Autumn Glow: 2nd Place, North Carolina State Fair 2021-Professional Category.

An image I captured on my Western North Carolina adventure in the fall of 2020 placed 2nd at the 2021 North Carolina State Fair in the Professional Category. Here is a behind the scenes look at how the image was made.

2nd Place, 2021 North Carolina State Fair-Professional Category.


Nikon D750
Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED (non VR)

Kirk BL-D750 L-Bracket for Nikon D750

MeFOTO GlobeTrotter Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod

Cokin Evo Aluminum Z-Pro Series Filter Holder
Cokin Z-Pro Series Filter Holder Adapter Ring (77mm)

Singh-Ray 100 x 150mm ND-3 Stop Filter

Singh-Ray 100 x 150mm Galen Rowell ND-3G-SS Graduated Neutral Density Filter.

MindShift Gear BackLight 26L Backpack


This particular spot was on the Catawba River below Catawba Falls. There are tons of side trails on the left as you head up to the upper falls that offer many great photo opportunities.

Directions: From Asheville, take I-40 east to Exit 73 at Old Fort. Before the exit ramp ends, take the right-hand turn onto Catawba River Rd. If you are coming from east of Old Fort on I-40 west, take Exit 73, turn left and take the first right before McDonald’s (on ramp to get back onto I-40). Turn left onto Catawba River Rd. Drive three miles to the end of the road to the parking lot.


A cool October overcast day with a steady light rain. Being underneath the trees offered some cover but I still had to wipe off the filters in between shots.

Getting wet and having cold feet are often required for great photos.

Surveying the scene.

Composing the shot, I moved much closer for the final picture.

The final shot!

Nikon D750+AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED @ ISO 400, .6 sec, f/14 @ 28mm. Singh-Ray ND-3 Stop Filter + Singh-Ray Galen Rowell ND-3G-SS Filter.

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