June 2017

June 2017 (4)

Saturday, 24 June 2017 08:07

My Heart Returns

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As much as I may love San Francisco, rather than my heart going there when it leaves the Great Smoky Mountains, it tends to travel to the Colorado Plateau where it might land in any number of places, one of which would surely be Zion Canyon, whose cottonwood-, sawtooth maple-, and Gamble oak-filled floor, set among walls of amazing and beautiful Navajo, Keyenta, and Wingate Sandstone, never ceases to bring joy to my eye. Looking down the canyon from near Weeping Rock, the view of the Court of the Patriarchs, framed through hardwoods, seems like a stunning expression of what this amazing national park is all about. A focal length of 30mm, the upper end of wide-angle, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/22 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 0.6 seconds at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure. My heart and I are already looking forward to September.

Saturday, 17 June 2017 10:26

Incipient Ashes

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In Great Smoky Mountains National Park there is a short stretch just up the lower shoulder of Mount LeConte from where Newfound Gap Road crosses West Prong that most folks pass through unnoticed. Yet in my mind it is one of the most beautiful areas of cove hardwood forest anywhere. It was, unfortunately, directly in the path of the fire that roared down from the Chimneys on November 28, 2016, and today much of this beautiful stretch of forest is in ashes. Today's Image was created in the spring of 2016 during the time of our Smokies Spring adventure. I have worked in this area for many years, and I know that one day the forest will return; but today I am missing it and wanted to share a memory. A focal length of 150mm gave me the angle-of-view I wanted, isolating opposing sections of mature hardwood and younger saplings. Since there was enough wind to move branches, I chose an aperture of f/ll, which still provided depth-of-field, given the camera-to-subject distance. With ISO 400 at 1/25th second, I had an overall medium exposure and enough speed to create stillness in the foliage. Spring hopes eternally, and we are grateful.

Friday, 09 June 2017 22:33

Just Another Brick in the Wall

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My hometown, Asheville, North Carolina, is an arts town and has been for many years; and some of the most amazing graffiti you have ever seen can be found here. The River Arts District is home, not only to wonderful artists and their art, but to extremely talented graffitists as well; and part of the fun of being photographically creative with their work is to see what abstract expressions can be made from small sections of their whole pieces. The peeling paint of an old storage tank provided just the colors and textures I was looking for. A focal length of 217mm, moderate telephoto, provided the angle-of-view and magnification I wanted. An aperture of f/20 helped ensure edge-to-edge sharpness in the slightly curving surface of the tank; and a shutter speed of 1/5th second at ISO 100 gave me a slightly-darker-than-medium overall exposure. I can almost hear Roger Waters and the gang now. 

Friday, 02 June 2017 22:13

Dark Behind It Rose the Forest

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The massive forests of the Pacific Northwest are awesome to behold. The great Coast Range conifer forests of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), and western red cedar (Thuja plicata) contain the greatest amount of biomass per acre of any place on the planet. All of this life is the gift of the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountains, which between themselves moderate climate and rainfall across the region. The town of Forks, Washington, for example, receives nearly 120 " of rainfall per year, and temperatures throughout the year are relatively mild. The result is a temperate rain forest of incredible beauty and vitality: a photographer's dream. A focal length of 32mm, the long end of wide-angle, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/18 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 2.0 seconds at ISO 200 gave me an overall very-slightly-darker-than-medium exposure. How could it be that we are not obligated to preserve and protect such beauty as this?


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