Tag Archives: Autumn

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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Tall Pines In Fog

 

Tall Pines in the fog near Rose Lake – Click image to enlarge

 

As I’ve mentioned many times in this blog, one of my favorite photography destinations in Ohio is Hocking Hills State Park about an hour’s drive southeast of Columbus.  Until recently, one area of the park I hadn’t photographed is Rose Lake which is mid-way between Old Man’s Cave gorge and Cedar Falls.

Art Wolfe is one of my favorite photographers and the evening before my trip to Rose Lake I was watching one of his Travels To The Edge episodes titled “The Southwest: Zion and Canyon de Chelly.” At the end of the episode Art is photographing a grove of aspen trees in the fog which he said were perfect conditions for photographing the aspens.  As it turned out, the day of my trip to Rose Lake was very foggy, and when I arrived at the trailhead just before sunrise the area surrounding the lake was completely fogged in.  The hike to the lake from the trailhead is about ½ mile and passes through a forest of tall pines.  As soon as I saw the tall pines I immediately thought of Art photographing the aspen’s so I was very excited to be able to photograph in these conditions.  The fog acted like a giant lightbox providing very even lighting, and as you can see in the image above the fog gave the scene depth and a sense of mystery.  Since this image was taken in the fall, the red, orange, yellow and green leaves added a nice touch of color.  I spent close an hour photographing in these tall pines before finally making my way to the lake.

To see more of my photography of Rose Lake and Hocking Hills State 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.

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Spruce Flat Falls

Spruce Flat Falls is a beautiful waterfall tucked away in the quiet Tremont area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Although it’s certainly not an unknown waterfall, Spruce Flat Falls is not one of the most popular waterfalls in the park.  Getting to the falls requires about a 2 mile hike that is moderately strenuous at the beginning since the trail is uphill for the first ¼ mile.  Then the trail is fairly level for the rest of the way going slightly downhill as you get close to the falls.  My first hike to the falls was in late July 2011 on a day with high humidity and temperatures in the mid-90’s…the pool at the base of the falls felt really refreshing that day!

 

A side view – Click image to enlarge

 

As you can see from my images, autumn is a beautiful time to visit Spruce Flat Falls, and in my opinion it’s the best time to photograph them.  Many different compositions are possible, so be sure to move around to find the best ones.  The image above is a side view, and below is a low angle shot a little downstream.  Don’t forget a close up shot isolating just part of the falls.  For some of the best compositions you may have to stand in the water so use caution if you get in the water!

 

Downstream from the falls – Click image to enlarge

 

About 100 yards west of the “Townsend Y” you’ll see a sign for the Smoky Mountain Institute.  Turn left at the sign and after 2 miles, you’ll come to a left turn that will take you to the Institute.  It’s well marked so you can’t miss it.  Go to the visitor’s center and get a map to guide you to Spruce Flat Falls.

You can see more of my photography of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in my Great Smoky Mountains National Park 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.

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Fall Color

Beautiful fall color around Rose Lake – Click image to enlarge

One of my favorite photography destinations in Ohio is Hocking Hills State Park about an hour’s drive southeast of Columbus.  While researching the internet for places in Ohio for nice fall color, I found several comments that indicated Rose Lake in Hocking Hills was a great place.  Although I have photographed in Hocking Hills many times, I had never gone to Rose Lake so I thought it was definitely time for a visit.  “Officially,” the lake is named the Hocking Hills Reservoir since it was man-made via the creation of a dam.  Rose Hollow is the valley that contains the reservoir so that’s why the lake is locally known as Rose Lake.  It is also sometime referred to as Fisherman’s Lake.  The lake is approximately at the midpoint of the trail between Old Man’s Cave and Cedar Falls on the Upper Gorge Trail.

The day of my trip to Rose Lake was very foggy and when I arrived at the fisherman’s parking lot before sunrise, the area surrounding the lake was completely fogged in.  The hike to the lake from the parking lot is about ½ mile which passes through a forest of tall pines.  The fog acted like a giant lightbox so I was excited to be able to photograph in these conditions.  As you can see in the image below, the fog gave the scene depth and a sense of mystery.  The red, orange, yellow and green leaves also added a nice touch of color.

 

Tall pines in fog – Click image to enlarge

I spent about an hour photographing around the lake before the sun began to “burn off” the fog.  As the fog gradually lifted I was able to see the trees on the eastern side of the lake.  Once the sun hit them fully, the trees lit up like they were on fire.  The color was beautiful!

