Through The Lens 97 – Gettysburg Fall Color

Fall color from a day trip to Gettysburg a couple of years ago.  The purple wildflowers contrasted nicely with the reds and oranges of the fall foliage in the background.

Through The Lens 95 – Cass Fall Photography Workshop

This weekend, I’m attending the 2017 edition of the Cass Fall Photography Workshop.  While there isn’t a photo charter component this year, I’m happy that the night photo shoot will occur again this year.  The photo above is from the night session at last year’s workshop.  I can’t wait to see what Walter and Clayton have in store for us this year.

With any luck, I’ll post the photos from last year’s workshop in the next month.

Trip Report – Colorado Fall Color 2016 Part 3

Continuing on from Part 2, the next stop was Maroon Bells for sunrise. Located in the Snowmass Wilderness, this is a very popular sunrise photo location. Unfortunately a storm was blowing through so I didn’t get the alpine glow sunrise that you typically see here. Instead I got a nice pre-dawn shot (above) with some stars visible between the clouds and a late morning shot when the sun came out and the wind stopped just long enough to get a decent reflection in the lake.
From there I traveled south over Independence Pass, stopping at a couple of spots to take photos of the spectacular landscape before heading to Great Sand Dunes National Park.

The Ghost Town of Independence:

Roaring Fork River:

Snow Squall:

Twin Lakes:

I arrived at Great Sand Dunes in a windstorm, so I didn’t spend much time on the dune field.  Clouds over the park with clear skies to the west provided some nice storm light on the Dunes.

Dune field from the Entrance Road:

Dunes from the Entrance Road

High Dune Hikers:

Dunefield Storm Light:

Look for Part 4 covering the two railroad photo charters this trip was centered around in a couple of weeks.

Through The Lens 86 – Maroon Bells

Maroon Bells is a popular location to photograph sunrise in Colorado, especially in the fall when the aspen trees on both sides of the lake turn gold.  A storm was blowing through the morning I was there, so we didn’t have the typical alpine sunrise reflected in the lake. There was a short break in the clouds after sunrise that allowed the photographers assembled at the lake to get a couple of photos before the clouds closed in again.

I’ll post Part 3 of my Colorado Fall Trip Report on Tuesday, covering Maroon Bells, Independence Pass and Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Trip Report – Colorado Fall Color 2016 Part 2

Devil's Lookout

Continuing where we left off in Part 1 of the trip report, after leaving Mesa Verde National Park, I drove North to Montrose Colorado to be in position for sunrise at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison became a National Park on October 21, 1999, encompasing 30,750 acres and is known for its incredibly steep cliffs and narrow canyon.  At its narrowest point, Chasm View, the canyon is 1,100ft wide at the rim, 40ft wide at the river and 1,820ft deep!  This unique steepness and narrowness is caused by the steep route the Gunnison River takes through the canyon.  It averages 34ft of drop per mile which causes the river to cut deeper into the canyon faster than the walls can erode and widen the canyon.

Island Peaks:
Island Peaks

Pulpit Rock:
Pulpit Rock

Chasm View:

Chasm View

The canyon is difficult to photograph during the day due to the huge contrast between the shadows and the sunny side of the canyon. I think this park may be best captured in the pre-dawn and post sunset light.  A second trip to better capture this park is definitely in order.

Part 3 of the trip report will cover Maroon Bells and Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Trip Report – Colorado Fall Color 2016 Part 1

Last fall I had the opportunity to attend two photo charters in Colorado, so I extended the trip to allow time to visit a couple of national parks.  First up was Mesa Verde National Park. Created on June, 29th, 1906 by Theodore Roosevelt, Mesa Verde National Park was the first of it’s kind. All prior National Parks were created to preserve nature. Mesa Verde was established to preserve the works of man.

I only had one afternoon to visit Mesa Verde this time, but that was more than enough time to capture the two images I had in mind. First was sunset at Square Tower House:

Square Tower House Sunset

Second was the Milky Way over Park Point:

As a bonus I got a post sunset shot of the old Knife Edge Road that served as the entrance to the park for many years.  The went around the rock formation to the left in the image below, literally only one car width wide.  Thankfully they’ve built a wider road to replace it:

After finishing with the milky way shots, I headed north to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.  More on that in Part 2.

Through The Lens 45 – Mail Pouch Memories

Mail Pouch Memories

Sometimes you’re in the right place at the right time. Last fall, I was on my way from Cass, WV to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and happened to drive by this Mail Pouch Barn on a beautiful foggy morning. The owner graciously allowed me to photograph the barn. These roadside treasures of America’s past are disappearing quickly. When you see one, make sure to stop and photograph it because it may not be there the next time.

Through The Lens 43 – Cass Fall Photography Workshop

Its that time of year again. Tomorrow I’ll be attending the Cass Photography Workshop for the third year in a row. Even though I’m arriving a little late due to a prior commitment, I’m looking forward to seeing what Walter and Clayton have in store for us this year.

Trip Report – Great Smoky Mountains National Park 2015 – Part 3 – Cades Cove

For the final part of my Great Smoky Mountains 2015 Trip Report, we’ll visit my favorite place in the park – Cades Cove.

Cades Cove is home to several homesites, churches, and lots of wildlife, making it a great place for photography. Here’s a few of my favorites from last fall:
Cable Mill

Cable Mill

Cades Cove Methodist Church

Cades Cove Methodist Church

Hyatt Lane Sunrise

Hyatt Lane Sunrise

Becky Cable Home

Becky Cable Home

Primitive Baptist Church Road

Cades Cove - Primitive Baptist Church Road

Tipton Barn

Tipton Barn

Sparks Lane Sunrise

Sparks Lane Sunrise

Thanks for following along.  If you missed the the first two parts you can find them here:  Part 1  Part 2