NC [pt. 2] : Landscape Photography

Posted by CWade in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Back in July, I went on vacation in North Carolina with the intention -knowing that the Carolinas are beautiful- of concentrating on landscape photography.

Aside from my recent infrared work & a few other scattered images, I hadn’t really seriously done landscape since shooting film with my N80 a few years ago. (“Seriously” meaning tripod, remote release, filters, pre-conceived shots, ect.)

I can’t consider myself primarily a landscape photographer as my main photographic love is low-light & long exposure image-making, but it was a rewarding process to hunt for interesting ‘scapes, make the images- and then, during post-processing, see them realized as my eye/imagination/whatever-you-want-to-call-it had initially conceived them.

This was taken from an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A wider shot of the scene is below:

Here’s a cool map of some of the scenic areas on the parkway: 

click for giant!

Also on the parkway- this view is from the overlook at Devil’s Courthouse.

The ‘courthouse’ is a giant cliff/rock outcropping out of the frame to the upper left. My silly battery died (Alas, I need batt grip…*le sigh*) immediately after this shot, so you must remain courthouse-deprived! There is a trail that goes up to the top for incredible 360 degree views of the mountains

The above is a shot I took on the day I drove home; this is an awesome curve on US 64 between Franklin & Brevard, NC. It was early morning, and I zipped past this scene and had to drive a few miles before I could turn around – I knew I had to break out all the gear and photograph it!

Below are more from the same place; I’d parked the car in the pull-out, and walked up to where it almost disappeared to get a better vantage- tripod and all.

The fog was just settled down in between the mountains…

and there was this crazy cloud…

(then the sun really started to rise.)

The following is probably one of the most photographed- and painted- waterfalls in the world, Looking Glass Falls; I’ve got to say, I felt extremely cheesy/cliche trying to photograph it (but I had to try). I had a great conversation with another photo dude there, though.

I think this one is a little hackneyed, but eh, there were so many tourists around it was hard to keep them out of the frame! (Incidentally, I have some infrared images with people climbing all up in the frame I am excited about.)

The following, I like better. It is the very, very bottom of the falls, which you can barely make out in the original photo.

And…here’s a different approach. (I’m sensing an impending diptych?)

Looking Glass Rock, seen from the BRP

From Wikipedia: “The name [for the waterfall] comes from Looking Glass Rock, which resembles a wintertime mirror (or “looking glass”) of sunlight, as water freezes on its sides and reflects the sun.”

Too bad I didn’t shoot it in the Winter, I suppose.

6,030 feet (1,819 m) above sea level
Above is Cold Mountain, as made famous by the historical fiction novel and subsequent film, seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway. (I have not read the book or seen the movie, but the book did win the 1997 National Book Award; can anyone recommend it?)

creek that runs by my Aunt’s cabin; Franklin, NC

I’m still not done processing images, and I won’t be for quite some time*, but I thought I’d drop in and share some of the awesome vistas that I encountered during my trip.

*An Aside:

It seems like many amateurs and non-photographers consider digital methods to be a complete overhaul/replacement of the traditional, slow process of exposing film and then developing negatives/slides & producing enlargements
(often-painstakingly) in the darkroom.

This just isn’t true. By no means am I a darkroom wizard, but digital photos often have to be treated with the computer-equivalence of dodging and burning just as photos from film would. In addition, the widespread standard of image quality (in terms of acceptable grain & noise, sharpness, “size,” ect.) has skyrocketed since digital cameras became the preferred tool of mainstream photojournalists and news photographers.

The bottom line for me- and I think most serious amateurs and professionals- is that good digital photographs require ample time both behind the camera and the screen, as it were. It’s “unfortunate”, but true.

It was a great trip! Stay tuned for more landscapes, infrared, and other short-stories to come from NC!

If you are inclined, many more can be viewed on my Flickr:

6 Responses to NC [pt. 2] : Landscape Photography

  1. Ashton Photography + Design says:

    you are so great at nature photography, my favorite is Devil's Courthouse, the colours you captured are fantastic!!

  2. CIOPhoto says:


  3. Victoria Bennett Beyer says:

    I love your city photography but I'm so excited to see these gorgeous landscapes! The second photo is my favorite – simply amazing – and I also love the ones at the bottom of the falls.

  4. Julie Magers Soulen says:

    Beautiful work. I am especially attracted to the black and whites.


  5. myan photography/zuppaartista says:

    these are stunning! your waterfalls are breathtaking!

    AND you are making me homesick!
    i love the blue ridge mountains! :)

  6. Mattivere says:

    You make me want to go home to Brevard. But only to look at things….

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