This is another re-discovered picture I took during my last trip to the Smoky Mountains. This is along the 11-mile loop road that runs through Cades Cove. I arrived early in the morning, just before sunrise, so I could take my time and enjoy the peace and quiet that would last only until the heavier traffic begin driving through the cove later in the day. The day was overcast and foggy, which added to the cove’s quietness. With practically no one else around, I was able to take my time, look for interesting scenes to photograph, and just generally enjoy the peacefulness of the morning.
As I drove slowly along, I noticed the trees had overgrown the road creating a canopy of limbs and leaves, and the fog that was wafting through the trees added to the sense of solitude. While there are numerous areas along the loop to pull over and enjoy the beauty, there was no such area along this particular stretch. My only option was to pull off the road as far as I could so any cars that came by would have room to go around. Because I had to set up my camera in the middle of the road to achieve the image I wanted, I also had to continually watch behind me to make sure there was no traffic bearing down on me. Fortunately, given that it was early morning, there were few people out and about, so that made things a little bit easier.
I chose to convert the image to black and white because I felt it better conveyed the sense of peace and tranquility I felt that morning. Even after more than two years, I can still recall how wonderfully quiet that morning was and how much I enjoyed that time.
Settings: Canon 5D Mk II, 105mm, 1 sec, f/22