The Rhododendrons will blossom soon!

While searching for images to be printed in the June issue of WNC Magazine I came across a photograph that I had taken in 2005. I had all but forgotten about this image! Not sure why, for I really love this one. After getting the images together for two, two-page full-bleed Vista images and two more photos for a special feature about the North Carolina Mountains, I decided that I had better get my images caught up in my cataloging software. Man, I’m so far behind! Anyway, I thought that I’d post this image, being that it’s so perfect for the upcoming season in the highcountry. 

 

Spring in the highcountry, Craggy Gardens, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

 

Canon EOS 5D, TS-E 45mm (rise and very slight off-axis tilt), Polarizer, f/16 @ .6 sec, ISO 200

Solitude, Beauty Spot Gap, Unaka Mountains, TN & NC

As the title implies, “Solitude” is the first thing that comes to my mind with this tree, which I know very well. It stands alone in an open meadow along the Appalachian Trail. I’ve been shooting in this area for over 10-years and I just keep coming back. It’s like an old friend that keeps revealing a new side every season.

Canon EOS 5D, TS-E 24mm (rise only), no filters, f/14 @ 1/125sec, ISO 250

Processed with Capture One Pro and Photoshop CS3 extended

 

Spring forest #2, Unaka Mountain Wilderness, Tennessee

This is another photograph that I took in the Unaka Mountain Wilderness Area. I am so drawn to the forest floor in the spring. The may-apple and trillium leaves are just beautiful. The fog created the mysterious feeling I wanted to convey. The combination of the large tree and smaller, younger, trees topped off the scene for me.

Canon EOS 5D, TS-E 24mm (fall with tilt), no filters, f/14 @ 1/100 sec, ISO 250

Processed with Capture One Pro and Photoshop CS3 Extended

Feel free to comment on any of my posts, I encourage it! Thank you for visiting!

 

Spring forest, Unaka Mountain Wilderness Area, Tennessee

What a great morning! I really love to spend my days shooting in the mountains when it is fogged in. I love how the forest changes its demeanor when shrouded in fog.

EOS 5D, TS-E 24mm (fall w/ tilt), f/11, 1/30sec

Photo processed with Capture One Pro and Photoshop CS3 Extended

Buffalo Mountain Fire plus ATV trail on Buffalo!

Buffalo Mountain fire! It does look as though the fire was started along the trail. They are saying that it was set by a human, no word whether intentional or accident. The main trail is an ATV trail and I have my suspicions on how this was started if it did, indeed, start on or near the ATV trail. More than likely, a cigarette or exhaust from an ATV or motorcycle. I’ve always been torn between my feelings for ATV areas in our mountains. I grew up riding and racing motorcycles, on and off-road. But, I HAVE NEVER SEEN the type of destruction that the ATV’s are causing in our mountains! The problem is the very apparent disconnect between the operators and the environment they are riding in. They DO NOT lift a finger when it comes to maintaining the trail systems. This is the #1 thing that they could do to repair their image with the general public. Also, by showing a bit of responsibility they could, very well, be rewarded more places to ride. I just don’t understand the mentality of these riders. They need to wake up! Maybe a required class needs to be taken before they could ride in these areas. Someone needs to teach them how to ride and respect the privilege of riding these trails. They need to understand that riding on these trails is a privilege not a right!

 

Please note: I’m not blaming anyone or any group for the fire. I’ll leave that up to the officials that are investigating the fire. I’m making a comment about the destruction of the forest around the ATV trail. When I moved here, just over 12-years ago, only mountain bikes and motorcycles rode the multi-use trail on Buffalo and the trail was a single-track trail with very few problems. Now it is a highway! Huge mud-filled holes with multiple, illegal, trails running all over the place. Riders should police themselves! If they see someone riding illegally then they should handle it accordingly. If not, they should loose the rights to ride the trail, period!

 

 

 

Rocky Fork Gorge, Unicoi County, Tennessee

 

WOW! What a wonderful hike! My friend Dave Ramsey and I made the hike up into the gorge where Rocky Fork drops over 250′ in less than a 1/2-mile. It’s very impressive as Rocky Fork drops over, through, and around the massive, house-sized, boulders as it works its way to the convergence with Flint Creek. The hike up is a bit challenging due to no really defined trail access. There’s an old faint road with a fisherman’s trail but it crosses Rocky Fork many times. I found it more fun to wear my Chaco’s and work my way along the edge, wading into the crystal clear water, just enjoying the trip. I can say, we were probably the first to be in there for a while, maybe in years! This is the great part with Rocky Fork; it has the feel of Great Smoky Mountains National Park but no people! Most of the time that I’ve been in Rocky Fork, I can feel comfortable in saying that I was the only human being in the entire 10,000-acre tract! It’s a great feeling!

 EOS 5D, TS-E 45mm w/ polarizer, f/14 @1/4sec

Foamflower, wild blue phlox & star chickweed, Shelton Laurel Backcountry Area, Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

 

The Shelton Laurel Backcountry Area is really a wonderful place! Abbey and I took our little girl, Serén, on her first hike in the mountains there yesterday. The flowers are still beautiful! There’s an abundance of purple phaceila, wild blue phlox, wild geranium, trillium, and the list goes on! walking up the old road is like walking through a wildflower garden! Here’s another closeup from a few days back.

EOS 5D, TS-E 90mm w/ EF1.4x extender, extension tubes, f/7.0 @ 1/12 sec, ISO 250

Forest Floor, Spring, Shelton Laurel Backcountry Area, Pisgah National Forest, NC

What a great place! The wildflowers are just getting started here but the colors of the forest floor are amazing! The understory is coming alive, it’s a wonderful time to be in the mountains and to be a nature photographer!

 

As you may notice, I used a TS-E lens. The abilities of the TS-E line of lenses is amazing! They’re not as convenient as zooms but the movements and the sharpness are worth the extra effort.  

 EOS 5D, TS-E 45mm, polarizer, f/16 @ .5 sec

Welcome to my photo blog!

 

 

Well, I guess I’ll jump right into this Blogosphere phenomenon with both feet! I need to remind you all that I’m a professional photographer and not a writer, so you’ll have to bear with me. I’ll be posting new images here, hopefully taken within just a few hours or days at the most. Also, I’ll be rambling and posting about things that I feel strongly about. I hope that I don’t offend anyone but this is a blog and that’s what bloggers do sometimes! Well, that’s what they tell me anyway! I hope that visitors will take the time to comment and I look forward to the dialog! Welcome!

 Here’s my first image post. This photo was taken in Rocky Fork a few days ago. I love playing with my new Canon G9! It’s a beautiful little rangefinder style camera producing a 12mp image. Just a note, please don’t confuse this with a camera that will produce an image of the same quality as a 12+ mp DSLR camera. The sensor is very tiny compared and cannot produce images with the same detail. Other than this, it’s perfect for specific jobs. I will use it for special applications where carrying a heavy system is not possible. I’ve been working some assignments where this camera will be perfectly suited.

Flowing water #1, Rocky Fork, TN

Canon PowerShot G9

Shutter Speed:  1/6 second

Aperture (F-Stop):  f/8.0

ISO: 80

Focal Length:  29.2mm