On Monday, October 17th I headed out for my second photo trip of 2016 to the Blue Ridge Parkway area with my friend and fellow participant in the Delray Center For The Arts Master Photography Program, Marvin Basil. We flew to Atlanta and drove to our AirBnB, the Pisgah Bike House in Brevard, NC.
After unloading our luggage we went into Brevard for dinner and settled on a Mexican restaurant called the Plaza Garibaldi.
After dinner we went to Looking Glass Falls. The light was very uneven and I discovered a left my grad ND filter home.
On Tuesday, after eating breakfast in the Brevard Sunshine Cafe (we ate there every morning) we headed out for some waterfall shooting at Hooker Falls in Pisgah National Forest and went on to meet our mutual friend and classmate Cynthia Brown who has a beautiful snowbird home in Cashiers. We did some local shooting and went to a barbecue place for lunch.
On Wednesday we got onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and headed up to the Linn Cove Viaduct. The viaduct was the last section of the parkway to be completed in the 1970s' On the way up we stopped for lunch at the Mount Mitchell Rest Stop. After shooting the Linn Cove Viaduct we we headed back via Asheville and Hendersonville.
On Thursday we went back to the Pisgah Forest and shot some waterfalls and a covered bridge.
Friday, on the way back to the Atlanta Airport for the flight home, we headed out to Old Car City in White, GA and stopped along the way at Tallulah Gorge State Park.
The monthly contest for the Art Of Seeing Meetup Group is 'Stripes' I remembered this image that I took in 2013,
HONORABLE MENTION WINNER OF PX3, Prix de la Photographie Paris
Steven Greenbaum of the United States was Awarded Honorable Mention
in the PX3 2016 Competition for 'The Secret' and 'Leaves Over Gossamer Waters'.
Shot this with my iPhone. Want to go back with Sony and reshoot.
Light At The End Of The Tracks
Walking around the seawall and saw these flowers. Went to get my camera.
I skipped the last sunrise shoot so that I would have time to stop at Tallulah Gorge to reshoot the waterfall. Using Waze to navigate, after traveling 30 minutes I realized I was going north instead of south to Cherokee, NC. I stopped at a gas station and they told me the mountain road that I normally should have taken was closed due to snow and ice. It's great that Waze knew this and rerouted me.
I stopped at Clayton for breakfast. I had gotten a recommendation for the Clayton Cafe from the uglyhedgehog.com photography forum. When I got out of my car it was extremely windy. In the cafe they told me there had been extreme wind warnings. I thought I might skip the Tallulah stop since it was only 9 miles away. After having breakfast, which included a first time order of grits, I decided to go to Tallulah. Good decision because the wind wasn't a problem.
Back in Aventura. Next task is post processing the images.
Headed out at 5:30 AM -up a mountain again. The temperature dropped quite a bit from yesterday and when we arrived at the overlook parking, it was still dark with snow coming down.
The snow turned to rain and it looked like it would be a washout. However when the sun rose the rain vanished and we got some great shots. We went into Cherokee NC for breakfast and then on to Mingo Falls. I decided not to go up the 300 steps to the falls and did some shooting at the bottom.
We finished up in an afternoon class/critique session. One of he participants, Lynne Necrason, had some particularly nice shots. Her website is lynnenecrasonphotography.com.
Adam covered some interesting points:
- When using a teleconverter, use an aperture that is 1 stop past the effective max aperture. So for my 200-500 f5.6 lens, the effective max aperture is f8 with a 1.4 TC. So use at f11 or higher.
-When shooting off snow or a white bird, meter off snow or bird and add 2 stops. For a dark subject, meter off subject and subtract 1.5 stops. Shoot in manual exposure mode so that exposure doesn't change.
- To double depth of field, add two stops.
- In aperture priority, to vary speed, change the iso.
Wheels up at 5 AM. We were first in line at Cade's Cove which opened at 7 AM. This is the iconic location that everyone comes to when they go to the Smokies. Here we shot a grist mill- the mill-tender (my own word) posed for us through a window. Later on some Amish-looking women came out of the mill. Also shot some interesting cabins.
Next stop was Tremont for lunch and then up into the mountains for a creekside shoot. I was sitting in the car-my new friend Gerold's Range Rover, I took this shot through the sunroof with my iPhone.
After resting back at the hotel for an hour and a half we went back into the mountains for a sunset shoot. Shooting was curtailed because of rain but I think I got some wide angle shots I liked. On the ride down the mountain there were a bunch of cars parked by the road. People were taking pics of a bear near the roadside. Back in the parking lot participants said there were several cubs with her. Apparently you're not supposed to come within 150 feet of a bear. It is illegal and there are fines involved. People here were at about 15 feet. Usually rangers show up quickly at bear sitings-called by good samaritans. The reason for the rule is not safety,-it's so the behavior of the bears is not changed. They don't want them to get too used to people and become tame. I plan to inquire where the bears shelter from the weather,-caves?
