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.

Through The Lens 94 – Colonial Williamsburg Fall Color

Another from the archives.  This is one of those luck favors the prepared kind of moments.  A couple of years ago, Dad and I took a weekend photo trip to Colonial Williamsburg.  While we were there we stumbled into a video shoot for an upcoming TV commercial, allowing us to photograph part of Duke of Gloucester Street without any non-colonial inhabitants.

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.

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 2 – Sunsets & Night Photography

Sunset - Clingman's Dome

The clear skies that made waterfall photography difficult did create opportunities for great sunset and night photography on Clingman’s Dome and along the Newfound Gap road.

Sunsets on Clingman’s Dome are fun to watch.  On a clear day just before sunset a line of photographers appear along the edge of the parking lot to get the classic shot of the sun dropping behind the distant mountains. Stick around after the sun disappears and the colors turn from oranges and purples to pastel pinks and blues.

Twilight - Clingman's Dome

For a little different perspective, a climb to the top of the observation platform gets you above the tree tops.  If you decide to make the climb, allow plenty of time.  The path is steep and at high elevation.

Sunset Clingman's Dome

Once it’s dark enough for the Milky Way to appear, the trees at Clingman’s Dome and the overlooks on Newfound Gap Road make interesting foregrounds.

Clingman’s Dome Trail:

Milky Way - Clingman's Dome

Milky Way - Clingman's Dome

Morton Overlook:

Milky Way - Morton Overlook

That’s it for Part 2.  If you missed it, please have a look at Part 1 of the trip report.  Check back in two weeks for Part 3 – Cades Cove.