Susanna Euston Photography: Blog en-us (C) 2000-2024 Susanna Euston. All Rights Reserved. [email protected] (Susanna Euston Photography) Sun, 05 Feb 2023 22:20:00 GMT Sun, 05 Feb 2023 22:20:00 GMT Susanna Euston Photography: Blog 90 120 January 2023 Newsletter

Eastatoe Falls Detail


I hope that your holiday season was a delight and that you're looking forward to 2023. I know that I am! Nature, I'm sure, has a lot in store for us and our photography in this new year.

Going back in time, as I mentioned in a previous newsletter, our autumn was spectacular. But I couldn't resist interpreting the photograph above in black and white. The leaves were bright yellow, draped over the foreground, and flecked on the rock walls after falling. Water flowed gently over the scene.  

Winter was low-key until December's weather extremes. Our waterfalls and rivers froze, with waterfalls draped in ice and waterways lace-edged. The image, left, is of Looking Glass Falls (iPhone image!); the image right was taken at Rocky Fork (Tennessee). As the temperatures fluctuate, I'm hoping for more cold weather to produce those icy scenes to explore!


I’m excited to announce my new approach to photography training! Together we can tailor an individual or group photography experience to meet your goals. It’s creative and flexible! Individual training will be focused on fundamentals, and group workshops on advanced photography topics. This approach will replace scheduled workshops such as those held in past years. Here is a brief introduction to what is ahead in 2023:

Individual Training on the Fundamentals

  • Lessons via Zoom or in-person classroom sessions — learn fundamental camera or post-processing techniques, or both — one-on-one. This can include DSLR or mirrorless cameras, as well as iPhone!
  • Coaching in the Field — to develop your basic vision and skills.

Group Workshops — Design-Your-Own to Learn Advanced Techniques

Get your friends or colleagues together for a photography adventure in the beautiful Southern Appalachian mountains. Advanced programs can focus on Composition, Landscape, Rivers & Waterfalls, Close-up (wildflowers), Infrared, or Abstract Techniques. Here are the basics: 
  • Minimum of four participants, a maximum of six;
  • Select your photography subject area;
  • Learn the advanced technique via a group Zoom or in-person classroom session;
  • Practice in a group Field Session(s) in one of the beautiful natural areas surrounding Asheville, NC, including the Great Smoky Mountains or the Blue Ridge Parkway!

I look forward to sharing the details with you soon — including pricing — on my website! Stay tuned! In the meantime, if you have questions, feel free to email me at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you!

In closing, as always, I look forward to meeting you along the way — at CNPA, in a Zoom meeting, in a workshop, at Trackside Studios in Asheville's River Arts District (every day from 11-4), or in the field.  

With warmest regards!




The NEW Design-Your-Own Photographic Artistry Workshops are designed to give you and your friends
tools and techniques to increase your skills and vision as
you travel on your journey in photography!

Details coming soon!




Photographic Artistry Training for individuals is available via Zoom or in person. In short or longer sessions, we can explore the fundamentals of camera settings and techniques, processing, or other aspects of photography. Coaching in the field will support the development of your vision and skills.

Details coming soon!

Photoshop's High Pass Filter


In case you missed it, I gave a presentation at a CNPA-Asheville meeting on the High Pass Filter. It's a great way to very selectively sharpen images. Here is a link to a PDF of the presentation. Enjoy!



FREE Photographer's Quick Reference Guide!

This PDF guide will support your journey in photography! Keep it on your tablet or smartphone to quickly answer questions, while in the field, about setting exposure, accessories, etc. It is particularly helpful for beginning or intermediate photographers who are just getting used to using Manual camera settings! 
Check it out here.




I am pleased to be a member of River Arts District Artists (RADA), with my work on display and for sale at Trackside Studios, 375 Depot Street in the River Arts District! It's a wonderful gallery with 30-plus artists featuring a diversity of artwork from jewelry to pottery to paintings and (of course!) photography. Hours every day, 11-4.

