Sunday, 10 September 2017 00:51

Prelude to a Storm

Pounding Mill Overlook is one of the finest sunrise and early light locations on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and if there is fog wafting through the Pink Beds far below, there is created an ethereality that is almost otherworldly. Yesterday as the far outer bands of clouds of Hurricane Irma slowly, almost breathlessly, coalesced and marched over our heads, the valley floor of the Cradle of Forestry below flowed on a river of cotton. In between, the sun rose crimson and tangerine, and outside of our mountains the South braced itself for a wind from the depths of the lungs of the earth. We wish for all only safe travels and Godspeed. A focal length of 300mm, moderate telephoto with an angle-of-view of eight degrees, isolated the portion of the valley floor that attracted me. An aperture of f/11, given the camera-to-subject distance, provided depth-of-field; and a shutter speed of 1/60th second at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure. For a brief moment, the world around us stood on a toe and did a slow pirouette into the new day.

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4 comments

  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Friday, 15 September 2017 11:40 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good morning Everyone. Thank you all for joining me for this conversation. It's great to have you with me following the wonderful adventure we had this year with the "Wildflowers, Waterfalls, and..." folks who came together from all around the country to share the beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Land of Waterfalls in late summer.
    Hi Aileen. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. There were so many feelings that I experienced while watching this day dawn, that they are almost beyond words, and this Image came toward the very end of the morning. Impressionism is definitely an appealing motif. Thank you.
    Hey Karen. It's always good to hear from you. I hope that your adventure in Canada's Rockies was as awesome as ours in the Smokies and Southern Appalachians. I have to agree: beauty is truly a balm and a salve for the perilous times through which we are passing. I am reminded of John O'Donohue's great work, Beauty, whenever I find myself troubled by the waters around us. Walk in Beauty.
    Hi Nancy T. Painterly sounds like a description I could enjoy. "Popcorn clouds" is an interesting thought; and I do not know if all hurricanes behave in such a way. The straight trees you draw our attention to were wonderful contrasts to the puffy clouds. What I really thought about were baby lambs bouncing across a meadow. How many metaphors could we come up with to describe this? And all would be descriptive. I'm looking forward to our lunch in October. Be safe.
    This Image was one of those moments when the world slips away and you are left to face the elemental things in solitary serenity, hoping that it will never end.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Tuesday, 12 September 2017 14:37 posted by Nancy Tripp

    This does look very painterly. It looks like "popcorn clouds" (I just made that up :-)) Is this a once-in-a-lifetime scenario, or do all hurricanes send out the tiny clouds in advance? Either way, the image is very peaceful. I like how the bubbly white clouds zigzag across horizontally while the trees are all trying to make an appearance by standing tall vertically. Irma is here in West Tennessee today but has been reduced to a tropical depression. So now I have seen the before and after of Hurricane Irma. Thanks for sharing.

  • Comment Link Karen Geiken Monday, 11 September 2017 11:46 posted by Karen Geiken

    While you and your students are in the Blue Ridge Mts, Bob and I are touring the Canadian Rockies; beautiful however forest fires are creating a big problem with air quality! Thanks to your instruction Don, some creative photos are possible through smoke and fog. Lake Louise just isn't as stunning however without her turquoise dress. Seeing beauty helps as we remember tragedies of 2/11 and current storms and destruction! Karen

  • Comment Link Aileen Fletcher Sunday, 10 September 2017 09:02 posted by Aileen Fletcher

    Looks like an impressionist painting.

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