Saturday, 24 August 2019 09:51

Up the Creek

Middle Prong of Little River in the Tremont section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most beautiful streams on the planet. It is a boulder-strewn paradise of water, rock, and life that in late-August begins its preparations for the coming of autumn. It is some of the best evidence around for the resilience of Nature in the face of human devastation, for between 1925-1930 Tremont was extensively logged by Col. W.B. Townsend's Little River Lumber Company , which had a logging community located at the confluence of Thunderhead Prong and Lynn Camp Prong, the very headwaters of Middle Prong. The resilience of Middle Prong is by no means an argument for unbridled development, rather to the contrary, it is a call for restraint and preservation in the face the onslaught that threatens so many of our beautiful public lands.

A focal length of 19mm, very wide-angle to be sure, gave me the angle of view I wanted. My primary concern here was the height of the camera above the beautiful mat of the somewhat rare dwarf bristle fern (Trichomanes petersii). I saw that being lower would impede the view of the water from upstream, so I chose to make the ferm a bit less dramatic as a foreground element by being about 3.5' above the plants. An aperture of of f/20 provided depth-of-field and at ISO 100 a shutter speed of 13.0 seconds was required for an overall medium exposure.  An ISO of 400 would have reduced the shutter speed to 3.25 seconds, which did not seem to offer much of an advantage under the circumstances.

The wonderful world of Tremont has always offered me a respite beyond imagining. If you have a favorite Tremont story, I'd love to hear it.


Saturday, 17 August 2019 09:29

From Many, One

Some years ago I shared an Image from Price Lake, one of my favorite locations in the Upper Peninsula. It was a single frame. Today I'd like to share a five-image panorama I also took on that occasion. The individual images were composed vertically using my typical approach to panorama composition and then stitched together using the "Automate" and "Photomerge" tools in Adobe CS6. The Land of Kitchi Gami lends itself very readily to panorama construction, as it does to every other compositional construction you can imagine.

Each of the five frames was composed as a vertical with a focal length of 108mm, still within short-telephotoland. Each frame was exposed with an aperture of f/22 to maximize depth-of-field and a shutter speed of 0.3 second at ISO 100 for an overall medium result.

Single frames or a multitude, the amazing fall color of the Upper Peninsula is, in my humble estimation, matchless.

Saturday, 10 August 2019 11:17

Rising, Like Color and Light

Before I dive into this week's Image I want to announce that our roster of this year's Upper Peninsula adventure is sadly short by one. We have had a recent cancellation that has created a single opening for our august October group of Yoopers. If you have an interest in filling this spot, please let me know, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Somewhere, almost in the middle of nowhere, to the northwest of Michigamme, there is a beautiful and remote Upper Peninsula state park named Craig Lake. To be there you really have to want to go, but for your effort the rewards are amazing: the lake and its frequent early-morning mists, the surrounding kodachrome hardwoods dotted with evergreen firs, and the early light streaming through the forest. Of course to encounter all three during the change of seasons is not uncommon at all.

A focal length of 202mm gave me the intimate angle-of-view I wanted to isolate the rising mist, to give a sense of the amazing color, and to revel in the early light. An aperture of f/22 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/6 second at ISO 100 gave me a somewhat darker-than-medium overall exposure.

Bonnie and I are delighted to be returning to the Upper Peninsula for the first time in three years - much too long to be away from the amazement and wonder.

Friday, 02 August 2019 20:42

Perhaps Farewell

Where Shoal Creek drops over a modest escarpment wall along the lower stretch of its run to join Middle Prong of the French Broad River, itself at that point only a short distance from its own rendezvous with the main body of that great river - Long Man - a wonderful, 60' falls is formed. Eastatoe, the beautiful Carolina Parakeet, gave its name to this falls, as well to a small group of the great Tsalagi Nation who lived nearby. For many years Eastatoe Falls has been part of the property of Will Dinkins, as generous a man as you can imagine, who for all of those years has allowed the public access to share his beauty, asking only a respectful enjoyment of the experience in return. But now Will is in the process of selling that part of his property on which Eastatoe Falls is situate. The new owner has some different ideas and public access to this beloved place may soon be ended.

A focal length of 52mm, about as normal as it comes, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/20 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 0.6 second at ISO 200 gave me delightful sense of flow and movement in the water, as well as a very slightly-darker-than-medium overall exposure.

As soon as Bonnie and learned of the pending sale, we arranged to make a visit. It might be the last opportunity we have to create beauty in the Land of the Eastatoe. We very much hope otherwise.

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