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Adventures from the Tripod

Off the Beaten Path

The Alaskan Range from my road trip to Alaska in the Spring of 2018

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A Crazy Few Years

WOW! The past few years have been full of ups and downs and yes, even sideways, backward and full of joy and new beginnings. In short, I closed my construction company, sold almost everything I owned, bought an RV, and hit the road with a Black Lab, orange cat, camera, and a loving Wife.

December 2018

Home for the Holidays

After a couple of months in Escalante, UT we started traveling back to NC for the holidays, with plans to spend time with my family before going to FL. Shortly after arriving home, my mom had a mini-stroke (TIA) at dinner one night. She is fine from the stroke, but other health problems were discovered. We are now living with Mom to help her out.


Photography Full-time

I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. After working for a friend for a few months to help him out, I made the leap. Yes, the lifelong dream of becoming a full-time photographer has come true. Studio/Office, lights, camera, and action! Stay tuned for more about this adventure

McGaillard Falls / Valdese, NC

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Current Projects


Winter is a great time to chase the large number of waterfalls in NC because people aren’t often out. Look for shooting tips, gear and my setting below.

More than Landscapes

Nelson Stegall Photography captures beautiful portraits, life events, and landscape imagery. My goal is for my photography to inspire you to see, explore, enjoy, and protect our natural world. Environmental Portraits for the family, corporate headshots, fine art prints, and personal guided photography adventures are just some of the services I provide. I invite you to go on an adventure through these images and if one speaks to you, or if you want to create your own, I encourage you to incorporate one or more into your personal artwork collection.

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Gaston Photo Walks

March 7th

Cherryville, NC In the northwest corner of Gaston County lies the small town of Cherryville, NC. This small agricultural town has a quaint downtown that’s making a strong comeback. Cherryville is probably best known for the New Year’s Cherryville Shooters event, a boisterous celebration for good tidings in the New Year, complete with a chant and the firing of many muskets over a 24-hour period. For this Gaston Photo Walk adventure, we will spend some time wandering around the Heritage Park photographing the historic collection of local buildings. Then stroll along Historic Main Street of Cherryville looking for opportunities to photograph pieces of history.

“My days in the wilderness will live with me always. Everything there was so alive and familiar. Whoever gains the blessings of one mountain day is rich forever."

John Muir

Waterfall Tips and Tricks


I don’t have specific settings I use when shooting waterfalls because they can either be found deep in coves with very little sunlight (and photographed any time of day) or they’re in open areas that need to be photographed in the early morning or late evening. Here is my go-to setting to get me started: set camera on manual, mirror up, ISO at 64 (or your lowest ISO setting), aperture between 11 and 16, and shutter speed between 3 and 5 seconds.


Nikon D 810, Nikkor 16-35 VR ED N, Gitzo Tripod Mountaineer Series tripod, B+W ND Filter 1.8 (6 stops), remote trigger, lens cloth (to wipe off water drops on lens and camera), Lowe Pro Powder Backpack, and a pad to keep my butt dry and warm.

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