A Macon wedding and fine art photographer's latest work and inspiration

Scenic

Digitally infrared images

Five years ago I sent my old DSLR camera away for a digital infrared conversion.  It is a Nikon D70, now almost 10 years old.  In the good old days, it was a time consuming and difficult process to create infrared images with film cameras.  Because new cameras come with filters designed to block infrared light, the best way to get good results is either to convert a camera like I did, or to use one of a host of new plugins and presets developed for Photoshop and other applications, and just do it on the computer.  I have noticed that my old D70 is starting to age but it still works fine for my purposes.  Shooting digitally infrared images is something I only do on occasion.  It is not something I care to do all the time.  If you do it, my only advise is to remember to preset your white balance on something green like grass, unless you live in a semi arid climate.  Never preset it using any type of grey card unless the filter you buy in the conversion process recommends it.  I have the standard IR filter so I set WB on green grass.  These shots were taken recently at St. Simon’s Island.

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Scenic images shot while visiting Jim and Cile Messer in Carmel/Monterey/Salinas.

These are images shot while Diana and I were visiting good friends in Central California this past May.  Jim is master of all photography in Carmel so we were fortunate they allowed us to tag along with them. 


Scenic images from Fontana Lake and the Smoky Mountains

Some of my earliest outdoor memories are fishing and camping at Fontana Lake in western North Carolina with my dad, my uncles and their sons.  The creeks flowing into Fontana Lake, with names like Eagle Creek, Hazel Creek and Forney Creek, are forever etched in my mind.  All of these creeks form part of the southern border of the Smoky Mountain National Park but the lake belongs to the TVA, which built it during WWII.  It buried at least two notable towns in the process, something fewer and fewer people remember as time passes. 

One should be careful when fishing on Forney Creek, which has the slickest rocks on this planet.  But it has some great places to camp and good trails leading all the way up to Clingman’s Dome if you are able to walk that far.  We used to walk from the lake to the remains of an old 1930’s era CCC camp about five miles north from where Forney empties into Fontana; and then fish the good holes back down to the lake.  The trout in these lower waters were almost always Rainbow in those days and probably still are.  If you took any of the small creeks that forked off Hazel or Forney and didn’t mind some steep climbing, you could catch as many Speckled Trout as you wanted.  We used to joke that the only reason Speckled Trout were on the endangered species list was because the census takers couldn’t climb that high.  Still, Speckled Trout are perhaps the only true native American trout so we didn’t mind throwing them back. 

I had not been back there in twenty-five years so my dad and I made a trip to Fontana Lake this past weekend to see how things have changed.   Dad remarked at some point along our journey that we had not passed a single vehicle since we left Bryson City.  This was one of the reasons we liked this isolated part of Fontana so much.  There just don’t seem to be any maps of this part of Swain County, we agreed.  We went to the first of two of the old marinas where we once put our boats into this cold, deep lake.  The first, Greasy Branch Marina, no longer exists.  But it was never much of a marina anyway.  It now serves as a private and quiet cove for a few house boats lashed in place with ropes and chain. 

The other marina was not really a marina but only a road leading to the lake with a ramp at the water’s edge.  We called it, “Wilderness Marina,” because it consisted of a gravel ramp at the end of a gravel road, miles from anyone or anyplace.  People could put their boats into the water without aid or fees.  There was a small area above the ramp where you would park.  Sometime in the 1980’s someone put a floating marina there and the place seemed to flourish with business for a time.  We were surprised to see that it was once again a wilderness marina but with a new name.  It is called Flat Branch Boat Ramp.  But all of the signs posted there are filled with bullet holes so I may have misread the name.  Then again, that may have always been its official title.  My dad and his brothers tended to make up their own names for places that they enjoyed.  I have always thought it was because when they talked about these places, no one else could find them.

Anyway, here are a few photos I took this weekend of Fontana and the Smoky Mountains.  I saw every close relative who ever enjoyed this lake, but they can’t be seen in these pictures.

Mouth of Greasy Branch on Lake Fontana

My soon to be 86 year old dad!

View of Fontana Lake from Wilderness Boat Landing

View of Forney Creek which is on the other side of the lake from where I am shooting.

 

It isn’t hard to guess how the Smoky Mountain Range got its name!

Vanilla Sky

The last three photos were taken with a infrared converted camera so I can remember what it looks like in winter

 


Photography of England- A digital photo show

Recently I held a one day show of some photographs I took while in England a little over a year ago.  These are a few of the images I took while there.  The photos are of London, and the west country of England: Places such as Salisbury, Bath and, of course, the incredible Stonehenge.  

This was the ad for the show and one of the images.
This is a 360 degree view of Stonehenge.
The ancient Roman Baths in Bath England.
Bath at dusk
British Museum
Changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace
Cloister view of Westminster Abbey
Inside Westminster Abbey
Looking across the River Thames at Parliament by night
London Eye by night
Piccadilly Circus
Inside the Salisbury Cathedral
“Shadows of Power” Another view of Parliament
“Stonehenge – a pagan calendar”
Westminster Abbey I
Westminster Abbey II
St. Christopher’s Tower at night

Scenic photography of Northern and Central California

These are a few photos I took of our recent adventures in Northern and Central California.    Lombard Street in San Francisco is one of America’s crookedest and steepest streets.

We spent a relaxing afternoon on the coastal road north of San Francisco.  You can see the Golden Gate Bridge and city in the background.

Imagine Diana’s surprise at being photographed under another bank sign.  She is very loyal.

Muir Woods is home to 1,000 year old Redwood Trees.

Jim and Cile Messer and Diana are talking at Point Lobos, near Carmel, one of the most unusual and beautiful beaches in the world.

 

Yosemite Park.  While this may look like we were standing in front of a painted backdrop, it is all real.  It would be impossible for anyone not to find beautiful things to photograph here.  It looks like it was created for photographers.

On our last morning in Yosemite, we walked up to lower Yosemite Falls.   The water from the spring runoff cascading down the cliff created an enormous spray that wet us and everything around us.  As we crossed the bridge below the fall, we saw the most beautiful rainbow that was visible only on the other side of the bridge.  To shoot it, I had to stand in the middle of this spray.  The lens filter was covered in mist, which gives the photo this soft look.  I used manual focus because the auto focus would not work propertly in these conditions.

If you look carefully at the photo above, you can see patches of ice between the two falls, just above the lower fall.  In places there were six foot snow banks still visible.  This place is a real paradise.  I wish I had another week to explore it.  Thank you Jim for your excellent information without which I would not have been able to get many of these shots.  I think I will have some good images when I have time to finish editing them. 

It was a good trip and I am glad to be home.