At the Ends of the Day

Landscape photography has a habit of filling up your days, especially either end of the day, starting before sunrise and ending after sunset.  On my first full day in the Smokies, sunrise and sunset found me on the Foothills Parkway on the far southwestern boundary of the park. Along with Clingman’s Dome, Oconoluftee Overlook, and Newfound Gap in the park, there is a large parking area/pullover near the northeast end of the parkway that is a favorite for sunrise photographers. This photograph is from that location.

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This particular sunrise occurred between bands of rain that had started overnight and continued well into the day.  Consequently, the dense cloud cover over the major peaks of the Smokies hid the sunrise: without color, the day merely got brighter.  There was, however, a lot of fog in the valleys to the east and southeast, giving me some hope of one or two decent images.  Not being able to capture a grand mountain vista, I concentrated on smaller images as they emerged from the fog.  There was no color to speak of and the scene had a very Zen-like appearance, hence the black and white rendering.

The storms blew off in late morning, and in anticipation of a decent sunset, Barb and I had an early supper at Elvira’s.  Not having enough time to make it Morton’s Overlook for the sunset, we headed back to Foothills Parkway.

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This photograph came about several miles down the parkway from my morning location, another parking area/pull-out, but this time looking west across the rolling foothills.  As the setting sun sank below a layer of thick clouds, the mist in the valleys below was backlit and came alive with a glow that lasted only a few minutes. As the sun sank lower, the mist soon receded into the shadows of the valleys.

The next morning I went back to the Foothills Parkway for the sunrise, but the area was totally engulfed in fog.  I heard from Tony Sweet later that Clingmans Dome was also socked in but he got a very decent image of the early light playing on the fog and the nearby slopes lower down at Morton’s Overlook.

You win some, you lose some ….

Thanks for stopping by.