Monthly Archives: February 2013

Happy Birthday Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams circa 1950


Were he still alive, Ansel would have been 111 years young today.  Ansel is America’s, and probably one of the worlds most well known landscape photographer. Without a doubt just about any landscape photographer seeking that special image in some remote place has been influenced by his work and teachings.

Happy Birthday Ansel!

Posted in General Photography Tagged |

Clingmans Dome Sunset

Clingmans Dome Sunset, Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Click image to enlarge


At an elevation of 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi River.  Mt. Mitchell (6,684 feet) and Mt. Craig (6,647 feet), both located in North Carolina are higher.  As you can imagine, sunsets from this location can be spectacular depending on the weather conditions and on this early October evening I was treated to a beautiful sunset.  I had experienced one previous sunset on Clingmans Dome and this time I was hoping for some clouds since my previous sunset was cloudless.  On this day, there were nice clouds in the sky about an hour before sunset but unfortunately they had mostly dissipated by the time sunset arrived and only a thick layer of clouds on the horizon was left with just a few breaks for the sun to shine through.  Clingmans Dome is one of the most popular places in the park for photographers at sunset and for this sunset there must have been at least 50-75 photographers lining the sidewalk at the west end of the parking lot.  One photographer was cooking dinner for he and his wife as they waited for sunset…I tried to place an order since the food smelled so good, and that lead to some fun conversation.  Temperatures at the dome drop quickly so be sure to dress in layers and have a jacket, gloves and a hat handy.  The image above was taken just after the sun sank into the thicker layer of clouds.  The oranges, reds, and yellows in the sky made for a beautiful sight above the vanishing ridgelines of the Smoky Mountains.

More information about Clingmans Dome and Great Smoky Mountains National Park can be found on the National Park Service’s website here.

If you have any questions about my website or my photography I’d love to hear from you, please click here to email me.

Posted in National Parks Tagged , |

Less is More

In addition to capturing the grand wide vistas we all love, the intimate details in a scene can provide some exciting photographic possibilities.  Streams and waterfalls are perfect subjects for this.

Spruce Flat Falls in the Tremont area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park cascades over many rock outcroppings that cause the water to splash over and flow around the rocks creating a variety of patterns in the water.   I isolated part of Spruce Flat Falls as shown below with a telephoto lens at 130mm showing its “mini” waterfalls within the larger waterfall.  The yellow and orange fall leaves and wet green moss create a nice background for this image.  You can see all of Spruce Flat Falls in my gallery here and blog post here.


Spruce Flat Falls close up – Click image to enlarge

When it comes to photographing steams, sometimes it’s not possible to capture a pleasing image because of distracting branches covering parts of the stream or the trees along the stream may be too dense to allow you to get a good composition.  This is another situation when looking for smaller details can give you the opportunity to go back home with some nice images on your memory card!  Indian Run, not far from my home is an example of this situation.  Along most parts of the stream above Indian Run Falls, the trees are very dense and there are many low hanging branches that obscure the steam making it impossible to get a good photograph of the stream.  In the image below I was able to isolate a small cascade in the steam with just enough sunlight at the right angle to make the water sparkle a little at the top of the cascade.


A small Indian Run cascade – Click image to enlarge


When photographing streams and waterfalls, some exposure compensation is usually necessary to make the water look white.  I typically spot meter the water and add 1 to 1½ stops of exposure to the camera’s meter reading to make sure the water looks white.  If you go with the camera’s meter reading the water will look gray.  It’s also helpful to use a polarizing filter to reduce or eliminate distracting reflections.

If you have any questions about my website or my photography I’d love to hear from you, please click here to email me.

Posted in Ohio State Park, Photographic Technique Tagged , , |

Hayden Falls Frozen

Hayden Falls FROZEN – Click image to enlarge


The amount of water flowing over the Hayden Falls varies greatly throughout the year, it can be a roaring torrent in the spring or after a hard rain, completely dried up in midsummer, or almost frozen solid in the winter as you see it in the image above.  I live within walking distance of the falls and got there shortly after a new snowfall to capture this scene before the footprints of other visitors ruined the snow on the rocks and surrounding area.  It was late in the day and the starkness of the scene lent itself to a nice conversion to black and white.  Note the partial reflection of the upper part of the waterfall in the still water in the middle of the frame.  Capture information for this image is; Canon EOS 5D Mk III, manual exposure mode, spot metering, 2.5 seconds at f/22, ISO 100, 24mm focal length, polarizing filter.

With the icicles and flowing water there are many compositions possible everywhere you look.  Below is a close up view of layers of ice along the edge of Hayden Run flowing out from the waterfall on its way to the Scioto River.


Close-up if icicles & ice along Hayden Run – Click image to enlarge

Hayden Falls is a beautiful waterfall tucked away in a scenic gorge and well worth a visit if you’re in the area.  The falls are very popular so you will likely find other people there when you arrive.

To see a gallery of my images of Hayden Falls, please click here.  If you have any questions, please click here to email me.

Hayden Falls is in Hayden Falls Park, part of Griggs Reservoir Nature Preserve and located at 4335 Hayden Run Rd., Dublin, OH.  43017 close to the intersection of Hayden Run Rd., and Frantz Rd.  GPS coordinates are N 40°4’1″, W 83°6’38”.  The falls are very accessible via a wide stairway from the parking lot to the bottom of the gorge that connects to an elevated boardwalk going out to the base of the falls.  More information can be found here.

Posted in Metro Parks Tagged , , , |