Out on The Porch | Ode to HDR

If you have visited The Daily Portsmouth before today, it’s no secret that I love HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography.  There’s something about the process that reminds me of the days I spent learning how to develop black & white film in the darkroom in my days at UNH.  It’s a very intimate process where you’re selecting where you want certain portions of the image to be overexposed, saturated with color, masked, etc.  It’s the process of creating the image you’ve envisioned while out on site and admiring a view of a landscape, a building, or in this case – a porch.  Obviously – you don’t have to use HDR processing to reach this vision, but there’s something about it that excites me as I wait for the image to present itself after blending my exposures (brackets) before I get to do my final tweaking…similar to waiting for the image to take hold while the paper sits in the developer.

As I was editing this photo (and admittedly going through the motions), I realized that the ceiling of this porch was actually painted a baby blue color and not the pure white that I had always assumed it had been.  It’s probably because my eyes always quickly darted through the scene while I was standing there, and I never thought to take stock of what was above me, as I was struck by the pure New England feel of the setting…so when I realized the colors were that much more varied and subtle…my appreciation for the process of editing and the modern day “developing” my digital film grew that much more.  I hope you’re out exploring scenes both familiar and unfamiliar, and appreciating what surrounds you.

Rooftops on Bow Street

And today: something a little different.  I’ll get back to some lovely seascape landscapes on Thursday…but I thought I’d mix things up a bit today.  These are the rooftops of some of the condos located on the riverbank of the Piscataqua, next to Harbor Place…as seen from the rooftop perch above the Ale House Inn.

The scene was recently drenched by thunderstorms and ominous skies….so you can se the still wet bricks down below.  I instantly loved this scene – although it was a bit precarious to attempt to capture it with my camera, as it required some leaning out over the building (don’t worry, I was kept safe by a wrought iron fence).  The symmetry plus the incredible distance down to the ground and the interesting rooftop scene that is rarely seen all made for interesting elements to this shot.  I think it’s funny how the heating/air conditioning units on the top of the building appear to be bigger than the front doors down below.

Sunset at the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion

One of my favorite places to visit on a warm summer evening is the Wentworth-Coolidge mansion on the waterfront of Portsmouth’s back channel.  It’s almost always delightfully quiet….with the gorgeous colors of a sunset and the rich colors of the grass and the home – it’s rarely a disappointing stop.  The little boat on the mooring added another element to the shot – and the Wentworth By The Sea is peeking out from the trees in the distance.

Lounging at The Wentworth

The grounds of the Wentworth By The Sea are gorgeous.  I was back in this neck of the woods this afternoon, so decided to see if I could find some new things to snap shots of.  Despite being here numerous times before, I never wander too far from the bottom of the hill where I’ve captured a few shots of the hotel that I have really liked.  I stumbled across these adirondack chairs that I’m sure have been there for a very long time, but until this afternoon I hadn’t ever seen them – and today I could definitely appreciate the luxury they provide to those who plop down in them to relax for a few.  Looking forward to when I can unwind in one of these!

At the Wentworth Marina

It’s that time of year when everyone loves being in the Seacoast.  The Wentworth Marina in New Castle is no exception, and the water is packed with all types of boats.  This was the first time I’d ever made my way down to the docks below the Latitudes restaurant that belongs to the upscale waterfront hotel…and I was blown away at how fancy everything felt, even though I had expected it to be of the highest quality.  The setting was surreal, though the lighting wasn’t the best…but I was happy to come away with this shot and a few others that will make their way to the site over the next couple weeks.

Hilton Garden Inn on The Hill

Atop Portsmouth’s historic North End neighborhood sits several old colonial homes that remind me of what it must have been like to walk around town 100-200 years ago.  Along with those historic homes that are now part of the historic condominium made on site to protect the buildings sit several redeveloped parcels including the Hilton Garden Inn (which is across the street from the notorious bomb scare on Hanover Street), with the Portwalk Place project just down the hill on the same block.

All in all it’s a beautiful area, becoming more so as the redevelopment of the Parade Mall real estate continues to enhance the curb appeal of this growing part of town.  I like this particular shot because it captures the new bricks of the Hilton along with the Piscataqua River Bridge and the Sarah Long Bridge together with the colorful historic homes located in the Northern Tier.

The Ale House Inn

The Ale House Inn is a 10-room inn located on Bow Street downtown.  I’ve shared a few cool shots of the place in the past, and plan to post more in the future.  I love the feel of the place, very cozy and respectful of the building’s history as a grain storage warehouse for a brewery, yet modern and sleek with great furniture and amenities…and the lobby is just awesome.  The brick walls are welcoming and so is the long hallway…all in all, very New England and well worth a visit.