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Great Smoky Mountains photoshoot

Blogs: #33 of 33

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The week of June 5th was a marathon, beginning with an 817.6 mile/14 hour drive and no layover. Destination Townsend, Tennessee which is a quiet corner located a mere 1 mile from one of the National Park byways. Months of research went into deciding how to best use my available limited time in an efficient manner. Scouting for the best time to be at a specific location always pays off. No day started later than 5:20 am, most began at 4 am. The photoshoots all went well past sunset, as the post sunset colors are often dramatic.

On my list of subjects were locations in Cades Cove. a Euro-American settlement from the early 1800's which was once home to roughly 700 people. By the 1930's, the Cove was to be included in the National Park. Several buildings remain in this secluded location, now preserved as a tribute to those families. My personal favorite location within the park is not a preserved homestead, in fact it is merely one of the "loop roads" within the Cove itself called Sparks Lane. Nothing more than a gravel road which is now over an old horse and buggy trail, lined with mature Oak and Black Walnut trees and surrounded by meadows and not too distant mountain scenery. As the sun rises, casting it's soft golden hue upon the scene still cloaked in a light mist it is a sight to behold. I was fortunate to capture the moment on two seperate locations, from different perspectives and under unique lighting conditions.

Mid -day lighting was far less co-operative. Bright sunny and hot conditions were the norm so we used the opportunity to scout locations suitable for more diffused lighting and for long exposures to create silky smooth ethereal water. By Thursday my dream came true, thunderstorms encroached the area by noon and the rains cleansed the dusty atmosphere and livened up the flora. The moss covered rocks along the rivers appeared to glow, and a soft fog was a most welcome addition to the atmosphere. For the professional nature photographer, this is heaven. No risk is too dangerous to capture the perfect composition! My favorite scenic landscape along a river was the North Carolina side of GSMNP, along the Oconaluftee River.

It's been just over a week since my return to the scenic Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. To view the gallery or purchase prints, I've posted a brand new Gallery "Great Smoky Mountains". www.thomas-schoeller.artistwebsites.com