New England Winter Scene with snow, red barn and vintage red tractor

Old tractor in the snow

Behind the Shot:  Classic New England Winter Scene

This is one of those photographs that has it all.  Snow, a great old red barn or more accurately, a maple syrup producing sugar shack and a great old red vintage tractor.

New England winter shots like these require a lot of planning.  Photographing winter in rural New Hampshire among the hills and dales, along the country lanes and over the forested mountains, can be a huge challenge in winter.

Most of the time there is no place to park.  Drainage ditches line the old country roads and snow plows are apt to come by at any moment to bury your car under a pile of slush and snow.

Best to plan ahead, keep track of points of interest that you wish to return to in winter, watch the weather reports and hope and pray that the farmer doesn’t move his old vintage tractor out of position.

These aren’t movie props ya know.  Farm equipment such as this great old red tractor are working essentials to the operation of these farms such as this one in Lyme, New Hampshire with its working maple syrup operation.

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In winter farm equipment might used to move firewood or push snow out of the path to the barn. Although often an old tractor like this one, even if it is still working, is probably used mostly in the summer for hay cutting.

A few tips on photographing classic New England winter landscapes such as this:

  • Plan out your shot before walking around the scene.  You don’t want to create a bunch of ugly footprints in the snow.
  • Avoid bright sun.  Sunlight can be harsh in winter with glare reflecting off the snow.  Overcast days are great for reducing shadows and preventing highlights from creating overly contrasty scenes.
  • Meter for snow.  Don’t let your snow turn gray because you didn’t use exposure compensation.  Add a stop of exposure to make sure your snow isn’t dull and gray.
  • Keep certain locations in mind for future photo shoots in different seasons.  For example this old tractor and farm in Hopkinton, NH is on my list for a revisit once winter sets in.  I shot it in the fall, now for a winter version of this scene.

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New England Winter Photographs by Edward M. Fielding

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A horse and red barn in the middle of a snow storm in the Stowe and Waterbury area of Vermont.

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The photogenic Jenne Farm in Vermont which as graced the cover of many a calendar.

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Trapp Family Lodge, stone chapel in the woods in Stowe, Vermont.

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A scene from the secret cross country area in Lyme,  New Hampshire.  A former scout summer camp, now a warming hut for cross country skiers.

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Hanover green in winter.  A snow covered green scene with bench on the Dartmouth College campus in downtown Hanover, New Hampshire.

All images are available as fine art prints, framed prints, canvas, metal prints and more.  https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/winter

Wandering the back roads of New England

New England Photography by Edward M. Fielding

Here in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire around the Connecticut Rivers and in the foothills of New Hampshire’s White Mountains and valleys of Vermont’s Green Mountains, there are so many dirt and gravel back roads to lose one self.

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For a photographer chasing the brilliant changing leaves of Autumn foliage season, that brief time each fall when the forests explode with reds, oranges, yellows and green, these back roads can be a gold mine for finding compelling landscape subjects.

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Hundred year old wooden barns, stone walls stacked by farmers no doubt cursing their “rock crop” as the plowed the thin New England soil and later turned to raising sheep until the Australians killed that market and they sent their daughters down the valley to work in the mills making fabric and the factories along the river making rifles.

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Autumn in New Hampshire

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Autumn in New Hampshire – They say here in New Hampshire there are four seasons stick season when the trees have no leaves, mud when you are waiting for the leaves to pop out, green summer and the color explosion of fall.

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Out of 52 weeks in the year, the autumn season comes down to perhaps three weeks when the foliage is peaking in various regions of the state and you have to time your capture time just right. Wait too long and a hurricane or tropical depression like Irene will roar up the coast and strip off the leaves. And perhaps take out a few roads, bridges and houses.

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Many people book trips to the state for the long Columbus day weekend. Usually there are a lot of activities and festivals going on around Columbus day and you’ll see a lot of bus tour activity – but often these tours miss the peak by a whole week.

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Peaks start in the colder areas, up north and in higher elevations. So if you plan your trip with this in mind and start north and meander south, you’ll be able to maximize your views of the incredible display from Mother Nature.

