Saturday, 13 January 2018 11:40

On the Way to Hot Springs

Madison County, North Carolina is a magical land filled with magical places, and none more so than Spring Creek Gorge. Forming high on the slopes of Sandymush Bald, Spring Creek runs the length of an unusually straight upland valley before dropping beteen the long massif of Spring Creek Mountain topped by Hap Mountain on the east, and the equally massive block of Bluff Mountain on the west. At the end of this run the French Broad River at Hot Springs awaits, but looking upstream from the area known as Vann Cliff, the creek knows only the precipitous plunge of its forested gorge and the delight of mountain waters. After a light snow had salted the tops and slopes of the mountain, the breaking clouds cast moving light over the land below and magic happens. 


A focal length of 97mm, right in the middle of short telephoto, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/11, since the nearest foreground ridge was more than a quarter mile away, gave me depth-of-field (after focusing almost halfway into the scene); and a shutter speed of 1/8th second at ISO 100, which the larger aperture sizing allowed, gave me a medium overall exposure and a way of creating a bit more texture in the moving clouds.


We find beauty all around us, that will remain as long as we actively engage in its preservation. 

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  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Friday, 19 January 2018 23:30 posted by Donald McGowan

    Hey Dorsey and Nancy. How wonderful that given the paucity of responses to this Image, those responses should come from two of my favorite and most thoughtful commentators. Thank you both for joining me and for sharing your thoughts and observations.
    Dorsey, we continue to hold you in our thoughts and prayers and to send up our hopes for the best outcomes we can imagine. Bonnie and I both appreciate your kind comments and hope that spring will, indeed, find you among these old hills creating the beauty that you capture so well. You are so right, the breaking cloud cover gave me just what was needed to even out the contrast and also provide a bit of drama as the light moved across the mountains. If you are in this part of the world, the spring here can be every bit as grand as the winter, so put Spring Creek and NC Highway 209 on your list of stopping places.
    Hey Nancy T. Your kind words are like music. To say that you believe you can feel what I felt as I stood looking up this, is to say what all photographic artists strive for. Stay warm whatever you do - even if it is West Tennessee - and keep thinking about those daffodils. It won't be long.
    I appreciate the words both of you have shared, not just with me, but with everyone who may share this Image and allow what you have said to stand for their own thoughts and feelings. May we all Walk with Beauty.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Tuesday, 16 January 2018 14:36 posted by Nancy Tripp

    Beautifully done. Maybe too well done... I can feel the cold just sitting here looking at it and there is sunshine out my window. The image shows cold in the sky, the snow, and the blue color. I think I will like it more in July! It is supposed to be -1 here tomorrow morning. Wait, what! This is Tennessee, not Minnesota! I'm waiting for the daffodils:-)

  • Comment Link Dorsey Davis Sunday, 14 January 2018 12:31 posted by Dorsey Davis

    When your image immediately conveys cold you have nailed the exposure and composition. Although this image was taken in more or less midday light the clouds softened everything and the transition from the foreground greens to the distant blues with patches of snow really captures the season. Conserving scenes like this for future generations is a responsibility that cannot be overlooked. Thanks for sharing your view of them each week. Hopefully my health will hold up long enough for me to make a few more images in these beloved mountains once it warms up some. Blessings on your and Bonnie's work this coming season.

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