Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Promaster 19-35 lens @ 35mm, ISO 100, f/16, 3 Exposures,
  If you have ever wondered why they call them the Smoky Mountains, this is a very good example.
  No that school is out for summer vacation, I have the mornings to go and shoot photographs. My first such opportunity was last Friday. I woke up early and was driving down Hwy 360/Citico Rd from Vonore, TN at roughly 6:10 am.  It was an overcast morning so I was on the lookout for some type of reflection to shoot with no sun or blue skies to make a nice sunrise.
  I happened to notice some fog rising up through the mountains as the dew evaporated.  I knew this was the subject I was after so I looked for a vantage point on the lake to capture my subject.
  I came to a spot where Hwy 360 turns right to go to Ball Play and the Ball Play Bridge crosses the lake parallel to the mountains. I pulled over and set up right next to the bridge and across the lake was this incredible scene of the fog, mountains, and not a ripple in the water from my spot all the way across the lake.  The clouds started breaking and created a wonderful reflection.
  While enjoying the weekend with my brother's at my mother's house in Big Sandy, TN, my brother JIM DENHAM and I sat down and did the HDR processing on these brackets and I was extremely happy with the outcome.
  The night before, I was treated to my early Father's Day present when I purchased a Promaster 19-35mm wide angle lens from an individual on Craig's List.  I have been in search of just such a wide angle lens since I used my sister-in-law's Quantaray 19-35 to shoot my niece's wedding and I found this one for $75.  With this as the first set of shots from it, I consider it money well spent.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 Lens @ 45mm, ISO 200, f/22, 8 sec.
 The really neat thing about The Suislides was that there were several small cascades that surrounded the large waterfall.
  This little guy in particular stood out to me. It was just to the left of the massive flow of water over the main falls but the rock formations singled out this little stream of water in between these wonderfully moss-covered rocks.  It just begged to be photographed.
  Just one of the many little treats that made the trek to this spot so worth it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 28mm, ISO 100, f/14, 0.6/1.3 sec. (2 shot Panorama)
  The last time I was able to trek into the Cherokee National Forest I came out with a 4 shot panorama of a neat little waterfall that I posted in BALD RIVER GORGE CASCADES PANO.  The image in this post is about 50 yards downstream from that site. You can see the waterfall in the background.
  This panorama was taken this past weekend app. 3 weeks after. The one thing that stands out for me is the green reflection on the water from the sunlight striking the trees in the background.  I tried several different angles to capture the reflection but this one is the only one that worked for me.
  The way the water broke on the rock right in front of me was a kicker as well. Will definitely be posting and shooting more images from this branch of the Bald River.
  Had to split it into 2 shots and stitch together in Photoshop Elements Photomerge Panorama.


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, FD-EF Converter, Canon 19mm Fish eye, ISO 100, f/22, 1/5 sec
  After 3 weeks of torture not having the opportunity and dealing with a poison ivy infection I finally got out Sunday morning and took some photos. WOOT!
  My friend Tim Owens and I took a hike into the Bald River Gorge and found one of the most spectacular waterfalls that I have seen.  This set of falls is called The Suislides and there is a smaller set of falls in front of them called Shallow Falls.  This stepladder set of falls might be my favorite that I have found in the Cherokee National Forest.  It has several smaller cascades around it and wading out into the river is safe and relatively easy.  I will have to revisit this spot several times because I had ideas for different spots to shoot from but just didn't have the time for hiking further into the gorge.
  Something else that was exciting about this photo excursion was that I purchased an FD-EF mount converter and could use the lenses for my old Canon T50 35mm camera with my DSLR. I purchased it from Amazon.com for $30 and can now mount my Sigma 18-55 f/2.8 and Sears 70-200 f/4 to my camera.
   Now there are some initial drawbacks to the converter. I can't meter through my camera through the lens or use auto focus.  The auto focus is not a problem because most of my shots are manually focused through Live View.  The metering though is something I still have to play around with.  The converter also crops the lens and shot as well.
  A friend of mine let me use his Canon 19mm Fish eye FD mount lens and I tried to utilize it at The Suislides. I had to use trial and error for exposure with the Fish eye and wasn't very successful. The fish eye let in so much light that I couldn't get the longer exposures I was looking for with the moving water of the falls. I was overexposing every shot. I had to turn the exposure on the photo above down in Camera Raw and it worked out fairly well.
  The jury is still out on the converter and my old lenses. I will try some more and keep all updated.
  Meanwhile, below is an additional shot of The Suislides with my digital equipment.  It is a 6 photo panorama from in front of Shallow Falls with The Suislides in the background.

Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 28mm, ISO 100, 6 image panorama, f/11-f/22, 1.6-2.5 sec.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/320 sec.
  Last Friday as I was leaving my house to go to work, I pulled the camera out of the bag before I got in the car and fired off a few shots of my wife's new flowers. I know that sometimes these macro shots can get kind of redundant, but when it has been 3 weeks since I've been able to get out and go photoging, you'll take what you can get.
  This particular Day Lilly was actually still in the plastic pot prior to being put in the ground on Sunday morning.  The good ol' 50mm does a fantastic job on these macro type shots especially when you hit the sweet spot at f/2.8.
  Got plans to go hiking in the Bald River Gorge on Sunday morning with my friend Tim Owens. I am so excited and can't wait to be near the rushing water of the Bald River.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @43mm, ISO 100, f/16, 8 sec.
  Beings that it has been 3 weeks since I have gone into the forest and taken pictures, I have resorted to going through some of the archived shots on my computer.  This particular shot was taken last month over on N. River Rd in the Cherokee National Forest.
  After zooming up to full size on the original photo, it occurred to me that the cropped image actually becomes a more intimate shot than the original frame.  The mist from the long exposure is accented much more and the detail of the rocks is enhanced a lot more.
  Really love the way the long exposure gives the water a foggy/misty look. This is one of the reasons I love shooting moving water. Just by changing the exposure, the water takes on different looks.
  Planning on getting back into the forest this weekend. I will try to get closer to the subject, whether by moving closer or zooming, and achieve some greater detail like this.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8II lens, ISO 400, f/22, 1/25 sec.
  Spent my day serving as an umpire official at the Monroe County Softball Championships in Tellico Plains, TN today.  Didn't really do anything, but got to talk rules, judgements, and stories with several great guys that I have umpired with before.
  Also got to see some great softball.  The first game on the schedule was the 6U championship.  This was a coach-pitch game and all of the players had to be 6 years old or younger. The Sweet Peas from Vonore, TN defeated the Madisonville 1 team 14-12.
  During the first inning of the game I grabbed the old DSLR and walked around taking some photos.  Caught this young lady blistering her way to first base after hitting the ball.
  Brother Jim had a great post earlier this week on panning (check it out HERE).  He had suggested to me in the past to set the camera on shutter priority with the setting somewhere between 1/15 & 1/50 sec.  This particular shot was at 1/25 sec and at ISO 400. It was a cloudy day early so that is why I went with the higher ISO. I was sitting firmly on the ground and that allowed me to hold very solid while moving with the runner.
  Shots like these are so much fun to play around with. Got some similar shots down the third base line, but didn't have the clear facial view that this did.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8 II lens, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/80 sec.
  Haven't been able to get out and shoot nature or landscapes in 2 1/2 weeks and it is driving me nuts.  Hopefully, this weekend will show a window of opportunity to get out and explore a little.
  This past weekend did, however, give a photo op with a new member of our family.  Meet Snoop. He is 10 week old Sharpae/Pit Bull mix that we brought home Sunday.  Very playful little guy and unlike my other dogs, is not scared of a camera.  Last night I caught some wonderful golden sunlight behind him out in the back yard and he was more than willing to give me a few poses.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 28mm, ISO 100, 4-image Panorama at f/16, 0.8-1.3 sec.

   When hiking in the Bald River Gorge Wilderness Trail on Good Friday I found this spot with a small cascade flowing right in front of this huge rock.  Did a 4 shot pano stitched in Photoshop Elements Photomerge. Will definitely be back and hike further into the gorge.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Canon 50mm 1.8 II lens, ISO 100, f/8, 1/80 sec.
  Another incredible Smoky Mountain sunrise from back in October.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, Tamron 28-80 lens @ 33mm, ISO 100, 3 exposure HDR @ f/14
  I've been seeing these wild yellow weeds everywhere lately.  Even though they are weeds, they are very pretty when they cover a hillside.  On my way to work to Friday I passed by this barn just as the sun was rising above the tree line opposite it bathing the hillside in golden sunlight.
  The yellow weeds complimented the golden hued northern wall of the barn perfectly and tied the scene together.
  Simple 3-image HDR in HDR Express with a little layering in Photoshop Elements to keep the blue sky from washing out.