Fall Color In The Smoky Mountains

October 2015

The Smoky Mountains have a wide variety of photographic possibilities from the rivers in the valley to the outstanding views from the top of the mountains.

We arrived in mid-October to be able to capture some fall color images. My struggle with weather this year continued on this expedition with clear blue skies every day up until the day we departed.

We went to the Big Creek area on the east side of the Smokies, where we had not been on previous trips. Wow, talk about your long and winding road! I was happy to find a river where all the rocks were being covered by water.

Along Little River Road, there is this small cascade that just begs to be photographed every time I drive by. I relented and decided on a vertical composition, which was different from what I had done on previous trips. It picked up a little fall color above the river, which was nice.

small cascade in the fall in the smoky mountains
"Color Cascade" - Prints Available

Since we weren’t getting any clouds for sunrise, we went into Cades Cove at dawn hoping for some fog around the trees. I could not have been more pleased with the fog swirling around the trees, but it only lasted for a few minutes. Sometimes that is enough.

Cades Cove Fog in the Smoky Mountains
"Cades Cove Fog"

There are not too many locations in the Smokies displaying red colors. It took some slow driving, probably aggravating drivers behind me, but we finally found a beautiful section of the road with the contrast of reds, yellows and greens.

closeup of red and yellow fall color in the smoky mountains
"Smoky'[s Color" - Prints Available

The morning we were to head for the airport at 10am, we finally had some clouds that gave us reason to head up to Clingman’s Dome for sunrise. Sunrise is always a crapshoot and ,as I stood there in the cold and dark, I could only hope the sky would fill with color. I can’t say how excited I was when it happened after clear skies for an entire week. It was so worth the wait.

Sunrise Explosion of red clouds in smoky mountains
"Sunrise Explosion" - Prints Available

Next up will be a trip to Utah’s Canyonlands and Arches National Parks with some possibilities of some night photography.

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