Roan Mountain – Part #1

“Jane Bald”

It seems that this year has been a year of adventures and exploration allowing myself to reconnect and recharge the creative juices. We just returned from spending a week scouting for a new venue and future weekend summit at Roan Mountain.

My first impression of the area was quite breathtaking with the highland views and abundance of the rhododendrons. But of course, that was standing in the parking lot. (lol) Once we stated hiking and gained a little elevation the views were spectacular beyond words and rivaled the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.

So, let’s back up a bit and let me tell you about our adventures as the week progressed.  Upon arrival, we met up with our longtime friend Kevin Reaves. Anyone that meets Kevin will quickly realize he’s a high-energy guy (putting it mildly lol).

We arrived Sunday evening and after gobbling down a quick dinner, we voyaged up the mountain to Carver’s Gap to catch sunset. Kevin said he’d follow us in our 4Runner since all of his gear was in his Tundra truck (Toyota guys). Being our first time here and not knowing the area we relied heavily on our GPS to get us there. As I’m sure you know, GPS’s can be a bit unpredictable when they feel like it.  Our first turn up the mountain was on “Heaton Creek Road” and besides having a super awesome name it was a nice windy road through the country. Of course, that was for the first portion of our drive. As we journeyed on the road went from bad to worse to no road at all and suddenly turned into a craggy trail. I’d like to say logging path but it wasn’t even that good (lol). Here’s where I thank Toyota for making some awesome 4 wheel drives!

After reaching the top and figuring out where we were we realized there was a nicely paved road that lead us directly up and down the mountain.

What’s life without a little adventure… take the road less traveled is my motto…

Stay tuned as I continue my story in my next post…

www.edheaton.com

– Nikon D810
– Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8
– Exposure 1/10 sec
– Aperture f/16
– ISO 64
– Gitzo GT3542XLS SYSTEMATIC Series 3 carbon tripod
– Singh-Ray Filters LB Color Combo Polarizer
– OP/TECH USA Custom Classic Strap
– Lexar 1066x Professional 128gb
– HoodmanUSA
– Asolo
– Manfrotto

#GitzoAmbassador | #ManfrottoAmbassador | #OPTECHUSAAmbassador | #MyTrustyGitzo | #ImageMaster | #Hoodman | #MasterofLight | #BestofLight | #NikonLove | #NikonNoFilter | #GitzoInspires |

“Grassroots – Ramblings from the Smokies”

Good morning and happy Easter weekend,

Well, we finished up our much-anticipated and needed week in the great Smoky Mountains. We enjoyed our time and focused (no pun intended) on some of the most picturesque landscapes the Appalachians have to offer.

I titled this post “Grassroots” for a good reason because this is where I feel my photography career/passion started. Oh, don’t get me wrong I’ve been photographing since high school which in my case is quite some time now (lol). You know, back in the film days (early 70’s) before digital photography was actually invented.

We shot everything that was offered to us, amazing overlooks, extraordinary flowers and some of the most abundant and pristine creeks I’ve ever had the pleasure of shooting. As far as I’m concerned, the Great Smoky Mountains have some of the most diverse scenes a landscape photographer could ask for. We met up with some great friends and made a few new ones as well and I must say this was truly time well spent!  A special thanks to Kelly and Zach for joining me on this amazing adventure and spiritual journey.

Best of Light,

Ed
www.edheaton.com

– Nikon D810
– Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8
– Exposure 6 sec
– Aperture f/16
– ISO 64
– Gitzo GT3542XLS SYSTEMATIC Series 3 carbon tripod
– Singh-Ray Filters LB Color Combo Polarizer
– OP/TECH USA Custom Classic Strap
– Lexar 1066x Professional 128gb
– HoodmanUSA
– Columbia Sportswear
– Asolo
– Manfrotto Imagine More
– Fotodiox

#GitzoAmbassador | #ManfrottoAmbassador | #OPTECHUSAAmbassador | #MyTrustyGitzo | #ImageMaster | #Hoodman | #MasterofLight | #BestofLight | #NikonLove | #NikonNoFilter

“Invigorated – Ramblings from the Smokies”

Well, it’s been a great couple of days here in the Smokies.  Yesterday morning we explored the Cove and believe it or not we were the only ones on Spark’s Lane (I think that’s a first for me). A little early for the leaves but with these warm temps I’m sure it won’t be long. Then after a little downtime during the mid-day light we headed out to shoot along Little River road. We visited our favorite spots along the river and enjoyed chatting about life and how very blessed we are!

