Springtime in the Smokies


“Grotto Falls”

One of my favorite springtime venues for photography is the Great Smoky Mountains. We’d love to have you join us for this week-long adventure capturing some of the most pristine creeks and streams along with incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Elevations in the park range from 876 feet at the mouth of Abrams Creek to 6,643 feet at the summit of Clingmans Dome and we’ll be visiting them all…



  • Tamron SP 28-75mm Di lens
  • Nikon D3
  • My Trusty Gitzo Tripod
  • Lexar media card
  • Captured on manual mode
  • Aperture – f/19
  • Exposure – three (3) seconds to give the water that soft cotton candy look
  • Singh-Ray LB Color Combo Polarizer
  • Cataloged and key-worded in Lightroom 5
  • Edited in Photoshop Creative Cloud 2014
  • Topaz Labs Plugins

Best of Light,


Being Prepared


Good morning,

I thought I would start the week out with a blog post about the conference I lectured at this past weekend.  The conference was in Munster, Indiana and was hosted by the Calumet Region Photo Club. I was excited about being asked to speak and a lot of the thanks goes to Gary Farber of Hunt’s Photo who recommend me! I also wanted to thank Susan Stassin, president of the club and of course a huge shout out goes to Tamron USA for being my sponsor! The conference went extremely well and was very organized. I also wanted to thank Susan and the club for their awesome hospitality!

Being prepared is one of my strong points and it paid off at this conference as well. Robert Vanelli, nice guy and the other speaker, needed a longer VGA cable for his presentation and I just happened to have one. Now let me back up for just a second, I travel with my own projector (Canon Realis SX7 Mark II), a Macbook Pro with various connector and a 75 foot UXGA video cable. This all ties into my photography and the discipline involved.

For my shoots and outings I also have the proper equipment including my camera (Nikon D800) and backup body (D3), an assortment of Tamron lenses (and I stress Tamron) and my trusty Gitzo tripod! These are just a few of the things I always have on hand. If I dig a little deeper, I would mention filters and Singh-Ray is my preferred choice (Polarizer, GND and a 2-8 stop Vari-ND). Let’s not forget to mention my Nikon Cable Release (MC30a) and my Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead. I also carry a “Storm Jacket” for my camera for those less than ideal weather conditions. I only use Lexar memory cards and have never had an issue 🙂

I’ll save proper clothing for another post but in the meantime stay safe and warm 🙂

Best of Light,


Lititz Fire & Ice Festival


Good Sunday morning,

Friday evening Zach and I visited the Lititz “Fire and Ice” festival. Although it was a cold walk around town, I had fun capturing the different ice sculptures, visiting the street vendors and doing a little around town shooting.

Here I captured a church fence with my Lensbaby Composer Pro and a Sweet 35 Optic.

Best of Light,



Star Trails


Here’s my latest star trail image that I create Friday night. Fortunately Zach knew a good location along the banks of the Octoraro Creek which for us, is close to home.  Once on location I setup my composition with the camera firmly on my trusty Gitzo tripod, dialed in my settings and let the Nikon MC36a do its thing!  I had my exposure set for one minute with my aperture at f/4 and the ISO at 400. I used my Nikon D3 and my super wide angle Nikon 14-24mm lens.  I shot sixty one (61) frames and combined them in Photoshop for the finished results!

To see more of my work or to find out about our workshops please visit: www.edheaton.com

Best of Light,


Revisiting Areas



How many of you visit the same area to photograph over and over? Well if you’re like me you do it quite often. As photographers we are always looking for the perfect light and not to mention  tweaking or fine-tuning our compositions from a previous shoot.

So go ahead and re-visit your favorite areas and hopefully you’ll get the shoot you were hoping for!

Best of Light,


Annual Winter Rickett’s Glen Visit


Good morning,

Yesterday, my son Zach, good friend Michael Lawrence and I made a daytrip up to the frozen waterfalls of Ricketts Glen. It’s an annual winter waterfalls trip that Michael and I started a few years back and so far we’ve not missed a visit.

The day started with a 3:30am wake-up. We were dressed, loaded and made sure the coffee was good to go so we could be out the door at 4am. We departed Atglen with temps at 12.7°. When we arrived at Michael’s we transferred all of our camera equipment and winter gear from our car to his and off we went. As our journey progressed we noticed quite a bit of difference in amount of snow on the ground especially once we traveled through the Lehigh Tunnel. Our total time on the road was approximately three hours making our arrival at Ricketts right around daybreak. When we got out of the car the temperatures were reading 3° and oh, did I happen to mention the winds were around 20 mph (lol) making the wind chill around 20° below zero. (Ugh)

Our hike in to the gorge was good, cold but good. Although the creek was mostly frozen and covered with snow there were pristine areas where it found its way to the top showing its deep rich brown colors. 2015-6115

The falls were mostly frozen with only a few hints of the amazing waterfalls that was hidden behind it.zach Photo by Zach Heaton

I wanted to touch on the gear and what is needed for a winter visit into the gorge. Cold-weather clothing is a must along with ice crampons. In fact the rules for hiking into the gorge in the winter is a minimum of ice crampons, ice axe and a rope. Here’s a shot of our crampons.

cramponsPhoto by Zach Heaton

We ended up shooting until around lunchtime and by then I think we were all shot out and ready to head back. Our total hike was approximately 5 miles in and out.

Falls Photo by Zach Heaton

Zach & Michael

It was an awesome trip and I truly enjoyed getting out and spending time with two really great guys!

Best of Light,