Saturday, 17 June 2017 10:26

Incipient Ashes

In Great Smoky Mountains National Park there is a short stretch just up the lower shoulder of Mount LeConte from where Newfound Gap Road crosses West Prong that most folks pass through unnoticed. Yet in my mind it is one of the most beautiful areas of cove hardwood forest anywhere. It was, unfortunately, directly in the path of the fire that roared down from the Chimneys on November 28, 2016, and today much of this beautiful stretch of forest is in ashes. Today's Image was created in the spring of 2016 during the time of our Smokies Spring adventure. I have worked in this area for many years, and I know that one day the forest will return; but today I am missing it and wanted to share a memory. A focal length of 150mm gave me the angle-of-view I wanted, isolating opposing sections of mature hardwood and younger saplings. Since there was enough wind to move branches, I chose an aperture of f/ll, which still provided depth-of-field, given the camera-to-subject distance. With ISO 400 at 1/25th second, I had an overall medium exposure and enough speed to create stillness in the foliage. Spring hopes eternally, and we are grateful.

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