Michael Speed: Blog https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog en-us (C) Michael Speed photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) Thu, 07 May 2020 13:13:00 GMT Thu, 07 May 2020 13:13:00 GMT https://www.michaelspeed.com/img/s/v-12/u991121553-o928053001-50.jpg Michael Speed: Blog https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog 120 95 Rocky Knob Recreation Area - Blue Ridge Parkway https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2020/5/rocky-knob-recreation-area---blue-ridge-parkway I recently took my son to the thankfully-still-open Blue Ridge Parkway.  We arrived under rain and stayed until the sun was shining!  It was cool watching the rain clouds travel off into the distance!  

Rocky Knob Recreation AreaRocky Knob Recreation AreaBeautiful Blue Ridge Parkway views seen from Rocky Knob in springtime. Rocky Knob Recreation AreaRocky Knob Recreation AreaBeautiful Blue Ridge Parkway views seen from Rocky Knob in springtime. Rocky Knob Recreation AreaRocky Knob Recreation AreaBeautiful Blue Ridge Parkway views seen from Rocky Knob in springtime. Rocky Knob Recreation AreaRocky Knob Recreation AreaBeautiful Blue Ridge Parkway views seen from Rocky Knob in springtime. Rocky Knob Recreation AreaRocky Knob Recreation AreaBeautiful Blue Ridge Parkway views seen from Rocky Knob in springtime. Rocky Knob Recreation AreaRocky Knob Recreation AreaBeautiful Blue Ridge Parkway views seen from Rocky Knob in springtime. Rocky Knob Recreation AreaRocky Knob Recreation AreaBeautiful Blue Ridge Parkway views seen from Rocky Knob in springtime. I do love the parkway in the spring.  Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) beautiful virginia best of virginia blue ridge parkway rocky knob recreation area Scenic overlooks virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2020/5/rocky-knob-recreation-area---blue-ridge-parkway Thu, 07 May 2020 13:13:17 GMT
333 Lester Rd Riner VA - Land for Sale https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2019/9/333-lester-rd-riner-va Lucy Lamanna of Thomas and Wall Real Estate currently has a listing for over 50 acres in Riner VA.  She had me come out and take a few photos and make a video.

I feel like the video really tells a good story of how the property is laid out:

Below you can see the photos we captured both with the drone and on the ground.

Real estate photography FLoyd VAReal estate photography FLoyd VAAerial and land based real estate photography in Riner Virginia.

Real estate photography FLoyd VAReal estate photography FLoyd VAAerial and land based real estate photography in Riner Virginia. Real estate photography FLoyd VAReal estate photography FLoyd VAAerial and land based real estate photography in Riner Virginia. Real estate photography FLoyd VAReal estate photography FLoyd VAAerial and land based real estate photography in Riner Virginia. Real estate photography FLoyd VAReal estate photography FLoyd VAAerial and land based real estate photography in Riner Virginia. Real estate photography FLoyd VAReal estate photography FLoyd VAAerial and land based real estate photography in Riner Virginia.

Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blacksburg photographer land for sale michael speed radford photographer real estate photographer real estate video thomas and wall real estate virginia photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2019/9/333-lester-rd-riner-va Sat, 07 Sep 2019 15:25:48 GMT
Twin Creeks Log Homes/VRBO Shoot in Willis, VA. https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2019/7/twin-creeks-log-homes/vrbo-shoot-in-willis-va Earlier this summer I had a fun opportunity to shoot a really cool log home in Willis Virginia.  The log supplier hired me to head out here and shoot the house, as well as let the owner use the photos for his VRBO listing.

If you like log homes and need the logs: https://www.twincreeksloghomes.com/

I started out with some drone shots before making a walk around the property.

The house is sitting up on a hill so the drone really comes in handy here.

After flying the drone starting walking around all the cool places.

I shot the deck before moving inside.

The house is really sweet!  I just love log cabins!  I'm not gonna lie, I love any house deep in the forest with a creek nearby... but if it's also a log cabin then it is extra awesome!

I had a great time shooting this log home... I hope you enjoyed looking.  Thank you.

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) floyd photographer log cabin log home nikon d750 real estate real estate photographer real estate photography twin creeks log homes vacation rental https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2019/7/twin-creeks-log-homes/vrbo-shoot-in-willis-va Mon, 22 Jul 2019 17:50:09 GMT
Photographing Lightning Bugs at the Mabry Mill (2019!) https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2019/7/photographing-lightning-bugs-at-the-mabry-mill-2019 Some of my favorite images that I have ever made are those of lightning bugs(or fireflies).  Every summer these awesome little creatures come out in droves and really put on a great show after sundown.

 

A few years ago, I had some fun at Mabry Mill shooting the lightning bugs.  This year, with so much real estate photography keeping my busy, I haven't had a whole lot of time for what I like to call 'recreational photography".  So just to keep my photography life interesting I headed down the Mabry Mill last month to shoot the lightning bugs.

 

I only ended up making three photos, since each one took 30 minutes to an hour to make.  I set the built in intervalometer on my Nikon D750 and just sat back and watched em fly around.

Lightning bugs like the edge of a forest and water.  Mabry Mill's lawns and water are a great place for viewing lightning bugs.  This first photo was taken at the back side of the main lawn looking back toward the Mill.

Lightning Bug PhotographyLightning Bug Photographyphotograph of lightning bugs at the Mabry Mill in virginia.

My next spot was down next to the Mill.  The lightning bugs were really popping by this time!  Standing there watching them fly all around was just great and much needed(spring is just crazy busy for me and it was much needed).

I light painted the structure in one exposure and let the bugs fly in a bunch of others.

Lightning Bug PhotographyLightning Bug Photographyphotograph of lightning bugs at the Mabry Mill in virginia.

My last shot was taken from across the pond.  I used one very long exposure for my base exposure and then let the camera take photos for a half an hour or so before heading home.

Lightning Bug PhotographyLightning Bug Photographyphotograph of lightning bugs at the Mabry Mill in virginia.

Thanks for looking, scroll down to check out some other photos of lightning bugs that I have taken at the Mabry Mill.

Mabry Mill Lightning BugsMabry Mill Lightning Bugsimages of Mabry Mill at night with lightning bugs. Mabry Mill Lightning BugsMabry Mill Lightning Bugsimages of Mabry Mill at night with lightning bugs. Mabry Mill Lightning BugsMabry Mill Lightning Bugsimages of Mabry Mill at night with lightning bugs.

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blue ridge parkway firefly firefly photography light painting lightning bugs mabry mill night photography virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2019/7/photographing-lightning-bugs-at-the-mabry-mill-2019 Sun, 21 Jul 2019 18:21:26 GMT
Real Estate Photography - Salem Virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2019/5/real-estate-photography---salem-virginia I recently had the opportunity to shoot a really nice house in mountains near Salem Virginia.  There was a bathroom every 5 feet or so and a sweet deck and view!

Contact me to schedule a shoot for your listing.

Salem Virginia Real Estate PhotographerSalem Virginia Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer serving Salem Virginia

Salem Virginia Real Estate PhotographerSalem Virginia Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer serving Salem Virginia Salem Virginia Real Estate PhotographerSalem Virginia Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer serving Salem Virginia

Salem Virginia Real Estate PhotographerSalem Virginia Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer serving Salem Virginia Salem Virginia Real Estate PhotographerSalem Virginia Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer serving Salem Virginia Salem Virginia Real Estate PhotographerSalem Virginia Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer serving Salem Virginia Salem Virginia Real Estate PhotographerSalem Virginia Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer serving Salem Virginia Salem Virginia Real Estate PhotographerSalem Virginia Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer serving Salem Virginia

Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) michael speed real estate photographer salem virginia real estate photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2019/5/real-estate-photography---salem-virginia Sun, 12 May 2019 16:44:11 GMT
Real Estate Photography - Floyd Virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2019/4/real-estate-photography---floyd-virginia I recently had an opportunity to photograph a couple cool properties out in beautiful Floyd Virginia.  One very unique house, and one old and well maintained house.

See the Thomas&Wall website for more information.

Need photographs for a listing of your own?  Click here to contact me.

Floyd Virginia Real Estate PhotographyFloyd Virginia Real Estate PhotographyReal Estate Photographer Floyd Virginia Floyd Virginia Real Estate PhotographyFloyd Virginia Real Estate PhotographyReal Estate Photographer Floyd Virginia Floyd Virginia Real Estate PhotographyFloyd Virginia Real Estate PhotographyReal Estate Photographer Floyd Virginia Floyd Virginia Real Estate PhotographyFloyd Virginia Real Estate PhotographyReal Estate Photographer Floyd Virginia Real Estate PhotographyReal Estate PhotographyReal estate photographer Indian Valley Virginia. Real Estate PhotographyReal Estate PhotographyReal estate photographer Indian Valley Virginia. Real Estate PhotographyReal Estate PhotographyReal estate photographer Indian Valley Virginia. Real Estate PhotographyReal Estate PhotographyReal estate photographer Indian Valley Virginia. Real Estate PhotographyReal Estate PhotographyReal estate photographer Indian Valley Virginia.

Real Estate PhotographyReal Estate PhotographyReal estate photographer Indian Valley Virginia. Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) floyd virginia michael speed real estate photographer thomas and wall virginia photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2019/4/real-estate-photography---floyd-virginia Mon, 29 Apr 2019 17:29:53 GMT
Winter Vacation to Montana! https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2019/3/winter-vacation-to-montana Last November my brother Matthew kept sending me awesome photos of snowfall in Montana.  Since snow just doesn't come around Virginia too much, I booked a trip a few months later.  For this trip I used a Panasonic LX10, DJI Mavic Air, and an Insta360 One X.

I have to say flying with a toddler is tough, and I pretty much constantly felt bad for people around us, but we made it through.  

Montana Travel PhotosMontana Travel PhotosPhotos from a winter vacation in montana.

Once we got to Billings we had an all day drive ahead of us.   We stopped in Bozeman to grab essentials like peanut butter and jelly, and stayed in Butte one night to break up the drive.

Montana Travel PhotosMontana Travel PhotosPhotos from a winter vacation in montana.

Just south of Flathead lake, you are given a beautiful view of the Mission Mountains near St. Ignatius. Today we only had a partial view as the clouds were staying low. We stopped for a quick photo before continuing on.

Mission MountainsMission MountainsView of Mission mountains from the highway.

About an hour south of Eureka, you really get a bunch of nice mountain views.

Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge. Once we made it to Eureka we went for walk around the block where my Grandmother lives.  It was below zero but Charles was a trooper! Montana Travel PhotosMontana Travel PhotosPhotos from a winter vacation in montana.

The next morning I woke up super early and went out for some full moon photography.  I bought a Panasonic Lumix LX10 just for this trip and wanted to see how it would perform.

Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge. Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge.

Below, you can see a couple rocks covered in snow and a frozen Lake Koocanusa in the distance.

Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge.

I made it to the Koocanusa Bridge well before morning twilight.  The moon and stars were still shining bright!

Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge.

Looking back from the opposite side of the bridge now, you can see the lights of a plow truck across the lake.  Side note, I was blown away by the logging traffic out here!  Even at 4:30am it seemed that one would pass by every 20 minutes or so.

Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge.

From a about the same spot as the above photo, just looking away from the bridge, you can see some awesome fog rolling along the lake.

Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge.

Below you can see the edge of the ice on Lake Koocanusa.

Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge.

As the sun started to come up, I started to make my way back across the bridge.  Here you can see the Canadian Rockies in the distance.

Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge.

As I made it back to Eureka, I stopped to take a photo from where I was earlier.  I got a text telling my my kid was awake so I headed home to hang out!

Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge.

Later that day, we went to the historical park in Eureka.  I took a few photos of the buildings and flew the drone for a few moments.

Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge. Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge. Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge. After checking out the Historical Park, we went to take a look at the bridge.  My Grandad told me to drive towards the Canadian border and see if I saw any Bighorn Sheep.  We didn't see any sheep but we did see a bunch of elk up on the hill!

Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge. THEN we went back to the bridge.

Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge.

There isn't much traffic on the bridge so...

Charles isn't sure about snow and freezing temps.

The next morning before leaving for Monarch, I got up early again to see what I could see sunrise-wise.  Nothing much came of it but I'm always glad to get out.

Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge. Northwest MontanaNorthwest MontanaImages from Eureka Montana and surrounding areas in winter of 2019. Areas include Eureka, Lake Koocanusa, and the Lake Koocanusa Bridge.

After that we were off!  I must say the highway below Glacier National Park is beautiful.  But since we were in a hurry to get to my brothers cabin in Monarch, we pretty much went non-stop.  On the easter side of the Rocky Mountains, we were driving through a seemingly endless abyss of drifting snow.

But we made it!  I didn't take many photos here, cuz you know, family time.  My brothers cabin has quite a view!

After a short stay in Monarch, we headed to Lewistown where my brother lives.  The weather was pretty cold and snowy, so we went up to Judith Mountain via my brothers ATV.

Montana Travel PhotosMontana Travel PhotosPhotos from a winter vacation in montana.

The wind at the top was CRAZY and Charles kept saying 'COOOOOLD!' Montana Travel PhotosMontana Travel PhotosPhotos from a winter vacation in montana.

Once we made it back into the ATV, I used my Insta360 ONE X to take a group photo.  I am still getting to know this camera but have enjoyed it so far!

After a couple more days of hanging out with friends and family, it was time to head on out.  Hopefully someday I'll call this place home again.

Thanks for looking.

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) eureka montana judith peak lewistown montana montana panasonic lumix lx10 travel montana winter in montana https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2019/3/winter-vacation-to-montana Thu, 07 Mar 2019 18:58:39 GMT
Real Estate Photography - Blacksburg Virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2019/2/real-estate-photography---blacksburg-virginia Anne-Collins Albimino has me busy again!  Check out the video of this cool Blacksburg property below:

This time we photographed a cool 2BR house on Glade Road in Blacksburg VA.   The weather was dreary as can be!  I am still working on getting better at sky replacements but am finding them to be very useful on days like this.

Blacksburg Real Estate PhotographerBlacksburg Real Estate PhotographerReal Estate Photography on Glade Road Blacksburg Virginia.

Blacksburg Real Estate PhotographerBlacksburg Real Estate PhotographerReal Estate Photography on Glade Road Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksburg Real Estate PhotographerBlacksburg Real Estate PhotographerReal Estate Photography on Glade Road Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksburg Real Estate PhotographerBlacksburg Real Estate PhotographerReal Estate Photography on Glade Road Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksburg Real Estate PhotographerBlacksburg Real Estate PhotographerReal Estate Photography on Glade Road Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksburg Real Estate PhotographerBlacksburg Real Estate PhotographerReal Estate Photography on Glade Road Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksburg Real Estate PhotographerBlacksburg Real Estate PhotographerReal Estate Photography on Glade Road Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksburg Real Estate PhotographerBlacksburg Real Estate PhotographerReal Estate Photography on Glade Road Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksburg Real Estate PhotographerBlacksburg Real Estate PhotographerReal Estate Photography on Glade Road Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksburg Real Estate PhotographerBlacksburg Real Estate PhotographerReal Estate Photography on Glade Road Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksburg Real Estate PhotographerBlacksburg Real Estate PhotographerReal Estate Photography on Glade Road Blacksburg Virginia. Thanks for stopping by!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blacksburg real estate photographer irix firefly 15mm new river valley photographer nikon d50 real estate photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2019/2/real-estate-photography---blacksburg-virginia Wed, 13 Feb 2019 17:27:44 GMT
New Real Estate Photography in Blacksburg and Daleville Virginia. https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2019/2/new-real-estate-photography-in-blacksburg-and-daleville-virginia Recently, Stateson Homes sent me up to their new town homes in Daleville Town Center.  They are looking all staged up and great!  This area surely would make a cool place to live.

Click here to contact me and schedule a real estate shoot for your upcoming listing!

Check out the Windsor Townhome Virtual Tour by clicking here.
Roanoke Real Estate PhotographerRoanoke Real Estate PhotographerReal Estate Photographer serving Roanoke Virginia. Roanoke Real Estate PhotographerRoanoke Real Estate PhotographerReal Estate Photographer serving Roanoke Virginia. Roanoke Real Estate PhotographerRoanoke Real Estate PhotographerReal Estate Photographer serving Roanoke Virginia. Roanoke Real Estate PhotographerRoanoke Real Estate PhotographerReal Estate Photographer serving Roanoke Virginia. Roanoke Real Estate PhotographerRoanoke Real Estate PhotographerReal Estate Photographer serving Roanoke Virginia.

