Posts filed under ‘Photography’

Behind Michael Nichols’ Redwood Pictures

The October 2009 Issue of National Geographic featured “The Tallest Trees” with wonderful Redwood photographs by Michael “Nick” Nichols. Yan view a slide show of the photographs (and order prints just in time for the holidays!) here.

One of the most dramatic images is actually a mosaic of 84 photographs meticulously stitched together to capture a 1500 year old, 300 foot tree in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. It wasn’t a simple venture. In a thick forest, you can’t just back up until everything is in frame. Nichols worked with a team of photographers and scientists and ultimately they rigged up a dollies to get the photographs. You can view the final image online here or in person at Annenberg Space for Photography in the Extreme Exposure exhibit.

I write about this now because earlier this week, the photographer posted a behind the scenes account of the process on The Huffington Post. A couple of names familiar to me from The Wild Trees make appearances. You can also see snippets of their process in the following video from National Geographic. Enjoy!

December 2, 2010 at 5:00 am 3 comments

Old Rag – Favorite Shots

A number of months ago, my camera was disemboweled by a faulty memory card. Really. A loose piece of the memory card snagged on part of the camera and pulled it out.

I finally went ahead and procured myself a new camera (A Rebel EOS T1i). Two days later, the camera was on its very first hike! It felt so good to be empowered to take pictures again! Here are a few of my favorite shots from the outing.

Old Rag - Somma Takes in View
Ryan Enjoys View

Old Rag - Relaxing
Hiker Relaxing on Ridge Trail

Old Rag - Curvy Trunk, Holey Trunk
Curvy Tree, Holey Tree

Old Rag - Backlit American Chestnut Leaves
American Chestnut Leaves!

Old Rag 2010 - Moss and Log
Mossy Log

Old Rag - Two Ryans Near the Top
Two Ryans Near Top

Old Rag - Lichen Rock
Lichen on Rock

More pictures of our Old Rag Hike:

My pictures on Flickr
Ryan Somma’s pictures on Flickr

June 9, 2010 at 5:00 am 3 comments

Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition Winners – 2010

Copyright “Leave Only Footprints” by Dale King
Winner Blue Ridge Parkway Vistas category.
Courtesy ASU Outdoor Programs

I didn’t enter any photos in this year’s Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition, but that doesn’t stop me at gawking at all the amazing photos in this year’s collection! You can see all the winners and finalists here.

As for me– I think my favorite is “The Lost Table” by Dale King. It’s a lovely depiction of nature taking over! : )

March 31, 2010 at 9:10 am Leave a comment

The Hubble Telescope and my Underwear

When the Hubble Telescope was first launched by NASA, it infamously had a bad mirror. It produced nothing but blurry images and the project became a national joke. But three and a half years later, the telescope was repaired and since then has produced 570,000 images, crisp images, capturing the beauty of wonder of space.

Before and After Hubble Repair (Hat Tip, Ryan Somma)

A few weeks ago at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens I got caught in a rain storm. Sadly, my camera got a few droplets on its lens. Wiping it with my soaked shirt just made it worse– and putting the lens cap complicated the matter even more, adding fog into the mix. All my pictures were coming out blurry. Like NASA, I had to make some corrections. And like NASA, I had some complications. Their telescope was 350 miles above Earth. And me– every garment I had was wet from the storm.

Except one.

Insulated by denim, my underwear was dry.

And like the Hubble Telescope, once attended to, my camera, started to produce crisp images. Luckily, my operation was a lot less expensive than NASA’s. : )

Norfolk Botanical Gardens - Before Cleaning Lense with Underwear (Cropped)
Before Cleaning with my Underwear

Norfolk Botanical Gardens - After Cleaning Lense with Underwear (Cropped)
After Cleaning with my Underwear

In case you are skeptical of my claim, Ryan Somma did catch a “Behind the Scenes” moment of my blog.

May 21, 2009 at 11:42 am 13 comments

Firefly Photography by Terry Priest

Today, the Museum of Science in Boston is hosting a Firefly Day (Hat Tip DNLee). The event kicks off another year of the Firefly Watch Citizen Science Project. A number of lectures on the insect can be attended and throughout the day a firefly slideshow will air on the Lower Level. The slideshow, I’m told, will feature the work of photographer Terry Priest.

Firefly and a Cat (Photograph courtesy of Terry Priest)

Terry stumbled upon firefly photography. One evening it was getting too dark to take pictures when he noticed the flickering of the fireflies. He decided to give it a shot…literally. Through trial and error he has fine tuned his technique. The results are absolutely stunning. I’ve been looking at and chasing fireflies practically my entire walking career. And yet, Terry’s pictures reveal intricacies about their bodies and their flight patterns I never would have noticed.

All of the following photographs are courtesy of Terry Priest and I highly recommend clicking to view the larger versions on Flickr.

Interested in trying your hand at firefly photography? Terry has compiled a “Photographing the Common Eastern (USA) Firefly” guide. Believe it or not, you don’t have to invest in special equipment. Some of Terry’s pictures were taken with a camera that retails today for less than $200!

More photos by Terry Priest can be found on his Flickr site and his personal website. He’s also created a Flickr group dedicated solely to lightning bugs photos.

