Sunset from Morton Overlook, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
I guess it’s human nature that we find comfort in returning to things and places we have been before and know well. Even when we have moved on to so-called “bigger and better things” we never completely get away from our past. Whether that is good or bad is to be determined, and is up to each of us to decide.
While it’s where I started my “serious” photographic endeavors, I find myself doing very little classic “Nature Photography” these days. Not that there is anything wrong with it, as there are few things I enjoy more than standing at an overlook in the pre-dawn cold or the late evening dusk waiting for that Magic Moment. But there’s just so much more to do than that. As much as I love it, in many ways, as a photographer I’ve moved on.
I need to be a little cautious here, because I have a lot of good friends for whom nature photography is exactly what they want to do, and they spend all of their spare time, effort and money doing it. So I’m not trying to make myself out as better than anyone, or suggest that I am more of an artiste than someone else, just because I like taking photographs of peeling paint and shadows. It’s just that after a few hundred sunrises and sunsets, eventually they all sort of started looking the same to me. While I still do my share of sunrises and sunsets, flowers and bugs, there’s only so much time, and I want to see what else there is!
So with all that said, this month’s calendar is one of those cliché photographs from an iconic location. Morton Overlook in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of just a handful of places you can shoot sunset standing next to your car. Plus, it often has just the right combination of good light and interesting sky that it often produces interesting results. The downside, however, is that there is really only one view. You seldom need anything but a 24-70 lens, which is what I used for this photo. You can go wide or long within those limits, but for the most part that’s about what you have to work with. The rest is up to the fate of the weather conditions. Makes it a little hard to be contemplative or creative, it’s mostly a matter of luck.
This was taken with my long-obsolete Canon 20D and the now-ancient 24-70 lens. Re-processed in Lightroom 4 to take advantage of some new technology. Still not a bad photograph, I’d say. And I’ll have that lens with me for a while!