I’m not going to lie, living in the beautiful state of Tennessee, its easy to capture the brilliant colors of fall. The Great Smoky Mountains provided me with the perfect canvas. It practically begs to be photographed.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to awe you with a massive high-priced list of equipment. I’m pretty bare bones, and hate carrying heavy packs. I went into the Smoky’s with my trusty Pentax K-7, a lightweight Slik U9000 tripod, two lenses; Pentax 28-90mm f/3.5-5.6 and Pentax 28 mm f/2.8.
I cannot praise Pentax enough, I started out with them, went to Nikon and Cannon, and found myself back at Pentax. I’m not the gentlest with my cameras, my K-7 has been dropped, rained on, buried in the sand, and beaten from a rock climbing trip, and it’s still going. I personally don’t recommend doing any of that with your cameras, but stuff happens. They pump out amazing cameras at an amazing price. They don’t get the credit that they deserve.
I shot all photos in Shutter and Aperture priority, marked as TAv on the majority of cameras, in RAW mode. Using Raw instead of JPG allows for better post production editing. I kept my ISO pretty slow between 200-400, preferring 200. It keeps a cleaner look when shooting landscapes.
I have no idea what kind of bush this is, but I saw it everywhere and it had some absolutely amazing colors. Who knew a plant could have purple leaves? I didn’t.
The bright colors of the trees were amazing. Purple, red, orange, and lime green along with the usual forest colors dazzled my eyes. Unfortunately the driving was horrendous, bumper to bumper traffic and hours of just sitting while that perfect morning light was fading away. This was not my first visit, and I’m sure it will not be my last visit, but I do know I will never again visit the Great Smoky Mountains during peak fall hours.
Those two pops of bright red caught my attention. This photo was hand held and set to auto, taken inside of the car. I truly didn’t think it would come out very well, but I was stuck in a three hour traffic jam along Cade’s Cove and had nothing else to do.
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Check back next week for a pit stop in Atlanta, Georgia.