The Great Smoky Mountains, which lie between Tennessee and North Carolina, are part of the highest and southern-most portion of the Appalachian Mountains. The “Smokies” are named for a haze of smoke that hangs over the area that originates from the bodies of water in the park (streams and waterfalls) interacting with abundant vegetation. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is 2072 square kilometers (800 square miles) in total area and holds more than 17,000 species; scientists estimate there are thousands more that have yet to be documented in the area.
Hiking along a section of the Appalachian Trail - which is approximately 2,200 miles long and spans from Georgia through Maine. The trails were snow capped and sometimes ice capped in several sections which made the scenery all the more interesting. I did an 8 mile loop on this day and merely saw 2 pairs of hikers. It was so easy to get lost in one’s thoughts and enjoy the solitude.
Some of my most cherished moments in life have happened when I’ve been placed in raw situations: just me, nature, and the elements. Experiencing these moments helps me to feel grounded and rooted again; a sense of almost humanising myself once more, reminding myself that I’m a human animal in the land, not a robot in the machine.
Britain has been visited by another storm these last few days (Storm Henry), so I decided to nip out this afternoon towards one of my favourite Lake District places: Great Langdale. Setting up and aligning this composition, I was battered with 60mph winds, passing showers of hail and rain, and glimpses of warm sunlight. To paraphrase my friend and master landscape photographer Stewart Smith, I often find being on the edge of weather systems provides more interesting conditions for landscape photography, even if you don’t have the dazzling colours and lights of a sunset/sunrise.
Great Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria, England.
ISO100, f/8, 16mm (24mm full-frame equiv.), a circular polariser stacked with a soft 3-stop ND grad filter on my Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 attached to a Nikon D7000. Three exposures blended together into a 32-bit “super-raw”.
Princetown, January 2016
By far the coldest leg of my family’s summer road trip. We arrived late at night to the camping ground nestled in behind the Great Ocean Road and I could hear the waves crashing against the shore as we put our tent up in complete darkness. The next morning I woke up early and forced one of my sisters to come for a walk to see the ocean but we found this gem instead.