Johnny Davison Photography: Blog https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog en-us (C) Johnny Davison Photography johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:26:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:26:00 GMT https://www.johnnydavison.com/img/s/v-12/u126390831-o207958464-50.jpg Johnny Davison Photography: Blog https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog 116 120 There's always that one bright snowflake https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2018/3/theres-always-that-one-bright-snowflake I went for a quick hike up to Jane Bald after one of the recent snows we had and caught some great light, clouds and patterns in the snow on the boulders that are in the mountain. It was super windy so I had to kick up my ISO so I could have a pretty fast shutter speed. But regardless of the wind and cold temps, it was beautiful. 

I named this journal entry "There's always that one bright snowflake" because in each of my images there's one snowflake that is reflecting a lot of light from the sun which makes a super bright dot on the image. I'm not sure they can be seen on here (if you look closely enough you can probably find them) but on my large computer monitor it looks pretty cool!

I also focused on what was in my foreground and worked to incorporate interesting elements into my composition so the viewer can imaginatively walk right through the scene. That wasn't a hard thing to do because there were these awesome patterns in the rocks everywhere. 

Below are some of my favorite images from the hike. 

Thanks for checking out what very well may be the last group of winter photos for this season. . 

JD

Snow Cloud, Afternoon Light, From Jane Bald, Roan Mountain, Pisgah/Cherokee National Forest, NC/TNSnow Cloud, Afternoon Light, From Jane Bald, Roan Mountain, Pisgah/Cherokee National Forest, NC/TN

Boulders, Snow, Grassy Ridge Bald, Roan Mountain, Pisgah/Cherokee National Forest, NC/TNBoulders, Snow, Grassy Ridge Bald, Roan Mountain, Pisgah/Cherokee National Forest, NC/TN

Grassy Ridge Bald, Afternoon, Roan Mountain, NCGrassy Ridge Bald, Afternoon, Roan Mountain, NC Boulder, Snow, Grassy Ridge Bald, Roan Mountain, Pisgah/Cherokee National Forest, NC/TNBoulder, Snow, Grassy Ridge Bald, Roan Mountain, Pisgah/Cherokee National Forest, NC/TN

Grassy Ridge Bald, App Trail, Roan Mountain, Pisgah/Cherokee National Forest, NC/TNGrassy Ridge Bald, App Trail, Roan Mountain, Pisgah/Cherokee National Forest, NC/TN

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) appalachian trail at grassy ridge hike jane bald mitchell county nc north carolina pisgah national forest roan mountain snow snowflake tn winter wnc https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2018/3/theres-always-that-one-bright-snowflake Sat, 17 Mar 2018 13:45:56 GMT
Focusing on the Magic Happening at that Moment (cheesy, I know. . ) https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2018/1/magic With rime ice on several mountains in the Asheville area, I thought I could get some good images of them from Bearwallow Mountain. Well I ended up getting some good images OF Bearwallow Mountain and not so much of the surrounding area. 

This is a prime example of being able to adjust focus (no pun intended) from one subject to another to get the magic happening at that moment. The clouds in the sky weren't really that interesting, the light on the mountains wasn't doing anything cool, but man, there was rime ice all over the place. So I started shooting one of the forests at the top of the mountain. Trees, bushes and the ground were covered and were reflecting this beautiful light from the full sun. 

As the sun began to set, the light went from a golden color to a rich orange to a redish-purplish hue. It was quite beautiful. I made many exposures of the first image below with different compositions but this is my favorite. I am also torn between the B&W version and the color version (posted here). I believe the B&W version is my preference but the color version keeps growing on me! If you have a preference let me know in the comments.

We're getting snow now as I speak so it's about that time to gear up and head out. . . Happy trails!

JD 

 

There's my buddy Andy Ormond charging up the trail. 

 

 

 

 

 

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) appalachian asheville bearwallow mountain blue ridge mountains color hickory nut gorge nc north carolina rime ice southern sunset weather winter https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2018/1/magic Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:45:40 GMT
Exploring after Winter Storm Benji https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2017/12/benji What was supposed to be a dusting - 2 inches of snow in WNC this past weekend turned into an all-out snow storm that dropped about 10 inches at my place in Webb Cove and even more in the mountains southwest of Asheville! So naturally I had to go find the big stuff. 

My buddy Andy Lukacs-Ormond and I traveled to the southern part of Haywood County near the Shining Rock Wilderness Area of Pisgah National Forest and hiked along the Mountains to Sea Trail for a couple of miles. Finding a nice house-sized boulder, we set up shop on top for a little over an hour or so and caught some nice light, clouds and blowing snow. There was another storm coming in, so the hour got progressively cloudier. I didn't mind, as you can probably tell from the pics below. 

All-in-all, it was a nice surprise and I look forward to what else this winter brings. 

 

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) haywood county hiking in nc mountains to sea trail nc north carolina pisgah national forest shining rock wilderness area snow snow hike storm weather winter winter storm benji wnc https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2017/12/benji Tue, 12 Dec 2017 02:31:01 GMT
Colorado 2017 https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2017/12/colorado-2017 October 2017 was the month for my annual western pilgrimage, as some friends say. I got to spend a few days camping in Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado, did some hikes, got some snow, hung with some friends. . But my absolute favorite part of the trip was seeing my best friend get married. It was an incredible ceremony. And he even let me take some pics! Imagine that. . .

Cheers to Chris and Haley - 10/7/17

Below are some of my favorite images from the trip:

 

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) boulder camping ceremony chris and haley co color colorado fall hiking roosevelt national forest snow wedding https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2017/12/colorado-2017 Tue, 12 Dec 2017 02:26:41 GMT
The Last of Winter on the Roan https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2017/3/the-last-of-winter-on-the-roan I got to take a few hours off of work Wednesday, so what else would I do but head up to the Roan to see the snow that had fallen over the crazy three days of winter we had in March? 

