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tomwillis
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RuwanFonseka December 04, 2016
Well composed, great slow shutter magic.
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GayleLucci May 10, 2017
Congratulations Tom!!!! I knew we would see your name in the winners circle...Love the composition! Gayle
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PRL_NaturesMystique November 06, 2017
Super Capture & Congratulations!!!

Great Smoky Mountain National Park



Much of the park was extremely congested, but a walk a mile up an easy trail left this to just my wife and I.
Much of the park was extremely congested, but a walk a mile up an easy trail left this to just my wife and I.
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Contest Finalist in Our National Parks Photo Contest
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Behind The Lens

Location
The Tremont area of The Great Smoky Mountain NP has an abundance of waterfalls. This is about a mile along on the Middle Prong of the Little River trail. It is an easy trail that is a former rail road. One reaches it most easily from the Townsend entrance to the park.
Time
This was in the afternoon, about 90 minutes before sunset.
Lighting
The sun is shining on the trees, but not on the waterfall. There is a lot of dynamic range in the light. There were some light high clouds that helped make the light more manageable.
Equipment
This was shot with a Nikon D800 with a Nikon 14-24 mm lens from a tripod. I did not use flash though I think it would have been a potential help with the dark shadows. The exposure was .2 sec at f9. The lens was at 21 mm.
Inspiration
My wife and I had walked along the trail photographing the various waterfalls. We met another photographer that told us that the prettiest falls were just a short walk above the larger cascade that would be obvious along the trail. I had worn rubber boots that came to just below the knees to allow me to stand comfortably in the shallow streams. This was needed for this image as well as several others during the trip. When we came to this series of falls we knew why our fellow photographer had liked it so well. We stayed an hour or so enjoying the quiet scene with no one else coming past the larger falls just .2 miles below.
Editing
The main processing was to open the shadows and darken the bright leaves so they were not blown out. I did a lot of that with Lightroom radial filter and adjustment brush. It was slow work as there were lots of light and dark areas to balance.
In my camera bag
For this hike I took a the D800, the 14-24 lens, and a 24-70 Nikon lens. The wide angle lens are really an asset in this park as there are not many things that one sees at a distance. The rubber boots were of great value as it allowed one to stand in 8 inches of water and shoot back up the stream at the oncoming water at many locations.
Feedback
The time from the 20th of Oct to the 4th of November is best for fall leaves. Getting up early and being patient are necessary in this busy park. The ability to get into shallow water opens up many areas that would be hard to photograph because of people or overhanging limbs. Even short walks down trails are often helpful in providing good vantage points and more natural settings than along the road.

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