Spotlighting some of my favorite enhanced and PhotoArt images from the past few years.
Slideshow presentation made with ProShow Producer from http://www.photodex.com/proshow
(The less expensive ProShow Gold is very similar and I used it for years before upgrading.)
All of these were shot in drizzling rain or snow except for the ones made on Wednesday Oct. 31 when it was sunny, but the colors were still beautiful to behold!
I only made a handful of photos in Cades Cove due to the rain but the "lone tree" images are some of my favorites from the trip.
The rest of the photos were made on the Tremont Road. along River Road, on Hwy 32 near Cosby, and on Newfound Gap Rd. Also included is a beautiful rose seen at the motel.
The snow in the higher elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was a product of Hurricane Sandy meeting up with the advancing cold front resulting in the largest ever snow in October in the Smokies with 22" at Newfound Gap (on the road between Gatlinburg TN and Cherokee NC). Mt. Leconte received 36".
We got to Townsend TN on Saturday and it was misting or sprinkling and/or heavy overcast in the lower elevations through Tuesday but we went sightseeing and made some fall foliage photos anyway. We drove up to Newfound Gap on Monday afternoon Oct. 29 when they opened the road after 6" of snow had fallen at the Gap. It was snowing and we were in the clouds so there was no "view" at the overlook. It was magical! A “winter wonderland”! We went back up Wednesday afternoon when they opened the road again after the snow had moved on; finally a sunny day! The parking lot was packed with sightseers enjoying the spectacular snowy vistas.
On Tuesday we drove in light rain over to Cosby TN in the NE corner of the Smoky Mountains National Park where it began to snow and we drove through the campground there and then continued on state Hwy 32 heading south, a curvy and steep road at the eastern edge of the mountains to the end of the pavement, about 7 miles long. We ate lunch there and then went back the same way. Fortunately we only saw one or two other vehicles. It was snowing more as we climbed and the higher elevations were covered with wet snow, and it was breathtaking! Numbers 74 - 89 are from that trip.
The videos are at the end. All were made with the OM-D. The last 2 videos are on state hwy 32 out from Cosby. The rest are on the way to Newfound Gap.
Cades Cove is a beautiful fertile valley surrounded by mountains and probably the most popular destination in Smoky Mountains National Park. Since we stayed in Townsend TN we were only a couple of miles from the entrance so we made 3 trips there. The sunrise visit was awesome! It is one of my all-time favorite locations for photography! We were excited to find and photograph several deer and bears on our first trip.
For more information: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cadescove.htm
One of the highlights of our trip was "a place of special beauty" called Cataloochee, located in the southeastern area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The road to Cataloochee is partly unpaved, narrow and one-lane with steep drop-offs and sharp curves.
Cataloochee has been referred to as Cades Cove without all the people. It is made up of 3 beautiful, isolated valleys surrounded by 6,000 foot peaks. Cataloochee boasted a population of 1200 in 1910. Much of the agriculture was devoted to apple orchards. Elk were reintroduced to the valley in 2001-2, but even though we got there at 8 AM we didn't see any deer or elk but we saw several turkeys.
For more information http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cataloochee.htm
Scenic tour of Balsam Mountain and the Mile High overlook in Smoky Mountains National Park. Balsam Mountain is accessed by way of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Southeastern area of the Smoky Mountains National Park and some of the photos were made along the Parkway before turning onto Heintooga Road.
We took the one way, narrow and very rough unpaved 13 mile Balsam Mountain road down toward Cherokee NC which took about 2 hours! The scenic Raven Fork stream runs along the road at the bottom end.
The visit to Noxubee Refuge Aug. 16 was very rewarding! Jane and I decided to take advantage of the cooler weather after hearing reports of lots of good birds and alligators having been seen recently. We saw a couple of alligators in the big lake and found a cooperative white ibis in a cypress tree (not close but the 7D handled the distance well). Another great find for me was a green heron as I didn't have any good shots of one. There was also a great egret in the same location. The highlight was a group of deer that came into the wetland area at the Goose Overlook with a buck, 3 does and twin fawns! They were far away too and I am amazed at the quality of the images from the 7D!
Pixel Bender is an Adobe plugin filter for Photoshop CS4 & 5. It's free and fun to play with if you like artistic enhancing! You can download it at
I have used Topaz Adjust on most of the images also to bring out the colors and details.