Another cool house to photograph was one listed by Anne-Collins Albimino.(That link will take you to her Long and Foster Website)

This one is located up on a hill in Blacksburg VA, so the drone was in order.  The skies were nothing but dreary and the winds were insane but I did the best I could with the Mavic Air.  All it took was a couple sky replacements:)

New River Valley Real Estate PhotographerNew River Valley Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer in Blacksburg Virginia. New River Valley Real Estate PhotographerNew River Valley Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer in Blacksburg Virginia. New River Valley Real Estate PhotographerNew River Valley Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer in Blacksburg Virginia. New River Valley Real Estate PhotographerNew River Valley Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer in Blacksburg Virginia. New River Valley Real Estate PhotographerNew River Valley Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer in Blacksburg Virginia. New River Valley Real Estate PhotographerNew River Valley Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer in Blacksburg Virginia. New River Valley Real Estate PhotographerNew River Valley Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer in Blacksburg Virginia.

New River Valley Real Estate PhotographerNew River Valley Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer in Blacksburg Virginia. New River Valley Real Estate PhotographerNew River Valley Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer in Blacksburg Virginia. Anne-Collins also had me make a short video of the property, which you can see below. New River Valley Real Estate PhotographerReal estate photographer in Blacksburg Virginia. Thanks for stopping by!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) 3d vista blacksburg photographer real estate photography roanoke real estate photographer virtual tour creator https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2019/2/new-real-estate-photography-in-blacksburg-and-daleville-virginia Mon, 11 Feb 2019 17:37:59 GMT
SNOWPOCALYPSE 2018! https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/12/snowpocalypse-2018 The recent snowstorm was quite a doozie!  Radford City received roughly 15 inches of snow, while some areas received even more!  It surely made for a great sledding and cocoa day!  

That morning, before the storm really started to dump down on us, I went for a stroll to downtown Radford.  Even though I went downtown before it started to accumulate, it was really coming down hard!

2018 Snowstorm Radford Virginia2018 Snowstorm Radford VirginiaSnowstorm photography from Radford Virginia, 2018. 2018 Snowstorm Radford Virginia2018 Snowstorm Radford VirginiaSnowstorm photography from Radford Virginia, 2018. 2018 Snowstorm Radford Virginia2018 Snowstorm Radford VirginiaSnowstorm photography from Radford Virginia, 2018. 2018 Snowstorm Radford Virginia2018 Snowstorm Radford VirginiaSnowstorm photography from Radford Virginia, 2018. 2018 Snowstorm Radford Virginia2018 Snowstorm Radford VirginiaSnowstorm photography from Radford Virginia, 2018. 2018 Snowstorm Radford Virginia2018 Snowstorm Radford VirginiaSnowstorm photography from Radford Virginia, 2018. After the snow had settled the next day, I took the drone up to get a look at the neighborhood.

2018 Snowstorm Radford Virginia2018 Snowstorm Radford VirginiaSnowstorm photography from Radford Virginia, 2018. Can you see me?  I'm standing in the middle of my street near the lower left... I'm just a tiny dot from 400ft away.

2018 Snowstorm Radford Virginia2018 Snowstorm Radford VirginiaSnowstorm photography from Radford Virginia, 2018. The next morning, I took my drone out again in the frigid hour just before dawn.  The scenes were really beautiful for sure, even if my fingers were frozen.

Below some anti-crepuscular rays can be seen above a foggy and frosty New River.

2018 Snowstorm Radford Virginia2018 Snowstorm Radford VirginiaSnowstorm photography from Radford Virginia, 2018. Here you can seen Interstate 81 crossing the New River.

2018 Snowstorm Radford Virginia2018 Snowstorm Radford VirginiaSnowstorm photography from Radford Virginia, 2018. After a short flight near I81, I went towards the foggy area near Radford to fly again.

2018 Snowstorm Radford Virginia2018 Snowstorm Radford VirginiaSnowstorm photography from Radford Virginia, 2018. 2018 Snowstorm Radford Virginia2018 Snowstorm Radford VirginiaSnowstorm photography from Radford Virginia, 2018. 2018 Snowstorm Radford Virginia2018 Snowstorm Radford VirginiaSnowstorm photography from Radford Virginia, 2018. 2018 Snowstorm Radford Virginia2018 Snowstorm Radford VirginiaSnowstorm photography from Radford Virginia, 2018. Before heading back home, I snapped one shot with my LG v30:

2018 Snowstorm Radford Virginia2018 Snowstorm Radford VirginiaSnowstorm photography from Radford Virginia, 2018. Thanks for looking!

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) canon m6 dji mavic air drone photos radford virginia snowpocalypse snowy landscapes virginia winter https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/12/snowpocalypse-2018 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 15:00:55 GMT
New fall photos from Indian Valley Virginia. https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/11/new-fall-photos-from-indian-valley-virginia I had a chance to spend a few minutes on Little Indian Creek the other day.  I had Charles on my back and he seemed content leaf peeping while I took some photos.   

I know my blog game has been weak lately, as I have been mostly tied up with real estate photography, which I don't tend to blog about.  Maybe that'll change, either way I need to give this site more attention!

 

The trees down on Little Indian Creek were simply awesome!  All of these photos were shot with my trusty Canon m6 and 11-22.

Indian Valley VirginiaIndian Valley VirginiaImages from Indian Valley and Little Indian Creek in Virginia.

Indian Valley VirginiaIndian Valley VirginiaImages from Indian Valley and Little Indian Creek in Virginia. Indian Valley VirginiaIndian Valley VirginiaImages from Indian Valley and Little Indian Creek in Virginia. Indian Valley VirginiaIndian Valley VirginiaImages from Indian Valley and Little Indian Creek in Virginia. Indian Valley VirginiaIndian Valley VirginiaImages from Indian Valley and Little Indian Creek in Virginia. Indian Valley VirginiaIndian Valley VirginiaImages from Indian Valley and Little Indian Creek in Virginia. Before leaving I flew the drone up and took a look around... Indian Valley VirginiaIndian Valley VirginiaImages from Indian Valley and Little Indian Creek in Virginia. Indian Valley VirginiaIndian Valley VirginiaImages from Indian Valley and Little Indian Creek in Virginia. Indian Valley VirginiaIndian Valley VirginiaImages from Indian Valley and Little Indian Creek in Virginia. Indian Valley VirginiaIndian Valley VirginiaImages from Indian Valley and Little Indian Creek in Virginia. Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) canon m 11-22 canon m6 dji mavic air indian valley michael speed radford va virginia photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/11/new-fall-photos-from-indian-valley-virginia Fri, 09 Nov 2018 17:32:33 GMT
Real Estate Photography In Hillsville Virginia. https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/7/real-estate-photography-in-hillsville-virginia I photographed a home recently in Hillsville Virginia.  It has awesome views and some great features!  Click here for the Estately Listing.

Real Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate photography in Hillsville Virginia.

Real Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate photography in Hillsville Virginia. Real Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate photography in Hillsville Virginia. Real Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate photography in Hillsville Virginia. Real Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate photography in Hillsville Virginia. Real Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate photography in Hillsville Virginia. Real Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate photography in Hillsville Virginia. Real Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate photography in Hillsville Virginia. Real Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate photography in Hillsville Virginia. Real Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate photography in Hillsville Virginia. Real Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate photography in Hillsville Virginia. Real Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate Photography Hillsville VAReal Estate photography in Hillsville Virginia. Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) drone photographer hillsville va real estate photographer michael speed real estate photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/7/real-estate-photography-in-hillsville-virginia Sun, 01 Jul 2018 17:27:34 GMT
New Drone Photos https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/5/new-drone-photos Man I have had quite the drone rollercoaster over the last few months!  I purchased a Mavic Air, sold a Phantom 4, crashed my Mavic Air, bought a Phantom 3, and then got my Mavic Air back from repair($$$)!

Either way, I have been able to take some nice photos from the New River Valley.  I have been flying quite a bit from Bisset Park in Radford.  

Radford VirginiaRadford VirginiaAerial image of Radford Virginia taken with a drone.

Radford Virginia Aerial PhotoRadford Virginia Aerial PhotoDrone Photo of Radford Virginia and the New River Radford University FogRadford University FogPatchy fog over Radford University. Radford Virginia Aerial PhotoRadford Virginia Aerial PhotoDrone Photo of Radford Virginia and the New River Radford UniversityRadford UniversityDrone photograph of Radford University. Radford UniversityRadford UniversityDrone photograph of Radford University. Radford Virginia Drone PhotosRadford Virginia Drone PhotosAerial image of Radford, Virginia I have also been doing a few flights from the Riverview Park on Radford's west end.

Radford Virginia Aerial PhotoRadford Virginia Aerial PhotoDrone Photo of Radford Virginia and the New River Radford Virginia Aerial PhotoRadford Virginia Aerial PhotoDrone Photo of Radford Virginia and the New River Rainbow over New RiverRainbow over New RiverDrone photo of rainbow over New River and Radford Virginia. Rainbow over New RiverRainbow over New RiverDrone photo of rainbow over New River and Radford Virginia. We also made it up to Barneys Wall by way of the Cascades.  The Mavic Air is perfect for this kind of thing!

Barneys Wall HikeBarneys Wall HikeA springtime hike to Barneys Wall in Pembroke Virginia.

Barneys Wall HikeBarneys Wall HikeA springtime hike to Barneys Wall in Pembroke Virginia.

Thanks for looking!  

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) barneys wall cascades drone photography dronie michael speed new river radford radford university radford virginia virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/5/new-drone-photos Sat, 19 May 2018 18:35:58 GMT
Pilot Mountain State Park - North Carolina https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/4/pilot-mountain-state-park---north-carolina I was able to make a maiden voyage to Pilot Mountain State Park!  I wasn't sure how much I would like a place with a road all the way to the top, but I gotta say it is cool!

The boy and me hiked the Grindstone Trail from near the base of the mountain.  The first 2 miles were a casual, hilly stroll through the forest.  The last mile, the views really come around and they are awesome!  You can seemingly see forever.

Pilot Mountain stands just outside of the Blue Ridge Mountains, much taller than the surrounding piedmont.  The views are incredible.

Pilot Mountain State ParkPilot Mountain State ParkHiking the Grindstone Trail in Pilot Mountain State Park in North Carolina. Pilot Mountain State ParkPilot Mountain State ParkHiking the Grindstone Trail in Pilot Mountain State Park in North Carolina. Pilot Mountain State ParkPilot Mountain State ParkHiking the Grindstone Trail in Pilot Mountain State Park in North Carolina. Pilot Mountain State ParkPilot Mountain State ParkHiking the Grindstone Trail in Pilot Mountain State Park in North Carolina. Pilot Mountain State ParkPilot Mountain State ParkHiking the Grindstone Trail in Pilot Mountain State Park in North Carolina. Pilot Mountain State ParkPilot Mountain State ParkHiking the Grindstone Trail in Pilot Mountain State Park in North Carolina. After hiking three miles, you arrive at the parking lot, and the trail to the big view.  Below, you can see Hanging Rock State Park(the farthest mountains in the distance to the left)

Pilot Mountain State ParkPilot Mountain State ParkHiking the Grindstone Trail in Pilot Mountain State Park in North Carolina.

For some context, here is a shot from the Moore's Wall Loop Trail in Hanging Rock State Park.  You can see Pilot Mountain in the distance to the left.

Hanging Rock State Park Camping TripHanging Rock State Park Camping TripImages from Hanging Rock State Park in North Carolina. During this trip we camped in the family camping campground, hiked to Hanging Rock as well as Moore's Knob. Gallery also includes images of people gathered around a campfire. For EVEN MORE context, here is a photo taken from Buffalo Mountain, well within the Blue Ridge Mountains/Plateau.  You can see Pilot Mountain shooting up from even here!

Buffalo Mountain Nature PreserveBuffalo Mountain Nature PreserveImages from the trail and overlook of Buffalo Mountain in Floyd County Virginia. Pilot Mountain State ParkPilot Mountain State ParkHiking the Grindstone Trail in Pilot Mountain State Park in North Carolina.

Pilot Mountain State ParkPilot Mountain State ParkHiking the Grindstone Trail in Pilot Mountain State Park in North Carolina. Pilot Mountain State ParkPilot Mountain State ParkHiking the Grindstone Trail in Pilot Mountain State Park in North Carolina. The overlook at the top is a great place to have a snack before heading back down the mountain.

Pilot Mountain State ParkPilot Mountain State ParkHiking the Grindstone Trail in Pilot Mountain State Park in North Carolina. Thanks for looking!

And here is a drone shot taken just down the road from Pilot Mountain.

Pilot Mountain State ParkPilot Mountain State ParkHiking the Grindstone Trail in Pilot Mountain State Park in North Carolina.

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blue ridge mountains grindstone trail hiking with kids north carolina pilot mountain state park scenic views https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/4/pilot-mountain-state-park---north-carolina Fri, 20 Apr 2018 22:58:17 GMT
Stone Mountain State Park, North Carolina. https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/4/early-spring-hike-to-stone-mountain-state-park-north-carolina We recently went down to the beautiful Stone Mountain State Park.  It's only a 90 minute drive from my home in Radford, and if we time it right, the boy can sleep for most of the drive!

I hike light these days since I carry the boy, so these photos were taken with my smartphone and an Aukey Polarizer. The raw files were edited in Lightroom Mobile.(what a time to be alive!)

We first went up the Wolf Rock/Cedar Rock trails.  The Cedar Rock trail gives an awesome view of Stone Mountain from across the valley.

VS986

The Wolf Rock view isn't as dramatic but the lack of other people is very serene.

Early Spring hike in Stone Mountain State ParkEarly Spring hike in Stone Mountain State ParkPhotos from an early spring hike to Stone Mountain State Park in North Carolina.

We took a pit stop at the homestead at the base of the mountain before heading up! Early Spring hike in Stone Mountain State ParkEarly Spring hike in Stone Mountain State ParkPhotos from an early spring hike to Stone Mountain State Park in North Carolina. We were with only a handful of other visitors today.

Early Spring hike in Stone Mountain State ParkEarly Spring hike in Stone Mountain State ParkPhotos from an early spring hike to Stone Mountain State Park in North Carolina.

There are a BOATLOAD of stairs on one side of the mountain, and since the boy seems to constantly try and climb the stairs at home(which is against the rules), I let him have a taste of his own medicine!  Unfortunately, he actually enjoyed the 40 or so stairs I let him climb. Early Spring hike in Stone Mountain State ParkEarly Spring hike in Stone Mountain State ParkPhotos from an early spring hike to Stone Mountain State Park in North Carolina.

The blooms are starting to come about!

Early Spring hike in Stone Mountain State ParkEarly Spring hike in Stone Mountain State ParkPhotos from an early spring hike to Stone Mountain State Park in North Carolina. The view from the top is totally awesome!  It's a great place to enjoy the view and have a snack.
VS986 Early Spring hike in Stone Mountain State ParkEarly Spring hike in Stone Mountain State ParkPhotos from an early spring hike to Stone Mountain State Park in North Carolina. Thanks for looking! VS986

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blue ridge mountains hiking with kids north carolina north carolina state parks smartphone photography stone mountain state park https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/4/early-spring-hike-to-stone-mountain-state-park-north-carolina Fri, 13 Apr 2018 23:10:36 GMT
Winter Hike to Buffalo Mountain https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/3/winter-hike-to-buffalo-mountain The boy and me recently went up to Buffalo Mountain.  It had snowed a few days prior, but all the snow was off of the trees at the lower elevations.  To my delight, ice was still covering the trees up on windswept Buffalo Mountain!  I was also glad to blaze a trail in the snow on the ground, meaning it had been left untouched since the recent snow storm.  All of the photos were taken with my smartphone and DJI Mavic Air.  I am still researching compact cameras as bringing my DSLR kit and child hiking is just a little more than I want to carry(and I can't leave the kid at home)

This is the view after the last turn as you head up to the top.

Buffalo Mountain Winter HikeBuffalo Mountain Winter HikeHiking to Buffalo Mountain in Winter. Benches at the top of the mountain.  A great place to sit and enjoy the view.

Buffalo Mountain Winter HikeBuffalo Mountain Winter HikeHiking to Buffalo Mountain in Winter.

Buffalo Mountain Winter HikeBuffalo Mountain Winter HikeHiking to Buffalo Mountain in Winter.

