I spent last week in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I have made several trips to the Smokies, and I always find them to be a pleasant and relaxing experience. The park offers amazing landscapes, a wide variety of plant life, abundant wildlife, and several historical areas. It is, without a doubt, a photographic paradise.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is, by far, the most visited national park in the country with twice as many visitors as the second most visited national park, the Grand Canyon. One of the most popular areas of the Smokies is Cades Cove with its well-preserved old homesteads, incredible mountain views, and the chance to see deer and black bears. What probably adds to the Cove’s popularity is that most of these things can be seen from the comfort of your vehicle as you drive the 11-mile loop road through the Cove.
This image of the John Oliver Cabin was taken in Cades Cove. The cabin was built in 1822 by John Oliver and his wife Lucretia Frazier, who were the first European settlers in the Cove. It is very easy to get to, although you do have to park your vehicle and take a leisurely ¼-mile walk to it.
It was cloudy and foggy the morning I shot this, but I was thankful for that because it made exposure pretty straightforward. The only area I was concerned about was the small area above the cabin where the sky showed through the slightly thinner area of trees. I solved that issue by using the exposure compensation feature and reducing the exposure by 2/3 of an f-stop, which prevented that area from becoming overexposed. Then, in Lightroom, I used the adjustment brush to reduce the exposure just a bit more to ensure the brightness of that area generally matched the rest of the picture. Had this been a sunny morning with a bright blue sky, this photograph would have been much more difficult to make because of the high contrast such lighting would have created.
Settings: Canon 5D Mk II, 32mm, 0.6 sec, f/22