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Saturday, 02 August 2014 00:00

Set in Stone Mostly

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MiddleLittlePigeon2014-06-12-7a

Whenever I think about the Little Pigeon River I try to place in my head a map of what I imagine the East Tennessee terrain must have looked like before there was Douglas Lake or Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge or even Sevierville. And when I do that it's much easier to understand how the "Little" Pigeon might have received its name. As you travel downstream from the confluence of the mighty French Broad and its bigger child, the Pigeon, in what is now Cocke County, Tennessee, the first sizeable tributary you encounter on the south or east side (which is to say the same side) of the river is the "Little" Pigeon in today's Sevier County; and it's easy to see how the Lesser Pigeon could be understood as a smaller version of its larger relative. The branches of the Little Pigeon - West Prong, Middle Prong and East Prong - drain much of the northeastern section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as most of Sevier County and much of Cocke County. The Middle Prong watershed includes all of Greenbrier Cove, where the earliest settlers to the area, with names like Whaley and Ownby, came in the early 1800's. Much of Greenbrier is underlain with an ancient Precambrian metamorphic formation called Roaring Fork Sandstone; and where Middle Prong flows over that venerable basement rock, wonderful juxtapositions occur; and water and rock coalesce to create amazing beauty. Recently, a day or so after a soaking rain, I went to Greenbrier to play in the potholes of the rocks, which I knew would still be full of water. Looking for new ways to express this place is always fun. While I wanted to use the pothole and its reflected cloud as a foreground element, I did not want such a wide angle of view as to include any sky in the image. So I chose a focal length of 37mm to give me the angle of view I wanted. An aperture of f/20 gave enough depth-of-field; and a shutter speed of 2.0 seconds at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure.

Read 1600 times Last modified on Sunday, 14 September 2014 08:06

More in this category: Lines in the Sand »

5 comments

  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Saturday, 09 August 2014 08:53 posted by Donald McGowan

    Hi Everyone; thank you all for joining me in this conversation. Dorsey, I agree with you completely about how special this spot really is. It's almost unique in its combination of rock and water in the Park, and it is special to Tony for certain. I try to visit it 2-3 times every year just because it does offer so many possibilities for exploration. It becomes one of those compositional challenges to see if one can compose something fresh and interesting with each visit. I'm glad the Image has been a pleasant experience for you; I have very much enjoyed creating it. Judy and Nancy K., I appreciate that you were drawn to the reflection in the waterpocket. Using this sort of element is a good way of tying parts of an image together without having to visually include a part that might otherwise become a distraction. It can also be a good introductory element in wide-angle work and it's fun to see if you can find this kind of element as you consider your compositional choices. Nancy T., I'm really glad you picked up on the reflection as part of a line leading to the water. It's fairly subtle, but real; and you know how I am with lines. Thank you all, again. It felt good to bring the Image back home for a while.

  • Comment Link Dorsey Davis Monday, 04 August 2014 11:01 posted by Dorsey Davis

    Don, this familiar spot in the Greenbrier area is a must stop for me at least once a year. It must be a favorite of our friend Tony Sweet also because I catch him on these very rocks with one of his workshop groups almost every spring. I like the way you have composed this and and small rapids at the top of the picture have a texture similar to the texture of the reflecting pool at the bottom of the image tying the whole together. Perhaps I will make it over that way this fall as I have never shot from this location at that time of year. Enjoying your work.

  • Comment Link Nancy Kelly Sunday, 03 August 2014 19:10 posted by Nancy Kelly

    I love the refection of the sky in the puddles. It brings the image full circle. Nice!!

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Sunday, 03 August 2014 17:56 posted by Nancy Tripp

    I thought about you guys after all that rain. That particular event missed us in Spring Creek. It all went North of us.

    This is a very tranquil image. The two-second exposure seems to have slowed the world down to give us time to soak up it's beauty. The puddle was a great anchor which shows us the path in the rocks that leads us to the beautiful flowing water.

  • Comment Link Judy Grove Sunday, 03 August 2014 17:07 posted by Judy Grove

    Even though you chose to not include the sky I really liked the cloud reflection in the puddle. Sent my mind to all sorts of places for future photos!

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