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Sassafras Mountain, Highpoint of South Carolina. Please excuse the mess.

This is the first in what will be a regular series of blog posts about my highpoint/tri-point panorama photography. Each post will give a little background and behind the scenes look at one photo. I've started shooting video in recent years, so I'll try to include it whenever possible along with other photos of the area.

First up:

 Sassafras Mountain, South Carolina. 2014.

Sassafras Mountain, South Carolina. 2014.

Summit Date: July 22, 2014

This image of Sassafras Mountain is probably one of the best examples of my philosophy about my highpoint/tri-point photo series; whatever it looks like at these locations, that's what I shoot. Many times the locations I visit are very scenic and picturesque, which is great, but my goal is not to take pretty pictures. My goal is to capture these places however they happen to look. In this case, it happens to involve fallen trees and construction equipment. The summit of the mountain is being converted into a visitors center, not unlike its southern highpoint neighbors North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. I just happened to visit during that awkward transition stage after its more natural state and before the development is finished.

My camera for this image was placed right next to the USGS marker. A giant rock with a metal plaque on it about the summit had been moved to the far side of the green tractor on the left of the image. The summit was officially closed to visitors because of the construction, but was easy enough to access. There were no other visitors so I made a run for it! And just so you don't think that the entire area looked like a clear-cut forest, just below the summit was a lookout platform with views of Georgia and Tennessee to the west. It was late in the day and the sun was going down, which made for a really gorgeous view.

 View to the west of Sassafras Mountain.

View to the west of Sassafras Mountain.

 Standing with the summit marker surrounded by fallen trees and construction equipment.

Standing with the summit marker surrounded by fallen trees and construction equipment.

 Rock with marker plaque.

Rock with marker plaque.


I also shot a short video while I was on the summit. I apologize for the shakiness!