Saturday, 28 October 2017 15:48

Oh When the Sun Beats Down

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Middle Prong of Little Pigeon River in the Greenbrier section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is as quintessential a mountain river as I can possibly imagine. Flowing down the steep slopes of the north face of the Smokies Crest Ridge between Laurel Top and Old Black as a collection of individual diminutive creeks with names like Eagle Rocks Prong, Buck Prong, Lost Prong, Peck's Branch, Shirt Tail Branch, Millfield Branch, and Chapman Prong, it collects Ramsey Prong and Porter's Creek on its way to meet West Prong and East Fork to become the Little Pigeon. Its addition to the French Broad is not insignificant; its beauty in all seasons, awesome. In fall, the golden light of a waning day reflects off the surrounding forest and lights a fire to the flowing waters. It is then, especially, that I love to stand along its edge. A focal length of 19mm, wide-angle to be sure, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/20 provided depth-of-field and a shutter speed of 0.5 second at ISO 400  gave me an overall medium exposure. The chosen ISO kept my shutter speed faster than a full second so that I could avoid more silkiness in the flow than I wanted. Middle Prong opens my heart to the haunting rush of mountain water.

Read 1330 times Last modified on Sunday, 05 November 2017 08:16
More in this category: « Into What Abyss?

6 comments

  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Friday, 03 November 2017 22:20 posted by Donald McGowan

    Hello Everyone. Thanks to all of you for joining me for this conversation. I'm delighted that Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon has resonated so deeply with all of you, for it is one of my favorite streams in the Smokies. Every stretch of its run offers some amazing water vista to enjoy. It is a wonderful natural and human history story.
    Hi Donald. I'm always glad to hear from you and to read your thoughtful comments. You have discerned exactly my thought and stratagem for crafting this Image. The choice of and arrangement of the rocks, that allowed for the creation of the lines. For me, the fun of image-crafting lies in selecting an approach that carries the image, and then for someone to recognize what has been done, and to enjoy it. Thanks, very much.
    Hey Dorsey. It's always good to hear from you. Your love of these old mountains is always clarifying for me. How I appreciate your ability to discern something so significant, and yet so subtle as the grading from warm to cool in the tonalities present and the place in the Image in which that occurs. I think you've been reading Nancy Tripp observations to have found the alligator in this Image; that rock looks like a giant otter to me, but such is the beauty of this sort of observation: one person's gator: another person's otter. I'm glad you appreciated the North Rim Image, regardless of whether you commented.
    Hi Ray, having your thoughtful words always adds to the overall dramatic effect, so I always appreciate your keen thoughts. This was one of those wide-angle landscapes where a great distance (view) seemed to have been created and yet the attention did remain fairly close in, perhaps because the water seems continuously flowing in your direction. I have spent the better part of two weeks helping students recognize the range of choices inherent in most flowing water landscapes and how to make wiser ones to create to most dramatic results: silky or otherwise. I wholeheartedly agree with your public lands comments. We have to constantly be about demonstrating to the public why they are so absolutely necessary. Keep sharing your love for these places; they must be preserved.
    Hey Nancy T. Tranquility is the best word I can think of to describe this beautiful river. It seems tranquil even when it floods, as it had just done a couple of days before this. I am so grateful when I think about this river and all of its twists and turns. It does exist, and I hope it always will. Walk in Beauty.
    Hey Robert. Thank you very much! Simple observations always work for me. Hope you are well.
    Thanks, again, to all for your thoughtful observations. I hope that Images such as this one will continue to offer you joy and solace in your walks through this complex and complicated world.

  • Comment Link Bob Friday, 03 November 2017 07:00 posted by Bob

    Nice!!

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Wednesday, 01 November 2017 19:43 posted by Nancy Tripp

    This is exactly what I love about pictures of mountain streams. It is so tranquil. All the rocks are sleeping, even the gator. The colors of blue and gold give it a nice glow. It looks like a perfect place in a perfect world. When we watch the news, it`s hard to believe places like this still exist. Thanks for sharing.

  • Comment Link Ray Foote Sunday, 29 October 2017 15:58 posted by Ray Foote

    Don,
    Thank you for another lively and delightful image. The strong foreground is wonderful. I almost see a "starburst" (for want of a better word) just above the center of the whole thing where the rocks and water seem to expand in all directions. Love having just a thin ribbon of background and surrounding forests to keep the emphasis close by, and what warm light even though the days are starting to take on a chill. I was pleased to read your brief note about not letting the water get too silky, a rookie's mistake I've made over and over again. I suppose there's a place for the ultra-creamy water scene, but you always seem to avoid the trap of that.

    Just back from a rewarding week in and near Missoula, including one full day out on the Flathead NF hiking through larch (at peak yellow though quickly dropping their needles) and a skiff of snow. What a treasure we have with our public lands. Thank you for continuing to reinforce that gift of far-sighted statesmen a century ago, and the diligent stewardship of public servants. We must keep citizens in the mix; it's the only way we'll keep these places. Have a great week! Ray

  • Comment Link Dorsey Davis Sunday, 29 October 2017 12:52 posted by Dorsey Davis

    As much as I enjoyed my trip to the UP of Michigan I am feeling lonesome without a trip to the Smokies this autumn. I agree with your choice of shutter speed for this image. Not so much for the blurring of the distant rapids but for the way the clarity of the stream is maintained. It is interesting how the boulders follow the line between the warm tree reflections and the cooler colors where the sky is reflected. You are to be commended for your observational skills. The contrast between the warm and cool colors adds pizzazz and the boulders and line between the contrasting colors lead us easily into the distant rapids and autumn trees on the distant shoreline. My imagination must be working overtime as the exposed boulder on the extreme left looks like the head of an alligator. I know there are no alligators in the GSMNP but that boulder could sure fool you. Sorry I didn't find the time to comment on your beautiful image from the Grand Canyon. Such a beautiful composition of the gateway into the eons of geologic history.

  • Comment Link Don Newsom Sunday, 29 October 2017 11:25 posted by Don Newsom

    Beautiful, Don! I'm enjoying your choice of fore- and mid-ground rocks to create lines of receding perspective.

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