Whitewater Star Trails

Equipment Info
Canon Canon EOS 7D
Nearest Area
Sapphire Valey
Brief Directions

Just north of the North Carolina/South Carolina border off of HWY 281


As an interesting side note to go with this photo, I was using an aluminum hiking pole as a leg for my tripod because I lost both lower sections of my carbon fiber Manfrotto tripod earlier in the week. While at Linville Falls earlier in the week, I flipped the leg release and both sections went right off the cliff. You see, some time ago I had lost the inner locking ring for that particular leg and never got around to replacing it. In a twist of irony, I had ordered the locking rings prior to the trip but they didn’t arrive in time for the trip. Thanks to one of my friends who had some wide Velcro fasteners, we strapped my extendable hiking pole to the top section of my tripod and I shot with it the rest of the week and it works like a champ. Maybe I’ll order some replacement parts……except the locking rings; they were waiting for me when I got back home.


The Blue Ridge Mountains rarely disappoint in their beauty; especially during the changing of the leaves in autumn. I have visited Western North Carolina along the Blue Ridge Parkway for the last three years chasing the colors and I doubt I will ever tire of this amazing area. The photographic opportunities are endless and some of the most impressive displays can be found at the waterfalls throughout the area One of those waterfalls is Whitewater Falls. It lies about 60 miles North of Asheville and is truly an impressive sight. It is the tallest waterfall east of the Rockies and the water plunges down the mountain 411 feet. The mountain forest was alive with color this year which, in itself makes for a beautiful image, but a couple of friends of mine and I wanted to put a little different spin on it by shooting it at night with star trails. We knew there would be a bright 83% moon and planned for that to illuminate the scene. We arrived at the waterfall about the time everyone else was gone and made our way to the limited viewing area across from the falls to set up and wait for nightfall. Normally, for night photography, one would light paint the foreground with a flashlight or various other means but light painting an entire forest and waterfall is probably something that isn’t going to happen. The moon was the perfect amount of light to illuminate the whole scene and give the sky a great shade of blue for the background of the star trails.

Date Added
October 28, 2015
Date Taken
October 28, 2015
Main Menu