Alright, so last week I kicked off a series of local images with a shot of the interior of the historic Bijou Theatre in downtown Knoxville; this week, back to nature.

In my “career” as a photographer (and I’m using that term very loosely here), I’ve taken thousands of pictures from the Foothills Parkway.  It’s my go-to place to photograph a sunrise, because frankly, it’s just really easy to get to.  From the time of my feet hitting the floor, I can be situated on the parkway in under 45 minutes, and that’s allowing time to make coffee.  It’s just easy.  BUT, going to the same place over and over has it’s downsides… it can get boring.  That’s hard to say, because we should never get bored of such beautiful surroundings, so maybe desensitized is the better word to use.  When you’ve seen the same scene so many times, it’s hard to get excited about an ‘average’ sunrise, or ‘average’ lighting.

That said, what I love about the Foothills Parkway, and returning there over and over, is I’m constantly amazed at how the same place can look different, under different conditions.  Take this week’s Picture of the Week for example.  The color of the sunrise itself was disappointing, and the fog was so thick you really couldn’t see anything, save for the singular peak of Rocky Mountain (not to be confused with Rocky Top Mountain, next to Thunderhead).  I happened to go with a friend on this particular morning, and though the scene wasn’t playing out, the conversation was good, so we just hung out.  Then, out of nowhere, the light illuminated Rocky Mountain, and the whole thing came together.  I’ve said it a million times to myself, and I’ll need to say it a million more… but never give up on a sunrise / sunset!  🙂

–Dan Thompson

Rocky Mountain, Tennessee

Rocky Mountain, Tennessee
Rocky Mountain, Tennessee 37882, USA
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