Searching for the light


Photography is all about the light.


Sure, there’s the subject and the context. There’s the story the photographer is trying to tell. All that can be changed, however, but not the light.

Even in a studio with its variable lighting, at some point the photographer has to adapt to what he or she is given.

The science will take them only so far. After that, it’s a leap into the dark.

And that’s where the art resides.

Because the Swannanoa Valley is full of creative people, we asked some Black Mountain-area photographers to show us some of their recent work.

Here is some work by four area photographers, as well as what they’re up to, in their own words.

Herb Way

“Don Talley”

“When I met Don Talley at the White Horse about a year ago, I was impressed with his moustache and beard and his personality and I told him that I wanted to photograph him.

“When we finally got together in April, our photo session and conversation inspired me to develop a photographic portrait exploration/overview of individuals in Black Mountain that I find interesting and whom I feel are significant in the character of the town as I interpret it.

“My selections are purely subjective and the project is not meant to be a history or a who's who.

“The photographs are being done in my home studio and my intent is to develop an exhibition to be shared with the public in 2017.”

John Rountree

“I have been walking through downtown Asheville for a long time; mostly in another century.


“ It is my point of reference for what a vibrant, diverse city should be. Size doesn’t matter here.

“Of course it is that way because of the people who make the downtown come alive - day or night - but not morning. Asheville is not a morning town.

“Every day is Halloween in Asheville. There is an explosion of freedom and exuberance around each corner.

“It is still the Paris of the South with lovers, buskers, ‘busy-ness’ and eccentricity. It is a bright counterpoint to the cookie cutter boredom imposed by most city planners. It is vital and alive.”

Andy Fletcher

“I have always been interested in the night sky and star trails. As I have had the opportunity, I have looked for new ideas to create with stars.

“August 2015”

“One of the challenging things about working with the night sky is having a good clear night.

“The other thing is find a place away from the lights.

“To create the star trails, I shoot the photos using the same setting from anywhere from 30 exposures to 500 for the longer trails. I will usually let the camera shoot until battery goes dead.

“I stack the images using Star Trail software and it basically connects the dots of each exposure to create the trails.

“One thing is I never know what I am going to get as the result.”

Joye Ardyn Durham

“Most recently, I have been working on time-lapse photography and long-exposure fine art images.


“Long exposure, as well as time-lapse and time-stack photography, allow me the creativity and expression in order to produce unique and lasting images.

“I have always loved longer exposure photography and really enjoy capturing the movement of the clouds, the blur of the leaves, the abstract of people walking, and the motion of car lights at night.

“Living in the mountains of Western North Carolina creates a sense of gratitude and contentment for me.

“These mountains along with the weather conditions generates an unlimited source of opportunities to create artistic and compelling images.

“Photography is my gift to share and I am grateful beyond words.”

“Flying By”