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Crisp fall days in the mountains and valley’s of New Hampshire can be exhilarating and one of the best times of year to go hiking as its not too hot. Wear layers as the shorter days will start out chilly but as you start hiking along or take in a local agricultural fair, the sun will begin to warm the land and you’ll be striping down to a t-shirt. Only to start to get cold a few hours later when the sun begins to dip on the horizon.

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New Hampshire’s climate from NewHampshire.com:

The Granite State is known for its highly changeable climate where the weather can be warm and sunny one minute and cold and snowy the next. Each of the four seasons vary greatly in their daily temperatures and weather patterns. Climate variations are also due to distance from the ocean, mountains, lakes or rivers. Spring arrives mid March and with it the most unpredictable weather patterns of the year. It’s been known to snow well into April when the flowers are just starting to bloom. The wacky weather patterns of Spring are replaced mid-June by the warm, sunny days and cool, clear nights of Summer. Starting in late September to early October, the landscape becomes ablaze with color and the evening temperatures start dipping below freezing. The days, however, are usually fairly sunny and mild. Winter begins in late October with the first dusting of snow and continues through March, with the last snow usually falling in April.

Capturing a sense of place in your photography

A group of barns in Windsor, Vermont.

Vermont – How does one truly capture a sense of place in photograph? That’s a good question with no definitive answer. There are no camera settings or com-positional rules that guarantee one will come back with a photograph that captures the essence of a place. But there is I think an ingredient in the recipe that is universal and that is time.

I’ve visited this old barn compound in Windsor, Vermont on many occasions in all different seasons.  It’s one of my favorite spots to return to and work out the various compositions afforded by this interesting spot that most would simple drive by on their way to the “top ten” tourist spots.

To truly start to understand a place and then transfer that feeling to others in your photography required spending time in a place. When photographers fail to capture a place in their images, with the result being “ho-hum” or dull photos, its typically because they show up at a spot, say on vacation, and start snapping away before even actually seeing.

When the camera is raised to the eye before the brain actually has time to take in what is being scene, the results are typically uninteresting. Too often we photographers have limited time at a certain place and are rushed to cram in as many “hot spots” or Kodak Moment locations in a day, that we fail to return with a single excellent shot.

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Capturing truly excellent images usually requires more intent and planning then what is afforded say on a bus tour through a national park. The most memorable photographs are taken when the light is at its best rather than when you happen to arrive at the location.

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And I’ve found that visiting a site over time and through out the year is the best way to truly start to understand what it is you are seeing and trying to capture.  Some tips for capturing the essence of a place:

  • Leave the camera at home on your first trip to a place.  (I know this one is tough).  Walk around, study all the angles, thing about where the sun is and what type of lighting will look best.
  • Return to a spot throughout the year.
  • Return to a spot at different times of the day.
  • Go on sunny days, go on overcast days.
  • Don’t set up a tripod right away.  Walk around and look.  See the image in your mind before selecting a lens and angle.
  • Bring a step ladder and view the spot from up high, bring a towel and lay down on the ground for a low angle.
  • Look beyond the obvious, over done shots.   When the crowd looks one way, turn around and see what they are missing.

 

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Iconic Vermont Photographs by Edward M. Fielding For Sale

Blizzard at the red dairy barn.

Iconic Vermont Photographs

Decorating with local Vermont icons seems to be in mind for these recent collector from Randolph, Vermont.  The buyer selected a nice choice of Vermont seasonal landscape photographs from my collection.  I really enjoy seeing this collector curated selection from my portfolio of 100s of Vermont, New Hampshire and New England fine art photographs.  What a great eye this buyer has!

This collection of Vermont photographs reminds me of years it took to create this collection of iconic Vermont images and the individual effort to create each one.  Forget about pouring over maps and driving around to find these spot, I’m talking about putting my body and camera equipment at risk to get the shots.

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I remember my feet slowly slipping across the wet, slimy rocks at this covered bridge and waterfall in Thetford, Vermont as I was lining up the shot.  I keep thinking, unless my boots grip something soon, I’m going over the falls.

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This shot is just over the Connecticut River from Vermont in Etna, New Hampshire.  A big old red classic dairy farm with Dutch style room on a farm just outside of Hanover, NH and Lyme, NH.  A stones throw from Norwich, VT.  Well sane people were at home by the wood stove watching the weather reports, this guy was hiking over, dodging snow plows and then wading knee deep into the snow to compose the sticking image of a classic red New England barn against the snow covered landscape complete with billowing snow.  Thank goodness for my weatherized Canon 6D and a handy wipe to clean the lens.

