Most people who know me and my style of photography, know that I do not like shooting on a bright blue day. I just don't like shooting into the harsh light, but that didn't matter much when I decided to go on a road trip for the day. I had just dropped my kids off at school when a thought came to mind (I just don't want to go home), so I darted off and hit the road. As I was driving I began to think about where I wanted to go and I didn't really think I would take any pictures, their were no clouds. I just wanted to go and relax and enjoy the views.
Once I made it to Elizabethton, TN I decided to go on up to Linville, NC and jump on the Blue Ridge Parkway. When I got to the Parkway I found I had my hardest decision, do I go right? or do I go left? Each direction offers a different selection of views. I decided to go left, which is North on the Parkway, I wanted to check out Grandfather Mountain and then venture on up the road. When I got to my first view of Grandfather Mountain, I was surprised to see some clouds and this got me to get out my camera. Most all of the color had already disappeared, but it still looked beautiful. I used a CPL filter here and left it on for the remainder of the day, it really brought out the contrast I was looking for.
I decided to go on up the road and see what I could find at the Linville Viaduct. I pulled off and decided to venture on up to it, I wanted to see a side view of the Viaduct up close. I made my way around the side and was greeted with a little bit of Autumn color, the sky was clear and those few clouds I had found had suddenly just disappeared. Looking out from the Viaduct you could see the Autumn color lower on down the mountain and see it crawl out into the valley.
I went on up the road a little bit and stopped at a few more overlooks to just enjoy the fresh air and relax, the light had gotten pretty intense and their was no use in me taking any pictures and I was perfectly ok with that. I rolled the windows down and cruised the Parkway at a nice 40 mph, there was no traffic and I could just take my time. I eventually made it to Price Lake, it's a small, but beautiful lake right on the Parkway. The water was so calm and the bright autumn colors stood out among the bright blue sky and its reflection on the lake. The whole scene was so beautiful to witness in person. The cloudless sky worked so well here and the color was just fantastic.
The day was getting late and I had to drive two hours to get home so I could be there when the kids got off the bus in the evening, so I jumped off the Parkway and hit some small country roads on my way home. I wanted to really enjoy this as well. I ended up making my way around Mount Rogers and came to an Overlook that looked out over Southwest Virginia, this was a great surprise, the view was breathe taking. I thought to myself that this was the best way to end my little adventure. I couldn't find the name of the overlook, but I do know it was in Smyth County, Virginia near the Iron Mountain trail head.
I got some beautiful images on a day I wasn't planning on taking any, on a day with little to no clouds and in harsh lighting conditions. You never know what your going to get, but always try to attempt getting something. You never know, you might end up really liking it.
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