Greenbrier Black & White

The Greenbrier park area north of Gatlinburg, TN is well know among photographers for beautiful rapids and, late in the day, colorful water reflections. This week I have been back to Greenbrier twice to explore some possibilities for black and white photography.  Today’s image was found just above the last set of rapids during our first visit of the week.

I wanted an image that would combine the rapidly moving Little Pigeon River with    trees and/or rocks on the opposite bank.  I hope you enjoy this image because I am quite pleased with it.Thanks for stopping by.

GSM – Sunrise at Clingman’s Dome …

I arrived in Townsend, TN Saturday afternoon, and at 4:30 the next morning, we formed up our small convoy and headed out to Clingman’s Dome in hopes of getting a photogenic sunrise.  One hour and about six thousand feet in elevation gain later, we arrived at the Clingman’s Dome parking lot just as the eastern sky was beginning to lighten.  Despite a temperature right at 32 degrees, we spent the next 90 minutes recording the beginning of the day.  This image is one of my shots from that morning.  I am pleased with it.  While the sky was not “blow you away” spectacular, the colors were rich, and the view across the mountain peaks just screams “Smokies”.  I hope you agree,

A note about the processing of this picture:  I wanted to have enough contrast in the image to show distinct separation between the layers of ridge lines leading to the horizon.  Standard color processing would have me boost the color saturation and contrast, but that would also cause the sky to become overly saturated. I recalled a technique I had heard about some time ago where you can increase contrast without over saturating the color by taking the image into Nik Silver Efex Pro 2, and adding the necessary contrast.  When the Silver Efex transition is complete, it shows up as a new layer in Photoshop.  To get the colors back (unchanged) with increased contrast, I simply designated Luminance as the blending mode.

The two geezers of the group, Charles Riter and I, have kind of teamed up and because we have been shooting almost constantly, leaving the motel in the early hours of the morning and generally not getting back until well after dark, I have not been able to do much processing of my RAW captures.  I hope to have a couple more finished images to post before I leave on Thursday, including a sunset from the Morton Overlook on Newfound Gap Road, and a couple of black and white images.

Thanks for stopping by.

A Black and White Frame of Mind

I am heading off to the Smokies on April 20th for five days of shooting with several photo buddies.  As I prepare for this expedition, I am definitely in a black & white  frame of mind.  I just finished reading Ansel Adams’ Autobiography, and I have been going through some of my old photo books, which include a couple of Adams collections. Although I venture into digital black & white imagery on a fairly regular basis, it is mostly as an afterthought.  Adams’ book reminded me just how much I enjoyed the old “wet” darkroom and how much I miss being immersed in black & white image making.  Don’t get me wrong, I love digital photography and working in color, but there a times (and moods) that call for a monochromatic response.  So … as I prepare for a week in the Smokies, I went back into the archives from last year’s trip to rework this image as a black & white.

I like it as a black & white, and hope you do, too.  Now I know I will be looking for scenes that lend themselves to a black & white outcome.  Thanks, Ansel, you have inspired me yet again!

And, thank you for stopping by,.