I’m very thankful for my family and friends and how the business has prospered. The photography business has been an incredible creative opportunity and I’m so thankful for all the amazing friends I’ve made along the way.

Before I sign-off I wanted to share some gear talk…  If you shoot as many creeks and streams as I do you will soon realize that a good pair of waders can be your best friend. Now, some of you may be curious as to what type of waders I actually use.  I have several different ones that I use, felt bottomed Chest Waders, and two different types of hip waders. The current ones that I have here in the Smokies are the Neos Overshoe Hip Waders. They are convenient and they slip over your hiking boot which helps to not have to remove your boots everytime. I hate to say it but they do weap a little water but not enough to get your feet soaked.  I think my favorites are felt bottom boot hip waders.  They are much more sure-footed with the felt soles but you do have to remove your boot to use them . But be mindful the felt soles are outlawed in some states.  I have to add a disclaimer – if you walk in the water with your gear there’s a chance that you will fall in and get everything wet, so be careful.

www.edheaton.com

– Nikon D810
– Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @36mm
– Exposure 2 sec
– Aperture f/16
– ISO 64
– Gitzo GT3542XLS SYSTEMATIC Series 3 carbon tripod
– Singh-Ray Filters LB Color Combo Polarizer
– OP/TECH USA Custom Classic Strap
– Lexar 1066x Professional 128gb
– HoodmanUSA
– Columbia Sportswear
– Asolo S.p.A.
– Manfrotto
– Fotodiox Inc..
#GitzoAmbassador | #ManfrottoAmbassador | #OPTECHUSAAmbassador#MyTrustyGitzo | #ImageMaster | #Hoodman | #MasterofLight |#BestofLight | #NikonLove |

 

“Rejuvenate – Ramblings from the Smokies”

We arrived on Friday for our much-anticipated annual visit to the Great Smoky Mountains. It was cold the first day, low 30’s in the morning but making it into the mid 40’s by mid day. Luckily as the days progress thing are slowing warming to where you can work with only a light jacket.

On our first working day (Saturday) we spent all morning at Roaring Forks shooting the creeks and streams and being overcast didn’t hurt a bit. As most of you already know this is a subject that is high on my list. There’s a sense of calm that comes over me when I have a chance to work around water.

We finished the morning with breakfast at the Log Cabin Pancake House and a mid-day break before heading back out to shoot at Morton’s Overlook for sunset. We left early making an afternoon of it by taking a picnic dinner that we enjoyed on the mountain side while we waited. Also, I forgot to mention that we had two good friends (Jerry and George) join us spending the time chatting and storytelling which in my book is time well spent.

Stay tuned as I’ll do my best to keep the ramblings going for the coming week.
www.edheaton.com

– Nikon D810
– Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @24mm
– Exposure 10 sec
– Aperture f/16
– ISO 64
– Gitzo GT3542XLS SYSTEMATIC Series 3 carbon tripod
– Singh-Ray Filters LB Color Combo Polarizer
– OP/TECH USA Custom Classic Strap
– Lexar 1066x Professional 128gb
– HoodmanUSA
– Columbia Sportswear
– Asolo S.p.A.
– Manfrotto Imagine More
– Fotodiox Inc.

#GitzoAmbassador | #ManfrottoAmbassador | #OPTECHUSAAmbassador | #MyTrustyGitzo | #ImageMaster | #Hoodman | #MasterofLight | #BestofLight | #NikonLove |

 

Making Impact

Good morning,

I wanted to talk about making impact with your images. As photographers, we’ve all been taught the rules and suggestions on how to make a better image. I’m not going to get into all of them but I do want to touch on how I approach shooting streams. First and foremost, I strongly believe that you need to have a connection with your subject and for me when shooting water that comes easily. The next thing I do, is look for a swift area with a few protruding rocks which will help to provide depth in my image and this is also a determining factor of where I need to stand. The majority of the time the answer is going to be in the middle of the creek closest to the action. Once I’ve determined where I need to stand, I think about how I need to compose my image by arranging the elements with a balance. Creating a strong balance helps to create a nice flow and continuity in my image. I also prefer a low perspective with my camera pointing downward which helps to emphasize the movement and to create a stronger impact.

