forest

Getting the Image

Living Country

Living Country

Photographers are always looking for great images. It is what we do. We look for compositions, lighting, angles, and other elements that could make a great image. In the past, I have had jobs that required me to travel. I am not a big fan of traveling unless it is for pleasure like a great photo shoot. On one business trip a few years ago I traveled to a another part of my state and I and my trip back and forth between home and my assignment required me to drive. I really don’t have a problem with driving because it gives me an opportunity to explore new locations and of course, photo shoot opportunities.  

On one of my trips I passed by a location that really caught my eye. The location featured a pasture and farmland off of the main highway. Those that know me know I love to take photos of old historic locations that represent a part of the past. My job required me to travel pass by a beautiful county side location for about 5 days. Each morning and each evening I told myself I have to get the shot before my assignment was up. I really had no reason not too, but each day I put off stopping to get the shot. Each day was a nice day for the photo but not a great day. The skies were clear, cloudless, and blown out. However, on my last day, I told myself, no matter what the conditions I will stop and get the image.

On the last day, the conditions were completely different from the other four days. On the last day and my last opportunity to get shot, the weather began to become rainy, stormy and a low-level fog blanketed the county side. Most people would think that the conditions were too bad to get the shot. Of course, I did not. I felt the conditions for the shot provided the mood I was looking for the the image. The mood was perfect.

I learned a valuable lesson about putting off getting a shot. I learned to never think I could always get the shot anytime and get the results I want. Sometimes it is better to be patient and wait for the right conditions to get the right shot. I also know that sometimes there may never be a good shot. I was lucky to photograph the image that I call “Living Country”. Those that grew up in the country understand what this image means and it creates a warm feeling for them. I love to hear stories of how others grew up in a place just like the one I photographed. When others tell me how the image touched their hearts, I know I got the right image. A great image should move people, regardless if it is the viewer of the photographer. My advice is, never pass up a great opportunity to get a great shot and never take for granted the image will always be there. 

Until next time, keep shooting! 

Roger Younce  

Misty Moring at the Craggy Gardens

As a photographer it is always nice to have some type of plan when you visit a location. However, not all adventures go the way one plans. In some cases, a photo shoot can turn out to be a waste of time and no nice images are taken or the ones that are taken are terrible. But, there are those times when what one would consider a bad location can offer some amazing results even though the plan falls apart. Take for example, my recent trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, near Asheville.

My wife and I decided to get up early on the last day of our four day stay in Asheville NC and stop by a location that I had never been to before, Craggy Gardens. My objective was to photograph some flowers located on the top of the mountain at the Craggy Gardens and take a few images of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains mountain range. At the start of my trip it looked like the weather was going to be perfect. As we traveled North on the Blue Ridge Parkway the weather looked great with partly cloudy skies. There were some beautiful low line clouds over on the tops of some of the lower mountains. As we headed North the weather begin to change. The clouds and winds started to become an issue as we got closer to the mountain where the Craggy Garden was located. I began to think the trip was going to be a total waste of time. Visibility was terrible.

When I arrived at the Craggy Garden Visitor Center I was hoping to get some information on the best places to photograph the well known flowers in the area. The problem was the visitor center did not open until 10 am. We arrive at 9 am. As my wife and I sat in the car the weather seemed to be getting worse. The mist and the winds began to pick up and visibility was pretty bad. I could see about 20 yards in front of me. I wanted to venture out to see if I could find any trails that might lead me to the Craggy Garden overlook even though I knew I would not be able to get an image of the area and mountain range because of the poor weather conditions. As I ventured out to explore the area I found a trail that looked interesting and I wanted to find out where it led.

Before entering the trail head and the forest I was aware that I did not bring my camera. My plan was just explore the area in case I wanted to come back and revisit the area when the weather was better. I felt that there was no way I would be able to find anything interesting to photograph. I entered the trail with really no real expectations. As I entered the trail head I realized that the further I hiked the more interesting the location became and how the mist and clouds began to offer some interesting views of the location. The location became misty and moody and I became more excited about the location even though I forgot all about the flowers I intended to photograph. The more I explored the trail the more I knew I had found something special.

As I continued my hike I realized I had to return to my car and get my camera and return back in to locations and get as many images as I could before the scenery changed. I am so glad I did. When I returned to the trail I was so lucky to be the only one on the trail. I had the whole misty and moody location to myself. Below are two of my favorite images from my visit to Craggy Gardens. 

The Misty Craggy Garden

The Misty Craggy Garden

Into the Craggy Garden

Into the Craggy Garden

The moral of my story is never give up when you think you have nothing to photograph at a location. There is always something to photograph. If one is lucky, any unplanned or accidental adventure may provide a great image or two. I am so glad we took our trip to Craggy Gardens, It was windy and cloudy, and the weather did not cooperate but that is what made the adventure so cool. For me, the weather was perfect. 

Until next time. 

Roger 

Note: Both images are available for purchase as a metallic paper or metal print  at "The Store".