A great week to be in the Smokies. The rivers are up. The rain is over for now. Last week brought warm moist air to the area. The rivers and falls have a good flow to them. It was great hiking weather, with temperatures in the 60s, it was very comfortable, although the rocks and roots were very slippery. Sturdy waterproof hiking boots with good ankle support are definitely recommended. I hiked up the Porter creek trail in the Greenbrier section of the Park to Fern Branch Falls, where the Flow was pretty god for this small waterfall. The little Pigeon River was as high as I’ve seen it, getting close to the road in some lower spots. navigating the boulder field below the falls was tricky since I could not trust my footing on The rocks. I shot the Falls in the normal fashion and then started with the more creative shots. First I shot the falls for black n white, in which I use a heavy filter orange to shoot. The filter gives me a monochromatic orange view which makes it much easier to check the contrast and tones in the shot, and the filter eliminates blue light which tends to take the edge off of the highlights, especially in midday. Next was the wide angle composites, using a wide view with 3 1 stop HDR shots. The sky was heavily overcast so this was plenty of range. I also shot a 2 shot vertical composite, but I was pretty close to the falls so the perspective of looking up at that steep an angle may not yield much. I’ll see how it turns out when I process the images. A polarizer was critical for the shots to pop the greens on the moss and the rhoddodendrens as well as reduce the glare on the wet rocks. I should have the image processed later today or tomorrow, I’ll post it once I have it roughed out. After 1 1/2 hours of shooting the falls the clouds dropped down to my elevation so decided to pack it in for the day. Although I could have stayed a lot longer to play with the resulting fog, I still had other things to get done. Even though the leaves are off of the trees there is still plenty to shoot here. I have to remember that this is when I get a lot of my most creative shots. There is always something as long as I am open minded enough to look for it. If I go out expecting nothing then that is usually what I get. But if I go out ready for anything I often get some great shots even when the conditions are nowhere near what I was looking for.
All told it was a very nice hike. About 4 hours on the trail and didn’t see another person the whole time. A couple of kayakers getting ready to start from the Ramseys turnoff were about the only people I saw the whole time I was there.
This was shot from the back porch yesterday morning. We had 4 of them wandering around the back yard and the empty lots on the side of the house.
I spoke with George up in Chicago yesterday, he reminded me of the joys of snowblowing that I was missing. He wasn’t too happy to hear that I had planned to put on shorts and call him from the back deck. But alas, the cold has arrived here now although we are not expecting the ice or snow that they have gotten. We will be down into the teens tomorrow morning, but it still beats the below zero stuff. I can’t say I miss that.
Best get back to work. Keep on clikin. And don’t forget the polarizer. Its a whole easier to fix it in the camera than it is on the computer.