Now that I’ve got a composition that I’m happy with, I start thinking about the technical aspects of the shot. I need to, at least be at, a one second exposure. There are several ways to get here and the first being shooting with a tight aperture, say f/16 or f/22. Also, make sure your ISO is low (I use 64 most of the time). I also make sure that I use a polarizer which help to remove glare and slow my exposure time allowing me to get that nice cotton candy look. I should also mention, that my preferred shooting times are early mornings and late evenings or during a soft and overcast day.

These suggestions will certainly get you in the ball park so go out and give it a try!

www.edheaton.com

– Nikon D810
– Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8
– Exposure 1 sec
– Aperture f/22
– ISO 64
– Gitzo GT3542XLS SYSTEMATIC Series 3 carbon tripod
– Singh-Ray Filters LB Color Combo Polarizer
– OP/TECH USA Custom Classic Strap
– Lexar 1066x Professional 128gb
– HoodmanUSA
– Columbia Sportswear
– NEOS River Trekker Hipper Overshoe
– Manfrotto Imagine More
#GitzoAmbassador | #ManfrottoAmbassador | #OPTECHUSAAmbassador | #MyTrustyGitzo | #ImageMaster | #Hoodman | #MasterofLight | #BestofLight | #NikonLove  |

One Frame

2012-1193

I was asked by my friend Mark Carruthers to do a blog about one of my favorite images that I’ve captured over the years and I wanted to share here as well.

Over the span of my career I’ve been very fortunate and have had the opportunity to create a collection of images that are extraordinary, but one stands above the rest. I’m sure some of it may have to do with location (although I’ve been to many amazing locations throughout the United States) but I believe the majority of it has to do with the connection that I have with the landscape.

Let me back up and paint the backdrop and atmosphere for this image. As a full time professional landscape photographer, there’s something enlightening and personal about being able to spend time with Mother Nature. Now don’t get me wrong, we all love to capture pretty pictures but to truly have a connection with the landscape is when you are able to create remarkable images.

I’ve been visiting and teaching workshops in the Grand Teton National Park since 2005 and I have to admit that it never gets boring or mundane. There’s always something new and exciting to photograph and let’s be honest, who could get tired of looking at that landscape.

As a workshop instructor, you wouldn’t be doing a good job if you didn’t allow your clients to capture a few of the classic iconic images and an image of Oxbow Bend is certainly a classic. During our 2012 autumn workshop, I had taken the group to capture sunrise with amazing results. However, as the day progressed and the storm clouds rolled through the light started to really become wonderful and as we all know, “photography is all about the light” and being able to capture extraordinary light is truly the key to success.

When you have a lot of ground to cover and only so much time to do it we don’t normally visit the same place twice during a workshop but there are always exceptions to the rules. So, we headed back up to Oxbow Bend to see if we could capture a reflection with the storm clouds and I have to admit my hunch certainly paid off allowing me to capture this amazing image of Oxbow bend with the storm light. When you’re teaching a workshop you never seem to have much time to capture your own images because you’re busy helping and instructing others but here the light was so amazing that I couldn’t resist firing off a shot.

A lot of people will say “boy you got lucky with this one” but I believe a well-prepared photographer will make his own luck by knowing how to read the light and being in the right place at the right time with the knowledge to capture what is presented before you.

Best of Light,
Ed

The Importance and Effect of Negative Space

2017-0161-1

Negative space is the area which surrounds the main subject in your image (the main subject is known as the “positive space”). For example; the house and tree in this image form the positive space while the sky is the negative space.

Negative space can drastically change the mood and story of your image. Much of the time, negative space is the mood and emotion. It can create a sense of bleakness, desolation, spaciousness and it can strengthen the positive atmosphere in your image. In summary, depending on what story you want to tell, the use of negative space affects it all. It can either emphasize all of these aspects or take away from your main subject if used incorrectly!

Metadata:

  • Nikon D810
  • Nikkor Lens – 70-200mm f/2.8 @70mm
  • Gitzo GT3542xls tripod
  • Lexar CF Card
  • Hoodman USA
  • OP/TECH USA Classic Strap
  • Nik Software
  • Exposure – 1/20 seconds
  • Aperture – f/122
  • ISO – 64
  • Manual Mode

Best of Light,

Ed