I've moved my display to a new location in the gallery that I love! In addition to prints, a 15" digital photo frame highlights photographs as larger sizes placed in different spaces (living rooms, bedrooms, dining, etc.). If you're interested in an image and would like to know how it might look in your space, send a screenshot of the image (see below) and a smartphone shot of the wall and I'll create a simulation for you. 

PS You can also visit my website, let me know if you're interested in a print (please send a screenshot of it) from the gallery. Let me know if you want canvas or a print, and the size. I'll send a quote, including shipping and sales tax. 


If you don't know what your photographer would like for a birthday or holiday gift, consider one of my Photographic Artistry programs! Gift cards are available through Square, redeemable for the One-on-One Instruction ($50 per hour) and Workshops. Check the options out at this link.



[email protected] (Susanna Euston Photography) autumn Falls Fork Glass Looking photography Rocky training workshops Sun, 05 Feb 2023 22:08:25 GMT
February 2020 Newsletter!

Icy Weather at Looking Glass Falls


I'm feeling a little bit like Punxsutawney Phil (the little woodchuck who each February 2nd "predicts" winter's duration) coming out of hibernation! Yes, sometimes it's nice to just take a break and focus on the homefront! But, it's time to get back to photography! 

It's another warm winter here in the Southern Appalachians. Just cold enough, a week or two ago, to frost the trees and rocks at Looking Glass Falls (above). Scenes such as the one at the left have been more likely. It's been warm and rainy. We're still hoping for snow, but we may be heading into wildflower season sooner than usual. 

At this time of year hothouse flower photography, whether at home or in a conservatory, is a good way to keep camera and seeing skills sharp. I'm also discovering "street photography," through a course being taught my one of my former students! In spite of being a landscape photographer at heart, I've been intrigued by that genre of photography. I hope to have some decent shots to share with you in the near future! 

I am excited to share with you that I'll be teaching a three-day Waterfalls & Wildflowers Workshop, April 27-28-29th, with my good friend Mike Matthews. He is an amazing close-up photographer of both reptiles and wildflowers. We'll be based in the Asheville area and will explore Big Creek in the Smokies, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and waterfalls in the surrounding areas. All will have beautiful wildflowers. If you are looking for a photography experience in the beautiful Southern Appalachians, then this is the workshop for you! For details, click here

Prior to that, if you want to sharpen your composition skills, my Appalachian Spring Composition Intensive, April 1-2-3, still has a few openings. See below for details!

As always, I look forward to seeing you along the way — at Trackside Studios, in a workshop, or in the field. Have a wonderful February!

With warm regards,

[email protected] (Susanna Euston Photography) Appalachians composition photography Southern spring Winter workshop Sat, 08 May 2021 13:58:34 GMT
October 2019 Newsletter!
Nature at its finest in every season!
To subscribe to monthly newsletters, click here!

After Autumn III


What a strange year it’s been weather-wise. Autumn still isn’t here. I’ve lived in the mountains of North Carolina for 25 years and have never experienced the heat that continues to visit us. The prediction for tomorrow is 91 degrees! But, they are predicting cooler weather soon. So color should begin to dot the landscape and eventually decorate our mountainsides and valleys. I’ll let you know next month how it evolves. Keeping fingers crossed! 

It has been a wonderfully busy six weeks. The show at the NC Arboretum, “Nature in Abstract,” has been a success. It comes down on October 14, so if you if you’re in the Asheville area and haven’t had a chance to see it, I hope you’ll be able to do so before then. Details are here! The Autumn wall is at the right.

Prints in the show will be moved to Trackside Studios (in Asheville’s River Arts District). They are very different from my black and white images there now. I work at the gallery many Monday afternoons. If you’re nearby, please stop by! I’d love to visit and show you my latest, as well as the work of our other artists.

And, if you’d like to learn abstract photography techniques (including Intentional Camera Movement, Multiple Exposures, Compositing, etc.) be sure to check out the information on my November 7-8-9-10th workshop at my website. The techniques are fun to learn and create wonderfully innovative images.  And, I suspect that Autumn color will still be in full swing so we should have excellent photo ops! 

