We’ve had some absolutely beautiful days over the last few weeks, and it’s been tempting to just abandon everything at the house and head out with a camera. I was able to do that a couple of times. These were places I’d visited many, many times, but I got a few good photos on separate trips to Pearson Falls and Poinsett Bridge to share.
Back in mid-October I decided to head up toward Saluda to see if I could find any fall color. The leaves seem to be late turning this year, so there wasn’t much color, but the scenery was still spectacular. It would have been much nicer if not for the current blight on our mountain roads – professional cyclists.
I’m not against cyclists. I used to love doing long-distance cycling myself, but intentionally blocking a twisting road where you cannot pass is stupid and rude. Period. This seems to happen with more and more frequency.
OK, rant over…
I continued on through the mountain town of Saluda and on to Pearson Falls. It was still fairly early in the morning and the sun hadn’t quite crested the ridge. Without the direct sunlight, lighting conditions were perfect for long-exposure photograph.
I paid the $5 entrance fee and made the short hike up to the falls. All along the way I kept wanting to hop over the trail fence and catch some shots of the stream coming over rocks, but I stayed on target.
At the falls I set up my tripod and Nikon and experimented with several types of shots. I set my ISO to 100 to slow the exposure and even used a neutral density filter for a few shots. I moved to several different angles. Here are the results…
A bit further down there is a small ledge fall with the larger falls in the background.
It was amazing how quickly the lighting changed. The sun crested the ridge illuminating the falls. The floor of the valley was still in shadow, so I headed back down and got some of the stream shots I’d skipped on the way up.
I could have lingered and listened to the water all day. I keep threatening to bring my ENO hammock and just set it up near one of these local waterfalls and read and drink coffee, or perhaps play an instrument for several hours.
I made my way back through mountain roads, eventually winding up in Saluda once again. From there I crossed I-26 and headed down into the Green River Gorge. It’s been a long time since I’ve run this river, but there was a time when I was on it every other weekend in the summer. Heavy rains flooded the area the year that we were away, and it was interesting to see how the valley had been damaged and was recovering. I wondered if that had changed any of the rapids and routes I knew so well.
About a week later Ken said that he had a hankering for some German food. I was ready to oblige. I picked him up in Clemson and we drove through rural Upstate roads until we reached Highway 25, then made our way up to Haus Heidelberg in Hendersonville. On our way back down we cut through Saluda then through the Greenville Watershed. We decided to stop at Poinsett Bridge along the way.
This is another spot I’ve visited and photographed many, many times. I thought it might be cool to capture this and do some Photoshop work, using the Gothic arch of the bridge as a portal to a different world or universe. I haven’t gotten around to that, but here are the shots I did take. I didn’t have my Nikon, so I didn’t have as much control over exposure. These were taken with my little Panasonic Lumix. I did use some different desaturated processing in Lightroom for several of the shots.
I never made it back up to the mountains for the peak of fall colors. Here it is now early November and the fall colors have reached our back yard. I may still head up to the mountains, but for colors, I’ll just enjoy the trees here.