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.”
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.”
Hidden Hammock portrays the peaceful solitude of the Gulf of Mexico shoreline. Taken during the summer months on the coast of Florida, Brett traveled to this site a dozen times before finally capturing this final print. “I wanted it to be just right” explains Brett about his quest to capture Hidden Hammock. “The shot was difficult because there were many shadows to contend with and a bright ocean in the background. In order to get my exposure dialed in, I waited until sunset when the shadows were at a minimum and the light was soft. Using a semi-long exposure I was able to pick up the subtle, golden hues in the tree bark and still maintain the ocean in the background.”
Early mornings are Brett’s favorite time to photograph and Alpenglow shows why that is. “The light is simply magical before sunrise” explains Brett. “I remember framing this shot and watching the rock catch fire with light. It was a wonderful experience to witness the landscape wake up like that.” The bare rock illuminated by the rising sun is a perfect contrast to the lush valley below.