Welcome to the archives of prevoius Image for the Asking selections.

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Saturday, 15 September 2018 17:55

Through a Glass Just Looking

As it slides off the Pisgah Ridge, flowing thinly past its namesake Looking Glass Rock, the small creek takes on feeders from its watershed until it joins the Davidson River nearly as fulsome as the parent stream. Half-a-mile, or so, upstream from the confluence, Looking Glass Creek pours over an exposed band of Whiteside granite, an interesting composition of orthoclase and plagioclase feldspar, quartz, muscovite, and biotite that is extensive across this part of western North Carolina. It is old rock, dating to 440 million years before the present. Spreading out over the face of the band, the creek plunges 60' to a wide pool at its base before continuing downstream to its rendezvous, past a garden of wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia) one of summer's last bloomers.

A focal length of 34mm, just inside of wide-angleland, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. I was far enough from the foreground flowers that I was able to use an aperture of f/11 and careful focusing for sharpness throughout; and that with an ISO of 200 allowed for a shutter speed of 0.8 second, fast enough with patience to stop the slight motion in the spindly composites.

I was the first person to arrive at the falls on this particular morning, but the crowd began to gather quickly. The solitude was fun while it lasted.

Friday, 07 September 2018 12:56

I Wave, You Wave Back

There is no place more meaningful to me on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon than Cape Final; and while there are many amazing views into the grand chasm from this location, the profoundness of this old juniper snag along the path to the overlook caught my attention and refused to release me until I had interacted with its essential being. It seemed to be engaged in some final conversation with its relatives, and a black & white conversion seemed to express that discussion most sincerely.

A focal length of 31mm, technically a wide-angle focal length, allowed me to see the entire snag as well as the wooded pathway beyond, thus providing the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/20 provided depth-of-field; and a shutter speed of 1/6th second at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure with which to create the conversion. The contrast afforded by an essentially cloudless sky actually worked as a benefit in this situation.

Major Clarence Dutton had accompanied the Powell Survey in 1875 during Major Powell's second expedition to map the West. It was in 1880 that Dutton finally reached this beautiful site on the North Rim, giving it the name we know: Finally found; always beautiful.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018 19:46

Jewelweed Forever

Sometimes images simply leap in front of you as you pass them by. It happened along Newfound Gap Road just the other day as I was in the Park scouting for our upcoming Arrowmont adventure which began on Thursday and concludes today. Looking up the mountain I saw a sea of green rolling waves of pale jewelweed (Impatiens pallida) coming toward me, and the only thing to do to escape was stop and play with it. The anchoring boulder was a gift of the Smokies.

A focal length of 40mm, fairly normal, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/20 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1.3 seconds at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure.

The jewellweed bloom in the Southern Appalachians this year is the most profuse I can remember in 25 years; perhaps it coincides with the profundity of 2018's poison ivy crop.

Friday, 29 June 2018 23:05

Relativity and Mostly Solid Rock

In all of the years I/we have been visiting Acadia, we had somehow never managed to find our way over to Schoodic Peninsula, a separate unit of the Park on the eastern side of Frenchman Bay, due East of Great Head about an hour away from Southwest Harbor by car, and actually part of the mainland. It is a geologist's Eden, a massive slope of pink granite, fractured by interval intrusions of black diabase - an igneous rock similar to basalt - which weather differentially and encourage fountains of spray to erupt from the creviced rock.

Schoodic is such a convoluted landscape that I wanted to play a bit with perspective.. The rise in the granite (mid-ground) above the shelf is only about 15", but by placing the camera even with the top of the step-up and being lower down on the shelf, the step up was rendered as a much more looming presence. A focal length of 24mm, solid wide-angle, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/20 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/20th of a second at ISO 100 gave me an overall slightly-lighter-than-medium exposure. Some of the balsam fir trees along the apex of the point top out around 50'.

I feel certain that our first visit to Schoodic will somehow not be our last.

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