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,
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.
I love to shoot big wide angle landscape just as much as the next nature photographer, but I find that the intimate microcosms are what really do the location justice. It’s hard sometimes to pay attention to the small details when you are faced with vast rolling mountains, majestic waterfalls or wide open meadows, so I make sure to always look at my feet when out in the field. You would be surprised how many amazing images we literally pass over when we don’t look down.
Here is a shot I made last autumn of an open meadow on the edge of Spruce knob Lake in the Monongahela national Forest of West Virginia. The light was really amazing and the entire meadow was glowing with a soft translucent layer of fog. I used my 80-200mm to frame up a pleasing composition of meadow, spruce trees and the distant hillside awash with autumn color.
What I didn’t Notice at first was the hundreds of Orb Webs in the meadow. Only after walking further into the scene above and examining the meadow grass did I find this wonderful treasure. I set out immediately to find the perfect web that was covered in dew and also being touched by the soft warm light of the early morning sun. I got very low to the ground and set up this shot using my 105mm macro lens. I intentionally focused on a single line of dew and only stopped down to f8 to make sure nothing else in the image was in focus. This selective focus forces the viewers eye to travel along the string of dew as well as creating some really beautiful specular highlights from the extremelyout of focus water drops. By using back-light, the dew and web glow with a kaleidoscope of colors from the blue sky to the autumn foliage in the near background.
This is one of the most popular spots on the tour and we will also spend time shooting in this location.
If anyone is interested in signing up, we still have a few spots available.