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Wilderness Trail


Plant Life Winner

Nature's Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards


Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina, USA

by Lori Kincaid

Hot Springs, North Carolina, USA

“I often backpack to a place before photographing it, to get a sense of when and where the best light will occur. The evening before this image was taken, I explored the paths meandering across the granite dome and discovered this perfect garden. I wanted to capture an image that would evoke a feeling of enchantment. The next morning, when I realized the sun would rise precisely at the visual end of one of the paths, I knew I’d found my shot.

“To create the starburst, I needed a small aperture, which afforded great depth of field for sharpness throughout the image but required a very slow shutter speed for the proper exposure. To keep the grasses in the foreground from blurring there could be no wind, yet I had to be ready to take the shot at the moment the sun was in the proper position. I was able to make just one exposure before a slight breeze disturbed the tranquil scene.”

Photography has long been a hobby for Kincaid, but it was only after she and her husband moved to the mountains that it grew into a true passion. She became captivated by the ever-changing beauty and diversity of nature and sought to capture it on film. Kincaid currently works as an environmental engineer, but is transitioning into being a full-time professional photographer.

Shen Hao 4x5 camera; 90mm lens with 81A warming filter; 30 secs at f/45; Fujichrome Velvia 50; tripod.

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