Day Trip to Grandfather Mountain

Day Trip to Grandfather Mountain

One of my favorite places to visit for a day trip when I have company is Grandfather Mountain.  Grandfather Mountain is located in Linville, NC.  If you plan to stay overnight, you can choose from places in Linville, Pineola, Boone, and Blowing Rock.  Each of these locations are within a half hour drive to Grandfather Mountain.

I am so fortunate that Grandfather Mountain is a two hour drive from my home.  This makes the trip one that can be made

Welcoming the Holidays at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

My holiday season began Wednesday morning at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.  My mother first introduced me to this wonderful garden years ago.  Thanks to her, I have been a member ever since.

I have spent hours upon hours at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.  I took my first photography courses there from my wonderful first teacher, Dave Kelly.  There is something to see and to photograph in every season at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.

Wednesday was my first day off of work for the Thanksgiving break.  I made my way, first thing,

Finding Art During Fake Thanksgiving

Finding Art During Fake Thanksgiving

For the past ten years, my husband’s best friend, Diane,  has invited us to a pre Thanksgiving celebration at her house.  We have come to affectionately refer to it as Fake Thanksgiving.  Fake Thanksgiving is exactly like real Thanksgiving except

Roaming at Roan

Roaming at Roan

Just After Sunrise

One of my favorite places to roam and to photograph is on Roan Mountain.   Roan mountain is located on the state line of Tennesee and North Carolina.  A wonderful panoramic map of the Highlands of Roan can be found here:  This map was created by Polaris Cartography.

Whenever we go to hike or photograph on Roan Mountain, we enter Roan Mountain State Park.  From there, we head to

New Addition at Sugar Mountain Resort

New Addition at Sugar Mountain Resort

Saturday was an exciting day to visit Sugar Mountain Resort.  My husband and I spent the weekend with our friends, Lorraine and Jack, in the Sugar Mountain area.

Ski People 4 for blog



















Saturday morning, Sugar Mountain Resort had the Summit Express’ Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.  The Summit Express is a new, six passenger chair lift at Sugar Mountain.   The ceremony began at 10:00 a.m.

A crowd gathered before 10:00 to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony.  The events started inside the lodge.  The actual ribbon cutting took place ourside by the new lift.


North Carolina’s Governor, Pat McCrory, cut the ribbon.  After cutting the ribbon, he

Reflections of Elk River Falls

Reflections of Elk River Falls

This weekend, I revisited Elk River Falls with my husband and some friends.  The waterfall is impressive and a short walk from the car.   We had finished a day filled with hiking and decided to take the short walk to show our friends this waterfall to conclude our day.

On the way to the waterfall, my eye

Safe Opportunities

Safe Opportunities

As primarily a nature photographer, I enjoy being outdoors photographing.  Often the things I want to photograph require me to travel at odd hours of the day or night, hike to get to my subject matter, and be in isolated locations.

While this may seem ideal to many, for a female photographer, it can be less than optimal.

I would like to start by sharing a story.  One day, I saw an area of gorgeous wildflowers that were blooming along an off ramp on a busy stretch of highway.  The flowers stretched the entire way up this off ramp.  I had just gotten into “the zone” (happy place of creating with my camera) when another car pulled off not far from my vehicle.  At first, I didn’t think much of it.  A man got out of the vehicle and started making his way towards

Shooting and Processing Antiques


I always enjoy shooting at Cline’s Antiques, which is located in Mt. Pleasant, NC.

Saturday, Mr. Cline, graciously allowed the Charlotte Camera Club, which I am a member, to spend time photographing at Cline’s Antiques.  This is a photographer’s paradise.  There is something creative to photograph at every turn.  There are items to photograph both outside and inside at Cline’s Antiques.  Many of these items are organized into groups.

For example, the photograph above shows some of the hands that can be found at Cline’s Antiques.  I noticed the leaves hanging above the hands.  I thought it would be a nice composition to have the hands reaching for the leaves above.

Another image I created using horses made of metal.  They were aligned in a neat row.  I created the image below by first changing the arrangement of the horses a bit.  Once I captured the image, I processed it first in Lightroom.  In Lightroom, I made basic adjustments and added a vignette to darken the corners of the image.   I then took the image into NIK’s SilverEfex  and applied a Sepia Tone.


I enjoyed using Topaz Impressions on a couple of the images I captured Saturday morning.  Here are the results of using images created and applying Topaz Impressions to get the effect I desired.

Clines Bird houses painting for fb

Pastel Parasol


For the birdhouse image, I applied the filter to the entire image.  The umbrella image is made with two images.  I blended a straight image of the umbrella with one with the filter applied.  I wanted to wood of the umbrella to show without the filter applied.  After layering both images in Photoshop, I used the eraser tool to remove the parts I wanted to remove which allowed the parts I wanted to show to come through.

When you are given a wonderful opportunity to explore a wonderful place such as Cline’s Antiques, capture images which you can then give new life to using your processing programs and plugins.


Same Place, Different Images

Same Place, Different Images


A Walk in Fall

I just returned from a fantastic weekend shooting with one of my teachers, Les Saucier (Master in the Arcanum), and fellow members of the Arcanum.  We had a Photowalk that had a home base of Brevard, NC.  Much of our time was spent on and near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Fall colors can be found on the Blue Ridge Parkway, in different locations, for several weeks.  There are reports which tell you where to find the best colors on the dates you will be travelling to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

This weekend, we found some places were past peak and a few at peak.  Regardless of the stages of the colors, a great time was had by all.  It is amazing what you can learn shooting alongside fellow photographers.  I am always amazed at the different images that are seen by different participants from the same exact spots.

Since I knew we would all be shooting the same things, I wanted to try to find something really different while on the Photowalk.  I knew one of the locations we would be visiting.  I thought I would pack my underwater camera and see what I could see with the underwater camera.

I did use my “big girl camera” to get most of the things I shot during the weekend.  For instance, the shot above was taken with my Nikon D800.

But, when the group went to a stream to photograph the cascades and fall leaves, I decided to try something different.  I placed my Canon G11 in its underwater housing.  The G11 is a camera I keep with me at all times.  I bought the housing for it several years ago so I could take pictures while on vacation.

I wasn’t quite sure what I would come up with using the camera underwater in the streams.  First, I tried to take a picture with the camera half in and half out of the water.  This was unsuccessful as the sky was much too bright to create a pleasing image.   I was also working with a fixed shutter speed and no tripod.  Slowing down and blurring the water was not going to work, either.

I began just taking pictures completely under the water.  I took pictures of the rocks on the bottom of the water.  It took pictures of the tree roots underwater lining the banks.  After a while, I began to try to capture the leaves as they travelled downstream.

About an hour or so after beginning this experiment, I left the stream, cold and tired, but hopeful.  I wasn’t sure if I had captured something fun, but I was hopeful that with the amount of shots I took, I would have at least one keeper.

I ended up with two shots I would like to share with you.  I like one image much more than the other.  Can you guess which is my favorite?   Which is your favourite?

underwater 2 for blog


underwater 1sc for blog

So, the next time you are out with a group of photographers sharing the same location, find a way to make creative images that will not resemble any one else’s who was shooting at the same location.