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Birch and Ferns, Ricketts Glen State Park, PA

I enjoy exploring lesser know area in and around popular spots. It’s exciting to find a sot that is often overlooked by other photographers who have tunnel vision and feel they must concentrate all of their energies on a specific location or subject. Case in point, Ricketts Glen State Park in north central PA has some of the most amazing waterfalls in the Mid Atlantic. In fact you can visit well over 30 falls in the course of a 4 or 5 mile hike. I have returned to this location at least a dozen times over the past few years to hike the falls circuit and shoot new images. On a recent trip however, I decided to focus my attention on a few other spots just north of the main section of the park. For two days I camped and explored a great meadow filled with bracken ferns, maples and birch. I can only image how awesome this are will be come fall and I am planning to make a stop there on my way back from Vermont this October.

Best of light,

Joseph Rossbach


Country Barn and Goldenrod at Sunset

Country Barn and Goldenrod at Sunset

After finding this amazing field of Goldenrod on the north end of Jefferson Notch, I decided to return on several occasions at sunrise and sunset. Over the course of 4 days back and forth, I was treated with great light only once. Luckily this was on my fourth and last visit and I had already scouted out a few compositions. Of course the clouds and light never lined up that night in such a way that I was able to fully realize those previous comps. The good news was that I had begun to get into a rhythm with the location and when the magic happened I was able to quickly react and shoot a few comps that worked really well.

Thanks for having a look and best of light!

Joe Rossbach

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New “Photo of the Week” image is now live on the website!

Goldenrod and Mount Washington at Sunset

This week I choose an image from my latest trip to the White Mountains in New Hampshire, enjoy!

See it large!


Maple Decay

Maple Decay


While exploring the banks of the Ammonoosuc River below Mount Washington in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, I noticed a bunch of fallen leaves in a small pool of water. Upon closer inspection I was delighted to find a single maple leaf that had fallen from the canopy above mixed in with the oily decay of organic matter. As i moved around the pool of water, the oily sheen began to pick up and reflect the blue sky above. The color contrast was too wonderful to pass up. I used my Nikon 70-200mm with a 1.4 tele-convertor to frame the leaf. I choose a daylight balance to retail the cool blue reflection and used LIVE VIEW for critical focusing to make sure the entire image was sharp from edge to edge. 


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Harrison Wright Falls, Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania

Harrison Wright Falls

Harrison Wright Falls, 125 seconds at f16, raw capture

From last weeks waterfall hike in the Glens Natural Area, Ricketts Glen State Park, PA. The water levels were exceptionally low and although I did the entire circuit hike I was only inspired to shoot a total of 3 compositions. Either way I am pretty happy with my keepers!

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NEW eBook, Crafting Compelling Compositions just released!

My 64 page PDF eBook contains full color photographs, informative text, photo tips, captions and loads of inspiration. This is your guide to the art and technique of compositions that will WOW the viewer!!

Get it now for only $5.00
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Back Packing to the Summit of Old Rag Mountain, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.

This past week I sumitted Old Rag Mountain and spent the night up top with friend and fellow photographer Chris Kayler.  This is not the first time I have done this hike to the summit of Old Rag, but was in fact the first time for me to sleep on the summit. In fact, this hike is featured in my book 50 Amazing Things You Must See and Do in the Greater D.C. Area: The Ultimate Outdoor Adventure Guide . In hopes of getting away from the record high temps and humidity crippling the DC area, we picked a day that forecasted a cold front moving in across the mountains in hopes of cooler temps in the mountains and the chance of thunderstorms at or near sunset.  

We started the hike in the afternoon and quickly realized just how hot and humid it still was!  With the temp hovering around 90 degrees and the humidity at 85%, we knew we were in for a long and hot haul up the trail!  As soon as I hoisted my 45 pound pack filled with camera gear, sleeping bag and pad, overnight food, rain gear and 5 liters of water for an overnight on a dry summit, we quickly hit the road on the 1/2 mile approach to the actual trailhead. By the time we arrived, I was already drenched in sweat and decided to take a did in the swimming hole along the river to cool off before tackling the upward climb towards the ridge and the approach to the summit proper.  