I probably should've started this journal entry by saying that winter was rather dull this year. I was fortunate enough though to make it to the Roan several times this season so I'm pleased with the amount of snow hiking I did. 

This last visit was quite intense though, with temps hovering around 10 degrees and the windchill around -10 degrees. Still, I managed to hike up Roan High Knob and explore the forest, as well as hike up to Round Bald and play around up there for sunset. The wind was so strong that many of my images turned out blurry from camera shake. I did have several that I was happy with and the experience was unforgettable so I was happy all-around. 

Below are my favorite images from the trip, in no particular order. The second image is similar to this one I took last year (second image down). I realized this while composing the shot and thought it'd be funny to compare them when I finished editing this batch. Turns out they are quite different. Both were taken in the same forest yet have very different elements in them. 

The textures in the snowy trees, the colors in the sky, all made for an awesome last winter adventure. 

With all this said, I'd like to take a moment to thank the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy for their tireless work protecting these lands around the Roan for the enjoyment of the public. I am proud to say I am a member of this wonderful organization and encourage anyone who loves WNC to join and take part in protecting our mountains for present and future generations. 

Cheers and many thanks, 

JD

 

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) AT Appalachian Trail Cherokee National Forest NC North Carolina Pisgah National Forest Roan Mountain TN Tennessee Weather Winter snow sunset https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2017/3/the-last-of-winter-on-the-roan Sun, 19 Mar 2017 20:34:38 GMT
My Favorite Images from 2016 https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2017/1/my-favorite-color-images-from-2016 At the beginning of every year I look back at some of my favorite images from the previous year and think about those experiences and how they had an impact on me. A lot of photographers do this. I always enjoy looking at everyone's work and participating in the voting process some photographers hold to determine their top images of the year. 

This year I decided to list 16 of my favorite color images and 10 of my favorite black and white images I made in 2016. Color photography and black and white photography are so different for me I just had to separate them. I find them to be two totally different mindsets. Anyway, these images are some of my favorite images, which might be different from my best images, technologically or compositionally speaking.

I've listed them in chronological order below, starting with color. Hope you enjoy and happy new year, 

JD

Snow-Covered Forest, Roan High Knob, Pisgah/Cherokee National Forest, NC/TN

 

Forest Snow, Afternoon Light, Roan High Knob, Pisgah/Cherokee National Forest, NC/TN

 

Granite, Mist, Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, MEGranite, Mist, Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, ME

Granite, Mist, Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, ME

 

Evening Light, Ridges, From Waterrock Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

 

Pool, Bubbles, Foliage, Nantahala National Forest, NCPool, Bubbles, Foliage, Nantahala National Forest, NC

Pool, Bubbles, Foliage, Nantahala National Forest, NC

 

Mt. Powell, Sunset, Fall Color, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, COMt. Powell, Sunset, Fall Color, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, CO

Mt. Powell, Sunset, Fall Color, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, CO

 

Moose, After Sunset, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, COMoose, After Sunset, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, CO

Moose, Evening, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, CO

 

Campsite, Gore Range, White River National Forest, COCampsite, Gore Range, White River National Forest, CO

Campsite, Gore Range, White River National Forest, CO

 

Joshua Tree, Moon, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, CAJoshua Tree, Moon, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Joshua Tree, Moon, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

Sunset, Boulders, From Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, CASunset, Boulders, From Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Sunset, Boulders, From Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

Evening Light, Ridges, Joshua Tree National Park, CAEvening Light, Ridges, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Evening Light, Ridges, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

Sunset, Moon, From Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park, CASunset, Moon, From Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Sunset, Moon, From Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

Graveyard Fields, Fall Color, Blue Ridge Parkway, NCGraveyard Fields, Fall Color, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Graveyard Fields, Fall Color, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

 

Rime Ice, Evening Light, Craggy Pinnacle, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

 

Winter Sunset, From Craggy Pinnacle, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

 

Mt. Mitchell, Cloud Layers, Evening, From Roan Mountain, Pisgah National Forest, NC

 

Boulder, Fog, Winter, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

 

Foliage, Marigot Bay, St. Lucia

 

Stone Mountain, Trees, Morning, Stone Mountain State Park, NC

 

Rock Pattern, Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park, ME

 

Puddle, Sea Wall, Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park, ME

 

Mt. Powell, Evening Light, White River National Forest, CO

 

Bottom of Mt. Sanitas, Boulder, CO

 

Evening Light, Ridges, From Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

Boulders, Sunrise, Hidden Valley Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

The Black Mountains, Cloud Layers, Puddle, From Grassy Ridge, Roan Mountain, Pisgah National Forest, NC

 

 

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) 2016 Acadia National Park California Colorado Fall Favorite Images Joshua Tree National Park Maine North Carolina Pisgah National Forest White River National Forest Winter https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2017/1/my-favorite-color-images-from-2016 Sun, 08 Jan 2017 18:07:56 GMT
Light Rays from Waterrock Knob https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/11/light-rays-from-waterrock-knob A month or so ago my brother Parker and I camped at Balsam Mountain Campground in the Smokies. It's the highest elevation front country campsite in the park and the weather can be quite unpredictable and um. . . well, brutal.  So to do a day hike we had to flee the area and find more tolerable weather. We ended up hiking some of the Mountains to Sea Trail at Waterrock Knob and got to catch quite a show as the sun went down. It was pretty cloudy, but this meant the light rays were out in full effect. Fun fact, the actual name of these rays: Crepuscular rays. 

Below are my favorite three images I took during the experience. If you've never been up there for a sunset, you need to plan a trip. It can be quite magical. 

