As I started to wake up a little later on the day, I started to consider my options. I could go on a shorter ride, or I could spend the day with my wife who was also off work. Well, since I've been kind of busy with work and riding here of late, I decided that it would be fun to spend the day with her. One of those things that we have always enjoyed doing together was going to the mountains and creating some photographic art. I made the suggestion, and she was sold. I charged up the batteries on the camera and we both got ready to roll out.
Since it had been so long since I had really worked the camera, I wanted to start out with something easy. I chose a nice field that had a pretty cool tree, and fallen fence to work with near Doughton Park. It didn't take long and we were pulled over on the side of the road and I was figuring out how to get the camera put on the tripod. No, seriously....I had to really think this step through. Then I had to read the scene and try to come up with a composition. That was kind of hard as well since my mind was no longer trained to spot compositions quickly. It didn't take long and I had worked out a nice view of the fallen fence with the tree in the background.
I started snapping the frames, but wasn't all that thrilled with what I was seeing on the LCD review. I had to keep telling myself that since I had changed my shooting settings, the review image would appear very flat and dull. This was to ensure that I was able to retain as much detail as possible in both the highlights and shadows. I wasn't completely sure how well this was going to work, but I was going to stick with it and find out.
|Rolling View in B&W|
|Holes in the Sky|
As we approached the turn off, Toni spotted a tree right next to the overlook. I had also spotted it. It was interesting looking, but I wasn't quite sure what I would be able to do with it. I was tired of driving, and saw some potential, so we pulled off to give it a try. As I parked, I happened to notice the sky was really quite pretty on the other side of the overlook, and as luck would have it, there were a couple of trees that were kind of set apart from the others. I decided to work that first because the sky and lighting were better here, and I didn't want to lose that.
The trees had captured my attention, but I had a very serious compositional problem that had to be dealt with before I could create any photographs. That problem was the parking lot and trash can that were so close to the tree (to the left of the frame). I tried so many different compositions to try and exclude that extraneous detail, but I was unable to get anything that I liked...until I tried the most simple approach. It was the postcard shot that seemed to suit this image the best. I don't really like this composition in most cases, but it really seems to work well for this tree, or team of trees. With the clouds in the background, I think that the composition is a winner on every level.
With less than an hour to go before sunset, we loaded up the truck and started back down the road in search of a good location to get the sunset. As we got close to Hwy 421, we passed by a tree that was lit by selective sunlight over on the side of the road. It caught both of our attention, and I turned around to get parked. I got out and went to what I though was a great place to capture the picture. However, there was another tree limb that was in the way on the left side of the road. I wasn't going to be able to get the composition that I wanted from here. That actually turned out to be just fine because the selective lighting had move on anyway.
I walked in closer to the tree to see if my plan B would work. This was a plan to shoot in close and low getting the clouds in the sky as a back drop. As luck would have it, the other trees were just too close, and I couldn't get this tree separated enough for a good picture. Hmmmm, what to do? I turned around to see what else I had to work with. Oddly enough, the sky to my rear was rather interesting, and I could see the Blue Ridge Parkway winding through the trees. I swung the camera around and started to frame a shot.
|The Road to Home|
Be sure to check out the new additions in the Landscapes Room and the Monochrome Room. I'm also hoping to continue with my Treks on a much more regular basis than I have been doing them.