Sunrise From Foothills Parkway

I recently attended a field workshop in the Great Smokies sponsored by Mountain Trail Photo under the leadership of Richard Bernabe, one of their principals.  Mountain Trail is a publisher of photography books (over 800,000 sold) and an operator of nature workshops all over the country and soon to be in other parts of the world.  I toured Charleston and the Low Country with Bernabe a year ago, and Vermont last fall with Joe Rossbach, another noted nature photographer in their group.

A Cascade Along Porter's Creek Trail

I  joined eleven pleasant others from all over the country and enjoyed the experience immensely.   We broke out early (on the road at 6:20) to try and capture sunrise across the ridges of the Smokies with fog rising from the valleys.  The first picture above is one result.  There were perhaps another two dozen photographers at that vantage point and they had a table set up with coffee and sweet rolls.  (We didn’t.  Have got to get the name of that outfit.)    During the day it was mountain streams, falls and cascades, and wildflowers.

Wild Crested Dwarf Iris

One day there was too much sun (if you can believe that) which makes for two much contrast between light and shadow when shooting nature scenes.  So, Richard had us studying the reflections of the trees and the sky in running streams.  Some interesting results.

Reflections of Sky and Tree Leaves

Finally, at the end of the day, we sought the sunset from Newfound Gap Road.  The first night it poured although we dutifully stayed on scene in case the clouds might part.  They didn’t.  The next night was more rewarding as you can see  below.  In years of shooting sunsets I’ve never seen one cloud puff outlined as though on fire itself.

There are a few more images of wildlowers, cascades, some nice scenics, and snapshots of our group at work at my galleries.  Click here.

A Cloud On Fire


  1. denisebushphoto Says:

    Good job Ralph. Nice silky water on the waterfall with just the right amount of detail. — Denise

  2. Louis Dallara Says:

    Ralph… Awesome

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