In this third and final blog of my North Carolina Highlands trip, I wanted to include an image that was the most difficult to attain and then, to process. First, there was hike to the sunset point. On Roan Mountain, we hiked to Jane Bald overlook, not a very long hike (1 1/2 miles) but moderately strenuous. Strenuous because we were hiking in 5,000+ feet altitude during the heat of a summer day with a camera pack on my back and carrying a tripod. Lastly, there was the wait for the sunset to occur with dwindling water supply and a hike back to the car in the rapidly declining light.
The image of the sunset doesn’t do justice to the sunset mother nature offered up that evening. Golden light from the sun lit the rock underneath our feet. The pinkish-purple of the rhododendron dotted the tops of the plants surrounding us. Looking back behind us we were treated to the pinkish-purple light on the clouds and hills. A truly magical sight.
Finally, I would like to include other pictures that I was able to take during the trip which might spark interest to visit the Roan Mountain and the vicinity of Grandfather Mountain in Western North Carolina.
First, Rough Ridge overlook at sunset off of the Blue Ridge Parkway deserves a mention. At this overlook there is moderate climb with stairs to an overlook which has 180 degree views of the mountains.
Secondly, at the Roan Mountain Gardens, there is a forest walk has wonderful scenes for photographing such as the one below. One only needs to look down for the small scenes as you walk through the forest stillness.
Thirdly, the rhododendron are everywhere. For this next picture, I found some blossoms that were in the shade so that I could take advantage of the full range of color in the blossoms. Photographing in full sun or even partial sun would have made it difficult to get the proper exposure. The alternative to shade would have been to photograph in the sun with a handheld diffuser.
Our last stop was Sunset at Price Lake. And Price Lake did not disappoint. The sky was lit with gold color. The only problem was to find a suitable shooting spot to view the sunset along the lake edge and get set up before all the stunning color was gone.
Knowing where to go and when to go there is a valuable thing when you are looking for gorgeous landscapes to photograph. I was lucky to find a great pair of guides on this North Carolina Highlands Event in Kate Silvia and Kenny McKeithan.