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Morning at Kent Pond

Mountains surround the partially-frozen Kent Pond at sunrise on the morning of 23 November 2012.

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Back to Kent Pond two mornings after my first visit, this time with a mind to shoot the pond itself against the backdrop of the Green Mountains – which were looking a bit more brown this particular morning, being sadly free of snow. But the sunrise was decent and the rising light side-lit Pico Mountain rather nicely, and most of all it felt good to be out there wandering around the shoreline.

Not sure what the deal was with the pond, but it was lower than usual by at least a couple of feet. That’s a good thing from my standpoint, as it gave me access to areas I wouldn’t normally be able to reach. By the fishing access I was able to follow the shore around the marsh and shoot across the pond towards Pico and the sunrise.

Mountains surround the partially-frozen Kent Pond at sunrise on the morning of 23 November 2012.

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Mountains surround the partially-frozen Kent Pond at sunrise on the morning of 23 November 2012.

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Turns out this didn’t work out as well as I had hoped – too much dynamic range. Keeping the sky down to preserve the colors left the rest of the scene in muddy shadow. I was shooting from the tripod but didn’t feel like using HDR as a solution, so I trekked back through the frozen marsh and relocated to the opposite side, parking in a new lot off the dam.

This angle was much better, as it let me shoot with the sunrise side-lighting the scene. Plus the low water level gave me shoreline access pretty deep into the west side of the pond, which is normally pretty remote. At sunrise, I think this is the place to really be. Not only is it a workable view of Pico in the background, but all of the pond’s islands are near and make excellent elements.

Islands in Kent Pond on the morning of 23 November 2012.

Islands in Kent Pond on the morning of 23 November 2012.

I kept switching lenses and playing around, shooting with the 25mm, 45mm, and even a few with the 75-300mm towards the end. (The birches catching the first light from across the pond.) By the end I was doing more wandering than serious shooting, just enjoying the morning out.

BRENT PENNINGTON Birch trees reflect in Kent Pond on the morning of 23 November 2012.

Before calling it quits, I dropped over the hill to the boardwalk trail at Thundering Brook Falls. I only found out about this site a couple of summers ago, but love it – the boardwalk is first-class and goes through a lovely riparian zone, ending at at the woodline on the hill, where Thundering Brook cascades down a fairly large set of falls. The falls themselves weren’t very impressive this morning, but I got some nice shots of the hillside forest.

Forest alongside Thundering Brook Falls, behind Kent Pond on the morning of 23 November 2012.

Forest alongside Thundering Brook Falls, behind Kent Pond on the morning of 23 November 2012.

These are two slightly different compositions; I couldn’t decide if I liked them better in color or B&W, so I did one of each. I finished the morning up with a macro of frost on the plants, and a pano of the riparian zone, as seen from the treeline.

BRENT PENNINGTON Frost covers the plants in the marsh near Thundering Brook Falls, behind Kent Pond, on the morning of 23 November 2012.

Frost covers the plants in the marsh near Thundering Brook Falls, behind Kent Pond, on the morning of 23 November 2012.

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Then it was back home, where another hot breakfast was waiting (I think it was pancakes this time). This was my last outing from my Vermont trip – it was over too fast and I didn’t get in enough shooting, but the weather turned poor and since this was vacation, I decided I’d rather stay in bed those last mornings than go out and shiver under a cloudy sky.

Brent Pennington

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