Giants Among Us was captured in the giant Redwoods of Northern California on a mystical autumn morning. Brett spent a week hiking and exploring these massive forests day and night in search of perfect composition. “I’ve always found it very difficult to photograph forests and trees. My job is to find peace and symmetry in chaos and it’s not always easy.” recalls Brett of his adventures in these awesome groves. “The morning I photographed Giants Among Us was particularly spectactular because of the dense fog that had rolled in off the ocean. It created such magic in my lens I was excited. I ran throughout the forest looking for the perfect shot in the fleeting light! The result was Giants Among Us and one of my favorite photographs and experiences I’ve ever had.”
Rocky Shore is another masterpiece by Brett Donnelly that showcases his skills as a long exposure photographer. Captured on the Gulf of Mexico, Rocky Shore took years to perfect including waiting for the perfect atmospheric conditions to produce such beautiful colors in the sky, the rocks, the trees and the ocean. “I spent years going to this secret location along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico waiting for Mother Nature to give me the perfect light” recalls Brett on his journey to capture Rocky Shore. “One day I showed up and the weather was perfect and I was able to capture my vision on film using long exposure techniques on a sturdy tripod.”
Alpine Dream presents the grandier and elegance of the Colorado Rockies in a single shot. Brett woke up early several mornings in a row and traveled to this peaceful place along the edge of Maroon Lake in hopes of perfect light. “The clouds circling this perfect mountain range was stunning. I’d never seen such a formation in the American Rockies and I was really excited.” recalls Brett about the morning he captured Alpine Dream. “I had been here many times before but nothing had struck me like this!” Brett used a long exposure to capture this image before sunrise and had a polarizing filter to capture a partial reflection of the Maroon Bells in the lake but also to reveal the depth and clarity of the lake itself.
Yellow Leaf Road is a look into the mountain roads of Virginia during the peak of fall color. Utilizing a long exposure soon after sunset, Brett was able to capture the intense colors of this lush vegetation. “I followed a small forest service road for several miles” recalls Brett. “It was a magical place full of colorful trees, waterfalls, valleys and boulders. As the sun was quickly setting behind the mountains in the distance I decided to capture one more image on film for the day. I came upon this cluster of yellow leaved trees with a bend in the road. It was perfect. I setup my tripod and camera, carefully aligned the shot and took about a 45 second exposure. The result is Yellow Leaf Road.”
Brett captured Sacred Falls on film in early autumn in the hills of North Carolina. This beautiful waterfall is relatively quiet during the late summer and early fall which gives it a tranquil feeling surrounded by golden leaves and the debris left over from the floods earlier in the springtime. “When I came upon this waterfall I was instantly captivated by it’s setting” recalls Brett. “It was framed on both sides with steep slopes and fallen leaves which gave peace to the chaos of the debris pool below.”