Friday, May 20, 2016

Smoky Mountains in the Spring

Recently I had an opportunity to assist in teaching a photography workshop in the Smoky Mountains with Andy Cook of .  The timing of the shoot was designed to take advantage of the spring environment:  fresh green leaves, water flowing in rivers and falls, and wildflowers.  Although I've been there many times before, it's mostly been to shoot the fall colors.  What a difference springtime makes!  Fall shooting in the Smoky's is just stressful - people everywhere, cars clogging the roads, traffic jams for animal sightings (mostly deer! why??? everyone has those at home $%#*@!!) and you never know for sure when and where the peak color will be until of course it happens.  Spring is the opposite.  Not as many people; especially during the week and so much less traffic.  Most people seem to be hiking instead of just driving around.  The predominant color is - green!  And it's everywhere - but with so many different shades and hues.  The leaves are new, not heat or insect damaged, and not so dense that they obscure the view into the woods.  Water is flowing everywhere and many places that would be dry in the fall become delightful small waterfalls or water fans in the streams.  There are many wildflowers as well, but unlike out west where there are entire fields of large, bright flowers, these are smaller, more subtle, and somewhat hidden in the forest floor.  Plus, there are still the usual opportunities for the well known fog shrouded mountain ridgelines and old wooden buildings.  So if you're willing to think green, photographing the Smoky Mountains in the spring is a truly delightful experience.