As always, I look forward to seeing you along the way, at the Arboretum or Trackside Studios, in a workshop, or in the field. Have a wonderful October!

With warm regards,



Photographic Artistry Workshops are designed to give you tools and
techniques to increase your skills to express your vision through photography. 


Autumn in Orange & Gold

November 7-8-9-10 — "Autumn in Abstract: Photographing Vivid Colors & Light in the Landscape" using Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) and other techniques. These workshops are always an adventure with unique in-camera photography techniques that produce beautiful images! Seats are on the move! Register soon.

Learn about all workshops at will, again, be held at the beautiful Mountain Lens Retreat in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

For information on individual, small group and club instruction—basic to advanced—in Macro, Creative Composition, "Classical," Infrared and Abstract Nature Photography Techniques or basic software skills,  click here

Open Through October 13th!

Autumn Gold

"Nature in Abstract—Celebrating a Vision," solo show at the NC Arboretum is open now through October 13, 2019. The images use the Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) technique, which gives a painterly effect and integrates light as a compositional element. For more information, visit the NC Arboretum's website!

Blue Sunset on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Come see this and other black & white and color photographs at the Asheville River Arts District's Trackside Studios—I am pleased to be a member of River Arts District Artists (RADA), with my work on display and for sale at Trackside Studios, 375 Depot Street in the River Arts District! It's a wonderful gallery with 25-plus artists featuring a diversity of artwork from jewelry to pottery to paintings and (of course!) photography.


Do you need a gift for a photographer in your life? Gift cards are available through Square, redeemable for One-on-One Instruction ($50 per hour), Workshops or Prints. Check it out at this link.

[email protected] (Susanna Euston Photography) abstract Arboretum Autumn black and white in Infrared Photography Intentional Camera Movement light beyond the visible photography surreal weather workshop Sat, 08 May 2021 13:42:04 GMT
August 2019 Newsletter!

Autumn Gold from the "Nature in Abstract" Show


What a summer! The Blue Ridge Parkway has been particularly beautiful with long-lasting Rhododendron blooms, lots of Turks Cap Lilies and other wildflowers. It's wonderful for landscape as well as floral photography. And, it is very green—perfect scenery for infrared photography (see an exciting update, below!).

Indoors, color abounds in my new show, "Nature in Abstract—Celebrating a Vision," which just opened in the North Carolina Arboretum's Education Building gallery. The photo, above, is the signature image for the Arboretum's publicity. Included in the show's 41 canvas prints are, left, "Ethereal Autumn III," and right, Autumn Glow." If you're in the Asheville area,  I hope you'll be able to visit our beautiful Arboretum to see the show and to enjoy the grounds, hiking trails, and other features! Nature in Abstract runs until October 13th. The gallery is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information, you can visit the Arboretum website.




An exciting update: We scheduled an Infrared workshop for August 15-16-17-18! "Beyond the Visible: Lessons in Infrared Photography" will immerse you in a fascinating world of light that we can't see with our own eyes. The image, left, illustrates how greens turn white. But, our cold-blooded little friend on the lily pad is visible. Do you see him? If not, see a larger version here! You can learn more about the workshop here... There are a few spaces left. I hope you'll join me! 



In closing, I am honored to have a selection of my black and white images ("Dreaming the World") included in the August issue of Shirley Braley's Dark Radiance online photography magazine! Click here to see the magazine. Its mission is to support contemporary, creative photography. Enjoy!

As always, I look forward to seeing you along the way, at the Arboretum or Trackside Studios, in a workshop, or in the field. Have a wonderful August!

With warm regards,



[email protected] (Susanna Euston Photography) Arboretum Infrared Photography Intentional Camera Movement Nature in Abstract 'Nature in Abstract: Celebrating a Vision' NC show Mon, 26 Aug 2019 20:26:02 GMT
What is Infrared Photography? By Susanna Euston

The Visitor You may have seen infrared landscape photographs—ones in which you see the familiar forms of a landscape, but which have an other-worldly, surreal appearance. They are usually more black and white or sepia in appearance and leave one with the question of How in the world did the photographer get it to look like that? 

