blue ridge mountains

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It’s been a busy fall season already! But I’m enjoying every minute of it. I love just driving down around my neighborhood and seeing all the colorful trees. So I obviously had to take a quick run down to Shenandoah National Park to check out the foliage around there. It’s become a tradition that my friend Larry and I will make a trip down and photograph the sunrise along Skyline Drive. This year, our friend Brande came with us too. It was a beautiful morning with photo friends.

In general, the trees were looking a little green along the drive so I think we were a bit premature in going. Regardless, it was great to watch the sunrise over the mountains. There were even little pockets of fog along the mountain range that made it even more special. But I didn’t get the shot I was looking for. I was either hoping for a really foggy morning making images look extra moody and gloomy or very colorful trees lit up by the sunlight. So since we didn’t get either of those, I’m thinking another trip to Shenandoah is necessary. Hopefully sometime soon!

My camera settings for this image are F11 at 1/30th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Woke up at 4:30a yesterday to go light chasing!

My friend, Larry and I made our way to the Thornton Gap Entrance at Shenandoah National Park and it was fantastic. So many times I’ve been to Shenandoah National Park and run into fog like this and this. Yesterday was the opposite of that. It was cloudy but clear enough to see some fantastic colors. I haven’t had a chance to go through all my images, but I really liked this one. I think it really captures the mood plus I can’t stop looking at the light that is hitting this man’s yellow jacket. By the way, that’s not Larry. It was just another photographer enjoying the sunrise with us.

As far as a foliage report, I think this weekend would be a great time to go. This overlook, which is very close to the entrance, had some beautiful, colorful trees. As we were driving up the mountain though, we noticed that a lot of trees had already become bare with yellow leaves on the ground. So if you haven’t checked out much fall color, I’d recommend going to Shenandoah National Park soon. I’m not sure about the Front Royal entrance but if I had to guess, I’d guess it would probably be better to go sooner than later.

Man it’s like the fall colors came so quickly and now we’re already talking about them leaving? It’s like cherry blossom season in the fall. But speaking of cherry blossoms, I heard the Tidal Basin is looking real nice too. So I have a busy weekend planned of shooting.

Also Larry was kind enough to let me borrow his Sony A7III and I may be in love. My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/80th sec at ISO 800 with Larry’s A7III and my 70-200mm handheld.

 

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Happy Labor Day! Hope everyone is having a great long weekend. Now that Labor Day is almost over would it be inappropriate to start counting down the days until Fall? Although you can’t tell, I took this image in the fall time a couple of years back. The fog had taken over the valley so much that you can’t even see anything but the beautiful curves of the mountains. I love the almost monochromatic blues in this image. It makes it so abstract and different from other images of the national park. Really looking forward to going back this year when the leaves start changing. I love Shenandoah during that time of year.

Speaking of traveling, this time next week Andrew and I will be on our way to our next travel destination. It’s kind of overwhelming since we just got back from California and planned this trip so last minute but either way I know it will be a great time. To be completely honest, we still haven’t figured everything out yet. It’s a place that neither one of us have been to and it will definietly be an adventure. Can’t wait to tell you about it soon.

In the meantime, let me know if you have in fall plans. I’m already loving all the pumpkin spiced things in the grocery stores but I have to be honest, the halloween and christmas stuff seem to be a TADDDDD too early though. LOL.  But so far my only fall plan is that there is a photowalk in the works! It’s going to be great and so different from the ones I’ve done before. So keep the middle-ish/end of October free. It’s going to be a good one!

My camera settings for this image is F13 at 1/20th of a second and ISO 125 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105mm lens on a tripod.

 

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So excited to see that fall has FINALLY arrived in Shenandoah National Park. I’ve been waiting for all of October for the leave to change. Except the visibility was very low while we were there.

Yesterday my friend, Larry and I met really early in the morning to head to the Thorton Gap entrance at Shenandoah National Park. As I was pulling out of my neighborhood I could see that it was already a little foggy  where we live but the more west we went, the foggier it got. It was so exciting. Y’all know how much I love shooting in the fog. It’s my favorite weather to shoot in! But once we got there, it was SUPER foggy. Like whiteout. Sunrise is around 7:20 but we couldn’t really see any kind of daylight until 7:25a. The visibility was probably less than 100ft. At some points it looked like cars were coming out of no where because you couldn’t even see their headlights until they were really close by. It was kinda nuts but totally awesome. I’m pretty sure we said “wow, crazy” about 200 times each as we were driving through the park.

The best part was that it smelled like fog. You know that smell? Yea, the smell of happiness.

Luckily, Larry is a sony man as well and just recently purchased the 100-400mm lens. He was kind enough to let me use it for a little while, even after knowing my tripod story. I was shooting it handheld. It was a little bit heavier than I am used to, but it was still very easy to capture sharp images. I felt like a sports photographer the entire time. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is 1/60th of a second at F5.6 at ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and Larry’s 100-400mm. The focal length of this is at 282mm.

 

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Not to say that I like one better than the other, but another favorite place to shoot fall colors is Shenandoah National Park. Just driving along sky line drive is so peaceful and relaxing. I never have a plan of what I’m going to shoot, I just go. And each time I go is so different.

What’s crazy is that I shot this in 2011! Lately I’ve been going through some older photos. Like way back. And I still remember shooting this. This particular morning was foggy. You know me and how excited I get with fog. But you can’t even tell that the leaves are changing or anything. I just love how the fog washed away all the details and all you see are blurred lines. It sort of reminds me of an abstract painting with an influence of Mark Rothko. The small hint of purple and pink in the middle of the image really draws my attention.

My camera settings for this image was F/18 at 1/20th of a second ISO 125 on my Canon 5D Mark II.

On a side note, I still get quite a few questions about my 5D Mark II. They’re mostly if I still use it and the answer is not really. The only time I really use it may be shooting fireworks. I just trust the camera remote on the 5D Mark II way more than the one on the Sony A7II. I feel like in that “high pressure” situation, (high pressure meaning, I can’t easily re-do it) I’d rather use that camera. Otherwise, it’s straight Sony equipment for me. I still have my Canon body and lenses sitting on the shelf. I may sell it in the future, but I’m not sure. We just have so many memories together that I don’t know if I’d want to give that away.

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Happy Monday! Can’t believe May is here! Did you guys check out the desktop and cell phone wallpapers? I do them every first of the month and love them.  Or if you haven’t yet, make sure to sign up for my newsletter. You’ll receive them straight into your inbox. What could be easier? If you use them, send me a screen shot. I have a folder on my desktop that’s called ‘happy’ and I put all of my favorite screenshots in there. If I’m ever feeling down or anything, I always look in that folder and feel uplifted. As you may have noticed I have tons of other folders on my desktop, maybe one day you’ll find out what they all are. Or if you’ve even be interested in that? It’s sort of the method behind all my madness. LOL.

This image was shot in 2013 when I was still using my Canon 5d Mark II. I recently found it on one of my old drives and been having a good time looking through some past images. I love this one with all the greens and different lines. I think my favorite part is the path leading off to the edge of the image. I still remember shooting this. It was on an early morning walk through the Blue Ridge Mountains. I was staying in a yert with some of my friends and a few of us decided to explore the surrounding area. I love how that foggy weather just lingers all morning in the mountains. Perfect mood lighting for a great, calm day.

My settings for this image was F7.1 at 1/20th of a second with ISO 200. I shot this with my 17-40mm wide angle lens on a tripod.

Wow that was a lot of links in just one blog post but in case you were wondering, I was a backstreet boys girl allllll the way. Still love you, Nick.