Buffalo Mountain Winter HikeBuffalo Mountain Winter HikeHiking to Buffalo Mountain in Winter. Buffalo Mountain Winter HikeBuffalo Mountain Winter HikeHiking to Buffalo Mountain in Winter. Buffalo Mountain Winter HikeBuffalo Mountain Winter HikeHiking to Buffalo Mountain in Winter. Buffalo Mountain Winter HikeBuffalo Mountain Winter HikeHiking to Buffalo Mountain in Winter. The next few photos are from the DJI Mavic Air.  I am quite impressed at the image quality that this little machine provides!

Buffalo Mountain Winter HikeBuffalo Mountain Winter HikeHiking to Buffalo Mountain in Winter. Buffalo Mountain Winter HikeBuffalo Mountain Winter HikeHiking to Buffalo Mountain in Winter. Buffalo Mountain Winter HikeBuffalo Mountain Winter HikeHiking to Buffalo Mountain in Winter. Buffalo Mountain Winter HikeBuffalo Mountain Winter HikeHiking to Buffalo Mountain in Winter. Thanks for looking!

Buffalo Mountain Winter HikeBuffalo Mountain Winter HikeHiking to Buffalo Mountain in Winter.

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blue ridge mountains buffalo mountain dji mavic air floyd virginia hiking with children osprey poco winter scenes https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/3/winter-hike-to-buffalo-mountain Sat, 24 Mar 2018 16:23:09 GMT
New Images from the Cascades of Giles County https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/3/cascades I've gotten to make two trips up to the Cascades recently.  One the first trip I was armed with only my smartphone and a small clip on polarizer from a company called Aukey.  During the second trip, I had my more traditional setup of my Nikon d750 with the 28-300 mounted.

Click here to view my entire Cascades Gallery

There was just a light dusting of snow during my first trip.  

little stony creeklittle stony creekLittle Stony Creek in Giles County Virginia Cascades WinterCascades WinterWinter image from the Cascades in Giles County Virginia. little stony creeklittle stony creekLittle Stony Creek in Giles County Virginia During my second outing a decent snow storm had passed through the area the night before.  It was just tapering off when I got to the trailhead.  Hopefully the photos below look at least a little better than the smartphone photos above!!

Cascades WinterCascades WinterWinter image from the Cascades in Giles County Virginia. Cascades WinterCascades WinterWinter image from the Cascades in Giles County Virginia. Cascades WinterCascades WinterWinter image from the Cascades in Giles County Virginia. Cascades WinterCascades WinterWinter image from the Cascades in Giles County Virginia. Cascades WinterCascades WinterWinter image from the Cascades in Giles County Virginia. Cascades WinterCascades WinterWinter image from the Cascades in Giles County Virginia. Thanks for looking!

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) cascades virginia giles county little stony creek michael speed nikon 28-300 nikon d750 pembroke va virginia tourism virginia waterfalls https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/3/cascades Tue, 13 Mar 2018 22:19:44 GMT
Rocky Knob - Blue Ridge Parkway https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/3/rocky-knob---blue-ridge-parkway A quick journey to Rocky Knob with a freind of mine yeilded some nice images(if I do say so myself).   We arrived shortly before sunset and stayed for some stars.  

View my full Rocky Knob Gallery Here.

My favorite photos came from just after sunset.    Walking around on the balds, there are many nice compositions for both wide and telephoto compositions.

Rocky KnobRocky KnobImages from Rocky Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Floyd VA.

Rocky KnobRocky KnobImages from Rocky Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Floyd VA. Rocky KnobRocky KnobImages from Rocky Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Floyd VA. Rocky KnobRocky KnobImages from Rocky Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Floyd VA.

After sundown we headed up to the Rocky Knob shelter for some lightpainting. Rocky KnobRocky KnobImages from Rocky Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Floyd VA.

Rocky KnobRocky KnobImages from Rocky Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Floyd VA. Thanks for looking!

 

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blue ridge mountains blue ridge parkway landscapes michael speed nature photography nikon d750 rocky knob scenic landscapes southwest virginia virginia virginia photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/3/rocky-knob---blue-ridge-parkway Sat, 03 Mar 2018 13:34:40 GMT
Lake Moultrie - South Carolina https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/3/rocky-knob Recently I went and visited a friend who lives in Moncks Corner, South Carolina.  It's located near a huuuuuge lake called Lake Moultrie.  It has some sweet areas of what appear to be cypress trees growing from the water.  It has a very 'Dismal Swamp' feel to it.  I took my Mavic Air up for a few minutes of video and a handful of photos.  Enjoy!

Lake Moultrie South CarolinaLake Moultrie South CarolinaAerial view of Lake Moultrie in South Carolina. Lake Moultrie South CarolinaLake Moultrie South CarolinaAerial view of Lake Moultrie in South Carolina. Lake Moultrie South CarolinaLake Moultrie South CarolinaAerial view of Lake Moultrie in South Carolina. Lake Moultrie South CarolinaLake Moultrie South CarolinaAerial view of Lake Moultrie in South Carolina.

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) aerial video dji mavic air drone video lake moultrie michael speed south carolina https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/3/rocky-knob Thu, 01 Mar 2018 22:00:05 GMT
Snow Day at High Rocks Trail, Wytheville VA https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/1/snow-day-at-high-rocks High Rocks Trail Wytheville VAHigh Rocks Trail Wytheville VAImages from a Phantom 4 and LG V30 taken on a snowy hike to High Rocks in Big Survey Wildlife Management Area.

Recently I had just about the perfect day.  I got to spend the day with the wife and child - driving on snowy mountain roads, hiking snowy mountain trails, and overlooking snowy Virginia from High Rocks near Wytheville, VA. We even finished out our day with some hot chocolate... Good Stuff!

You may be used to better image quality from this blog... I gotta be honest, I only brought my LG V30 and Phantom 4 with me.

The day started out with my boy telling me(without words) that he would like to go enjoy the snow... 

We hit the road for Big Survey Wildlife Management Area near Wytheville, VA.  The Subaru handled the winter roads like nothing was out of the ordinary!  When we got to the trail head, I asked my wife politely if she would feed the boy so I could fly the drone...

High Rocks Trail Wytheville VAHigh Rocks Trail Wytheville VAImages from a Phantom 4 and LG V30 taken on a snowy hike to High Rocks in Big Survey Wildlife Management Area. High Rocks Trail Wytheville VAHigh Rocks Trail Wytheville VAImages from a Phantom 4 and LG V30 taken on a snowy hike to High Rocks in Big Survey Wildlife Management Area. High Rocks Trail Wytheville VAHigh Rocks Trail Wytheville VAImages from a Phantom 4 and LG V30 taken on a snowy hike to High Rocks in Big Survey Wildlife Management Area. Below you can see the trail meandering through the forest and up the mountain.  We were the first on the trail today, blazing through fresh snow!

High Rocks Trail Wytheville VAHigh Rocks Trail Wytheville VAImages from a Phantom 4 and LG V30 taken on a snowy hike to High Rocks in Big Survey Wildlife Management Area. High Rocks Trail Wytheville VAHigh Rocks Trail Wytheville VAImages from a Phantom 4 and LG V30 taken on a snowy hike to High Rocks in Big Survey Wildlife Management Area. Once at the top I took a few quick shots with my smartphone before sending the Phantom up.  There were some really high winds near the top, so the flight was short as I didn't want to take too many chances, especially since I was operating the drone well under the recommended minimum temperature.

High Rocks Trail Wytheville VAHigh Rocks Trail Wytheville VAImages from a Phantom 4 and LG V30 taken on a snowy hike to High Rocks in Big Survey Wildlife Management Area. High Rocks Trail Wytheville VAHigh Rocks Trail Wytheville VAImages from a Phantom 4 and LG V30 taken on a snowy hike to High Rocks in Big Survey Wildlife Management Area. High Rocks Trail Wytheville VAHigh Rocks Trail Wytheville VAImages from a Phantom 4 and LG V30 taken on a snowy hike to High Rocks in Big Survey Wildlife Management Area. High Rocks Trail Wytheville VAHigh Rocks Trail Wytheville VAImages from a Phantom 4 and LG V30 taken on a snowy hike to High Rocks in Big Survey Wildlife Management Area. High Rocks Trail Wytheville VAHigh Rocks Trail Wytheville VAImages from a Phantom 4 and LG V30 taken on a snowy hike to High Rocks in Big Survey Wildlife Management Area. High Rocks Trail Wytheville VAHigh Rocks Trail Wytheville VAImages from a Phantom 4 and LG V30 taken on a snowy hike to High Rocks in Big Survey Wildlife Management Area. High Rocks Trail Wytheville VAHigh Rocks Trail Wytheville VAImages from a Phantom 4 and LG V30 taken on a snowy hike to High Rocks in Big Survey Wildlife Management Area. High Rocks Trail Wytheville VAHigh Rocks Trail Wytheville VAImages from a Phantom 4 and LG V30 taken on a snowy hike to High Rocks in Big Survey Wildlife Management Area. High Rocks Trail Wytheville VAHigh Rocks Trail Wytheville VAImages from a Phantom 4 and LG V30 taken on a snowy hike to High Rocks in Big Survey Wildlife Management Area.

Thanks for Looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) aerial big survey wildlife management area dji phantom 4 drone photos high rocks trail lg v30 michael speed snow hikes wytheville va https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/1/snow-day-at-high-rocks Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:25:00 GMT
Frozen Cascades under the stars https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/1/frozen-cascades-under-the-stars Click here to view my entire Cascades Gallery

One of my favorite trips to the Cascades is in the bag!  Check out photos from my recent 5° trip to the Cascades below!  My feet were froooooozen by the time we left!  

I'll start off with some 'natural light' photos using only high ISO and ambient light from the sky.  All photos were taken with my Nikon D750 + 20mm 1.8G.

Cascades at NightCascades at NightCascades waterfall at night.

Cascades at NightCascades at NightCascades waterfall at night. We did a few that were lightpainted also...

Cascades at NightCascades at NightCascades waterfall at night. Cascades at NightCascades at NightCascades waterfall at night.

I crawled up into the ice to shine a light from within and then stacked a couple of other exposures to balance the scene.

Cascades at NightCascades at NightCascades waterfall at night. And here is what I look like:

Cascades at NightCascades at NightCascades waterfall at night. Check out the below video taken with my drone a few days before this journey:

Below I'd like to share some favorites from winters in the past.

A black and white winter image of the Cascades waterfall near Pembroke, VA.A black and white winter image of the Cascades waterfall near Pembroke, VA. Virginia CascadesVirginia CascadesThe Cascades near Pembroke Virginia in Giles County. It is a very large, cascading waterfall that attracts many many people every year. I have been there in the summer and during deep freezes. It is beautiful all year round. Virginia CascadesVirginia CascadesThe Cascades near Pembroke Virginia in Giles County. It is a very large, cascading waterfall that attracts many many people every year. I have been there in the summer and during deep freezes. It is beautiful all year round. frozen cascade falls pembrokefrozen cascade falls pembrokeImage taken at night up at the Virginia Cascades near Pembroke Virginia. Near 0° temps made for a very cold outing!

Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) cascades va cold hands frozen cascades frozen waterfalls light painting night photography nikon 20mm 1.8g nikon d750 starry skies https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2018/1/frozen-cascades-under-the-stars Tue, 09 Jan 2018 13:33:34 GMT
Logan - Senior Portraits https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/12/logan---senior-portraits Logan is a football playing, muzzle-loading, non-smoking marlboro man that lives in Giles county.  I had an awesome time shooting his senior portraits!  It has surely been too long since I was in the presence of gunfire!

Enjoy...

Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Blacksurg portrait photographerBlacksurg portrait photographerFamily and senior portraits in Blacksburg Virginia. Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blacksburg photographer cowboy farmboy giles county gun shooting michael speed nikon d750 portraits radford photographer senior portraits https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/12/logan---senior-portraits Sun, 10 Dec 2017 21:16:26 GMT
Lola - Senior Portraits https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/12/lola---seniort-portraits Lola's family farm streches as far a the eye can see in beautiful Newport VA.  I had an awesome time hanging out with her family while we took some photos.  

Thanks for looking!

Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Senior PortraitSenior PortraitLola's Senior portraits in Newport Virginia. Thanks for looking...

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blacksburg photographer grad photos historical houses michael speed newport va radford senior portraits senior portraits https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/12/lola---seniort-portraits Tue, 05 Dec 2017 20:13:14 GMT
Jayson and Christie and Fam https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/12/jayson-and-christie-and-fam I've had the good fortune of photographing Jayson and Christie and the dogs twice now!  They put up with the early morning cold weather like champs.  

Photos were taken in Bisset Park on the New River of Radford Virginia.  Thanks for looking!

radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia

radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia The dogs ain't having it.... radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia The struggle is real! radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia radford photographerradford photographerPortrait photographer in Radford Virginia

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blacksburg photographer couples photography fall portraits michael speed nikon d750 portraits radford photographer radford va railroad tracks https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/12/jayson-and-christie-and-fam Mon, 04 Dec 2017 21:42:40 GMT
Jaden - Senior Portraits https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/10/jaden---senior-portraits When Jaden's mom told me about the props that were going to be used for our shoot I gotta say I was pretty excited!  She brought in a couple sweeeet classic cars!  After the car shoot we did a little trespassing down by the New River.   Enjoy!

 

Jaden Senior PortraitsJaden Senior PortraitsSenior Portraits in Giles County Virginia Jaden Senior PortraitsJaden Senior PortraitsSenior Portraits in Giles County Virginia Jaden Senior PortraitsJaden Senior PortraitsSenior Portraits in Giles County Virginia Jaden Senior PortraitsJaden Senior PortraitsSenior Portraits in Giles County Virginia Jaden Senior PortraitsJaden Senior PortraitsSenior Portraits in Giles County Virginia

Jaden Senior PortraitsJaden Senior PortraitsSenior Portraits in Giles County Virginia Jaden Senior PortraitsJaden Senior PortraitsSenior Portraits in Giles County Virginia Jaden Senior PortraitsJaden Senior PortraitsSenior Portraits in Giles County Virginia Jaden Senior PortraitsJaden Senior PortraitsSenior Portraits in Giles County Virginia Jaden Senior PortraitsJaden Senior PortraitsSenior Portraits in Giles County Virginia Jaden Senior PortraitsJaden Senior PortraitsSenior Portraits in Giles County Virginia Jaden Senior PortraitsJaden Senior PortraitsSenior Portraits in Giles County Virginia Jaden Senior PortraitsJaden Senior PortraitsSenior Portraits in Giles County Virginia Jaden Senior PortraitsJaden Senior PortraitsSenior Portraits in Giles County Virginia Jaden Senior PortraitsJaden Senior PortraitsSenior Portraits in Giles County Virginia Jaden Senior PortraitsJaden Senior PortraitsSenior Portraits in Giles County Virginia Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blacksburg photographer fall color michael speed proffessional portraits senior portraits virginia photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/10/jaden---senior-portraits Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:02:10 GMT
Rough Ridge, North Carolina https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/10/grandfather-mountain-and-rough-ridge-north-carolina Last week the family and I went to Blowing Rock for a couple days.  We managed to hike the short-but-awesome Rough Ridge Trail, and I was able to get up early each day and enjoy some nice sunrises.

I started off with a sunrise at Price Lake on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I tried to let the wife sleep in, so little Charles was bundled up in his carseat right next to me for this series of photos...

Price LakePrice LakeJulian Price Memorial Park Price LakePrice LakeJulian Price Memorial Park Price LakePrice LakeJulian Price Memorial Park On the way back to the rental, I stopped and took a shot of a pretty meadow.  It was a nice morning, not nice enough for me to go on a shirtless run, but kudos to that guy!

Price LakePrice LakeJulian Price Memorial Park We headed to Rough Ridge a little later in the day for some sweet views of the Linn Cove Viaduct and Grandfather Mountain.

Rough Ridge TrailRough Ridge TrailRough Ridge trail near Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Rough Ridge TrailRough Ridge TrailRough Ridge trail near Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Rough Ridge TrailRough Ridge TrailRough Ridge trail near Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Rough Ridge TrailRough Ridge TrailRough Ridge trail near Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Rough Ridge TrailRough Ridge TrailRough Ridge trail near Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Rough Ridge TrailRough Ridge TrailRough Ridge trail near Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Rough Ridge TrailRough Ridge TrailRough Ridge trail near Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Rough Ridge TrailRough Ridge TrailRough Ridge trail near Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Rough Ridge TrailRough Ridge TrailRough Ridge trail near Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Rough Ridge TrailRough Ridge TrailRough Ridge trail near Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. We made a quick stop at the Wilson Creek bridge before heading up to Beacon Heights.

