Saturday, 07 April 2018 15:06

Sort of Like Surfin'

Middle Prong of Little Pigeon River in the Greenbrier section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park has long been one of my greatest teachers. Every time I begin to believe that I have "seen" this wonderful stream in all of its moods and in all of its faces, it proceeds to reveal to me another of its amazing features. The extensive Roaring Fork Sandstone outcropping near the entrance to cove has produced one of the most appealing cascades in the park, and so often I am tempted to include the entire drop, as well as the banks on either side of the river. Usually I'm also tempted to throw in some of the beautiful potholes that make Roaring Fork Sandstone so intriguing when exposed to moving water for a few thousand years. Recently, however, I decided to focus on the top of the primary drop itself and to only show some of the sensual curvature in the rock as the sky- and foliage-reflected water poured over it.

A focal length of 330mm, definitely telephoto-land, gave me the reduced angle-of-view and increased magnification I wanted to emphasize the reflection and the flow. An aperture of f/18 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/5th second at ISO 100 gave me a slightly-lighter-than-medium overall exosure.

Colored water in motion; just when I thought an amazing river had shown me everything it has. What will it think of next?


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  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Friday, 13 April 2018 22:59 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good evening Everyone. Thank you all very much for joining me for this conversation. It is delightful to see such a positive response to a bit of telephoto imagery from a place that usually lends itself so commonly to much shorter focal lengths. Either way, it is so very true that the Greenbrier area of the Smokies is simply uncommonly beautiful.
    Hi Horace. It's great to have you with us. If we add to your love of moving water, your love of the Smokies, there is a feeling produced that is of obvious considerable depth, which clearly shows in your words. You have described so very well the array of choices readily available every time one approaches a Smokies stream, and I appreciate your sharing it with us: focal length, depth-of-field, and perspective - like a kaleidoscope of possibilities. I appreciate your kind words.
    Hey Win. It's good to hear from you. I think that "surreal" is a very appropriate descriptive choice; and what made it even more appealing to me was knowing that the surreality was only a short focal length change away from something quite real. I very much appreciate your words.
    Hey Greg. It's good to have you with us. Your words are kind and appreciated, and truly descriptive of the feelings that Nature can so easily and readily evoke at the turn of a corner. I very much appreciate the metaphor in your thoughts.
    Hi Mike. It's great to hear from you, also. Would we not have fun coming up with those thousand words. Your own kind words evoke many in response and the appreciation of "awesome" would be just the beginning; thank you.
    Hey Donald. It is always good to have you with us. I never cease to be amazed by the power of you descriptions - and your "high powered binoculars" is right up at the top. They would certainly provide for maximum isolation so that the perceptions of the other senses would also be magnified. The inhalation would be a real treat, and the birds would be so clearly heard. Thanks for taking us on that verbal journey.
    Hey Ron. Yes, I do, indeed, know how you love water, especially water that is moving over elevated rock layers; and I truly appreciate your taking the time to share that observation with us. Thank you.
    Hey John, it's great to hear from you. I hope your travels have been rewarding and just plain fun. You have exactly described the accompanying considerations, and camera height was an absolutely necessary one, as was shutter speed. Having the rock outcrop of Roaring Fork Sandstone to stand on was a great composition aid. We are looking forward to seeing you on Sunday. Travel safely and Walk in Beauty.
    Howdy Michael. It's great to hear from you. I hope all is well in the beautiful Ocean State. We've got to get back up there before very long. I'm delighted to be able to evoke such good memories by my color choices, and I really appreciate your pointing out the movement (flow) of the river over the rapid. That sense of motion was so very essential to the feeling I wanted to create. Thank you for pointing us to it.
    Hey Nancy T. I can really appreciate your thoughts on Bond Falls from seeing this composition, and I am very grateful for your mentioning it. The only thing lacking here would be that red maple tree that makes Bond so special; but this little piece of Greenbrier is certainly special as it is. One of these days we've got to have an adventure to one of them with you. I hope your moving adventure is going smoothly also. Be well.
    Wow! What wonderful descriptions have been shared from isolating so small a space in so beautiful a stream. Thank you all for sharing them with all of us. May they be a light unto our paths. Walk in Beauty.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Monday, 09 April 2018 19:36 posted by Nancy Tripp

    I thought of Bond Falls when I first saw this but couldn't figure out where you were standing to get that image. I guess you were standing a long way from anywhere in the UP, Michigan. There are beautiful blue and gold colors and very mesmerizing movement of the water. Your water abstracts are always fun and your narratives are very helpful. Thank you for sharing both.

  • Comment Link Mike Di Stefano Monday, 09 April 2018 19:09 posted by Mike Di Stefano

    Howdy Don - Love the movement in your composition, the alternating lines through the entire images keeps the viewers eye "flowing". Also love the Blue and gold colors, complimentary colors making both seem richer. And the blue & gold are the colors of both my High School and College. ;o)

  • Comment Link John DiGiacomo Monday, 09 April 2018 05:41 posted by John DiGiacomo

    While you mention you chose a narrower angle of view, I am quickly drawn to the other decisions you needed to make in order to produce this stunning image. The height of your tripod along with the compression produced by your focal length allowed for a dramatic layering effect. Also, your choice of shutter speed that was long enough to capture a little more color but maintain the detail in the cascading water. Thanks for sharing. I will be arriving their next Sunday.

  • Comment Link Donald Newsom Monday, 09 April 2018 03:30 posted by Donald Newsom

    Revisiting at the end of the day. I suppose there might also be nearby bird songs able to cut through the rush of the waters...

  • Comment Link Ron Belovitz Sunday, 08 April 2018 13:23 posted by Ron Belovitz

    My favorite subject! Very, very nice!

  • Comment Link Donald Newsom Sunday, 08 April 2018 12:49 posted by Donald Newsom

    Stunning! I'm enjoying the reduced angle of view, almost as though I were standing there with high-power binoculars, focusing on that spot and blocking out everything else but the sound of the rushing waters and the smell of the forest. Images like this one make me pause and breathe deeply.

  • Comment Link Mike Sunday, 08 April 2018 12:13 posted by Mike

    Picture worth a thousand words. That is awesome looking.

  • Comment Link Greg Sunday, 08 April 2018 10:10 posted by Greg

    Another gorgeous image to add to your ongoing testimony about the power and glory of Nature. Well done, Don.

  • Comment Link Win Sunday, 08 April 2018 09:27 posted by Win

    With that particular lighting and magnification, appears rather surreal. Magnificent!

  • Comment Link Horace Hamilton Sunday, 08 April 2018 09:01 posted by Horace Hamilton

    Love , love, love moving water. Every change of shutter or aperture, every move a few inches left or right, up or down, yields a completely new image. The combinations are even more endless than the possible locations! And tomorrow's change in water level, light or water color starts it all over again... Beautiful!

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