Cheers, 

JD

Light Rays, from Waterrock Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway, NCLight Rays, from Waterrock Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Light Rays II, from Waterrock Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway, NCLight Rays II, from Waterrock Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Light Rays III, from Waterrock Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway, NCLight Rays III, from Waterrock Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

 

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Blue Ridge Parkway NC North Carolina Waterrock Knob Weather light rays https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/11/light-rays-from-waterrock-knob Mon, 07 Nov 2016 01:21:03 GMT
Fall Color in WNC https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/11/fall-color-in-wnc I spent some time last weekend in Pisgah National Forest and on the Blue Ridge Parkway taking in the fall color. The spot with the best light and color combination was the Graveyard Fields area. There were several beautiful patches of colorful trees but also some gnarled and mangled dead trees that gave a lot of nice contrast. 

Since going out west to Joshua Tree I keep wanting to shoot in black and white. I just couldn't do it this past weekend though. The images are too compelling in color. I believe I converted one image to black and white, but all the rest I kept in color. Plus it's fall in the southern Appalachians. . . to not shoot in color would be appalling! 

The first image is my favorite from the bunch. There's just so much to look at. 

Hope you enjoy, 

JD

Oh and the painterly look of the images comes from my use of 100-300mm telephoto lens from the late 80s. Sometimes it adds a nice touch!

Graveyard Fields, Fall Color, Blue Ridge Parkway, NCGraveyard Fields, Fall Color, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Fall Color Cluster, Evening, Graveyard Fields, Blue Ridge Parkway, NCFall Color Cluster, Evening, Graveyard Fields, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Leafless Trees, Fall, Evening, Graveyard Fields, Blue Ridge Parkway, NCLeafless Trees, Fall, Evening, Graveyard Fields, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Dead Tree, Fall Foliage, Evening, Graveyard Fields, Blue Ridge Parkway, NCDead Tree, Fall Foliage, Evening, Graveyard Fields, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC Fall Color, Evening Light, Graveyard Fields, Blue Ridge Parkway, NCFall Color, Evening Light, Graveyard Fields, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Blue Ridge Parkway Graveyard Fields NC North Carolina Pisgah National Forest color fall https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/11/fall-color-in-wnc Sun, 06 Nov 2016 02:21:46 GMT
A Few Days in the Desert https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/10/a-few-days-in-the-desert I met my brother Nick and our friend Nick Todaro in LA a couple of weeks ago and we immediately headed east toward Joshua Tree. We spent a few days in the park exploring everything that landscape has to offer. It's such a cool place.

We did several hikes and each one, although different, had very cool features. 

The desert experience did not disappoint. It came complete with three scorpions, several desert foxes, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and a chunk of Cholla Cactus in my leg. My advice to anyone going to the Cholla Cactus Garden: obey the warning signs and stay on the designated path!

My favorite activities of the trip were scrambling over boulders in the Wonderland of Rocks Wilderness and hiking to the summit of Ryan Mountain for sunset. The views from Ryan are awesome. 

Below are some of my favorite pictures from the trip. I tend to see in black and white when I'm out west because I shoot in color so much while I'm in North Carolina, but I also took some fun color images while in the park. Hope you enjoy, 

JD

Sunset, Boulders, From Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, CASunset, Boulders, From Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Boulders, Clouds, Wonderland of Rocks Wilderness, Joshua Tree National Park, CABoulders, Clouds, Wonderland of Rocks Wilderness, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Cholla Cactus, Garden, Joshua Tree National Park, CACholla Cactus, Garden, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Evening Light, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, CAEvening Light, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

Evening Light, Ridges, Joshua Tree National Park, CAEvening Light, Ridges, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Joshua Trees, Morning, Joshua Tree National Park, CAJoshua Trees, Morning, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Desert Plants, Sunset, on Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park, CADesert Plants, Sunset, on Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Boulders, Sunrise, Hidden Valley Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, CABoulders, Sunrise, Hidden Valley Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Joshua Tree, Moon, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, CAJoshua Tree, Moon, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Evening Light, Ridges, From Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park, CAEvening Light, Ridges, From Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Sunset, Moon, From Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park, CASunset, Moon, From Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Desert Plants Sillhouette, Sunset, on Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park, CADesert Plants Sillhouette, Sunset, on Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) California Cholla Cactus Garden Desert Hidden Valley Campground Joshua Tree Joshua Tree National Park Ryan Mountain Wonderland of Rocks https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/10/a-few-days-in-the-desert Wed, 26 Oct 2016 02:54:54 GMT
A Quick Trip to Colorado for Fall Color https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/9/a-quick-trip-to-colorado-for-fall-color I made a quick trip to Colorado last week to catch some fall color and to see some wonderful friends. We scored what might be the most epic campsite I've ever stayed at and spent a couple of days in White River National Forest, just north of Vail. We hiked the Upper Piney River Trail in the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area and found some vibrant aspen trees which made us very happy. 

Along with nice fall color we saw 4 moose, which is more than I've ever seen in one trip before. They came out at dusk so pictures weren't easy to get, but I managed to get one of a mother and a calf. 

Overall I'd say it was a very successful trip. One for the books!

Below are some of my favorite pictures from the trip. 

Hope you enjoy,

JD

Campsite, Gore Range, White River National Forest, COCampsite, Gore Range, White River National Forest, CO

Mt. Powell, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, COMt. Powell, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, CO

Aspens, Upper Piney River Trail, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, COAspens, Upper Piney River Trail, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, CO

Meadow, Fall Color, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, COMeadow, Fall Color, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, CO

Mt. Powell, Evening Light, White River National Forest, COMt. Powell, Evening Light, White River National Forest, CO

Meadow, Sunset, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, COMeadow, Sunset, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, CO

Aspens, Sunset, White River National Forest, COAspens, Sunset, White River National Forest, CO

Mt. Powell, Sunset, Fall Color, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, COMt. Powell, Sunset, Fall Color, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, CO

Moose, After Sunset, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, COMoose, After Sunset, Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest, CO

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Aspen Trees Colorado Eagles Nest Wilderness Fall Color Moose Sunset Vail White River National Forest https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/9/a-quick-trip-to-colorado-for-fall-color Wed, 21 Sep 2016 23:18:40 GMT
Labor Day Weekend in the Nantahala https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/9/labor-day-in-the-nantahala Britt and I spent Labor Day Weekend in Nantahala National Forest off Forest Road 67 in between Franklin and Hayesville, but close to the Georgia border. The forest there is beautiful, with lush green foliage everywhere and waterfalls aplenty. I encourage everyone to explore this place and take in what the forest has to offer. 

