While leading a series of photo workshops in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last week, we made a couple of visits to Roaring Fork, one of the most beautiful mountain streams I know out of all the places I have been and seen. Roaring Fork’s signature characteristic is the presence of lush, mossy green boulders scattered throughout the course of its dash toward the tawdry gateway town of Gatlinburg. This year, Roaring Fork was particularly green and lush.
I wanted to create one image that captured how the sight of this stream made me feel every spring when confronted with the soothing greens and the tumbling water of the “Fork.” Usually, I would work very hard to find a striking, dynamic composition that was uniquely mine or in-your-face bold. I might wait a scene out on my day off for unusual lighting conditions or fog perhaps. This time, however, I was content to simply let the sheer beauty of the subject itself carry the image. The light is overcast and flat. Nothing epic here. The composition, while still agonizingly worked out, is rather simple and pedestrian. It won’t make my top ten images for the year, yet I love this. It doesn’t contain any deep, hidden meanings nor any geopolitical statements, unless the viewer finds one on his or her own. It’s simply beauty for beauty’s sake.
Canon EOS 5D Mk2, Canon 16-35 f2.8II, 1 second @ f16, ISO 100, polarizing filter