Barbara Gore  

Mountain Road by Barbara Gore

April 2021 - Mountain Road

About the Image(s)

Thanks everyone for having me in your group! I’m looking forward to sharing and discussing images.

I was in the Blue Ridge Mountains to photograph the Milky Way but when I looked for my tripod, I realized I never put it in my Jeep. Luckily, I was able to buy an inexpensive tripod at a local Walmart, but the breezy mountain conditions made the feather-like tripod susceptible to vibration and my stars were like cotton balls. So, with no good MW photos, my next option was the sunrise.

I knew the sunrise would be less colorful because of the clear sky but I decided to drive the parkway and wait for a photo to show itself. As I came around a curve, I saw a kiss of light hit the trees as the sun peeked above the mountains. The golden light made the trees look almost as colorful as fall. I pulled over and jumped in the middle of the road and started to take a few photos. I decided to use my 70-200mm lens as my main focus was the road curves and the fence.

For post processing, I used a 16x9 crop for a more panoramic format and cropped some of the bland sky as it didn’t add anything to the photo. A few basic changes were made in Lightroom.

Canon 5D Mark III
70-200 2.8 handheld
F 5.0, 1/250 sec, ISO 800

8 comments posted

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
I know the feeling of forgetting a tripod but on such occasions I've use the top of the car and use a jacket, my trusty hat and all sorts of rocks and such to prop up the camera. My camera bag also has doubled as an emergency tripod. As for missing the Milky Way--I posted one this month, just for you. :-)

Having driven this very road many times I feel you have captured the "feel" of the Blue Ridge at dawn. I like the golden glow and as you said it almost looks like fall. You have a strong leading line that takes the eye into the frame. All the elements seem to be there yet to my eye it feel a bit odd.

First, I note that you said you cropped some of the bland sky but I would suggest that you crop the rest off as well. That ribbon of white at the top is, as you said not adding anything. In photography, along with Impact, Composition, and Light are the 9 Principles of Design. The first of these principles is Balance. The more I review this image the more I feel that it is balance that seems out of sorts The right side of the image just feels heavy and the image, to me, seems to lean in that direction. Even what is visible to the left of the road appears to be empty contributing to that "out of balance" feeling. Finally, one of my pet peeves is that Leading Lines have to lead to something. I realize that it is possible to have a road, as this road does, turn around a bend making the viewer wonder what is there, but in this image with the lack of balance I just feel that the vanishing road contributes to that lack of balance.   Posted: 04/06/2021 07:12:05

Barbara Gore   Barbara Gore
As you stated, stabilizing a camera is doable but considering the temp was in the low 30's and somewhat windy I decided not to mess with it at 4am in the morning. The sad thing is I own a platypod and that was at home too!
Thanks for your feedback on the image. I took several photos in that area. Some were symmetrical and asymmetrical. I agree the right side of the image holds more visual weight. The curved road and the sunlit trees are what caught my attention so I was ok with it. I appreciate your comments on how the images makes you feel and I will relook at all my images from that morning to further assess all aspects of balance. Also, in agreement about the white sky!
  Posted: 04/09/2021 15:16:29

Michael Jack   Michael Jack
Nicely seen. I like how the fencing adds interest and draws my eye into the scene and the warm, side-lite effect. Regarding balance, I disagree on this one - to me, the warm, saturated colors on the upper right balance the road on the bottom left and the tree. I do agree that the road terminates a little early and another choice could be made for the sky. It the sky was really bland, cropping it out totally makes sense. If it had some morning color that could enhance the scene, I would consider added just a bit more of it. Still, it was a great stop.   Posted: 04/10/2021 09:17:45
Barbara Gore   Barbara Gore
Thanks for your comments Michael. I agree about a touch more color. I think this will be a wonderful spot for a fall photo shoot.   Posted: 04/13/2021 06:32:25

Jane Thomas   Jane Thomas
Hi Barbara,

the colours of your image are stunning.

I am in agreement regarding the sky and the weight on the right side of the image. I love the tree in the foreground, another image of itself there. The leading line to and around the top of the road, makes me wonder what is there. Lovely image.

  Posted: 04/11/2021 13:59:24
Barbara Gore   Barbara Gore
Thank you Jane. I was at the same location yesterday and relooked at the composition. The only way I would like the scene better would be to add more sky. Having more sky would add more visual weight to the left side. I guess I just need to keep going back and wait for the perfect colorful sky.   Posted: 04/13/2021 06:42:28

Bill Peake   Bill Peake
I really love the colors in this image. The light really does make the image appear to have fall colors. I has to look closely to realize the trees are actually bare! I am not bothered by the balance of the image, I actually the the large tree on the right balances the road on the left. I understand the sky was bland which is why you cropped the top, but I personally would have liked to have seen a little more of the tree tops.   Posted: 04/14/2021 23:12:07
Barbara Gore   Barbara Gore
Thanks for your comments Bill. I agree with you about the tree tops. I plan to return to this area in the fall and capture the scene with an interesting sky.   Posted: 04/16/2021 16:08:20


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