White Mountain National Forest
Spirit of White Mountain
When somebody mentions New Hampshire, the first thing that comes to my mind is the White Mountain National Forest. It is an incredible place of wild beauty with countless streams, spectacular mountains, and hardwood forests. On my second trip there I decided to drive Kancamagus Highway and find a location for an evening landscape photograph. After some time on the road, I noticed a pond on the side of the road and decided to stop and take a closer look. I went down to the edge of the water to take a closer look and suddenly noticed a baby moose grazing on another side of the pond. I quickly retreated to my car, grabbed the camera, and rushed back. The moose was still there and even moved a bit more out from the woods, toward the light. I sat low to the ground and composed the frame to capture this peaceful scene. The last piece of the puzzle was the pose of the animal. Five minutes later, the calf interrupted its meal, looked around, and paused for a fraction of a second, looking directly at me. I pressed the shutter. Later that evening, while driving to my overnight camp, I contemplated this moment as magic, when White Mountain revealed its wild spirit to me.
I discovered this spot almost by accident. In the morning I left Acadia National Park and spent most of the day on the road, hoping that I'll be in time to get on top of Mount Washington. While driving there on a highway through the White Mountain National Forest, I noticed a man with a camera and a rather happy face, walking toward his parked car. I thought that if a photographer appears from woods with such satisfaction, then there must be something quite exciting out there. I quickly dropped a pin in my GeoRecorder app and continued my journey. A few hours later, when I descended from the highest mountain in New Hampshire, I came back to the marked location and discovered this beauty.
As most streams of White Mountain National Forest, the Sabbaday Brook runs its waters through arrays of glacier-polished boulders and rocks. Surrounded by a hardwood forest, the place is full of beauty and charm. The first portion of the trail along the brook is heavily trafficked, due to the sheer beauty of the Sabbaday Falls, but many people turn back and do not venture beyond the cascades. I'm glad that did not follow them and went further this common point of return. Just a few minutes of hiking brought me to this beautiful location. It took me little time to set up the composition, but the contrast of the scene was so high, that I had to bracket the shot and capture seven frames and merge them into the final photograph.
I photographed this landscape scene during my first trip to the Acadia National Park. The adventure was coming to its end, and I decided to plan my route back home through the White Mountain National Forest. The idea was to get atop of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. Driving the steep and narrow mountain road to the summit is a challenging task, especially on the descend. The steep grade makes it hard to maintain a safe speed, and for that reason, several pullouts along the way allow drivers to stop and let their cars' breaks cool. I did not use them on my way down but stopped at one on my way up. The view was truly spectacular. Powerful winds and the high elevation shaped the life of this place. Tall trees do no grow here, and the shrubs stretch in the direction of prevailing winds. The overcast weather made the view even more dramatic, and the mountain ridge in front of me appeared in a beautiful blue color.