Forest Carpet

I took this a couple of weeks ago on a walk through the forest. Autumn came late this year, and only about half the trees had changed colors.

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Forest Carpet
The forest floor on an autumn day in Annapolis, MD – click on image to see full resolution

It’s pretty cool how the forest floor is carpeted with leaves while the afternoon sun shines through the trees. It was an amazing walk, and I was so happy to be in Maryland, which has all kinds of forest trails like this.

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To get this photo, I held the camera close to the forest floor and used a small aperture; that way, both the foreground and the background are in focus. That same aperture setting is what causes the sun to give off the starburst-like rays.

Cunningham Falls

The colors are here in the Northeast, so a few days ago, I drove to this random park called Cunningham Falls; it turns out it’s not so random.

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Cunningham Falls
An autumn scene in Maryland

I don’t know the area, so; I picked a random place to visit on Google Maps. Little did I know this is a popular spot because there were a lot of other photographers that showed up as well. I took all kinds of shots from different angles, including this, which is a twelve-shot panorama.

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The scene consists of twelve shots, four groups of three that I processed in AuroraHDR, and stitched in Lightroom. The result is a very high-resolution landscape of a not so random Maryland park.

Sunday Reflections

Most Sundays, I take a drive along country roads. Sometimes the most significant thing to see is the river, clouds, and reflections.

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Sunday Reflections
A simple image of the landscape on a Sunday drive.

With all the urban growth, I started driving further out. The funny thing is that if I drive far enough, I’ll end up approaching the outskirts of another metropolis. Open spaces are dwindling.

more images in the gallery featuring green

I’d like to think other places are still wide open. Like maybe some of the western states, or the prairies. But in reality, every little inch of space from coast to coast is owned. Or at least we like to think so. But I am reminded that the land is much older than our relatively new claims upon it.

Pacific Trail

The Wild Pacific Trail is just as it sounds, on the Pacific and wild. Wild, as in hiking or trekking in BC’s Vancouver Island.

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Pacific Trail
A section of the trail on Vancouver Island, BC

The image uses HDR techniques, meaning I combined three frames of different exposures and blended them. Also, I used f10, so most everything is in focus.

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I love trail shots for the sense it creates of going somewhere and, a natural desire to know what’s just around the corner. This trail, in particular, is especially good for that; it has hundreds of turnouts that open on amazing views of the pacific.

Shady Oak

If I lived in a pasture, I’d spend most of the summer sitting under the shade of an oak, and that’s no bull.

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Shady Oak
A cow escapes the summer sun in Florida

I took this on a drive through the country here in Florida. Contrary to popular belief, most of the state is agriculture. All you have to do is drive from one coast to the other to see what I mean. The drive takes about two hours and passes through a lot of cattle country. It’s no wonder rodeos are big here.

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I’m an indoor weeny, depending on air conditioning to make it through the summer. If you lose your air-conditioning here, you may as well live on Mars or, under a tree.

Rainbow Falls

This photo is just below Rainbow Falls in North Carolina. It’s on a trail with a waterfall payoff at the end.

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Below Rainbow Falls
Taken on the trail to Rainbow Falls in North Carolina

I think the word rainbow sums up those fall colors. North Carolina is famous for its autumn tones, which, as I write this, is still a couple of months away. It was nice to hike in the mountains and get a break from the humidity back home.

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This is another old photo I pulled from the archives. Old images are veritable breadcrumbs leading back to forgotten details. For instance, from the picture, I recall the hike took longer than expected and, was a little more strenuous. So when we got back to the hotel, we ate pasta and dinner rolls, leaving only, …you guessed it, breadcrumbs.

Hidden Gem

Mulholland road in Parrish, oddly enough, dead-ends at a bridge. Because of that, it feels remote, even though it’s in the middle of a housing boom.

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Hidden Gem
the scene along Mulholland Road in Parrish, Florida

Living in suburbia as I do, the trick to doing local landscape photography is finding gems tucked away in plain sight. Even though I think I’ve found most, I’m pretty sure there are more. They are, by their very nature, not easy to find.

more images with reflections from the gallery

I took this photo about five years ago, and today, as I drove by, the road is under construction. That means it’s probably going to get more traffic and, extend past the bridge; meaning no longer hidden. But I’ll keep searching for more spots like this in the suburban jungle.

Multnomah Falls

No trip to the Portland area is complete without visiting Multnomah Falls. Here is a lie; there was nobody here when I took this shot.

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Multnomah Falls
The most iconic, Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge

In fact, to get this, I had to elbow my way through layers of Instagrammers holding phones aloft with their backs to the falls. I should have known better, it was July 4th, but I went anyway. I Photoshoped all the people off the bridge except for one. In the end, this edit is not far from the scene I imagined in my head.

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If I did have the place to myself, I would have taken more shots, but I like this shot, so maybe that would have been a waste. Anyhow, when I go back, even if it’s winter, I’ll come early to try my luck again. But it’s all good; I ended up hiking to the top to see even more waterfalls and a lot fewer people. It ended up being an excellent day, for Instagram and me.

Dee Wright Observatory

This spot is from a massive lava flow, surrounded by volcanoes on all sides. I wouldn’t want to be here when the next one blows.

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Dee Wright Observatory
Lava fields in Oregon

Living in Florida, it’s easy to forget there is a healthy amount of volcanic activity in the pacific northwest. It wasn’t my plan to visit volcanoes, but little did I realize, most of the mountains in Oregon are.

more images of mountains in the gallery

If I recall, Oregon and Hawaii are in the “ring of fire,” and we all know Hawaii is quite active. When I first arrived at this spot, I was struck by how fresh the flows looked; I thought maybe they were ten years old. It was more like fifteen-hundred years, which, as we all know, is just a blink of an eye in geological terms. As amazing as it was, I was still glad to leave before mother nature decided to blink again.

Dutchman Falls

The water from this fall runs year-round and is fed by a spring. I would have gotten closer, but Instagramers were posing in front.

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Dutchman Falls
A waterfall fed from a spring above the Columbia River

I Photoshopped out the Instagramers because I kind of like it without them, maybe it’s just me. Last year on the same day, I was at Mount Rushmore and encountered the same thing, hundreds of them. I need to start an Instagram of Instagrammers.

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Nevertheless, it was quiet and pretty here, which was at the top of a steep hike from the Columbia River. I had water but too much heavy camera gear, but I didn’t realize I was going to climb the trail until I got there. As all of my hikes in Oregon, it was well worth it, and I’m looking forward to going back for more walks, Instagram notwithstanding.