Smokies – Day 3 (Part 3)

We spent our final afternoon of shooting at Greenbrier, which is on the NW side of the park.  The objective was to shoot water reflections.  We waited until late afternoon so that shadows from the lowering sun would begin to cover the Little Pigeon River, but, at the same time still have  bright blue skies overhead.  The results we were looking for were that the shadowed water would reflect the colors of both the sky and the surrounding foliage from the opposite bank, which was still sunlit.  This technique is especially effective in the fall when the trees are still carrying the autumn colors.  Greenbrier is noted for its flowering dogwood in the spring which reflect well in the water, but because spring is so advanced this year, the dogwood blooms were over and we had to settle for the plain green of the foliage.

We varied our shutter speeds in order to capture the varied aspects of the water which was moving very swiftly due to recent rains.  The first two images were shot only a few feet apart at 1/4 sec. at f/22.  The relatively short exposure captured the motion of the water without freezing it. The reflections from the sky and the leaves on the opposite bank of the Little Pigeon are very evident in this first image.

This image was taken only a few feet away from the previous one, but the water was in deeper shadow, and the colors are somewhat more muted. 

This last image was taken a little further down stream, where the water was flowing more smoothly.  While it was still petty turbulent, the 60 sec. exposure smoothed out the water’s motion, making it, in essence, featureless.  I don’t think this is a successful photograph, but have included it as an example of what long shutter speeds can do to water.  I used my B+W 10 stop neutral density filter to get the long exposure in bright daylight.