From our recent cruise. The ship is Celebrity Summit, and she sailed nearly alongside us for a few hours one evening. One of the few Celebrity ships we haven’t sailed on!
Kathy & I just returned from a week in Nevis, a Caribbean island that along with St. Kitts is part of the West Indies. This was our second visit there, after thoroughly enjoying a visit there last year. It is a small, quiet and friendly island, with great people, a number of nice restaurants and plenty of scenic views.
This is photo is one of a number of blog-worthy photos that I will share as I get them processed. In the meantime I wanted to get something posted to break my drought!
This past weekend, Kathy & I paid a long-overdue visit to one of our favorite day-trip destinations, Chateau Morrisette on the Blue Ridge Parkway in southern Virginia. Those who know us well understand that most of our favorite destinations involve something to do with food and wine. Chateau Morrisette is one of the largest wineries in Virginia, and also happens to operate an award-winning, AAA Four-Diamond restaurant. Chateau Morrisette has both food and wine!
Our timing worked out that we were able to have a nice dinner, proceed to one of my favorite sunset destinations for photography, and return to the restaurant for dessert before starting the drive home. How hard is that?
The Saddle Overlook is a few miles north of the winery in an area called Rocky Knob, and is so named because the “saddle” is a low area between the two peaks of Rocky Knob. It has both easterly and westerly views, so depending on the time of day there are frequently interesting things to photograph. Most of my time there has been spent at sunset. The west view has an interesting panorama of the valley and Buffalo Mountain in the distance, but as with most sunset locations it is most interesting when conditions result in a nice sky.
When we first arrived at the parking area there were a few cars, mostly families returning from an earlier hike and a few people just hanging out in their cars. No obvious overload of photographers like some of the more popular spots in North Carolina. Not too much was happening in the sky, and with a general absence of clouds I knew that the best photographs would likely come after the sun had set.
The parking lot has a really nice view, so it is possible to just sit in the car and watch the sun go down. And I could have simply set my camera up in front of the car so I didn’t have to go far. But preferring to work alone and having been at this place before, I have a favorite spot down the hill and off to the side so I can get out of the way of the “tourists” and generally avoid the chatter that inevitably happens when the “drive-by cell phone photographers” start filtering in right at sunset.
Things happened pretty much as expected, and as soon as the ball of the sun sunk below the horizon, the engines started firing up, car doors slammed and in 5 minutes the place was practically deserted. Figuring that it was probably safe to retreat to a spot closer to the car before it was too dark to see, I gathered my gear and headed back up the hill toward the car to complete my evening’s work. I set up my tripod again and framed up a few more shots.
Pretty soon I hear a couple of guys behind me that were looking at the image on my LCD and commenting on the great color I was getting. One guy walked over and started asking me questions and repeated his comment about the nice color I was getting, and I explained that even though it was dark, there was a lot of color in the sky until well after the sun goes down, but that most people miss it because the best color often happens after most people have packed up and left. That they think the sun crossing the horizon is the “main event.” He seemed surprised to hear that but agreed that based on what he saw on my screen it must be true. Seeing is believing! With that, his buddy announced that it was time to go, and he ambled off with a “nice talking to you” and was gone.
I never mind chatting photography with an interested observer. I probably didn’t make a convert, but hopefully I spread a little knowledge. It interests me though the most people just don’t take the time to look, or to think about the things that we photography nuts take for granted.
I was getting tired of my desktop wallpaper and decided it was time for something new. But then I had two photos I really liked and couldn’t decide. So guess what? Two for the price of one! 🙂
Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!
It’s been a little while since I posted, and I am working on getting caught up from a week at the beach. This is a photo from our visit to Hilton Head in February, and I’ll have some current photos from our most recent adventure real soon!
We’re getting ready for a return to Hilton Head in a few weeks, so for some inspiration I decided to work on some of the files from our last visit in February. These are a few more of the “blurry” photos that always seem so popular.
Unless I get really motivated, it’s unlikely that I’ll do much of this type of shooting in late May, especially in the mornings. Sunrise is a relatively inhospitable 6:19am, which means I would need to be up and on the beach by 5:15am. And that is made unlikely by a sunset time of 8:20pm that tends to interfere with cocktail time and usually makes for a late dinner. I am on vacation, after all! 😉
We’ve been home a week now, but Kathy & I recently spent a week on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. It’s one of our favorite getaway destinations any time of year. It was a little early in the season and we knew we ran the risk of cold weather, but we needed to get away. So we went, it was nice and now we’re counting down to the next adventure. In the meantime, there are photos!
The beach is one of the few places that calls my name so irresistibly that I have no problem hauling myself out of bed before sunrise. Because I don’t have to get in the car and drive anywhere, I can stumble out of the bed, dress, grab my gear and be out to the beach in about 15 minutes.
One of my favorite things is taking advantage of the low light and great color to make motion blur photos. They have become a bit of a “signature” for me, and interestingly the motion blur abstracts are the photos that have sold best recently.
This is a mix of a few blurry and sharp photos from our week at the beach. I’ve got a lot more work to do but was overdue for a post, so here it is!