Fields and Trees

The first full day in the park was pretty busy. We made plans to meet back at the campground where Jenn’s paretns were staying for dinner and hanging out. On the way there, we drove through the Canaan Valley. I grabbed a couple of quick shots along the way…

Elkalha Falls

After we were done trekking back up the steps from the Blackwater Falls, we got in touch with Jenn’s parents who were staying at a campground nearby. They were on their way to our cabin so we dashed off to meet them. After hanging out and showing them around, we headed to Elkalha Falls. The trailhead is located right off of the parking lot of the park lodge. We walked the trail and then climbed down to the bottom of the first falls. There is a bridge that takes you directly over the first falls. The family patiently hung around for a good hour while I composed different shots. Here are a couple of them. The second is a tonemapped shot I have been working on…

  

Blackwater falls

After spending time at Pendleton Point overlook, we drove around the park a bit. Since it was right nearby, we decided to check out the actual Blackwater Falls. It was said to have nearly a 60 foot drop so we figured it would be a nice falls. The water was a little lower than normal I would imagine since the falls looked different from other pictures I had seen. The sun was up high enough that it was cutting across the top of the trees, making the images a bit difficult. After making the trek down all of the stairs to the obeservation platform, I setup my tripod and went to work. I ended up using my split ND filters to help hold in the light across the trees. I lined them up on the line of light and then slowly moved them up and down while the shutter was open to keep from having a strong line on the image. If you look closely, you will see a fisherman on one of the rocks at the bottom – giving you a sense of scale. Jenn asked how he got there. I pulled out my map and noticed there are no marked trails to the bottom from the other side of the river. He found his way down somehow. That would be another adventure for us…

Great location, great color…

As you can see from the first few photos I posted, it was hard to keep from pointing my camera in a dozen different directions at once. Thankfully Jenn is very patient. I could easily spend a couple hours working in a given location. It seems that everywhere I went, I found something to line up my viewfinder on. It could be something as simple as the leaves on the ground, the seemingly endless valley or the tree line across the river. Everywhere you look, there was a photographic opportunity. I settled on a tight shot of the trees with a bit of the sky brought in for some contrast on this image. Singh-Ray Blue-Gold Polarizer was perfect for the day.

Sunrise in the WV Mountains…

On the way to Blackwater Falls, we stopped and visited some friends in Keyser. We were litterally driving right past their neighborhood so it made it easy to stop by. We were there until about 9pm and then got back on the road to make the 45 min trip into the park. I managed to dodge at least 10 deer on my way through the mountains. Once we got checked in we headed to the cabin. Again, deer everywhere. They didn’t seem to care too much about cars. The cabin was great. It was just the right size with a kitchen, bath and large room where the bed and seating area were combined. There was also a fireplace right next to the bed with a stocked wood shed just on the opposite side of the driveway. Very cozy little place to enjoy the weekend. When 5:30 rolled around, we were both awake eager to see what the park looked like. I mapped out a number of locations ahead of time. We had our coffee, got dressed and headed out just before sunrise. Being unfamiliar with the park, we decided to go to Pendleton Point overlook. On the map, it appeared that it was a short walk from the parking area and it was. The air was crisp and clean with a temp. of about 48 degrees. I got setup for the sunrise and was amazed at the view as the sun came up. Believe it or not, there was only one other person at the overlook with a camera and tripod. She didn’t stay long either – maybe it was me as I didn’t bother to shower in the morning. The sunrise was amazing & It made for a great first morning in the area. The shot was made with a Singh-Ray 2 stop Graduated ND and 3 Stop Reverse ND filters. It may be hard to tell but it was an easy 200 foot drop about 2 feet from where I was shooting. Made the wife very nervous…

Blackwater Falls State Park

We had planned it for awhile, I was determined to take a trip to get some images of the fall color. New England is often touted as the place to go. I needed something closer though. From what I had read, the mountains of West Virginia rival what you will find in upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. I did some research on the internet and found some choice locations. The trick would be actually getting a place to stay. I made some calls and was able to reserve a cabin for the 2nd weekend. According to the predictions, the colors were going to be peaking. As the days approached, I really began looking forward to the time off.
We weren’t disappointed. The weather was fabulous, the park and cabin were excellent. Jenn’s parents came up to the area and stayed nearby at a campground. It turned out to be a great trip. We did plenty of hiking and took in every sunrise and sunset we could. The first picture is a panoramic of the park from the Lindey Point Overlook. As you can see, the colors were great! We are already looking forward to going back to the area next year. More to follow…

Local sunrise

I have been away on vacation for awhile so I haven’t been very good at keeping up here. Between going away and catching up at work, I haven’t had time to post. I haven’t slowed down taking photos, just haven’t had time to process them to get them out on the site. The second week of October Jenn and I took a trip to Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia. We were there right when the leaves were peaking. The best way to put it is fantastic. It was great to be away and in the outdoors. Over the next few days I will do my best to post some of the shots from there. In the begining of the month, I took in another sunrise at the Naval Academy Dairy Farm. Here is a shot from the that morning. I used a Sing-Ray 3 stop graduated ND filter along with a 2 stop reverse ND filter to capture the image.