Mountain Star

Structures 2 Comments »

The Mill Mountain Star, overlooking the beautiful city of Roanoke, Virginia is the world’s largest free-standing illuminated star. Roanoke, which is nicknamed the “Star City”, was my home for four years after I graduated college. I would have loved to have taken this photo at night, but I didn’t have the opportunity. Maybe I can return soon to try to get that shot.

Warm Hearts

Flora, Macro No Comments »

More snow and cold weather outside today, so I thought I’d post something warm and cheerful. This rose was one of a dozen given to my wife from my little boy.

Photo details: Nikon D80, Tamron 90mm macro, f/8.0, 1/80 sec. shutter, 400 ISO, in manual mode. I shot this in the studio with a single softbox about one foot away from the rose. I was lazy and shot it hand-held instead of using a tripod.

Lone Daffodil

Flora, Macro No Comments »

This little lone Daffodil is the first flower (growing outside) that I’ve seen so far in 2009. Spring is finally upon us… and I’m ready for it!

Better Days

Structures 2 Comments »

This old railroad trestle crossing the Doe River has definitely seen its better days. Most of the crossties have fallen away making it unsafe to walk across, but I felt it made for an interesting photograph. This was the end of the “road” for my Doe River hike, and will be the final photo of the series that I’ve posted this week.

Frothy Falls

Water No Comments »

I made a steep climb down into the gorge to get a shot of this small waterfall on the Doe River. I didn’t have my tripod but I closed the aperture down to f/22, leaned back on a big rock, and rested the camera on my knee to get a longer exposure. One fifth of a second was enough to yield a slight blurred effect, while also giving a frothy look to the water below the falls.

Ominous Passage

Landscape, Structures 1 Comment »

This tunnel is the portal into the Doe River Gorge… with the landscape immediately changing from an expansive valley to steep cliffs and deep ravines. This was once the passageway into the narrow gorge for the old ET&WNC Railroad built in the 1880’s, which carried Iron Ore from Cranberry, NC to Johnson City, TN. To learn more about this interesting rail line, also known as “The Tweetsie”, click here.

River Valley

Landscape No Comments »

We’re continuing to head upstream on the Doe River this week…

This beautiful valley is located just outside of Hampton, Tennessee, near the gateway to the Doe River Gorge. Tomorrow, we’ll follow the old railroad line along the river, into the high cliffs of the gorge.

Covered Bridge

Structures 2 Comments »

The Elizabethton Covered Bridge spanning the Doe River.

This historic landmark, built in 1882, is one of the most photographed structures in east Tennessee.

This spot is far downstream on the Doe River, almost to the point where it empties into the Watauga River. In the next few days, I’ll continue with photographs traveling upstream on the Doe River… into the Doe River Gorge.

Winter Color

Flora, Macro No Comments »

It’s hard to find any outdoor color this time of year, but thanks to this little Nandina bush I was able to capture some vivid red colors blanketed with some fresh snow.

Photo details: Nikon D80, Tamron 90mm macro, f/4.0, 1/640 sec. shutter, 200 ISO, in aperture priority mode.

Red Intensity

People, Studio 1 Comment »

I’ve been posting a lot of nature shots lately, so let me change things up a bit and post one from the studio:

Since this model had an edgy hairstyle, I wanted to give an edgy appearance to her photo. Normally, I would turn the face away and at an angle to the main light to bring out more soft shadowing, but instead I posed her directly into the main, giving a more intense and harsh lighting effect. Women also photograph well looking upward, so I stood on a chair only almost directly above the model and took the shot in a downward direction. I also turned the camera about 45 degrees to frame the face at an angle.

The studio setup was a main strobe with softbox about 3 feet away from the model’s face. There was a secondary strobe with an umbrella reflector immediately behind the camera, and I had an assistant holding a 3rd strobe a few feet above her head to highlight the hair. Finally, the model was also holding a white card at her waist to bounce some light under the chin. The background was chosen black to accent to intense look of the shot.