Below are some images I made in the forest. The light was tricky to work with but worked to my advantage in some cases. I didn't get the typical waterfall shot due to harsh shadows and blown highlights caused from the bright sunlight and lack of overcast skies, but this allowed me to focus on other things happening at the waterfall. The first two images were made at Mooney Falls. The second two were made near our campsite off the road.

In conditions where lighting is less than ideal, one must adapt and work with what's provided! 

Cheers, 

JD

 

Pool, Bubbles, Foliage, Nantahala National Forest, NCPool, Bubbles, Foliage, Nantahala National Forest, NC

Pool, Bubbles, Twig, Nantahala National Forest, NCPool, Bubbles, Twig, Nantahala National Forest, NC

Forest Road 67, Summer, Nantahala National Forest, NCForest Road 67, Summer, Nantahala National Forest, NC

Eastern Hemlock, Morning, Nantahala National Forest, NCEastern Hemlock, Morning, Nantahala National Forest, NC

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Camping Hiking Nantahala National Forest North Carolina Summer Waterfall https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/9/labor-day-in-the-nantahala Tue, 06 Sep 2016 02:35:18 GMT
Weathered Rock: The Maine Attraction at Acadia National Park https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/8/weathered-rock-the-main-attraction-at-acadia-national-park Figured I'd have some fun with the title of this post. Why not, right?

Nick, Parker and I spent a long weekend in Acadia National Park recently and did some camping and hiking, and I managed to shoot a little bit while the weather held out.  

During my second trip to the park (Nick and I went in 2014) I found myself more focused on the rocky seashore than the mountains that seem to rise out of the ocean. I noticed the details of broken rocks and the patterns that millions of years of erosion have created. 

I also was more inspired to shoot in black and white this trip. I think the textures of the landscape can be appreciated more when shot in black and white. 

Anyway, below I've posted my favorite shots from the trip. Hope you enjoy, 

JD

Puddle, Sea Wall, Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park, MEPuddle, Sea Wall, Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park, ME

Weathered Rock, Seashore, Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park, MEWeathered Rock, Seashore, Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park, ME

Coast, Acadia National Park, MECoast, Acadia National Park, ME

Granite, Mist, Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, MEGranite, Mist, Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, ME

Rock Pattern, Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park, MERock Pattern, Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park, ME

Rock, Puddle, Acadia National Park, MERock, Puddle, Acadia National Park, ME

Rock, Puddle, Acadia National Park, MERock, Puddle, Acadia National Park, ME

Puddle, Rock Bed, Acadia National Park, MEPuddle, Rock Bed, Acadia National Park, ME

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Acadia National Park Atlantic Black and White Photography Camping Erosion Hiking Maine Ocean Weathered Rock https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/8/weathered-rock-the-main-attraction-at-acadia-national-park Tue, 02 Aug 2016 01:24:37 GMT
Beautiful Weather at Stone Mountain State Park https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/6/beautiful-weather-at-stone-mountain-state-park Hard to believe I haven't posted anything for over two months. I hibernate during spring until my allergies clear up. Those of you who also suffer. . you know what it's like!

Anyway, I stayed at Stone Mountain State Park the other night because I did some work in Wilkes County for a few days and we couldn't have gotten any better weather. It was absolutely beautiful. Not the best for photography but I tried to work with the bright, harsh light as best as I could. 

I hiked part of the Stone Mountain Loop Trail and took some fun pictures near the Hutchinson Homestead. Pictures of stone convert so nicely to black and white. I usually take the opportunity to do it whenever I can because our mountains in the Southern Appalachians are mostly topped with trees and just look fuzzy when converted to black and white. 

There's a tiny tree that's growing out of the crack in the side of the mountain that I really liked and focused most of my attention on. I mainly used my telephoto lens. Here are a few different compositions of the mountain (taken with my telephoto). I also included a pic zoomed way out to show where I was (which was taken with my wide-angle):

 

Stone Mountain, Trees, Morning, Stone Mountain State Park, NCStone Mountain, Trees, Morning, Stone Mountain State Park, NC

Tree, Crack, Stone Mountain, Morning, Stone Mountain State Park, NCTree, Crack, Stone Mountain, Morning, Stone Mountain State Park, NC

Crack, Stone Mountain, Morning, Stone Mountain State Park, NCCrack, Stone Mountain, Morning, Stone Mountain State Park, NC

Park Visitors, Stone Mountain, Morning, Stone Mountain State Park, NCPark Visitors, Stone Mountain, Morning, Stone Mountain State Park, NC

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Beautiful Weather Blue Ridge Mountains NC North Carolina Stone Mountain State Park https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/6/beautiful-weather-at-stone-mountain-state-park Sun, 19 Jun 2016 20:49:17 GMT
Islanding on St. Lucia https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/4/islanding-on-st-lucia My family and I recently took a trip to St. Lucia to celebrate my youngest brother going to college in the fall. What a wild trip it was. I have to admit that the beaches aren't as big and sandy as they are in North Carolina, but the island was still beautiful in many ways. We stayed in a house on the side of a hill for the week, so our view of Marigot Bay was a beautiful reminder that we were far from the rain and cool weather in NC. It was also a reminder that I needed to put down my Piton and pick up my camera!

