Over the past year I’ve been playing with the auto settings on my camera. My aesthetic would normally be to go as natural as possible, but there are many times the result simply looks too flat for my taste, even after I sharpen the image or otherwise tweak it afterward. (In the early years of this blog, I didn’t even do that much. Rarely did I even crop the pic except in the camera as I was shooting.)
As I focused on New England foliage last fall, though, I was really struck by how much the supposedly natural settings differed from what I felt I was seeing. The vibrant colors seemed to turn cold by the time I viewed them on my laptop.
On the other hand, the “magic” setting often ran too hot, occasionally even turning lurid. Sometimes the image simply blew out in a burst of red.
Admittedly, often the foliage does appear subdued, but that’s not what we’re looking for. We want that “oh, wow,” to kick in. That brings up the matter of light, which can pop the leaves from so-so to absolutely glorious in a flash — not that the camera always captures that.
What I’m concluding is that cameras have a mind of their own, and sometimes you just have to respect that. Here are two shots from Dover’s Community Trail. Which do you prefer?
That is, one h or two? Even before we get to COCHECAW / COCHECOW amid a host of other Colonial spellings.
A 1771 map of New England has no Dover (settled in 1623) but Rochester and Durham, later offshoots, as well as the KOCHECKA RIVER.
Also, that map shows Cape Neddick, Maine, as Bald Point, and Winnipesauke Lake, the the north, as Winipissionket Pond.
There’s so much to untangle in such evidence.
The widely used one-h spelling, by the way, is traced to a clerk’s error in 1827 in the founding of the Cocheco Manufacturing Company, building on the cotton mills started in 1812 at the waterfalls downtown.
This round, I’m sticking close to home – places I return to.
Tell us something about one of your own favorites.
Designed somewhat in the appearance of a 19th century mill, a second multiuse tower has been rising on the north bank of the Cocheco River downtown. What has popped up rather expectedly, or so it would seem, is the two small buildings at the water’s edge.
At first I thought they might be boathouses, like those along the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts, many of them for university crew teams. It would make sense here and be a charming touch.
But I was wrong. These two structures, almost dollhouses next to the larger development, are being touted as “the Cottages at Rivers Mark.” Five apartments for rent, in all. I suppose you could fish from your tiny porch.