Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pink Lady Slipper

I found this pink lady slipper a few days ago while attending a women's retreat on a mountain in North Carolina, not far from Highlands. It was nearly 10 AM and a very bright sunny day. I used a diffuser (above the frame toward the top left) to soften the sunlight and prevent that speckled appearance that occurs when sunlight filters through the branches of trees, casting dark shadows. I also used a silver/gold reflector, which I leaned against my tripod leg, to reflect some sunlight on the darker left side of the flower. I was surprised at the significant bit of brightening that occured when using the reflector.

Rhododendrons on the Mountain

Here are some rhododendrons I photographed recently on a mountain near Highlands, NC. It was about 9 AM on a very sunny day, and already the light was a bit bright for photographing. Still I decided to give it a shot. Perhaps next year it will be a slightly cloudy day so that the light will be more diffused. Last year, on the other hand, the rhododendrons were not yet in bloom during my annual trip to the mountain.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Wake Robin or Purple Trillium

I found this beautiful flower on the NC side of the Smokies near Black Camp Gap on April 27, 2007. This is called Trillium erectum. Its flower is held above the leaves. There are also a couple species of nodding trilliums in the Smokies, whose flowers hang below the leaves and are extremely difficult to photograph. I found some of those in NC also, and I plan to post a few shots of those later this week.

Trout Lily

Here is a pair of Trout Lilies, which I found on the NC side of the Smoky Mountains. The early April frost on the Tennesee side destroyed many of the flowers, but it seems that many of the flowers in NC were spared. My friend and I found all kinds of neat stuff when exploring the backwoods of NC, including a few species of trillium.

The Last Sunset Shot

This is the sunset last shot I got from the parking lot at Clingman's Dome in the Smokies on April 27. About ten minutes before this shot, I got the one below. The key difference is the foreground. Here the sun had gone low enough behind the horizon (toward my right as I face the image) to become shaded, while below the sun was high enough to light up the foreground just a bit.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Smoky Mountain Sunset

I just returned from a week-long photography trip in the Smokies. I also attended (and presented two slide shows at) the Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage. It was a lot of fun. Here is a sunset shot that I got at the parking lot near Clingman's Dome on April 27, 2007. We went up to the dome the night before, but decided to just try the parking lot view on this cold and windy night. I think this one turned out ok, but I like the later shot (above) best.