Great Smoky Mountains ~ Dawn Till Dusk [Photo Slide Show]
After six weeks photographing in Tennessee and North Carolina I have just returned to my studio and home in Ohio. The assignment at Great Smoky Mountains National Park was filled with magical light, amazing plants and creatures, breathtaking views and all types of weather ranging from rain, fog, snow and ice to blue skies and delightful temperatures. This variety is what most landscape photographers wish for, and during these past weeks, that wish came true.
There is an immense diversity of landscapes within Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well as some of the most most dramatic light and weather conditions I’ve ever experienced in a national park. The most memorable of those conditions is the frequent fog or smoke for which this area is well known. On many days the fog was moderately translucent and visible for an hour or two, and on a few other days it was so dense as to limit visibility to an arm’s length. The photographic beauty of fog however, is the mood it helps to create in a scene and the way the water molecules in that fog work like thousands of mirrors to create unique lighting conditions.
I found some of the best locations for sunrise and sunset photography as well as sweeping landscape scenes located at higher elevations near the center of the park. For me the absolute best place for sunrise and early morning photography was Clingman’s Dome, the highest point in the park. Although requiring a 45 minutes from either park entrance, its elevation at 6,643 feet (2,025 m) offers 360° views up to 100 miles (160 km). While Clingman’s Dome offers sunset views, for late day and sunset photography I found nearby Morton’s Overlook to have more interesting westward looking views that included mountains and valleys in the foreground.
I spent this past weekend reviewing over 100 images made only on or near Clingman’s Dome and Morton’s Overlook. From those I created the slide show below containing 12 photos that convey a sense of the scenes, weather diversity and dramatic light to be found there. Click on the image below to begin the slide show. Once it begins, you can either click on a specific photo to view it in a larger size, or easily navigate from one photo to the next.
Dawn Till Dusk
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Click the Image to Start the Show.