I loved the mountains and hills that sat right next to the ocean. We don't have that in NC. They provided me with some nice subjects, backgrounds and height to get different shots. 

The plants on the island absolutely blew me away. Those who know me well know I'm a weird plant guy. I have a sizable house plant collection that always seems to be growing due to me propagating a new plant from a piece that fell off or a piece I cut off to keep my existing plants looking nice. Several images are specifically of plants but also take notice of the trees and foliage in the other images as well. Palm trees, banana trees, orange trees. . . I was so excited to have all these tropical plants around me.

The pictures below are among my favorites I took during our stay. Looking at them only makes me wish this cold Spring weather would pass as quickly as possible!

Thanks for looking,

JD 

 

Clouds, Marigot Bay, Evening, St. Lucia

Clouds, Marigot Bay, Evening, St. LuciaClouds, Marigot Bay, Evening, St. Lucia

 

Devil's Backbone, Marigot Bay, St. Lucia 

Devil's Backbone, Marigot Bay, St. LuciaDevil's Backbone, Marigot Bay, St. Lucia

 

Tide, Northeastern Shore, Epouge Bay, St. Lucia 

Tide, Northeastern Shore, Epouge Bay, St. LuciaTide, Northeastern Shore, Epouge Bay, St. Lucia

 

Marigot Beach Club, Morning, St. Lucia 

Marigot Beach Club, Morning, St. LuciaMarigot Beach Club, Morning, St. Lucia

 

Bird of Paradise, Marigot Bay, St. Lucia 

Bird of Paradise, Marigot Bay, St. LuciaBird of Paradise, Marigot Bay, St. Lucia

 

Rocks, Waves, Sea Stack, Northeastern Shore, St. Lucia 

Rocks, Waves, Sea Stack, Northeastern Shore, St. LuciaRocks, Waves, Sea Stack, Northeastern Shore, St. Lucia

 

Houses, Evening Light, Marigot Bay, St. Lucia 

Houses, Evening Light, Marigot Bay, St. LuciaHouses, Evening Light, Marigot Bay, St. Lucia

 

Tropical Foliage, Late Afternoon, Marigot Bay, St. Lucia 

Tropical Foliage, Late Afternoon, Marigot Bay, St. LuciaTropical Foliage, Late Afternoon, Marigot Bay, St. Lucia

 

Signal Peak from Fort Rodney, Pigeon Island National Park, St. Lucia 

Signal Peak from Fort Rodney, Pigeon Island National Park, St. LuciaSignal Peak from Fort Rodney, Pigeon Island National Park, St. Lucia

Epouge Bay from Plantation Beach, Afternoon, St. Lucia 

Epouge Bay from Plantation Beach, Afternoon, St. LuciaEpouge Bay from Plantation Beach, Afternoon, St. Lucia

 

 Bougainvillea, Marigot Bay, St. Lucia

Bougainvillea, Marigot Bay, St. LuciaBougainvillea, Marigot Bay, St. Lucia

 

Marigot Bay, Evening Light, St. Lucia 

Marigot Bay, Evening Light, St. LuciaMarigot Bay, Evening Light, St. Lucia

 

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Caribbean Marigot Bay St. Lucia https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/4/islanding-on-st-lucia Thu, 07 Apr 2016 21:34:54 GMT
A Snowy Roan https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/2/a-snowy-roan I took a trip up to Roan Mountain recently to find snow. And find snow, I did! It was a crazy wonderland. We've been having dustings here lately in Asheville. Nothing to get too excited about. But as I kept my eye on the weather, I knew there was a decent amount of snow somewhere in Western NC. I just had to find it. 

I did two hikes at Roan. The first was an exploration of the forest which leads up to Roan High Knob. I didn't go all the way up because I knew I wanted to do a second hike to Jane Bald on the other side of Carver's Gap and I started around 1:30pm and sunset was at 6pm. It was pretty cold but I was sheltered from the wind in the forest. On the balds, there was no escaping the wind. The pictures of the forest are below and the last two pics are from my second hike on the balds. The sunset was just ok. The real magic was in the forest. 

 

This pic was taken from the back side of Jane Bald. There were these crazy colors in the clouds and I couldn't understand where they were coming from. Pinks, greens, yellows. . They were very faint. But I haven't seen a sunset like this before. 

This was taken from the front side of Jane Bald. That hump in the distance covered in clouds is Roan High Knob. That's the forest I hiked in earlier. Overall, it was an awesome day of hiking, despite the bitter cold temps. More snow is supposedly on the way next week. Fingers crossed. - JD

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) 2016 Blue Ridge Mountains Cherokee National Forest NC North Carolina Pisgah National Forest Roan Mountain Snow TN Tennessee Weather Winter https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/2/a-snowy-roan Sun, 14 Feb 2016 17:24:15 GMT
Snow Storm Weekend https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/2/snow-storm-weekend We had a crazy snow storm on the east coast two weekends ago that dumped almost a foot of snow on Asheville. I of course went to Pisgah to shoot although my results were different than what I had hoped for. It was a different snow from what we're used to. It was a violent snow that kind of ravaged the land, knocking a lot of limbs down from trees and peppering the fallen snow with debris. It was hard to find a composition I liked. 

I made it out on Saturday to the southern section of Pisgah National Forest near Brevard. I hiked the Moore Cove Falls trail in about a foot and a half of fresh snow. Below are a few shots: 

 

 

The next set of images I took at Roan Mountain on Sunday evening. Roan Mountain lies on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee in Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests. It was clear and the sunset reminded me a lot of one I previously shot

 

 

Overall I had a great time hiking and shooting, and I'm thankful that winter dumped a lot of snow for us. I am still looking forward to a heavy, wet snow before the winter is over though. 

