Springtime in the Smokies - 2015

May 22, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Yellow TrilliumYellow TrilliumYellow Trillium, Greenbriar This spring I was able to attend a photography workshop with an incredible photographer Joseph Rossbach for springtime in the Smoky Mountains.  We had a great time, and actually were about a week before a lot of the other workshops would be going on so we were able to have some fun without the crowds.  This was a 3-day workshop in the middle of April, and I've been able to get time to go through the hundreds of shots and pick my favorites that I wanted to share. 
 

That's right, on this 3-day trip, I took 460 shots.  I'm only keeping about 30 and fewer of those were what I consider keepers.  That's how it goes in photography (and why I love digital).  But that's still no excuse to mindlessly press the shutter. 
 

We got to explore some areas of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and surrounding areas I hadn't before.  We stayed on the TN side in Townsend, and let me tell you.  FORGET Gatlinburg and stay here.  You've got great park access, and absolutely no sign of the awful crowds that plague Gatlinburg.   
 

The weather gave us perfect shooting conditions for the water and streams, but didn't make for great sunrise or sunsets as it rained frequently. This gave us plenty of time and opportunities to give our river sandals a workout! Our very first morning out (at 5:15am) we set out for a spot on the Foothills Parkway. It didn't last too long, but it was about the only sun we saw for the next few days. 
 

Sunrise on the Foothills ParkwaySunrise on the Foothills ParkwaySunrise on the Foothills Parkway
 

Sunrise on the Foothills ParkwaySunrise on the Foothills ParkwaySunrise on the Foothills Parkway
 

After that we focused on the Tremont areas, working along the Middle Prong Little River.  I highly recommend you take some time and check out the area.  There's no bad place to stop!  You can pull over just about anywhere along here and get some nice streams.  Don't be afraid to get into the water BUT please be careful and do it safely!  The river currents can get strong and the depth can drop without warning. 
 


 

I also got to explore a new waterfall!  I love waterfalls and it's great going to ones I hadn't before.  So in the early afternoon we made the trek to Spruce Flat Falls.  It was a good little hike, and well worth it.  We had fun exploring the falls and area and gave me one of my favorite shots from the trip.
 


 

The next morning we headed over to Cades Cove and played chicken with crossing traffic. While we didn't get perfect early morning fog, we got some nice rolling clouds in the valley and mountains. 
 


 

One of my best moments of this trip was the taking of this shot of a small cascade in Tremont:
 


 

Can you tell it was taking in the pouring rain?  This was a first for me I admit, but once I got out the proper towels and camera protection, it was actually liberating to not be afraid and take my time to get a nice shot.  You can't do this with any camera, but as long as you don't submerge them in water DSLRs are fairly resilient.  The more pro grade cameras and lenses are weather sealed to help keep nature at bay.  Not everyone wanted to get out of the car for this, but I'm glad I did. 
 

To me that's part of being a photographer.  It's being willing to get up at the crack of dawn, sit in the pouring rain, go places and times when others don't to get that more unique and creative frame. 
 

Here's a slideshow of the other shots from the trip.  Hope you enjoy!  Just let me know if you have any questions about the area or anything else. 
 


 


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