Cades Cove Dogwood




This image was a bit of a surprise.  I liked what I saw through the viewfinder as a color image, however, when I opened the file in Lightroom, I began to play with it as a monochromatic version.  The surprise was how much I liked it as a b&w conversion.  My initial thinking was, I’m in the Smokies, an awesome place to photograph early spring color.  Why on earth would I want to try b&w?  The lesson learned once again is, b&w is simply a choice and one that should be made with purpose, regardless of subject matter.  

A note on the processing.  Ninety percent of this image was processed in Lightroom 5 with just a few minor tweaks in Photoshop to finish it off.  

[Tweet “Smoky Mountain B&W from Cades Cove”]

This entry was posted in B&W, Smoky Mountains and tagged , , , , .


  1. Tom Singleton April 25, 2014 at 8:09 am #

    John, this is lovely. I love color but there is something magical about black and white.

  2. robin April 25, 2014 at 9:02 am #

    love the black and white. The dogwoods just pop right off the page. It really says spring and rebirth as opposed to drab winter colors that the b&w trees portray. Does that make sense?

  3. Diana April 25, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    Dogwoods…..I just love them. I grew up in the Catskills and my dad planted them in our yard. We moved to Texas and they were prolific in East Texas. Since I moved to ND I have not seen them and I miss this beautiful harbinger of spring! Thank you for the memory and this lovely image.

  4. James Milligan April 25, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    I love it!!! The image has a good range of tones and the Dogwood is the perfect eye catcher. Wish I was there.

  5. Bill Tongue April 25, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    Darn John. That’s so good it looks like I took it. Hope you are having a great workshop!

    • john8276 April 25, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

      Bill, this made me laugh out loud.

  6. Daniel Ruf April 25, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    Even as a b/w this has a delicate painterly effect. Beautifully done.

  7. Merrill April 25, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    Just getting that color noise out, as Cole would say.

  8. Karen Messick April 25, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    Lovey delicate image!

  9. Stan Silverman April 25, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

    Great image and great processing. Who knew Lightroom was so powerful 🙂

  10. john8276 April 25, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

    Thank you for the kind comments. We are having a GREAT time here. Hate for it to end.

  11. Joe Farrell April 25, 2014 at 8:12 pm #


    Love this image. It is wonderful.


  12. Stephan Dietrich April 26, 2014 at 8:08 am #

    Love the image! What a place! Great to have choices. I can imagine the color and the b&w is awesome!

    I recall growing up and only having a b&w TV. Wasn’t until my senior year in high school to have a color TV. Would be great to have a b&w TV again!

    The world is great visualizing and presenting it in b&w! Continued success with your workshop!

  13. Linda Russo April 26, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    Very Ansel Adams like…Beautiful image-:}

    • john8276 April 27, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      High praise Linda, thank you.

  14. Ts April 26, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    Blue filter? Outstanding touch bossman. Using LR a lot for bw these days, too.

  15. Janice April 26, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    I like this shot very much, John. Really lovely. Just curious…were there any turkeys in this area?

    • john8276 April 27, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

      Not a turkey you might eat Janice… 🙂

  16. Louise April 27, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    You vision never fails to amaze me! You SEE the potential when I just pass it by. This may be one of my favorite of your images! How fortunate I feel to share the journey with you!

    • john8276 April 27, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

      Thank you Louise. Trust me I miss as much as you do. We simply “see” differently. I love your vision.

  17. Nick Oman April 27, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    Wonderful contrast between all of the different leaves. Love it John!

  18. Rich Lewis April 27, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    The conversion to black and white turns this into a very magical image. Having seen this place, I can’t imagine a color version being better than this.

    • john8276 April 27, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

      Thank you Rich. Great to have you along on this tour. Love to introduce folks to my beloved Smoky Mountains.

  19. Mimi Mann April 27, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

    That’s an awesome picture, John. Mimi

    • john8276 April 27, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

      Thank you Mimi! 🙂 Hugs to you and Donna.

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