Blue Ridge Parkway Sunset

It had been several years since I’d had a chance to visit the Blue Ridge Parkway. And, as it was, I was only going to get a short drive on it as I headed back home to the coast from a visit to the Midwest. As the day drew to a close and sunset was quickly coming I started to panic a bit. I was afraid I wasn’t going to find an appropriately facing overlook in time! As luck would have it, however, I rounded a corner and found the Grassy Ridge Mine Overlook. A location that would give me a great view of the setting sun. As I pulled in I noticed there was one other photographer at the overlook already, Tony Mara of Black Thorne Photography. We exchanged some pleasantries as I set up my tripod and camera. It was a pleasure making his acquaintance that chilly mountain evening.

As the time for the setting sun grew nearer a few more photographers pulled into the overlook and started to set up their gear. There was a variety of camera brands, lenses and tripod makes being represented. One brave soul was even hand holding his camera while photographing the sunset. Of course there were a couple folks shooting the scene with their mobile phones. My equipment choices were my Innorell Carbon Fiber tripod, Canon 7D Mark II camera body and Tamron 12-20 mm zoom wide angle lens.

Personally, I feel a sturdy tripod is a must for this kind of photograph. Handholding would require using a higher ISO setting to get a reasonably fast shutter speed. Of course with a wide angle lens you can get away with slower shutter speeds but for sharp, critical focus you’re better off using a solid platform to hold the camera. A remote shutter release can be helpful in eliminating any vibrations introduced by pushing the shutter button. The other option is to use the self timer feature on the camera, the approach I took this evening.

In these photos the sky appears to be on fire over the Appalachian Mountains along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Western North Carolina. This is the view from the Grassy Mine Overlook. The picturesque autumn colors draws many visitors to the area. from all over the United States. It is a rare autumn evening that a photographer would have an overlook to them self at sunset. Spectacular sunsets combined with beautiful Fall foliage are a crowd pleasing attraction. Photographers amateur and professional flock to the mountains in the Fall.


If you’d like to purchase a print of one of the above images visit my art store at Thanks for looking.

This entry was posted in General Photography, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography Equipment, Uncategorized.

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