White Sands National Park, NM

A friend and I traveled to New Mexico to visit family in Ruidoso, and while there, we took a road trip to visit the White Sands National Park. We didn’t spend long there, since it was quite a way to travel and also it is extremely hot at this time of year, so extended hikes through the dunes were out of the question. We did enjoy the late afternoon when some weather rolled in and it cooled down a little – enough to coax us out of the air-conditioned car and explore a little. Here are a few of the images I came away with.

Country Brevard

This town offers the best of both worlds, both country and downtown experiences. The farmland surrounding the town center is quintessential charming, the stuff of childrens’ storybooks. Lush valleys currently supporting fields of corn and cattle, surrounded by blue mountains. I have photographed these areas through different seasons. This is the Summer look.

Summer Family Portraits

Summer is not the ideal time for taking family portraits, but sometimes you just have to fit it into the schedule, and this is the only time that works. Even at 7pm, the sun is still high in the sky and the temperatures are close to 90 degrees in Charleston, never mind the humidity. All of that said, this family did great. The kids were engaged and cooperative, and Mom and Dad never lost their sense of humor.

Summertime Family Portraits

As we know, Charleston summers are HOT! Not the most ideal season for outdoor portrait sessions. Make-up literally melts off the ladies’ faces and people (and kids) can get cranky sooner rather than later. However, it is also a time when families are reuniting for summer vacations and wanting to capture memories of time spent together. This was the case when this family gathered in Charleston from scattered locations for a week of catching up. They were not cranky and I think they will treasure the memories for a long time.

Upstate South Carolina Waterfalls

This past weekend, a friend and I took a brief respite from the Charleston humidity and spent a couple days in Tryon, NC. We had mapped out a couple of waterfalls we planned to visit while in the area, both just over the state line in South Carolina. The first one, Wildcat Falls on the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway (SC 11) is very accessible from the roadside and consists of a lower and upper falls. I converted the lower falls photo into black and white IR. The next stop was Twin Falls in Sunset, SC and what a surprise that was! I was astonished to see how much water was cascading over the top. There were more like 4 or 5 falls because of increased volume due I guess to summer storms in the area. Beautiful sight.

Transylvania County, NC

View of Gwynn Valley from Connestee Falls

For me this area has become a magnet. Over the years I have visited the Brevard area many times through different seasons and have been seduced by its many beautiful attributes. This time, some friends and I rented a cabin in the woods of Connestee Falls. You don’t have to wander much beyond the borders to immerse yourself in scenic streams, cascades, lakes, forests, and mountains. Also, it is a sure refuge when the heat and humidity of Charleston become unbearable!

Lake Atagahi, stars and fireflies, Connestee Falls
Cascade on Carson Creek, Connestee Falls
Raymond working Slick Rock Falls
Chickens at Gwynn Valley Farm