Burnsville, North Carolina, USA by Tom Kostes

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Picture Story

This is an image captured in the Blue Ridge Mountains, near my home in Burnsville, North Carolina. It’s on a walk I take often, but this day I decided to limit myself to just one lens, which often leads one to new perspectives of familiar territory. In this case, it worked out great.

It was captured in early Spring, when the leaves are just budding out on the trees and mimic flowers, or even autumn colors. The hills in the background are typical of the Blue Ridges, which, along with the Appalachian Trail, traverse many States, north to south, along the eastern seaboard of the United States. There is amazing beauty and diversity to be found in these mountains and the Appalachian Trail. It changes constantly with the seasons, but as in many locations, Spring is an especially beautiful time of year.

By limiting myself to the one lens, I was able to see and capture a familiar location with “new eyes,” so to speak. I highly recommend it. I often find limitations, are really not limitations at all, but a doorway to new creative possibilities. I will consider the location I am going to before deciding which lens to limit myself to. Many folks feel that wide angle is the best lens for landscape, but I find a long lens allows one to capture intimate scenes that might be overlooked with a wide angle. Interestingly enough, I tend to prefer the wide angle for urban scenes, where you can stand right in front of a building and often capture the whole of it.

Although this area is familiar to me, I feel I have captured a view of it that is creative and unique that would not have been possible without the particular lens I chose that day.


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