After taking a brief hike up to Devil’s Courthouse, we drove to Graveyard Fields and walked to the Upper Falls- lovely scenery, and a beautiful set of falls at the end of the hike. With a 10-stop ND filter, I made a series of 5-second exposures of the falls as they cascade over the rocks and around the corner.
Upper Falls at Graveyard Fields (Panorama #1), Blue Ridge Parkway, NC (18″x45″)
Last weekend, I took a trip out to the Blue Ridge Parkway- I stopped by the Devil’s Courthouse as some dramatic spring storm clouds were rolling in. The trees at ~4,000-5,000 feet were just about to leaf out, but not quite, so it still looked a bit like late winter on the Parkway.
Spring Clouds from Devil’s Courhouse (Panorama #1), Blue Ridge Parkway, NC (17″x54″)
Last autumn, I made a few ‘single-frame’ photographs of the falls around the Graveyard Fields area along the Blue Ridge Parkway, but was generally not happy with these images. I recently came across several panoramic images I had been too busy to work on – much better images in my opinion.
Second Falls at Graveyard Fields (Panorama #1), Blue Ridge Parkway, NC (19″x50″)
I love to drive down to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in central/southern New Mexico and watch the cranes land around sunset. However, I’m not a wildlife photographer, so I like to arrive early to stroll around before sunset and look at the clouds, surrounding mountains, and open fields.
Bosque Mountains and Winter Clouds, Bosque del Apache NWR, NM (15″x22.5″)
Old outhouse on the Galisteo Basin Preserve outside Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Outhouse and Hills, Galisteo Basin Preserve, New Mexico (16″x31″)
Another panorama of the Sandia foothills as winter storm clouds lift over the Crest. This is one of my favorite sets of photographs from the evening because the brighter foothills and clouds seem to frame the dark mountains. I can’t decide if I like the color or black and white version of the panorama better, so I decided to post both; the clouds appear more dramatic in the black and white version, and the foreground pops out more in the color version. Note the splash of light in the far left mid/background on the foothills.
Sandias and Winter Clouds (Panorama #8, 2021, Color), Cibola National Forest, New Mexico (21″x76″)
Sandias and Winter Clouds (Panorama #8, 2021, B&W), Cibola National Forest, New Mexico (21″x76″)
Last week I posted a panorama that focused on the path in the foreground, but for the second round of panoramas, I decided to focus more on the dramatic clouds draped over the mountains.
Sandias and Winter Clouds (Panorama #4, 2021), Cibola National Forest, New Mexico (21″x64″)
Sandias and Winter Clouds (Panorama #3, 2021), Cibola National Forest, New Mexico (20″x52″)
Winter storm clouds obscure the top of the Sandia Mountains outside Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Sandias and Winter Clouds (Panorama #1, 2021), Cibola National Forest, New Mexico (18″x67″)
Panoramas of shadows on the ridges along the Blue Ridge Parkway, shot from Craggy Pinnacle Summit, NC.
Ridges and Shadows from Craggy Pinnacle Summit (B&W), Blue Ridge Parkway, NC (20″x67″)
Cloud over Ridges and Shadows from Craggy Pinnacle Summit (B&W), Blue Ridge Parkway, NC (20″x54″)
Panorama of light and shadow on the mountains and clouds over the Blue Ridge Parkway, shot from Craggy Pinnacle Summit, NC.
Clouds and Mountains from Craggy Pinnacle Summit (B&W), Blue Ridge Parkway, NC (21″x65″)
Panorama of the ponies under a tree on the ridge trail to Mount Rogers in Grayson Highlands.
Grayson Highlands Ridge and Ponies Panorama (#4, Color), Grayson Highlands State Park, VA (16″x50″)
Panorama of the views along the trail to Mount Rogers in Grayson Highlands, this time looking back to the south down the ridge towards the trailhead.
Grayson Highlands Ridge Top Panorama (#7, Color), Grayson Highlands State Park, VA (16″x66″)
I haven’t been as focused on panoramic photography recently- instead I’ve been making more single-frame photographs focused on time (long exposure). However, sometimes it is just too hard to capture the magnificent views of a rolling landscape with a single-frame photograph. Here is one of the panoramas I took from the ridge leading up to Mount Rogers from Rhododendron Trail in Grayson Highlands back in the July, 2021.
Grayson Highlands Ridge Top Panorama (#8, Color), Grayson Highlands State Park, VA (16″x52″)
Vertical panorama of Catawba Falls from the side of the cascades.
Catawba Falls from side (panorama), near Old Fort, NC (15.5″x22″)
After making a series of long-exposure photographs focused on the movement in the clouds and water, I decided to make a panorama that highlights the texture in the clouds and the streaks of rain over the ocean. I chose a half-second exposure time to get some blur in the water and people walking by on the beach to better emphasize the clouds and pier.
Rain Clouds over Ocean near Seaview Fishing Pier, Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x42″)
Crater Lake, Maroon Bells, and Passing Clouds (B&W, 2021), White River National Forest, CO (16″x51″)
Light from the setting sun shines below the clouds over the Blue Ridge Mountains, shot from the summit of Mt Mitchell, NC. Similar to last week’s post, but I wanted to zoom in on the clouds and mountains and crop out the tree tops in the foreground.
Layered Mountains, Clouds, Light (Panorama #6), Mt Mitchell, NC (16″x39″)
The setting sun peaked out from behind rain clouds, casting yellow and gold beams of light onto the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Layered Mountains, Clouds, Light (Panorama #8), Mt Mitchell, NC (16″x52″)
Rain clouds and fog draped over the ridge north of Mt Mitchell just after sunset.
Clouds and Fog at Sunset (Panorama #2), Mt Mitchell, NC (16″x43″)
Since moving to North Carolina, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway and Mt Mitchell a few times. Every time I drive by this overlook, I think about photographing the dead tree hanging over the steep hillside just off the road. I’m still trying to get the composition right- this is getting close, but not quite there. Rain clouds were moving in when I set up to shoot this panorama, which provided a nice backdrop for the trees.
Lone Tree Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC (16″x43″)
Roaring Fork Creek Falls near the base of Mt Mitchell, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Pisgah National Forest. I liked the zig-zag path the water takes down the rocks.
Roaring Fork Creek Falls (Panorama), Pisgah National Forest, NC (16″x36″)
Roaring Fork Creek Falls (Single Frame), Pisgah National Forest, NC (12″x18″)
Panorama of clouds and a window in the clouds, shot from the top of Mt Mitchell, NC.
Panorama of Clouds at the Summit of Mt Mitchell, Blue Ridge Mountains, NC (16″x49″)
Decided to escape the heat in the Raleigh/Durham area, so I spent the weekend hiking in the mountains near Asheville, NC. Gorgeous views of thunderstorms over the mountains out there. I ended up shooting this as a double-stacked panorama to capture the height of the building clouds.
Building Clouds over Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, NC (20″x32″)
Another panorama of storms over the eastern Colorado plains off I-70 on County Road 134.
Storm Clouds and Glow on Horizon (Panorama #3), near Agate, CO (16″x37″)