Blue Ridge Parkway SceneryBlue Ridge Parkway SceneryScenery from the Wilson Creek and Beacon Heights area of North Carolina. Blue Ridge Parkway SceneryBlue Ridge Parkway SceneryScenery from the Wilson Creek and Beacon Heights area of North Carolina. Blue Ridge Parkway SceneryBlue Ridge Parkway SceneryScenery from the Wilson Creek and Beacon Heights area of North Carolina.

Blue Ridge Parkway SceneryBlue Ridge Parkway SceneryScenery from the Wilson Creek and Beacon Heights area of North Carolina. After a relaxing night by the fire at our rental, I headed out to the Linn Cove Viaduct for some early morning stars and sunrise.  

Sitting around CampfireSitting around CampfireCampfire at AirBNB tiny house. Linn Cove ViaductLinn Cove ViaductSunrise from Linn Cove Viaduct at base of Grandfather Mountian. Linn Cove ViaductLinn Cove ViaductSunrise from Linn Cove Viaduct at base of Grandfather Mountian. Linn Cove ViaductLinn Cove ViaductSunrise from Linn Cove Viaduct at base of Grandfather Mountian. Linn Cove ViaductLinn Cove ViaductSunrise from Linn Cove Viaduct at base of Grandfather Mountian. Linn Cove ViaductLinn Cove ViaductSunrise from Linn Cove Viaduct at base of Grandfather Mountian. Linn Cove ViaductLinn Cove ViaductSunrise from Linn Cove Viaduct at base of Grandfather Mountian. Linn Cove ViaductLinn Cove ViaductSunrise from Linn Cove Viaduct at base of Grandfather Mountian. Linn Cove ViaductLinn Cove ViaductSunrise from Linn Cove Viaduct at base of Grandfather Mountian. Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blue ridge parkway grandfather mountain linn cove viaduct michael speed nikon d750 price lake rough ridge https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/10/grandfather-mountain-and-rough-ridge-north-carolina Mon, 02 Oct 2017 15:35:53 GMT
North Carolina Wedding - Catherine and Devin https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/9/north-carolina-wedding---catherine-and-devin This cool couple from Salisbury took me down to Sparta Virginia for their wedding.  I could EASILY live in western North Carolina as I find it to be the coolest place I've been to.   I was more than happy to head on down!  The venue was Laurel Ridge Camp, and it is awesome!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) laurel springs wedding michael speed north carolina wedding photographer wedding photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/9/north-carolina-wedding---catherine-and-devin Wed, 06 Sep 2017 20:01:03 GMT
Baylee and Chris - Married at Chateau Morrisette. https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/8/baylee-and-chris---married-at-chateau-morrisette Baylee and Chris are pretty awesome.  I had a great time photographing both sides of the bridal party!  The guys were some of the best dancers i've seen at a wedding to date... so that was sweet.  Oh well, off to the photos!  Congrats to Baylee and Chris, and thank you for letting me be part of the day!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blue ridge parkway chateau morrisette wedding floyd wedding michael speed wedding photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/8/baylee-and-chris---married-at-chateau-morrisette Fri, 04 Aug 2017 21:12:37 GMT
Ashland Model Home - Stateson Homes https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/8/ashland-model-home---stateson-homes The Ashland model home has recently been completely staged and made ready for the public!  It is located in Kipps Farm on Scenic Ridge Circle off of Merrimac Road in Blacksburg Virginia.  You can see all the the floorplans and options at www.statesonhomes.com.

For more information about my Real Estate Photography, click here.

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blacksburg photographer interior design michael speed new construction photography real estate photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/8/ashland-model-home---stateson-homes Thu, 03 Aug 2017 16:51:13 GMT
Brittany and Wes - A Mount Jackson Wedding https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/7/brittany-and-wes---a-mount-jackson-wedding Brittany and Wes are a couple of easy going people who are awesome to work with.  They chose an awesome barn venue in Mount Jackson to have their wedding.  Mount Jackson is in a beautiful area of rolling hills and farmland, even the drive up was great!    Brittany and Wes both looked amazing for the big day, and I am thankful to have been a apart of it!

Lots of photos to get to, so here they are!
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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) great wedding venues michael speed' mount jackson wedding nikon" virginia countryside wedding wedding photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/7/brittany-and-wes---a-mount-jackson-wedding Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:21:33 GMT
Cheryl and Daniel - A Carroll County Wedding https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/7/cheryl-and-daniel---a-carroll-county-wedding Cheryl and Daniel are a couple of awesome people!  I had the privilege to photograph their wedding out in beautiful Dugspur VA!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blue ridge wedding carroll county dugspur hillsville wedding photographer july wedding michael speed radford wedding photographer wedding photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/7/cheryl-and-daniel---a-carroll-county-wedding Tue, 11 Jul 2017 14:11:28 GMT
Fitness Photoshoot in Radford Virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/6/fitness-photoshoot-in-radford-virginia Recently, EVL Nutrition-sponsored bodybuilder Blake Holman asked me to shoot some photos for their website and social media.  

I must say, this photoshoot made me really motivated to get into shape!  That being said I did consume a whole-lotta ice cream while editing this shoot, but you gotta start somewhere!

The shoot was at Anytime Fitness in Radford, VA.

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EVL Fitness PhotoshootEVL Fitness PhotoshootFitness Photography of Blake Holman, an EVL sponsored bodybuilder. Pretty much everything on this shoot was taken with a Tamron 70-200 VC(to help isolate Blake among all the people), but I love the Nikon 28mm 1.8G so much I try to use it any chance I get!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) anytime fitness blake holman fitness photographer portrait photographer professional bodybuilder radford virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/6/fitness-photoshoot-in-radford-virginia Mon, 19 Jun 2017 21:30:48 GMT
Daleville Town Center https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/6/daleville-town-center Recently Stateson Homes sent me up to Daleville Town Center to shoot some photos of the area near their new development.  These were taken one morning with my Nikon and Phantom.

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) aerial photography daleville town center drone photographer michael speed roanoke virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/6/daleville-town-center Fri, 02 Jun 2017 21:47:17 GMT
Family Photos at Smith Mountain Lake https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/5/family-photos-at-smith-mountain-lake I love it when I get the chance to go photograph a family at Smith Mountain Lake!  This weekend, a family was enjoying their Memorial Day weekend and asked me to stop in for a bit and take the family photo.    If you'd like your family portrait made, click here to contact me.

As always, thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) family photographer michael speed portraits smith mountain lake https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/5/family-photos-at-smith-mountain-lake Mon, 29 May 2017 13:39:25 GMT
Engagement Photography in Radford VA https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/5/laya-and-samet---engagement-photography-in-radford-va I guess these photos aren't really engagements, they are a combination of anniversary photos as well as a celebration of a graduation from Virginia Tech!  Laya and Samet were only in town for a couple days celebrating graduation, and during those couple days we got a TON of rain in Virginia!  This didn't seem to bother them as we set out into Wildwood Park to have some fun.    

To schedule your own engagement session, click here to contact me.  Thanks for Looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) engagement photography michael speed prestons at the river radford photographer wildwood park https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/5/laya-and-samet---engagement-photography-in-radford-va Wed, 17 May 2017 18:31:55 GMT
Blacksburg Real Estate Photography https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/5/riverbend-farm---real-estate-photography-newport-va These photos and video are from a vacation rental in Newport VA.  For more information regarding my real estate photography services, Click here for my current real estate pricesheet, or here to contact me.

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blacksburg va photographer real estate real estate photographer vacation rental photography https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/5/riverbend-farm---real-estate-photography-newport-va Tue, 09 May 2017 18:58:05 GMT
More Downtown Roanoke Images https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/4/more-downtown-roanoke-images I have been spending a lot of my free time gathering images from downtown Roanoke during my time here.  I have not been able to edit as efficiently or quickly as I would like, but the important thing is the image gathering!(you can always edit later:)

roanoke virginiaroanoke virginiaImages from the city of Roanoke Virginia. This first image is from the same spot as the first images from the last blog post. Only this time I can during blue hour!  I took multiple exposures as traffic cruised by to really add a sense of morning busyness:)  I still have more images to edit from this area, and those will appear in the gallery when I get to them.

Over the course of a couple days, I made two different stops on top of the parking garage near Elmwood Park to take some images from the nice high vantage point.  

In this first one, I was really up against the clock with some work stuff so this was as far into blue hour as I could shot that morning.(it is 3 exposures to show more traffic).

roanoke virginiaroanoke virginiaImages from the city of Roanoke Virginia.

The next set of images from that same area occur when I had a little more time to watch the sun rise further!  Below you can see the reflection of the colored clouds in the windows of the buildings.  downtown roanoke virginiadowntown roanoke virginiaImages from Downtown Roanoke in Southwest Virginia.

This next photo is a vertical panorama that allows me to include the cool clouds above the buildings.

downtown roanoke virginiadowntown roanoke virginiaImages from Downtown Roanoke in Southwest Virginia.

Moments later the sun was up and casting nice warm light on the downtown buildings.

downtown roanoke virginiadowntown roanoke virginiaImages from Downtown Roanoke in Southwest Virginia. downtown roanoke virginiadowntown roanoke virginiaImages from Downtown Roanoke in Southwest Virginia. downtown roanoke virginiadowntown roanoke virginiaImages from Downtown Roanoke in Southwest Virginia. A day or two later, the moon was set to rise over the downtown area just before sunset.  Unfortunately, there were some clouds on the horizon that prevented me from seeing the moon right away as it broke the horizon(I had to stand on a busy bridge for about 30 minutes longer than I wanted to:). downtown roanoke virginiadowntown roanoke virginiaImages from Downtown Roanoke in Southwest Virginia. downtown roanoke virginiadowntown roanoke virginiaImages from Downtown Roanoke in Southwest Virginia. downtown roanoke virginiadowntown roanoke virginiaImages from Downtown Roanoke in Southwest Virginia. This photo was taken as I made my way back to the car... Thanks for looking.

downtown roanoke virginiadowntown roanoke virginiaImages from Downtown Roanoke in Southwest Virginia.

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blue ridge parkway downtown roanoke sony a6000 southwest virginia street photography virginia tourism visit virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/4/more-downtown-roanoke-images Thu, 13 Apr 2017 18:25:44 GMT
Downtown Roanoke https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/4/downtown-roanoke Roanoke is definitely a city that sleeps!  Early on a recent Sunday morning, I took a stroll through a very empty downtown Roanoke to snap a few photos.  All of these photos were taken with my Sony A6000, Rokinon 12mm f2, and Tamron 18-200 di-iii.   I started out in a familiar place, which is by the restaurant Scrambled, where my wife and I have had breakfast a few times.  It is right next to Center in the Square.

Downtown RoanokeDowntown RoanokeImages from downtown Roanoke during nighttime and sunrise.

Downtown RoanokeDowntown RoanokeImages from downtown Roanoke during nighttime and sunrise.

Downtown RoanokeDowntown RoanokeImages from downtown Roanoke during nighttime and sunrise. Downtown RoanokeDowntown RoanokeImages from downtown Roanoke during nighttime and sunrise. Downtown RoanokeDowntown RoanokeImages from downtown Roanoke during nighttime and sunrise. I went up to a parking garage as the sky was starting to get that rich blue color.  The orange lights on top of the garage really made for some nice contrasting colors.

Downtown RoanokeDowntown RoanokeImages from downtown Roanoke during nighttime and sunrise. Downtown RoanokeDowntown RoanokeImages from downtown Roanoke during nighttime and sunrise. Downtown RoanokeDowntown RoanokeImages from downtown Roanoke during nighttime and sunrise. As the sky started to lighten, I moved from a pedestrian bridge(my vantage point for the above photo) to a real bridge that holds cars!  You can see the pedestrian bridge in the distance in the photo below.  It is the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge, and has a statue of at one end.

Downtown RoanokeDowntown RoanokeImages from downtown Roanoke during nighttime and sunrise.

Just after I set up my tripod, a train came through.

 

Downtown RoanokeDowntown RoanokeImages from downtown Roanoke during nighttime and sunrise. Downtown RoanokeDowntown RoanokeImages from downtown Roanoke during nighttime and sunrise.

I very much enjoy the results of the photos with the train.  I waited until the sun broke the horizon before walking back to the car.

Downtown RoanokeDowntown RoanokeImages from downtown Roanoke during nighttime and sunrise.

In between the car and the bridge I was on, I snapped a few more images...

Downtown RoanokeDowntown RoanokeImages from downtown Roanoke during nighttime and sunrise.

Downtown RoanokeDowntown RoanokeImages from downtown Roanoke during nighttime and sunrise. A couple days later, I went up to the Mill Mountain overlook to shoot the city as a whole during blue hour.  I was hopeful for a nice sunrise, but clouds are all I got!

Downtown RoanokeDowntown RoanokeImages of Roanoke Virginia. Downtown RoanokeDowntown RoanokeImages of Roanoke Virginia. Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blue hour cities in southwest virginia downtown roanoke michael speed mill mountain roanoke va roanoke valley sony a6000 twilight skylines https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/4/downtown-roanoke Thu, 06 Apr 2017 17:40:51 GMT
Carilion Clinic, Roanoke Memorial Hospital https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/3/carilion-clinic-roanoke-memorial-hospital My new little guy lives in the NICU in Roanoke Memorial Hospital.  He is doing great, but spending so much time in Roanoke really has thrown a stick in the spokes regarding my photography setting!  I took a few minutes before a care time to shoot the hospital during blue hour.

This first one is from the 3rd floor of one of the parking garages.

Carilion Clinic Roanoke Memorial HospitalCarilion Clinic Roanoke Memorial HospitalCarilion clinic and the Roanoke River at Blue hour.

This next one is from the same level but a little later into the evening.

Carilion Clinic Roanoke Memorial HospitalCarilion Clinic Roanoke Memorial HospitalCarilion clinic and the Roanoke River at Blue hour.

As it was time for me to go into the hospital, I took a couple more photos from the bridge and roadside.

Carilion Clinic Roanoke Memorial HospitalCarilion Clinic Roanoke Memorial HospitalCarilion clinic and the Roanoke River at Blue hour. Carilion Clinic Roanoke Memorial HospitalCarilion Clinic Roanoke Memorial HospitalCarilion clinic and the Roanoke River at Blue hour.

Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) architecture photography blue hour carilion clinic roanoke memorial hospitals michael speed reflections roanoke greenway roanoke river sony a6000 https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/3/carilion-clinic-roanoke-memorial-hospital Tue, 21 Mar 2017 18:54:48 GMT
Real Estate Photography - Christiansburg Virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/3/real-estate-photography---christiansburg-virginia Recently I photographed a home with the Montvale floorplan from Stateson Homes' Cambria Crossing.  Using the new Irix 15mm really opens up the place!

If you are a builder, developer, or real estate agent needing photography services in the New River Valley, click here to view my real estate page, or click here to contact me.

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) christiansburg real estate photography real estate photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/3/real-estate-photography---christiansburg-virginia Thu, 16 Mar 2017 13:26:50 GMT
Hiking Videos https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/1/hiking-videos-of-the-cascades-and-appalachian-trail Recently, alongside my picture-taking, I have been dabbling in video.  This all started when I purchased a drone(the video quality is much better than the stills quality), and I have since started incorporating some ground based video as well.

You can view all of my videos on my Youtube page by clicking here.

My first hiking video is from the Cascades in Pembroke Virginia.  I went on a week day and didn't see a soul the entire time!  Hiking videos may look cool, but depending on how much you shoot, you have to hike each spot twice!(you gotta go back and get your camera!)

This video was shot using the Phantom 4 and Canon EOS M3.

My next video is from the Keffer Oak area on the Appalachian trail outside of Blacksburg Virginia(I think this is closer to Newport).   This time I had a buddy to walk through the shots!  While my first video was shot on a tripod, this video was all handheld and I used the Warp Stabilizer tool in Adobe Premier Pro.  This video was taken with a combination of both ground-based and aerial video with the Phantom 4 as well as the EOS M3.  

I had planned on flying the drone around Mount Rogers Recreation Area a couple weeks ago, but when I got there the wind was crazy and the visibility was not much!  Oh well, I took the Canon m3 up through the hemlocks to shoot the fast moving fog, and even had a couple hikers walk through the frame!  All of the videos are stationary(sorry) but still tell a pretty cool story of the conditions.

