Having been pretty much all over to catch the color, I decided to change it up a little bit today and I headed out to Stone Mountain. The last time I was there, I was shooting just one of the waterfalls, and there was just a hint of color in the park on that day. Obviously, I would have liked to have hit the leaves at peak color with this trek, but I knew I would be on the tail end of the leaves. It was fine by me though. I was going to have fun hiking and just decompressing for a little while. The intention was to shoot what the conditions called for. I was prepared to shoot waterfalls, woodland, and grand landscapes. it all just depended on what the clouds did.
I've always wanted to photograph this tree, but it has proven difficult to get a composition with. I started to look around and see what I had to work with. I really liked the way the trunk was shaped, and the moss on the tops of the main sections. In order to get everything that I liked about this tree, I was going to need to select a pretty wide focal length. I went ahead and fitted my 16-35mm lens with the Singh Ray Color Combo Polarizer. I got in close and started to work my way around the tree in order to find that perfect position. I'm not sure if I found it or not, but this is much closer than I have come before to getting it right. If nothing else, Toni likes it, and has expressed interest in using it for a project later on. I count that as a win!
|Autumn's Failing Grip|
Unfortunately, as I was getting into the groove of photographing this old cabin, more and more people started to come in. I was starting to have a terrible time making compositions that didn't include people, so I decided to move on to another location and see what else I could work with. I made my way just outside of the old homestead and found that the split rail fence really caught my eye.
|Split Rail Barns|
|Autumn at Stone Mountain|
|A Golden Curve|
Then, off in the distance, I saw a vibrant yellow tree up high. I got closer to it and realized that there was only one direction that I could shoot the tree without getting any other trees in the frame. The section I was after was up about 40 fee or so. I positioned myself so that I could shoot up that high without getting the sky in the composition I used the delicate tree trunk as a visual anchor for the image. Because of that, I started out with the camera in portrait orientation to accentuate the arch in the wood.
As it turned out, the abstract scenes that I was going to be shooting for the next little bit had nothing at all to do with the leaves. The deeper I got into the trail, the less leaves I found in the trees. I started to look lower for inspiration. Oddly enough, the water levels were looking pretty good as I got closer to the main waterfall of the park. I started to pay attention to the sections of white water as I found them. One such section I had tried to photograph before with absolutely no success. I recalled trying to take it all in with my 24-70mm lens and ended up with nothing worth keeping. This time, I was in a mindset to isolate sections of the landscape, and this was looking like a good place to do just that.
|As a Dream|
Once I started to feel like I was forcing the compositions, I decided to move on down the trail. I didn't find any more colorful trees, but I did come upon a very interesting set of cascades that I had seen several times before. I had even tried to photograph it a few times with no success. Today, the water flow was different and it really looked promising. Since I had my long lens on, I decided to try picking out compositions instead of photographing the entire thing as I had done in the past.
|An Autumn Drop|
I decided that after getting a handful of shots from here, I had better get back to solid footing. There is nothing quite so slick as wet rock with leaves on it. This was what I was standing on, and it was a slope at that. In the interest in not crashing the camera, I went ahead and got back up the hill to the trail. I continued on to the main falls, but not before passing a long section of cascades that I had photographed a couple of times before. There was a couple leaving that section so I decided to not rush them and I continued on to the main falls.
When I got there, they were just as boring as I remembered. There just isn't much I care to do with a large waterslide like Stone Mountain Falls. There was no interest at the base either. The couple had caught up with me, and I think we were all coming to the same conclusion that there wasn't much to see here as we all started our way back down the trail. The stairs to the top of the waterfall had been damaged during a controlled burn and that section of the trail was closed.
Now that my feet were starting to get cold from standing in the water, I decided it was time to head back to the car. I had been out here nearly four hours at this point and needed to get home. I left the camera out just in case I found some more compositions along the way though. As luck would have it, I found nothing at all on the hike back. It wasn't until I reached the base of Stone Mountain that I started to see other possibilities once again.
|Peering Through the Colors|