I love to hike! Grateful to my parents who planted this seed in me at an early age. In the spirit of exploration and discovery, within ourselves and obviously that which is outside, hiking has always propelled me to go and see what’s around the next bend, hill, sand dune, and mountain top.
A few years ago I decided to produce a video about the land, air, and water in the mountains of western SC and NC. All the images within this video are within a 90 mile radius of my home in Spartanburg, SC. The title of video “Dreams,” is taken from the title of the soundtrack written and performed by Sharon Gerber (www.sharongerbermusic.com).
It took me about 6 months to acquire all the images that you’ll see in the video. I used the Panasonic GH4 and the DJI Mavic Pro to capture the images. Permission was granted to me to fly the drone in the areas depicted at the end of the video.
The opening scene is a time lapse video just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mount Pisgah. It was an early spring morning, windy, and about 38 degrees. I had to arise at 3am to get to this spot in time to capture the sun coming up. At times there is a low level of valley fog which forms in the early morning hours in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is not always like this. I lucked out. The images here represent my third trip to this spot.
So, on this particular morning I set-up the GH4 and did the time lapse recording. Like I said, it was 38 degrees, windy, and damp. Within 15 minutes of recording a cool dude drives to where I am and gets out of his car. We begin talking about all sorts of things. He’s a bit of a free spirit, has no home address and travels throughout the US picking up odd jobs, makes enough to sustain himself, hangs out, explores and hikes in that given area. It takes him about 30 minutes to describe his lifestyle to me. I admire him. But get this. As he is talking to me he is standing beside me in a tee shirt, short pants, and bare feet. Did I say it was 38 degrees with a damp wind blowing? Finally I ask him, “dude, aren’t you cold?” He says, “no, I’ve trained my body to embrace the cold.” He mentioned something about hyperthermal exercises and went on to elaborate how the day before (a cloudy, rainy day with high temperatures in the low 40’s) he went down Sliding Rock (just down the road from where we were standing) 4 times. Sliding Rock is a very popular water recreational spot that in the summer is so crowded it’s difficult to find parking. I’ve been down Sliding Rock … in the summer. Did I mention “in the summer?” In the “summer,” the water at Sliding Rock takes your breadth away. The water is brutally cold … in the summer, when it’s August, the sun is out, and at least 100 degrees outside.
While filming this project i encountered many others. All of them have a passion for being outdoors in these mountains and share a very deep concern with what is happening to this land, water, and air. One such person is Jeff Clark. Jeff is an avid hiker and photographer. I met him on the trail going toward Little Bradly Falls. I had just completed the jaunt to Big Bradley Falls (Big Bradly Falls is in the video). When I passed Jeff on the trail he was lying down in the weeds and leaves taking micro shots of some of the early spring flowers (tiny flowers) beginning to bloom. When I recorded for this project I was attracted to the big stuff. High mountain vistas and huge, thundering waterfalls. Jeff introduced me to the beauty and intricate details of the small world where our feet meet earth. To see more of what Jeff is talking about please visit him at www.internetbrothers.org. There you will find all kinds of information about hiking, the trails and tons of exceptional photography covering the western NC mountains.
I hope you enjoy this video. But more than that i hope it encourages you to visit these places. And after that i hope it encourages you to fight for our land, water, and air. If we neglect this world we live in, I promise, Mother Nature will kick our ass.