Sometimes, you don't see the picture until much later...

Almost a year ago, I had a great experience at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont.  The Fall Photo Workshop pumped and refreshed my love of both the mountains and photography.  Over three days, the 20+ attendees hiked over ridge lines to waterfalls, awoke before dawn to drive to sunrise vistas, stumbled in the brush among old abandoned cabins, and setup tripods in the middle of ice-cold streams while taking hundreds of pictures.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from the Institute inviting me to attend again, but due to work commitments, it just isn't doable.  But they also added that Will Clay, the instructor for the past couple of decades was retiring from teaching the class after this fall.  As part of the celebration, they asked prior attendees to each send one or two pictures from their time at the workshop.

So, I began looking through my pictures for two to send.  I went through the ones we self-selected as our best at the workshop, and picked one of a seed pod that I really liked. (Click on any picture to view larger)

I still don't know what type of plant this is, but it certainly had a vivid splash of color in an otherwise green-yellow environment.

As I looked for another shot, I wasn't satisfied with my original second choice, a almost monochromatic sunrise shot on a cloudy morning.

So I delved deeper into my photos from the workshop, considering old cabin photos, waterfall shots, and more.

I considered a shot from the river that runs right past the Institute.

And I looked back over several from the Elkmont section of the National Park, where abandoned cabins are slowly decaying back into the forest floor.

And I was browsing past some shots of a stream,  looking fairly mundane until, in one picture, the water was swirling around a large rock in the stream.  The 1/10 second shot was enough to show movement in the water, yet still provide some structure to the flow.  I cropped it, tweaked a few of the standard exposure controls, and wound up with a really nice finished abstract:

The contrasting colors really finish it off -- the brown of the rocks and streambed beneath the water, the blues of the late afternoon fall sky, and the whites of the churning water.  Im going to print and frame a good-sized enlargement.

It was a reminder that you need to go back through your pictures after some time has elapsed.  You'll find shots that, for one reason or another, didn't jump out at you at the time, but do after time has passed.


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