Monochrome Monday, Hilton Head Island, pt 4

My next set of photos from the lovely Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.

Bass Beach Dune Fence Composition 2
Salty Dog Café Deck Abstract
Salty Dog Café Deck Abstract
South Beach Marina Pier 1
South Beach Marina Pier 1
Live Oak, Reconstruction Fern, and Spanish Moss Composition 1
Live Oak, Reconstruction Fern, and Spanish Moss Composition 1
Large Leaf Tropical Ground Plant 1
Large Leaf Tropical Ground Plant 1

For the best viewing experience, click to see a high resolution version. Please stay safe.

Cheers!

C. S.

Hilton Head Island, pt 3

More beach and landscapes from Hilton Head Island. This series is the first deep dive into my new Nikon z7ii and Nikkor Z 28 – 70mm f2.8 lens. Thus far I have been impressed by the extended dynamic range, low noise and detail as compared to my D720. With the extra resolution, I’m retraining myself to not crop in as close. Not only does it provide more composition opportunities in post, but this also allows squeezing out a little more depth of field when desired.

Bass Beach Dune Fence Composition 1
Bass Beach Dune Fence Composition 1
Palmatto Composition 1
Palmatto Composition 1
Shipyard Dr Pond Composition 2
Shipyard Dr Pond Composition 2
Palmetto Tree and Beach Composition 2
Palmetto Tree and Beach Composition 2
Live Oak, Reconstruction Fern, and Spanish Moss Sculpture 1
Live Oak, Reconstruction Fern, and Spanish Moss Sculpture 1

If you’re viewing on a monitor, you can really appreciate the output of the Z7ii by clicking on an image to see a high resolution version. Thank you for taking time to visit, and please stay safe. The end of the pandemic is in sight!

Cheers,

C. S.

Monochrome Monday: Hilton Head Island

Last week my wife and I joined some friends for several days on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This was my first visit to the island. I expected a commercially overdeveloped landscape, like many other popular beach destinations in North & South Carolina. To my surprise, local ordinances have subdued commercialization and preserved much of the island’s natural beauty.

Palmetto Tree and Beach Composition 1
Palmetto Tree and Beach Composition 1

When visiting a new location, I always take an interest in understanding the local history, culture and biodiversity. As my youngest son attends the University of South Carolina, I knew the SC was known as the Palmetto State. Before my trip, I would have identified the two trees below as two separate species. They are actually both Palmettos (Sabal Palm) trees. Palmettos loose their weaved “boot” barking once they mature.

Two Palmettos Composition
Two Palmettos Composition
Calibogue Sound Fog Composition 2
Calibogue Sound Fog Composition 2

The numerous stately live oaks, imbued with Spanish moss and reconstruction ferns, contribute to the island’s natural charm. The weather was overcast most of the week, but I’ve found such weather quite an opportunity for photography.

Live Oak and Spanish Moss Composition 1
Live Oak and Spanish Moss Composition 1
Calibogue Sound Fog Composition 3
Calibogue Sound Fog Composition 3
Live Oak and Reconstruction Fern Detail 1
Live Oak and Reconstruction Fern Detail 1

Thank you for visiting and please stay safe! For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version.

Cheers,

C. S.

Southern Blue Ridge Parkway – Fall Splendor

Last week I took several days off to explore the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina.  This first post features several locations on the southern section of the Blue Ridge Parkway between Cherokee and Asheville.  The highest section of the parkway, elevation averaged between 5,000 ft. (1,524 m) and 6,000 ft. (1,829 m).

Bunches Bald Overlook 1
Bunches Bald Overlook 1

For the most part, the fall foliage was at or just before it’s peek.  Though the weather was overcast, I was pleased with the results.  I had forgotten how hard it is to get a correct color balance with such diverse color.  The image above from Bunches Bald Overlook, was repeatedly tweaked over a day or two. I would walk away, come back, tweak some more.  Then, I realized I was wearing my yellow tinted computer glasses, and have to start over!  (o;

Yellow Face Overlook 1
Yellow Face Overlook 1

Post processing included some dehazing and a touch of HDR to recover some dynamic range.  The trick is to accurately represent the foliage color without oversaturating.

Cowee Mountain Overlook 1
Cowee Mountain Overlook 1

My favorite stop was Graveyard Fields, near Mt Pisgah, about 45 min southwest from Asheville.  Reportedly, the area suffered a major wind storm, toppling numerous trees, and was followed by years of logging.  The remaining tree stumps, covered with moss and lichen, resembled a vast graveyard.  Later a major forest fire destroyed the tombstone stumps and sterilized the soil, which severely stunted the forest’s ability to recover.   As a result, the flat valley area has a more open, bald like character.

Graveyard Fields 1
Graveyard Fields 1

Another popular feature of Graveyard Fields is the Yellowstone Prong (river) and its upper and lower falls.  The lower falls was one the most important spots on my photography itinerary.  It’s a short, but moderately steep descent through the rhododendron to the Yellowstone Prong, and then a long staircase further down to the falls. I brought my 120mm 1.8 neutral density filter and Tamron 15mm – 30mm lens.

