Saturday, 27 April 2019 10:54

Ordinary Old Smokies

Over the years I have shared several images from my favorite sunrise location in GSMNP, from the quite dramatic to the quite mundane. Truth is, Luftee Overlook is, in my humble opinion, never mundane, and just before the arrival of the spring's new green, is one of my favorite times to go there. As the faint color creeps up the valley of Beech Flats Prong, the ridges and peaks begin to lose their distinct lines and round into the verdant hills of summer. April is a great time to experience the wonderful atmospherics for which Shaconage is so well known.

A focal length of 36mm, just beyond the edge of wideangleland, gave me the angle of view I wanted. An aperture of f/20 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/25 second at ISO 200 gave me a very slightly lighter-than-medium exposure.

The contrasting clouds and the contrasting cloud shadows over the valley were anything in my mind but ordinary. Their subtlety spoke like a whisper of ancient poetry: "Whan that Aprille...."

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More in this category: « The Shape of Floating Color


  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Friday, 03 May 2019 20:41 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good evening Everyone. Thank you all very much for joining me for this conversation. In considering the relative merits of this Image, which is straightforward and ordinary enough, but still somehow rather attractive in a plain way, I am encouraged to ponder whether we as, creative artists, have become at all jaded to the everyday beauty that is around us; and I offer that thought for all of us to consider as we wander through the world's visual delights, considering the nature and essence of beauty as we go.
    Hey Kev. It's always delightful having you join me, and especially to have you point out some of the components of this Image that work for you. There are, indeed, leading lines at work directing us to the shape/form of the cloud above. That cloud, though part of a horizontal line, is also part of a larger cluster of energies created by the diagonal presence of the lofty cirrus even higher still. Judy Collins' "Clouds" have always inspired me and the relative dullness of a blue-sky day seems somewhat plain to be certain.
    Hey Chris. What a wonderful surprise to run into you and Sue in Cosby. Our schedule was such that we did not have time to stop there with your Road Scholar group, but by all means, do visit Luftee Overlook next time you are in the Park. I appreciate that you like this Image.
    Hi Lynn. Thank you for joining me; it's good to hear from you. For anyone with a familiarity with the Smokies, even remotely as good as yours, Luftee has to be a favorite. I think it's my overall favorite sunrise location in the Park, even though it's truly available only about half of the year. Hope all is well with you.
    Hey Nancy T. I always look forward to what you have to share because I know your stories will lead us to the heart of what we are seeing. What a great day to be in the mountains with all of the fantastic visual elements before us; and you are exactly spot on with you thought about the atmosphere and the depth it helps to create here. The deep haze of summer would make this much more difficult to "see" and to express.
    Hi Chuck. I well-understand your love of this place, and I share it fully and deeply appreciate the wonderful words you have chosen to express that subtlety. Your hikes have covered nearly half of the maintained trails, and I'm somehow certain that your percentage will grow with each passing year. Walk in Beauty.
    Howdy John. What a treat it was to be able to spend those days together earlier in the week, and even though we were deep in the "Shoulder Season," I think we found plenty with which to be creative, and I appreciate that you enjoyed this bit of creativity. Have a great week at the Folk School!
    Thanks, again, Everyone. Subtle beauty reminds us that the world around us if filled with the elements of photographic design which, when uncovered by our careful eyes, can be put together to the joy of all who "see" our work.

  • Comment Link John DiGiacomo Tuesday, 30 April 2019 18:31 posted by John DiGiacomo

    I agree, while most photographers leave their equipment in the closet during the shoulder seasons, I also appreciate the subtle beauty it delivers. I have found that you need to work a little harder to find such scenes, but when you do it is well worth it. This image highlights one of those "Subtle Beauty" scenes. The other benefit of shooting during the shoulder seasons is that you usually have the location to yourself.

  • Comment Link Chuck dildine Sunday, 28 April 2019 14:24 posted by Chuck dildine

    You surely did capture the subtle beauty of this most beautiful national park. The clouds and shadows on the resurrecting trees and the depth of field is a sight to behold. I have so many memories of this place having hiked over 400 miles of its trails.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Sunday, 28 April 2019 12:40 posted by Nancy Tripp

    Miles and miles of ridges and clouds; both showing off their Sunday best. What a great day to be a photographer, or an eagle! The atmosphere in the image gives so much depth; you captured the feel of freedom! (That's where the eagle comes in :-)) The v-shape in the foreground gives an invitation to soar!! The mountains are calling...

  • Comment Link Lynn Harrison Sunday, 28 April 2019 09:31 posted by Lynn Harrison

    Love the image and love the overlook. It is one of my favorites as well.

  • Comment Link Chris Courter Sunday, 28 April 2019 08:49 posted by Chris Courter

    Another beautiful image. Thank you for sharing another location I will have to visit when I return to the GSMNP.

  • Comment Link Kevin Desrosiers Sunday, 28 April 2019 08:26 posted by Kevin Desrosiers

    Love this picture! I especially like how the "V" in the mountainside takes your eyes into the cloud formation, which to me, is the star of the show. People who yearn for days with clear skies obviously are not photographers.

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