November 25, 2015

Photo of the Week - Fall Canopy Over the Little River

Tremont area, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

It is quite difficult to place oneself in front of a scene like the one shown in this photo and not feel a profound sense of gratitude for all of the earthly beauty that God has created.

Tomorrow is the first Thanksgiving without my sweet Mr. Jim. And the day will also mark 11 months since his death. My life has changed drastically since that time. Courage has been my watchword. I have persevered and given thanks for blessings, grace, and prayers.

May you count your blessings and find comfort in their abundance too.

November 18, 2015

Photo of the Week - Golden Coat of Leaves

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

During a recent photo workshop, the leader pointed out a lovely tree that bends along the Little River. Its location is not far from the Townsend entrance into the park. Small in stature and nestled among a tall canopy of other trees, it would easily be overlooked the vast majority of the year. Cars rush past. People do not stop. However, for a few days in autumn, this graceful specimen is dressed in a golden coat of leaves and reveals its tender beauty.

There are so many lovely creations in our world that are unnoticed. It is most tragic of all that we may disregard the tender souls in our midst. The busy holiday season is now rushing along and your attention will be scattered here and there. Schedules will be filled with decorating, cooking, and shopping tasks. In a non-attainable, Pinterest world and with a materialistic outlook, it is easy to lose sight of the reason for the season.

In the weeks ahead, will you remember the people usually forgotten and ignored? Do you know people who are hurting this year, who are living alone, who are trying to get by on a day-to-day basis? Are they hidden in plain sight within your community, neighborhood, or circle of acquaintances?

Will you take the blinders off and not miss their beauty? Will you take the time to reach out to them and show them grace?

November 11, 2015

Photo of the Week - Tiny Waterfall

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Thanks to storm remnants from a gulf hurricane, the weather was a bit temperamental during my recent photography workshop at the Smokies. I was a soggy mess most of the time, and my Fuji camera equipment required constant wiping with microfiber towels to relieve the accumulated moisture. Compositions and concentration skills were especially difficult. I was put to the test! Now that I am back in the comfort of my dry home office and reviewing images on the computer, I find it surprising that I got at least a few noteworthy photos during the constant drip, drip, drip.

Overcast skies were a saving grace in the weather conditions. There was soft, indirect light instead of sunny skies with harsh hot spots and deep shadows. I used techniques learned in the spring season to slow the shutter speed and achieve the dreamy look of flowing water. The rest of the magic in this photo was achieved using Photoshop and various plug-in programs to provide vibrant lighting and color to a scene that was actually captured during a rain shower!

November 4, 2015

Photo of the Week - Leaf Dance in the Water

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Once again, Wednesday has arrived. And once again, I am scrambling to get a photo posted for your visual pleasure. It seems like I am constantly in “catch up” mode this year. It is part of the bargain when one is frequently packing and unpacking, journeying to and fro.

I was visiting the beautiful Smokies last week, getting thoroughly soaked in the rain while attempting to photograph scenes of autumn beauty. The remnants of the big hurricane dumped a goodly measure of precipitation all over this part of the country. Much of it landed on my head and camera equipment! But I persevered and managed to get a few decent shots. The 2015 fall colors were absolutely stunning.

October 28, 2015

Photo of the Week - Towering Spires

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

These mountain peaks along the Teton range were dazzling in early morning light and complimented with a dark, dramatic sky.