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June 22. 2013 2:31AM

Panoramic mountains

After an absence, Ernie Mills is back at Auto Road leading adventure photography tours


 

PINKHAM NOTCH – Professional photographer Ernie Mills is back again this year as a stagecoach driver on the Mount Washington Auto Road, a position that he returned to last year after an almost two-decade absence from the Northeast's tallest mountain's carriage road.

He was, as Howie Wemyss, Auto Road general manager, put it, "feeling the pull of the mountain."

His return to the road, which climbs nearly eight miles of road up the 6,288-foot mountain, heralds another season of three-hour Adventures Photography Tours. The tours offer participants a chance to experience the mountain with the noted photographer, gaining knowledge of the peculiarities of light, distance and color that make the ever-changing views from Mount Washington a photographer's dream.

The tours are offered Fridays, with sunrise, daytime and sunset tours traveling Mount Washington and other spots in Pinkham Notch. Tours are available on other days by special request.

Mills' intimate acquaintance with the Presidential Range of the White Mountains, and his long history with the moods of the sky and challenging weather, makes the tour valuable for photographers who are looking to stretch their horizons.

The depth of Mills' expertise can be seen on the Auto Road's Facebook page, where his photos are regularly posted. A June 2 dramatic photo shows a storm rolling through, as seen from the summit of the mountain, the bluish layers of the dark sky echoing the increasingly indistinct outlines of the state's highest peaks, both the sky and the land tossed in a jumble of shades and shapes.

The tour is flexible enough so that Mills can show you where to go, when to go, and what to shoot, depending on the time of day and the weather conditions.

Mills, Wemyss said, knows what the options are even if the conditions seem less than ideal.

"It's worked out well," Wemyss said of last year's tours.

The ticket price is $150 for adults and $100 for young people 12 to 17 years old (the tour is not recommended for children under 12). The daytime and evening tours include a box lunch from the Glen View Café. For the sunrise tour, participants may enjoy breakfast at the café.

To reserve a spot, call Miles at (317) 691-7376 or the Auto Road at 466-3988. For links to Mills' website, go to mtwashingtonautoroad.com.


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