As we explored HWY 64 east of Franklin NC we ran across Whitewater Falls which is outside of Cashiers. I was told this was the highest waterfall in the Eastern US but at 411′ I’m not sure. We caught it when the color was just past peak this fall. We toured several waterfalls east of Franklin on HWY 64 and I highly recommend hitting that area on a day when you have plenty of time to stop and explore the cascades. I was a bit rushed and I regret it. The good news is that I will be heading back in the summer.
Fall Color at Whitewater Falls, NC
I’ve been away for a while, a LONG while. Sorry about that everyone. I just got back from the Great Smoky Mountains and the fall color was amazing, unfortunately the weather never worked out so I could grab those iconic shots that all photographers seek. The colors seemed to peak on the 31st but a powerful storm came through and knocked a lot of the leaves off the trees. Photographing the wonderful vistas and scenes in the mountains was odd for me. I’m used to shooting in environments that are more open such as those on the west coast. I still managed to grab some nice frames and I’m looking forward to returning to the Smoky Mountains in the summer to grab a variety of new frames during the rhododendron bloom.
During the week we hiked the Deep Creek area and ran across a gravesite with three graves. One of them was the grave of Violet Wiggins. I’m not sure of the particulars so please share a little info if you have some. We enjoyed our time at the gravesite and treated it with the dignity that it deserved. If you are hiking the Deep Creek area I encourage you to visit the various grave sites around the area. I snapped this photo with my “point and shoot” camera, a Nikon D5100 with a 35/1.8G lens. That amazing little lens stays fixed to the front of that lovely little camera. I leave it around my neck when the big camera is in the pack. Love it…..
The resting place of Violet Wiggins in Deep Creek
The first time I visited Lower Antelope was the 2nd time I had been to Page Az. On my first trip I neglected Lower Antelope because I was hung up on the light shaft phenomena in Upper Antelope Canyon. I did get to see the light shafts in Upper Antelope Canyon but the place was crammed shoulder to shoulder with irritable tourists. When I visited Page again with my buddy Weldon we chose to avoid the crowds by spending time in Lower Antelope Canyon. We had a leisurely stroll through Lower Antelope Canyon as we encountered some serious photography going on. Weldon shot his Rolleiflex, another photographer used a 4×5, and another used a Contax 645 with a Phase One back. I was toting a Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n that day with a Carl Zeiss 28/2 ZF lens.
The Kodak DSLR had this really fantastic feature that allowed you to stack multiple exposures of the same frame. The camera then averaged out the shots. Each exposure added to the frame reduced the amount of noise in the digital negative. This technique is used in astrophotography where some photographers stack more than 128 exposures using computer software. I don’t remember how many exposures went into this frame but I seem to recall it was either 4 or 8. It took forever for the camera to finish and at least one photographer asked why my camera continued to click repeatedly ever few seconds. This technique was a real PITA but the resulting files are vivid, pristine, and have lovely tonality.
The Heart – Lower Antelope Canyon
On my latest trip out west I visited several slot canyons. Many, if not most of these do not have the high intensity color that Upper Antelope and Lower Antelope Canyon demonstrate. This is because of the more open top of these slots and their lack of depth compared to the Antelope Canyons. Regardless of the muted tones I enjoy these slots all the same and appreciate the rhythm of the undulations in the sandstone.
Taken a Mountain Sheep Canyon near Page Az
After striking out on postcard perfect fall color I decided to visit a natural bridge I heard about. I didn’t expect much but I was pleasantly surprised. Most folks think about gold and red sandstone when they think of natural bridges but this limestone arch is beautiful in its own way. The bridge is about 25 feet high and twice as long. No hiking is required to visit this gem so if you live nearby, or passing through on a fabulous Tennessee vacation, you have no excuse not to check it out. For more information regarding the Natural Bridge in Sewanee Tn visit this link.
A natural limestone bridge in Sewanee Tn
The interstate system and the gps are your enemy if you want to see the beautiful gems that decorate our small cities and towns. I took state highways home today and it took me twice as long as it would have to return via I-59 and I-24. Those extra hours were well spent as I grabbed a few photos, enjoyed being in the moment, and found some neat places to explore.
One such place is a gas station turned museum / visitor center in Cowan Tennessee. These beautiful retro gas pumps grab visitor’s attention at night with their captivating glow. I suppose the pumps date back to the 50′s and when you take time to look at them you realize how ugly all of today’s pumps are. Pride was taken in design process, construction, and refurbishment of these pumps. Why is it in today’s world everything has to be so utilitarian and produced at the lowest cost?
Retro Gas Pumps, Cowan Tennessee
If you have more info about these pumps please let me know. Thanks!
When walking through Antelope Canyon it’s hard not to be impressed, if not overwhelmed, by the design of it. I wonder how the arch stands up to the constant onslaught of water that grinds away at it year after year.
Delicate Arch inside of Antelope Canyon
A couple from San Francisco escapes the crowd and watches the sunset at Horseshoe Bend near Page Az. This looks like a lovely way to spend your southwest vacation no?
Couple Watches Sunset Over Horseshoe Bend