Headed out to Greenbrier Cove at 8:30. This turned out to be a creek with rushing water. It was something I never would have found by myself. It was overcast which actually made for good light for shooting, It started raining very lightly and then let up. After shooting creekside, I headed up to a small bridge that crossed the creek and got some nice shots there. Then it started raining harder so we headed back to the car, Adam said we were going to wait it out. After about 1 minutes, it let up and Adam got everyone going again. I told him I thought I had exhausted the possibilities at the location and would wait in the car. He suggested a shot to me and it sounded like a good idea so I got going again. I got my best shots of the day after this. Also got out my IR camera and got some great shots with that too.
The next stop was the Bud Ogle Cabin. After taking some outside shots I went inside which was kind of dark. Adam suggested some shots shooting outside through a window and also through a partially closed door. These worked out really well. I don't think I would have seen the door shot with Adam's suggestion but it worked out really well.he Roarinf F
Last main stop for the day was the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail which was another creek and also cabins. Gor some nice shots here. Adam reviewed his hyperfocal focusing method and focus stacking. He suggested Zerene Stacker software. Said it was more reliable than Photoshop for focus stacking.
Plan is to head out at 5:AM for Cade's Cove tomorrow, rain or shine.
I had met Cary Solomon yesterday at Talullah Falls a.nd subsequently taken a shot of the suspension bridge while he happened to be on it doing pushups. I ran into him again here and told him I would send him the shot if he emailed me. I got the following email from him today:
The push-ups were to bring awareness to the average of 22 suicides per day by veterans of combat. Yesterday was Day 11 of 22. I wanted to use the bridge as a symbol of crossing a chasm of despair back into living to the fullest of one's ability. Of course crossing this bridge will never make you the same as before any trauma but staying on it is not an option. You can either jump or keep going. Of course I wouldn't say this to anyone that was suffering but it meant that to me.
Here is the link with a description of how the process is being developed to bring back soldiers and have them join society with focus on their mental health as a priority.
Another email from Cary:
I did visit your website and you have fantastic works! I subscribed to your site and I shared your site with some friends on Facebook. They loved it!
I can't wait to read your blog. You inspire me to invest more time in photography which I've picked up more over the past few years.
Flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Atlanta went smoothly. Got into my rental car, turned on Waze for navigation and stared up gps4cam on my iPhone for geotagging. After about two hours I made an unscheduled stop at Tallulah Point Overlook.
Thern I continued on to Tallulah Gorge State Park which is what I had planned. It was spectacular. The visitor center pointed me in the right direction and I went on a scouting walk with the Sony. I went to the overlook for a view of the suspension bridge. View was awesome.
I decided to go back to the car to get the Nikon and tripod and the rest of the gear. After shooting the suspension bridge I hiked over to a second overlook that had a great view of a waterfall. I couldn't get the shot I wanted, to smooth the water out, because my 4 stop nd filter was still in the car and it was getting late. This is the shot I got.
Then I got back into the car and set out for Gatlinburg, passing through Cherokee, NC and Smoky Mountain National Park. Driving through the park was wonderful. The trees are still turning from their winter state to green and the variety of colors was beautiful.
Arrived at the Hilton Garden in and met up with the workgroup leaders, Adam Jones and Donna Eaton. We had a brief orientation meeting with the 11 other participants.
Adam decided we would not go out for a sunrise shoot on Tuesday because rain was forecast. The plan is to go to Greenbriar Cove in the park at 8:30 weather permitting.
I decided I will go back to Tallulah Falls on Friday on the way back to Atlanta.
(Since I am not going to post-process many images while on the trip. I am going to insert them into this description after the fact, when I get home.)
Day - 3
The start date for the workshop with Adam Jones and Donna Eaton (adamjonesphoto.com) that I signed up for many months ago is fast approaching (this coming Monday). I will try to write an account each day in real time.
Here is a list of what I will be taking:
- Nikon D810, Nikon D7000 IR, Sony a7Rii
- Nikon 16-35 F4, Nikon 24-70 F2.8, Nikon 70-200 F4, Nikon 28mm F1.8
- Sony 55mm F1.8, Zeiss Loxia 35mm F2
- Nikon Teleconverter TC1.4EIII
- X-Rite Color Checker Passport
- Induro AKB2 Tripod with Induro BHL2 ballhead
- RRS Pano Gimbal Head
- 67, 77 mm circular polarizers
- 4, 10 stop rectangular nd filters and Lee circular polarizer
- Cable Release for each camera
- Laptop and External Hard Drive
- Sekonic 758 Light Meter
- Commlite ENF -E1 Adapter (Nikon Lenses to Sony E-mount)
- Storm Jacket camera cover
I am flying to Atlanta and then driving to Gatlinburg. There some to be many options as to route.
Here is what I have chosen:
The weather forecast looks terrible. The bright side is that it seems to change every day, so it can only get better. I have a Storm Jacket camera cover that I got when I was trying to eliminate light leaks during long exposures,- so I'll be bringing that along.
Am going to try to stop at Tallulah Gorge State Park on the way to Gatlinburg. Has some amazing views, weather permitting.
Starting to get used to it. This was shot with Nikon 24-70 at F9'