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The iconic old red mill in Jericho, Vermont is a bit of a trek to find but the danger involved in getting this shot involves a busy thoroughfare more than anything else.

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This shot of a red barn in the late afternoon with the reflection off the Connecticut River involved a bit of maneuvering.  First spotted I had to find a place to park the car on busy Route 5 which follows along on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River.

The I had to hope the guardrail and disappear into the under brush while my wife worried about me back at the car.  To get into position for the reflection to look right I braved the tick infested vines, mud and the remnants of an old barbed wire fence.

Coming back up the bank I had to negotiate the slippy mud, thick underbrush and untangle the barbed wire from my leg before it dug in deep enough to require a tenus shot.

I’ve tried to return to this spot other years but never seem to have found the same area.  Might have been a lower water level that allowed me to get this great Vermont scene.  Just goes to show you,  take the shots when you see them.  You might not be back to the area or even be able to capture the same scene again.

Recently Sold Sunset in the Horse Barn Fine Art Photograph

Horse Barn Sunset

I recently sold a 16.000″ x 12.000″ print of Horse Barn Sunset to a buyer from Sioux Falls, SD.

Horse Barn Sunset

  • Image Size: 16.000″ x 12.000″
  • Total Size: 25″ x 21″
  • Print Material: Luster Photo Paper
  • Frame: PEC6 – Plein Air Economy – Espresso Gold (PEC6)
  • Top Mat: Ivory
  • Bottom Mat: Fudge
  • Finishing: 1/8″ Clear Acrylic – Foam Core Mounting
Vermont Horse Barn
Sunsets on a Vermont Horse Barn.

The story behind Horse Barn Sunset goes something like this – we had recently moved to the Upper Valley region to Hanover, NH from Mount Desert Island, Maine.  We wouldn’t have made the move if my wife’s old friend Ben encouraged her to take the job at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.  Ben is friend and previous co-worker from the old days in the Boston area.

Ben and his wife Ellen moved to Royalton, Vermont a number of years ago and renovated an old farm house, built a horse barn and now have a collection of horse carriages and participate in competitive carriage driving events.

They invited us over for dinner on late fall day when the beautiful Vermont autumn was still in its glory.  I asked if they would mind us coming over early so we planned to get there before the sun set but it took us longer than we planned and arrived when the sun was nearly gone.

I and my camera of course, jumped out of the car and took some pictures, leaving my wife and son to handling the greetings.  I managed to grab a few photos of the horse barn from the outside and inside before the light faded and then had time to be gracious to my host.

This photo from inside Ben’s fine horse barn has sold a number of times.  It was a tricky capture with the dark interior of the horse barn and the bright foliage outside in the yard.  It took a lot of post processing work to preserve the details of the buildings structure and even a horse in one of the stalls.

Outside the foliage of the autumn season is still brilliant in the fading sun on a wonderful fall evening in the Upper Valley, sharing a meal with friends.

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A New England Autumn on the Pond

The Splendor of Autumn Season in New England

Looking ahead, we’ll be in the pond-side house and hopefully mostly unpacked and settled, kid off to college by the autumn fall foliage season.  The scene of brilliant orange, red and yellow leaves against the blue of the pond and ocean should be spectacular.  Meanwhile I’ll share some of my past pond and fall foliage artwork and photography from around New England.

Vermont Farm Landscape
Vermont Farm Landscape by Edward M. Fielding

au·tumn

ˈôdəm/

noun

  1. the third season of the year, when crops and fruits are gathered and leaves fall, in the northern hemisphere from September to November and in the southern hemisphere from March to May.