 

Brilliant color after the fog lifted – Click image to enlarge

To see more of my photography of Rose Lake and Hocking Hills State 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.

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Central Ohio Metro Parks

We are fortunate here in central Ohio to have a great Metro Parks system that is strongly supported by the community.  The Metro Parks system was originally established in 1945, and today is made up of 16 parks with more than 175 miles of trails, 26,000 acres of land and water in 7 central Ohio counties.  Each year more than 6 million people visit the parks to escape the hustle and bustle of their everyday lives to discover and experience nature.  For nature photographers, it’s wonderful to have all these parks with almost unlimited photographic opportunities available without having to travel very far!  In today’s post I feature images from Slate Run Metro Park and Inniswood Metro Gardens.

Restored 1800’s era covered bridge – Click image to enlarge

The image above is of a restored 1800’s era covered bridge in Slate Run Metro Park taken in the fall.  With the name “Slate Run” you’d think that the land beneath the park was slate rock, but the early settlers mistook the dark soil for slate.  It’s actually shale, a softer rock made from clay deposited millions of years ago.  The park covers 1,705 acres and has about 12 miles of trails that take you through open fields, forests, ravines and grasslands.  The park also features the Slate Run Living Historical Farm where visitors can learn about and help with chores on a working 1880’s farm.  To find out more about Slate Run Metro Park, visit their website here.

Below is an image from Inniswood Metro Gardens and is taken from inside the Herb Hut looking out into the surrounding herb garden.  I like the picture within a picture effect of this composition as you look through the circular window covered with vines out into the surrounding garden.  It reminds me of the round doors and windows of the Shire in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional Middle-earth described in his “Lord of the Rings” novels.

Inside the Herb Hut look out – Click image to enlarge

Inniswood Metro Gardens is set within a scenic nature preserve and features many special gardens filled with beautifully landscaped flowerbeds, rock gardens and lawns.  The park boasts more than 2,000 species of plants, specialty collections of hostas, daffodils, daylilies, and several theme gardens including the rose, herb, and woodland rock garden.  To find out more about Inniswood Metro Gardens, visit their website 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.

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Autumn In The Smoky’s

The Cable Mill - Click image to enlarge

Welcome to Jeff Sagar Photography, thanks for visiting. This is my very first post, and I’m excited to bring you a special image taken during a mid-October 2011 vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Asheville, NC. and the Blue Ridge Parkway were also part of the trip. Our timing was perfect as the fall color was at its peak!

As predicted by the weather service, the day (October 19, 2011) started out with a relatively hard rain so after several good days of photography and sightseeing in and around Great Smoky Mountains National Park my wife and I decided to hit the outlet malls. After lunch the rain had lightened considerably so we decided to go back to the park and tour Cades Cove since we could drive the 11 mile loop and stop where we wanted to if it wasn’t raining too hard. We also thought it wouldn’t be too crowded since it was raining….WRONG! The loop road through the cove was bumper to bumper with traffic and very, very slow moving. By the time we made it to the Cades Cove Visitor’s Center and Cable Historic Area, which is only 5 miles from the start of the loop road it was late afternoon and definitely time to get out of the car and stretch our legs. Fortunately the rain was just a light drizzle so we headed to the historic area to check out the mill and other pioneer buildings. I wanted to photograph the mill and thought that the light rain and overcast late afternoon light would be the perfect conditions to photograph the mill. As all good photographers know, you have to be prepared to shoot in “any” type of weather and in this particular instance, I wasn’t. I left my hooded rain jacket in the car so I was getting a little damp. My wife however, was prepared so I give her all the credit for making the above image possible. She held an umbrella over me, the camera and tripod while I composed this shot. I used a polarizing filter to reduce reflections and saturate the colors.

The “Cable Mill” was originally built in 1867 by John P. Cable. The mill processed logs, wheat and corn, and was one of the most successful mills in the cove. The mill continued to function in some fashion until the 1920’s and was actually still informally in use when Great Smoky Mountain’s National Park was formed in September, 1940. Renovations about the middle of the last century and the replacement of the mill wheel several years ago have ensured that the mill will continue to operate much as it did almost 150 years ago. You can even buy a bag of cornmeal at the mill when you visit.

To see more of my images from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, please click here.  If you have any questions, please click here to email me.

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