Crown of Granite

One of the most wonderful things is to be walking a forest path and suddenly come to a slice of rock looming dramatically through the trees. Often they rise as high as a house with more heft and grandeur than you think could be possible in a woodland.

Glacial erratics are also wonderful - these are often SUV or room-sized boulders that are literally dropped from glaciers in their retreat northward. They appear randomly and sometimes even singly. They surprise and delight and are often cleaved in two by intense freezing and thawing cycles. Ledge like this suffers the same fate as you can see. Those cracks and crevices are exploited and widened by lichens, mosses and other plants that colonize bare surfaces. Over time that creates soil for even larger plants.

Taken in the same spot and the same day as the lady bug picture - this is why it’s called the Rocky Hill Preserve! All my life I’ve been trying and mostly failing to photograph granite ledge and/or erratics in the forest. It’s probably one of the most difficult things to do as other New England photographers can attest.

This is the best I could do at this location. I remember having to get right into a small sapling and hold most of it out of the way for this shot, but it was the only way to make it work. If it wasn’t fall I don’t think it would be as successful so I’m glad I took the time and made the effort since it would be my last season in New England before moving to Wisconsin. Of course we have our own version of this here and I’ve been no more successful in photographing those either, but I do keep trying.

Specific Feedback Requested

So…am I crazy or does it work?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No

rock ledge

Lightroom for all processing and lens correction. Nothing outside the usual black and white points, clarity & texture. Some sharpening. As Diane says, nothing heroic.


I think it works really well. I like the path leading line, and the balanced repeating patterns of rock fissures left. And trees on the right. I also like the soft warm tones. Well done!

I really like this, Kris. The bottom edge of the glacial erratic is a nice leading line into the scene. I also like the tree on the right as a framing item. I’m not sure, and believe me not the greatest judge of color, but it does seem a bit heavy on the yellows. Although it is fall, so what do I know. :slight_smile:

The wall of rock and the sweeping curve of fallen leaves and needles make this a nicely dynamic and very inviting view with the greens and golds adding a fine touch of warmth.

Thanks @KenHebert, @David_Bostock & @Mark_Seaver - that little strip of leafy path is what got me off the trail proper and into the stand of saplings. Must have been funny to watch me in there, but I got the shot so it was worth it.

Wonderful!! An inviting composition pulling me into the image on a visual pathway. Wonderful autumn light color. As said, the repeating dark cracks and trunks make this special. Well worth looking a little silly to get the best camera position!

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