We were out by 7am on our next to the last day, but at least Len let us sleep in past 4:30 am! I joke, but the good thing about going on a photo tour is you see places you might miss on your own, and there is an extra push to get up for the sunrise photo sessions.
Looks like Lou mostly focused on the flowers. I took the first couple of photos here with my little camera.
24 April 2008
Our last day started off with another early morning sunrise shoot. No rest for the wicked! Lou captured a beautiful sunrise. After the photoshoot, we had breakfast with our group, then departed for our flight back to Florida.
This gorgeous gobbler was observing us as we packed up our tripods. Fortunately for this turkey, Thanksgiving was still months away.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Reviewing Lou’s photos makes me, and I think Lou, want to make a return visit. This is the most visited national park in the country, and it is easy to see why. We need to put together a wish list of all the national parks we want to visit.
As always, thanks for following along as we shared Lou’s photos. We will be sharing more as we continue down Memory Lane.
The vegetation in the Smoky Mountains emits volatile organic compounds, VOCS, which produce a layer of fog or haze. This haze has a bluish color when the VOCs react with naturally occurring particles in the atmosphere. The blue color is further enhanced by photographing during Blue Hour, which occurs before sunrise and after sunset – a period noted as Twilight. Lou started taking these photos at 5:30 am.
Early morning twilight is that time when the sun is below the horizon, but its rays can still light the sky. A camera will capture this light better than our naked eyes. The three phases of twilight include Astronomical, Nautical, and Civil; times for these will generally be noted on sunrise charts for a location. (This Dr. Epcot moment brought to you by Mrs. Epcot)
These sunrise photos were taken at Clingman’s Dome, a popular photo location.
We had more to see during the day. I believe this is the morning we went to a delicious pancake restaurant – Len has been here many times and has his favorite stops. He punishes us with early morning alarms, then treats us to a good meal. Admit it, y’all are missing my food photos 🤣🥞🥓🥪☕️
Cades Cove is one of the most visited areas in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Not only is it beautiful, it has many historical buildings, most from the 1800s. You can read more about the history and geology in the link provided.
We visited a beautiful waterfall before going to Cades Cove. I remember it was about a mile to hike to the waterfall. Funny what you recall from more than 10 years ago. Checking the park information, and this is Laurel Falls … and it is a 2.6 mile round trip hike.
Click on the photo to enlarge or play the slideshow.
We obviously enjoyed a very full day out and about. We also had perfect weather. Each evening we had dinner as a group in a local restaurant. After dinner, Len would help people with their photos if we had questions. We always appreciated having Len as a leader, because he was very helpful and an all around nice guy.
The rest of the morning and the afternoon were spent exploring more of the park. This is before my obsession with food photos, but I am sure we ate sometime, somewhere. Lou captured a lot of beautiful scenes:
Click on photos to enlarge or see a slideshow:
This was a nice day out in the woods. Tomorrow brings more Smoky Mountains Excitement.
We are once again going back to 2008. This is our first Photo Safari Tour with the Van Os group. As we have mentioned before, we were scheduled to go to Antarctica in 2007, then Cemex decided to generously buy out Rinker Materials. This meant we needed to move back to the US from Australia, and the timing wasn’t right for a three week vacation. Fortunately, Van Os Photo Safaris didn’t stick us with the cost of the trip. They allowed us to trade for the equivalent value, which is how we ended up with this trip to the Smoky Mountains, Lou’s fall trip to Denali, and our trip to Spitsbergen in the Arctic.
20 April 2008
We joined up with the photo tour group at a nice hotel in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I don’t recall a lot of details from this trip, except I do remember Lou had no underwear. In fact, Lou had no clothes because the airline lost his baggage (why is it always Lou’s stuff that gets lost?). We managed to make our first visit to a Bass Pro Shop, and get him enough clothes so he didn’t have to go naked in the woods.
This was also the first time we had ever participated in a Photo Tour of any kind. I had a little Panasonic camera that I played around with and ended up having lots of fun. I was really only there to accompany Lou, but this turned out to be the beginning of my interest in photography. Most of the photos in this report will be from Lou. He took these photos with his beloved Canon 1Ds DSLR – which unfortunately was stolen by baggage handlers on a later trip.
The first morning of the tour started before the crack of dawn. This was our introduction to Photo Tours with Len Rue, Jr. Len believes in getting up early, very early to go catch the light before and during sunrise. The photos that follow are Lou’s, taken from 5:30 to 6:30 am. And, we had to drive at least 30 minutes to get to this special spot.
Clicking on the images will bring up a larger version
And this next photo is one I snapped … Lou was either explaining something or waving a magic wand over the camera. You can see how dark it actually was this early in the morning when we started.
We will be back during the next few days with more from our tour of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park (henceforth just the “Smoky Mountains”). It is another beautiful part of the country, and we would definitely like to return for an extended visit, instead of just a quick drive through.
NOTE: You can follow a specific trip – in this case, the Photo Tour of the Smoky Mountains National Park – by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page. It will take you to the next post about this trip, even if it wasn’t posted to the blog in chronological order.