I spent New Years Eve out at Camp Dickenson near Fries, Virginia(my wife and I are good friends with the camp director and his wife).  On New Years Day, we took our drones out and flew around the camp property.  The New River running through this area is very scenic!  I hope to come back and do it again when there is some color on the trees!

Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) appalachian trail blacksburg videography canon eos m3 cascades drone video fries virginia giles county grayson highlands state park keffer oak michael speed mount rogers recreation area phantom 4 https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2017/1/hiking-videos-of-the-cascades-and-appalachian-trail Wed, 04 Jan 2017 20:56:47 GMT
Real Estate Photography in Salem Virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/12/real-estate-photography-in-salem-virginia Recently I was tasked with taking photographs of the old Allstate Building in Salem Virginia.   The tight deadline and poor weather made it a little difficult, but the sky finally clear a little for the twilight photos.   Click here for my Real Estate Photography Page. real estate photography salem vareal estate photography salem vaReal estate photography in Salem Virginia.

real estate photography salem vareal estate photography salem vaReal estate photography in Salem Virginia.

real estate photography salem vareal estate photography salem vaReal estate photography in Salem Virginia. real estate photography salem vareal estate photography salem vaReal estate photography in Salem Virginia. real estate photography salem vareal estate photography salem vaReal estate photography in Salem Virginia. real estate photography salem vareal estate photography salem vaReal estate photography in Salem Virginia. Earlier in the day, I went up for daytime photographs, and the rain had literally just started to clear when I got there.

real estate photography salem vareal estate photography salem vaReal estate photography in Salem Virginia.

real estate photography salem vareal estate photography salem vaReal estate photography in Salem Virginia. With the rain gone, I was able to thow up the drone and take some aerials, which are really important on a property this huge! real estate photography salem vareal estate photography salem vaReal estate photography in Salem Virginia.

real estate photography salem vareal estate photography salem vaReal estate photography in Salem Virginia. real estate photography salem vareal estate photography salem vaReal estate photography in Salem Virginia. real estate photography salem vareal estate photography salem vaReal estate photography in Salem Virginia. real estate photography salem vareal estate photography salem vaReal estate photography in Salem Virginia.

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) Roanoke virginia aerial drone michael speed real estate photographer real estate photography salem twilight real estate photos https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/12/real-estate-photography-in-salem-virginia Thu, 29 Dec 2016 15:27:44 GMT
Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/12/sharp-top-and-flat-top-in-peaks-of-otter During the week of Thanksgiving, I was planning on some grand adventure to the Dismal Swamp and shooting some night photography.  Flash forward after a 5 hour drive all the way out there and it was CLOSED!!! I had been getting updates from the Depart of Game and Inland Fisheries, when I needed to be looking to the Army Corps of Engineers who operate the eastern side of the ditch!  So that was a 10 hour in the car day.   Bummer.

I ended up doing a few day hikes, and ended up at Sharp Top three times in one week!  It is a nice short hike with plenty of stairs to get your heart rate up!

The second trip up there, I had nice partly cloudy skies with nice light and a great sunset from Buzzard's Roost, which is a nice outcropping of rocks below the summit of Sharp Top. 

peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia.

The above image is a seven photo panorama shot with my 28-300VR.  The below image was taken with my Irix 15mm

peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia. peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia. peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving my friend and I went for a post-sunset hike up to to Sharp Top.  Sharp Top can be INCREDIBLY busy during the day, but at night you can have the place all to yourself.  We did some light painting to really make the rocks stand out.

peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia. peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia. peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia.   The wind on top of Sharp Top was craaaazy cold!  But the view was more than worth it!  Lots of stars even though there were a few clouds.

On the third day I went to Sharp Top(which was the second day, but for the sake of showing you good photos first, we'll go with it) I didn't take many photos, but instead took video using a Zhiyun Smooth C gimbal to stabilize my LG V10.  I am just starting to play with the video side of things, and I am trying new tools associated with that.

Here is a video that I took with my LG V10 on the hike up.  REMEMBER, this is the first time I've taken video while walking around!  I did find the gimbal's joystick to be super easy to get nice pan shots.  

Pretty bad, huh?  Oh well...

Here are a few photos taken from the Blue Ridge Parkway only a few miles away from Peaks of Otter.  I caught the tail end of the fall color here.

peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia.

peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia. peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia. peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia. peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia. I also made it up to Flat Top mountain recently(it is a less traveled peak in Peaks of Otter).  The wind was really howling and the visibility was pretty much nil when I got to the top, but there were many cool foggy scenes to be had...

peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia. peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia. peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia. The last few photos are from my drone.  I did not fly it over the Blue Ridge Parkway(as that is illegal), but I flew it over the Jefferson National Forest near Buchanon and on the opposite side of the parkway from Buchanon.

peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia. peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia. peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia. Below, you can see Sharp Top in the distance(I think).

peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia. peaks of otterpeaks of otterImages from Sharp Top and Flat Top in Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke Virginia. Here is a short video from the Jefferson National Forest that I took with my drone.  I was parked on the side of the highway and flew from there.  It was tough to keep it in line of sight since I had to fly behind trees!

Thanks for looking!

 

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blue ridge parkway canon m3 flat top lg v10 michael speed nikon d750 peak of otter sharp top sharp top night photos virginia hikes https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/12/sharp-top-and-flat-top-in-peaks-of-otter Fri, 09 Dec 2016 20:06:26 GMT
Jakob - Senior Portraits in Blacksburg Virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/11/senior-portraits-on-the-new-river Recently Jakob, a senior at Christiansburg High, opted to have me shoot his senior portraits.  Jakob is a stand up guy with a sweet Ford pickup!  

I was absolutely DESTROYED by bugs.  I thought they wouldn't be out in such force this late in the year, but boy was I wrong!  Jakob was rock solid even as I was freaking out swatting bugs the whole time.

If you like me to shoot your senior photos, just click the contact me button or click here.

...to the photos!

senior portraitssenior portraitssenior portraits near the new river in Blacksburg virginia senior portraitssenior portraitssenior portraits near the new river in Blacksburg virginia senior portraitssenior portraitssenior portraits near the new river in Blacksburg virginia senior portraitssenior portraitssenior portraits near the new river in Blacksburg virginia senior portraitssenior portraitssenior portraits near the new river in Blacksburg virginia senior portraitssenior portraitssenior portraits near the new river in Blacksburg virginia senior portraitssenior portraitssenior portraits near the new river in Blacksburg virginia senior portraitssenior portraitssenior portraits near the new river in Blacksburg virginia senior portraitssenior portraitssenior portraits near the new river in Blacksburg virginia senior portraitssenior portraitssenior portraits near the new river in Blacksburg virginia senior portraitssenior portraitssenior portraits near the new river in Blacksburg virginia senior portraitssenior portraitssenior portraits near the new river in Blacksburg virginia senior portraitssenior portraitssenior portraits near the new river in Blacksburg virginia senior portraitssenior portraitssenior portraits near the new river in Blacksburg virginia senior portraitssenior portraitssenior portraits near the new river in Blacksburg virginia Thanks for looking!

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blacksburg photographer christiansburg photographer michael speed nikon d750 senior portraits https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/11/senior-portraits-on-the-new-river Wed, 30 Nov 2016 20:30:59 GMT
Spending the Night on Grandfather Mountain https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/11/spending-the-night-on-grandfather-mountain Last month, I went down to Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina and stayed the night up on Attic Window Peak.   Here is a photo of me at sunrise.

grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. To see the full Grandfather Mountain Gallery, click here.

 When I signed in at the Profile Trail parking lot, all of the campsites were empty, but when I got up to the Attic Window campsite, there was a pack on the wooden platform!  Turns out the guy who owned the pack was named Aaron, and he is a pastor in Deep Gap who decided to do the same thing as me!  He came up on the Daniel Boone Scout Trail(or the Cragway Trail, I can't remember) on the other side of the mountain and that is why we both thought the site was empty.  He was hamocking and I took the platform.  We talked gear and God and all that stuff!  

First we made our way over to MacRae Peak, not far from Attic Window.  Below you can see the Parkway wind around Grandfather Mountain.  Aaron kept pointing out which mountains were what and gave me a real good sense of the area.

grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. From MacRae Peak, you can see the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge.

grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. After dinner, we could see some really nice shadows on the mountains from an open spot near the campsite(literally a few feet from the tent platform)

grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. I would be lying if I told you I wasn't a little disappointed in the color at the time of my visit.  Last year I came down in early October and the color was nearly at peak, this year that was still a lot of green. grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. Once the sun started to go down, we headed up to Attic Window Peak to check out the sunset.  I love watching the already blue Blue Ridge Mountains transform to an even more bluer looking blue!  Blue.

grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. I do love me some blue earth shadow! grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. We hung out for a bit for the moon to come out.  The bright moon makes for almost daylight like photos!

grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. After a night of temps that were just about the coldest possible for me and my quilt, I was ready for that warm sun to rise up!

grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. After a quick bite to eat, Aaron and I started making our way down the mountain.   When the Profile Trail met up with the Grandfather Trail, we parted ways, hopefully to hike together again.  

Down the mountain I went...  and while to Profile Trail has few mountain views, it is named after being able to see the 'profile' of the grandfather.

grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak.

grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak. grandfather mountain fall colorgrandfather mountain fall colorImage of Grandfather Mountain, Profile Trail, Daniel Boone Trail, Attic Window Peak, and Calloway peak.

Thanks for looking.

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) attic window peak backcountry camping blue ridge mountains grandfather mountain michael speed nature photogrpahy nikon d750 north carolina best hikes scenic places north carolina sunrise western north carolina https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/11/spending-the-night-on-grandfather-mountain Wed, 09 Nov 2016 18:05:11 GMT
Engagement Photography on the Blue Ridge Parkway https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/11/engagement-photography-on-the-blue-ridge-parkway Brittany and Wes are a couple awesome folks who are getting married next year.  We went to the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob for the engagement session!  It has been unusually warm lately and the day of the shoot was no exception.  We had beautiful weather!

 

Rocky Knob Engagement PhotographyRocky Knob Engagement PhotographyBrittany and Wes Engagement photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rocky Knob Engagement PhotographyRocky Knob Engagement PhotographyBrittany and Wes Engagement photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rocky Knob Engagement PhotographyRocky Knob Engagement PhotographyBrittany and Wes Engagement photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rocky Knob Engagement PhotographyRocky Knob Engagement PhotographyBrittany and Wes Engagement photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rocky Knob Engagement PhotographyRocky Knob Engagement PhotographyBrittany and Wes Engagement photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

After bushwhacking through the forests near Maybry Mill, we headed up to the big open spaces of Rocky Knob. Rocky Knob Engagement PhotographyRocky Knob Engagement PhotographyBrittany and Wes Engagement photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rocky Knob Engagement PhotographyRocky Knob Engagement PhotographyBrittany and Wes Engagement photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rocky Knob Engagement PhotographyRocky Knob Engagement PhotographyBrittany and Wes Engagement photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rocky Knob Engagement PhotographyRocky Knob Engagement PhotographyBrittany and Wes Engagement photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rocky Knob Engagement PhotographyRocky Knob Engagement PhotographyBrittany and Wes Engagement photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rocky Knob Engagement PhotographyRocky Knob Engagement PhotographyBrittany and Wes Engagement photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rocky Knob Engagement PhotographyRocky Knob Engagement PhotographyBrittany and Wes Engagement photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rocky Knob Engagement PhotographyRocky Knob Engagement PhotographyBrittany and Wes Engagement photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rocky Knob Engagement PhotographyRocky Knob Engagement PhotographyBrittany and Wes Engagement photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rocky Knob Engagement PhotographyRocky Knob Engagement PhotographyBrittany and Wes Engagement photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Blue Ridge Parkway is such an awesome place to take photos!  Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blue ridge parkway engagement photographer nikon d750 portrait photography virginia photographer wedding photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/11/engagement-photography-on-the-blue-ridge-parkway Wed, 02 Nov 2016 20:21:00 GMT
Real Estate Photography https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/10/real-estate-photography-in-radford-blacksburg-and-christiansburg-virginia If you are a developer or real estate agent and are in need of high quality photography with a fast turnaround, click here or the 'contact me' button.

Recently I have been working with Stateson Homes, a builder of some very nice homes in the New River Valley.  They have neighborhoods in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and Radford that are all top notch!

The first few photos are from the Cambria Crossing Model home in Christiansburg Virginia.   real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio

real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio This next home is from Heron's Landing, a really nice neighborhood near the Pete Dye River Course in Radford Virginia.  

real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio

real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio real estate photographerreal estate photographerReal estate photography portfolio

Below are a few drone photos taken from over the Pete Dye River Course.  The neighborhood you see on the right of the course is Heron's Landing.  

aerial real estate photographyPete Dye River Course in Radford VA aerial real estate photographyHerons Landing and the Pete Dye River Course

Thanks for Looking!

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blacksburg real estate photographer herons landing michael speed new river valley real estate photographer real estate photography https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/10/real-estate-photography-in-radford-blacksburg-and-christiansburg-virginia Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:43:11 GMT
A few photos from here and there https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/10/whats-new-a-few-photos-from-here-and-there It has been a pretty crazy few weeks(months!) since my last post!  I've been around the state and then some!  Click any image to be taken to the respective gallery to view more images.

I'll start with a few images from the super awesome Channels of Virginia!  This place is located near Abingdon Virginia.  It is a pretty unimpressive 3.5 mile hike up to the top, but once you get to the top of Clinch Mountain it gets AWESOME!  There are HUUUUUGE rocks that form channels you can walk on top of and in between.

The Channels of VirginiaThe Channels of VirginiaThe Channels of Virginia located near Abingdon Virginia. The Channels of VirginiaThe Channels of VirginiaThe Channels of Virginia located near Abingdon Virginia. The Channels of VirginiaThe Channels of VirginiaThe Channels of Virginia located near Abingdon Virginia. The Channels of VirginiaThe Channels of VirginiaThe Channels of Virginia located near Abingdon Virginia.

I made a couple stops up on Dragons Tooth, once during the day and once well before sunrise after a hike in the dark!  The first trip I made up there I took my new Irix Firefly 15mm and was really able to get nice compositions of the rocks on top.

Dragons Tooth Appalachian TrailDragons Tooth Appalachian TrailDragons Tooth in Virginia is part of the Appalachian Trail.

Dragons Tooth Appalachian TrailDragons Tooth Appalachian TrailDragons Tooth in Virginia is part of the Appalachian Trail. Dragons Tooth Appalachian TrailDragons Tooth Appalachian TrailDragons Tooth in Virginia is part of the Appalachian Trail. Dragons Tooth Appalachian TrailDragons Tooth Appalachian TrailDragons Tooth in Virginia is part of the Appalachian Trail. A few days after that trip I hit the trail early to make it up to Dragon's Tooth by sunrise.   I did not get the color I was hoping for but was able to capture some nice foggy scenes.

Dragons Tooth Appalachian TrailDragons Tooth Appalachian TrailDragons Tooth in Virginia is part of the Appalachian Trail. Dragons Tooth Appalachian TrailDragons Tooth Appalachian TrailDragons Tooth in Virginia is part of the Appalachian Trail. Dragons Tooth Appalachian TrailDragons Tooth Appalachian TrailDragons Tooth in Virginia is part of the Appalachian Trail. Recently, my wife and I went to Hanging Rock State Park near Marion VA and hiked up to Molly's Knob.

Hungry Mother State ParkHungry Mother State ParkHungry Mother State Park in Southwest Virginia Hungry Mother State ParkHungry Mother State ParkHungry Mother State Park in Southwest Virginia After our hike we went for a paddle on Hungry Mother Lake.

Hungry Mother State ParkHungry Mother State ParkHungry Mother State Park in Southwest Virginia Hungry Mother State ParkHungry Mother State ParkHungry Mother State Park in Southwest Virginia

I also made it up to the Tinker Cliffs overlook which is WELL worth the hike!  I have a plan to haul some water and a hammock and stay the night up on top of the cliffs soon!

