mountain stream

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

Spruce Flat Falls

Here's an image of Spruce Flat Falls located in the Tremont area of GSMNP.  This is a really nice waterfall with the upper section being about 30 feet tall.  It is about a mile hike to get to, however.  The trail for this fall begins at the Tremont Institute.  

I took this image using my Tamron 15-30mm lens and just got as close to the water as I could.  You can't shoot these waterfall scenes without a circular polarizer.  I used a special filter mounting system designed for the Tamron 15-30 by Vu Filters.  It allows me to have a polarizer on that lens.  I can also add additional filters if needed, like a neutral density or graduated filter.

Sony A7R II, Metabones Adapter, Tamron 15-30, VU Filters Polarizer, Sirui W-2204 Tripod and K-20 Ballhead.

Aperture Priority, F/16, ISO 100, 2 seconds, 16mm

 

Tremont

The Tremont area of The Great Smoky Mountains is one of my favorite areas to visit.  I love shooting the water and rivers of the smokies and Tremont is a fantastic place to do just that.  The river snakes along side the road offering many opportunities for lovely cascades and mini waterfalls. 

We visited this area just after a rain, which is a fantastic time to do this type of photography.  Notice how the rocks are wet from the rain.  Everything being wet offers much more contrast than under normal, dry conditions.  Be sure to pack in your circular polarizer though.  Wet also means reflective, so you'll need that polarizer to cut through the reflection and glare.

I like to get down very low on a scene like this, which means putting my camera and myself in some unusual positions.  This is where a few things come in very handy.  First, my Sirui tripod...I can always get it in the spot I want no matter where that spot is.  Secondly, the tilt screen on my camera...sometimes because my camera is in a position that doesn't allow me to look through the viewfinder, the tilt screen comes in super handy.

Image made with Sony A7R II, LA-EA3 Lens Adapter, Tamron 24-70mm Lens, Marumi Circular Polarizer, Sirui W-2004 Tripod and Sirui G-20 Ballhead.

 

 

Tellico River

On my way back home from the Great Smoky Mountains the other day I took a detour to a little place in Tennessee called Tellico Plains.

Tellico Plains has a lot to offer in the fall.  The color here was better than any color I came across in the Smokies, there is a river with a ton of water shots to be had  here, a very nice waterfall, not near the crowds of people and it's near the Cherohala Skyway.

I went for a few things, to photograph the water and escape the madhouse that was the Smokies in the Fall.  I accomplished both with ease.

This shot was taken from the first bridge I crossed as I traveled along River Road.  I normally like to get right down at water level when I photograph these rivers but, in this case, I wanted to capture the vast amount of color that was surrounding the river.  That was much better done from the bridge itself.  Getting down on the river I would have had to shoot upwards to include more color and that would have included a lot more of the nasty, no-nothing sky.

However, the no-nothing sky was what made the day!  It was very overcast and even started raining a few times while I was there shooting.  The overcast skies made the colors pop.  The little bit of rain also helped with that, too.  Make sure you have your polarizer, though, to kill reflections from everything being wet.

ISO 100, 30mm, F/16 @ 1/3 second

I shot this image with my Sony A7R II, LA-EA3 Adapter and Tamron 24-70mm Lens.  I also used my Marumi Circular Polarizer to enhance contrast and eliminate reflections.  Of course I had my new favorite tripod, the Sirui W-2204.