White fringed phacelia blankets the spring landscape, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN/NC

What a display of white fringed phacelia! It was incredible this year. I don’t recall the bloom every being this prolific over the the past 10-years. I have about 30 different versions of this scene but I chose this one due to the dappling of light throughout the scene. Especially the upper left quarter! I love how the image seems to go on and on. This was a great find!

White trillium & white fringed phacelia, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN/NC

All I can say is, the trillium and phacelia blooms are/were amazing this year! I hope the cold snap didn’t harm the beautiful display. I chose to shoot this scene as more of a microcosm. I wanted the photograph to show the wonderful details of the trillium bloom and the fringes of the phacelia.

EOS 5D, EF70-200 f/4L + EF 1.4LII extender @ 208mm, f/22 @ 1/5 second

Dogwood at sunrise, Foothills Parkway West, Tennessee

Bern, Nye and I met for sunrise on Foothills Parkway West on Thursday morning. It was a typical boring sunrise but I found this beautiful dogwood, full of blooms, glowing with the light of the early sun. Another very detailed photo.

EOS 5D, EF70-200 f/4L @ 122mm, F/13 @ .3 seconds, no filters


Yellow trillium & wild blue phlox, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN/NC

This is another photograph that I took while shooting in the Park last Thursday and Friday. It was a great couple of days!

I composed this photo with my TS-E 90mm in mind. I hate wildflower photos that are shot straight down on a subject to get max DOF. The tilt feature of the 90mm, and it’s ability to focus to 1-foot without filters or extension tubes, made it the perfect lens for this setup. I was able to shoot across the scene with lots of tilt at f/18 instead of the normal smallest f-stop of f/32, and maintain maximum sharpness. This is another image that is super-sharp! The TS-E 90mm is one of the sharpest lenses that Canon makes!

 Update: I just made a 17″ x 25″ print of this image and I have to say, it is beautiful! The details are amazing! I really believe that Genuine Fractals is allowing me to make images from the 5D equal to drum scanned 6x7cm transparencies with a definite added advantage of the 5D’s ability to capture such a wide dynamic range. I can’t wait for the new 5D to be released!  This is a great time to be a 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!

Sweet white trillium & cascade, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN/NC

I met my friends Richard “Bern” Bernabe and Nye Simmons for a day of shooting in the Smokies yesterday and it was great! We dealt with very gusty winds and some breaks in the clouds, but all in all it was a grand day. Here’s one of my favorites! This was a tough photo due to the wind, so I used lots of tilt to insure sharpness where I wanted it- across the flowers, my main subject. Shooting at f/11 also has a major advantage to sharpness. This is the sweet spot of the lens and the sharpness of the image is incredible!

EOS 5D w/ TS-E 24mm (modified for tilt and rise/fall), f/11, 1/5s, ISO 200

Update! I just made a print from this file and as I expected, it is so sharp! I will have no problem printing this image in the 30″ x 45″ size (possible 40″ x 60″ if needed) using Genuine Fractals.