Category Archives: Smoky Mountains

Foggy Morning

I love going back through images to find hidden gems.  I’ve spoken about this before, but feel it worth another reminder.  Give yourself time from the shoot so you will be able to evaluate the images for what they are, and not what you had hoped they would be.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  It would be best to craft your image in the viewfinder and feel confident you have THE shot.  That said, I still feel we are drawn to certain images when we do our review and these pop out because of our emotional and visceral reaction to them.  What then happens is, we tend to move on leaving behind other images that are also great!  With today’s image, I have already processed three others from this particular morning shoot.  As I went back to review images, now almost two months old, I had new knowledge.  I have learned more about processing this type of image and was able to review the RAW files with a new perspective.  This new knowledge helped me to see the potential in other similar images.  And then I decided to play with a crop and came up with the image below.  Another right answer!

2013 Tours added!

Dan and I have locked in our 2013 tours.  Just click on the tours link at the top of the page.  We hope to see you on one next year.  I am working on my local workshops and hope to have that page updated by the end of November.

The image today, is from the chimney tops picnic area in the Smoky Mountains.  With images like this, it is important to move left and right until you separate the trees as much as possible.  The image would feel clumpy if you had trees stacked on top of each other or merging with one another.

The Road To Cades Cove

Each time I’ve been to the Smokies in the fall, this portion of the road to Cades Cove is magical.  It feels like you are in a tunnel of lush yellow.   We could not resist stopping to get a shot this time.

We have POWER!


After 4 long days without power, we were back on the grid at 10PM last night.  We just don’t know how blessed we are until we are without do we?

The gang in the Smokies was tremendous and flexible.  Flexible as we needed to modify our schedule due to weather changing daily.  All in all, we did very well with lush open forest color and great graphic images.  Honestly, more interesting to photograph than a wall of color to me.   The blog image is another favorite from the trip.  My tour partner Dan Sniffin, found the scene.  I was initially not overwhelmed, however, when I processed it, it came to life and I understood what he saw.  A lesson was learned that day and I have now added this type of scene to my visual memory bank.  I will be looking for similar scenes in the future.  More about visual memory in the future!

Riding The STORM out….

Being away from home during a bad storm is no fun.  Thankfully my wonderful wife was smart enough to prepare thoroughly and all seems to be going well.  Lots of  damage throughout the area no power and lots of rain still to come.  Here in the Smokies we were able to shoot for the entire day yesterday getting lots of wonderful images.  Todays blog image is another from our initial shoot at the Foothills Parkway.  We’re hoping to get out there today for similar images.  Wishing the best to all my friends who have been in harms way with this storm!!

River of Color

Before the group arrived and the rain moved in, Dan and I had a chance to shoot reflections with yummy colors in the river.  Very disappointed that the group will not have a chance to shoot these on this trip, however, the big storm is throwing bad weather our way.  We sure hope our friends who are in the path of this powerful storm are kept safe!

Smoky Mountain Magic

During our scouting time we stumbled upon this wonderful scene.  We loved the sweeping curves of the trees leading the eye into the frame, the red leaves popping out of the varying shades of green and yellow and the fallen tree anchoring the frame .  All of the elements of a strong image seemed to align for this one!

More Yumminess at Foothills Parkway

With the positive response to yesterdays image, I decided I should post a personal favorite from the same location taken on the same day just a bit further up the road.  I felt the conversion to B&W worked extremely well.  The gang has arrived and we are excited to begin shooting in the morning at this same location.  It should be a great week!

Foothills Smoke

The Foothills Parkway is a must stop in the Smokies.  At sunrise you will often find the classic Smoky look that the Smoky Mountains are famous for.  This morning we took a run at it and were rewarded for doing so.   The gang arrives tomorrow and we get started with the shooting on Saturday.