Out of the Fire and into the Fryingpan…(Tower) PART ONE


I was recently contacted about a photography project by Carlton Murrey, Executive Director of the Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association. Carlton and staff were familiar with my work, and we had been having a few discussions about photography to be used for different projects for the Cradle of Forestry Visitor’s Center since about 2013.

On this occasion, Carlton wanted to see if I would be interested in photographing “the valley which contained the Cradle of Forestry” from the top of the Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower near the Pink Beds on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Access would be provided by the U.S Forest Service.  I would be given a key so I could go up at times of my choosing after an orientation visit. The finished photograph (7 foot wide Triptych!) would be installed in the Visitor’s Center which received 50,000 visitors a year.

Needless to say, I was interested. Oh, sure, having my photography hanging in the Cradle of Forestry as the focal point for all to see would be nice. But to me the thrill was in the chase, or in this case, in the tower!

Dry Run

A meeting time for orientation was scheduled and I met up with Carlton, Jeff Owenby (Director, Cradle of Forestry Historic Site) and Cindy Carpenter (Education/Interpretation Program Manager) at the Cradle and we rode up to the tower in a USFS truck.

Access from the Blue Ridge Parkway is through a locked gate and several hundred feet of really rough road, more like a jeep path. Slow going and careful driving by Jeff got us up to the tower’s foundation.  Up six flights of stairs and you come to the access hatch in the roof above you, through which you go up to the top. The lock to the access hatch is tucked away in a tight spot, but once this was opened, we were up through the hatch of the 70′ tall tower and out on the platform.

Wow. What a view! I got busy with my camera.

While the others were talking about the scenery, I made the series of captures shown below, with the intent of assembling them into one image when I returned to my office. I shared the finished image with them the next day, and they liked what they saw.

Time to get down to business.

8 handheld captures at 38mm to be (hopefully!) assembled into a seamless image

The final result (click image to see whole expanse)



“The best laid plans of mice and men…”.

A few days later, I made plans to go up and do some shooting and work out a few details. However, poor visibility and a mistakenly swapped padlock for the access hatch thwarted plans for any photography from the tower that day. I did gain confidence that my car would make it up that cow path of a road OK, so that was a good thing. I knew it would, but I tend to be a worrier sometimes.

A picture speaks a thousand words, so I’ll let the images talk for a while:

Tomorrow was another day, and as Carlton would say: “Onward”.

Foggy conditions up on the mountain greet the first attempt at morning photography from the tower.

The hard to reach padlock. Hey, my key doesn’t fit! Someone had inadvertently swapped the lock. Oops.

Trying to make the best of a bad situation. Yes, iffy weather conditions and being locked out…might as well go get breakfast!

Sitting by the side of the Parkway, emailing the USFS a report





















Onward, indeed…

Continuing poor weather conditions up on the mountain, my art show schedule and other factors prevented another attempt up on the tower for several weeks. I was thrilled then one day to find a decent weather forecast AND a hole in my calendar. Showtime…again!

First, unlock the gate…

Mind the boulders…


Low gear, all the way up…










Up to the tower at last…!











Working, here….

Pano 2 was created that day, and once I got it assembled, I was pleased with how it turned out.

Pano 2, my personal favorite







Production Continues

The days passed, and I was able to get more captures. My goal was to give the Cradle a wide choice of photographs to choose from. I was pleased with how things were proceeding.


Love the light here. Pano 3


Also taking time out for other things. Unique perspectives with some really good landscape subjects…Looking Glass Rock – note the two electrical transmission towers, far right of frame. I don’t know about you, but seeing this perspective makes me realized how small we really are!

Looking Glass Rock from my morning perch on the tower…


Cold Mountain at Dawn…Before you ask, I used a 2-stop graduated blue to clear filter in front of my lens to help the blah sky out…

Cold Mountain – Love the shadows!



Sunrise from the Tower

Sunrise from the Tower

Meeting with the Cradle

I came up with 6 total panoramic images that I was happy with. I had a few favorites, but the USFS personnel would be the ones selecting the “winner”.

I printed out all six nice and large, packaged and labeled everything, and called to request a meeting.

Jeff and Carlton narrowed it down to two prospects (Pano 2  and Pano 3), and asked for time to confer with staff.

Jeff Owenby (left) and Carlton review the candidates































To Be Continued…!

New Image Gallery on my website: Asheville – In and Out

I have a new gallery of images on my website, titled “Asheville – In and Out”

Such an interesting place to explore, from Pack Square to the Grove Park Inn…

Applying my own individual style of photography has yielded some pretty fair images!

