Author Archives: Jeff

Glade Creek Grist Mill

Glade Creek Grist Mill

Glade Creek Grist Mill – Click image to enlarge

Having read about the many wonderful state parks in West Virginia, I decided to visit Babcock State Park to photograph fall color. I picked Babcock because of the Glade Creek Grist Mill which is one of those “must photograph” subjects every photographer visiting West Virginia should shoot. The mill is very photogenic at any time of the year, but is definitely at its best in the fall. Many local photographers I talked to said the fall color around the mill this year was the best they’d seen it in years so the timing of my first visit was perfect. With overcast skies, and an occasional splash of sunlight through breaks in the clouds, the light was perfect! As you can see from my photos, the mill is in an absolutely beautiful setting.

 

Glade Creek Grist Mill-0121

Glade Creek Grist Mill – Click image to enlarge

Originally known as Cooper’s Mill that stood on the present location of the park’s administration building parking lot, the Glade Creek Grist Mill is actually a new mill that was completed in 1976 at Babcock. The mill is fully operable and was built as a re-creation of Cooper’s Mill which once ground grain on Glade Creek long before Babcock became a state park. The mill was created by combining parts and pieces from three mills which once dotted the state. The basic structure of the mill came from the Stoney Creek Grist Mill which dates back to 1890. It was dismantled and moved piece by piece to Babcock from a spot near Campbelltown in Pocahontas County, WV. After an accidental fire destroyed the Spring Run Grist Mill near Petersburg, Grant County, only the overshot water wheel could be salvaged. Other parts for the mill came from the Onego Grist Mill near Seneca Rocks in Pendleton County. For all my images, I used a circular polarizing filter to reduce reflections on the water and leaves. Reducing reflections on the surface of the leaves helps to saturate the wonderful red, orange and yellow color of the leaves. My shutter speeds were generally ½ second to as long as 3 seconds at f/16, at an ISO of 100.

 

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

Posted in Photographic Technique, State Parks Tagged , , |

Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery

While in the Hocking Hills area for the annual “Shoot The Hills” photography contest, several fellow photographers and I visited Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, just outside Maxville, Ohio in Perry County. For its age, the gravestones and church are in amazingly good shape. Several of the residents in the area take care of the cemetery and keep the grass cut.

 

Gravestones under the window

Gravestones under the window – Click image to enlarge

 

The photo above is from inside the remains of the church and was taken in the early evening around 7:30 PM. Given the bright light outside and the much darker interior of the church, the only way to achieve a balanced exposure was to take a series of 5 exposures, 1-stop apart and combine them in software to produce an HDR image. I used Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro V2 to create the file and then converted it to black and white using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2 to get the image you see here. I really like this shot of the old gravestones lined up against the wall under the window. Pictured below is a low shot from outside the church that includes the gravestone of Daniel Nunemaker who lived to be a little over 92 years which was amazing given that he was born in 1771! All the images in this post are from HDR files.

 

Daniel Nunemaker gravestone - Click image to enlarge

Daniel Nunemaker gravestone – Click image to enlarge

 

Sunstar in the doorway - Click image to enlarge

Sunstar in the doorway – Click image to enlarge

 

Sunset outside the church - Click image to enlarge

Sunset outside the church – Click image to enlarge

 

While we were there photographing, one of the residents stopped by to talk to us and gave us a brief history of the church and cemetery. The St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was started by Rev. Frankenburg July 14, 1841 in Monday Creek Township, Perry County, Ohio. Rev. Frankenburg had been preaching in private homes and barns for six year prior to starting the church. Jacob Goodlive, Wife Mary (Marie), son Henry and his wife Elizabeth were some of the very first members to sign the register.

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

Posted in General Photography, Photographic Technique Tagged , , |

View From Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park

 

View from Glacier Point, looking up Tenaya Canyon

View from Glacier Point, looking up Tenaya Canyon – Click image to enlarge

 

It’s hard to believe that it will have been 6 years this coming May since I visited Yosemite National Park. I enjoy going back through my older photos, especially my images of Yosemite so I think that makes it seem like it wasn’t that long ago. I find that looking at my older photos is a great learning experience since I take the time to look at my composition along with the exposure metadata and usually realize that I probably could have composed a better shot. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, especially with all the metadata that’s saved with our digital photos that can be viewed and analyzed. I know I’ve become a better photographer because of it.

