Dan Brandenburg

Dan Brandenburg

Dan Brandenburg - Editorial, Creative, and Aerial Kentucky Photography

Exploring Pilot Knob

Recently I became aware of a pretty awesome place called Pilot Knob near Clay City, Kentucky.  Though I've driven by this area countless times, I never knew there was anything of significance in the neighborhood until an acquaintance told me about it.  

According to local legend, over 200 years ago, this is the spot where famed explorer Daniel Boone first saw the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky.  After countless miles of hills and mountains, Boone arrived to this spot as was greeted with a vista that marked the end of the Appalachian Mountains.  No doubt he was a bit relieved to see flat land ahead.

After scouting the area in Google Earth, I knew I wanted both sunrise and sunset photos.  Getting such photos, however, required hiking a long distance in the dark (either well before sunrise or well after).  Since I wasn't sure about the terrain, I decided to make a run up the mountain in the middle of the day.  The trip was a bit more difficult than I expected, but was certainly manageable.  The trail was clean and I felt I could safely navigate the path with only a flashlight.  A week later, I returned to climb the trail with a backpack filled with 40 pounds of photo gear.
While I haven't yet processed the photos, I thought I'd let you see some of the video I grabbed for the fun of it.  Hope you enjoy...

Pilot Knob

Recent Images


It was a spontaneous decision to take off to Berea this morning to grab some sunrise shots.  I had intended on capturing two reservoirs nestled between mountains at the foot of the locally famous Pinnacles, but the lighting just wasn't what I expected.  The angle of the sun and one of the mountains just created a large dark and splotchy shadow over the small lakes.  Additionally, some locals were making preparations for a  crafts festival and the last thing they needed was me standing in the middle of their parking lot waiting for the sun to move....so I moved instead.

I headed a few miles east to another lake I'd visited before.  It's especially scenic with few houses around, so I knew I'd likely not be bothering anyone with the whirring sound of my drone at 8:00am.  In retrospect, I guess I did bother one old fisherman who had made an early trip to what was likely his special, hidden spot on the lake.  I wasn't there long though. 

I love catching early morning fog.  Like most photographers, I love the two golden hours of each day - low angle sun at the beginning and end of the day.  Each offer their own benefit, but I really love the early worm view though I find it difficult to be on location at the time spot at the right time.  You can't always predict how the day's light will interact with the clouds, the landscape, and your schedule.

Sunrise in Berea

New Landscape

Deep Dream Gallery

Just for fun, of course...

In the summer of 2015 Google released an image manipulation technique that to the Internet by storm. Driven by its pattern recognition artificial intelligence system, Deep Dream looks for familiar patterns within an image, identifies and enhances them, and repeats the process multiple times in a recursive algorithm. The effect is mesmerizing.

Folks familiar with various psychedelics ranging from LSD to magic mushrooms immediately recognized the results of this technique as being very similar to that which is experienced while tripping.

Using the software, I have applied this technique to a number of images and have produced some interesting results.

Deep Dream

My Morning This Morning

Flying through The Red River Gorge

For the most part, I consider myself a photographer and not a videographer. I played with video for a number of years but have mostly considered it a hobby to complement the fun I have creating images.  Sometimes I spend a few hours making a nice little video to share on YouTube but I rarely ever market my videos or even really try to get viewers. It is just for me on a personal level. Other times, I just throw together some raw video with no edits just so I can show some friends. Nothing fancy, really.  More and more though, as of recent, I'm taking video a little more seriously... Especially since adding a drone to my photographic arsenal.

This particular morning I arrived at the Red River Gorge with the intent of simply taking a few photographs. It was such a beautiful morning that I decided to do almost all video. Everywhere I went there was a bit of fog, beautiful sun, and incredibly lush rolling green hills indicative of the Eastern Kentucky that I love.

Once again, I made this video mostly for myself but I had to share it because it was a perfect morning. Hope you enjoy it.

Kim Davis Drama

Belief, Rights, and Kim

It's now been a year since American legalized same sex marriage.  Morehead, Kentucky was the unlikely spot where the last large battle would take place.  People from all walks of life traveled to Kentucky to protest or  support.  Long after these events have become a simple footnote in political history books, the locals will be telling stories about the media circus that descended on this small town.

Click here to see more of the Kim Davis drama

Galleries & Pages

Just for fun...

Birds Swarm the Drone

Sunflowers B-Roll

Proof of Concept

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