wanted me to remove that tree because they didn’t like the way it looked in their shot.

I’ve always smiled politely and told them that we don’t change the landscape for photographers and that I speak not just as the person who maintains this trail, but as a person who does a considerably amount of photography on it.

My guess is someone decided to take matters into their own hands and cut the branches. Next they’ll cut the trunk and try to pull it out of the way.

Sigh.

Race Brook Falls

Race Brook Falls

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts. A short but intense storm came through yesterday (we were in New York and got soaked while walking) so I thought I’d better check the trail for blow downs. Everything was fine although the water crossings were tough with the extra water from the storm.

Uneventful hike except for the amount of mud on the Appalachian trail. Poor thru hikers have to wade through it with heavy packs. Ugh.

First ice on Race Brook falls

Early ice on Race Brook Falls

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts. Given that I’m the maintainer for this trail and I’d not been on it in a few weeks, I thought it time to take a look at it. To my surprise, there was ice on the falls and all along the trail. I had to watch my step as I didn’t bring my Micro spikes and the patches of ice under leaves were treacherous.

I love the look of this place any time of year but the bleakness of late fall/early winter is particularly appealing to me. Couple that with processing in higher contrast monochrome and you have a recipe for interesting photography.

Race Brook above the falls

Race Brook above the falls

Ice teeth on Race Brook

Ice teeth on Race Brook

Race Brook Falls

Race Brook Falls

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts. I’m a “maintainer” of this blue trail connecting Rt. 41 to the Appalachian Trail and I have to hike it regularly to make sure it’s clear. We had and are having some severe weather in New England at the moment and I needed to get up on this trail to see if trees had come down.

This day Race Brook was as high as I’ve ever seen it and the two crossings were very tough. The base of this waterfall is another crossing and I took this right in the middle of it. The spray wasn’t too bad and it was a beautiful, clear day so the Ricoh GR wasn’t in danger of getting wet.

I’m very pleased with what the bigger sensor on this camera delivers in terms of details. Also, the controls continue to amaze me as beautifully designed for qjick access. I had to change meters for this shot or else the waterfall would have been blown out, and that task was a snap.

I have yet to do a lot of shooting with the new camera but each time I use it I marvel at both its design and the quality of the images such a small, light camera can produce. I’m sure that as I shoot more I’m going to get some great images out of it.

Race Brook Falls

Race Brook Falls

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts. I’m a “maintainer” of this blue trail connecting Rt. 41 to the Appalachian Trail and I have to hike it regularly to make sure it’s clear. We had and are having some severe weather in New England at the moment and I needed to get up on this trail to see if trees had come down. One tree had come down across the trail below this waterfall and it will be cut up on Saturday.

Because it was raining today I was reluctant to pull out my new Ricoh GR camera but in the shelter of trees took a few pictures of the waterfall to see how the camera worked. I love this camera: it’s a joy to handle and use, the controls are excellent, and the image quality is also excellent.

This image required a change in meters so as not to blow out the waterfall and doing that on the GR is a snap as is changing aperture. It has the best controls on a compact camera I’ve ever come across.

I haven’t shot enough with it to really know it yet but my first, from the hip impression is that it’s a fantastic camera that will work well for me and the kinds of photography I do.

Today I hiked up to the intersection of the Race Brook Falls trail and the Appalachian Trail which is the section I’m responsible for. I’d have continued up onto Mt. Race but the weather was worsening and I was already soaked. Crossing Race Brook (four times) was “exciting” in such high water. Thank god for hiking poles.

Needle ice

Needle Ice

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts. We hiked up to the junction of the Race Brook Falls trail and the Appalachian Trail and found dozens of outcroppings of needle ice along the way. It’s a most photogenic phenomena although its got so much depth its tough to take a decent image of it.

Needle Ice

Dave shooting needle ice

It’s a most photogenic phenomena although its got so much depth its tough to take a decent image of it. Here Dave is using his Canon Powershot G12 with its articulated LCD screen to shoot the ice.

Fall leaves in Race Brook

Fall leaves in Race Brook

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts. Beautiful day for a hike up the Race Brook falls trail to the Appalachian Trail, then south over Mt. Race. The leaves in Race Brook looked better than the same leaves hanging on trees.

Fall leaves in Race Brook in sunlight

On the way back the sun was low enough so the trees were casting shadows in the brook which meant that there were small pockets of sunlight which made the leaves stand out a bit more.