Tinker Cliffs Appalachian TrailTinker Cliffs Appalachian TrailTinker cliffs on the Appalachian Trail near Roanoke Virginia. Tinker Cliffs Appalachian TrailTinker Cliffs Appalachian TrailTinker cliffs on the Appalachian Trail near Roanoke Virginia. Tinker Cliffs Appalachian TrailTinker Cliffs Appalachian TrailTinker cliffs on the Appalachian Trail near Roanoke Virginia. Finally, Here is a panorama taken from my Phantom 3 of Radford Virginia at Sundown. Aerial image of Radford VirginiaRadford Virginia Panorama Thanks for looking!  I will try to post more soon!

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) dragons tooth great channels of virginia hungry mother state park nikon d750 the channels va tinker cliffs https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/10/whats-new-a-few-photos-from-here-and-there Thu, 13 Oct 2016 16:21:19 GMT
Aerial Video around Radford Virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/8/aerial-video-around-radford-virginia I have really been enjoying getting to know the Phantom 3 Pro!  I even ordered a Manfrotto D1 backpack for hiking with it and my EOS M3.  I really think that will be a great combination!

The video quality that comes from the Phantom is just great.  It is a little weak on still photography, but still good enough for most applications. 

I have been learning the different moves that the Phantom does, and have posted a few of those videos below..  

The first video I took was of a train trestle that crosses the New River by Bisset Park in Radford, VA(where I live).  I got a little lucky with the train coming by!

The next two videos are from Claytor Lake.  I looooove hanging out at Dehaven Park, it is a free picnic/swimming area/boat ramp on the not-so-popular side of the lake.  There is a dock for fishing, pine trees for shade and hammocking, a big public boat ramp, and a grassy area with easy access to the water.  Plus, on a weekday, it's not very crowded so flying a drone doesn't bother too many people!

 

The next two videos are of a couple dams near my house.  First is the Claytor Dam, and the second is the Little River Dam.   The first few times I flew over the dams, I was using a tablet that wasn't connected to the internet.  The most recent time I flew, I used my internet-connected phone and as soon as I neared one of the dams it started warning me about flying near power plants!  Oops!  

The next video is of Big Survey Wildlife Management Area.  I had planned to hike to High Rocks and fly the drone from there, but by the time I could make the drive all the way down to Wytheville, I would not have had any time on High Rocks!   So I walked down the closed service road and flew from there.  I had a hard time keeping line of sight(which is nerve wracking) but was able to get some nice video of Big Survey and Whytheville in the distance.

 In the next video, I again went to the train trestle that crosses the new river.  There wasn't much of a sunrise on this foggy morning, but I had fun flying around the geese that frequent the area.  Most of them didn't seem too bothered:)

Finally, my last video is of the Cascades in Pembroke.  We hiked up the Cascades trail very late in the afternoon/evening to avoid any crowds.  While I was up there, only one group showed up, and I did ask them if the drone would bother them and they said no, so off we went!  The gps does not work very well in the ravine of the Cascades so the drone does not hold steady, I almost flew it into the trees at one point! Oh well, we survived.

Thanks for looking!

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) aerial video aerial video virginia cascades giles county cascades va claytor dam claytor lake dehaven park dji phantom 3 pro little river dam michael speed radford va virginia virginia tourism https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/8/aerial-video-around-radford-virginia Thu, 04 Aug 2016 17:40:22 GMT
Wedding Photography - Christiansburg Virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/7/sinkland-farms-wedding-photography---christiansburg-virginia John and Shelley are such awesome people and man oh man I do love a Sinkland Farms Wedding!  John, Shelley and all of their friends and family were so much fun to work with!  Congrats to them!

 I'll leave the words short and get right to the photos.    Thanks for looking...

wedding photography portraitswedding photography portraitsWedding portrait photography at Sinkland Farms wedding photography portraitswedding photography portraitsWedding portrait photography at Sinkland Farms wedding photography portraitswedding photography portraitsWedding portrait photography at Sinkland Farms wedding photography portraitswedding photography portraitsWedding portrait photography at Sinkland Farms wedding photography portraitswedding photography portraitsWedding portrait photography at Sinkland Farms wedding photography portraitswedding photography portraitsWedding portrait photography at Sinkland Farms wedding photography portraitswedding photography portraitsWedding portrait photography at Sinkland Farms wedding photography portraitswedding photography portraitsWedding portrait photography at Sinkland Farms wedding photography portraitswedding photography portraitsWedding portrait photography at Sinkland Farms wedding photography portraitswedding photography portraitsWedding portrait photography at Sinkland Farms

wedding photography portraitswedding photography portraitsWedding portrait photography at Sinkland Farms wedding photography portraitswedding photography portraitsWedding portrait photography at Sinkland Farms wedding photography portraitswedding photography portraitsWedding portrait photography at Sinkland Farms wedding photography portraitswedding photography portraitsWedding portrait photography at Sinkland Farms wedding photography portraitswedding photography portraitsWedding portrait photography at Sinkland Farms sinkland farms wedding ceremonysinkland farms wedding ceremonywedding photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding ceremonysinkland farms wedding ceremonywedding photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding ceremonysinkland farms wedding ceremonywedding photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding ceremonysinkland farms wedding ceremonywedding photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding ceremonysinkland farms wedding ceremonywedding photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding ceremonysinkland farms wedding ceremonywedding photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding ceremonysinkland farms wedding ceremonywedding photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding ceremonysinkland farms wedding ceremonywedding photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding receptionsinkland farms wedding receptionwedding reception photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding receptionsinkland farms wedding receptionwedding reception photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding receptionsinkland farms wedding receptionwedding reception photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding receptionsinkland farms wedding receptionwedding reception photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding receptionsinkland farms wedding receptionwedding reception photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding receptionsinkland farms wedding receptionwedding reception photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding receptionsinkland farms wedding receptionwedding reception photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding receptionsinkland farms wedding receptionwedding reception photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding receptionsinkland farms wedding receptionwedding reception photography at sinkland farms sinkland farms wedding receptionsinkland farms wedding receptionwedding reception photography at sinkland farms :)

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) christiansburg wedding photographer michael speed photography riner va sinkland farms virginia wedding wedding photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/7/sinkland-farms-wedding-photography---christiansburg-virginia Thu, 28 Jul 2016 19:36:37 GMT
Aerial Photography in Virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/7/aerial-photography-in-virginia-with-a-dji-phantom-3-pro Recently, I purchased a drone!  I am currently working on putting together videos taken during the same sessions as the photos below, so stay tuned!

virginia aerial photographyaerial image of new river in virginia

This thing has been an absolute blast to fly!  I went with a DJI Phantom 3 professional.   It's a little nerve-racking because it can EASILY get out of sight, but for the most part it is a breeze to fly around.

I still have limited experience with it but do have some nice stills to show(even though still photography is kinda the weak point of the drone, the video quality is much better).

The first two were taken in nearly the same spot on the same day, one facing the Claytor Dam away from the sun, and the other facing the sun looking downstream towards the I-81 bridge. aerial photograph of claytor damaerial photography radfor virginia

Next are two shots of Claytor Lake taken on the same day.  I was flying the drone from Dehaven Park.  The first photo is a 3 shot vertical panorama of Dehaven Park, the second is of the Claytor Lake waterfront from a bit further away.  There had been a rainstorm that left some pretty clouds on the horizon.  For these two photos I was using the Polar Pro Polarizing filter.

claytor lake aerial photographydehaven park claytor lake shoreline aerial photography claytor lake

The final set of images comes from the beautiful Cascades in Pembroke Virginia.  I made my way up there almost at sunset so I wouldn't be bothering anybody!  A couple guys came up as I was changing the battery, but when I asked them if the drone would bother them, they said Go for it!  The GPS doesn't lock on down in the valley, so the drone will drift and is more difficult to fly!  I had it a little too close to trees on a few different occasions! 

cascades aerial photographcascades aerial photograph

cascades aerial photographcascades aerial photograph Aerial Image of CascadesAerial Image of CascadesCascades in Virginia taken with a phantom 3.

Thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) aerial photography blue ridge mountains claytor lake drone pictures michael speed new river phantom 3 pro sunny virginia cascades virginia landscapes https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/7/aerial-photography-in-virginia-with-a-dji-phantom-3-pro Thu, 21 Jul 2016 16:31:34 GMT
Portaits at Claytor Lake State Park https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/7/portaits-at-claytor-lake-state-park A little while back I had a super fun opportunity to take some family portraits for Jason, Christie and their two four legged family members.  Jason and Christie are two awesome people and I really got a kick out of their dogs too!  They were married at the Gazebo at Claytor Lake so it made sense to shoot their portraits here.    Thanks for looking!

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) claytor lake state park family portraits michael speed portrait photography portraits with dogs radford va portrait photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/7/portaits-at-claytor-lake-state-park Sun, 10 Jul 2016 17:57:23 GMT
A night on Wilburn Ridge https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/6/grayson-highlands-rhododendron-bloom-ver-2016 This year I talked my wife into spending her birthday with me up on Wilburn Ridge! (plus we got to finally try out our new tent from Big Agnes!)

Click here for my entire Grayson Highlands State Park and Mount Rogers Gallery

hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail.

  I really like getting up here during early June for the Rhododendron bloom every year.  This particular area is pretty incredible.  Many Appalachian Trail thru-hikers claim that this is one of their favorite sections of the trail.   

This year, the rainy weather has really held back the bloom.  I think the bloom will probably peak about a week after our visit.  That said we still got to take in a nice view of trailside rhododendrons.

hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail. hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail. hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail. On our way up to Wilburn Ridge we crossed paths with a group of local ponies and a few playful foals. hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail.

hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail. We set up camp on the first peak of Wilburn Ridge.  There is a nice view all around and a small dip in the center protects the tent from most of the wind.  I snapped this photo as dinner was cooking.

hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail.

The sunset that night was as good as it gets pretty much.  Lots of great light, beautiful blues and pinks... and I got to hang out with the wife!

Below, you can see the ponies milling about below our campsite.

hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail.

hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail.

Watching a lone pony make its way across the meadow... hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail.

hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail. hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail. hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail. Ashley watched the sunset from the Wilburn Ridge spur trail while I ran around taking photos. hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail.

hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail.

A few AT hikers hike by a tent on the Appalachian Trail below where we camped. hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail.

A panorama of our tent in the Appalachian Mountains. hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail.

Looking up at the second peak of Wilburn Ridge(the highest peak with the hugest views) hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail.

hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail.

hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail.

hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail. hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail. hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail. After soaking in as much 'red light' as a guy could handle, we hunkered down for a fairly windy night up on the ridge.  My wife got to turn the big 3-0 in a tent and I got to tag along.  Pretty good day in my book.

hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail. We were even nice enough to let our fearless yorkie stay in the tent:)  Thanks for looking.

hiking mount rogershiking mount rogersImages of Grayson Highlands State Park,Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail.

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) appalachian trail big agnes seedhouse tent grayson highlands state park michael speed photography mount rogers national recreation area nikon d750 yorkie https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/6/grayson-highlands-rhododendron-bloom-ver-2016 Wed, 08 Jun 2016 15:34:44 GMT
Senior Portraits in Giles County Virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/5/senior-portraits-in-giles-county-virginia Recently I had the opportunity to take some more photos of Loren.  This time we went to her family's 400-and-some-odd-acre farm.  There are few old structures, nice fields, and plenty of big views!

For more information on scheduling a senior session, click here.

senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia

senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia

senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia And a shot with dad to finish it off... thanks for looking:) senior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits blacksburg vasenior portraits taken on a farm in Giles County Virginia

 

 

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blue ridge mountains michael speed portrait photographer blacksburg va senior portraits virginia photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/5/senior-portraits-in-giles-county-virginia Thu, 19 May 2016 14:04:51 GMT
Hiking the Cascades https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/5/hiking-the-cascades My wife and I recently took a Sunday outing up to the Cascades in Giles County, Virginia.  I spent a bit of the day chasing her and the dog while trying to get a few photos.  Then, a few days later, some rain had come into the area, so I figured I would enjoy the cascades with high flow and low crowds! 

To view my entire Cascades Gallery Click any image or here.

On Sunday, even though the parking lot was pretty full, we really didn't come across very many people, the 2 mile trail really lets people spread out!

Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. During my second trip, there were only a couple cars in the parking lot, and I only saw two groups of people during my trip(none at the falls itself).  Rain isn't the most pleasant hiking weather, but solitude at a normally busy area is very nice.

I spent most of the day photographing Little Stony Creek and the trail that leads to the falls.

There was a BUNCH of water flowing due to recent rains!

Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. The falls gives us a pretty awesome composition with some smaller runoffs in the foreground.  I've shot this spot a bunch of times and I never get bored of it!

Cascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaCascades Trail Pembroke VirginiaHiking trail to the Cascades waterfalls in Pembroke Virginia. The way up to the Cascades was slow going... I was stopping every 5 minutes to photograph the river.  After this last shot, I sat in the rain and enjoyed the falls for a while, then booked it home.  Thanks for looking.

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) Michael Speed Virginia blue ridge mountain cascades falls hiking in virginia nikon 20mm 1.8 nikon d750 pembroke virginia virginia waterfalls https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/5/hiking-the-cascades Wed, 18 May 2016 14:35:51 GMT
Carvers Gap to Highway 19E. https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/5/hiking-the-appalachain-trail-from-carvers-gap-to-highway-19e Last weekend we went to North Carolina/Tennessee to hike a really pretty section of the Appalachian Trail.  The section in between Carvers Gap and Highway 19E has multiple pretty balds that allow a hiker some pretty awesome views.  We didn't have the best weather, but it didn't rain on us, so we had that going for us.  

Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. We were going to split up the hike into two days, but since it was set to rain pretty hard on Sunday, we opted to hike the entire 15 mile section in one day.  This wasn't an incredible feat, but wore me out for sure!  Carrying a D750+28-300+20mm+tripod was pretty rough!(especially considering I didn't use the 20mm or the tripod).

Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee.

I tailed behind for pretty much the entire trip, just shooting away and hurrying to catch up when I fell behind.

Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee.

Up high on the balds, very little spring color had come out.  But just a little lower in elevation, the blooms were really starting to take over! Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. The pretty section below is very near the 2nd AT shelter.  It's a big barn that can house lots of tired hikers.  Once you get up out of the trees a bit, you get a nice view of it and the surrounding mountains(just a few photos down)

Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. We took a break at the top of the hill, where I shot these stark looking trees against a cloudy sky.

Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. At the top of the mountain we were on, we could see a mountain in the distance, and we weren't sure if our trail was gonna take us over it or not...

Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. Well, sure enough, we were going over it!  This is hump mountain.  Below, you can see Lori(middle) holding on to her hat.  The wind was really powerful!

Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. You can see two hikers that were ahead of us making the climb up Hump Mountain. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee.

It really was daunting, but it wasn't as hard as it looked.  It was pretty gradual, just looooong. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. I was really enjoying the views looking back down Hump Mountain.  I kept falling farther and farther behind the group though, so I kept double timing it to catch up! Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. How cool it would be to have a house in the mountians... Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. Towards the top of Hump Mountain, there are some rock outcroppings that make a nice foreground. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. ...as well as patches of little wildflowers.
Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. Here is Lori taking a breather in front of a really nice view. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. Hike over this little fence and you are about to start heading downhill again.  This is looking back on what we had hiked. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. The hikers in front of us were keeping a pretty good pace!  They had huge packs on and we didn't catch up to them. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. Coming down Hump Mountain, everyone's spirits were high(unfortunately we had like 5 more miles of downhill left) Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. The views up on Hump Mountain and other balds in the Roan Mountain area are incredible.  My camera does very little in showing how great it is. Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. This is the Doll Flats area right before you cross back into Tennessee.  This is the last photo I took.  We were all exhausted and had the Pedalin' Pig for dinner(it was great!)
Roan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailRoan Mountain Section of Appalachian TrailHiking from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee. Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) appalachian trail friends on the AT hiking north carolina hump mountain jane bald nikon d750 roan mountain https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/5/hiking-the-appalachain-trail-from-carvers-gap-to-highway-19e Mon, 02 May 2016 16:43:57 GMT
Shelley and John at the Mabry Mill https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/4/shelley-and-john-at-the-mabry-mill A few days ago I had the opportunity to take some pretty photos of some pretty people at the Mabry Mill.  If you'd like some photos like these taken of your and your spouse or family, just let me know by hitting the 'Contact' button.

engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. All I can really say is that Shelley and John are AWESOME!  I just moved to Radford, which is where they live, so maybe I'll be lucky and my wife and I will get invited over for dinner sometime....

engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia.

engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia.

