POTD: Triplets

Title and Location

Triplets

Location: Tremont area of the Smoky Mountains
Camera: Phase One P65+, Mamiya 645D, 45mm
Settings: f/16, ISO 50, multiple exposures, 2 shots stitched
When: April 2010

These three boulders reminded me of little boys wrestling.  Actually you wouldn’t call it wrestling but maybe “Whoever ends up on top wins!”.  Early morning sun shining through the background foliage almost looked like autumn.  Maples are colorful any time of the year and this park is full of them and almost every other hardwood.

As a new photographer, I found this image a challenge.  The light coming through the foliage onto the water was difficult to expose without blowing out the whitewater.  I took extra exposures at a faster shutter speed and blended those in where the brightest light was shining.

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POTD: Secret Garden

Title and Location

Secret Garden

Location: Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee
Camera: Phase One P65+, Mamiya 645D, 35mm
Settings: f/11, iso 50, 1/250
When: April 2010

A panoramic view of White Oak Sink in the Smoky Mountain National Park.  An easy two mile hike and you find yourself in beautiful, open forest carpeted with blue phlox.  The bright light backlit the young leaves and gave a nice side lighting on the tree trunks.

If you see phlox blooming along the road to Cades Cove you might ask a ranger or photography guide to take you to White Oak Sink.  They usually bloom at the same time around the second week of April.

This was the first photography trip I took after my accident.  The two mile hike would be a snap now but back then I wondered if I could make it.  I would love to find myself back here with flowers in bloom.  (Actually I would love to revisit all the locations I have photographed.  As you would expect, my photography technique and artistic vision has improved over the last 7 years.)

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POTD: Smoky Mountain Stream

Title and Location

Smoky Mountain Stream

Location: Smoky Mountains near Townsend, TN
Camera: Phase One P65+, Mamiya 645D, 35mm
Settings: f/11, ISO 50, 1/2 sec
When: April 2010

An iconic Smoky Mountain stream photographed along the middle prong of the Little River.  On the road to Cades Cove you’ll see a turnoff for Tremont Educational Facility.  This short drive is one of the most iconic in the park and it is beautiful almost anytime.  This dirt road follows the river the whole way, park anywhere and point your camera.  On the weekends this spot will be busy with photographers shooting the horseshoe shaped cascade.

The maples in early spring have a nice bright color that contrasted well against the rhododendron foliage in the background.

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POTD: Phlox and Mayapple

Title and Location

Phlox and Mayapple

Location: Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee
Camera: Phase One P65+, Mamiya 645D, Mamiya 35mm
Settings: f/16, ISO 50, 1/250
When: April 2010

This scene was photographed in a previously secret area of Smoky Mountain National Park called White Oak Sink. The location was not publicised because the flora is very fragile. If you visit this area, please stay on the trails.

When the sky is clear blue and the light intense you can still make dramatic photographs if you pay attention to the angle of light. Notice how I moved the camera and composed the scene so the sunlight was directly backlighting the trees.  I exposed for the shadows and increased the shutter speed until the highlights were not clipped. Using my hand I shielded the lens from direct sunlight or there would have been serious flare in the image.

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POTD: Patriarch

Title and Location

Patriarch

Location: Mt. Magazine State Park
Camera: Phase One P65+, Cambo RS, Schnedier 24XL
Settings: f/16, ISO 50, 1/25 sec
When: November, 2010

A clearing storm at the end of the day added some nice color to an already dramatic scene.  This beautiful red cedar with a natural bansai look clings to the side of the clif overlooking the Petit Jean River Valley.  Looking at it’s precarious perch, it is hard to believe this tree is nearly 800 years old.

I am drawn to images of survival against all odds and trees are one of my favorite subjects – win/win. There is something about these old trees that speaks to the soul softly whispering “Hang in there, you might accomplish something amazing!”.

This image is made from two exposures stitched to make a vertical panorama. IT was a pretty easy composition, just keep the camera level and don’t let the foliage overlap with the surrounding trees. Vertical panos make a huge impression in a small space.  Imagine standing in front of an 8′ print of this image.

Another view of this tree was my first post on this blog.

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POTD: Underground Magic

Title and Location

Underground Magic

Location: Page, Arizona
Camera: Phase One P45, Cambo RS, Schneider 35XL
Settings: ISO 100, f/16, 5 seconds, two shot stitch
When: October 2010

A few days ago I mentioned how reflected light and shadows create colors in a slot canyon.

Todays image “Underground Magic” has the compliment of colors you’ll likely see in slot canyons during the fall.  With the sun lower in the sky it changes the angle of light entering the canyon.  That adds much more ambient light from the blue sky giving a different pallete from summer.

The canyon was about 3 feet wide where I placed the tripod.  I shifting the sensor 20mm to the right for one exposure then 20mm left for another.  Stitching these two exposures in software allowes me to capture this extremely wide angle view.

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POTD: Paradise Falls

Title and Location

Paradise Falls

Location: Silver Falls State Park, Oregon
Camera: Phase One P45, Cambo RS, Schneider 35XL
Settings:f/11, ISO 50, 2 seconds
When: June 2010

Great scenic photography is 90% getting in front of interesting subjects.  (The other 90% is planning, equipment, technique, and tenacity but that’s for another day.)  Sometimes during my travels, I have stumbled into locations or circumstances that were so incredible it simply blew my mind.  Silver Falls State Park in central Oregon is one of those locations.

Imagine having a hole in the ground 175 feet deep with a diameter of a mile or so.  Into that hole in the ground fall a dozen waterfalls from around it’s edges.   Each waterfall has a total different character.  You may recall I mentioned when I was there they had record rainfall and these falls were raging and so beautiful.

There is a 9 mile trail at the bottom of the hole taking you to visit all of these waterfalls.  The trail goes behind the veil of several.  Simply stunning scenery and I understand it is even better in Autumn.  Often referred to as the “Crown Jewel” of the Oregon park system.  Silver Falls is truly a paradise which inspired this photograph of the North Falls.

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