Cloudland Canyon Overlook

Joyce and I finally got our Canyon Climbers Club cards filled in!  We drove up to Cloudland Canyon State Park and hiked the stairs down to see the two waterfalls that are major attractions for the park.  We had visited this park once before last Spring but at that time, we were not aware of the Canyon Climbers program and failed to get our cards punched.  After having done some of the parks more than once over the last 2 years, we finally got it finished.  Now we can send in for our official t-shirts – Woo hoo!

This view is from the Main Overlook located behind the Interpretive Center.  It was a bit hazy when we arrived but the view from Lookout Mountain was great.  It is really amazing to experience the beauty of the North Georgia mountains.  I’m going to have to start working on 4-seasons views of these areas to see the changes that happen.  Hopefully, we will get a chance to return in the Autumn and see what it looks like in fall colors.

More pictures to come soon.

Cloudland Canyon State Park
Rising Fawn, Georgia, USA

4-frame panorama merged in Adobe Lightroom
Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
16mm @ f/16 – 1/15 sec – ISO 125

Blue Ridge Mountain Panorama

Although it wasn’t the most beautiful weather or the best time of day for a great landscape shot but the view from Black Rock Overlook (elevation 3446 ft) is spectacular.  I decided to do a multiple image panorama to capture how expansive the scene is from this spot.

Black Rock Mountain provides great views in many different directions, it is possible to see Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina from within the park.  The peaks run through the Blue Ridge, Appalachian, and Smoky Mountain ranges.  You get a lot of variety and great scenery in this park.

Black Rock Overlook
Black Rock Mountain State Park
Mountain City, Georgia, USA

4-frame panorama merged in Adobe Lightroom
Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
16mm @ f/11 – 1/200 sec – ISO 200

Black Rock Lake

Who knew there was a lake in Black Rock Mountain State Park?  If we hadn’t happened across a Park Ranger, I don’t think we would have even heard of it.  The man-made lake, constructed in 1974, is off of Taylor’s Chapel Road which is the intersection that you get to right before the big sign for the park.

Tallulah August-6766
The turn for Taylor’s Chapel Road is right before this sign.

If you turn right at this intersection onto Taylor’s Chapel Road, you can follow the dirt road out to where the lake is.  This is really a peaceful spot which does not appear to get many visitors.  The parking lot will only take a handful of cars so, don’t plan any big events here!

From what I read, the lake is stocked with trout and you can fish here as long as you have a valid Georgia fishing license.  There is also a small waterfall which I didn’t actually get to see.  The falls are on Greasy Creek but you must have to take a trail that isn’t well marked to get to them.  I found Greasy Creek and it had some cascading water which I incorrectly though was the “falls”.  I guess we need to make another trip so I can see the real thing.

Black Rock Lake
Black Rock Mountain State Park
Mountain City, Georgia, USA

2-frame panorama merged in Adobe Lightroom
Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
16mm @ f/8 – 1/250 sec – ISO 200

Pittsburg panorama

A night-time view of the city of bridges

While on a business trip to Pittsburgh, I had to get a few images of this beautiful old city.  This one is from the riverfront at Station Square.  In the “City of Bridges” I had to get at least one bridge included.  The Pittsburgh area boasts over 400 bridges!  Having lived in another river city – New Orleans, where there is only 1 bridge this was quite a sight.

I need to go back when I have time to really appreciate this place.  It is full of neat old neighborhoods, amazing churches and fantastic architecture.  A great place to visit.

Pittsburgh Riverfront
Station Square
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
2-shot panorama
16mm @ f/3.5 – 1/3 sec – ISO 1250

Beautiful church interior

St Peter Chanel Catholic Church in Roswell, GA

So, I was busily working on post-processing wedding pictures from the event I shot yesterday when I realized there was not a post out there for today.  Being a Sunday, I thought this nice church interior I got from last week would be appropriate.

This is the interior  of St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church in Roswell, Georgia.  This is just down the road from my home parish and I was there to shoot a marriage blessing for a couple that are members of Peter Chanel.  The main sanctuary is cathedral-style and includes some beautiful stained-glass.  I thought this was a good opportunity to practice my panorama skills and I think it came out pretty well.

St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church
11330 Woodstock Road
Roswell, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
5-frame panorama – 16mm @ f/4 – 1/10 sec – ISO 400

Mountain sunset panorama

Sunset colors are sometimes more vivid after the sun goes down.

I have been busy this past week and it’s taken me a while to work through my images from last week’s trip up to Brasstown Bald.  This is a panoramic view of the what the sky looked like just after sunset from the observation deck at the peak of Brasstown Bald.

I have also posted a collection of sunset and Milky Way shots on my Facebook page if anyone wants to look these over.  It is so wonderful to view nature’s beauty from high places and since Brasstown Bald is Georgia’s highest point, the scenery doesn’t get any better.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Sunset Panorama
Observation Deck at summit of
Brasstown Bald Mountain
Towns and Union Counties, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
21mm at f/4.5 – 1/10 sec – ISO 400 (3-shots merged into panorama)

#Georgia #BrasstownBald #BlueRidge #Appalachian #mountains #sunset #southern #photography #WithMyTamron #Nikon

Watch your step

This probably is not news to anyone who is an experienced visitor to our National Parks but, these places are NOT  theme parks!  I was totally amazed to see that except for a few spots at Visitors Centers, there were no railings or other barriers keeping us off the edge of sheer cliffs and other life-threatening situations.  I saw numerous instances of tourists perched on stone walls at a canyon’s edge to take a selfie.  One wrong step and off they would have gone!  Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to scare anybody away from these gorgeous parks. I was simply speechless at how the majesty of nature is on display without being “baby-proofed”.

This was day two of our visit to the parks in Utah – Canyonlands National Park.  To give you an impression of how big this park is and how vast the canyons are, all I can do is repeat what I kept saying to my wife.  “If this ain’t the Grand Canyon, that other one must be a REALLY BIG hole!”

Canyonlands is actually divided into two pieces.  The area we visited is called “Island in the Sky” because the central part of this park is a huge plateau surrounded by canyons.  Another section of the park called “The Needles” is to the south and is about a 2 hour drive away.  Again, it’s a big park…

RMNP_May 08 2016_0825The first place we stopped, after the Visitors Center, was Shafer Canyon.  The canyon itself was quite a sight but almost as stupendous is the road that leads down to the bottom.  The winding dirt road snakes through the canyon and is well used by automobiles and bicyclist.  I can imaging riding a bike down that slope is quite an experience but, you would have to be quite the ironman to ride back up!  I didn’t see anyone trying that.

Shafer Overlook_Panorama.psdYou really have to see this place to know what I’m talking about.  The vastness is something that really can’t be described in words.  The image above, is the view from the other side of Shafer Canyon overlook.  Almost too much to take in and this was just our first stop.