This traveler has taken me to the highest mountain tops, and to the lowest deserts…together facing challenges and victories of all shapes and sizes.
The last two years with her have brought such amazing growth and happiness to my life…words can’t express it..
..Happy Birthday, to my partner in all our adventures!! Tara Smith
The moon has been rising just as the sun sets the last week or so, and each night has been brighter than the next. I’ve been watching the radar for a decently clear night the past few evenings, and last night the moon seemed to be shinning extra bright.
I drove up to Coopers Rock a couple hours after sunset to see if I could capture some of the remaining fall foliage. I brought my bike, thinking that I’d have to peddle out to the overlook from the first gate, but I guess with the addition of the new gate by the overlook they appear to only lock that one (while the park is still in season). So, it was a very short hike from the last gate to the overlook…which is kind of lack luster toward the adventure side of things, but ease of access is nice sometimes (especially when you have to work in the morning).
The first thing I noticed upon arriving, the lack of people, obviously. But, I find it funny how during the day throngs of people come to Coopers Rock, especially during the beautiful autumn days, but the nights seem totally forgotten. Save for a select few…there were a group of trail runners just starting out as I pulled in…a perfect night for a run! Once the sun goes down, the majority of people seem to be done playing outside. Sometimes we need a reminder that the outdoors at night has many beautiful things hidden…things that can’t be seen in the light of day.
With camera and tripod in tow, I biked the few hundred yards to the overlook. The mountain air was warmer than I thought it would be, but there was a cool breeze blowing in. The moonlight was so bright that a head lamp wasn’t needed to find my way.
I only took a few pictures, as the gusting air caused too much movement in the tree tops for me to be completely satisfied with my shots. One of the things about shooting at night is that I use longer shutter speeds to capture the available light…anywhere from 4 seconds to 30 seconds…but the moving tree tops created some neat effects in some of the images.
Tonight, October 27th, will be a full moon. So, if this cloud cover goes away I highly suggest getting outside wherever you’re at and enjoy the October Sky!
Also, with Halloween a few days away, the moonlight will still be very bright…so perhaps a night hike under the moon out at Coopers might be just the right amount of spookiness and prettiness…just a thought…
And, just for some contrast, here’s a photo of the same location under a winter’s full moon from earlier this week.
Pretty stoked that two of my pieces will be in the The West Virginia Division of Culture and History‘s 2016 Juried Exhibition.
– Located at the Tamarack in Beckley, WV.
-In the sub-zero air, my friends (Dennis Lees & Anna Withrow) and I skied out to the overlook at Coopers Rocks, WV. What I captured was a strange phenomenon, known as Light Pillars. Captured on 2/20/15
Moonlight and Stars trails over Jenkinsburge Bridge
-Star Trails above Jenkinsburg Bridge. I shot 450 consecutive photos through the night, and combined them in Photoshop to form this composite image. The hills and bridge are lit by the moonlight of that night. Captured on 4/29/15
The opening Reception will be on November 8, 2015 – starting at 4 p.m.
The exhibition will run from November 8, 2015 to February 21, in case you can’t make it for the opening.
Within the world of outdoor adventure there are many subsets of interests, each with their own rabbit hole of fascination and intrigue. This video is found at the bottom of one of these rabbit holes…
In the subset of water sports, there is whitewater boating. Within the whitewater boaters we have another subset—kayakers. And, of those gnarly bunch we have another subset who label themselves squirt boaters.
In squirt boating, paddlers with neither paddle nor PFD ride currents underwater in sleek crafts designed in part to sink and ride the subsurface flows.
This is my first video I’ve ever made using video files… normally i stick to photos, and my videos have been time-lapses comprised of hundreds or thousands of photos.
I had been trying to capture photos of them in the turbulence, but when I asked Jim what type of media squirt boaters prefer… he replied video! So, I swtiched the GoPro to video for the first time and had at it.
Like the photo below, I would dive down into the flow, but instead of letting it take me, I’d latch on to a rock with my free hand, gopro in the other. Fortunately, I can hold my breath for well over a minute.
The real fun was after Jim and Jesse would paddle past my position, I’d launch off after them into the torrent.
I found out this week that one of my photos was published in National Geographic Magazine. …life goal, check!
Side bar, I was just reading one of the most terrifying and compelling stories I’ve come across this year.
It’s about Jimmy Chin’s skiing accident in 2011 “Surviving an Avalanche – ‘There is Clarity I Need to Remember…’ …it’s a must read!
A big thanks to my friends for being apart of this experience, and making this moment happen!
(in the photo: Zack Nagel, Shandra Campbell, Nicole Pruno, and Evan Knight)
Thank you Jimmy, for the kind words and inclusion in your and Mary Anne’s article!
Also, a big thanks to National Geographic’s Your Shot photo forum!
The inspiration and feedback I get from amazing photographers around the would make this a very powerful online photo community.
Check it out and start contributing your own creative view of the world!
I’m finally getting around to posting photos from the Cheat River Fest. .. took long enough, right..
This has been an enlightening spring thus far,
capturing the river, race, festival, and friends from new angles has brought about great changes in my life.
…and here are a few of my favorite moments… enjoy!
Exploring the River
The Mass Start Down River Race