Sunset from Waterrock Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC
This month’s photo was my second choice for last month’s wallpaper, and I liked it so much I decided to run it for May. Plus there is an added bonus of getting to tease my friend Kevin W. who made the mistake of telling me that he was homesick for the NC mountains and that my photos made him more so. Come on back, Kevin!
Amazingly, this photo was taken just 4 1/2 minutes after the photo I used for last month’s calendar. Looking west from Waterrock Knob, out over Cherokee and the Oconoluftee River toward the crest of the Smokies, this is one of my favorite views. Not as famous (or as crowded) as some other sunset spots, I like it because I can practically shoot out of my car, and there are facilities nearby!
In the months and years after I took this photo, the view started to get overgrown with trees and brush. Until the Park Service recently cleared some of the overgrowth, it had gotten to the point that there were very few vantage points for a good sunset view. I’ve been back a few times recently, but the conditions haven’t been cooperative. But it’s a place I return to often, and one day I’ll get my next Waterrock Knob sunset. Maybe soon!
I know I’ve been a little quiet lately, but I’ve got some non-photographic backlog to get through and I’ll be back. That’s a promise!
Sunset from Waterrock Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC
Well, that was sure fast! Last I remember I was posting the March wallpaper.
For this month’s calendar I’ve gone way back into the archives. This photograph was taken in May, 2005 at Waterrock Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Waynesville, NC. This is one of the first photos I made with my then-new Canon 20D. In fact, this was frame number 194 on that camera. Considering that I turned that camera over at least twice, shooting well over 20,000 files, this was truly in the very early stages of my digital era. The file was in pretty good shape, but had not been updated to the latest process version in Lightroom. I made the conversion, which improved noise reduction and sharpening primarily, tweaked the contrast and color just a bit, and here it is.
Things are cranking here at the House of Dills. We’ve got some interesting projects going on, some of them photographic, some not. But April promised to be exciting, so stay tuned as things develop!
Spring dogwood in Salisbury, North Carolina
Spring is a great time of year here in the Carolinas. While we have seen the occasional snow storm, March is usually when spring comes roaring in, splashing with both feet to put an end to winter.
This photo, taken last March just down the road in Salisbury, NC exemplifies spring for me. Crystal clear blue sky, te beautiful dogwood blooms and the joy that spring has not forgotten us.
I’ve been laying a little low lately. Kathy & I have a few irons in the fire, so to speak, that have kept me away from the computer more than usual. It’s all good though, not to worry. But stay tuned, I haven’t gone far.
Sunset over the Bahamas aboard Celebrity Equinox sailing toward Fort Lauderdale
I’m a few hours early, but here is my wallpaper for February. I generally shy away from sunrises and sunsets for my wallpaper, but this one looked pretty nice and I thought it was a photo someone wouldn’t mind looking at for a month, so here it is.
This photo was taken on the last night of our recent cruise. The land is one (or more – it’s hard to tell) of the Bahamas islands. I don’t often get to include land in the foreground when we’re on a ship, and while it doesn’t add a lot it is an extra element of interest. Great sunbeams and color make this a special sunset.
Here in the south we’ve survived our 72 hours of “winter” and will be soon looking forward to spring flowers and buds on the trees. For those of you in the colder climes – sorry! I hope everyone has a wonderful February, wherever you might be!
Joy of Christmas light show at Firestone Park, Columbiana, OH
Our Thanksgiving visit to Ohio and Pennsylvania, despite not being a “photography trip” per se, resulted in a number of decent photographs, one of which I liked well enough to use for this month’s calendar. I like to keep with the holiday theme for December whenever possible, and I’m usually able to come up with something.
Firestone Park, named for Harvey Firestone (the tire guy), is located in Columbiana, OH. Kathy & I lived here before migrating south to North Carolina. And a late November visit reminded us why we moved!
