Friday, 17 February 2017 08:20

In the Rush of Roaring Water

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It is said that Roaring Fork (of West Prong of Little Pigeon River) drops more precipitously than almost any other comparably-sized stream east of the Mississippi. Consider this: It drops a vertical distance of over 3000 feet in five miles and drops one mile in vertical distance from its headwaters to its mouth. Anytime after a rain on the north flanks of Mount LeConte and Brushy Mountain, if you are near its bed, you understand completely whence its name is derived. Alfred Reagan must have loved its sound; he built a home quite near and about half-way down, and constructed a tub mill that stands today with the help of the Historic Preservation Crew of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Along this run of the stream the moss-covered boulders of Roaring Fork are a visual delight in any season, but when the leaves of the poplars and birches have covered them in gold, they are especially attractive in the mid-afternoon with the sun's light pouring in. I got as close to the foreground boulder as the pool in front of it would allow and as low as I could so as not to cut off the view upstream. Then I pushed the left edge of  the boulder up against the edge of the frame to encourage the eye to remain in the S-curve of the flowing water. A focal length of 30mm gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/11 - considering my distance from the boulder - allowed sufficient depth-of-field; and also allowed for a shutter speed of 1.6 seconds at ISO 100 to give me an overall very slightly darker-than-medium exposure. A longer shutter speed would have created more blur in the water than I wanted. The greatest difficulty in being creative at Roaring Fork is the mass of folks who are always around. I'm glad they seem to love it like I do.

Read 1195 times Last modified on Saturday, 11 March 2017 22:41
More in this category: « Intimate Slices


  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Friday, 24 February 2017 19:23 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good evening Everyone. Thank you all very much for joining me for this conversation; how delightful to hear from all of you. Roaring Fork is one of the most amazing bodies of water I know. During the years I spent in Sevier County, I spent many, many hours on the Motor Nature Trail being part of the flow of this stream, so your comments are all the more meaningful.
    Hey Dianne, its good to hear from you. I hope all is well in Baton Rouge. I do appreciate the connection you describe; for it is the same one I experience when I see an image of this creek. Thanks for sharing that with us.
    Hi Ron. Thank you for sharing those words with us. It is, indeed, impossible for me to find myself along this stream and not feel my own insignificance in contrast to the creative power of the natural world. And like you, I never come away without being aware of a complete sense of gratitude and restoration. Walk in beauty.
    Thanks, Rosemary, for those thoughtful words. I think that by whatever name you choose, autumn on Roaring Fork is the awareness of beauty beyond measure.
    Hey Dorsey, I have come to know that whatever words you choose, they will be measured and thoughtful. Your description matches my own feelings, and that is special because I know how many hours you have spent here as well. There is most certainly something about the sounds and senses of flowing water - especially over the boulders of a descending mountain stream - that make us stop short and give ourselves over to the experience. I am convinced that it is fundamental, even primordial, to the human experience, and connects us to the universe in some indivisible way. I appreciate your critique of the elements of this composition. You always remind me of the even slightly different ways in which we can see the same beauty, and the room in our experience for all of them. Be well, my friend.
    Michael, it is great to have you with us! I hope how these intimate places speak to you and I really appreciate those kind and thoughtful words with us. If you head down this way any time, please let me know.
    Hey Nancy T., I love the thought of your happy, wet feet standing in a pool in Roaring Fork. Even the temperature of this water cannot diminish that wonderful vision. This stream is as magical as you describe. Thank you.
    And thank all of you for adding such wonder and joy to my experience of the natural world. Walk in Beauty.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Wednesday, 22 February 2017 12:23 posted by Nancy Tripp

    This is very ethereal. The light in the upper right must be the entrance to the Garden of Eden. The flowing s-shaped water seems to be carrying the light down to welcome visitors. There must be magic in the water. I think if I could go barefoot in it, I would have happy feet. The colors, lines, textures and sounds are very tranquil. Thanks for sharing.

  • Comment Link Mike Di Stefano Tuesday, 21 February 2017 09:05 posted by Mike Di Stefano

    Howdy Don, love this images. I ran across a few similar little creeks when I visited the Smoky Mts. It's a gift to find & photograph these treasures. And then sharing the images with others just makes the gift continue on and on....

  • Comment Link Dorsey Davis Sunday, 19 February 2017 18:30 posted by Dorsey Davis

    I wonder sometimes why our soul never tires of scenes such as these. Regardless of how many of these types of images we have in our files we continue to be drawn to create more and more of them. Whether like Ron, we see such scenes as evidence of His creation, or for those who see only the beauty of an evolving natural world, there seems to be an almost primeval instinct that draws us to these scenes again and again. The gurgling, tinkling sounds of the cool water as it rushes ever downward searching its way among the cool rocks refreshes us in a way that little else can. Here we can find peace in the midst of the storms of life, a quietness, a filling of the spirit found in few other places. There is a phrase in an old song that says, "sitting on a rock, crying in the creek, watching all my tears float away". You have captured well the essence of this place where our cares are released and our hope strengthened. I will continue to strive to do as well with my photography. Obviously there is little to critique in such a well executed scene. I noticed that there are actually two "s" curves in the stream that lead us up the creek and out the upper right corner. I would have loved for that upper right corner to have been a little less bright but it is such a minor point it is scarcely worth mentioning with the success of the rest of the image.

  • Comment Link Rosemary Benson Sunday, 19 February 2017 10:50 posted by Rosemary Benson

    It's lovely! I'd call it "The Lord's Toss of Gold Coins" into the river.

  • Comment Link Ron Sunday, 19 February 2017 10:24 posted by Ron

    When I spend time in the mountains, my soul is refreshed. I love the beauty that our creator has shared with us, His children. My spirit reaches toward heaven in gratitude and praise. Thank you Don for sharing your Images that reflect such beauty and tranquility.

  • Comment Link Dianne Sunday, 19 February 2017 09:09 posted by Dianne

    Ahhh, I can hear it-and feel it. So beautiful.

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