With all those resources, there’s no excuse. Now your only option is to have a Happy Firefly Day! : )

April 11, 2009 at 12:50 am 1 comment

Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition: Voting

On Friday, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Boone, North Carolina started its exhibition of the 47 finalists from the Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition. The photographs are from 37 different photographers, including myself and D L Ennis, and will be on display at the Turchin Center through June 6th, 2009.

If you can’t make it down to Boone, North Carolina, you can see the finalists and participate in the “People’s Choice Award” by going to

I will warn you that voting is not an especially easy process. First, you have to register with their site (Full name, email address, how did you hear about us). Next you will receive an email with a link to confirm your email address. Then you can see all the pictures.

At this point, when you think you are almost done, the real challenge begins. You only get three votes. I can’t even decide on three favorites in the “BRP Share the Journey: Dogs” category and there are only five finalists! I don’t know how I’m going to choose three over the entire set.

One thing is for sure– the photos are beautiful and inspiring. They represent the Appalachian Mountains well.

March 8, 2009 at 8:40 pm Leave a comment

Weekly Winners – February 22, 2009 – February 28, 2009

This week’s set also comes from Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Though I did throw in a shot from Siam Classic in Manassas, Virginia particularly for Christina over at An American Expat in Deutschland. It’s safe to say she knows the proprietor. 🙂

Elizabeth City - Cedar Tree and Tombstones on Shepard Street (B&W)
Tree and Tombstones on Shepard Street. Elizabeth City, NC

Siam Classic - Salmon
Salmon Classic at Siam Classic. Manassas, VA

Elizabeth City - Dual Monitors, Dual Cats
Dual Monitors, Dual Sleeping Cats. Elizabeth City, NC

Elizabeth City - Couple Feeding Seagulls (Cropped)
Couple Feeds Seagulls. Elizabeth City, NC

Elizabeth City - Holly in Crevice
Holly Tree Finds a Home. Elizabeth City, NC

Elizabeth City - Duck
Duck Looks at Water. Elizabeth City, NC

And for those of you who commented on the tattoo from last week. Here’s a glimpse of the finished product:

Elizabeth City - Finished Sun Wu Kong
Ryan’s Shaded Sun Wu Kong. Elizabeth City, NC

More photos from this past week are up on my Flickr site. Be sure to check out more of this week’s Weekly Winners out at Sarcastic Mom!

March 1, 2009 at 8:13 pm 4 comments

Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition: D L Ennis is In!

It turns out I have a blog buddy with me in the Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition! D L Ennis of Visual Thoughts (I highlighted that blog a couple months ago along with Behind These Eyes in my Brillante Weblog Awards) got his photo, “The Morning After“, selected as a finalist in the Blue Ridge Parkway Vistas category:

The Morning After (Photo by D L Ennis)

Congrats, D L and what a wonderful shot!

February 4, 2009 at 8:00 am 1 comment

Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition: I’m In!

I heard last Friday– I got a photo selected for exhibition in the Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition!  A shot of Paul, PassionPhish and Bill is going to be included in the Adventure Category.

Campsite - Paul, Thomas, Bill
Supper on Mount Rogers

The photograph will be on display with the other finalists in all the categories at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Boone, North Carolina from March 6th – June 6th.  The judges will review the matted and framed work and pick the final winners.

There will also be a People’s Choice Award running from March 6th – March 27th.  Voting will take place at the Turchin Center as well as online.

I’ll certainly keep you posted. In the meantime– I’m thrilled 🙂

February 2, 2009 at 8:00 am 7 comments

Weekly Winners – January 25th – January 31st

This week’s Weekly Winners come from two different states – Virginia and North Carolina.  Early in the week, I was in Southwest Virginia.  Although it was a business trip, I did find enough time to sneak out and see a frozen waterfall in Blacksburg, Virginia and take a walk on the History Trail at Appomattox Court House National Park.

Once back home in North Carolina, Ryan and I did take the dogs out to explore the Pasquotank River Shoreline in Camden County.  Oddly enough, we found another decaying car!


Falls Ridge - Closeup of Ice
Frozen Falls Ridge in Blacksburg, Virginia

Appomattox - Nature Trail
The History Trail in Appomattox, Virginia

Appomattox - Jimmie in Leaves
Jimmie enjoys the smells in Appomattox, Virginia

Camden County Jeep Trail - Crab Basket and Shadow
Old crab basket on the Pasquotank River in Camden, North Carolina

Camden - Grass Silhouettes in Pasquotank River
Silhouettes on the Pasquotank River in Camden, North Carolina

Camden - Jimmie Wades in River
Jimmie wades in the Pasquotank River in Camden, North Carolina

 Camden County Jeep Trail - Car Fossil - Front of Mail Truck
An old mail truck is abandoned in the woods in Camden, North Carolina

More pictures of Frozen Falls Ridge, the History Trail in Appomattox, the Camden Shoreline and the Camden County Jeep Trail can be found on my Flickr site.

And be sure to check out more Weekly Winner’s at SarcasticMom!

February 1, 2009 at 12:29 pm 10 comments

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