Cheers to everyone who made it out safely, 

JD

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Blue Ridge Mountains Cherokee National Forest NC North Carolina Pisgah National Forest Roan Mountain Snow Storm TN Tennessee Weather Winter https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/2/snow-storm-weekend Fri, 05 Feb 2016 01:42:34 GMT
A Not-So-Wintery Journey up the Blue Ridge Parkway https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/1/a-not-so-wintery-journey-up-the-blue-ridge-parkway Sunday, January 10th, I took a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway in search of snow. I have mapped it out so my path can be seen. I got on the Parkway from Hwy 74 and traveled East, into Pisgah National Forest. I stopped to hike and take pictures along the way, and finally made my way out of the forest by going North on Hwy 276. 

 

The whole adventure lasted around 7 hours. I didn't find a whole lot of snow unfortunately. I found some nice fog with a little bit of snow, which made for a really moody picture:

Boulder, Fog, Winter, Blue Ridge Parkway, NCBoulder, Fog, Winter, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

The rest of my trip was nice but very cold. I got some nice shadows on the mountains which I always enjoy. Here are my favorite images from the rest of trip:

View of Pisgah, Winter, Blue Ridge Parkway, NCView of Pisgah, Winter, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Last Light on Peak, from Devil's Courthouse, Blue Ridge Parkway, NCLast Light on Peak, from Devil's Courthouse, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Cloud Cover, Sunset, Winter, Blue Ridge Parkway, NCCloud Cover, Sunset, Winter, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Looking Glass Rock, Sunset, Pisgah National Forest, NCLooking Glass Rock, Sunset, Pisgah National Forest, NC

The sunset was rather dull, but provided nice reflected light which helped me take this calm picture of Looking Glass Rock from the Parkway. Hopefully we'll get some snow soon so I can take some more seasonal pictures. Cheers - JD

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) 2016 Blue Ridge Mountains Blue Ridge Parkway NC North Carolina Pisgah National Forest Weather Winter color https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2016/1/a-not-so-wintery-journey-up-the-blue-ridge-parkway Wed, 20 Jan 2016 04:25:59 GMT
First Signs of Winter in Western NC https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/11/first-signs-of-winter-in-western-nc Around 1:30 Sunday afternoon, Britt called to tell me there was snow on the peaks east of Asheville. I grabbed my gear and headed up the Blue Ridge Parkway. I figured I'd go to Mt. Mitchell but when I got to Craggy Gardens I saw this and decided this was what I was chasing. It was beautiful. It turned out to not be snow, but thick layers of frozen fog that had attached itself to the trees as it passed. Layers upon layers had frosted the tips of the mountains around Craggy Gardens.

It was clear when I arrived but more fog blew in when I got near the top of Craggy Pinnacle. The wind was just relentless but thankfully I had my face mask, hat and gloves in my camera bag. Just for reference, the temperature at the parking lot of Craggy Gardens was 24 degrees Fahrenheit. Which means the temperature with windchill was probably in the mid teens on top of Craggy Pinnacle. 

It was quite an awesome hike. I've posted pictures below to illustrate it. 

View of Craggy Pinnacle from near the parking lot at Craggy Gardens:

Starting the hike up Craggy Pinnacle: 

 

More fog and clouds on the way:

 

 

There is the pinnacle. Fog and clouds beat me to it:

The view from atop Craggy Pinnacle. Fog and clouds were moving fast: 

Looking down from Craggy Pinnacle at Craggy Gardens. Totally frosty and foggy: 

Thanks to the heads up from Britt, my first winter hike of the season turned out to be excellent!

Here's to more - JD

 

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Asheville Blue Ridge Mountains NC North Carolina Pisgah National Forest Winter blue ridge parkway craggy gardens craggy pinnacle trees https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/11/first-signs-of-winter-in-western-nc Mon, 23 Nov 2015 03:34:04 GMT
Leading Lines and Tough Decisions https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/11/leading-lines-and-tough-decisions A recent trip to the Grand Canyon yielded some great shots. It also yielded some tough decisions for me. There are a few images I'm having a hard time deciding between. This left me thinking about leading lines and where I want my eye to go when I look at the image. 

Using leading lines is an important technique because they not only focus attention on the subject, but they help create movement through the image. I believe some images can be interesting by having the subject in the middle of the frame, however I really like those images where your eyes curve around the frame to the subject. On my trip, I had to realize what my subject was when I shot the scene and not get distracted by all the other cool stuff in the scene. So narrowing down the distracting elements so my eye would go straight to what I was focusing on in the first place was very important. 

These are the three I was deciding between. All three were taken at sunrise at the end of October:
 

This first image is well balanced. I really like it, but it took my eye away from the subject. My eye gets stuck on the rim. 

 

This second image is nice, and I like the deep crevice in the lower right hand corner, but again, it took my eye away from what I was so interested in when I shot it. My eye is just kind of lost in the canyon. 

 

This third image has less going on, but it sends my eye straight to what I want to see: that piece of the canyon which is jutting out, highlighted by the morning sun. This image is the one I ultimately feel best leads my eye to what I liked in the first place. 

 

 

With all this said, I really do like the first image as well because it's a different composition, my eye travels through the image and lands on a different subject and I feel there is enough there to give you a sense of how deep the canyon is. 

Leading lines can be a great way to lead the eye directly to your subject. If not carefully thought out though, they can lead your eye through the image with no end point. Be sure to use them to your advantage! 

 

 

 

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Arizona Grand Canyon Leading Lines https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/11/leading-lines-and-tough-decisions Fri, 20 Nov 2015 03:05:57 GMT
Fall Color Closure in the Southern Appalachians https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/11/fall-color-update-in-the-southern-appalachians It seems I haven't made a post yet about one of my favorite times to shoot: fall. Most photographers love to shoot fall, and the Southern Appalachians are a great place for it. Although with all the rain we've had recently, I think the fall color has finally left us. 

