By Jessica Isaacs | [email protected]
True winter finally made its way to the High Country over the weekend, and local photographer Todd Bush was eager to take advantage of the wonderland it created all around us.
He’s sharing some of those images with us today, and we’re sharing them with you.
Bush is no stranger to adventure, and he’s more than willing to go the extra mile for that hard-to-get shot if it means he’ll find something stunning in the process.
“They always say that to get the sweetest fruit you have to go out on the limb, and that’s kind of the nature of photography — getting up a little earlier or going to a unique perspective that might not always be easy,” he said. “There are plenty of times, though, when things present themselves pretty easily. Just like the shot of the deer in this gallery, which was right along U.S. Highway 221 without having to go very far out, or hiking through the words in the morning until the woods open up enough to provide you with a view.”
To capture some of the shots you see here, he traveled up and down Sugar Mountain on the resort’s brand new six-seat lift, hit the slopes with the skiers and snowboarders and even did some cross-country skiing of his own in a remote location.
As the viewer, we can live his adventures vicariously through the beautiful shots he’s captured along the way.
“So often, when you’re at some place that maybe no one is even there, the whole point is to share the beauty of your surroundings. Someone sent me a thank you today for letting them see what was out there,” said Bush. “That makes it all worthwhile — when someone who may not have had the time or energy to get out and see it themselves could be able to enjoy it through the photos.
“In fact, sometimes, I wonder if I would even be taking photos if it weren’t for others. A lot of the time, that’s exactly what motivates it — sharing it. Hey, I’m up early anyway, so if I see something that maybe no one else would, I love to show it. Back in the old days, you had envelopes of your old photos stuffed away in a closet. The advent of the Internet and of digital photography makes sharing those a lot easier. That’s why camera apps are the most popular on phones, because everyone’s doing it and they have a natural tendency to share what they see.”
Here’s more of what Bush had to say about these photos he took this weekend:
“After a decent snow on Wednesday, the warm-toned glow of dawn, on what we woke up to Thursday, Jan. 21, painted the freshly fallen snow as if by design. In town in Banner Elk, the area around the Mill Pond, its winged residents were more lovely than usual surrounded in the sparkling white of winter.
“From town it seemed going high on Sugar Mountain would yield plenty of crisp, dramatic scenes, and I wasn’t disappointed. After getting permission from the kind folks at Sugar Mountain, flying around the summit for some aerial photos then recording some ground-based images of that amazing mountain was a highlight of the day.
“The round two big snow came Thursday and continued through much of Friday. Saturday’s morning break in the clouds and potent Carolina blue skies beckoned me to the south slopes of Grandfather Mountain to cross-country ski out to the viaduct and beyond for the sheer fun of it. At one point, in the sublime stillness, it felt like I was the only person for miles — surrounded by as piercing a blissful silence I’ve ever been within.
“Checking out the waterfalls along U.S. Highway 221 heading into Blowing Rock was tunnel-like as snow on trees overhanging the road created a canopy overhead with most of the waterfalls buried under snow beneath. In some places, ice around the water features created a rare sight of towering pillars.
“My good friends at Chetola had asked if I might get some winter photos of their place including some night shots, finishing Saturday on their gorgeous grounds before winding down from our spectacular, late arrival-delicious taste of winter.”
Check out toddbushphotography.com for his full gallery from the weekend.
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