An Overlooked Place

Today’s photograph was made in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the Little River Gorge Road between Metcalf Bottoms and the Townsend turnoff.  It is an area that most photographers who go to the Smokies will miss if they travel in workshop groupings or with friends and multiple vehicles. The Little River Road is just not conducive to group photography:  the road runs high above the river (which is now mostly channeled by man-made rock walls), turn-offs are small, and there are very few places where you can descend to river level safely. And, the section below Metcalf Bottoms really gets missed by photo groups because they will use the turnoff to the Wear Valley Road at the Bottoms as a speedy bypass on their way between Tremont and Cades Cove in the south of the park to Clingman’s Dome, Roaring Forks and Tremont in the north.  The Little River Road is not made for rapid travel or photographing in groups.  It is much better for solo photography.

_DSC2431 Gallery

I discovered this photo opportunity on my first trip to the park several years ago.  I arrived early for a workshop with Tony Sweet and had a full, albeit rainy, day of solo photography before the workshop began.  (See a 2013 post about this spot here.) This time, Barb and  I stopped by in the late morning just after a rain storm; the water was running well and although I was fighting periodic bright sun that was blowing out my highlights, it gave me an opportunity to photograph **into** one of the feeder creeks as the spring green on its banks was illuminated.

Thanks for stopping by.

Flowering Dogwood at the Carter Shields Cabin

The main weather event of our first full day in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was rain.  The day started out cloudy, but rapidly deteriorated, so it seemed like a good idea to head into Cades Cove, figuring traffic would be at a minimum.  We did a recon lap of the 11 mile loop road, stopping only at the Carter Shields Cabin.  This is one of my favorite stops in the cove, especially in the spring when the dogwoods are flowering.

_DSC2165 Gallery Color

It was pouring pretty heavily when we got to the small parking area in front of the cabin, just the thing I needed to try out my new rain cover for the camera.  The rain cover worked very well, keeping the camera and lens much drier than I was in my rain gear.  After a short while, the rain let up and I was able to seriously pursue the photography I was after.  I have photographed these trees in flower several times, but this time the light was absolutely right. If I didn’t get another shot all day, I would have been satisfied because this image is one that I have had in mind for a couple of years.  I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for stopping by.

A Look Back to Tangier Island

It was late August 2013, on a very hot and humid Saturday, that my friend and former work colleague, Charlie Martinez, invited me for a flight in his Cessna to Tangier Island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay for a lunch of fresh crab cakes.  Of course, I went.  The crab cakes were excellent, but the photography was very labored.  For a small island, Tangier really requires more than a short fly-in for lunch to capture its spirit and atmosphere.  This image was made from a bridge on the walk back to the airport. I spotted this sunken boat, resting in the mud and partially obscured by the swamp grasses.

_DSC9111 V2 Gallery

When I made the photograph, I immediately envisioned it as a black and white.  My initial interpretation of the image was very dark and I never went any further with preparing it for view.  Three years on, it crossed my mind this morning and I decided to reprocess the image to what you see above.  I am much more pleased with this than its earlier version, and it makes me want to get back to Tangier Island for a couple of days, to have time to explore and come to grips with a small spit of land with a lot of history that may disappear in the not too distant future.

Thanks for stopping by.