Two Wheeled Adventure and Outdoor Photographer

Eliot Porter’s redbud? Redbud and dogwood, Foothills Parkway East, Tennessee

Redbud & dogwood, Foothills Parkway – East, Tennessee

One of my favorite Eliot Porter photos is his redbud & poplar image taken from the Foothills Parkway near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On my way home from the park late yesterday,  I drove the 6-mile section of Foothills Parkway East and the redbud was looking pretty nice. I found this just before hitting the ramp for I-40. What do you guys and gals think? I am really drawn to this image.

EOS 5D w/ 70-200 f/4, Singh-Ray Polarizer

OK, I must post a really disturbing thing that happened to me as I left after taking this photo. After taking the last frame I loaded all my gear up into my Mountainsmith Parallax camera backpack, collapsed my tripod and put it behind the seat, went around to the drivers side and got in, started the truck a started to drive away. As I moved forward I had this weird feeling that I had something in front of the wheel but I continued to move forward. As the front of the truck came up I had an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach, I remembered that I had left my camera bag just in front of the truck! Yes, I ran over my camera bag! What an idiot!

Now, here’s where things got better. I sheepishly opened the bag, knowing that I had probably broken everything in the bag, about $10,000 worth of equipment. To my amazement, the only causality was the filter rings on my TS-E 24mm and my TS-E 90mm. Also, I had a little cosmetic damage on my 24-135mm zoom. That’s it! In the center was my $2,000 HD video camera! Not a scratch!

I attribute all this to the build and design of my Mountainsmith Parallax camera backpack. Unlike LowePro, Tamrac, and Tenba, these guys use a very hard foam around the outside and main dividers inside. This gives the bag more structure and, in turn, more protection for the equipment housed inside.

I have to thank Mountainsmith for building such a great camera backpack! If I had not of given them a chance and stayed with usual LowePro, Tamrac and Tenba, I’m certain my equipment would’ve been history! THANKS MOUNTAINSMITH!


2 responses

  1. Mike,

    This photo was taking from the roadside with no hiking involved! As noted, it was taken along Foothills Parkway East just outside the Smokies. In 1968, Eliot Porter photographed his famous redbud and poplar image from the Foothills Parkway. If I recall correctly, it was from Foothills Parkway West though. I find some great photo opportunities from the roadside.


    04/13/2008 at 2:53 PM

  2. Mike Sellers

    I really like your composition. I am sitting here in Southern Ohio waiting for the redbuds to pop. How many times do we find nice images along the road instead of way off the into the backwoods? I do most of my photography within a short walk of my car but then I don`t live in your neck of the woods either where you have all those hiking opportunities.

    04/13/2008 at 12:20 PM

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