Winter Camp – Red River Gorge

The first full moon of the year always gets me out of the house and down to the Red River Gorge for a few days of primitive camping.  Primitive is a pretty good word for it, as there are no facilities to speak of and the natives tend to get a bit restless as well.  32 was the count this year and the nights got kind of long, as there was never a dull moment.  Morning found the gorge pot percolating with some pretty bad coffee and  us frying bacon and scrambling eggs to get started.

After breakfast we headed out for a hike, but with the steep icy roads, the crew got bogged down. I turned around and headed back up the hill to wait for the rest and spent some time at the Sky Bridge Overlook. I took a series of 210 photos (42 shots x 5 bracketed) and selected 18 of them to create this photo, which represents the sun’s passage, as it peeks through a break in the clouds, from the horizon to the foreground.  Images were stacked in Photoshop to get this rendering.

Overlook at Sky Bridge – 26 January, 2013  (11:43 A.M. – 12:23 P.M.)

After leaving here I made a wrong turn on the Mountain Parkway.  I realized this right away but it was too late and by the time I got to where I could turn around, I decided to make my way back though the back roads and see what I could see.  I got off at Lacy Creek Rd. and began the trek back.  It was slow and I wasn’t too sure about where I was going, but I had a full tank.  I ran across a lot of barns.  I shot a bunch, but only a couple are nice shots.  I turned this one black and white to take advantage of the frosty surroundings.

I kind of like this one as well, but it’s hard to draw any color out of things when the light is so bland.

I eventually made my way back into the gorge and caught up to the crowd as they were heading back to camp.  I stopped in at Gladie Creek Historical site and shot a few there.  By this time the clouds were gone and the sun was burning bright.  I think this is a very scenic place and I plan to go back here for more shots in the future when I have more time.

Cabin at Gladie

Cabin at Gladie
One of the barns at Gladie

Saturday night was clear at the beginning of the evening and I was hoping to get some night time captures.  I have never done star trails during a full moon.  Everyone says you can’t, but, I think you can if you have the patience and the right exposure, but the moon is definitely an issue.  I shot Half Moon Rock during a 4 minute exposure.  I was mostly just playing around but when I processed this I noticed the star trails.  This is only one image and the trails are short, but I think a good stacking of several hundred shots would make a nice star trail here.  I’ll be back for this shot.

Half Moon Rock from Drunk Man’s Bluff (Horizon lights are from Berea and Somerset)

It was another good year at the gorge for the annual trip.  I always look forward to this event, even though a lot of folks think we’re all crazy.  It’s one of the best times of the year for me.  Great time.

See all the gorge shots here.