October 30, 2008

Hey everybody,

I’m now in Lawton, Oklahoma after a 16 hour drive from South Carolina (a personal best so far). I’ll be shooting the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge for the next few days before I depart for Texas. Fall color is beginning to show up around here, but that’s not my main focus here. There are Bison, Elk, White Tailed Deer, Prairie Dogs, and a plethora of Bird life (raptors everywhere!) The forecast is for clear skies over the next seven days, so I very well may be limited to just wildlife, which is fine by me!

Here’s a shot I got this morning of a Black Tailed Prairie Dog. I didn’t have a map of the refuge when I showed up at first light, so I winged it, and was lucky to come across this Prairie Dog town. Man, these guys (and girls) are fun to photograph. I was also able to photograph Eastern? and/or Western? Meadowlark with the Prairie Dogs. I’m having a hard time with the ID.

Also, I thought this was cool… Here’s a Google Map of the drive I did.

Winter pays a visit to the Blue Ridge

October 29, 2008

Hey everyone, here’s a long one!

This morning was AWESOME! Forecasts were calling from ¬†anything between a dusting of snow to two inches. There were four inches when I woke up at my campsite! I was up at about 6000ft on Black Balsam Knob, which is right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. They usually close the parkway when any substantial snow falls, so my thought was that I’d rather get locked in, as opposed to locked out. I don’t say this often, but man, was that a good idea!

I woke up and found a note under my windshield wiper teling me that the parkway was closed, and instructing me as to which gate was left unlocked for me to exit. So, I had a six mile stretch of the parkway that was available for me to shoot, and I made the most of it until the light was too harsh.

The foliage up there was past peak for the most part, but I managed to find a few good spots. Here’s one of a couple I really like from the shoot. I was shooting this particular location for over an hour and a half. I’d compose an image, and then wait for the wind/snow to blow in just the right direction.

I’m on my way to Fort Payne, Alabama right now. I have to be in McAllen, Texas on the 6th. it looks like the south end of the Blue Ridge is going to have some amazing color this fall, but I don’t think its going to happen for another 10-15 days. So, instead of shooting in summer-like conditions and being bummed that I’m not getting peak foliage, I’m going to head on over to Arkansas and Oklahoma and shoot there for the next week.

In the Smokies

October 26, 2008


I’m now in Gatlinburg, TN, grabbing some wi-fi. The fall foliage is not so hot around here, with most areas past peak, green with high amounts of leaf drop, or just simply green! I don’t anticipate staying in this area for too long, but I should stay for a few days and see what the forecasted cold nights will do, as it’s supposed to be in the 20’s a few nights in a row. I think the leaf drop over here has been too great for the color to be very good, though. I’m hoping to catch some good color around the Linville Gorge, which was just starting to turn when I visited last week. I’m also hoping to catch some decent color around southern parts of the state, and even into South Carolina/Georgia before I have to be in Texas on November 7th.

I’m toying with the idea of calling it quits on the Blue Ridge around Nov 1st, and going to shoot somewhere closer to Texas. Maybe the Ozarks, or maybe even the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma (there’s a Buffalo herd in the refuge out there, which would be pretty cool to photograph.) Let me know if you have any ideas!

Here’s a photograph I made from Black Balsam Knob, NC on the morning of the 23rd. I wouldn’t typically compose an image like this, but I feel like it worked in this instance.

Road update + American Black Duck Preening

October 23, 2008

Hey everybody. It’s been a while since I last posted on here! I’ve been super busy shooting and scouting out here in the Blue Ridge/Smokies. This is my first visit to this area, and it has been amazing so far. The foliage has been anything but predictable, and I’ve really had to search hard to find the best spots to shoot. I guess you could say that the conditions are making things pretty interesting. As I write this, from Gatlinburg, TN, almost all of the trees in town are still green! However, things are coming along a bit more nicely around the Blue Ridge Parkway, near Asheville and Brevard. It looks like I’ll be getting some rainy days tomorrow and the next day, so I’ll be working hard to get as many of the higher elevation waterfalls as I can!

Anyway, here’s an image from Ohio. I believe this is a Female American Black Duck, but I’m not 100% certain. As some of you know, I enjoy photographing birds, but I don’t know a whole lot about them. My idea is that I should focus on one particular aspect of bird photography, so I’m going to make Waterfowl a significant project of mine for this winter once I get home.

