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

Click on a month on the right to see the images for that month.

Saturday, 13 January 2018 11:40

On the Way to Hot Springs

Madison County, North Carolina is a magical land filled with magical places, and none more so than Spring Creek Gorge. Forming high on the slopes of Sandymush Bald, Spring Creek runs the length of an unusually straight upland valley before dropping beteen the long massif of Spring Creek Mountain topped by Hap Mountain on the east, and the equally massive block of Bluff Mountain on the west. At the end of this run the French Broad River at Hot Springs awaits, but looking upstream from the area known as Vann Cliff, the creek knows only the precipitous plunge of its forested gorge and the delight of mountain waters. After a light snow had salted the tops and slopes of the mountain, the breaking clouds cast moving light over the land below and magic happens. 


A focal length of 97mm, right in the middle of short telephoto, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/11, since the nearest foreground ridge was more than a quarter mile away, gave me depth-of-field (after focusing almost halfway into the scene); and a shutter speed of 1/8th second at ISO 100, which the larger aperture sizing allowed, gave me a medium overall exposure and a way of creating a bit more texture in the moving clouds.


We find beauty all around us, that will remain as long as we actively engage in its preservation. 

Friday, 05 January 2018 13:58

Just How Cold Is It?

Haygood Mill County Park in Pickens County, South Carolina is a wonderful time warp in today's world. An 1845 gristmill is the center piece of a collection of historical structures, and included, over and above this, is one of the most amazing collections of prehistoric petroglyphs in the Southeast. Not long ago I was wandering through this incredible place with some dear friends. It was just downright cold, so cold that the water in a barrel at the side of the mill had frozen solid. The ripples of the frozen liquid reflecting the clear blue sky produced some of the most appealing abstractions I've seen in a long time.


Using a 28-300mm lens at just outside the working distance at a focal length of 98mm, I moved until the tonalities and reflective angles expressed what I wanted, making sure to place the camera parallel to the ice in such a way that I did not photograph my own reflection. An Aperture of f/20 insured depth-of-field and edge-to-edge sharp focus; and a shutter speed of 2.0 seconds at ISO 100 gave me an overall slightly lighter-than-medium exposure. The dark area is actually the edge of the wooden barrel. To visit anywhere with the idea that all that is available to be seen is something literal is to negate worlds of creative possibility. 

Friday, 29 December 2017 16:23

A Light to Set the Table

It is in the far northwestern corner of South Carolina that the first uplifts of the Blue Ridge Mountains come into view from the southeast: the Blue Wall, as it is often called. To the Tsalagi it was, indeed, the Blue Wall, a magical land of mountains and waterfalls, almost beyond number, and now dotted with a ring of magnificent state parks along both sides of North Carolina-South Carolina line. As development pressures mount along this line, the Blue Wall will need help from all of us who love the natural beauty of this amazing land. I have been invited by the South Carolina Department of Parks and Recreation to lead a pair of weekend photography workshops in Table Rock State Park and in Devil's Fork State Park in March 2018. It would be a wonderful opportunity to familiarize yourself with this delightful area, and enjoy some fun, friendship, and creativity as well.


Several days ago Bonnie and I made an early morning jaunt to Table Rock. In the waters of Lake Oolenoy we found much on which to reflect as the sun slowly peeped over the Piedmont. A focal length of 32mm, just inside of wide-angleland, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/16 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/30th second at ISO 200, chosen to give a little more surface tension control to the already still water, provided a medium overall exposure.


The Blue Wall is so much more than just a place; it is a state of mind that calls for us to share with love and care. 

Site copyright © 2001 - 2017 Don McGowan & EarthSong Photography. 

All Rights Reserved.