I had initially thought I'd do a long post about fall, but I think I'll share some of my favorite shots I've taken in NC this season instead. 

By order of when they were taken: 

Fall Color Detail, Nantahala National Forest, NC

1st week of October

Fall Color Detail, Nantahala National Forest, NCFall Color Detail, Nantahala National Forest, NC

 

Fall Color, Morning, Craggy Gardens, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

1st week of October

Fall Color, Morning, Craggy Gardens, Blue Ridge Parkway, NCFall Color, Morning, Craggy Gardens, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

 

Tree in Peak Change, After Sunset, Black Balsam, Pisgah National Forest, NC

2nd week of October

Tree in Peak Change, After Sunset, Black Balsam, Pisgah National Forest, NCTree in Peak Change, After Sunset, Black Balsam, Pisgah National Forest, NC

 

Fall Color, Ridges, After Sunset, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

3rd week of October, near Waynesville

Fall Color, Ridges, After Sunset, Blue Ridge Parkway, NCFall Color, Ridges, After Sunset, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

 

Fall Color Detail, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

3rd week of October, near Waynesville

Fall Color Detail, Blue Ridge Parkway, NCFall Color Detail, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

 

Afternoon Shadows, Fall Color, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, NC

4th week of October

Afternoon Shadows, Fall Color, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, NCAfternoon Shadows, Fall Color, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, NC

 

Fall Color Detail, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, NC

4th week of October

Fall Color Detail, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, NCFall Color Detail, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, NC

 

Table Rock, Moon, Fall, Sunset, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, NC

4th week of October

Table Rock, Moon, Fall, Sunset, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, NCTable Rock, Moon, Fall, Sunset, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, NC

 

Mist, Fall Foliage, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, NC

4th week of October

Mist, Fall Foliage, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, NCMist, Fall Foliage, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, NC

 

The Chimneys, Fall, Sunset, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, NC

4th week of October

The Chimneys, Fall, Sunset, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, NCThe Chimneys, Fall, Sunset, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, NC

I'm glad I made it out for some awesome color this year. Thanks for looking!

-JD

 

 

 

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) NC North Carolina Pisgah National Forest autumn color deciduous forest fall mountains seasonal forests trees https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/11/fall-color-update-in-the-southern-appalachians Wed, 11 Nov 2015 17:51:46 GMT
One-shot Wonders https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/10/one-shot-wonders I want to briefly talk about the concept of a "one-shot wonder." I don't know if anyone else actually thinks about this concept, but I think about it and I made one while on my trip to Banff recently so I figured I'd write a little something about it. 

A one-shot wonder is an image made by only taking one exposure of a subject. They usually happen while I'm in the middle of shooting something that I think is REALLY important. I'm shooting different compositions, maybe even different shutter speeds, and. . . I take a quick breather from shooting that important thing, glance around, something immediately catches my eye, and without hesitation, I compose my shot, check my settings and adjust them if I need to, and then press the shutter once, taking one picture. I check my LCD screen to see the picture I just took, see the composition is great, check my histogram real quick and see the exposure looks good, and I guess I just know that I got what I wanted so I move on. And just like that, I've made a one-shot wonder. No extra exposures, no bracketing, no different compositions. . . Just one shot, and I'm happy. I usually know that image is a good one, but it's not till I make it back to my computer, load images, and start to look through them that the one-shot wonder really stands out and I realize how much I LOVE it. I'm drawn to it in a different way than I'm drawn to the images I worked for hours to get. Something about them is so special. To me at least. .

So next time you're out on a shoot and you're making several exposures of a scene you think is really important, take a breath, a step back, a look around and then take a shot. You never know what gems you'll get. 

 

Here is that shot from Banff. 

Canon 5DmkII, EF 100-300mm f5.6/L at 100mm

1/30 sec at f25, ISO 100

Mount Inglismaldie, Summer, Banff National Park, Alberta, CanadaMount Inglismaldie, Summer, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Banff Banff National Park Mist One-shot Wonder Peaks https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/10/one-shot-wonders Sun, 11 Oct 2015 17:41:53 GMT
Soft Light of the Southern Appalachians https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/10/soft-light-of-the-southern-appalachians It's no secret that the light in the east is different from the light in the west. I'll even venture out and say that the light in the southeast is different from the light in the northeast. 

Being a photographer in the southeastern U.S. means having to deal with a lot of soft light. I think it should really mean having to EMBRACE the soft light. There have been many times when I wanted to capture a nice clean sunset with rolling mountains underneath it. And there have been many times when I ended up capturing something different!

The amount of moisture in the air (especially during the spring and summer months) in the southern Appalachians is very high compared to the amount in the western part of the United States. This can be a positive thing and a negative thing. 

The positive sides of this situation are dramatic misty scenes, soft glowing sunsets and great light dispersion for color photography. 

The negative sides of this situation are cloudy and foggy days which make large vistas hard to capture, too many clouds during sunset which can choke out the sunlight and not enough clarity and contrast to create powerful and moving black and white images. 

With all this said, I've learned to embrace the amount of moisture in the air here. My style is completely different when I shoot in Pisgah National Forest compared to when I shoot in Rocky Mountain National Park, and that's okay. It always takes me a day to adjust when I go out west. I think, "Wow, I can see everything so clearly here! What am I gonna shoot??" I don't really have to think about what I'm going to shoot very much when I'm home in the Blue Ridge. I just kind of know based upon what the weather is doing. 

