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Roaring Fork

The Roaring Fork Motor Trail in Great Smoky Mountain National Park is one of my favorite destinations in the park.  I love photographing water, so that automatically gives it an advantage.  The mossy greens on the rocks in the springtime are absolutely fabulous, too.  I also love that the water, in most places, isn't more than knee deep, so it's easy to get in the water and create more pleasing compositions than from the stream side.

The weather was bright overcast on the day I visited Roaring Fork.  That allowed me to shoot in that area for several hours...and I did indeed.  It's such a great area of the park, especially if you enjoy the water, and it isn't anywhere near as crowded as some of the other areas.

I used a 24mm lens here with a circular polarizer.  I never shoot water without a good polarizer.  It makes a huge difference in your images.  In this scene, it doesn't only kill a lot of the reflections off of the rocks and water, it also helps to make the greens a little more saturated.

Equipment list: Nikon D850, Tamron SP 24-70 F/2.8 Di VC USD, Sirui Circular Polarizer, Sirui Tripod and K-40 Ballhead

EXIF Info: Aperture-priority, 4 sec, f/16, ISO 64, Compensation: +1/3, 24mm

Spring Fever

Over the last few days here, when it hasn't been raining, the weather has been off the charts good.  That has brought on a huge case of Spring Fever for me.

I have a few trips upcoming to focus on the plants and animals coming to life again, but I'm also super stoked about our upcoming Smoky Mountains workshop.  With all the rain the area has been receiving the rivers and streams should really be flowing this year.

ISO 100, 24mm, F/16 @ 1.3 seconds

This is an image from The Roaring Fork Motor Trail.  It is always a hot spot for nice flowing water against the green, mossy rocks.  Using a circular polarizer not only helps to reduce glare and reflections, but also helps to boost contrast, which makes the greens pop a little more, too.

This image was made with my Sony A7R, LA-EA4 Adapter and Tamron 24-70mm Lens.

Morning Glory

Yesterday I told you about how I got lucky on my way to photograph The Morning Glory Pool in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone and was able to capture a bonus sunset image.

Well, this is the image I was originally going after:

ISO 100, 24mm, F/16 @ 1 second

While I am happy with this image, I'll take this and another good sunset image on the same day any time I can ;)

This pool is one of my favorites in Yellowstone.  Unfortunately, it's suffering from abuse.  Visitors to the pool have thrown coins, trash and debris into the pool over the years which has blocked the vents of the pool.  When the vents to the pool are blocked the water becomes cooler than normal causing more of the brown algae to thrive and the vibrant blue and green bacteria to die off.

The park service does attempt to clean the pool from time to time in an effort to combat this.  Remember, tossing your penny in might get you a wish, but does long term damage to the pools in the park.

This image was made with my Sony A7R, Sony LA-EA4 Lens Adapter and Tamron 24-70mm Lens.  All of this gear was stabilized using my Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT Tripod and BBH-200 Ballhead.

Smokies Stream

If you missed the news on my Facebook page earlier today, I have announced a new workshop website/company that I will be using for all of my photo workshops going forward.  There will be several other instructors helping out and hopefully we can offer may workshops and more genres of photography from time to time, too.  Check it out here, it's called Nature In Focus.

One of the workshops listed was a Springtime In The Smokies Workshop.  I love The Smoky Mountains in the spring!  Life is starting to awaken after the winter, rivers and streams are usually flowing well, flowers are blooming and greens are popping.

ISO 100, 24mm, F/16, 2 seconds

ISO 100, 24mm, F/16, 2 seconds

Here's an example of what Spring can hold in the smokies.  This is one of the streams we will visit during the workshop.  This area of the park offers so many vivid greens that pop, especially in the Spring!

This image was taken with the Sony A7r and Tamron 24-70mm Lens (my favorite) via a Metabones lens adapater.  All held stable by mt Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT Tripod.  And anytime I'm photographing water, I'm using my circular polarizer!

Aphids

While tooling around Cades Cove, we came across some coneflowers.  We were attempting some macro shots of those when we noticed some aphids crawling all over the underside of the flowers and stalks.  

They were quite a challenge to photograph as they were in a dimly lit area, moving...and I had no flash.

I cranked my ISO up to 1000 and shot at a large aperture of F/4 to get a shutter speed that might not cause any blur.  I managed to get a shutter speed of 1/250th.  That might seem fairly quick, but with these guys moving and the wind blowing it was very difficult to find them still.

I ended up with a few shots of them I liked, so I thought I'd share one with you.  This was taken with my Tamron 90mm Macro Lens and Sony A7R DSLR.