Long-exposure photograph of clouds passing over the ridge line northeast of Craggy Pinnacle Summit along the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC.
Clouds from Craggy Pinnacle Summit (B&W, 121s exposure), Blue Ridge Parkway, NC (15″x22″)
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″)
View looking northeast from Craggy Pinnacle Summit along the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC. I’m a sucker for clouds spilling over a ridge.
Clouds from Craggy Pinnacle Summit (B&W), Blue Ridge Parkway, NC (13″x23″)
Black and white version of a 136s exposure of the view over the fence near the Graybeard Mountain View Overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC.
Graybeard Mtn View Overlook, Fence, and Clouds (B&W, 136s exp.), Blue Ridge Parkway, NC (13″x21)
Clouds moving over the Seaview Fishing Pier after sunset- the top image is ~2 minute exposure time, and the bottom image is ~3 minute exposure time.
Seaview Fishing Pier and Lights after Sunset (long exposure), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
Seaview Fishing Pier at Sunset (long exposure), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
30-second exposure of waves under the Surf City fishing pier. I can’t decide if I like the color version or the black and white version more- the color version seems to emphasize the mid-ground elements, whereas the black and white version draws the eye in with the patterns formed by the legs of the pier.
Under the Surf City Fishing Pier (Color), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
Under the Surf City Fishing Pier (B&W), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
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″)
Two photographs I made recently from below the Seaview Fishing Pier, North Topsail Island: one is a relatively short (~1/8s) exposure, the other a longer (61s) exposure. I think I like the more minimalist look of the longer exposure to ‘flatten’ or ‘fog’ the water, which eliminates the texture in the waves and clouds and helps to emphasize the repeating pattern in the pier.
Seaview Fishing Pier and Waves (short exposure), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
Seaview Fishing Pier and Waves (long exposure), Topsail Island, North Carolina (12″x21″)
A few more angles on the Cabin Creek Falls. Again, I ended up only working on several of the photographs I made while standing in the water- the angles from the rocks just weren’t quite as good.
Cabin Creek Falls (Foreground, B&W), Grayson Highlands State Park, VA (15″x22″)
Cabin Creek Falls and Rock (B&W), Grayson Highlands State Park, VA (22″x15″)
I decided to wade around in the water to make several of these photographs of Cabin Creek Falls in Grayson Highlands – glad I got my feet wet. I’d rather be in the water with a tripod than balanced on a slippery rock or try to hop across moss-covered boulders.
Cabin Creek Falls (Mid-ground, B&W), Grayson Highlands State Park, VA (15″x22″)
Cabin Creek Falls and Mini Falls (B&W), Grayson Highlands State Park, VA (22″x15″)
Early in July, I spent the weekend camping and hiking around Grayson Highlands State Park, Virginia. Although I think the really spectacular open views of the landscape are found along the Massie Gap – Wilburn Ridge – Mt Rogers trail, there is a nice, relative short (~2-3 miles) loop hike down in the valley near the ridge that goes to Cabin Creek Falls. We decided to hike clockwise around the loop (I’d go this direction again so I can see the falls as I hike up to them along the stream), and I stopped briefly at this small set of falls (not the ‘actual’ Cabin Creek Falls) thinking this was the ‘big attraction’. Cabin Creek Falls next week.
Cascading Water below Cabin Creek Falls, Grayson Highlands State Park, VA (15″x22″)
Crater Lake, Maroon Bells, and Passing Clouds (B&W, 2021), White River National Forest, CO (16″x51″)
A vertical panorama of the stream and falls above Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon, Colorado. This panorama is composed of three horizontal single-frame images stitched together so I could capture the mini-falls and stream in the foreground below where I was standing as well as Spouting Rock in front/above.
Spouting Rock and Stream (B&W, 2021), Hanging Lake, Glenwood Canyon, CO (19″x20.5″)
Even at nearly 10,000 feet elevation, the trailhead at Maroon Lake was a bit warm. Fortunately, the relatively short (~1.8 mile) hike to Crater Lake only ascends about 600 feet and is partly shaded through evergreens and aspens. The views of the mountains and gathering clouds above Crater Lake were as beautiful as usual, so the walk, despite the warmth, was worth it. I was glad I had a 15-stop ND filter to make a 4-minute exposure of the lake and the movement in the clouds around noon. I shot the photo at f/16, so I could have even made an 8-minute photograph at f/22 (wish I would have now- the clouds could use a little more blur!).
Crater Lake, Maroon Bells, and Passing Clouds (B&W, 2021), White River National Forest, CO (13″x23″)
In late May I took a weekend trip out to western North Carolina just south of Grandfather Mountain. We stayed in Mortimer Campground for several nights- a lovely location where you can hear the stream flowing by as you fall asleep. We hiked up the trail that follows the stream out of camp and came across a few sets of beautiful falls. Here is one of my favorite images from the hike- this week the black and white version, next week the color version.
Falls above Mortimer Campground (B&W), near Collettsville, NC (15″x15″)
More long-exposure photographs of clouds and bridges over the Tennessee River using a 15-stop ND filter. Here, I liked how the leading lines of the clouds and the bridges direct the eye to the right third of the image, but the boardwalk in the foreground leads the eye back to the bridge on the left.
Tennessee River, Bridges, and Clouds (Part 2), Knoxville, TN (14″x21″)
Visited Knoxville, TN for the first time a few weeks ago- it was cloudy and moderately chilly. I took a walk along the Tennessee River and used a 15-stop filter to make a few photographs of the passing clouds over the river. So much time and history has passed by this spot.
Tennessee River, Bridges, and Clouds, Knoxville, TN (14″x21″)
Buildings and railroad tracks under clouds passing at sunset in downtown Durham, NC. 80s exposure time.
Time and Self Help, Downtown Durham, NC (12″x20″)
Clouds pass over tracks through downtown Durham, NC. 121s exposure time.
Clouds over Tracks, Downtown Durham, NC (15″x15″)
Clouds mark the time passing by. Sometimes it feels slow, sometimes it feels fast. Sometimes we aren’t paying attention. Sometimes it’s all I can think about.
Clouds over White Building, Downtown Durham, NC (15″x22″)
On my way back from a short trip to the coast late last autumn, a storm blew in on the drive back. The clouds were really moving, so I pulled over on the side of a state highway to make a photograph of the sky over a blank field in front of a tree.
I unfortunately didn’t take the extra 5-10 minutes to walk around and shoot a few angles- I wish I’d moved closer and lower to the ground so the tree was bigger and extended more into the sky. Also, I mis-judged where the clouds were moving, so they lead the eye to the background on the left side of the photo- I think the center would have been better. Even after doing this photography thing for over two decades now, I still don’t get it ‘right’ or exactly the way I want most of the time, but the process is rewarding in itself.
Field, Tree, and Passing Cloud, eastern NC (14″x14″)
Spent a bit of time thinking this weekend about my ND Awards entries for 2021- decided on the below images:
Debris and structures cast shadows across the dunes on Hatteras Island. Second half 6-part photo series:
Dune and Shadows (B&W, #4), Hatteras, North Carolina (15″x22″)
Dune and Shadows (B&W, #5), Hatteras, North Carolina (15″x22″)
Dune and Shadows (B&W, #6), Hatteras, North Carolina (15″x22″)