Yes, there are presets that claim to create an infrared effect. But, really? Presets and plug-ins can do a lot, but they can’t simulate true infrared.

Sir Frederick William Hershel Infrared (IR) light — light that humans can't see, with wavelengths longer than those of visible light — was first discovered by Sir Frederick William Herschel, an astronomer, in 1800. (image: Sir Frederick William Hershel)

Not to be confused with Far Infrared, or what we commonly see in X-Rays (thermal imaging), in photography the lightwave lengths we use are called Near Infrared, and range from 680nm (or nanometers, the metric used to measure light) to 900nm.

The first Infrared photographs were taken in 1910 by Robert Williams Wood using photographic plates. Beginning in the 1930s film became available. 

The digital cameras of today must have the light-blocking internal filter, located in front of the sensor (or digital "film"), converted to allow Infrared light to pass through. This allows the camera to capture the infrared light radiating off a subject. 

When  Fern Dance converting a camera, study the range of options that are available. At the lower end, some color will appear and from there, at the high end, all color will be eliminated and the image will appear as black & white. The images with this article were captured with infrared cameras set to 720nm, with just a hint of color. I usually convert the images to black & white, but not always. I have seen some incredibly creative work done with a camera converted to 680nm. That will be my next conversion.

Smoky Mountain Stream In the images you’ll see that in nature leaves or grass, which are throwing off radiation, appear white (Fern Dance); while pine trees or tree trunks, both cool in temperature, appear as one would expect, more true to life, as in the Smoky Mountain Stream or Spanish Moss Tree images. 

Spanish Moss Tree It's a fascinating photographic genre that if you like to range into more abstract image creation, you will enjoy. If 

Here are some resources to explore: — LifePixel is the leader in the industry. They have extensive information on their website about infrared, and offer conversions for a wide of cameras. — As with LifePixel, Kolari Vision offers a range of Infrared services including glass filters for full-spectrum. They have limited tutorials.


If you're interested in learning more about Infrared Photography, check out my workshop being held July 13-14-15, 2018!

Beyond the Visible: 
An Intensive in Infrared Landscape Photography
at Mountain Lens Retreat, Hendersonville, NC

The “magic hours” of early morning or late evening are often preferred by landscape photographers. Between these times many pack their cameras away until the next round. But, once the sun is up, and Infrared radiation — or “light beyond the visible” — reflects from surfaces, one may switch to an Infrared-converted camera and shoot all day! 

For details of this workshop, go to


[email protected] (Susanna Euston Photography) abstract black and white infrared light beyond the visible photography surreal workshop Tue, 29 May 2018 23:27:57 GMT
Shake It Up For Creativity! I don’t know about you, but I seem to move between “photography genres.” By that I mean that while I love classical/photo-realistic, Eliot Porter- or Charles Cramer-type Intimate Landscape images, and shoot a lot of them, I also love to shoot using creative techniques. More on that below! 


Big Creek Dogwood Right now, I’m continuing to add to my life-long portfolio of water images and went to Big Creek this week to work on that project. (Some of my waterfall images will be seen in a show, Contemplative Art in an Age of Distraction, that I’m curating for the Asheville Area Arts Council. The opening reception will be on July 6th.) But, even though I went to Big Creek to work on water images, the abstract snuck in as it usually does! An example can be seen in this image of a dogwood off the parking area at Big Creek. (right).


I love abstract art, especially the nineteenth century’s Impressionists. And I love abstract photography, especially Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) and other motion techniques, which can create a beautiful, painterly look in an image. ICM can evoke a sense of the energy in a scene, a tree, or a flower; or perhaps its movement in the breeze. They can range from sunny and vibrant to moody and contemplative. (left)



As images, they are beautifully unique, painterly and, just plain fun to create! The really cool thing is that one can shoot them in overcast (see page two, top right) or sun! Bright sun, in particular, can create some stunning effects. So, it can be an all-day technique in-between the “magic hours.” (left)

And ICM and other motion techniques aren’t limited to just landscape photography—they can transform street scenes into collages of elements and color that challenge the viewer. (right)


My upcoming Photographic Artistry Workshop, The Art of Abstract Photography, June 1-2-3, 2018, will inspire your vision and give you a pallet of tools to expand your creative options


We’ll explore camera and lens movement, the effects and control of aperture and shutter speed, the importance of using color and light distribution in composition—and more, including compositing techniques, or the combination of images for yet more creative effectsClick here for details.

