I really had only one goal in mind. That was to get out there to see what my wide angle lens could do. I’ve had this lens for quite a while, but haven’t used it in some time. I’ve been so busy with the Canon 18-135mm that I recently purchased that I sort of put the Sigma wide angle in the back seat. Well, last night, I got a great idea. We’d head up to Kingfield and Carrabassett to hike around in the snow for a while to see if there was anything worth taking photos of. We’ve been to the area so many times that it’s getting worn out somewhat when I want to discuss it on this blog. Today I though that I’d focus on the type of lens I was using as opposed to the hike itself. But I’ll talk about the hike too. Albeit briefly. I’ll mostly just complain about how cold I was.
Have you ever hiked in 17 degree weather? I know that doesn’t sound bad, but how about 17 degree weather when it was windy? I have no idea what possessed me when I came up with the idea to go into the woods in this weather, but we made the best of it. After getting out of the car, my ears nearly froze off and by the time we made it about a quarter of a mile down the road, towards the bridge that leads into the trail, my forehead was numb and my left nostril felt like it would crack right off. After we got onto the trail though, things warmed up a bit. The trees shielded us from the wind and I decided to put on my hat and gloves. Before that, I thought I could brave the cold for a while and take photos with no gloves on. Doing that made my fingertips very chilly. They actually hurt. As I was trying to warm them up by breathing on them, I thought about running them under hot water like I used to do when I was a kid. Boy, what I did back then was stupid. Have you ever run your fingers under hot water when they’re freezing cold? Not a good move. The pain!
I did manage to snap a few photos though. The first one is of the famous Carriage Road that closes each spring because the town tries to keep the road in as good condition as they can. It’s dirt and if driven on at the wrong time of year, it will turn into mud pronto. So, for a few months, they close things down so no one can drive through from one end to the other. As a matter of fact, this is the very same road we drove on to the waterfall last winter.
I mention that we drove on this road for good reason. Since we did, I’ve been warned about doing that because throughout the day, huge logging trucks use this route to transport their logs from where they cut them to where they drop them off, wherever that may be. If you’ve never seen a logging truck, let me tell you that they’re pretty huge. The last time we were on this road, I didn’t give oncoming traffic much consideration. This time, since being warned, I did. As we walked on it, I noticed how thin it truly is. There’s no way we’d be able to pull over if confronted by a logging truck. If that happened, I’d probably have to punch it to go right through. Know what I’m saying here? Nobody plays chicken with this guy.
Check out the road. Pretty, but narrow.
Oh yeah, it’s also fairly close to being a sheet of ice. I love that fact about it.
Along the route to the bridge is a small cabin type house that we’ve never actually seen anyone inside of. It’s in a great area, right on the river, and I would think that at least someone would want to enjoy that. I’m sure we’ll see some activity someday.
Are you noticing my wide angle lens at work? No? you will towards the end. I’ve got some groovy photos down there. You just wait.
This is the bridge I’m referring to. I would never have been able to capture all this scenery with my regular lens. That one maxes out at 18mm and this one maxes out at 10mm. Needless to say, this one is a lot wider.
Right past the bridge, along the trail to the Poplar hut, is Poplar Stream. I fell in snow that was (unexpectedly) up to my knee to get this shot. That’s the bridge in the distance.
It was so cold that I wanted to walk for just a few minutes and then return to the car to warm up, but I was persuaded to continue on and hike through the trail we were supposed to hike through. I didn’t put up much of a fight because I’m a very easygoing kind of chap.
To make a long story short, we hiked and then went back to the car. We drove into Kingfield and visited with some friends in the Herbert Grand Hotel. That’s always fun. Then, after that, we went across the street into Annie’s and got ourselves some good ol’ Carrabassett Coffee. That’s the good stuff.
On the way back home, we passed by a field that looked rather stunning. The sun was hanging in the sky just the right way to make it filter through one of the apples trees we’ve been admiring since we arrived in the area. This field is only a few miles from where we live, so we see these trees often. Anyway, because I know a photo op when I see one, I pulled over and parked the car. We got out, jumped the snow bank and walked our way towards one of the trees.
When we got close enough, we started snapping away. I must have taken 30 shots. I tried a few different variations of settings, but I found that a small aperture setting of f/22 worked wonders for giving me the starburst I was after. This is a shot as I was approaching the tree. I tried to have the sun sit directly behind it.
And here’s another shot as I got closer to the tree. Trust me, I’d love to post all 30 photos, but I’m sure you’d get bored of looking at them after a while.
I might just have to print one of these shots out to hang on the wall. I like them a lot.
On the way back to the car, I asked if I could kindly have my photo taken. I received a new coat for Christmas and I’ve been bragging about it ever since. I’ve received a lot of “lumberjack” comments about it, so I guess that’s what people are making of it. By the way, this one comes from our friends at Cabela’s. It’s nice and toasty warm, yet I still can’t figure out how to look natural in a photograph. By the way, I hope you like how buff I look in the jacket. I had it stuffed with not only my body, but a few shirts and a thick wool sweater.
And finally, because I just couldn’t leave well enough alone, I took a few more shots. This time though, I wanted to focus on our path in the snow to the tree.
I really do love this lens. I think I’ll keep it on my camera for a while. It’s more artistic than my primary lens.
Well, there you have it. Another trip up north for some walking around in the woods, plus other things. I hope you enjoyed!