Vacation Part II: Mountains and People

After spending some quality time with family in South Carolina, we headed up to the mountains for a few days of relaxation. We rented a house near Asheville, NC so we could spend some time in the woods while also soaking up some of the urban culture of the town. Karen and I lived in Asheville for a year after college before moving back down to St. Pete. I am breaking the mountain trip into two pieces: people and nature. Hopefully tomorrow I will have the nature stuff up. Karen's sister and her husband joined us for a few days up in the mountains and since Matt is also a photographer there was plenty of picture-takin going on. Hey, when you love what you do, it's OK to do it on vacation.

This was the day Matt and Anne were leaving us. I regretted not getting that group shot of everyone in SC, so I made sure to get a pic of all four of us for historical purposes. Nothing fancy; just on-camera flash and a view of the mountains.

Ahh, summer in the mountains (thank goodness for rocking chairs!).

Karen wasn't a huge fan of this image but I am throwing it in the mix. I really like it. Four different styles of sandals, a local Highlands Kashmir IPA (beer) and a bottle of sunscreen. The two details at first seem like a distraction, but then they help tell the story of summer.

I decided to set up a quick studio on the deck to get some quality portraits with the sweet view. This was a test shot of Matt, but it ended up being one of my favorites.

Awww, so cute. They still qualify as newlyweds. It is so weird to see quality studio light with a rugged mountainous background, that your brain probably wants to tell you that you are looking at a Sears backdrop. I guarantee it's the real thing.

Me and my lovely (and pregnant) wife. Thanks Matt for grabbing the camera (by default the photographer usually gets left out of the pictures).

It is a ball to watch these two sisters interact. They are quite a pair!

Here is K showing off that belly. My gorgeous mountain mama! From a lighting standpoint, I wanted to showcase the shape of the belly, so I had her turn away from the light. Unfortunately that made the shadows too strong. So I added a bare light on the right to fill in those shadows. The umbrella light is still the main source, but the second light adds enough to prevent the details in the shadows from getting lost. I used the same lighting scheme for the sisters shot above.
Since Karen can't exactly go hiking for miles into the woods we did a little driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway for some accessible scenery. This was a super-quick pic mainly for historical purposes. The low camera angle helps emphasize the belly, but it also crops out the unsightly guard-rail that was there. This was shot using the built-in pop-up flash on the camera.

Of course I had to throw in at least one tripod/timer self portrait! This was around the halfway ponit of this waterfall. The next part is probably even taller than this one. We could hear these falls from the deck of the house so each morning it was just a quick walk to an awesome playground. Shot using available light.

Tina is our good friend from when we lived in Asheville. Karen worked with Tina at Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria. With 40 (good) beers on tap and some of the best food around you have to stop in if you are ever in the area. Tina was one of Karen's bridesmaids and they remain very close even though we live so far apart.

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