[email protected] (Susanna Euston Photography) abstract artistry creative icm impressionistic intentional camera movement painterly photographic photography workshop Tue, 08 May 2018 00:13:43 GMT
The Intimate Landscape Like many,  I revered and continue to honor the photography of Ansel Adams, David Muench and other photographers of the grand landscape tradition. Their black and white and color scenic landscape images are an inspiration. 

But my favorite photographer of all time is Eliot Porter. As a young photographer myself, I was captivated by the beauty of his lovely landscapes, which honed in on the intricacies of nature. To this day, I continue to enjoy and be inspired by the images in his beautiful books.

Autumn Gold on NC215 Porter began shooting black and white in 1912 at the age of 11, then became a pioneer in color photography beginning around 1930. Over the years he gradually evolved his visual expression using both. 

His work ranged from captivating images of nesting birds to wide-angle views of the landscape and, finally, to intimate views of nature that celebrated textures, patterns, colors, value ranges, abstract qualities and other details of a scene—a much smaller scene. These images resided somewhere between the wide-angle scenic and the close-up details of a flower and became known as Intimate Landscapes. 

Although color photography was not embraced as a true art form until the 50s or 60s, he continued working with it—perfecting it—over the years. He became a master of the dye transfer print, which made his images “jump off the page”; their impressiveness could not be denied. 

The Sierra Club, on whose Board of Directors both he and Ansel Adams served, published his first book of color images, In Wilderness is the Preservation of the World, in 1962. This book and his work, in general, were influential in passing the Wilderness Act in 1964. In 1972, his book Birds of North America: A Personal Selection was published, again by Sierra Club, and in 1979 the Metropolitan Museum of Art published his book, Intimate Landscapes.

Fern Dance For most of my photographic life—before digital—I shot black and white film. In spite of the influence of Eliot Porter, as I continued on my photographic journey I did not switch over to color photography since black and white was my first love. But I did evolve my own interpretations of the Intimate Landscape. I loved the detail and value ranges that emerged in black and white. I still do.

When the digital revolution emerged, it was a “no-brainer” for me to switch over to the new technology, even though it took digital quite a while to catch up to (and surpass?) film quality. But, an allergy to darkroom chemicals made it a timely transition. 

Initially, it presented the challenge of switching my photo mind from black and white to color, but I did and have for some time now captured images with both in mind. While color sometimes provides the best expression of a scene, other times black and white is preferred. Or infrared. But, as a friend says, I “live in the Intimate Landscape,” regardless of technique. That’s where I’m comfortable. Capturing wide-angle scenics has never been my forté.

Broad River Because of my love of Eliot Porter’s nuanced images, I’m pleased to present my upcoming workshop, “Photographing the Intimate Landscape: An Intensive In Vision and Craft,” which will explore this beautiful genre. 

We'll study Porter's and others' works that exemplify this very personal, more focused way of seeing. We'll delve into what goes into the making of an Intimate Landscape image—story, vision, composition (which is critical), lenses, filters, light and light control, and camera settings for optimum exposures. And we’ll get outside to explore and capture the landscape in our own interpretations of the Intimate Landscape. 


Join me to learn and to express your vision with this beautiful genre! For more information go to


For more information on Eliot Porter:


© 2018 Susanna Euston. All Rights Reserved.


[email protected] (Susanna Euston Photography) eliot porter intimate landscape Tue, 27 Mar 2018 19:30:00 GMT
Spring! March 2018 Newsletter
Nature at its finest in every season!


Oconee Bell
This tiny flower blooms in early Spring in South Carolina's
Devil's Fork State Park. Its actual size is about one inch.



