Michael Jack  

Smokie Sunrise by Michael Jack

June 2021 - Smokie Sunrise

About the Image(s)

I travel with three friends to different photographic locations. We usually make it to the Smokies once or twice a year. This year it was May. The park was a brilliant green in lower elevations. In higher elevations the trees had not leafed out yet. This shot was from an overlook close to Newfoundland Gap. The sunrise was disappointing so I focused on the sun's rays on the mountains.

Canon 5D Mk IV, 70-200MM at 175mm, ISO 400, f13, 1/100 sec. Processed in Lightroom.

9 comments posted

Richard White   Richard White
Sometimes you just have to get what you can. I liked the sunrays, but the foreground trees seemed to take away from the scene. Perhaps you needed to move to the right or left to keep them out of the photo.   Posted: 06/03/2021 14:03:02

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
I'm going to have to agree with Richard's comment. While we love foregrounds finding them in the Smokies along US 441 is a royal pain. Like Richard says, these really detract more than enhance the scene.

The best place in the Smokies along 441 is the Morton Overlook on the west side of the road just a few turnouts after Newfound Gap. I know you can find it on a map. There is also a pretty good shot going south from Newfound Gap on the west side. It is on a bend and the parking is up on a hill, The view is to the east. You will have a great foreground and a long valley. If you can't find them, let me know and I'll try tofind a map that I can mark them on.   Posted: 06/03/2021 14:26:40
Michael Jack   Michael Jack
I think I have over 1000 images from Morton's overlook. So many we have stopped going there, but I agree it is one of the best places in the park for a sunset shot. This was sunrise. I think the comments about the trees are fair, but there is no place to exclude them from this location. If you have not been to the Smokies recently, there is a lot of growth that is getting in the way of a lot of shots.   Posted: 06/03/2021 15:52:24
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
I have not been there since the pandemic---later this summer I will return. I agree about too many shots of the Morton Overlook. I also have noticed the growth over the last few years. I heard that it is a lack of funds for maintenance.

Have you tried shooting sunrise from the foothills parkway out side of Townsend? Try the first turnout on the left that has two entrances. Use the first entrance and the first opening that looks into the valley. You have to look to the left when facing the valley but you get a view of a cabin, meadows and a roadway andof course the mountains.   Posted: 06/03/2021 17:22:59
Michael Jack   Michael Jack
We shoot there too. The spot you mentioned is the sunrise spot. If you go onto the Parkway from the Wears Valley entrance and go past the cantilevered part of the road to the parking area (maybe 5 miles), you can get to a sunset spot although the sun sets behind the mountain part of the year.   Posted: 06/03/2021 17:52:12
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Yep, been there.   Posted: 06/03/2021 18:22:35

Arne Skinlo   Arne Skinlo
I liked the fading out from foreground to background. In my opinion, the trees should be there to express depth into the image.   Posted: 06/10/2021 01:39:52

Bill Peake   Bill Peake
I really like what you did with the sun's rays. The trees in the foreground don't really bother me. I think I would agree with Arne on this one.   Posted: 06/11/2021 23:23:06

Barbara Gore   Barbara Gore
The Smokies never disappoint. I like the angle of the sun rays and how they sweep across the mountains. When I'm photographing a scenic mountain view I often use trees for my foreground to show depth and scale. I'm ok with the foreground trees too.
  Posted: 06/16/2021 15:45:07


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