Grayson Highlands St Park, Virginia, USA by Patricia Thomas

Picture Story

Capturing fall images just doesn’t seem complete without a spooky old building and some misty fog shrouding the landscape. These elements all fell into place while visiting Grayson Highlands State Park in the state of Virginia. I was originally in pursuit of photographing wild ponies (which I found!) but when I saw this old homestead at the entrance of the park I knew I needed to explore. Early settlers in the area created their homes in the valleys within what we now call the Jefferson National Forest and these homes have been preserved within this park.

Rain was falling most of the day so I was working hard not to let my gear get too wet. The fog was coming and going during my visit so I had small moments of time where I could work on compositions then once they were worked out I just had to wait for the fog to roll back through. I must have circled this home several times before settling on the open gate helping the viewer to draw their eye into the fenced yard and on towards the home. The gate, fence, and tree all help to form a frame around the old building which adds to the overall composition of this image and the golden orange carpet of leaves pulls it all together.

When I travel for photography I do as much research as time allows for the area I am visiting, so I know what to expect concerning photography. This time I was heading in blind; I had not done my homework. It is during these times that we can call upon our vast community of fellow photographers for support; which I did. A local photographer pointed me in this direction and it ended up being the highlight of my trip.

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