I like black and white for emphasizing the abstract, patterns, texture, and form, but a splash of color can often bring some extra depth to landscape photographs. See last week’s post for the black and white versions.
Cabin Creek Falls (Foreground, Color), Grayson Highlands State Park, VA (15″x22″)
Cabin Creek Falls and Rock (Color), Grayson Highlands State Park, VA (22″x15″)
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″)
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″)
Color version of the falls upstream from Mortimer Campground (black and white last week). I go back and forth about which I like more. There’s a bit more depth in the color I think.
Falls above Mortimer Campground (Color), near Collettsville, NC (15″x15″)
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″)
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″)
Clouds streaming over Mt Mitchell as the sun’s light fades from the Blue Ridge Mountains. Exposure time was ~5 minutes to allow blurring of the moving clouds.
Mt Mitchell and Streaming Clouds after Sunset, Blue Ridge Mountains, NC (9″x16″)
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″)
While driving across the country in June, I stopped in Carbondale, Colorado to take my annual photograph of Mt Sopris. This time I decided to make the long shadows across the field an abstract, black foreground element. Exposure time was ~4-5 minutes with a 10-stop ND filter to get a little blur in the passing clouds.
Mt Sopris, Shadow, and Clouds (B&W, Bulb), near Carbondale, CO (7″x16″)
Winter storm clouds gather behind cholla cacti on a plain west of I-25 between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Cholla Cactus and Winter Storm Clouds (B&W Panorama #4),
Santa Fe National Forest, NM (16″x40″)
The road to the Sandia Tram winds up the Sandia Foothills outside Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Road to Sandia Tram and Storm Clouds (B&W Panorama #1), Cibola National Forest, NM (16″x68″)
Road to Sandia Tram and Storm Clouds (B&W Panorama #1), Cibola National Forest, NM (16″x53″)
A lone juniper stands on a grassy slope in front of the Sandia Mountains in the high desert outside Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Juniper, Storm Clouds, Sandia Mountains (B&W Panorama #6), Cibola National Forest, NM (16″x38″)
A second photograph of a mountain poking through clouds near Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, WA.
Tree Silhouette, Clouds, and Mountain, Olympic National Park, WA (10″x10″)
This is one of my favorite photographs from a recent trip to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, WA. Clear days are fantastic, but I love the atmosphere created by cloudy, foggy, partially obstructed views.
Mountain through the Clouds, Olympic National Park, WA (12″x18″)
Mountain poking through clouds near Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, WA.
Tree Silhouette, Clouds, and Mountain, Olympic National Park, WA (10″x10″)
I visited Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park for the first time back in August – unfortunately many of the trails were closed for management/removal of mountain goats (via helicopter!). Even though I wasn’t able to hike around as much as I may have liked, the small loop trails provided fantastic views of the clearing clouds over the surrounding mountains and hillsides.
Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center and Clouds, Olympic National Park, WA (10″x18″)
Panorama of Stuart Range and clouds shot from Navaho Peak.
Clouds over Stuart Range from Navaho Peak (BW),
Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, WA (16″x72″)