Spring is a wonderful time for landscape photography in the Smoky Mountains. The temperatures are perfect for rambling around, the flowers and Dogwood trees are in bloom and it’s not at all crowded.
In previous years, I spent a fair amount of time on the main road that crosses the mountains (US 441) photographing overlooks such as Newfound Gap or Clingman’s Dome. I had not spent much time in the west end of the park.
This time, I based myself in Wears Valley, a small rural community that provided the best and fastest access to the west end of the park. This gave me convenient access to the west end of the Little River, the Tremont area with the Middle Prong of the Little River and, of course, Cades Cove.
I felt there was much that I had not accomplished in this area, and although it would take much more effort than going to overlooks, I would be rewarded with a variety of quality images. That’s exactly what happened.
Spring brings bright green colors in the trees overhanging the Little River. I searched around for the best locations to show the beauty of the river and came up with the following images.
A trip to the Smoky Mountains just wouldn’t be complete without going to Cades Cove. This valley was inhabited by over 600 settlers from the early 1800’s to early 1900’s before being taken over by the government to be part of the National Park. There are a handful of the old houses and barns still standing today, which make great photographic subjects.
The Spring bloom of the flowers and Dogwood trees were a challenge to capture and convey their beauty. To the eye, the Dogwoods would look great, but turn out thin and unimpressive on images. It was frustrating, but I managed to capture a few good examples.
It was a surprisingly successful trip adding some very nice images to the portfolio. I’ll be meeting up again with my good friend Jess Lee, www.jessleephotos.com, soon for an expedition to the Big Sur Coast of California and Yosemite National Park.
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