More from the Monongahela National Forest

October 19, 2008

Well, I’m still in North Carolina, and shooting, but here’s one from over two weeks ago in West Virginia. I overlooked it at first, and it’s really growing on me. I have to keep this blog post short and sweet because I’m low on time, so, that’s it!

Sunset on Bear Rocks

October 18, 2008

This sunset I photographed about a week ago was really nice. There was color in the sky almost 360 degrees around! I was scrambling around like a madman in attempts to photograph the scene as well as possible. Check out these two shots I made within five minutes of each other. If you had to pick one, which would it be, and why?

Update from NC!

October 17, 2008

Well, as I had feared, I’ve fallen behind in processing and keeping on top of the new photographs I’ve been making every day out here. I’m writing this from a Taco Bell in Boone, North Carolina. This morning I shot a bit around the Clinch Ranger District, in SW Virginia, before I made it down to NC. I photographed Linville Falls in gorgeous fog this afternoon, and I plan to photograph the Gorge tomorrow in some way or another for sunrise and sunset.

I’m going to go ahead and schedule some image posts, to show you guys some of the images I’ve been making. I may or may not have a chance to get back on in the next few days. Keeping on top of my new images is my top priority. If I do get back on, I’ll just have a few instances with two blog posts in a single day.

Here’s an take on a Wood Duck that you don’t usually see…

Sunset at Pendleton Point

October 16, 2008

Sorry I haven’t been posting so much lately. I’ve been shooting Fall color in West Virginia and Western Maryland. My Mother and Girlfriend both visited me as well, at separate times, so I have had little to no computer time. I’m currently in Flatwoods, West Virginia grabbing some wi-fi on a quick break from driving. I’m headed south, to shoot for a day or two in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southern Virginia before heading for NC/TN.

Here’s a photograph I made a few days back at Pendleton Point in Blackwater Falls State Park, WV. It was a perfectly clear day and these clouds rolled in about thirty minutes before sunset. I’d call it one of the best sunsets I’ve photographed. Probably even top 5. I just love how vibrant the foliage was in the canyon.

Autumn Foliage Impression

October 12, 2008

I shot this abstract in Benbush, West Virginia. I lined up a composition including an attractive group of tree trunks and panned downward during a 0.5 second exposure. This was the only shot out of 25 that came out nicely, in my opinion.

On a different note, Go Redskins!

West Virginia Update #2!

October 10, 2008

Hey everyone,

I’m writing from the lobby of the Canaan Valley Lodge in Canaan Valley State Park, West Virginia. Free Wi-Fi sure is great. The foliage out here is nothing short of awesome. It looks like it’s going to hang on for another week or so, as long as there isn’t any heavy rain or severe wind. I better make the most of it!

I’ve had a good mix of soft and dramatic light, and I’m incredibly happy with my results so far. I’ll be incredibly busy over the next few days, so I’m going to schedule a few image posts. I’ve got no complaints so far.

Here’s a photograph from an overcast morning at Canaan Valley State Park. It doesn’t really show the vibrant reds that the maples are displaying around here right now, but regardless, I feel like it’s quite nice.

Update from West Virginia

October 4, 2008

I’m writing this here from Davis, WV. Fall color is totally underway, with some areas in peak color! I’ve been shooting here with Chris Kayler and Joe Rossbach. We’ve been having some great light and great color. We’re about to head off to Dolly Sods for a sunset shoot, and are really looking forward to tomorrow morning, as thick fog is in the forecast, dawg! Hopefully we’ll be able to make the most of that and photograph lots of colorful foliage.

Here’s a photograph from an overlook on Canaan Mountain in the Monongahela National Forest. This viewpoint has a 250 degree angle of view, and is awesome at both sunrise and sunset. Not to mention, there is a sweet campground just a hundred yards from the rocky outcropping. Anyway, about the image. The sky was mostly cloudy, and we were really doubting whether or not we’d have some color at sunset. We made the hike anyway, and (barely) made it in time for sunset. I really think the sliver of light hitting the nearest peaks (which are part of the Otter Creek Wilderness) is quite unique.