Smokies at Sunrise

I have a couple of confessions to make with this image… first and foremost, I must confess that this is one of my favorite pictures that I’ve taken in a while.  The second confession I must make is that I can’t take total credit for it!

Two weeks ago when I posted the Clingman’s Dome sunrise picture (see it here), I mentioned that I had quickly left the Oconaluftee Overlook after getting the shot I was after (see it here) to get there in time.  In my head, the show at the first spot was over because the color was gone (or almost gone), so I left.  Well, on the morning that my friend Steve and I went to the Foothills Parkway for a sunrise shot, we were blessed with some beautiful pinks, reds, and purples (see it here)… but when the color was gone I was ready to pack up and look for something else.  Steve wisely suggested we hang around for a few more minutes just to see what the light would do.  Sure enough, the sun rose a little more and lit up the back edges of some of the mountains as well as the fog in the valley; it was beautiful.  Another friend of mine, Tom Vadnais, always likes to say that most photographers show up late and leave early… and while we didn’t show up late on this particular day, I was certainly ready to leave too early.

The next bit of credit I need to give is to a friend of the family, Brenda Cornell.  A while back Brenda brought me a stack of Outdoor Photographer magazines and the one issue that stood out from all the rest was the issue on black and white images.  In high school I used to mess with black and white quite a bit, but since digital had come along I hadn’t really played with it much because I could never get the images to look the way I wanted them to.  Well after reading that issue and toying around with it for the past year, I finally have some images I really like which I’m going to share in the month of February.  Thanks for the inspiration Brenda! 🙂

–Dan Thompson

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