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November 2012: Frosted Red Maple Leaf, West Virginia

From the Photographer...

Kent Mason  

The Allegheny Mountain of West Virginia is the pinnacle of the Allegheny range in the eastern United States. These are the second oldest mountains in the world and although once were grander than the Tetons, they have worn down severely over the millions of years since their creation. 

I live on the side of one of these mountains, Mount Porte Crayon, for six months of the year where I do photography of the very diverse and unique habitats of this area. I share this photography with The Nature Conservancy with the goal of supporting their efforts to conserve wilderness. 

This image was taken in early October soon after heavy snowfall. October snowstorms are common in the higher elevations of the Alleghenies. The ferns were still green but the heavy snowstorm waited them down creating a mat of ferns over the ground. Soon after the snowfall, the weather turned warm and the snow melted as leaves began to fall. The next morning after this snow melted there was a heavy frost. I was struck by the beauty of the frosted red leaves against the backdrop of the matted ferns.  

I photographed this image with the Pentax 645 medium format film camera using a 120 mm macro lens. The camera was on a tripod and I used the mirror lockup and the cable shutter release for this image made at F11 at one quarter of a second. The outline of the frost on edges of this bright red Maple leaf creates a magical quality to the image. If we take the time to look, we find nature regularly provides us such wonderful gifts. 

Kent Mason, a retiree, decided to give five years of professional photographic services to The Nature Conservancy in West Virginia after he found out his favorite photo location, Bear Rocks, was a Nature Conservancy preserve. See more of Kent’s images at:

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