Please take a look – let me know what you think – share if you like…



PS: Here’s a peek…and you can click this link to get to the complete gallery ==> “Asheville In and Out”

Alex is very talented!

Alex is very talented!

"Look Homeward, Angel", by Thomas Wolfe

“Look Homeward, Angel”, by Thomas Wolfe

Pretty architecture

Pretty architecture

Rob Travis Photography published in WNC Magazine, Blue Ridge Country Magazine

Honored to have my photography in two publications this month: WNC Magazine, and Blue Ridge Country Magazine


Published! Mar-Apr 2015 WNC Magazine

Published! Mar-Apr 2015 WNC Magazine


My image of the view from a Mount Pisgah Path is part of a photo essay with some great photographers! Check it out!



March/April 2015 Blue Ridge Country

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 6.18.29 AM


Rob Travis Photography Exhibiting at Cindy Saadeh Fine Art Gallery in Kingsport, TN


From the Cindy Saadeh Fine Art Gallery Facebook Page:

“FIRST THURSDAY is this coming Thursday, March 5th from 5pm to 8pm. Mark your calendars and join us for an AWESOME Exhibition Opening for this month’s Artist, Photographer Rob Travis!”


Proud to be a new addition to this great venue!

CindySaadeh gallery pic 271

Cindy Saadeh Fine Art Gallery in Kingsport, TN



First Thursday


NOW March 12, 2015



Photography Artist

Rob Travis


We will have live music

by Jake Quillen

hor d’oeuvres, Bellafina chocolates,

Little Cake cupcakes & wine




Green Sage Exhibit

Photography Exhibit Showcases Images that Endure

 (Asheville, NC)    Four Western North Carolina photographers have joined together to exhibit their images at The Green Sage Coffeehouse & Café locations in downtown and South Asheville (see link below for directions and hours).

Mark the date! See you at the reception!

The photographers Bonnie Cooper, Don McGowan, Bruce Siulinski and Rob Travis are pleased to present a collective of their work in the exhibit titled “Visual Design: Images that Endure” from January 8 – March 31.  The public is invited to the artist reception on Saturday, January 25 from 7 – 9 pm at the South Asheville location at 1800 Hendersonville Road.     Travis organized the exhibit and appreciates each photographer’s distinct style.   “This extraordinary exhibit showcases each of the individual artist’s approach to the process of “visual design” in fine art photography. Balance, space, and visual design elements found in nature are artfully utilized in this inspiring display of creative expression. The exhibit nicely complements the décor of both venues.”

The images exhibited have a heavy emphasis on nature with a selection of landscapes and portraits of flowers and trees. In keeping with the theme of “Images that Endure” there’s also nostalgic photographs including a series of rustic cars.   Today’s photographers have a wide choice of materials on which to offer their images to customers.  The images on display include those on photographic paper framed under glass, canvas and metal.

Cooper resides in Asheville and has practiced photography with passion since 2000.  Her images celebrate the beauty of the natural world around the country.   She works as an artist, teacher and writer and assists in the EarthSong Photography Workshops and tours.   McGowan, also of Asheville is a professional nature photographer. Through his photography he is creating a connection with the earth and using my camera to express that connection; and then by extension to invite all of you to share it with me.”   In addition to his fine art photography and commercial services, McGowan leads the EarthSong Photography Workshops and tours.

Siulinski studied graphic design and photography in Texas before moving to Brevard in 2004.  Favorite subjects are nature and landscape images often of forests and the coastal regions of the Carolinas and Maine.  He has a passion for outdoor sports – skiing, fly fishing, windsurfing and kayaking and these interests shape his photography and often provide the creative ideas behind his work.

Travis is from Transylvania County and also works as glass artist at Glass Feather Studio Gallery in Cedar Mountain, a craft that influences his photography.  His photography has been featured extensively in publications throughout the area.  “I photograph the majestic and the minute, all focused on capturing the spirit within.  At the end of the day, I want my photography to take my viewers out there with me, on their own journey, through my art.”

Directions to both locations here


Press release by Joan Van Orman of Focused Marketing

44 W. Jordan St. Suite 10, Brevard, NC  28712

www.joanvanorman.com   828-553-7515


11th Annual AMPC Winner: Rob Travis Photography selected as finalist

Transylvania County photographer Rob Travis was selected as a finalist in the 11th Annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition. His winning image, “Shortia”, was selected from hundreds of images for the Flora and Fauna category  of this competition. Other categories included Landscape, Adventure, Culture, Blue Ridge Parkway and Our Ecological Footprint. Travis was also the 1st Place winner in last years competition for his entry “Towers” in the Ecological Footprint category.