    “the countryside is ablaze with color in autumn”

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    Custom framing and matting is available with hundreds of combinations to choose from to make the work fit your decor http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/fall

    October

    O hushed October morning mild,
    Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
    Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
    Should waste them all.
    The crows above the forest call;
    Tomorrow they may form and go.
    O hushed October morning mild,
    Begin the hours of this day slow.
    Make the day seem to us less brief.
    Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
    Beguile us in the way you know.
    Release one leaf at break of day;
    At noon release another leaf;
    One from our trees, one far away.
    Retard the sun with gentle mist;
    Enchant the land with amethyst.
    Slow, slow!
    MH20- Old Farmall tractor in the field by Edward M. Fielding
    Old Farmall tractor in the field by Edward M. Fielding  http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/fall
    For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
    Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
    Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
    For the grapes’ sake along the wall.
    Old New England White Picket Fence in Autumn
    Old New England White Picket Fence in Autumn
    Old New England White Picket Fence in Autumn by Edward M. Fielding

    See all of the autumn and fall foliage images in the portfolio of fine art photographer, Edward M. Fielding here – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/fall

The Barns of Vermont and New Hampshire

Family farms sporting traditional and historic wood framed New England barns and stables still dot the New England landscape in Vermont and New Hampshire.  The barns,  most painted bright red against the summer time green landscape, the brilliant orange, brown and red colors of autumn and the white snowy landscape of winter.  But you can find other colors such as white or “hasn’t been painted in decades” gray.

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A fine white barn in South Woodstock at the Green Mountain Horse Asssociation. Founded in 1926, GMHA is the nation’s oldest continuously operating horse association whose mission is to provide and maintain opportunities for educational and competitive activities for diverse equestrian disciplines. Emphasis is placed on equestrian trails preservation, horsemanship and youth education.

The facility, located in South Woodstock, Vermont, offers a wide range of events to hundreds of equestrians each year in dressage, driving, events, hunter/jumpers, and trail riding. GMHA is dedicated to preserving trails and open space for equestrian use, and the trail network covers over 400 miles.

The 65-acre facility includes stabling for 196 horses, four all-weather arenas with European Geo-Textile footing, a spectacular cross-country course, and driving hazards.

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In Enfield, New Hampshire right next door to the historic Shaker Village is a wildlife refuge and this building is part of the maintenance crew’s facilities.

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One of the most photographed farm spots in Vermont if not the world.  When you think of Vermont, the image that enters your brain might just be Jenne Farm.

Jenne Farm is a farm located in Reading, Vermont. It is one of the most photographed farms in the world, especially in autumn. The farm has appeared in magazine covers, photography books, and a Budweiser television advertisement; it has also served as a setting in the films Forrest Gump and Funny Farm. Photographs of the farm have appeared on posters, postcards and wall calendars.

Despite its fame, the private farm is located along a dirt road and is not heavily promoted. The only sign indicating its presence is a tiny board along Vermont State Route 106 advertising maple syrup.

The farm became noted for photogenic scenery about 1955 when a photography school in South Woodstock discovered it. Later, it appeared as an entry in a Life photo contest, on the cover of Yankee magazine, and in Vermont Life.

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Stowe, Vermont and Waterbury, Vermont have many old farms and old barns including this small horse barn on the way from the Ben and Jerry’s factory and on to the ski resort town of Stowe, Vermont.

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This newer classic New England red barn in Etna, New Hampshire, part of Hanover, NH – home of Dartmouth College, beautifully sits on a hillside over looking the small village.

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In the backroads of Vermont, far from the last waypoint on the map or GPS, wonderful old wooden barns in their unpainted beauty can be found among the brilliant fall foliage.

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A collection of old New England barn buildings with a single red door beyond.  This amazing complex of old barns is found right off the main road in Windsor, Vermont – the birthplace of the state.

Recently sold – Winter in Vermont Artwork

Winter in Vermont - watercolor artwork by Edward M. Fielding
Winter in Vermont – watercolor artwork by Edward M. Fielding

“Winter in Vermont” is a watercolor treated photograph from the Brattleboro, Vermont area that depicts a classic red wood frame period farm house among sugar maple trees under a blanket of winter snow. An idyllic landscape that can still be seen in the villages of Vermont.

“Winter in Vermont” by Edward M. Fielding can be purchased as matted and framed wall art decor in 100s of combinations of framing choices and mats or you can purchase this image as a print rolled in a tube in a variety of fine art papers.

The image can also be purchased as a canvas, wood, metal or acrylic print of museum quality that is ready to hang.  It can also be purchased as a greeting card or custom Christmas card, tote bag, phone case, throw pillow, towel, shower curtain and more.

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