Saturday, 09 July 2016 15:10

An Air of Agitation

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

It is, by my reckoning, one of the quintessential sunrise/early light locations anywhere in the country. Luftee Overlook, looking down into the valley of Beech Flats Prong, with its recessional ridges sloping off the Smokies crest east from Newfound Gap, is as iconic as the high country of the Smokies can offer. And even when the rising sun is too far to the left to be a real "sunrise" factor, its early light can be as magical as a scene from Middle Earth. Our Arrowmont class went looking for the magical light on several occasions during our two-week adventure, and we were not disappointed. The atmosphere in early-July seems to nearly always be on the verge of agitation, and when it is broken with moving clouds so that the early light comes streaming in, especially if there is fog in the valley, the moments it produces are dreamscapes. It's becoming harder to do wide-angle work at Luftee because there is a long, low rail on the south side of the highway, the trees just below the right-of-way are growing, and the grasses on the edge of the right-of-way are often untrimmed. But I worked to show intent with the placment of these elements and used a focal length of 27mm to achieve the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/16 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/15th second at ISO 100 gave me a slightly-lighter-than-medium overall exposure. Nature's gasses and the turbidity they created provided the air show. 

Read 1373 times Last modified on Friday, 05 August 2016 15:25
More in this category: « Below Hooker


  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Thursday, 14 July 2016 11:13 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good morning Everyone. It's great to have you all with me for this conversation. Being able to spend two weeks at Arrowmont during this part of the year was a wonderful experience on many levels, not least of which was to be able to be in the Smokies for early-morning and late-afternoon/evening light; and although Luftee Overlook was not at its optimal sunrise-self, its early light in July can be incredible because of the amazing atmospherics often present in the high country during this time. Every time we went to Luftee or to Clingman's Dome, we were rewarded.
    Hello Peter. Thanks for being with us and for your kind comments. As I've just said, there is good reason to visit the Smokies high country in late-June/early-July for early morning work. It's great just to be there even if you don't own a camera. We are looking forward to having you with us in November. I think it's an excellent time to work with the barns.
    Hi Kirsten. It's always good to hear from you. Bonnie and I don't get to see you nearly often enough these days. Hope all is well. I really appreciate your kind words. Coffee soon?
    Hey Ron. I always appreciate your thoughtful comments, no matter how brief. Hope all is well in the Pioneer Valley. I've been missing your waterfall postings lately, but hope you have been getting out as much as possible.
    Nancy T., I always appreciate hearing from you and reading your delightful stories. You are right; it does seem like scenes from two different worlds, that have somehow collided and managed to merge together. I was definitely aware of the light shining both on the clouds and on the fog in the valley. I had taken several images of the scene just before the light broke through, so when it happened, I was very excited. I think, too, that your oceanic analogy is very appropriate: all the undulating diagonals in the image are very wave-like.
    Hey Warren. Your stories are, likewise, always something to which I look forward. The early-morning colors of Luftee are rich, indeed, and they offer so many wonderful contrasts with which to construct an image. I appreciate your directing our attention to them. What I think they mean for me is the possibility of creating art even without the drama of predominating warm tones, since here there is so little of the warm spectrum present.
    Thanks again Everyone. Your observations of the "what" and the "how" always add color to my world.

  • Comment Link J. Warren Berry Monday, 11 July 2016 07:23 posted by J. Warren Berry

    Such colors! The juxtaposition of the trees on their mountain slopes and the power in the sky separated by the distant blue mountains with the valley fog in the fore elicit emotions I'm not quite sure how to express.

    Beautiful and haunting at the same time.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Sunday, 10 July 2016 10:49 posted by Nancy Tripp

    It looks like two different worlds. The simple, calm, static v-shape of the dark trees in the foreground inviting us to the "playground" where everything is bright and in motion. The light from the sunrise emphasizes the relationship between the clouds and the fog. The ridges look like they are part of a stormy sea. An overall fun image. Thanks for sharing.

  • Comment Link Ron Belovitz Sunday, 10 July 2016 09:18 posted by Ron Belovitz

    Absolutely stunning!

  • Comment Link Kirsten Sunday, 10 July 2016 08:45 posted by Kirsten


  • Comment Link Peter Ray Sunday, 10 July 2016 08:08 posted by Peter Ray

    Wonderful. What great clouds and light. Looking forward to the Barn workshop in November

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Site copyright © 2001 - 2019 Don McGowan & EarthSong Photography. 

All Rights Reserved.