After over two years of living in Raleigh the area has officially received it’s first “real” snow. Of course by standards of other areas it wasn’t much in my immediate area, but they certainly do take it seriously around here with schools being closed since the morning before it started later that evening… no comment.
Once I was free to go out and explore I headed straight to the nearby Falls Lake. Although the countless kids that visited the park had plenty of time to play in the snow my go-to spot was still untouched. I quickly setup and composed my shot, since the park was due to close shortly. And just like that I had my shot.
This past weekend the girlfriend and I headed out to Hanging Rock State Park (5:30 wake up… ugh). I wanted to see if I could catch the fall colors and she didn’t head out there with me the first time. Unfortunately, I think that we were about a week too early for the leaves, but in spite of the occasional rain shower we continued to make our way through the park.
Also, the water levels were much lower this time around.
Naturally, she was asked (forced) to stand in and be my subject a few times. (just comes with the territory of dating a photographer)
Last weekend I took a trip to Hanging Rock State Park located in Danbury, NC for some waterfall chasing.
I had seen pictures of it online recently and decided being only a two-hour drive to see it for myself. I am glad that I did, because it was very worth the trip. The park has five waterfalls within it, a lake and other various points of interest. As an added bonus the trails with exception of being fairly steep in places were quite easy.
I wasn’t able to make it to all five falls, but managed to capture a respectable 4 out of 5. A future trip is certainly in the plans, but thinking it might wait for this fall when the leaves will add a welcomed bonus.
Here in the Raleigh, NC area it has rained at least briefly everyday for two weeks with exception of one day. Fortunately, the Fourth of July was only a light shower, however this was not enough to curb my need to get behind the lens. Thus, yesterday after I finished up at the office with disregard to the impending scattered showers and thunderstorms I grabbed my gear and went exploring.
Admittedly these rainy seasons are perfect for focusing on shooting personal projects or simply working on various techniques, but sometimes you just want to get out there.
I first set my sights on a newly renovated park in the downtown area. I was concerned that it would be a wasted trip considering the site in proximity to the, ummm… lesser economically privileged region it was located near. However, I had heard that you could see the skyline from the carousel located in the park so I decided to give it a shot anyway. Unfortunately, when I arrived one of the rain showers had just arrived, but my stubbornness prevailed and it didn’t take long to wait it out. Sadly, my original feeling was correct as well as the available view of the skyline was quite limited due to trees.
Bound and determined to at least make one exposure I hopped back in the car and went exploring. It was not more than a few miles down the road that I noticed a side road going up a sizable hill. Little did I know that this was the Dix Hill home to the Dorothea Dix State Hospital. I vaguely recall reading something about an attempt last year to turn this space into a new park within the downtown area as I do not believe much of the grounds are still in use. And now I know why! This hospital has without question one of the best views of the skyline.
Amongst the thousands that attended the festivities in Downtown Raleigh I made my way to the Boylan bridge to meetup with a local photography group. This place is by far the best perspective of the downtown skyline and conveniently so the fireworks as well. We arrived more than 3 hours early to make sure that we had first dibs for the prime composition, relax and mingle.
There was no mistaking what we were all there for…
As the time passed and the sun dropped there was more conversation about which technique, exposure settings, etc people were planning on using.
Being that I’ve shot this scene before (minus the fireworks) I had a pretty decent idea about where the fireworks would break the skyline I had a good mental image of what I was looking for. With my composition set and my shirt off so that I could cover the lens in between bursts for a single exposure, I was ready.
While I was out riding my mountain bike I passed a section of river that I had passed countless times, but this time I caught a glimpse of a scene that I thought would be worth exploring further. After finding a place to stash the bike, hop down the man-made water bank, I made my way to a flat rock that was as low to the water surface as it was large.
With the rain showers, thunderstorms and overall sogginess over the last several weeks here in the North Carolina Triangle area, Falls Lake has pushed its shores to the limits. Thus the dam has been opened and in result the Neuse River is similarly extending its pre-established boundaries. With waters rising into the areas of vegetation the common side effects are now in effect: An increase of obnoxious flying insects as a result of increased areas of stagnant water and falling or fallen trees that the moist ground could no longer bear their weight.
Enter the urban outdoor enthusiast… A small handful of kayakers came out to benefit from the man-made rapids at a nearby location that is otherwise quite tame. Up towards the mouth of the artificial rushing gorge lies a perfect surfing hole, which was the obvious focus for the late afternoon.