Winning finalist entry into “Flora/Fauna” category













This year, jurors chose 50 images to be included in the exhibition out of approximately 800 total images submitted. The exhibition will be held at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Boone, NC  March 7 through June 7, 2014. From those images, the judges will select the final winners to be showcased during the exhibition.

More info here:



2013 Holiday Special!

Holiday Special!
Expiration: 12/31/2013

Back by popular demand!












Spend at least $100.00 at any of my websites (below), and receive ONE FREE 8×12 fine art giclée PRINT of any of my images, a $32.00 value!

Spend $200.00 and receive TWO PRINTS

Spend $300.00 and receive THREE…etc!


Go shopping at one of my websites below. When your order is processed, you’ll receive an order number.


Peruse ANY of the sites below, and find an image you’d like for FREE and copy the image’s URL (“http://www”info in the address bar of your browser when you click on the image)


email me (rob_travis@me.com) with “FREE PRINT” in the subject line and include:

a) your name
b) your order number
c) Your SELECTION of your free print/image’s URL that you would like (“http://www”info in the address bar of your browser when you click on the image)


Go shopping now here:

My website

My Etsy Shop

Fine Art America

You can also select your free prints from my Flickr site (over 2,000 images and growing!). Just email me the images URL (in the address bar when you click on the image)


Flickr: My Photostream

What is Flickr? I have a growing selection of my better photographs (2,000+ and counting!) on this world-wide photo sharing site.

See anything that interests you on Flickr? email me the image URL (visible in your browser address bar when you click on an image) at rob_travis@me.com

Click Here to visit Flickr: my Photostream

[slickr-flickr tag=”aaarpt2011″]

[slickr-flickr tag=”robtravis” items=”18″ type=”gallery”]



Rob Travis Photography has Winter Photo Essay published in Jan 2013 WNC Magazine

The Images Look Great!


Rob Travis’s Winter 8-PAGE Photo Essay begins on page 54 of the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of WNC Magainze



Photographer Rob Travis

A love of birds initially led Rob Travis to pursue photography.  He has since branched out to capture other subjects, including the gorgeous, snow-covered landscapes featured in the photo essay “Winter’s Spell” (Page 54). Still, it’s no surprise that his favorite image in the collection is the female cardinal perched on a branch. “She’s so pretty, all fluffed up,” he says. She’s in a beautiful pose on a snowy morning.” Travis lives in Cedar Mountain, NC where he is a glass artist at the Glass Feather Studio.  See more of his photography at www.robtravis.com.


Click on the image for a larger view.

Snowfall in the mountains is an enchanting occurrence
that paints the landscape with a sense of wonderment
and tranquility. Explore the hushed world through the
lens of photographer Rob Travis.



Cold Plunge
Icicles frame Looking
Glass Falls in Pisgah
National Forest as ice
floes form in the creek
Cardinal: A cardinal brightens a
white-washed world with
her crimson plumage.

Eye in the Sky:
A hawk rides the air
currents above a
snow-blanketed range in
Pisgah National Forest.

Cool Runnings:
The Little River flows
through the snowcovered
landscape and
over Hooker Falls in
DuPont State Forest.

The Unusual Usual…


I have a gallery on my website: The Common Found Uncommon. 

It contains some of my images which I consider to be “the Unusual Usual”. Ordinary subjects found (created) in extraordinary circumstances of light, atmosphere, mood. Please visit it when you get some time.

black walnut trees in an orchard with brown grasses
The Sleeping Orchard

I believe that these circumstances happen all around us every day. Often times, we’re too busy with our lives to see them, much less pay attention to them. If we take the time, however, great things can happen.

I relish the encounter of of these conditions because I know that if I pay attention to what’s caught my eye, or my imagination, or my excitement, then unusually creative images may result.

You can do this too. You just have to be ready. And “ready” in this sense of the word means not only having your camera available and knowing how to use it properly, but ready to let your mind accept the opportunity that caught your attention in the first place.  Pull over. Take the time. Go ahead and pay attention. Be There…!

This scene of a black walnut orchard really caught my eye because of the play of contrasts, enhanced with the strong back lighting effect of the morning sun.


Misty Waters


I  often drive by this little area of wetlands, and last year, I happened by when the low early morning sun shown down on the misty waters. I imagined that the shadows on the mist made the scene appear like a waterfall of misty light!



Shadow Lines in a Fog-filled Valley



I was excited to see filtered sunlight and the shadowy lines it made on the foggy valley below. I used a long telephoto lens (250+mm) to isolate the elements that interested me the most.