Thursday, October 28, 2010

West Virginia Icon

Earlier in October we took a few days and went looking for fall color in the beautiful state of West Virginia   It was beautiful, but the fall colors were late.  There was still plenty of beauty to be found in The Mountain State, including Babcock State Park.  

We didn't get to stay long at the park but we did hang around the Glade Creek Grist Mill.   This is an icon shot.  You'll find this exact shot with much better lighting on any number of websites and travel magazines.  It's a wonderfully photographic old mill.   The mill was created by combining parts and pieces from three mills which once dotted the state.  The basic structure of the mill came from the Stoney Creek Grist Mill which dates back to 1890.  It was dismantled and moved piece by piece to Babcock from a spot near Campbelltown in Pocahontas County.  It's almost like the mill was placed in this exact spot for photographers.  

If you go to shoot the mill, go early in the morning or late in the afternoon.   We were there early afternoon and had to wait around for the sun to go down enough for most of the scene to be in the shade.

Prints of this and other photos are available here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sunrise and Sunset

Fall in the Southern Appalachian Mountains is a beautiful time.  God paints the hills with blazing oranges, yellows and golds with some greens left in for good measure.   It's a great time for outdoor photography, but it is way too short.  Seems like just a few weeks between when the trees start to change and the ground is covered with fallen leaves and the colors fade.   This year has been no different.  I started October out with a trip to Greyson Highlands State Park, then followed it with a trip to West Virginia, a couple trips to Bays Mountain Park in Kingsport, Tennessee and finally a weekend photography workshop in Max Patch North Carolina.  All this was over a period of 24 days.  Whew! 

All these outings have resulted in lots of photos in the post-processing backlog.   I'm working through them, but not necessarily in the order I took them.   I'll be posting some photos from those trips and am starting with some of the last ones I took.

Eight members of the Eastman Camera Club spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday in a photography workshop in Max Patch, North Carolina.   Lori Kincaid was a fantastic instructor and we all had a blast. I learned several new photo skills in the workshop and I can't wait to try them out.  Max Patch is a naturally occurring bald mountain on the North Carolina - Tennessee boarder with 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains.   We got up very early on Saturday morning to drive down to the Max Patch bald for the sunrise.  We were treated to clear cloudless skies and a full moon setting over the mountain ranges.  I learned about the Belt of Venus, which is the band of red, pink or purple above the dark blue. The dark blue is the earth's shadow.

That evening we were treated to a beautiful sunset from Lori's rental place, which is where we were based for the weekend.   She has the most beautiful setting for a home I have ever seen.     I got the sunset and maple tree shots from her place on Saturday night.

On Sunday morning we got up, walked just a few feet from her place and were able to shoot the sunrise over Mount Mitchell and other near by peaks.

As we watched, the sky got more and more dramatic as the sun lit the underside of the clouds with brilliant reds.  

This is a great place to photograph to fall colors and beautiful sunrise and sunsets.   I'm already planning to go back in the spring!