Fall in the Potomac Highlands

I spent one day of my West Virginia trip just exploring the area accessible from the Highlands Scenic Highway. I had several images in mind, but I didn’t have any idea about color conditions in the area. I knew that I was in the area at the right time of the year for most years, but fall color is highly variable. I started the day in Elkins and worked my way down to the Highland Scenic Highway. I had made some nice images earlier in the day with fog in the valleys and green pasture land peeking through. Some color was visible, but the low angle of the sun didn’t make the colors pop like it does later in the day.

This shot was taken in the afternoon after exploring some areas south and west of Marlinton. I had visited a couple of state parks in the area and wandered up and down the Williams River for a few miles. This scene caught my eye because of the vibrant color on the hillsides, the interesting cloud formations, and the shadows of those clouds on the farmland below. It’s a composition of multiple images stitched together. That was necessary due to the high contrast of the areas lit by direct sunlight and the shadows caused by the clouds. I like the way the tree on the left anchors the image and your eye is led into the scene by the colorful trees on the hillside in the mid-foreground. The blue of the sky and the white clouds add to an already colorful picture.

West Virginia isn’t as popular as some other fall color destinations, but it is every bit as picturesque and provides as many photographic opportunities as other locations I have visited.

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