I've included some images below that I feel greatly demonstrate the concept of soft light in the southern Appalachians. Now, I want to go ahead and say that this light is not exclusive to the southern Appalachians. I know it can appear in all regions of the United States. More often than not though it is the light that we have to work with in this region. During Fall and Winter we have many days with strong light, but who wants to photograph the southern Appalachians in black and white in the fall?? Fall is the time for color! I will be posting soon about the fall color here in the Southern Appalachians, so stay tuned. 

 

Canon 5DmkII, EF 24-105mm f4/L at 85mm

1/4 sec at f18, ISO 100

2-Stop Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Ridges, Sunset, from the Blue Ridge Parkway, NCRidges, Sunset, from the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

 

Canon 5DmkII, EF 100-300mm f5.6/L at 100mm

1/25 sec at f29, ISO 100

Mount Pisgah, Clouds, Asheville, NCMount Pisgah, Clouds, Asheville, NC

 

Canon 5DmkII, EF 24-105mm f4/L at 50mm

0.6 sec at f18, ISO 100

2-Stop Graduated Neutral Density Filter

 

Canon 5DmkII, EF 100-300mm f5.6/L at 220mm

1/25 sec at f13, ISO 100

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Asheville Blue Ridge Mountains Pisgah National Forest Soft Light Southern Appalachians https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/10/soft-light-of-the-southern-appalachians Sun, 11 Oct 2015 17:41:46 GMT
Poor Lighting - Does it Exist? https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/8/poor-lighting---does-it-exist I've said it many times before, "I just can't get anything. The lighting is horrible."

I've only recently decided to turn that attitude around and use what is available. So maybe the lighting isn't the most epic, or it creates a lot of contrast on the landscape, or its actually raining. But I've come to the conclusion that I'm not going to let that slow me down anymore. I recently wanted to shoot on a day when the weather was inconsistent. One minute there was a lot of light, the next minute, there wasn't. One minute it would be sunny, the next it would be raining. I didn't let that get to me though. I wanted to shoot, I wanted to practice and I wanted to have some fun. 

So I just went with the flow. I wasn't in a situation to get any big dramatic landscape shots, but I got some intimate ones with cool lighting. It was hard because there was rain dripping from the trees and the sun kept popping out from behind clouds, but ultimately I had fun, got some neat shots and got some practice in, which were my goals to begin with. 

I hung around the trailhead of the Profile Trail at Grandfather Mountain State Park for a while. Here are some shots. All images were taken with a Canon 5DII and a 100-300mm f5.6L. 

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Grandfather Mountain State Park NC North Carolina forest lighting https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/8/poor-lighting---does-it-exist Thu, 20 Aug 2015 21:32:59 GMT
Working a Scene https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/8/working-a-scene Working a scene is an important skill that all photographers need to learn how to do. When I get to an area that I want to photograph, I don't simply walk up, start taking pictures and after several exposures, leave. I look around for a few minutes and change my vantage point, jump up on rocks, squat down low to the ground. I take notice of what the clouds are doing and how much the wind is blowing. Then I start to photograph.

I start in one spot, then I move around to another, and then another. Sometimes the way I initially see a scene ends up being my preference. But often I like the photos I took after working the scene for a while. Below are some images of Bear Wallow Falls at Gorges State Park. I started wider, including all of the waterfall and some rocks and foliage around it. I eventually ended up directly in front of the waterfall taking pictures that were tighter, more focused and overall better. I've included the progression below so you can see how I started and how I ended, after moving around and working the scene. I think the final image is by far the best. It has a clearer subject, is more balanced and thus creates a much more mysterious mood and stronger image than the other images. 

Moral of the story: always work the scene by moving around and shooting. You never know what great shots you'll get if you don't!

Bear Wallow Falls, Gorges State Park, NC

Canon 5DII, EF 24-105mm f4L at 67mm

2 sec at f18, ISO 100

Bear Wallow Falls, Gorges State Park, NCBear Wallow Falls, Gorges State Park, NC

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Bear Wallow Falls Gorges State Park North Carolina waterfall https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/8/working-a-scene Mon, 17 Aug 2015 21:59:11 GMT
Back-lit Leaves https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/7/back-lit-leaves Some of my favorite subjects to capture are back-lit leaves. In the Southern Appalachians, we have a lot of them! I love in the morning, when the sun is still low, and the sunlight shines through the leaves, allowing you to see everything inside. The leaves just pop with color, giving the image really cool contrast. This image was taken in the morning during a fall trip to the Smokies in 2014. We camped in the Deep Creek area near Bryson City, NC and as the sun rose, it back-lit all these bright yellow leaves. Of course I had to grab my camera. I used telephoto length to reach high up in the tree. 

Back-lit Leaves, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC

Canon 5DII, EF 100-300mm f5.6/L at 300mm

1/40 sec at f32, ISO 100

Back-lit Leaves, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Back-lit leaves NC North Carolina color fall great smoky mountains national park leaves smokies https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/7/back-lit-leaves Fri, 10 Jul 2015 02:12:21 GMT
Great Opportunities - Clearing Storms at Sunset https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/6/great-opportunities---clearing-storms-at-sunset After a storm one evening I stepped outside and saw an orange tint to the retreating clouds. I knew the sky was about to light up plus I think retreating storms can be very photogenic if you have the right light. I grabbed my gear and headed for my favorite spot on Town Mountain Road above Asheville. Using a 2-stop Graduated Neutral Density Filter, I was able to get this cool shot of the storm clearing at sunset. 

Sunset from Town Mountain Road II, Asheville, NC

Canon 5DII, 24-105mm f4L at 35mm

0.4 sec at f16, ISO 100

Clearing Storm, Sunset, Asheville, NC

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johnnytdavison@gmail.com (Johnny Davison Photography) Asheville Blue Ridge Mountains NC clearing storm sunset https://www.johnnydavison.com/blog/2015/6/great-opportunities---clearing-storms-at-sunset Tue, 30 Jun 2015 15:42:55 GMT