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Saturday, 22 November 2014 00:00

Swinging in the Breeze

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There's not much to be done on a windy day in one of the most beautiful fall foliage seasons you have seen in the Smokies ever except continue to be patient. I had been working to acquire it all morning while I was farther down on Thomas Divide, but when I got to the place called Swinging Bridge, the narrow, exposed portion of the ridge overlooking the beautiful Deep Creek watershed, and saw the clouds rushing up from the valley below toward the summit, broken occasionally and transmitting wonderful patches of late-morning light, I knew that I was about to meet a patience test for certain.  As I walked down the narrow path to the overlook, the wind almost blew my cap across the highway. I set up my camera and tripod and watched the trees below the overlook as they danced  and swayed. After half an hour there began to be brief lulls in the gusts. During that time I had been looking at possible compositions and had carefully framed an image to which I was attracted, paying attention in particular to the edges to make sure of what I was including and how it would appear when (if) the wind slowed. Finally, the lulls seemed spacious enough to consider releasing the shutter, and I began trying to combine a pause in the breeze with the presence of interesting light. My focal length was set at 51mm. An aperture of f/20 gave me depth-of-field, and at ISO 200 a shutter speed of 1/25 second was fast enough to appear to stop the motion coming at me, given the camera-to-subject distance.

Read 1813 times Last modified on Sunday, 14 December 2014 09:57

More in this category: « Cotton Candy Morning


  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Saturday, 29 November 2014 21:58 posted by Donald McGowan

    Hello Everyone. Thank you all for joining me in this conversation. Dorsey, it's always good to have you join us, and there's no need to apologize. We lead hectic lives even in the calm times, and I have some sense of your range of activities. I'm glad you have the chance to look at the Image period.This is actually one of those iconic Smokies locations that can be wonderful, or impossible, depending on conditions; and on this occasion the patience to wait for it to change from one to the other was truly tested. I am glad I held out; it was definitely worth it.You have picked up on the graphic element to which I am most drawn: line. I sometimes see then when they aren't there, but I am grateful it is that way. Your observation about raising ISO is well made. It was one of the discussions I was having with myself. Your observation on the tree in the foreground is also well-taken. It's so amazing when we begin to notice these small details in our images, in this case a pattern; but these are the things that make art. Thanks for your great comments. Nancy T. and Judy, I am so glad this image resonated with both of you. It makes me feel really good to have have reactions that seem to say, "I know how you felt when you were there. Thank you for sharing it." Fred, thanks for joining us. That's a good guess, but this is on the North Carolina side of Newfound Gap along US441 looking down into the Deep Creek watershed. Deep Creek flows into the Tuckasegee River in Bryson City. Thanks, again everyone. You make me grateful for patience.

  • Comment Link Dorsey Davis Thursday, 27 November 2014 21:12 posted by Dorsey Davis

    Don, I am sorry I haven't had the time in recent weeks to comment on your posts. I always take the time to look at them and enjoy the beauty you share with us. This is what I would call a "comfortable" image. Familiar enough to feel like maybe I have been there. As you usually do you have used diagonals to effectively lead us through the hollows into the distant mountains. Your patience in waiting for the fog to outline the ridges keeps everything from blending together and gives us a real sense of the depth in this scene. The color of the almost red tree in the bottom right is picked up again and again on the receding ridges and ties them to the foreground. I might have raised my ISO to 400 or 640 to get my shutter speed up to 1/60 second or so. I know noise at higher ISO's is always a concern and especially when you have this much fine detail to resolve. In the end it was your patience that rewarded you with this shot and regardless of the technology available to us patience and vision are ultimately what rewards us with this kind of image.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Sunday, 23 November 2014 16:37 posted by Nancy Tripp

    This is breathtaking and a bit humbling with perfect color and light and mountain after mountain... I am enjoying how the colors of the trees in the foreground are repeated again and again and the lines of the mountains move the eye through the hills with a promise of more color in the background where it is out of range. The fog rising in the top right is a nice touch. Thanks for brightening this rainy winter day.

  • Comment Link Fred Sunday, 23 November 2014 14:53 posted by Fred

    I'm suddenly taken back to the late 50's when a few of us students at UT would sometimes jump in a car and head for the mountains. It may not be that view up toward Clingman's Dome from the Gatlinburg side, but it sure looks like it!

  • Comment Link Judy Sunday, 23 November 2014 14:04 posted by Judy


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