Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Last weekend, I visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to see the Synchronous Fireflies event in Elkmont. Luckily we arrived at the peak time for the fireflies after weeks of thunderstorms passing through the southeast. It was tough finding the proper camera settings for the firefly show on the first night. However, by the second night, I had the settings adequately set, and my Canon camera performed optimally. We also saw some incredible sights, including owlets that lived in the Elkmont campground. We couldn’t have been more fortunate to have clear skies and mild weather during our stay. Looking forward to visiting again next year!

April photography

Here is some photography from April, I’ve been making an effort to get back outside now that the weather is warmer, hope you enjoy! Check out my other photos here.

Red-shouldered hawk

A beautiful Red-shouldered hawk was in the backyard yesterday I couldn’t miss this oppertunity to get some photos! We have a few that visit frequently, there’s a lake back here that has lots of frogs, snakes, and vole around and the hawks seem to really like it. I haven’t been able to tell if this is the same one, there aren’t any distinct features to identify them by individually so far. Check out more of my photography here.

Imperial moth

Today, I was visited by this beautiful male Imperial moth (Eacles imperialis ). They are one of the largest and most prolific moth species in the United States. We see them quite often in North Georgia, and their calm behavior make this particular species of moth perfect for photography.

I was able to relocate him from under our outdoor spotlight to a leaf. This allowed me to use my handy Manfrotto tripod, and a Canon 35mm macro lens, to capture the close-up shot. It’s difficult to get well lit macro shots, but the built-in light on the Canon lens takes care of this. If you enjoy macro photography, and are in the market for a lens, I would definitely check out this one. I have come across two of these moths this year, along with some Luna moths, hopefully I will be fortunate and see a few more before the season is over!

Red-shouldered hawk

Red-shouldered hawk

I spotted this magnificent Red-shouldered hawk yesterday sitting on a tree branch in the summer rain. We have a few that live in this area, but it’s difficult to tell whether or not you’re seeing the same one. The coloring on their feathers helps them blend flawlessly into the foliage, and if you’re lucky enough to see one, it’s rare to notice any unique features that distinguish it from another.

Usually it’s the size of the bird that stands out the most, we do have some considerably larger females that frequent this area. They’re easier to see through the forest than the males and tend to be hunting small rodents or snake which we have plenty of here. Watching these incredible creatures soar through the air and swooping down to the forest floor is such a treat and I feel very lucky to have been able to capture a few Red-shouldered hawk close-ups on camera over the last few years.

July photography

July was quite a month, like an emotional roller coaster tossing you side to side, but we made it through and I am ready for August now. Down here in Georgia, we had incredible thunderstorms, temperatures in the high 90s, and humidity above 50%. This proved extremely difficult when trying to take some photographs. Luckily we had a few perfect days in between which allowed me to venture out and capture all the beauty around us. All of these photographs were taken on my Canon EOS Rebel T3i DSLR camera; I couldn’t say enough good things about it. If you’re in the market for a camera, I would definitely check one out. I used a combination of Canon lenses including a 24, 35, 55, and a 70-300mm for the telephoto shots. I did most of my editing on a iPhone 11, which with the new iOS 13, has been a real game changer for me in processing photos. I hope you enjoy this collection of moments from July and will come back to see what August has in store.