Catskill Fall Photographers Weekend

After a much needed blogging break following my West Virginia trip here (finally) are some images from the Catskill Photographers Weekend that I led in October. Having been there several times before I tried to choose some images that are a little different from those previously posted. We visited familiar places and a few new spots too. Stops on the tour included a mountain lake, waterfalls, a Buddhist temple and pagoda, the Olana Historic Site, the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, a birch grove, mountain views, a goat farm, and farmland. Heavy rain meant that the waterfalls were flowing better than I had ever seen and the two waterfalls on the property of the Glen Falls House Resort were brownish because of the earth they were carrying. It looked like chocolate milk! Falls in the higher elevations were running more clear. Some of these images were shot a day before the tour while scouting. I, along with our other tour leader have searched the area (relentlessly) looking for new locations to add to our list. Unfortunately many locations are not suitable for the group due to lack of parking, too much hiking or proximity to other locations. Even familiar locations need to be scouted since their conditions can change from season to season. These all-inclusive weekend events take place in the Fall, Winter and Spring. The next weekend is scheduled for February 3-5th. Leave a request in the comment area at the end of this post if you would like more information about the Catskill Winter Photographers Weekend.

'Bastion Falls' © Denise Bush
'Catskill Pond' © Denise Bush
'Willow By the Lake' © Denise Bush
'Catskill Mountain View' © Denise Bush
'Partners' © Denise Bush
'Lake Mills View' © Denise Bush
'Buddhist Portrait' © Denise Bush
'Little Head' © Denise Bush
'Token Catskill Mountain Goat' © Denise Bush
'Field With Red Tree' © Denise Bush
'Birch Grove' © Denise Bush
'Birch Trees & Moss' © Denise Bush
'Roaring Kill Bridge' © Denise Bush
'Catskill Cottage' © Denise Bush
'House On the Hill' © Denise Bush
'Garden Gate' © Denise Bush
'Red Tractor' © Denise Bush
'Mountain Farm' © Denise Bush
'Sunrise Farm in Autumn' © Denise Bush

A Wonderful Trip

On our last full day in West Virginia we woke up early … early enough to make the 1 hour drive up to Bear Rocks in the Dolly Sods Wilderness area for some night shooting, before the sun came up. I had a hard time getting it together in the dark, climbing around on the rocks and was not completely successful in my execution. The best, thankfully was yet to come. We were blessed with one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen. Somewhat confined to an area for fear of getting in someone’s way I did what I could from my predetermined spot. There were several other photographer’s there including Joe Rossbach’s workshop group and it was nice to share the moment with my group of friends. Once the sun came up a little higher the sky was overcast with some clouds. We took advantage of the soft light that helped to saturate the red blueberry leaves without any glare. This morning was an extra bonus to what had already been a wonderful trip.

'Sunrise at Bear Rocks' © Denise Bush
'Dolly Sunrise' © Denise Bush
Sunrise, Dolly Sods Wilderness' © Denise Bush
'Flag Spruce On Bear Rocks' © Denise Bush
'Wild Blueberry Bushes in Autumn' © Denise Bush

West Virginia Reflections

One of my favorite shoots on our Canaan Valley trip was to a small lake just in time to capture morning’s first light. The sunlight, autumn foliage and reflection came together to create a stunning scene. I couldn’t stop shooting! Aside from the big picture there were many abstracts available in the still reflection. I was amazed at how much ‘Autumn Tapestry I’ looks like woven cloth. I flipped the reflection upright to see how it changed things while leaving ‘Autumn Tapestry II’ as was. To flip or not to flip … what do you think? My favorite of the series is ‘Autumn Morning Reflection’. Yes … the horizon line is right through the center. I’m breaking the so-called ‘rule of thirds’ but not only do I think that ‘rules are meant to be broken’ but I also believe that ‘sometimes centered works!’ I think it works here while the grass in the foreground throws the equilibrium off. A centered subject can be part of a successful composition when other elements come into play. There are many times when a centered composition can work including situations when a sense of order or uniformity or are desired. Every composition does not have to follow the ‘rule of thirds’. Have some fun and break the ‘rule’!

'Autmn Morning Reflection' © Denise Bush


'Canoes At Mirror Lake' © Denise Bush
'Autumn Tapestry II' © Denise Bush
'Autumn Tapestry I' © Denise Bush

Better Light

More West Virginia Barns
While meandering with the group one afternoon we spotted a couple of interesting barns along the road. Displaying less than optimal light at the time, we decided the scenes would look better with morning light. So, on our third morning, after our shoot at a lake we remembered the barns. Hoping the first barn would have fog surrounding it, we were excited to see it did! I had been to this barn a few times looking for fog on a previous springtime visit and finally got lucky on the last day of the trip. The fall foliage made the scene different from what I had captured before and I tried to find some new compositions. With the fog quickly lifting we had to work fast. At the next, neighboring barn instead of fog we found a beam of bright morning light. Here I tried framing the scene with some foreground elements as well as the canopy above. When I discover landscape subjects that interest me I find it is often necessary to go back at a different time of day for different light (or conditions) in order to get an image I like. I have a compass attached to my camera back pack and when I see an interesting scene I use the compass to determine direction and whether the location is an early morning or late afternoon shot.

'Foggy Farm Morning' © Denise Bush
'Foggy Barn in Autumn' © Denise Bush
'On the Edge of the Field' © Denise Bush
'Sunlit Barn' © Denise Bush


West Virginia’s Back Roads
There were times during our trip to West Virginia when we did not have a specific plan so we ‘meandered’ the back roads for whatever caught our eye. I looked up ‘meander’ in the dictionary and a definition was ‘to wander at random’. We encountered an abundance of beautiful scenery along the way and made several stops too. In and out of the car, unfolding and folding our tripods my friend came up with the idea for an automatic tripod. (Our poor little fingers were getting tired!) What really excited my girlfriend and I were the old abandoned barns. We gasped for air in all our excitement when we came upon one! I pointed out while most woman get excited over diamonds and shopping, for us, it was old barns that did it. Even here at home I enjoy meandering the countryside. I can usually find a few things I need to capture!

'West Virginia Haunted House I' © Denise Bush
'West Virginia Haunted House II' © Denise Bush
'Green Pasture in Autumn' © Denise Bush
'Glow Before Sundown' © Denise Bush
'Among the Trees' © Denise Bush
'Barn with Rusty Roof' © Denise Bush
'Holding Together' © Denise Bush
'Haunted Homestead' © Denise Bush
'Down In the Valley' © Denise Bush
'Barn with White Fence' © Denise Bush
'A Donkey!' © Denise Bush