McCammon Falls Frozen

A Frozen McCammon Falls - Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky

The temperatures have been downright cold here lately in Kentucky! To most people, this would mean that it's time to stay inside under a blanket drinking a hot cup of coffee. Not for me, however! I decided to venture out and see some of the many waterfalls The Bluegrass has to offer.
Throughout the day I hit up several waterfalls. Before heading home I decided to stop and check out McCammon Falls. Much to my delight, the falls had a decent amount of ice on them and I was able to capture this image that I'm moderately happy with.

Although it may not be a portfolio worthy shot, I'm still happy with it, which is a good thing considering what I went through to get it! The process of getting to the base of these falls requires climbing down into a fairly steep gorge. The climb down went fine, but on the way out I managed to slip and bang my knee up pretty good. Nothing all that serious, but enough for it to be sore the next day!


Top 10 Shots of 2017

My Top 10 Favorite Images from 2017

2017 is quickly coming to an end. This means that it's time to look back over the past year and pick out my top 10 favorite shots from the last year.
2017 has been a great year full of adventure. I have advanced more in my photography over this last year than I think I have in all the past years that I've been heading out with my camera. To say I'm happy with my progress would be an understatement! I've had the chance to photograph some great places and even made a few awesome new friends along the way.

Enough of that, though. It's time to jump right on into my top 10 favorite images from 2017!

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Hollow Rock Arch

Hollow Rock Arch - Daniel Boone National Forest

This past Saturday I went arch hunting in the southern portion of the Daniel Boone National Forest with a fellow photographer, Mike Cochis. All in all, we visited 7 arches. Amongst these arches was Hollow Rock Arch.
Neither of us had been to this arch previously and Mike had it on good authority that his coordinates to the arch were incorrect but in the right general ballpark. We set out looking for the arch. It didn't take long until we found it.

Simply looking at pictures online (and seeing the arch from a distance), we didn't think it was going to be very impressive. After crossing to the other side, however, we discovered that we were wrong in that regard.

Unfortunately, Hollow Rock Arch is in an area plagued with vandalism. It's for this reason that I will not be sharing the exact location of this arch.


Snowy Cades Cove

Making the Best of a Failed Photo Shoot - Smoky Mountains, December 2017

I'd been obsessively checking the weather reports for weeks in advance. It looked like I was finally going to have a weather window to get the sunrise shot I'd been envisioning. The plan was relatively straight-forward. I'd drive down to the Great Smoky Mountains on Friday and get on the trail up to the summit of Mt. Leconte no later than 3 a.m. on Saturday. Then I'd simply wait around and photograph the sunrise from Myrtle Point. How hard could it be?

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Sky View Arch, Red River Gorge, Kentucky.

Sky View Arch - A Hidden Gem in Red River Gorge

Visitors to Kentucky's Red River Gorge know that, at this point, there are very few truly hidden spots left in the area. There are some, however, and Sky View Arch is one of them.

If I were a betting man I'd say that this arch was formed out of a rock shelter whose roof partially collapsed. I found this arch quite reminiscent of Hopewell Arch, with the exception that this one has very few signs of visitors. There is virtually no worn path out to this spot and no vandalism that I noticed. It's for these reasons that I'll be keeping the location of this one a mystery!


What is Caltopo

A Gentle Introduction to CalTopo

Today I was talking to one of the fine folks over at the Rustic Red Hostel over on Facebook when it came to my attention that he was unaware of CalTopo. This individual in question is an avid off-trail explorer in The Red River Gorge. It absolutely blew my mind that he had never heard of what is probably one of the greatest mapping utilities ever made for the backcountry explorer! So, today we are going to right this atrocity and take a look at just what CalTopo is and how we can use it.

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5 Tips for Hiking Solo

5 Tips For Hiking Solo

I spend a lot of time alone in the backcountry. Everything from a quick hike to clear my mind, to a multi-day photography excursion.
Don't get me wrong, hiking with others can be great fun, but sometimes you need to fly solo. This is especially true in the case of the backcountry photographer. Afterall, there aren't too many non-photographers that will put up with the lunacy that is backcountry photography! Plus, hiking solo can be a lot of fun!

Here are my 5 tips to help ensure that you have a safe, successful solo trip in the backcountry.

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Two Weekends on Ravens Rock

Two Weekends on Ravens Rock in Red River Gorge

My two previous weekends have been spent on top of an amazing rock formation located in Kentucky's Red River Gorge; Ravens Rock. This large rock formation can be seen throughout The Gorge (especially from Auxier Ridge), but people seldom go up there and take advantage of its breathtaking views. This means that Ravens Rock is a great place to find some solitude! I visited Ravens on two separate trips, a quick trip to photograph the sunset, and an overnight where I photographed the sunset, milky way, and the sunrise.

I should also mention that if you're interested in doing a trip like this yourself, you can check out my free trail guide to hiking Raven's Rock

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My First Attempts at Astrophotography

My plans for this past weekend originally included heading out to the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia for a backpacking trip. Unfortunately, however, events unfolded that led me to cancel this trip. Such is life.
The upside was that I had three days with absolutely nothing planned. Rather than sit around and lament the fact that I couldn't go on my backpacking trip, I decided to throw my camera gear in the car and head down south to The Gorge. This wouldn't be my typical photo session though. This time the goal was to shoot for the stars... literally!

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Top 5 Unofficial Hikes in Red River Gorge

By now you probably wouldn't be surprised to hear me say that Kentucky's Red River Gorge is one of my favorite places to spend some time! I've spent countless hours exploring the plethora of trails, sandstone arches, waterfalls and breathtaking vistas over the years. Recently, however, I've been finding enjoyment in exploring off the beaten path in The Gorge. You see, the Red River Gorge is just full of unofficial hikes that will take you off the officially maintained trails to some amazing places. It is, in my opinion, the best way to find adventure and solitude in our ever-crowded Gorge!
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Mt. Cammerer Revisited

Mt. Cammerer Revisted

I spent a week on a road trip to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park with my mom. The trip was meant to be a really chill trip and, for the most part, it was. The problem was that I was getting rather stir crazy from not doing any hikes, even though I was surrounded by mountains just begging to be climbed! On the last day of the trip, Friday, I decided to break away for a few hours to go revisit Mt. Cammerer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7ivq8dkE4I

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Swift Camp Creek Solo Overnight

A Solo Overnight Along Swift Camp Creek and My Thoughts on Hammock Camping

Over the past few months, I have been acquiring some new gear. I've been quite anxious to get out into the woods to try it all out. Most of all, I've been wanting to try out my hammock setup. I finally got a chance to get out for a quick, solo overnight. I decided to head on down to one of my favorite spots: Red River Gorge. Based off a suggestion from the guy that runs the HikingRRG Instagram account (And, of course, the HikingRRG Guide Service), I headed on down to the Swift Camp Creek, located in the Clifty Wilderness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lg7vDWrsno

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5 Must See Waterfalls in Kentucky

5 Must See Waterfalls in Kentucky

Kentucky is a state that's just teeming with natural beauty. Among the many impressive natural wonders the state has to offer are a plethora of waterfalls. There are truly too many waterfalls to even mention here, so to keep things simple here is my list of 5 must-see waterfalls in the state of Kentucky.

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