Chris Rock Hopping on the Ridge

After about 2 mile of an upward climb through the sweltering heat of the forest, we arrived at the summit ridge and were greeted with the most refreshing breeze sweeping from west to east across the ridge line. It was just what the doctor ordered! In contrast to the cooler temps and great vies now comes the most challenging section of the hike, a .9 mile summit approach across a boulder strewn ridge that involves constant rock hopping, over hand climbing, bouldering, chimneying and in a few spots crawling on your hands and knees through rock cuts and small caves. This is usually a pretty moderate climb with a day pack or just camera gear, but add-on an 45 pound overnight pack and it becomes strenuous and in some cases very difficult. Below are a few shots I snapped of our climb across the ridge towards the summit.  

Chris bouldering his way through the rocks

Chris in one of the small caves below the false summit

 We arrived on the summit of the mountain after a long and exhausting 2 hour climb across the ridge and were greeted with an afternoon thunderstorm raging across the mountains and huge thunder heads to the east. It rained but briefly over the summit followed by strong 30 to 40 mile an hour winds. We had some nice although brief light at sunset. I found a nice composition of a jumble of car sized boulders on the summit with dramatic sunset skies and painted light at sunset. After the light faded, we settled down into a rock depression of the summit for a quick diner of freeze-dried Chili Mac and then a long night under the stars. Myself or Chris did not get much sleep over night due to the constant battering of the wind sweeping across the summit. I awoke around 3am and spent the rest of the night until civil twilight watching shooting stars and the constellations track across the night sky. 

Boulders on the Summit at sunset

Moon set and summit rocks at Civil Twilight

Sunrise over the Appalachians from the summit

After a great sunrise session and feeling really exhausted from lack of sleep and a hard climb the day before, we settled back down at our camp for some calories and bit of caffeine before packing the gear and tackling the summit ridge back down into the woods. The temps were pleasant that morning and we arrived back to the trailhead parking a little before noon.  It was a great little adventure and yielded some new images for me! All in all, a great time in the back country of the mountains. 

Morning at camp on the summit of Old Rag


Cast Your Vote for my next gallery show (Image Series #1)

Hello everyone,

Possessions Gallery in Melrose, MA will now be displaying my Fine Art Photography. I am in the process of selecting a series of images for display and would like your input in the process. Over the next couple of days I will be adding a selection of images and I would appreciate it it very much if you would vote for your favorite image from each series. I will use the feedback to help me decide which images will be on display. Please have a look at the images and cast your vote below. Thanks very much!!

In a Dream

Aspen Dance

Summer Swirls

The Wave

Autumn Brush Strokes


Lupine meadow at sunset, Gunnison National Forest, Colorado

Hinterlands Explosion

I found this wonderful meadow of blooming Lupine up Gothic road north of the quirky ski town of Mount Crested Butte. The monsoon was a little weak on this afternoon, but the clouds happened to hang around until sunset providing me with some great shapes and nice color. I used an ultra wide-angle lens getting in close to the most profuse blooms and framed in the spectacular sky waiting until the color in the clouds reached its peak before tripping the shutter.

See more of my Colorado images in the Mountain Magic gallery on my website.


North Window frames Turret Arch at sunrise, Arches National Park, Utah.

Window on the West

I got lucky on this shot of Turret Arch framed through North Window in Arches National Park. This iconic location is a tough spot to come away with original compositions, but with a little personal vision and a helping hand from Mother Nature anything is possible. First of all, the classic shot is a horizontal composition with north Window filling the frame and Turret Arch in the center. Add in some bold first morning light and you’ve got yourself the classic icon shot. For me, I pre visualized a vertical comp going way wide and a prayed for some interesting clouds above. To my delight,  the cloud shape formed a perfect V pushing the eye back down into the image and refocusing the viewers attention on the main subject,  Turret Arch framed by North Window. I also included a bit more of the bottom of the arch as well to create a sweeping C curve formed by North Window.