In spite of a recent dusting of snow and nor'easters up north, the change of seasons marches on. It has been a beautiful, early Spring! Cherry trees and forsythia are still going strong. Redbuds are slowly peeking out and will soon dance across the landscape. And, as you can see above and left, wildflowers (such as the Oconee Bell, found in South Carolina or our own Asheville Botanical Gardens) are beginning to bloom and will soon dot forests and fields in abundance. This is a magical time of year. But then I say that about all of the seasons!

I'm excited to share with you that my website and logotype have received a long overdue (Spring) facelift! I'd love your feedback if you have a moment to visit. The address is Note: You will see the old and new logos for awhile until they are switched out.

My next workshop on "Photographing the Intimate Landscape,"  which I'm very excited to be presenting April 27-28-29, 2018, will reinterpret the concept of landscape photography, moving from the sweeping, wide-angle landscape to one closer in, more personal. If capturing the details, textures, colors, or values (see Fern Dance, left, and Eastatoe Falls Detail, right—yes, waterfalls are included!) of a scene captivates you the way it does me, I hope you'll join us!

Finally, I hope you enjoy the awakening of nature all around us. In the Southern Appalachians, especially, we have endless opportunities to see Spring unfolding, just by changing altitude. Have fun!





Coming Soon!


Do you need a gift for a photographer in your life? Gift cards are available through Square, redeemable for One-on-One Instruction ($50 per hour), Workshops or Prints. Check it out at this link.


Pearson Falls Detail



For information on individual, small group and club instruction — basic to advanced — in Macro, Creative Composition, "Classical," Infrared and Abstract Nature Photography Techniques or basic software skills,  click here.

The 2018 Artistry Techniques in Photography Workshops schedule... 

  • COMING UP! Photographing The Intimate Landscape: An Intensive in Vision and Craft as inspired by the work of Eliot Porter, with a focus on textures, patterns, colors, values and abstract qualities — April 27-28-29, 2018
  • The Art of Abstract Photography: An Intensive in Creating Unique Images In-Camera — June 1-2-3, 2018
  • Beyond the Visible: An Intensive in Infrared Landscape Photography — July 13-14-15, 2018
  • Creative Composition in Photography: Tools for Expressing Your Vision! — August 24-25-26, 2018
  • "Playing With Light in the Landscape: An Intensive in Working With Light Between the "Magic Hours'" — September 28-29-30, 2018

For details go to



Big Creek Detail, Smoky Mountains National Park

"Contemplative Art in an Age of Distraction" — Susanna will curate this show to include Infrared and Black & White prints complemented by unique three-dimensional work including glass, fabric, and pottery — Asheville Area Arts Council. Friday, June 29 to Friday, July 27; Opening Reception: Friday, July 6.


Off Rt. 276 ICM Autumn

"Nature in Abstract—Trees, Trees, Trees," solo show at the NC Arboretum, Autumn 2019. The images will all use the Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) technique, which gives a painterly effect and integrates light as a compositional element.

[email protected] (Susanna Euston Photography) Mon, 26 Mar 2018 20:15:00 GMT
Musings on The Blog Dahlia









Musings on The Blog


The goal of this blog is, from time-to-time, to put into words aspects of my experience, past and present. It's good for me to read my own words as a reminder to stay grounded and focused — and positive. I hope it will provide you with "food for thought," and a little inspiration while on your journey. 

I've been "at" photography for many years. It is my passion and is central in my life, especially now that I have a little more time to focus on it. But, the way to "here" proved a bit circuitous with detours, distractions and at times dejection. It took many years — and hindsight! — to realize that my process, as rambling as it seemed was, well, MY process. It was okay. And necessary.

Initially, I operated under the childish idea that artists spring fully formed into their chosen genre (photography, painting, sculpture...whatever). That particular myth couldn't be more divergent from the truth. It led, in fact, to an enormous setback in my growth as a photographer. I somehow clung to the undercurrent of the fantasy even though, on a conscious level, I knew it wasn't true. So, I was slow to learn — and accept — the items in the next paragraph.

