Sunday, 06 August 2017 14:08

Kodachrome Dreamin'

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Looking into the lower slopes of Mount Kephart from Thomas Divide on an autumn day in mid-October can cause one to feel as if they have become lost on a well-used an artist's palette; and when to this is added the moodiness of a morning's rising fog, one can easily be convinced that the world is nothing if not a kodachrome dream-come-true. A focal length of 117mm, somewhere on the cusp of short-to-medium telephoto, gave the angle-of-view I wanted - an intimate landscape view of the forest. An aperture of f/16, given the camera-to-subject distance, provided depth-of-field; and along with ISO 200 allowed for a shutter speed of 0.4 seconds and a very slightly lighter-than-medium overall exposure. There was just enough of a breeze that being under half-a-second was much more productive than being at nearly a whole second, in terms of achievable sharpness. These beautiful old mountains seem more colorful with the passing years.

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4 comments

  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Friday, 11 August 2017 16:04 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good afternoon Everyone. Thank you all for joining me for this discussion. What a wonderful pleasure to be joined by three of my favorite conversationalists - photographic or otherwise. It's great to have you with me on this muggy (at least in Western North Carolina) August afternoon, when what we'll be talking about are the cooler, more colorful, days of autumn.
    Donald, I've come to very much appreciate your "first thoughts" when considering an image. "So painterly" is a description I will accept gratefully. I do appreciate your kind words and smile inwardly at the thought of mixed media and the "wisps of actual cotton" I can enjoy contemplating from your description. You are a scientist with the soul of an artist. Walk in Beauty.
    Hey Warren. I've got to get you and Don Newsom together. You are another scientist' body harboring an artful soul. What a great combination of attributes! While you can certainly be forgiven for thinking so, in that Newfound Gap Road in this area is about as tortuous as highways come, in this particular intimate scene I am actually facing mostly south x southeast, so the faces of these slopes are generally to the north x northwest. The foreground trees are on the lower slopes of Thomas Ridge and the distant slopes are across Beech Flats Prong on what is technically Richland Mountain, which is a spur ridge off Kephart. The fog was much thicker in the lower valleys than where I stood, but it was beginning to rise into the higher elevations, so directions were pretty much non-existent. And this was what allowed for the vibrancy you have noticed and what made me so grateful and excited to be there. Some moments are indelibly written in memory, and this is surely one of them. Thanks for all of your kind and thoughtful words.
    Hi Nancy T., I know that whatever you saw, it will be interesting and enlightening for us. I'm especially glad that you mentioned the 1/3-2/3 split between foreground and background, and the shapes created by the foreground trees that help add depth. I saw them also as diagonal lines from upper right to lower left that helped guide the eyes into the background scene. But you are exactly right: it's about color and the fog was truly a gift on a special morning. I'm already excited about the prospects for the coming Smokies fall. I hope all is well with you.
    Thanks, again, Everyone for helping me celebrate the beauty of a Smoky Mountain autumn with your ideas and observations. You fill my soul with feelings of beauty to come.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Sunday, 06 August 2017 18:32 posted by Nancy Tripp

    I too saw an artist's pallet before reading. What you captured in 0.4 seconds would take an artist with a brush days to create and it would not have this much detail. The colors are beautiful! I like that you caught some green in the foreground and made the foreground cover 2/3 of the image. It is, after all, all about the color. The background cleverly uses the same colors and creates shapes with it giving it depth. The fog is your reward for showing up. This could be the "Poster Child" for Autumn.

  • Comment Link J. Warren Berry Sunday, 06 August 2017 17:15 posted by J. Warren Berry

    Nature paints its soft, sharp edges at times with broad brushstrokes and at others with tiny bristle tips. The leaves wafting in a gentle breeze capture that perfectly. You took home in your camera the vibrance and maturity of Autumn captured at just the right moment. How fitting that such a beautiful autumn morning shot would be looking toward the West...and how fitting that you shared. Thank you.

  • Comment Link Donald Newsom Sunday, 06 August 2017 15:29 posted by Donald Newsom

    My first thought, before even reading your comments about the image, was, "So painterly!" I can imagine it as mixed media, too: Bold, bright oils in the foreground; lovely pastel watercolors in the midground; and wisps of actual cotton stuck into the paint in the receding valley. Lovely!

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