I might just be attuned to the theme, but I hear and read a lot about storytelling in photography. This, of course, is what photo essays are about - the narrative form perfected by Life magazine among...
they've got the ocean. In New Hampshire, they've got high mountains covered in
pine trees. Pine trees do not change color in the winter time. It took me awhile
to figure this out, but I'm pretty sure that it is true. In Vermont, they've got
lower mountains covered in deciduous trees. Deciduous trees change color in the
Start with the
Guide to New England. This book has excellent driving tours with all the
important sights marked with stars. They have a particularly nice tour for the
White Mountains of New Hampshire. Contact Robert Hitchman, author and publisher of Photograph
America, and get the back issues on Autumn in Vermont
(#2) and Acadia/Maine Coast (#13).
Finally, pick up the state tourist board maps as
you cross borders. These are useful for pinpointing covered bridges
and such. None of these maps show the tiny little roads that you'll be
on for the best photography. Even the GPS databases are not quite up
to the challenge of the rural road networks of these states and will
try to send you down roads that would be best described as "jeep
tracks". If you have a good sense of direction and don't mind being
mildly lost much of the time, enjoy your rambling. If you are overly
analytical and want to know where you are, then pick up the moby
Delorme atlases for Vermont,New
You have to allow at least
three or four days in each area. I'd say that you could productively stay in
Woodstock, Vermont for a whole week, straying no farther than 50 miles from your
hotel. The White Mountains deserve at least three or four days. Franconia Notch,
north of Lincoln, tends to peak around October 1st so don't get there too late.
If you like the fading grand resort idea, stay at the Mt. Washington Hotel in
Bretton Woods, which gave its name to the system of exchange rates that prevailed
into the 1970s. It is a long 6-hour drive from Boston to Acadia National Park in
Maine. Allow a week for the Maine Coast and Acadia or give up on the idea and
come back another year.
My friend Bill grew up in Vermont and his favorite inn throughout the state is
Ten Bends on the River (802-888-2827) in Hyde Park (NE of Burlington).
maximum resolution digital camera (it is all about the details) or Fuji Velvia if you're using film equipment
Wide angle lens for all-around work, e.g., a 16-35/2.8 zoom with a
full-frame body, a 10-22mm range with an APS-C camera, or 7-14mm with
a Four-Thirds system body
Macro lens for leaf patterns and such. Any macro lens between 50 and 100mm should work fine.
Telephoto lens to isolate and compress elements. With a full-frame
camera, a 70-200mm is practical and the f/2.8 aperture lenses are not
necessary because you're not taking portraits.
Live Free and/or Die
The motto on New Hampshire license plates, "Live Free or Die", is reasonably
photogenic, especially when one considers the motto's history of litigation. A
woman sued because she wanted her car registered in New Hampshire but wanted a
plate without the bellicose motto. The courts told her that she was out of luck.
Perhaps she's moved to Boston where people save their bellicosity for the actual
Anyway, my favorite New Hampshire picture is the side-by-side State Safety
Rest Area and State Liquor Store. New Hampshire used to be one of the few states
where you could legally drink a beer in your car, i.e., they had no "open
container law". Anyway, you don't need PhotoShop to create this absurd image.
Just pull over at the first stop off I-93N from Boston.
Or almost home. I snagged a fairly reasonable foliage picture just north of
the Boston suburb of Ayer, Massachusetts.