My truth now, after all these years: I know that photography, like any art, requires a lot of study — both artistic and technical. It requires endless practice, ceaseless patience, unfaltering openness to feedback. It requires failure; yes, failure! We learn through failure. Most importantly, it demands belief in my journey and to know that it's ever-changing, at-times-confusing-nature was and is an important part of it.

I'm finally at peace with my bumpy ride. I've moved from representational images to creative, from head to heart. It feels good, like I've "arrived." And, yet, I know it's just another step on my journey, which I hope will be long and fruitful.

Spring has finally arrived in this part of the world! I can now move from my winter shooting in a large greenhouse to the great outdoors. I hope you are doing the same.

Happy Shooting!



[email protected] (Susanna Euston Photography) Mon, 26 Mar 2018 19:30:00 GMT
Capturing Forest Cycles
Ethereal Landscape

Capturing Forest Cycles

Multi-hues of Spring green blanket the scene below.

From my birds-eye view, I spot splashes of white and pink jewels in its midst. 

Cloud mists dance, curl. 

Early morning light refracts into a magical glow. 

I sense nature’s spirit flowing through this ethereal landscape. 

In awe, I stop, take a deep breath, smile, compose, snap.


Brown ribbon weaves ahead and behind me, over hill, through dale.

The leaves, like green confetti, appear suspended in mid-air. 

Textured gray and brown vertical streamers descend from sky to earth. 

Baubles of white, pink, and blaze orange sprinkle the scene. 

A hawk swoops down, lifts rapidly aloft, prey secure in its claws as it disappears into the light.

I stop, take a deep breath, smile, compose, snap.


As the river of time flows on, the greens deepen to a darker, more uniform shade.

Other colors, closer to the ground, subtly emerge in this magical place. 

Yellows, pinks, whites, and lavenders of solitary flowers dot the forest floor. 

Wispy fronds of green find quiet comfort under the awning of the canopy. 

Gatherings of veiled color gently sway and dance in sunlit spots; a butterfly alights nearby. 

As I walk the brown ribbon I immerse myself in the scents of the forest. 

I stop, take a deep breath, smile, compose, snap.


As the continuum advances, I notice Nature’s ever changing features.

The crisp air of Autumn now works its magic on the landscape. 

Warm days, cool nights tease the flora of late Summer, letting it know it’s time is ending.

Red, orange, and gold confetti leaves flutter through the air. 

From above, the once green blanket appears as a multi-hued quilt of brilliant color. 

The brown ribbon shows slightly through the colorful covering, still guiding me on my way. 

I stop, take a deep breath, smile, compose, snap.


Nature completes its cycle to finally take a well-earned rest.

The confetti, now faded in color, covers the forest floor, rests, breaks down, goes back to earth. 

The vertical streamers of gray and brown reveal more complex structures, etched against the sky. 

I laughingly think that the mountains appear to have crew cuts. 

Soon, a blanket of white spans below and above me; brown ribbon invisible. 

Mists from lingering clouds dance, curl. 

Glittering crystals appear suspended in the air. Light refracts into a magical glow. 

I stop, take a deep breath, smile, compose, snap.

[email protected] (Susanna Euston Photography) Thu, 22 Mar 2018 19:30:00 GMT
What is Infrared Photography? Lotus & Lilies with Guest

What is Infrared Photography?

Infrared (IR) light — light that humans can't see, with wavelengths longer than those of visible light — was first discovered by Sir Frederick William Herschel in 1800. 

Not to be confused with Far Infrared, or what we commonly see in X-Rays (thermal imaging), the lightwave lengths we use in photography are In the range from 700nm to 900nm, or Near Infrared. 

The first Infrared photographs were taken in 1910 by Robert Williams Wood using photographic plates. Beginning in the 1930s film became available. 

Today's digital camera internal filters, located in front of the sensor (digital "film"), are converted to block visible light to varying degrees (depending upon the range) and pass through infrared, basically capturing the heat of a subject. 

So, for instance, in nature the leaves of deciduous trees or grass, which are throwing off heat, appear white; while pine trees or tree trunks, both cool in temperature, appear as one would expect, more true to life. It's a fascinating photographic genre that we'll explore more in the future.