 

engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia.

After a bit at the Mabry Mill, we headed up the Blue Ridge Parkway a few miles to Rocky Knob.  Rocky Knob has some sweet mountain views, and unfortunately, some really intense winds!  The air was COOOOLD up there but we made sure to give it our best shot. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia.

engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia. Thanks for looking! engagement photographyengagement photographyengagement photography taken at Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia.

 

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blue ridge parkway engagement photography mabry mill michael speed radford photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/4/shelley-and-john-at-the-mabry-mill Fri, 15 Apr 2016 19:46:15 GMT
Spring Color in Virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/4/spring-color-in-virginia-and-north-carolina Happy Springtime!

I've been out and about enjoying some nice spring weather on a few walks and hikes so far this spring.  One of my favorite things to see is the blooming of the Duchman's Breeches along the new river trail.  Small white buds cast a bit of a carpet on the forest floor.

New River Trail State ParkNew River Trail State ParkImages of the New River and New River Trail State park in southwest Virginia. New River Trail State ParkNew River Trail State ParkImages of the New River and New River Trail State park in southwest Virginia. New River Trail State ParkNew River Trail State ParkImages of the New River and New River Trail State park in southwest Virginia. My closest focusing lens is the Nikon 20mm 1.8G.  I really do love what this lens lets me do!  Along with taking wide angle landscapes and night photos, the close focusing really lets me fill the frame with small flowers(plus the D750's tilt screen keeps me from getting too dirty by letting me shoot without laying down:)

New River Trail State ParkNew River Trail State ParkImages of the New River and New River Trail State park in southwest Virginia.

New River Trail State ParkNew River Trail State ParkImages of the New River and New River Trail State park in southwest Virginia. New River Trail State ParkNew River Trail State ParkImages of the New River and New River Trail State park in southwest Virginia. Near this section of the trail is the Foster Falls State Park area.  There are some nice flowering trees there in the spring.  I made a little time to go down there early one morning.

New River Trail State ParkNew River Trail State ParkImages of the New River and New River Trail State park in southwest Virginia. New River Trail State ParkNew River Trail State ParkImages of the New River and New River Trail State park in southwest Virginia. New River Trail State ParkNew River Trail State ParkImages of the New River and New River Trail State park in southwest Virginia. New River Trail State ParkNew River Trail State ParkImages of the New River and New River Trail State park in southwest Virginia. New River Trail State ParkNew River Trail State ParkImages of the New River and New River Trail State park in southwest Virginia. Leaving Foster Falls, I noticed some really nice light and ominous clouds while driving by the cemetery in the area.  There are many old gravestones.  There are some composition limitations here with overhead power lines and other items that can distract from a photo, so all of these are composed similarly. 

New River Trail State ParkNew River Trail State ParkImages of the New River and New River Trail State park in southwest Virginia. New River Trail State ParkNew River Trail State ParkImages of the New River and New River Trail State park in southwest Virginia. Finishing this post are a couple photos of flowers along the New River.  The image on the bottom is Bloodroot, which is really beautiful, the top one I am not sure.   New River Trail State ParkNew River Trail State ParkImages of the New River and New River Trail State park in southwest Virginia. New River Trail State ParkNew River Trail State ParkImages of the New River and New River Trail State park in southwest Virginia. Thanks for looking!

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) bloodroot flowers in virginia new river new river trail state park nikon 20mm 1.8G nikon 28-300 VR nikon d750 southwest virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/4/spring-color-in-virginia-and-north-carolina Tue, 05 Apr 2016 21:20:58 GMT
Great Smoky Mountains Night Photography https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/2/starry-skies-over-newfound-gap-and-cades-cove---great-smoky-mountains-national-park Stars and a bright moon over Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee.

This last weekend my wife and some friends were attending a conference in Gatlinburg Tennessee called Divine Rhythm.  While I didn't attend the conference, and really don't care much for Gatlinburg Tennessee, I really like being near Great Smoky Mountains National Park!(not to mention I have a cool wife and cool friends to hang out with also)

The only reason I really don't dig Gatlinburg is the fact that it is basically a carnival with a bazillion people in it!  One thing that can also bum people out is the large crowds that converge on the Smokies every year.  During winter there are FAR less people to share with, and almost nobody out at night.  

The first morning I was there, I left the hotel at around 4am to make my way up to Newfound Gap for sunrise.  This early start would give me plenty of time to shoot some moonlit, starry scenes.

Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee.

I sat at this spot and shivered until a car finally came by early in the morning. Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. I would occasionally see headlights down in the valley and start preparing for a car to come around the bend, and find myself waiting a LONG time since I guess I didn't realize just how far they away they actually were. Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. No car lights... Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. There are many cool tunnels in the park.

Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. After taking the below image, my tired eyes got the best of me and I took a nap for a while and waited for the sun to start rising.

Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. After my nap, I shot the moon behind some trees in a rich blue morning sky.

Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. After this I went up to Newfound Gap overlook and watched the sunrise.  I had such a quiet morning up until this point, and as soon as I got out of the car, the quiet stopped!  Some kid was running around and yelling while his dad chased after him yelling... yada yada yada... it was still nice to be there:)

Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Just before the sun hit the horizon, a few girls came and watched the sunrise from the ledge of the overlook.

Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. After just a few moments of watching the sun come up, I hightailed it back to Gatlinburg to have breakfast with my wife and friends.  

To give a little perspective on the contrast between the National Park and Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, here are a couple phone snaps from just outside the Paula Deen Restaurant in Pigeon Forge.  You get to watch a musical water fountain show while you wait for your table:)

FC110111111:zzzzzz0 a11d 05002d074441663838014c0 bac2fd1573e7739ae14540a43c1c133498042581213bbf3aca1392fd1356813f3fbb3de4145465b41e814b489c438b15147ab41ec14543a43e8b 0,6,-6 FN=0 lidx=216.90 FM0 FC100001001:zzzzzz0 c d8 078043874441663838014c0 bac2fd157 973 0145 af6 01331320 3ec121 cb9 3d4139 96d 3d113f db1 3d6145100e 3d414b1163 3eb151121c 3e81571252 3f715d124a 40415111c9 409 The next morning, I went to Cades Cove and jumped on my bicycle.   Cades Cove is a BUSY place during the day.  There are all kinds of people driving through here.  But at 4am, with a big bright moon and ton of stars, I had the place all to myself(as far as I could tell). 

This tree isn't far from the entrance just to the left of the path. 

Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee.

The next two photos are from pretty much exactly the same spot, just looking in opposite directions.  
Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. I just love those big moonlit trees!  The breeze caused me to have to time the photos just right and get a little lucky for sharp branches. Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. A little further down the trail is the old Methodist Church and cemetery.  I've been here before at night so I didn't spend much time here.

Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. The below photo was taken just before I made it to the dirt road shortcut that leads to the Peter Cable Cabin.   The deer were milling around right near the fence until I cruised up.  Fortunately they stayed still during my exposure(also, shout out to the Milky Way and Venus for making a faint appearance just above the deer).

Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. After getting onto the dirt road, I felt the need for a selfie!

Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. At this point, the sky was starting to brighten up, so it was time for me to get the show on the road and get to the Peter Cable Cabin!  I made with plenty of time to have a little fun before sunrise.

Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. A little lightpainting... Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Some clouds moved in just right and let the sky light up really nicely.

Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. There were a couple deer in the field behind the old homestead.  One of them hung out and looked at me while I walked closer. Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee.

Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Cades Cove has a bunch of old homesteads, cemeteries, churches, and a sweet mill!  A person could spend a long time doing the entire loop, but I cut this one short for time purposes.  By the time I was almost back to the parking lot, there were already a bunch of cars on the road in the Cove(they close it to cars at night).

I did have a little time to kill after breakfast, so instead of sitting in the car for an hour, I went up to the tower in Gatlinburg.  For $10 a big elevator takes you up to a huge lookout deck with telescopes!

Below, the big mountain in the distance is Mt. Leconte.  It is where Ashley and I hiked up to Mt Leconte Lodge last fall.(click here for that post)  Seeing it from here really gives some nice perspective on just how awesome of a hike that was!

Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee.

Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Great Smoky Mountains WinterGreat Smoky Mountains WinterImages of the Great Smoky Mountains at night and sunrise. Images of Newfound Gap, Cades Cove at night, and the Tower in Gatlinburg Tennessee.

While I was taking photos from up on the tower, I gotta text from the wife telling me the conference had ended and she was ready to go.  I hopped in the elevator and took off.  See you again soon, Tennessee.

Thanks for looking.

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) cades cove gatlinburg tennessee great smoky mountains national park michael speed national parks newfound gap nikon d750 night sky photography pigeon forge https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/2/starry-skies-over-newfound-gap-and-cades-cove---great-smoky-mountains-national-park Tue, 02 Feb 2016 14:36:31 GMT
2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/1/2016-snowstrom-in-southwest-virginia We FINALLY got some snow in Virginia! ‚Äč 2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginiamoonset over snowy Virginia mountains

Actually. a few days before the GREAT STORM OF 2016, we got a little dusting of snow, which prompted me to take the dog to the New River Trail and enjoy the snow(in a few days the snow would be too deep for my fearless Yorkie)

I was armed with only an LG v10 smartphone, and I gotta say, it does the job well enough for dog walks!

New River Trail State Park in WinterNew River Trail State Park in Wintersnowy new river trail crossing Jackson ferry

New River Trail State Park in WinterNew River Trail State Park in Winterbright green moss on the new river trail in winter

New River Trail State Park in WinterNew River Trail State Park in Winter

Then, last Friday, the snow really started to come down.  It was awesome!  We got a few inches that day, and I had the New River Trail to myself, even though someone had been there before me.

New River Trail State Park in WinterNew River Trail State Park in WinterNew River Trail crosses Chestnut Creek near the Chestnut Creek Cabins in Galax Virginia.

New River Trail State Park in WinterNew River Trail State Park in Winter

New River Trail State Park in WinterNew River Trail State Park in Winter

I slid down the hillside into the river for a different angle.  The water was just a little deeper than my boots were tall.  I got wet feet on a cold day... Bummer!

New River Trail State Park in WinterNew River Trail State Park in Winter

New River Trail State Park in WinterNew River Trail State Park in Winter

On Saturday, we got A LOT of snow!  So much that I was unable to get anywhere to take photos(I got my Subaru Crosstrek stuck twice trying).  However, on Sunday, I made sure to wake up nice and early and shoot a few photos under the full moon before the sun came up.  I headed to the Foster Falls area(I go here a lot).  There are a few scenic farms, barns and fields that are nice to photograph.

2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia

2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia

2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia

The thing that is frustrating about getting a ton of snow, is that the plows pile it up on the side of the roads making it really hard to park anywhere.  Fortunately, the road to Foster Falls state park doesn't get much traffic so I was able to just park on the road for the morning(not a single car drove by)

2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia

2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia

2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginiafoster falls farms va

2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia

By now, the sun was starting to come up!  I could see the approaching dawn on the horizon.  I am not sure but I think that really bright 'star' is the planet Venus.

2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia

2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia

Below, the moon sets behind an old snow covered tractor.

2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginiaold tractor in the snow

The sun was starting to warm up the sky really nicely...

2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginiasnow covered hay bail

Then looking west, the moon was setting in some nice earth shadow as the red band of sunlight approached!  By now my hands were all but frozen, but the scene in front of me was worth standing out in the cold for!

2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia

I get to cross this bridge everyday on my way to work.  I always enjoy peaking over the edge and looking down at the new river.  Normally, the interstate make a TON of noise that you can hear even from a distance.  This morning however, with all the snow and ice, caused very few people to be out and about, even just a tiny fraction of tractor-trailers were out this morning compared to a normal day.  It was nice and quiet.

2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia

2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia2016 Snowstorm in Southwest Virginia

I hope to get out again before the big melt.  Stay safe and enjoy the snow.  Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) Blue Ridge Mountains foster falls full moon night sky galax va interstate 77 new river trail state park photography virginia virginia state parks winter storm jonas https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2016/1/2016-snowstrom-in-southwest-virginia Tue, 26 Jan 2016 15:37:56 GMT
Family Portraits at Camp Dickenson https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2015/12/family-portraits-at-camp-dickenson-fries-virginia The other day I got to chase around a little kid and try to take his photo.  Fortunately, my ability to walk backwards combined with the D750's sweet autofocus system made for some fun photos!

Michael is the director at Camp Dickenson, which hosts week long camps for kids during the summer.  There is a very pretty farmhouse on the property, and that is where we shot today.  

Check out Camp Dickenson's website here.

I'll start with a few that he actually sat down for!  Michael(the dad) and I sure had a lot of fun setting up this train!  So much so that we almost cancelled the shoot and just watched the train go round and round...

family portrait photographerfamily portrait photographerFamily portraits at Camp Dickeson in Fries Virginia. family portrait photographerfamily portrait photographerFamily portraits at Camp Dickeson in Fries Virginia. After a little screwing around with the train, we burned off a little steam running around outside.

family portrait photographerfamily portrait photographerFamily portraits at Camp Dickeson in Fries Virginia. family portrait photographerfamily portrait photographerFamily portraits at Camp Dickeson in Fries Virginia. family portrait photographerfamily portrait photographerFamily portraits at Camp Dickeson in Fries Virginia. family portrait photographerfamily portrait photographerFamily portraits at Camp Dickeson in Fries Virginia. We got him to sit for very short periods of time...

family portrait photographerfamily portrait photographerFamily portraits at Camp Dickeson in Fries Virginia. family portrait photographerfamily portrait photographerFamily portraits at Camp Dickeson in Fries Virginia. family portrait photographerfamily portrait photographerFamily portraits at Camp Dickeson in Fries Virginia. family portrait photographerfamily portrait photographerFamily portraits at Camp Dickeson in Fries Virginia. family portrait photographerfamily portrait photographerFamily portraits at Camp Dickeson in Fries Virginia. family portrait photographerfamily portrait photographerFamily portraits at Camp Dickeson in Fries Virginia. family portrait photographerfamily portrait photographerFamily portraits at Camp Dickeson in Fries Virginia.

There are some nice Christmas Decorations inside the farmhouse, but by now little Jude-Michael was getting restless!

family portrait photographerfamily portrait photographerFamily portraits at Camp Dickeson in Fries Virginia. One last shot just screwing around on the stairs...

family portrait photographerfamily portrait photographerFamily portraits at Camp Dickeson in Fries Virginia. Thanks for looking!

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) camp dickenson child portraits nikon 85mm 1.8G nikon d750 portrait photographer southwest virginia photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2015/12/family-portraits-at-camp-dickenson-fries-virginia Wed, 16 Dec 2015 16:23:34 GMT
Blacksburg Senior Portraits https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2015/12/loren---senior-portraits-at-the-covered-bridge-giles-county Loren is one cool girl!

senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia. I had the fortune to take Loren's photographs near the cool red covered bridge in near Newport in Giles County, Virginia.  I started us out near a covered bench.

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senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia.

senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia. Now to put those rain boots to work!

senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia.

senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia.

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After a quick change, we headed out of the water and up on to dry land!

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senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia. Bringing back the dog....

senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia. senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia. senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia. senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia. senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia. As the light was fading, and fading fast it was, we did one more wardrobe change and brought out an heirloom that belonged to Loren's Grandfather(if I remember correctly)

senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia. senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia. senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia. senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia. senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia. senior portraits giles county virginiasenior portraits giles county virginiaSenior Portrait photographer in Giles County, Virginia. And with that we were done and happy about it!  Thanks for looking!

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blacksburg portrait photographer michael speed new river valley portrait photographer nikon 85mm 1.8 senior portraits senior portraits virginia https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2015/12/loren---senior-portraits-at-the-covered-bridge-giles-county Wed, 02 Dec 2015 16:50:09 GMT
Great Dismal Swamp https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2015/11/sleepless-in-the-great-dismal-swamp-chesapeake-virginia Well worth the trip... Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia.

At the beginning of my blog posts is normally where I will post my favorite photo of the trip.  This time around, I had a hard time selecting one, as I like many from my recent voyage to the Great Dismal Swamp.   Read on for more...

