Before I show the images from my recent trip to Great Falls National Park, I thought I'd include two images that I forgot to post from my collection of recent images last time. Both images are from the Conowingo Dam on the Susquehanna River in Maryland. This is a premier spot on the Atlantic Coast for Bald Eagles. While the eagles didn't disappoint this particular morning in one sense (there were probably 100+ individuals), none really came within reach of my lens except for one adult perched in a tree by the side of the parking lot that was completely screened by branches regardless of the angle you tried to shoot. I suspect that the feeding activity picks up when there is a dam release in the afternoon. I plan to go back for yet another try this winter, but I'll go when I can have all day or at least an afternoon and hopefully I'll bring some bigger and faster rented glass with me. In the meantime, I got these images during the foggy sunrise that I'm pretty happy with.
The following slide show consists of images I took on the evening of January 17th at Great Falls National Park, VA. I arrived pretty close to sunset due to a series of family phone calls, so I had to work pretty quickly to get the shots I did. Initially I focused on finding ice along the overflow tributary of the river above the falls. I was looking for interesting patterns in the ice that had formed due to our continuing cold temperatures. While I didn't find quite what I was hoping for (much of the ice was pretty featureless or incorporated dirt) I did find some good patterns, including rings of bubbles in one sheet of ice that reminded me very strongly of tree rings. I shot all the close-up images of the ice with my Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO, sometimes with the on-lens macro feature, but mostly at higher magnifications using the Canon 500D close-up diopter. Most of the ice worth photographing was very thin, so the big trick was getting myself and my tripod into position without collapsing the entire sheet of ice (including the section I was trying to photograph). Eventually the sun had set and the light was fading fast, so I switched to photographing the rocks and rapids in the river. The twilight sky was clear and not particularly interesting, so I mostly zoomed in on sections of the rapids and ice-covered boulders. The icy water had a beautiful aqua/turquoise tone to it that was almost glacial-like. That tone combined with the ice-covered boulders very effectively communicates the idea of cold! Most of my exposures were in the range of 1-2 seconds long at ISO 100, but some of the ones taken later in the evening went up to 30 seconds. Don't forget to click on the full-screen slideshow icon on the bottom for a viewing experience that does the images more justice. Also don't forget that any of these images or slideshows can be shared on your own site or with friends by clicking on the up arrow icon and grabbing the embed code. Enjoy!
Great Falls National Park Jan10 - Images by Elijah Goodwin