Located at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway and divided by the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, this national park is the most visited park in America. Arrive in the spring for the peak of the wildflower season or in October when autumn foliage paints the mountain sides. Here are details on the back roads, remote trails, and hidden corners of this park where few visitors travel. This issue will help you find the fall color, wildflowers, waterfalls, and where to set up a tripod to capture the classic sunrise scenes of distant fog-filled valleys and overlapping ridges of blue hills receding far into the distant Appalachians.
One of the largest displays of petroglyphs in southern Nevada is located at the mouth of Grapevine Canyon, five miles west of Laughlin, Nevada. This location is near the point where Arizona, California, and Nevada meet. This spot is a ninety-minute drive south of Las Vegas. To photograph the many petroglyphs, you will need several lenses. A 28-80mm zoom and a 70-300mm zoom should allow you to frame the whole scene as well as the small details located high above the trail. Most of the petroglyphs are geometric patterns, with a few human figures and some big horn sheep scattered throughout. Some of the rock art is at ground level. Other panels are high up on the slopes and require a long telephoto lens. A 300mm lens was perfect for framing most of the higher petroglyphs. Most of the panels face the east, and morning light is probably the best illumination for these petroglyphs. In the late afternoon, all the panels are in shade and there are fewer contrast problems with slick rock reflections and dark shadows beneath the stones.
Visitors will discover isolated beaches and seascapes free of any trace of man, as well as busy harbor scenes packed with colorful lobster boats and trawlers anchored in protected coves. At day's end when the fleet returns, lobster traps and brightly colored buoys are piled on wharves, nets are hung to dry, and workers are busy cleaning and boxing fish for delivery to market. Photographers, always searching for the best light, may discover these scenes enveloped in morning fog as a rising sun paints reflections of brightly colored boats on the surface of calm coves. Every season shows a different face of coastal Nova Scotia. Plan your visit soon and enjoy some great photography.
I flew into Alaska to photograph the Kenai Peninsula, a location that every nature photographer wants to visit. I flew into Anchorage and rented a car. I drove most of the roads south of Anchorage, finding many spectacular landscapes along the side of the road. Several boat trips revealed even more remote locations south of Homer and hikes to the edge of several glaciers. I photographed bears, moose, elk, whales, and many seabirds. I returned from this adventure with the landscape and wildlife photographs I had hoped for and gained a much greater appreciation for Alaska.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.