All these images are taken from Glacier Point. As you can probably tell from the harsh look of the images, it was mid-day and photographically speaking not the best time of day for photography, but that’s when I was there and I knew I wouldn’t have a chance to go back so I was shooting anyway. From Glacier Point you can look down into Yosemite Valley, see Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls, Vernal and Nevada Falls and of course the great granite massif Half Dome. The first image is a view up Tenaya Canyon with Half Dome on the right, and the Royal Arches and North Dome on the left. The black and white conversion was done in Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2 from the original raw file with Lightroom adjustments. The second images is a nice view of Vernal and Nevada Falls. Climbing the Mist Trail up to the top of Vernal Falls, I didn’t realize that it and Nevada Falls were fed by the same water source.

 

Vernal Falls (lower left) and Nevada Falls (upper right) from Glacier Point

Vernal Falls (lower left) and Nevada Falls (upper right) from Glacier Point – Click image to enlarge

 

Yosemite National Park is a very special place. If you get the chance to go there, don’t give it a second thought, go and you’ll be glad you did. I can’t wait to go back for a longer time and more serious photography!

To see more of my photography of Yosemite National Park, please visit my gallery here. If you have any questions about this website or my photography, I’d love to hear from you.  Please click here to email me.

Posted in National Parks Tagged , , , , |

Snow Rollers

Snow Roller - Click image to enlarge

Snow Roller – Click image to enlarge

 

A strange and rare winter weather marvel appeared earlier this week called Snow Rollers. Snow Rollers are weird cylindrical snow formations that are formed naturally as chunks of snow are blown along the ground by wind. Once the “seed” of the snow roller is formed, it begins to roll, and pushed by the wind it collects additional snow from the ground as it rolls along leaving a trail behind it.

Unlike snowballs made by people, snow rollers are sculpted into different shapes such as doughnuts and hollow tubes. Some snow rollers have been seen to grow as large as 2 feet in diameter. For snow rollers to form the ground must be covered by a layer of ice to which the snow won’t stick, the layer of ice must be covered by wet, loose snow with a temperature near the melting point of ice, and the wind must be strong enough to move the snow rollers, but not strong enough to blow them apart.

Many snow rollers - Click image to enlarge

Many snow rollers – Click image to enlarge

The precise nature of the conditions needed to form snow rollers makes them a very rare phenomenon. I have never seen or heard of Snow Rollers, so I just had to go out and photograph them despite the subzero temperatures. I waited until just before sunset to take this shot so that the light of the setting sun would light up the snow roller showing its many layers. I positioned the camera low and very close to the snow roller to create a more dramatic effect using the trail. The actual air temperature when these shots were taken was about -5 degrees, brrrr!

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

Posted in General Photography, Photographic Technique Tagged , , |

Upper Falls In The Winter

 

Upper Falls In The Winter - Click image to enlarge

Upper Falls In The Winter – Click image to enlarge

 

Upper Falls at the east end of Old Man’s Cave Gorge is a beautiful sight in the winter with snow covering the ground, but it’s a hard subject to photograph because the area around the base of the falls is very plain and doesn’t have any rocks or other objects to add interest to the scene. Despite temperatures close to zero degrees on a recent visit there, I took the time to look for a more interesting view, and found this composition right at the bottom of the stairs that lead down into the gorge. I’ve walked past this spot many times and never thought to photograph this view. Framing the falls with the footbridge at the top, and a nice view under the footbridge of Upper Falls Cascade, some icicles at the upper right, and the snow covered tree roots at the bottom creates a much more interesting image of Upper Falls.

