Saturday, 11 February 2017 21:32

The Magic of Time and Gravity

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Where the Little Pigeon River slips into the French Broad north of Sevierville, Tennessee, it hardly seems like a stream that has drained the entire north central portion of Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Cosby to Wears Valley and everything in between. Its three primary branches fan out south and east from Sevierville climbing back up into the Smokies high country and on to the great crest ridges from Inadu Knob to Mount Collins. Middle Prong heads up into the Greenbrier section above Pittman Center, and in the very heart of Greenbrier Cove it separates from its largest upstream offspring, Porter's Creek, where the two have joined in a rocky rush of flowing waters. This gathering place is always beauty beyond description, regardless of the season: a lithic water wonderland to be visited again and again. In winter, the bare trees growing among the still barer boulders, overflown with chilly waters, make it a compositional delight. I wanted to be very low to the moving water and to take in a large section of the confluence itself, with the winter forest on the opposite banks. A focal length of 22mm gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/22 provided depth-of-field, since I was hardly more than a foot from the foreground boulders; and a shutter speed of 1/4th second at ISO 100 gave me an overall very slightly darker-than-medium exposure. It may be a long way to New Orleans, but time and gravity will work their magic. 

Read 1251 times Last modified on Saturday, 11 March 2017 22:40
More in this category: « Somewhere in Time Intimate Slices »


  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Friday, 17 February 2017 08:18 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good morning Everyone. Thank you all very much for joining me for this conversation. In one way or another everyone has pointed exactly toward why I wanted to share this Image, and why I feel that it is so important. It is so natural to be drawn to the beauty of any place when it puts on its best clothes and accessories and charms us with its loveliness. In doing so, it says something to us about how we, as individuals and societies, define what beauty means for us and how we will express it. And maybe, if we stop and think about it, it reveals to us ways in which what we consider as "the beautiful" might be expanded. I have always thought that the Japanese are masters at this, with their long-standing tradition of "wabi-sabi", the beauty of imperfection. For photographic artists, the beauty of imperfection during the non-optimum moments of the yearly cycle is no further away that your yard or the field across the street, or the national park, however near or far away.
    Hey Ron, its always good to hear from you. I've seen some of your winter work - especially the snowy waterfalls - and I know how lovely it is; and I somehow imagine that there are many places in the Pioneer Valley where it would be every bit as lovely even in the absence of snow. I hope you are well, and I really appreciate all of your kind words.
    Hi Rosemary. Thank you for joining us and for your thoughtful comments. As Dorsey indicates in his comments, this is one of those places in the Smokies that is beyond beautiful during parts of the year, and is very attractive at any time, but I appreciate your comments addressed toward the technical aspects of this image, as they relate to camera settings that helped achieve particular effects.
    Dorsey, you know this Park better than most, and of course I don't mind your suggestion that you find this place more attractive in other seasons. I think it's perfectly natural that it would be so. But I also deeply appreciate that you are willing to grant this spot a beauty even during its "down time." As I mentioned at the outset, perhaps this is a place and a time that can allow us to expand what we have come to consider appealing photographically and to be willing to get to know it, and places like it, at any time. Thanks, too, for your comments about the technical choices in this Image. I'm sure there were other possibilities for expressing this scene, but I felt that the wide-angle lens allowed me to be expansive and intimate at the same time. I hope all is well with you.
    Hey Nancy T., you described the story here exactly. This would be a perfect place to take a nap and listen to Mother Nature's waters babble on to the sea. And what you have said about the order of the world here is exactly true and precisely why we need - and must have - national parks available to everyone. For all of us, these places are the orderliness of the world in times of chaos and confusion; and it is our solemn obligation to support them however we can. I'm looking forward to seeing you in the coming month. Be well
    Thanks Everyone. What an enlightening collection of comments. You all fill my world with song. Walk in Beauty.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Thursday, 16 February 2017 11:42 posted by Nancy Tripp

    This tranquil scene of rocks, water and trees looks like they are quietly playing while Mother Nature takes a nap. It's a great spot to wile away the hours reading and listening to the babbling waters. I would take a camera too, but then I wouldn't have time to read. Thanks for sharing. It's good to see there are still places in this world where everything is in order and as it should be.

  • Comment Link Dorsey Davis Sunday, 12 February 2017 19:40 posted by Dorsey Davis

    Don, this is a well composed scene and the wide angle lens was perfect for what you were trying to accomplish. I hope you won't mind if I say that this beautiful spot is much more appealing to me in the spring and fall. Kudos for taking on the challenging task of creating beauty out of the drab cloak of a winter where there has been little snow. You did well.

  • Comment Link Rosemary Benson Sunday, 12 February 2017 10:26 posted by Rosemary Benson

    The blur of the water rushing makes this photograph look like a painting. The worn rocks also look painted! Good choice, Don!

  • Comment Link Ron Belovitz Sunday, 12 February 2017 10:11 posted by Ron Belovitz

    I love it! It's pretty boring out there at this time of year with no color on the trees or ground but I really like what you saw and captured.

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