Originally uploaded by Joseph Rossbach(www.josephrossbach.com)
For years I have been attracted to this old snag in Shenandoah National Park and for years the light and clouds never worked out for me. On my last trip into the park on the last day of the workshop, I took the group down to this spot. As the sun rose it illuminated the underside of the clouds floating by. I shot at f22 to get the sunstar and used a 2 stop ND grad to open up some additional detail in the mountains. I cropped this shot to 4:5 ratio to remove the empty space on the right of the composition and better balance the photo.
I am just getting around to finishing up the processing on my top select keepers from this past weekends Shenandoah National Park Workshop. The weather and light were simply amazing with periods of heavy rain, fog, clouds, clearing storms and golden light. We spent 3 days exploring Big Meadows in search of new born fawns, hiking some of my favorite summits for sunrise and sunset light, working waterfalls and cascades when it was raining and overcast and experimenting with alternative techniques such as multiple exposure panning, long exposures at mid day and others. Here are my keepers so far from the trip. Enjoy!
This is the very first image I made on Friday morning before the workshop started. I arrived on Skyline Drive just in time that morning to get to one of my favorite overlooks to record this view of layers of light and fog in the Piedmont below. 300mm f2.8 with 1.4 teleconvertor.
I found this fawn in Big Meadows at a popular watering hole. it showed up with two females and played and drank in the area for over 20 minutes which allowed me ample time to find the best angle and record a ton of great images.
Two siblings join together for a tender moment. I made this image in the Big Meadows campground. As I was setting up my tent, I noticed a family walking the woods behind the campground. I tracked them for over an hour shooting many, many images. This was my favorite.
Another tender moment between a new born fawn and her mother. Captured in Big Meadows under soft overcast light.
Heavy rains this spring and early summer allowed us to shoot some nice waterfall images at Dark Hollow Falls and cascades along Hog Camp Branch.
A young male buck hurries to keep up with the pack in Big Meadows. This image was made in warm late afternoon light. I stopped down to f22 and panned the camera in motion with the buck to create this image.
A two minute exposure about 20 minutes after sunset from Skyline drive looking west towards Shenandoah Valley and Massanutten Mountain.
Sunrise from the talus slope of Blackrock Summit at the southern end of the park. I got low and wide to emphasize the rocks against an amazing sky.
This image was made at mid-day in Big Meadows. I used the Singh Ray Vari-ND Duo to drag out a 45 second exposure which blurred anything moving in the image.
Need I say anymore. Uber cute.
O.K., That’s it for now. I should finishing the images by tomorrow and will hopefully have a few more to share later this week.
Don’t forget, We still have 2 spots available for our Rocky Mountain Photo Workshop. If you are interested in shooting alpine reelections, 14,000 foot peaks, waterfalls and western wildlife, you should consider joining us. Did I mention the cost is only $725.00. here are the details and registration info: http://www.mountaintrailphoto.com/workshops_24.htm
Shenandaoh National Park Summer Workshop
Summer Vistas and Fawns, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
June 19-21, 2009
Instructor: Joseph Rossbach
Shenandoah National Park in June is a great place for wildlife and landscape photography. The new born fawns are just beginning to explore their new world in Big Meadows, wildflowers are blooming and the mountain valleys fill up with fog along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains at sunrise. We will have 3 days to explore and photograph in this gem of the National Park System along Skyline Drive.
Finally finished processing most of my A+ images from the past 2 weeks in Shenandoah National Park. The spring conditions were absolutely amazing this year with lots of interesting weather, light and rain. The number f bad rainy days, this equals great conditions for nature photographers by the way, was like 2 to 1. I spent much of time deep in the many hollows of the park during the mid day shooting waterfalls and streams and hiking out to summits and overlooks in search of good light at sunrise and sunset.
Here are a few of my favorites:
This nice little cascade is found deep in lower Whiteoak Canyon. In order to gain the most dramatic perspective on the falls I climbed down the steep slope and got in the water mid thigh. The camera was just about 2 feet away from the cascade and I had to remember to keep wiping off the filter and water was constantly spraying the front element.
On the second morning of my workshop, I got the group on the road at 4am for the long haul down the the southern end of the park to be at the trail head in time to make it onto Blackrock Summit at first light. I found my favorite rock formation and composed this super wide angle landscape. in order to balance the exposure, I used my Singh Ray 3 stop ND grad (hard). Hand holding the filter and moving up and down over the course of the exposure allowed me eliminate the hard grad line which would have showed up in the stack rock.
The zig-zag flow of the water lend-ed itself perfectly to a tight and intimate composition of the falls. The neon green moss reminded me of a scene from the Columbia River Gorge. The western guys are so lucky!
I had photographed this scene about 2 weeks ago and was mostly happy with the results although I felt the comp in the first was not quite a dramatic as it could be. On the last day of my trip in the park it was raining and completely overcast, so I decided to give this image one more try. I got low and close to the fallen log and with the use of my wide angle I was able to really exaggerate its length and size. The leading line of the tree pulls the eyes deeper into the comp and up into the lush woods.
Off to Cape May, NJ for the weekend to lead a workshop that will center itself around the primordial ritual of the annual Horseshoe Crab spawning. This event is like no other in the eastern United States where you have a chance to shoot hundreds if not thousands of crabs storming the beaches for as far as the eye can see. In the morning, the crabs that were not lucky enough to make it back to sea become an all you can eat buffet for hundreds of shore birds. I sight to see! If anyone is interested, we still have 2 openings for this workshop. http://www.mountaintrailphoto.com/workshops_8.htm
Our Shenandoah Spring Workshop kicks of this afternoon but I have been in the park for a couple of days scouting and shooting new images. Here is one from this morning at Buck Hollow Overlook. The light broke for only a few minutes illuminating the scene with soft pink light and really nice glow. It looks like it is going to rain and generally be cloudy for the rest of the day, so we will be shooting waterfalls, forest scenes and streams. Hopefully we get lucky and get some light at sunset!
Please visit my website for a full list of photo workshops and classes for 2009: http://josephrossbach.com/
Here are a few more images I have managed to process from my recent outing in Shenandoah National PArk. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. Joe
Here is an image I made last week while in Virginia. My wife Amber and I were in Charlottesville, VA attending a wedding and I was able to sneak away one night to do a little photography. Charlottesville is only 20 miles from the southern arm of Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park. I didn’t have a lot of time to get off the beaten path, so I chose a favorite overlook to shoot sunset. This image was made about 20 minutes past sunset when there was still a faint glow on the horizon. I framed the image wide to include the sweep of the mountains and the clouds high above. My exposure was 2.5 minutes at F8 at ISO 100. This allowed me to properly expose for the sky while letting the mountains and land silhouette. The clouds streaked across the frame during the log exposure creating a painterly feel to the image.