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.