Firestone Park has an annual “Joy of Christmas” light festival, and we had a chance to pay a visit one evening while we were there. I didn’t take a tripod with me, figuring I wouldn’t do a lot of photography, but who can resist Christmas lights? And with ISO 6400 or higher, who needs a tripod, even at night?
I hope everyone has an exceptional December and a warm and joyous Christmas holiday season!
Sunset from Currituck Heritage Park near Corolla, North Carolina
Here in North Carolina, we typically still have a lot of fall left in November. Especially in the lower elevations, there is often a decent amount of color around until Thanksgiving. Time will tell what the impact of the late-October storm will have on the fall for this year.
This month’s photo returns to the scene of the September calendar – Currituck Heritage Park in Corolla, North Carolina. In fact, this photo was taken about 35 minutes before the photo of the Whalehead Club that I used for the calendar just a few months ago. While it was still very warm when I took this photo, the colors are more fall-like. Winter is on the way though!
Morning light and fall color with an early snow fall from the Deep Creek Valley Overlook in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Last fall we were treated to a relatively rare (for me, at least!) mix of fall color and snow. We had driven up to Clingman’s Dome in the Smokies for sunrise, only to be chased back down by gale-force winds and blowing snow. The morning light a few hundred feet below proved to be a good consolation.
October is definitely my favorite time of the year here in North Carolina. We have a number of interesting adventures planned, including a long-overdue visit to Florida (not for fall color) so stay tuned for updates on our travels. Whether you manage to see snow or not, I sincerely hope that your October is a wonderful one!
The Whalehead Club at Currituck Heritage Park near Corolla, North Carolina
I set this up to auto-post on 9/1 and hopefully it will work!
This is one of my favorite photographs from a visit to the northern Outer Banks back in 2009, and I thought it might make a nice intro to fall. The nice clear sky hints at the return of autumn while retaining just a hint of summer’s warmth. I had walked around this building earlier in the day and loved the windows. The possibility of a reflection of the sunset in those windows at dusk were what brought me back.
The building is known as The Whalehead Club and is located at Currituck Heritage Park near Corolla, North Carolina. It is the restored private residence of northern industrialist and conservationist, Edward C. Knight Jr. and now houses the Whalehead Club Historic House Museum.
Moon Over Price Lake at Sunrise, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC
Well, how did that happen? We just finished June and already July is over! Of course that means we are edging toward Fall, and an end to Summer’s heat is just around the corner.
Price Lake is a hit-or-miss spot for me photographically. A decent photograph here generally depends on getting something interesting to reflect in the water. Sometimes it is fall color, sometimes you can catch some good clouds at sunrise or sunset. Such was this case on an August morning back in 2005. One morning prior to attending the annual Camera Clinic at Grandfather Mountain, I was up to shoot the sunrise and shortly after the sun came up I ventured down to the lake to see what was happening. It’s a little hard to see in this photo, but a nearly full moon was playing hide-and-seek in the clouds. I got a few shots with the moon in the clear, and a few with it partly or mostly obscured.
This photo was taken with my Canon 20D and 17-40 lens. It was originally processed using Photoshop Elements, then reprocessed using each of the prior versions of Lightroom. For this calendar I converted the file to Process Version 2012 and updated my settings one more time. It’s amazing what newer software can do with photos that were taken with cameras that are now sitting in storage.
Large and In Charge
Sorry, but I’m having so much fun going through my Alaska photos that I’m going to stick with that theme for this month’s wallpaper calendar. I got a number of good shots in Glacier Bay, so stay tuned to an upcoming post with more photos. This one sort of best fits my criteria for wallpaper, so hopefully it’s a photo you don’t mind looking at for a month or so while summer here gets geared up!
It’s hard to imagine as I sit here with the temperature outside hovering around 90 that I was standing on the deck of a cruise ship in boots, wool socks, long underwear, a hat and gloves! I tried to bring some of that cold home with me but I think it slipped out of my bag in San Francisco.
I hope everyone has a splendid June. We’ve got a few birthdays in the family in June, so special wishes to those-who-know-who-they-are!