It is just over 5 hours of driving to get to the boat landing at the Great Dismal Swamp from my home near Galax, Virginia.  It took every inch of my being not only talk myself into making the drive, but to keep driving as I made my way.  For some reason I kinda just wanted to stay home and be near the wife(you married men who love your wives know what I'm talking about), but I had spent time preparing, and this would be my last long distance photo trip for a while(this is my busy work season), so I might as well go and enjoy myself.  

As always, I get to the places I am going at the last second, and today was no different.  I showed up about an hour before sunset, which meant that by the time I paddled the 3.5 miles or so to the campsite, it would be pitch black.  The same thing happened the last time I came!  This trip, there was pretty thick cloud cover(I could hear helicopters flying somewhat low overhead but could not see them) and that made the dark of night seem to come on even sooner than expected.   

In the photo below, taken as I was about to pack up the following day, you can see I set up my tent near the tram.  The tram is a cable driven platform that runs along a short set of rails to help people move their boat from the feeder ditch to Lake Drummond.  To the extreme right of the photo, you can see the lock, which keeps a proper lake level.

The tram was out of service since they are doing some construction at the lock(those photos further down).  This wasn't a big deal since I normally just pull my kayak over the grass.

Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. I was feeling a bit restless in the middle of the night.  Part of it was that I have a really bad sleeping bag, and the other part was that I was curious if the weather forecast would hold true, that the sky was supposed to clear.  I rolled out of the tent around midnight and was really happy to see stars!  I decided to take a little trip out to the lake for some night sky photography.  

You basically point your kayak at the center of the 'v' made by the black trees on the side and the starry sky in the center.  I try to use my headlamp as little as possible to keep my eyes dilated.  About halfway out to the lake, I was startled by a HUGE SPLASH not but a few feet from the boat!  The closest thing I can think of it sounding like was a beaver tail slap, but I don't even know if there are any beavers living in the swamp(which means the only other thing it could be was Bigfoot throwing a rock in at me!).  Either way, it scared me pretty good!(and I'm really glad he missed)

Once I got out to the lake, it was like I was kayaking in another world!  The stars were reflecting so beautifully off of the water it was simply wonderful.  I would park my boat near trees or stumps to start setting up the camera, as the wind was really pushing me towards the edges of the lake.

Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia.

I paddled out a little ways towards the lone tree seen in the first couple photos.  

Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia.

Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. I was getting a little chilly after being out on the lake for a little bit(i was still wearing shorts!) and I was yawning quite a bit so I headed back to catch some Zs before sunrise.

By the time my alarm went off, the temperature had really dropped a bit.  It wasn't freezing cold by any means, but chilly humid air can make you shiver in the shade!  It was kinda hard for me to get out of the tent and into the boat, but I only came here to take photos, and I would be pretty stupid to sleep in!  So at just after 5 I hit the water again and made my way out to Lake Drummond again.

In my first photo you can see a few stars still shining in the morning light.

Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. The below photo was taken after the stars went away, but before the sky was really starting to change, so black and white it is! Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. It wasn't long before the mostly clear sky showed me some really awesome earth shadow!  The reflection off of the lake made double awesome! Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. I was basically padding on a supersaturated sheet of glass, it was almost unreal. Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. Below, you can see the tail end of the earth shadow.

Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. There is a large, beautiful tree not far from the entrance to the lake that really held my attention.  I waited for quite a while as the sun rose over the trees to light up the top of this particular cypress.

Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. Man, I just love that tree!  I started to make my way back down the feeder ditch towards the camping area.  By now the sun was high up and lighting up the trees nicely(I am kinda surprised at how long the green stays on near the coast!)

Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. Looking back at the entrance to the lake...

Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia.

I shot a few photos of the camping area, tram, and construction area. I shot these last few photos with a rented Panasonic LX100, which is a pretty sweet point and shoot camera with a 4/3 sensor.  I have been toying around with the idea of using a premium compact or a mirrorless 4/3 or APSC camera for some things, but it looks like for now I will continue using the D750+28-300VR, as I feel it is still the best compromise of reach and image quality.  That said, I really did enjoy the LX100, it has a nice bright lens, but is just a touch too small for me, and the power zoom left a little to be desired.

Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. By the time I made it back to the camping area, the workers doing construction had showed up.
Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia.

The sun shining in on the trees in the feeder ditch made from some nice reflective scenes.

Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. To give you a little perspective, here is a photo I took of my camera setup in the water.  The 'spider'(where the legs come together at the top) was usuualy 6-12 inches out of the water.  There were times where the spider would drop all the way down to the water level.  I would mash the tripod down into the mud at the lake bottom and make sure it was completely solid before mounting my camera.   camera and tripodcamera and tripod Here is the tripod with wooden dowels attached to the legs using hose clamps. Without extending the center column, it stands around 6.5ft tall, and since the lake is pretty much consistently 6 feet deep, it works!

Kayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampKayak Trip to Lake Drummond in Great Dismal SwampImages of Lake Drummond, the feeder ditch, and bald cypress trees in the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake Virginia. A couple quick notes...

If you look at the photo with my tripod in the water, you can see that I am using an arca-type plate on my tripod.  I started using this because it allowed me to use a Peak Design Proplate to carry my camera on my backpack during my trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana.  If I had been smart I would have switched back to my Giottos quick-connect plate, which requires no turning of knobs to lock in place(you just click it in).  At night and in the early morning hours it was sometimes hard to get the camera to slide into the plate correctly before screwing it down(mostly because I was on a boat that wanted to float away!)  Even when I had tied my boat to the tripod I found it sorta unnerving getting the plate to lock in.  

It takes about an hour and ten minutes of paddling to get to the campsite. 

Here is where you park:

You head south(or left) from the boat landing and turn into the feeder ditch at Arbuckle Landing.  The Feeder ditch has a big sign near it, so you really can't miss it.  

There is no fee to camp.  There are flush toilets, many picnic tables, a few screened in buildings, and BBQ pits.  From what I could see, there was no drinkable water so plan accordingly.    There is power to the facility, so there are lights that are on, you know, should you arrive after dark:)

Thanks for looking.

Feel free to ask any questions using the 'contact me' link at the top of the page.

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) great dismal swamp kayak trips lake drummond lake drummond night photography nature photography nikon 20mm 1.8g nikon d750 panasonic lx100 sample images photography diy reflections https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2015/11/sleepless-in-the-great-dismal-swamp-chesapeake-virginia Sat, 14 Nov 2015 21:14:56 GMT
Family Portraits at Smith Mountain Lake https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2015/11/family-portraits-at-smith-mountain-lake We were blessed with some nice weather and a little fall color at Smith Mountain lake for some family portraits!   If you'd like some portraits taken of your family, just click the 'Contact Me' button at the top of the page. family portraitsfamily portraitsFamily portraits taken at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia Fortunately for me, I had an army of moms and grandparents behind me to draw the attention of the children!

family portraitsfamily portraitsFamily portraits taken at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia family portraitsfamily portraitsFamily portraits taken at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia family portraitsfamily portraitsFamily portraits taken at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia We had partly sunny conditions for most of the day, but as soon as I showed up to take photos, the sun came out BIG TIME!  I took a few photos out on the dock but then we retreated to the shade for a little better light.  family portraitsfamily portraitsFamily portraits taken at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia

family portraitsfamily portraitsFamily portraits taken at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia family portraitsfamily portraitsFamily portraits taken at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia family portraitsfamily portraitsFamily portraits taken at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia family portraitsfamily portraitsFamily portraits taken at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia family portraitsfamily portraitsFamily portraits taken at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia family portraitsfamily portraitsFamily portraits taken at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia family portraitsfamily portraitsFamily portraits taken at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia family portraitsfamily portraitsFamily portraits taken at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia family portraitsfamily portraitsFamily portraits taken at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia To wrap it up we tried our best to get everyone looking at me at the same time.... family portraitsfamily portraitsFamily portraits taken at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia family portraitsfamily portraitsFamily portraits taken at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia Thanks for looking! 

 

 

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) family photographer family portraits nikon d750 roanoke virginia photographer smith mountain lake portraits virginia photographer https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2015/11/family-portraits-at-smith-mountain-lake Wed, 04 Nov 2015 17:26:35 GMT
Sara - Senior Portraits at Claytor Lake https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2015/10/sara---senior-portraits-at-claytor-lake Sara and I met at Claytor Lake State Park for her senior portraits, and the color really couldn't have been better!   This was one heck of a great time, should you want to set up your photo session, click the 'Contact Me' button at the top of the page. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia.

Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia.

Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. After just a few photos near the beach, we moved towards the old red building on the other side of the marina.

Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. There really are a lot of great places to take photos here, and Sara made it so easy!

Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia.

Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Just a few steps from the picnic table above is this little dock with two 'arms'.  this is nice because it gives me one to stand on and one for her to sit on!  

Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia.

Just a few steps from the dock, we headed over to the waters edge near the gazebo.  There was just a touch of light coming in through the trees so we used that as best we could.

Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. We were heading up back to the parking lot for an outfit change when I got distracted by this big willow tree.

Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. After finally getting the outfit changed, we shot a few on the back porch of the big red building.
Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. The light really started to come in nicely, so I had her change BACK into her dress to really help these last photos pop!

Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia.

Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia. Senior PortraitsSenior PortraitsSenior portraits taken at Claytor Lake in Virginia.

And thats a wrap to one awesome photo shoot!  Thanks for looking!

 

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) blue ridge mountains christiansburg senior portraits claytor lake state park portrait photographer senior portraits https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2015/10/sara---senior-portraits-at-claytor-lake Mon, 26 Oct 2015 15:33:43 GMT
Dana - Bridal Photos at Hotel Roanoke https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2015/10/dana---bridal-photos-at-hotel-roanoke We went to Hotel Roanoke for some sweet places to shoot bridals for Dana, and the location did not disappoint. 
That photo was taken towards the end of our session.  To begin, we went downstairs and without moving too many of the chairs around, found a spot for Dana to sit in one of the halls.

Moving just a ways down the hall now...

I then had Dana go upstairs while I stayed down below.  

Now, fully upstairs, we found a window with some nice light coming in...

As we walked through the lobby to one of our next spots, we stopped at this huge wall for a moment.
I REALLY like the next set of photos.  This spot is sweet(and a nice reason for me to pull out the 20mm 1.8:).  

Aren't chandeliers sweet?

We milled around a bit in a really pretty hallway on the way to our next spot..

The next set of photos were really fun.  The lounge area has a really cool 'ambiance' to it(and yet ANOTHER reason to pull out the 20!)

When we showed up, they told us 'NO STAIR PHOTOS" so we had to take this one before we left.   Thanks for looking!

 

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) bridal bridal photographer hotel roanoke' michael speed nikon 20mm 1.8g nikon d750 portraits" roanoke virginia portrait photography https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2015/10/dana---bridal-photos-at-hotel-roanoke Tue, 20 Oct 2015 23:04:00 GMT
Hike to Mt. LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2015/10/hike-to-mt-leconte-in-the-great-smoky-mountains Last week I got to share some pretty sweet views with some pretty sweet people(including my wife!).

Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. The above picture is the view from Clifftops on top of Mt. Leconte.  I watched this beautiful scene with my wife and a handful of others after having a huge dinner at Mt. Leconte Lodge.  

We only got to spend a couple nights in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and I really feel like we made the most of it!

We started off by having a sweet dinner in Bryson City, then heading up to Clingmans Dome to check out the stars.

Clingmans Dome at NightClingmans Dome at NightGallery includes images taken during a night hike up to the Clingmans Dome tower. The fog up on the tower would completely shroud us in darkness for a few moments, only to brighten up a short while later.  Here I caught beginning of a meteor.  This was a good night for me in seeing meteors(I saw some HUGE ones!), but only capture this guy. Clingmans Dome at NightClingmans Dome at NightGallery includes images taken during a night hike up to the Clingmans Dome tower. Clingmans Dome at NightClingmans Dome at NightGallery includes images taken during a night hike up to the Clingmans Dome tower. Obligatory selfie of the wife and I.  A three second shutter speed, and a really REALLY dim light to brighten us up.  The Nikon 20mm 1.8G can really see in the dark! Clingmans Dome at NightClingmans Dome at NightGallery includes images taken during a night hike up to the Clingmans Dome tower.

Clingmans Dome at NightClingmans Dome at NightGallery includes images taken during a night hike up to the Clingmans Dome tower. I really like the below image of the rocks and trees near the parking lot.  You can see the Andromeda Galaxy shining brightly in the center.

Clingmans Dome at NightClingmans Dome at NightGallery includes images taken during a night hike up to the Clingmans Dome tower. The next morning, I almost stayed in bed and didn't go out for sunrise.  Looking back, I am glad I did, but the pictures were meh..  oh well, at least the Sumac trees are looking cool.

Smoky Mountains SunriseSmoky Mountains SunriseSunrise from the main highway in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. ...and I think hemlocks make any scene worth looking at.

Smoky Mountains SunriseSmoky Mountains SunriseSunrise from the main highway in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Smoky Mountains SunriseSmoky Mountains SunriseSunrise from the main highway in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As soon as the sun came up, I bounced!  I got back to the hotel, ate some pretty horrible breakfast, and the wife and I headed up to Gatlinburg to grab a few things before the hike.  I unfortunately left some of my clothes at home on the couch, and could make do with everything except the underwear I packed!  We headed to the NOC and $30 later I was good to go!

The hike we picked was the Trillium Gap trail.  It is 6.7 miles to the Mt. Leconte Lodge.  The cool thing about hiking to Mt. Leconte is not having to pack any tent or sleeping gear!  Somehow, my wife still made my pack heavy though... crazy how that works.

Some of the higher elevations had patches of nice color.  

Mt. Leconte hikieMt. Leconte hikieImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. These badass llamas are responsible for supplying the lodge.   Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. Once at the lodge, we didn't have much time to chill before dinner.  We got checked into our room, thought about how we should never have hiked almost 7 miles up a mountain while also thinking about how AWESOME dinner was gonna taste!

My camera isn't "travel friendly" (d750+28-300VR), so I didn't bring it into the dining hall.  But you just gotta believe me, it was great food.  Mashed potatoes, roast beef, some gross peach thing, green beans, and a cookie!

After dinner, my wife and I, joined by many lodge guests, went up to the Clifftops to watch the sunset.  It is only a .2 mile walk up to the top and well worth it!

Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. Like all other Smoky Mountain scenes, the fog would roll in and out, temporarily taking away our view, only to give it back again.  Below, a couple of really cool guys enjoy some wine as the fog comes in.

Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. After hanging out and shooting the breeze with some other folks in the lodge office, I let Ashley go to sleep while I milled about the lodge taking photos.  There was quite a bit of fog, but some stars still shined through. Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. The lodge on the right was where Ashley and I slept.  You can see a big wave of fog coming in on the right. Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. At these really high ISOs, only a little bit of light from a flashlight makes it look like a UFO has landed! Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. The next morning we headed out for Myrtle Point to watch the sunrise.  It is a little farther than clifftops at about 2 miles round trip.  The wind was HOWLING, which made it difficult to include much foreground because of all the moving foliage.   After taking the below photo, I shot pretty much everything else in the telephoto range.

Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. Mt. Leconte hikieMt. Leconte hikieImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. After the sunrise, we were ready to get back to the lodge and pound some breakfast!  As we made our way out of the lodge, I snapped a few photos of the area.

Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. And here is the parting shot of my beautiful wife as we made our way down the trail.  This was well worth the money spent!  
Mt. Leconte hikeMt. Leconte hikeImages of the hike up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap Trail. Gallery includes images of Mt. Leconte Lodge, clifftops, myrtle point, as well as night images of the lodge. Thanks for looking!

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photosbyspeed@gmail.com (Michael Speed) clingmans dome night great smoky mountains mt leconte myrtle point trillium gap trail https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2015/10/hike-to-mt-leconte-in-the-great-smoky-mountains Fri, 16 Oct 2015 23:49:30 GMT
Olivia - Bridal Photos at the Mabry Mill https://www.michaelspeed.com/blog/2015/10/olivia---bridal-photos-at-the-mabry-mill Olivia really wanted some photos of an outside scene on the Blue Ridge Parkway for her bridal photographs.  We ended up at the Mabry Mill on a dark, dreary day...

The biggest challenge really wasn't the rain falling, but the wet ground!  When I picked a spot for Olivia to stand, there was no real moving from that spot without a lot of work from her mom and I.  The ground was basically mud and we really didn't want to trash the dress BEFORE the wedding!

We started out near some nice yellow blooms...