My Favorite Spot Along the Blue Ridge Parkway
My favorite location along the Blue Ridge Parkway may not be something you would typically expect. With places like Looking Glass Rock, the Devils Courthouse, Mabry Mill and the Black Balsam area, you would be asking me how could you possibly choose? Well, for me I have to choose the spot that got me into pursuing photography in the first place and it just happens to be lowest part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. That's right, the lowest. The James River Visitors Center is where the photography bug bit me, I fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains here. I love how the mountains reflect onto the James River and I love the view from the Blue Ridge Parkway with the parkway leading you into the mountains.
When I lived in Lynchburg, Virginia I would visit this spot often, I only lived thirty minutes from it and it was incredibly easy for me to jump on here. I have shot this location on just about every type of weather situation and every season. This spot has captivated me for years. I know it's not as grand as other spots along the Parkway, but it's my favorite spot.
If you plan on visiting the James River Visitors Center, come really early in the morning or late in the evening. The water is smoother at these times and you can get really nice reflections at these times. Also, the majority of these photos you are about to see are taken from the footbridge underneath the Blue Ridge Parkway. Their is a paved path that leads you around the side of the visitors center and on to the footbridge. This footbridge also leads you to some old flood gates George Washington had commissioned. There are also a lot of pic-nic areas and bathrooms here.
One of my favorite experiences here was when I shot the Perseid Meteor Shower here. I had planned for this shot for weeks, that in it's self is very unusual for me, I never like to plan shoots. I had envisioned a meteor shooting towards the mountains and I had studied the rotation of the shower to see if it would even be possible. I used all kinds of online maps and I watched the radar constantly. I really lucked out on the conditions as well, I got a moonless and cloudless night, which I had been worrying about for weeks. I really wanted this shot. I brought a folding chair and a couple of drinks and sat in my favorite spot for 12 hours, I took a photo every 30 seconds. I had set my camera up at sunset so I wouldn't have to worry about focusing, plus I was aiming for what I envisioned. Patience paid off, I got my shot and I couldn't of been more happy. At this point in time, it was the single best shot I had taken. I was also proud of myself for following through with it.
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