Behind the Shot: Mike Poggioli

Behind the Shot: Mike Poggioli

Landscape photographer Mike Poggioli shines a light on the backstories behind some of his favorite photographs from Blue Ridge Dreaming for Trope’s Behind The Shot series.

Old Mill image

Old Mill

I had been wanting to visit that mill for the longest time, even when I was in Cincinnati. I always thought, “Okay, when am I going to have a chance to get out there?” I did a year of my clinical internship in Roanoke, Virginia, so I was a little bit closer. I just took a day off, tried to time the peak fall colors, and made a trip out of it. I tried to get there right in the evening and set up right before sunset to avoid any harsh light.

It was one of the places that had been on my bucket list the longest. I think I had just missed peak fall color by not even a week, but I made a day out of it. I explored more around West Virginia that day, the New River Gorge and some covered bridges in the area. It was just a great way to end the day.


Old Mill image


It was another fall day and I really wanted to get some rainy, gloomy shots in the mountains. I drove to an off-road waterfall in the pouring rain, so I was kind of miserable. After I finished shooting the waterfall I was drenched. I was heading back on the Blue Ridge Parkway, turned this corner, and I started to see the storms clearing up and all this mist and fog rolling in. It was literally just coming out of nowhere as if from the trees.

I pulled over onto this side part of the parkway. It was not even an overlook, I just made my own parking spot. I stayed there shooting for maybe an hour and it was one of the most beautiful scenes I've ever seen. I was watching a storm clear up with all this fog forming. That picture in particular is really cool because it includes evergreens since I was at a high enough elevation, so that made some nice contrast. It was something I'll never forget.


Cozy Lodge image

Cozy Cabin 

Oh, man. That one I love. I was driving on the parkway in late summer, so the colors hadn't turned yet. I saw that cabin and thought, “Oh man, that's really cool. I should get a picture,” but I was running late and had no time.

Fast forward a couple months and I was back in the same area. I went to take pictures of a waterfall and it was really cloudy. I went to capture sunrise so I was kind of bummed that I didn't get good colors. As I was heading home, I remembered this spot. It was complete whim; I almost didn't even remember it. I pulled over and there was this cabin with the perfect fall colors, the clouds were just parting, and there is this perfect layer of mist. I had the perfect view, and the light was just right. Everything just fell into place. It was awesome. It’s one of my favorite pictures.


Mike Poggioli profile

Read more about Mike’s work and Mike Poggioli here.