Through The Lens 133 – Gettysburg Clearing Storm

Clearing Storm - Brigadier General Gouvernor Kemble Warren - Little Round Top

A storm clears over the Brigadier General Gouvernor Kemble Warren statue on Little Round Top, just in time for a beautiful sunset during Gettysburg’s 150th Anniversary back in 2013.

Trip Report – Railfest 2017

Last fall, I attended Steamtown National Historic Site’s annual Railfest. The highlight of the event was a night photo session that included scenes at the Sand Tower, Mattes Street Tower and the Roundhouse. I arrived in time for the night session Saturday night and then stayed over to see the event Sunday. Special events included demonstrations in the machine shop, tours of the Office and Stores Building, and of course train rides pulled by Baldwin Locomotive Works #26.

Sand Tower:

Mattes Street Tower:

Roundhouse:

Machine Shop Demonstration:

Ring of Fire:

Singing the Theme Song:

Through The Lens 116 – Night at the Roundhouse

One of my favorite photos from the night session held during the 2017 Railfest at Steamtown National Historic Site. Steve Barry provided the lighting and did an excellent job as usual. Unlike the typical practice of late where night sessions are lit with a constant light source, this one was done with flash which produces a much better quality of light and freezes the smoke and steam.

Just finished editing the photos from Railfest, so look for a trip Report Tuesday.

Through The Lens 108 – Yellowstone

The recent cold snap had me thinking about the coldest weather I’ve experienced. It was -31°F the morning we went to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and it was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve seen.  Clear blue skies and the air shimmered with tiny ice crystals floating.  Its hard to believe it was ten years ago.  It seems like I was just there.

Through The Lens 103 – Antietam Memorial Illumination

Tomorrow (unless postponed by weather) is the 2017 edition of the Antietam Memorial Illumination.  I won’t be attending this year as I have other commitments, but I highly recommend anyone in the area making the trip to Sharpsburg to drive through the Battlefield.  The army of volunteers places one luminary on the battlefield for each casualty.  Antietam remains our bloodiest day in war with 23,110 casualties, a number that isn’t fully understood until you see it represented in candles.

More information here for those who wish to attend:  Antietam Memorial Illumination

Through The Lens 100 – Big Creek Cascades

Big Creek Cascades - Autumn

Big Creek is one of my favorite locations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Big Creek is full of these little cascades and pools and is a lot of fun to shoot.

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.

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 85 – Ravens Roost Adding Scale

Ravens Roost Overlook Sunset

Since a number of folks liked my previous post from Ravens Roost Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I thought I’d share another.

I usually don’t include people in my landscape photos because they’re often distracting elements.  But on the rare occasion when they’re standing in the right spot, its nice to include people to add a sense of scale.  After other photographers had moved on to other locations at the overlook, I found a composition that allowed me to include two people between the trees.

Through The Lens 83 – Ravens Roost Overlook

Ravens Roost Overlook Sunset

This photo of sunset at Ravens Roost Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway is another case of luck favoring the prepared.  I was driving from work in Baltimore down to Roanoke for Memorial Day Weekend to photograph N&W 611 on her trips out of Roanoke.  During lunch at work I took a couple of minutes to look up potential sunset locations on the the Blue Ridge Parkway just in case I was ahead of schedule and had time to head back up the parkway after checking into my hotel.  Four traffic accidents on I-81 turned a 4 hour drive into 7 hours, but remembering one photo I saw of an overlook at the North end of the parkway, I turned east on I-64 with just enough time to get to Ravens Roost Overlook before sunset.  Sometimes you just get lucky.