For the second year in a row I was able to rendezvous with my friend David Saylors up in the beautiful Smokey Mountains. This is our fall photography trip and this one wound up being pretty awesome. This was the shot in the shoulder I needed to get the momentum to get this ball rolling again.
I never sleep well the night before a trip like this. Also making this trip was no different as I had less than 3 hours of sleep and a 6.5 hour trip a head of me. Though, something was different with me on this trip. I didn’t really stress about needing to pack the kitchen sink. Nor did I inventory my camera bag very well. I just frankly didn’t care as it “looked like” I had all my basics. The desire to get out of Indiana, away from my job and to just hang out with a friend was a bigger motivator than the cameras this trip.
I headed out in the dark, cold and rainy morning. I was running with the cold front south and there was no let up to the rain. As I stopped outside of Knoxville to top off the tank the rain began to let up. Still overcast I continued to Cosby, TN where our rental was. I had a few hours to kill so I decided to scout the area for possible photography opportunities.
Entering into the Cosby entrance to the park I kept diving to the back. The creeks and cascade are all over this place. So I figured this would be a good place to just walk around a little. Trampling around just off the the trail from one of the parking lots I stumbled upon a few interesting compositions shown below.
The Filter Problem
Digging through my bag during this little hike I discovered I only had two ND filter. Both being 10 stop filters which were not what I wanted for an overcast day. Remembering David was stopping at f/32 in Knoxville. He was a supposed to arrive later it was item to find some cell service. The goal was to find an affordable 82mm ND filter.
Moving back towards the entrance of the park the cell phone became a useful communication device again. David was still en route to the camera store. I asked him to see what they had and put the sales guy on the phone when he got there. Alas, they didn’t have what I wanted or something I felt like spending that much money on either.
I had my 82mm B+W CPL with a 77mm step down ring. This was going to be a must but fortunately the D850 can technically drop to ISO 31. I can make this work but I wanted a backup plan. Then I immediately ordered a 82mm variable ND off of Amazon. Knowing I would be seeing my friend Rodney at some point, it was shipped there. Backup plan, rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it.
Finally back at our rental David rolls up and we concluded the day with just catching up. It had been over a year since our paths crossed and we ran around with cameras. This trip turned out to be amazing on multiple levels which I will conclude in some other posts.
Below is David’s video on our trip so I would suggest you check it out. He has one of the few photography related YouTube channels I truly enjoy.