Friday, April 30, 2010

The Foothills Parkway in the Smokies is a good bet for a nice sunrise over the layers of rounded mountains. This is a panoramic image I processed today that was shot a couple weeks ago.
I love the colors of the sky at dawn anchored by the rounded silhouette of the mountains. It's been a busy week and I am, looking forward to my workshop this weekend at Cylburn Arboretum...even if it is hot!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring at Longwood

Today Steve Dembo and I made a quick run up to Longwood. The fragrance display is up and the place looks great as always. There was not too much traffic until the kids arrived. After walking around a little to see what was on display, I fell in love with the large pastel blue columbines and made some extreme macro images with my 200mm fitted wit a 52 mm extension tube.
The fans were running like crazy and getting some still and shaded subjects required patience, but I was determined...I think columbines are the ultimate graceful spring flower. We had a nice lunch and because it was sooooo windy we went home. I had hoped to do some tulip shooting but it just wasn't the right conditions.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tennessee Swipes Photo Play

I enjoy impressionism and abstraction...and what a better way to see a subject...when it lends itself to the technique of moving the camera while the shutter is open. I have found a small aperture works best and at least a one second exposure. These are all images I made while in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I loved the spring colors of bright green, yellow and pink and blue...
This image was made from the back seat of an SR5 traveling about 40 mph, using my 70-200 zoom, pointed at the close mountain hillside as we drove through some narrow roads, the diagonal stripes of color occurred as I turned my camera as we went by the hillside covered with spring plants. ; - )

Heading to Longwood tomorrow......

Cataloochee Cove

Catching up on some processing this morning.........Since it took us so long to get to this Cove due to the Rt 40 Rock slide I was a little burned out, but the school house was calling to me to make some is awesome that we have this building to stand in and imagine...what life was like 100 years ago in this untamed wilderness area. The school is actually called the Beech Grove School which was built to serve a growing population in the cove. I wondered about the two rooms there and now after reading a bit decided that one room, was for a lower class like elementary and one was for upper school students. After making a couple HDR images there we motored on toward the Caldwell House, which is a pretty cool house, but I decided just to wander about with the Lensbaby and leave the tripod and gear behind. So I made some images from the outside of the Caldwell House. I processed them with the feeling of yesteryear; it seemed right.

Oh and on a side note: WYPR right now, Mary Chapin Carpenter one of my favorite female voices, has a new CD! Yeah...."The Age of Miracles" of my favorite lines in one of her songs is......"sometimes your the windshield..sometimes your the bug" to do some work now.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Baltimore Camera Club Camera School and Sherwood Gardens

It was a busy weekend teaching at the Camera School. I was signed up for the morning session on Saturday to present, Finding Your Vision...The Art of Seeing, so I expected that, but I didn't expect to have to fill a spot on teaching Photoshop in the afternoon, that went unfilled due to an absent I ended up spending the day. Sunday morning we started with the group of students in the field at Druid Hill Park, as we had cover from the rain. Then when the Howard Rawlings Conservatory opened at 10:00 we worked inside....after we finished at the conservatory I decided to check out the condition of the tulips at Sherwood, since I was close by,  and made a few images there. Mostly the tulips are going over with spots and dropped petals due to the early warm weather in April. After Sherwood I drove to Cylburn to check out what was happening there as they have just opened to the public after a year of building and renovation. I just walked the grounds and woodland trail there, to check out the photo opportunities that may exist next weekend for my workshop. There is always something to photograph there.....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tennessee a few more...

After spending the day yesterday doing some consulting at Horizon Photography in Chesapeake City, I got a chance late last night to process a few more images from Tennessee. Then today I spent the day teaching for the Baltimore Camera School and I am just now getting back home to relax! Tomorrow is another teaching morning for the Camera School in the field...well hopefully the rain will stay away..if not we have an alternate I wanted to get these posted tonight.
About these images......The park service has reintroduced the native Elk into the Cataloochee area of The Smokey Mountains Park . We made a very long trip to the Cataloochee area and immediately upon entering the Cove we spotted the Elk grazing. There were tagged cows, but shortly after the cows were spotted the bull came from behind the brush, with a determined trot, and I was able to capture this image, hand held with the 70-200 mm at 200mm f 2.8. I loved the dead tree in the image as well.
 The little fern was made using the 200 mm Nikon macro lens.
 This little waterfall is a section of a larger fall but I liked the isolation of this particular section with its repetitive diagonal lines suggested by the rock formations.
 And who doesn't love an evening sky filled with gold and blue.
 Now this was an interesting find along the side of the river, a man made stone brought some questions to mind: who left that there? how long ago? and why? well I will never know...but I had to make that picture.
 And "Hey Bear!" well they call them Bear Jams in the Smokies...and we saw plenty, this Mom was quite hungry and was snacking on some new growth vegetation as her little cub climbed a tree trunk near by. I made this image using the 70-200 mm lens hand held..waiting for her to raise her head above the vegetation so I could get a clear shot of her face. I love the Mountains of Tennessee! What great fun we had on this photo excursion.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Sense of Humor "Ode to the Road"