The Upper Falls Cascades, shown below is just above Upper Falls where Old Man’s Creek begins its run through Old Man’s Cave Gorge. Over thousands of years, Old Man’s Creek has carved many unique features such as The Devil’s Bathtub out of the gorge’s Blackhand Sandstone. This image was captured about an hour and a half after sunrise, and as you can see the warm orange glow of the rising sun is reflecting off the water flowing over the cascades.

 

Upper Falls Cascades reflects the light of the rising winter sun - Click image to enlarge

Upper Falls Cascades reflects the light of the rising winter sun – Click image to enlarge

To see more of my photography of Old Man’s Cave Gorge and Hocking Hills State Park, please see my gallery here. If you have any questions about this 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 , , , |

Grigg Dam In Fog

Griggs Dam - Click image to enlarge

Griggs Dam – Click image to enlarge

 

You never know what photographic opportunity may come your way so you should always be prepared by having a camera with you. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always have my DSLR with me, but I always at least have my cell phone camera with me. The saying, “The best camera you have is the one you have with you” is very true! This past Saturday I was driving home after doing a little Christmas shopping, and wasn’t even thinking about taking any pictures. The weather had been terrible the previous night and most of the day with heavy rain and wind. Over 2 inches of rain had fallen, but the rain had finally stopped and as I passed Griggs Dam on the Scioto River late in the afternoon I could see that the water was flowing over the dam very fast and fog was forming over the swirling water. I love photographing in the fog and couldn’t pass up an opportunity to shoot in the fog, and I even had my DSLR and tripod in the trunk!

The wind was really blowing the fog around, one minute you couldn’t see a thing and the next it was almost clear plus I was losing daylight since it was almost sunset so I had to shoot fast. These views give you the feeling of how fast the water was flowing over the dam, and how powerful it is by the violent churning and swirling, and the fog adds a sense of mystery. The second image is a very tight shot of just the flowing water, meant to be an abstract view. The camera settings for these shots were 1 second at f/11, 67mm focal length and ISO 100.

 

An abstract view of the flowing water - Click image to enlarge

An abstract view of the flowing water – Click image to enlarge

Griggs Reservoir Park as it is formally called has biking/running trails the run the full 2.25 mile length of the park. Within the park there is also a nature preserve, disc golf course, various picnic areas, and a boat launch. The dam was dedicated in 1905, names in honor of Julian Griggs who was chief engineer for the City of Columbus for many years.

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

Posted in General Photography, Metro Parks Tagged |

October’s Hunter’s Moon

Hunter's Moon October 2013

Hunter’s Moon October 2013 – Click image to enlarge

 

 

Several photography friends and I went to Great Smoky Mountains National Park back in October to photograph fall color. Although we were there over the 3rd weekend of October which is typically when peak color occurs, the color this year was below average at best but we had a great time and did capture some great shots!

Our first evening in the park was spent atop Clingman’s Dome for a sunset, followed closely by moonrise of the full Hunter’s  Moon. In October, the full moon can be either the Hunter’s Moon or the Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox, and in every 2 out of 3 years it occurs in September, but in some years it does occur in October. This year, the October full moon was the Hunter’s Moon. Sky conditions were partly cloudy for sunset, which helped give us some nice color as the sun sank below the horizon. Unfortunately the fog rolled in shortly after sunset and obscured the sky. We stayed for about 45 more minutes after sunset and decided that the sky wasn’t going to clear enough for us to see the moon so it was time to pack up. Five photographers have a lot of gear, and by the time we got everything loaded and drove as far as the other end of the parking lot, the wind changed direction, blew the fog away and suddenly there was the bright, full moon. Of course we stopped, got some of our gear out and started shooting. The sky didn’t stay clear very long because thin high clouds moved in before we fired our first shots. All was not lost as the wind created some very interesting patterns in the clouds lit by the bright full moon as you can see in my images. In the second image, you can see that the fog is just about to blow over us again.

 

Hunter's Moon with fog rolling in - Click image to enlarge

Hunter’s Moon with fog rolling in – Click image to enlarge

 

Please click here to see more of my images from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you have any questions about this website or my photography, I’d love to hear from you.  Please click here to email me.

