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Pisgah National Forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My compliments to the US Forest Service. They have run the Pisgah National Forest for years much like a national park. They maintain roads with parking access to trails, creeks and waterfalls some of which are the most popular in western North Carolina. While Courthouse Falls saw no other visitors before mid morning, Looking Glass Falls had to be building up to a peak of at least several hundred visitors gawking, swimming and generally bumping into each other.

Things are quieter deeper in the woods. Sparsely traveled gravel roads follow creek beds.  Campers are beginning to stir.  Maybe another photographer or two is out but it isn’t social hour. We may have much in common. At the top of the list is the need to contemplate by concentrating. The steep slopes and the canopy extend soft light farther into the morning. So we have plenty of time to walk, occasionally risking life and limb by climbing down to creek beds, and look for over view scenes and intimate woodsy moments.

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Pisgah Panorama

It does not get any better than this – not the view, not the photography, not the experience.
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Shadow Play

Morning plans altered. Now we pull into most parkway overlooks to see what the morning sun and fog have to offer. Pounding Mill Overlook turns out to be special. To one side we have a delicate panorama away from the sun. And to the east down in the valley where, somewhere, is Pounding Mill Branch – oh my gosh, lookie there, lookie there. Low sun, fog and tress play a magical game. They combine to produce shadows that add a touch of photographic image blur.

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Morning on the Mountain

So there we are, zipping along the Blue Ridge Parkway, on the road almost an hour, driving at times in fog, not yet dawn, headed for a waterfall shoot. Can’t get there by sunrise but that’s not necessary for a waterfall. And then we pass a photographer set up by the side of the road. It’s not even an overlook and the valley below is anything but scenic. Just take a look back to see what interests him. OOO . . .OOO . . . OOO. Quick turn the car around and go back. We have ourselves a sunrise shoot coming up. Our photographer has done his job: Selected a site for the conditions. Got there well before sunrise and waited for the light.
Sunrise over fog – just one of the many moods of that morning. Our priorities took a bit a of a turn.  Stand by.
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Cheap Date

What a deal! Wednesday night minor league (Class A) baseball. Drive barely 5 minutes. Park for free in the Municipal Building parking lot. Pay $5.00 for a general admission ticket. Get a free senior citizen meal – a hot dog, a small drink and an even smaller bag of chips. And then sit anywhere because the attendance is sparse at best and no attendants/ushers check anything. We spent most of our time in the front row using the home team dugout roof as support. What a deal! What a game!

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Stay Cool

It should come as no surprise that conversation around here and amongst our extended wandering friends is dominated by the heat – the effects of water and air temperatures on us and our machines. Everybody is hot. Everything is hot.  So let’s think cool, clear water. And to co-opt the signature phrase of the most interesting man in the world: Stay cool my friends.

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Ball House

Ball House as seen from or rather in a window of the Verre House on Church Street. Historic homes, preserved homes and just expensive homes make this south of Broad neighborhood such a visual delight. Travel & Leisure magazine refers to this area as one of the significant concentrations of wealth in this country. I am sure it is all of that. Nice to know money is still occasionally interested in the exercise of good taste. Takes a lot of money to keep up this neighborhood. The work day abundance of contractor’s pickups and vans attests to that.

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66 Church

Most of us look forward to going back, back to the scene of the crime or back to the old neighborhood, just to see what has changed. We have one acquaintance who relishes a return visit to the back alleys of Key West to see if the same derelict appliances are still there. I would take that ride with him any day. At the other end of the spectrum are the streets of Charleston . We know a treat is right around the corner south of Broad, two door fronts at 66 Church. Can there be more tailored elegance than that in this wreath?

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Bare Bones

We watch what real photographers do to create interesting images. When an image has issues it is often time to experiment and play as in when realism doesn’t work abandon realism. Add texture overlays. Use weird color filters like the folks from CSI Miami have popularized. Go black & white as the starting point. Dee decided to strip one of her beach images not only of all color but of all structure right down to bare bones. And that’s fitting because the eroded beach with its dead trees is known as the Boneyard.

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