Into the Mist

Into the Mist - Toby Gant -2013I captured this image of sailboats heading out to sea during the Sunrise Birding & Nature Boat Excursion at this year’s Florida’s Birding and Photofest. My favorite part of the image   is the two boats that have almost disappeared in the early morning mist. What you cannot see in the image are the four other sailboats that are in the frame but, they had already been completely engulfed by the fog. Thanks as always for stopping by.

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God Rays on Cades Cove – Tennessee

Cades Cove - Toby Gant -2222

I captured this image on our recent trip to the Smoky Mountains. The morning had been entirely overcast. The clouds that had been dusting the mountains with snow overnight were thick and showed no signs of rolling back. However, weather conditions can change rapidly in the mountains and as the heavy clouds began to retreat, I was able to capture this image. I was shooting with my 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII at 70mm.

 

You can find this image and more in the gallery image section of my site at: http://www.tobygant.com/tobys-gallery-images/. Thanks as always for stopping by.

 

Raper Creek Falls – Georgia

Raper Creek FallsI made an opportunity to get out this morning. I wanted to visit somewhere I had not been before and after a little research, I selected Raper Creek Falls near Clarkesville, GA. I could not find clear directions to the location. So, I emailed the only 2 sets of directions that I could find to myself and headed out. There were no signs or markers along the drive. So, I found myself wandering in search of the falls. When I thought I was near I put down the windows in the Suby and listened for the falls. I was able to locate them by listening for falling water. There was no real trail or path to the falls. But, I wandered down a wooded ravine toward the noise and went directly to them.

The falls were stunning, the air was clean and fresh, and I was very much all alone for the duration of my visit. Even though I got a late start on the morning, the lighting was incredible. Between having heavy overcast clouds and a dense wooded canopy, the light was soft and diffused. I spent about an hour leisurely shooting and soaking it all in. It was an incredible morning.

This image was captured using my 16-35mm f/4 and a circular polarizer. Thanks as always for stopping by. Please feel free to leave your thoughts or comments. You can follow my blog and see gallery images on my site at: http://tobygant.com.

Tennessee Aquarium Adventure

Tennessee AquariumLast weekend we revisited the Tennessee Aquarium in downtown Chattanooga, TN. It was great fun for the kids. They were much younger the first time we went and I believe they got much more out of it this time. I did also. The last time we visited I only had a small point and shoot camera in my arsenal. This time I had the right tool for the job. It can be extremely challenging shooting through 3 inch “bullet-proof” glass. Not only that, if it is curved glass don’t even waste your time. There were so many people at the aquarium shooting with full flash straight into glass. They would chimp from the back of their cameras and stand their puzzled. I truly wanted to help them all. But, I think my wife would not have been pleased if I’d interrupted our family time. I had a great time and got some great shots. I hope you are all out getting some captures this weekend. This image is of a Japanese Sea Nettle. It was captured with my 105mm VR micro. You can follow my blog at its new location http://tobygant.com.

More Cloudland Canyon

Cloudland CanyonI am still sorting through my captures from my trip to Cloudland Canyon State Park on Saturday. It is such an incredibly beautiful place. It was a long walk down the mountainside into the canyon in order to reach the falls. It was also much longer working our way back up. The kids held up extremely well and I think they are growing accustomed to the long hikes which pleases me more than I can say. We are building memories that I hope will stay with them long after I am. I fell asleep Saturday evening reliving our weekend adventure. I’m fairly certain I will be doing the same all week. This is an image captured at the base of the upper falls. The emerald-colored water was striking against the forest and boulders. You can find images from this adventure and many more at my site http://www.tobygant.com/cloudland. As always, thanks for stopping by. If you have any suggesting for parks to visit in the Blue Ridge or Smoky Mountains, please leave your comments on my blog.

Cloudland Canyon State Park – Georgia

Cloudland CanyonWe were not able to go for an adventure last week due to poor weather. We made up for it this week in a major way when we visited Cloudland Canyon State Park near Rising Fawn, Georgia. The park came highly recommend by a friend. (Thanks, Elise.) And it definitely lived up to all the hyperbole. We only had a limited amount of time to spend at the park and we chose to visit the falls this time out. I’m very happy we did. It was truly an adventure. I felt a million miles away from everywhere. I can’t wait until we can visit again. This shot was captured with my 16-35mm f/4. I simply love shooting landscapes with this lens. As always you can see a high-resolution version on my site at http://www.tobygant.com/cloudland. Thanks for stopping by.

Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

Blue Ridge Mountains from Sawnee MountainI talked the family into climbing Sawnee Mountain again yesterday. This image is a panorama compiled from 10 separate images. It is an incredible view of Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains at sunset from that elevation. I captured the image with my new 50mm f/1.4. The detail of the full resolution image is stunning. You can actually make out signs on the streets below. As always you can see more of my images at http://www.tobygant.com.

Lower Desoto Falls – Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

We ventured back out into the Blue Ridge Mountains this weekend. We stopped at the Desoto Falls Recreation Area in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest near Cleveland, GA. It is a relatively short hike to the lower falls. (Only 0.25 mile.) The falls are very nice and well worth the short hike. I captured this image with my 16-35mm f/4. I am already looking forward to this weekend. I already have some ideas where I would like to go. I just know that it can’t get here soon enough. As always you can see this image and more on my website at http://www.tobygant.com/chattahoochee.

Wolf Creek Falls

Wolf CreekIt was another crazy week at work. I called my boss Thursday night and let him know I needed a personal day on Friday. I got up before the sun and my supportive wife packed a snack to help me prepare for my well deserved adventure. I went back to Vogel State Park to visit Wolf Creek Falls. They are actually known by several names: Wolf Creek Falls, Trahlyta Lake Falls, and Trahlyta Falls. By whatever name you chose to call them, they are well worth a visit if you find yourself near Blairsville, Georgia. The falls are short hike from the main park along the side of Trahlyta Lake. I arrived as the park opened and shot until late morning and was not interrupted by a single person. The isolation was just what I needed. There was no phone, no chaos, no corporate stuff. It was just me and my camera in a beautiful and tranquil place. I have to find a way to go more often. This image was captured with my  105mm VR micro lens. I know macro or micro lenses are designed for close-up photography. But, at the 105 mm focal length, I challenge you to find a sharper lens. You can find more images of Wolf Creek Falls at my website: http://www.tobygant.com/vogel.

Unicoi State Park and Anna Ruby Falls

I woke early this morning looking for an adventure. I revisited Unicoi State Park and Anna Ruby Falls. It’s been a few years since my last trip. Since then my equipment and my abilities have improved. It really showed when I pulled them up in Lightroom. I had several captures that I am extremely happy with. As, a matter of fact one is already framed and on the wall. (An honor normally given to only those captures that stand the test of time with me.) The rain held out while I was in the park. I truly do not remember ever having more fun with my camera than I did today. The tumblers all fell in place. I knew which shots would be the best when I squeezed the shutter. You can see this shot and more on my site at http://www.tobygant.com/unicoi. One of the shots in the folder was taken with my trusty old Nikon D80. If you stop by the site, you’ll probably be able to tell which one it is just looking at the thumbnails. (Although I love the composition, the quality is just not quite the same.)

Taunted Again

OspreyWhile visiting Merritt Island last week I observed osprey after osprey. I must have seen at least a dozen of these incredible animals and yet the shot I am looking for still eludes me. This particular osprey was feeding on top of the lights in a parking lot. Not exactly a “nature” shot. Even though it is natural to see them perched on street lights and overhead street signs. I think I am going to have to take some time away from my day job and camp by the river to get my shot. I’m simply not going to get the shot any other way. If anyone has suggestions for capturing an image of an osprey catching its lunch, I am open to suggestions. I captured this image using my 70-200mm f/2.8 and 2x teleconverter. You can see more images of osprey and other wildlife at my site. http://www.tobygant.com/wild

St. Johns River

The St. Johns RiverLeaving work the other day, I stopped by the river to enjoy a bit of serenity. It was a beautiful afternoon on the St. Johns. Other than a few squirrels and a shorebird there was no wildlife to be seen. But, it was an interesting sky and I enjoy the Spanish moss and cypress trees. I tend to avoid sepia images. But, in this case I think it works well. I am not in love with the composition of this image. But, I do find it to be an interesting image all the same and feel that it “works”. Please share your thoughts. The image was captured with my 16-35mm f/4 VR lens tripod mounted. I used a 10x ND filter to smooth the water. You can see more of my landscape images at http://www.tobygant.com/landscapes.