When we left Townsend it was a very foggy morning and I wished I was in the park doing some serious shooting, but we had a plan to get home at a reasonable hour so I made some shots before we left of the Restaurant we ate breakfast in every morning, and the Inn we stayed at as we were packing the truck. Sometimes you gotta laugh! On the way home from Tennessee, we were having some good laughs, and I don't know if it was because I was so tired or just in a silly mood, I pulled my camera out and started making road view all week was out tinted dark windows and the back of Chuck and Dons heads. Now I am not complaining because I was grateful that Chuck drove all week and Don I was left in the back to do whatever...and on the way home I was feeling goofy! So these shots are an ode to the road, made while moving between 70-80 mph. It took a little over 8 hours to get home and we were all happy for a safe and fun trip. Now I can get to work on processing some of the more complex shots like HDR and Pano's....after I get the laundry done, the grass cut, some prints made and other loose ends around the house!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tennessee Day 6

Too tired to write much, but we had another great day with lots of bear sitings. Heading home in the morning and have to get to bed! Here's a few from the day. Will catch up with everyone when I get home. It's been a great trip!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tennessee Day 5

Today we slept in a little..boy that was nice! It was raining after breakfast and after filling up the gas tank, we headed toward the Greenbrier area. As we traveld north on Little River Road we stopped at an overlook to make some images of the "Smokin Smokies!" Boy was it beautiful to see the clounds drifting between the ridges of the mountains. Then we made some images along the river and headed on to Greenbrier.
We were in the water, and the water was on us! We shot through the rain with trash bags over our gear. At one point we all had waders on and were in the water shooting water....we had a filling dinner at the Timbers and headed back to our rooms.

Tennessee Day 4

Oh what an adventure we had today! We decided we wanted to take a trip to Cataloochee, after shooting a sunrise on the Foothills Parkway. So we had a good breakfast at The River Stone Cafe again and began our journey through the Weir Valley. We selected the northern path and had no problem until we tried to go south on Rt 40. and could not due to a rock slide. So we tried a high mountain two track which only looped around the top of the mountain and back to the starting place so it was a long ride..maybe four hours around through Rt 25 and 73 south...but we  made it, with no stops for lunch other than a get s pretty desolate...but we had a good time and Don even said he thought the road was closed because of aliens! In Maryland we would build a road in less time than it has taken to clear the road must be some big government hush hush we had some laughs and Chuck was a real trooper driving all day! We came back through via the Blue Ridge Parkway and were graced with a magnificent view of the Smokies at sundown with a beautiful sky. We made it back to Townsend by 9:30 and the only restaurant open was Pizza Hut! So we ordered two pizzas and almost fell asleep eating them! This morning we gave ourselves a break and slept in til 8:00 because the weather was calling for overcast all day and we figured we could shoot waterfalls or rivers all day if we off to breakfast! Oh and we saw Elk, Ruffled Grouse and wild Turkeys in was worth the trip! I only had time to process a few images this morning.
Time to go again.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tennessee Day 3

Today we decided to skip sunrise. The weather forecast was for clear skies and we needed some rest so instead we met at 7:00 and headed to breakfast. After a nice breakfast at The Riverstone Cafe, we headed for the Green Brier School House and made some images there. It was a total blue sky day with harsh sunlight so we were challenging ourselves to find appropriate material to shoot all day. After the school house we headed to the Bud Ogle house in Roaring Fork and goofed off there with some HDR and Lensbaby shots. We stopped in the Greenbrier area looking for the Dwarf Iris, we saw last year and made some images there. On the way back I noticed some wonderful reflections of the spring green foliage and blue sky in the river so we pulled off and made some shots. Now its time to get ready for tomorrow and hopefully a nice sunrise shoot from the Foothills Parkway overlooks.