Welcome to the archives of prevoius Image for the Asking selections.

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Thursday, 11 April 2019 13:28

A Communion of Trees

The gentle pastels of spring in the mountains are every bit as wonderful to me as the vibrant hues of autumn. There is an excitement to watching the world rebirth itself that the colors of spring seem to match with intensity and precision from the lowest valley to the highest peak. And there is no better place to begin than the cove hardwood forestlands between Sugarlands and the Chimneys. The great conflagration of November 2016 left scars that will outlast my eyes by many years, but in its wake it also gave Nature a chance at regeneration that shows the transformative power of beauty to heal.

A focal length of 200mm gave me the angle-of-view I wanted to isolate the budding hardwoods about 250 yards away. An aperture of f/22 provided depth-of-field, given the camera-to-subject distance; and a shutter speed of 1.0 second at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure.

The interior of a cove hardwood forest is a realm of richness and diversity. The trees are the instruments of an amazing symphony that plays every day, all day long.


Saturday, 06 April 2019 21:44

This Ancient Land

A slender red maple (Acer rubrum) sapling struggles for a place among already-mature eastern yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera). Both are common to the eastern cove hardwood forests of the Smokies. Bonnie and I criss-crossed the Park yesterday in search of spring, and we found it nearly everywhere we looked already well-underway.

A focal length of 300mm, moderate telephoto-land, gave me the narrow angle-of-view I wanted to isolate portions of the maple and the tuliptrees. An aperture of f/22 provided depth-of-field, which, because of where I drew actual focus, and combined with the focal length, was not deep enough to carry all the way through to the background. These, combined with a shutter speed of 1.0 second at ISO 100, gave me an overall somewhat lighter-than-medium exposure.

The vernal splendor of the Great Smoky Mountains is the delightful outcome of the great diversity of the cove hardwood forests and other forest types. We are blessed by their presence and scope; we are their stewards; their gift to us in return is the beauty and serenity of a world simultaneously ancient and original.


Friday, 29 June 2018 23:05

Relativity and Mostly Solid Rock

In all of the years I/we have been visiting Acadia, we had somehow never managed to find our way over to Schoodic Peninsula, a separate unit of the Park on the eastern side of Frenchman Bay, due East of Great Head about an hour away from Southwest Harbor by car, and actually part of the mainland. It is a geologist's Eden, a massive slope of pink granite, fractured by interval intrusions of black diabase - an igneous rock similar to basalt - which weather differentially and encourage fountains of spray to erupt from the creviced rock.

Schoodic is such a convoluted landscape that I wanted to play a bit with perspective.. The rise in the granite (mid-ground) above the shelf is only about 15", but by placing the camera even with the top of the step-up and being lower down on the shelf, the step up was rendered as a much more looming presence. A focal length of 24mm, solid wide-angle, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/20 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/20th of a second at ISO 100 gave me an overall slightly-lighter-than-medium exposure. Some of the balsam fir trees along the apex of the point top out around 50'.

I feel certain that our first visit to Schoodic will somehow not be our last.

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