Posted in National Parks Tagged , , |

Highbanks Bridge

 

Underneath Dripping Rock Trail bridge - Click image to enlarge

Underneath Dripping Rock Trail bridge – Click image to enlarge

 

Highbanks Metro Park located just north of Columbus Ohio is appropriately named for its massive 100-foot high shale bluffs that tower over the Olentangy State Scenic River. Tributary streams cutting across the bluff have created a number of deep ravines exposing Ohio and Olentangy shales on the bluff face and sides of the ravines.

The Dripping Rock Trail winds through a hardwood forest, passing steep ravines and shale outcroppings. I was photographing various scenes of a stream in a deep ravine along the trail when I looked up and noticed the interesting patterns created by the support structure of the bridge. I climbed up the steep bank under the east side of the bridge and photographed the underneath view of the bridge you see above. The image consists of 3 separate exposures (1-stop under normal, normal, and 1-stop over normal) combined and processed in Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro Version 2 to create the final HDR image. Below is a low view of the stream covered with leaves showing its shale streambed as it flows under the bridge through the ravine.

 

Stream with leaves - Click image to enlarge

Stream with leaves – Click image to enlarge

 

Please click here to see other images from Highbanks Metro Park. If you have any questions about this website or my photography, I’d love to hear from you.  Please click here to email me.

Posted in Metro Parks, Photographic Technique Tagged , , |

Some Fall Color

 

A beautiful maple backlit by the sun

A beautiful maple back lit by the sun – Click image to enlarge

As I mentioned last week, nice fall color with vibrant oranges and reds has been hard to find in central Ohio this fall. Some trees turned late and I found this beautiful Maple back lit by the sun along Lane Avenue not too far from Ohio State University’s campus.

Enjoy it while it lasts. The weather is turning colder with some winter like weather on the way in a few days.

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

Posted in General Photography Tagged |

In Search of Fall Color 2013

Nice fall color with vibrant oranges and reds have been hard to find in central Ohio this fall. Even in typically great places for fall color like Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the color just wasn’t there!

Over the weekend of October 18-20, I traveled to Great Smoky Mountains National Park for fall color and was disappointed. In 2011 my wife and I were in the park this very same weekend and the color was fantastic, not so in 2013. After talking to several local photographers, they didn’t think the color would be good at all this year due to the wet summer and early fall and the number of leaves already on the ground. To be fair, there was some color just not the usual beautiful mix of yellows, oranges, and reds. I had an ambitious shooting schedule on this trip starting out on Friday afternoon at the Mingus Mill on the North Carolina side of the park, and a sunset atop Clingman’s Dome, followed by a full day in the Tremont area on Saturday shooting along the Middle Prong of the Little River and hiking to Spruce Flat Falls. I ended up at the Noah “Bud” Ogle homestead near the entrance to the Roaring Fork Motor trail on Sunday morning before heading back to Ohio.

Below is the Mingus Mill taken in late afternoon light. The Mingus Mill was originally built in the 1790’s by the Mingus Family who owned it until the 1930’s when the National Park Service acquired it.  The current mill, built in 1886 replaced the original mill and uses a water-powered turbine to power all the machinery in the mill instead of a traditional water wheel.

 

Mingus Mill in Autumn

Mingus Mill in Autumn – Click image to enlarge

Noah “Bud” Ogle was a Smoky Mountain farmer who first settled in what is now Gatlinburg with his wife Cindy in 1879.  Their cabin, pictured above was built in the 1880’s and consists of two cabins sharing a single chimney, known as a “saddlebag” style.  The Ogle cabin also has a very unique feature for the time…running water!  A wooden plume ran from a spring near the cabin up to the back porch.  Once there the water poured into a double sink made from a large log.

 

Noah Bud Ogle Homestead - Click image to enlarge

Noah Bud Ogle Homestead – Click image to enlarge

 

To see more of my photography of the Smoky Mountains, please visit my gallery here. If you have any questions about this website or my photography, I’d love to hear from you.  Please click here to email me.

Posted in National Parks Tagged , |