Graveyard Fields Lower Falls 1
Graveyard Fields Lower Falls 1

Precariously, I hopped and leaped around the rocks trying several vantage points.  I’ve determined I’m about too old to take that kind a risk again.  If I do, I will definitely take more time to navigate the rocks.  My long exposures averaged around 15 sec, f7.1, at ISO 100.

Graveyard Fields Lower Falls 2
Graveyard Fields Lower Falls 2
Graveyard Fields Lower Falls 3
Graveyard Fields Lower Falls 3

I have much more to come from my expedition, including a series from the Great Smoky Mountain State Park, Cherokee and surround areas.  Thank you for taking time to visit my blog.  For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high-resolution version.  Be safe!

Cheers,

C. S.

Arcadia Beach, Oregon in Color

This post is a follow up to my monochrome Arcadia Beach posts from late last year. I had several color candidates and finally got around to processing. Working from home during this pandemic certainly has its advantages. However, I work more hours, and seem to be less motivated to work on my photography. I hope to get back into a routine of shooting, processing, and following other’s work.

Path to Arcadia Beach
Path to Arcadia Beach
Arcadia Beach Vignette 2
Arcadia Beach Vignette 2
Arcadia Beach Seascape 6
Arcadia Beach Seascape 6
Arcadia Beach Vignette 1
Arcadia Beach Vignette 1
Arcadia Beach Seascape 5
Arcadia Beach Seascape 5

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version. Or checkout my Arcadia Beach Gallery. Everyone, please stay safe!

Cheers,

C. S.

Monochrome Monday: Ecola State Park, Oregon, pt 4

More photos from the beautiful Indian Beach at the northern end of Ecola State Park.

Indian Beach Driftwood and Rock Composition 1
Indian Beach Driftwood and Rock Composition 1
Tillamook Rock Lighthouse from Submarine Rock at Indian Beach
Tillamook Rock Lighthouse from Submarine Rock at Indian Beach
Indian Beach, Ecola State Park Seascape 7
Indian Beach, Ecola State Park Seascape 7
Indian Beach, Ecola State Park Seascape 6
Indian Beach, Ecola State Park Seascape 6

Thank you for taking time to visit my photo blog. For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version. Or see more of my Ecola State Park gallery here.

Cheers,

C. S.

Ecola State Park, Oregon, pt 3

Indian Beach is the northern of two day-use access areas with nearby parking.  From the parking area, the access trail begins with a wooden staircase leading down to a path covered by a dense Salal shrub ‘tunnel’.  The tunnel ends with access to a transitional area of smooth lava rock and Sitka spruce driftwood, adjacent to the sandy beach.

Sala Tunnel Access to Indian Beach
Salal Tunnel Access to Indian Beach
Indian Beach Salal and Driftwood Composition
Indian Beach Salal and Driftwood Composition

The broad beach landscape offers a photographer so many wonderful subjects and composition opportunities. Facing the Pacific is Indian Point to the right, and Bald Point to the left. Indian Beach is also a popular spot for surfers and paddle-boarders. My Tamron 15mm – 30mm lens was used for the majority of these compositions.

Indian Beach, Ecola State Park Seascape 5
Indian Beach, Ecola State Park Seascape 5
Indian Beach, Ecola State Park Seascape 4
Indian Beach, Ecola State Park Seascape 4

The Sitka spruce driftwood and stream composition below, was one of my favorites from my visit to Indian Beach.

Indian Beach, Ecola State Park Seascape 3 Monochrome
Indian Beach, Ecola State Park Seascape 3 Monochrome

Season’s Greetings to my WordPress colleagues around the world!

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version.

Cheers!

C. S.

Ecola State Park, Oregon, pt 2

The fresh water stream, meandering past the remains of a large Sitka spruce, on it’s way to the Pacific Ocean (and heavy overcast sky), presented an excellent opportunity for a landscape composition. I completed my workflow with an Kodak Ektachrome 100 slide film emulation with Alien Skin’s Exposure software.

Indian Beach, Ecola State Park Seascape 2
Indian Beach, Ecola State Park Seascape 2

For the best viewing experience, click on the image for a high resolution version.

Cheers,

C. S.

Monochrome Monday: Ecola State Park, pt 1

Just north of Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park was the last stop on our family exploration last August of the Oregon Coast.  We visited the northern Indian Beach section of the park, easily accessible from the parking lot.  The lush Sitka spruce forest and sandstone bluffs ascend to a vast beach area with driftwood, smooth volcanic rocks, small sea stacks and quite spectacular view of the ocean.  It was photographer paradise!

Indian Beach, Ecola State Park Seascape 1
Indian Beach, Ecola State Park Seascape 1

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version.

Cheers!

C. S.