Gary Jones Photos | Blog | Arkansas 2015 Fall Photography Trip
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Arkansas 2015 Fall Photography Trip | Getting Ready

Fall color Mount Magazine
Every year Christine and I try to have at least one week long trip to shoot landscapes and we typically plan it for capturing the Fall color somewhere.  In previous years we have shot in Arkansas, Colorado, Tennessee and our home state of Oklahoma.  This year (2015), it will be back to Arkansas and we plan to spend the latter part of October and first part of November  traveling throughout Arkansas shooting the Fall color in a state rich with forests, rivers and waterfalls.  As we travel the state shooting the Fall color, I’m going to be documenting our trip so we can take you along on the ride and give you the story behind some of the images we create.   To do this, I’ll be creating a series of  daily articles, post images we create and create a video journal from the field  – all posted in my blog.


Believe it or not, we began packing for this trip two weeks before leaving.  We began getting the small things packaged together and putting them in one spot so they would be ready for loading out later.  We’ve learned from past trips that there is a lot to find – as in  “where did we put that from our last trip?”.   There is always a lot to pack and  there’s no point in pulling an all-nighter the day before a trip trying to get it all together. We began charging batteries, getting trail snacks ready for the trip and a scouting out locations through the web well in advance of taking off in order to make the start of our trip a smooth and relaxed start.  Since we know our first day out will be a travel day and our second day out will be a one-day photography workshop in one location with another week of traveling around the state of Arkansas shooting the Fall color centered out of another location we pack accordingly.   The morning after our arrival at our first destination all we really need is our camera gear, a change of clothes and basic toiletries handy since we will be spending the day in the field honing our skills in a photography workshop.  We’re packing so we don’t have to empty the SUV to get to the things we need.  Placing our camera gear and overnight bags near the SUV’s access points will make it easy to take in what we need and leave the rest packed in the SUV till later in the week when we need them.


It’s important that long before you start off on a trip to photograph an area, that you think out what your goals are for the trip.  By knowing what you want to achieve out of the trip, you’ll have a better idea of what to pack and what to leave behind.  Our goals for this trip include attending a one-day, one-on-one workshop with photographer William Rainey of Buffalo River Photos, and then heading on to another destination (Branson, MO) that will serve as our home-base for a week of photography and exploring.


Our plan is to work till noon at the university where we work and then jump in our SUV and head out for Mena, Arkansas where we will meet up with William Rainey who we will be taking the one-day workshop with.  Along with being an excellent photographer he owns a bed and breakfast called Rainey Day Resort and a steak and BBQ restuarant called The Chopping Block in Mena, Arkansas.  We are staying at his Rainey Day Resort and since we are taking his workshop, he offers a 20% discount on both our lodging and meals at his restaurant!


rainey day resort            the chopping block

                    Rainey Day Resort                                                                      The Chopping Block   

Truly some of the best food in town – The Arkansas Times


Our planning for this trip involves  incorporating several new pieces of photography and video gear that we haven’t had before so we’re doing some testing (playing!) with a new GoPro Hero4 and a set of multi-row panoramic rails by Really Right Stuff.  It’s long been a plan of mine to grow to a point where I can create really large format prints that could fill commercial spaces and homes and to be able to document our trips as Christine and I go out to shoot.  So, with the use of the new rails I hope to bring back at least one image worthy of being a large format print.  While I have several pieces of my fine art prints printed at the 24″ by 36″  in size, I’m looking to the future to create images 2-3 times that size for sale in our gallery shows.  I’m sure Arkansas will give us plenty of opportunities to create some images this size – provided the weather and the timing of Fall colors is in our favor.




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