[email protected] (Susanna Euston Photography) Thu, 15 Mar 2018 19:30:00 GMT
Exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway — Northern Section
Blue Ridge Parkway Pink Azaleas

Exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway — Northern Section

Imagine a check mark, one that hooks at the lower left then runs on a diagonal to the upper right. The Blue Ridge Parkway does just that as it crawls inland, up the mountain chain that parallels the southeast coast of the United States. (Click here for maps and information:

At 469 miles in length, this treasured "All American Road" reaches from its southern-most anchor in North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains National Park, northeast along the spine of the Blue Ridge range of the Appalachian Mountains, where it joins Shenandoah National Park's Skyline Drive at Rockfish Gap, Virginia. From there, the route continues to meander 105 miles to Front Royal, Virginia, situated 75 miles west of Washington, DC. 

As you motor or bike along this homage to nature and history, the road seems to turn somersaults at times. One may be heading due south, then suddenly turn northeast, then west, then south again, covering every point on the compass. Although its multi-directional personality teases a GPS compass, in spite of appearances the Parkway persists in reliably delivering travelers north to south, or vice versa. 

The road follows the contours of the land; about 2,000 feet at its lowest point; 6,054 feet at its highest. It drills through inconveniently placed mountains; tunnels of varying lengths dot the way. Turnouts and overlooks provide access to views of mountain vistas, hiking trails, campgrounds, historic sites and more. The traveler never lacks from a variety of diverse experiences. 

Wildflowers bloom in abundance late March through early October. Autumns are colorful and winters frequently white. The Parkway's changing seasonal appearance renders the trip always fresh. One will never cease to be surprised by its beauty. 

Usually shielded from travelers' views by thick walls of trees, "gateway" towns such as Roanoke, Boone, Asheville, or Cherokee, offer abundant restaurants and hotels, or bed and breakfasts, as well as evening activities such as theater or music performances. 

There is much to see and experience on and off the Blue Ridge Parkway. However, our focus here is photography. So, fanning out from Asheville, NC (exits roughly located between Mile Markers 380 and 400), we'll explore a few of my favorite photo-ops north of the city:

  • Heading up the Parkway, we come to Craggy Gardens, a popular area with several pull-offs including the Picnic Area (Mile Marker 367.6, with tables, grills, and bathrooms), the Visitor Center (Mile Marker 364.5), and the Craggy Dome Parking Overlook turnout with trail-head to the top of the mountain (Mile Marker 364). Craggy is well known for its not-to-be-missed late spring, early summer rhododendron blooms, which are just emerging now.
  • Continuing on to Mile Marker 355, Mt. Mitchell State Park at 6,684 feet above sea level, is the highest point on the Eastern Seaboard. There are a number of wonderful views from the top as well as a trail to a viewing tower. The road from the Parkway to the top is lined with rhododendron and other wildflowers. Sadly, dying hemlocks — casualties of the acid rain generated by pollution from Tennessee’s coal-burning plants to the west — dot the mountain. With systems weakened by the acid rain, the wooly adelgid infests and kills many.
  • From there, travel 16 miles north to Crabtree Falls at Mile Marker 339. Here you'll find a 2.5-mile loop trail to the waterfall (which is well worth the visit). The Park Service rates the trail as moderate/strenuous and recommends that you allow 2 1/2 hours for the hike. Be sure to figure in extra time for your photography!
  • After your hike, you may welcome a break for food and/drink. One of my favorite stops is the cafe in Little Switzerland, Rt. 226A, at about Mile Marker 335 just south of Spruce Pine. There are also a little general store and used bookshop, if you feel like browsing. 
  • Moving on, Linville Falls at roughly Mile Marker 316.5, provides two hiking trails to views of the falls. This is a popular stop for photography.

This is a mere sampling of what you'll find as you travel this extraordinary national treasure. We'll head south from Asheville next post to explore other areas awaiting you. 



[email protected] (Susanna Euston Photography) Thu, 08 Mar 2018 20:30:00 GMT