Archive for Tennessee

When IS enough, enough

Posted in General, Rants, Software/Hardware with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2011 by bayouphoto

I was reading a post by Matt Koslowski and it got me to thinking about what is enough, for me. How do I determine when enough is enough? I start the process when taking photos. I usually have a clear idea what I want to achieve. Once I import to Lightroom I then closely check all photos and delete the out of focus, badly under or over exposed, or just technically wrong. Then I start to run the remaining through the develop module. After that it is time to rate the ones I really want to spend time on and to see what must be done, to achieve my goal for that photo. I have used Photoshop, Lightroom and my various plug-ins to now know what each is capable of and which one will best achieve my goal. I tend to use Lightroom and the various plug-ins that work right from it more. My small road trip netbook runs Lightroom way better than Photoshop, so I am limited when on the road.

Then it is just a matter of applying the correct adjustments to the image. Most people will tend to develop a style over time. I tend toward crisp sharp details for my landscape and nature and more of a soft effect for people and portraits.

Here is an example of what I like to achieve with my landscape images.

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Nice saturated colors, pure whites and crisp detail in the rocks.

I want to address a misconception I am hearing a lot with the advent of networking and social networking sites. It is the myth that if you post great photos you must have a “really good camera” That is like telling Emeril Lougasi he must have a really good oven, or Michael Angelo had a really good chisel. It is not the tools but how they are used. When I shot competitive 3D  archery I used to tell the young guys, that thought they could win if they just had the latest and greatest bow. ” I can take your bow and beat you but you can’t take my bow and beat me”

Yes I have a decent camera but I work within its limitations and do everything I can to make it the best, BEFORE I post it.

As an example here is the straight out of the camera.And here they are side by side so you can compare better.

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The next time you see a great photo think about what probably went into actually creating it.


Bald river falls redeux

Posted in Software/Hardware with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2011 by bayouphoto

I shot this last fall on my Tn/NC camping trip. It is Bald river falls off of the Cherohala Skyway about 8 miles from Tellico plains on the Old River road.. I used some new plug ins from Onone software. I was mostly looking forward to using the new plugin Perfect Layers. This gives you the capability of working with layers right from Lightroom. This was one of the features that Lightroom lacked and now makes my workflow more Lightroom specific. There are a lot of training videos here. I will be doing a tutorial on it and some more of the Onone plugins in the next few weeks.

I am really excited about being able to use layers and mask right from Lightroom. Check it out and download the trial.

B&W Friday

Posted in Photo Friday with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2011 by bayouphoto

I was reading the current issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine and came across an article on B&W . It was about Montana photographer Jay Wesler and titled Under the Big Sky. What struck me was the use of the deep red filter to make the skies go black. This really added drama especially with white clouds. When using a red filter, blues become darker and shades of red becomes lighter.

I thought about some of the fall foliage photos from the Smoky mountains. I pulled up that trip on Lightroom and proceeded to export them to Silver Efex Pro.

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The first one was a clear blue sky off Hwy 64 next to the Ocoee river. It just did not have the drama. I didn’t catch on at first.I thought about one with more fall foliage and this worked better. I did notice how the cloud stood out and I thought ” Ahh ha it is the white puffy clouds that drew me to Jay’s photos. I searched for one with just the right clouds and fall foliage.Now this was more like it. Anywhere there is a blue cast, as in shadows, turns darker.I tried one with more fall foliage but a more overcast sky and it just doesn’t have the oomph that the blue sky and white clouds.This one just didn’t have enough of the dark sky. It also exposes a problem with a polarizer filter and a wide angle lens. The effect of the lens is inconsistent across the photo.I chose this one not only for the even sky and clouds but the fact that a Texaco sign is red and you can see the way the filter reacts to it.Then I came across a couple of HDR photos I had done and VOILA there it was.

You may not like this effect and it doesn’t work in all cases. I, however, find it appealing and art is subjective. Afterall, that is what it is all about. If the creator is happy what else matters.

Photo Friday: Bald river

Posted in Photo Friday with tags , , , , , , on November 12, 2010 by bayouphoto

I have had a lot of comments on this photo

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I thought I would expound on it more.

After you leave the Bald river falls you can either turn around and go back to the Cherohala skyway or continue on and take a left on North river road.

This is what we did and it runs along side the river through the Cherokee national forest.

There are many primitive camp sites and about halfway there is a picnic ground with tables and restrooms right on the river.

because of the light many have assumed it was early morning but it was almost straight up noon. The forest is so thick it filters the light. You are also down in the river gorge with mountains on each side.

After we ate I took my shoes and socks off and waded out in the river. I wanted a low perspective and this could only be achieved midway the stream. Yes, it was very cold.

I set the camera to f22, ISO 100 with a two stop polarizer and achieved a 5 second exposure even at noon. I told you it was dark. I can not express how beautiful the creeks and rivers are. There is no mud as they all run on bedrock.

Weekly Scenic Drive: River Road

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , on November 10, 2010 by bayouphoto

When leaving Tellico Plains, Tn, on the Cherohala Skyway you travel along the south side of the Tellico river. Not far along the river crosses the road and continues south. The Cherohala continues eastward. if you would like to follow the river and see Bald River falls you must take the River road south. It follows the river to the falls and the campground. Gorgeous rural backroad with little traffic means ease of pull off to enjoy the spectacular scenery.

As always click the photo to see it largerOnce you cross the bridge, where Bald river joins the Tellico you will take the next left on North River road to go back out to NC 143 the Cherohala. It too follows beside the river with primitive campgrounds and picnic areas.We stopped for lunch and this is where I took my shoes and socks off and waded out for photos. YES!!!!!! it was cold.It is a wonderful drive and well worth the side trip.

Scenic drives: Hwy 64/74

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2010 by bayouphoto

each Wednesday I will feature a different scenic drive from my trip to eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. Today I feature Hwy64/74 that runs from Cleveland, Tn. to Ducktown, Tn. along the Ocoee river. The road is also called the Old Copper road as it was built to haul the ore from the copper mines.

When you first come out of Cleveland you will pass the dam that forms Parkville lake.

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The highway itself hugs the shoreline cut into the granite rock. very scenic with many pull offs.

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The Ocoee river is a highly regarded white water attraction and the weekends find many using it. Especially from the bridge to the old power plant.

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Farther on the river is gorgeous and you can see the old copper ore railway high above the river.

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October 17th was just a little early for the peak of color but still a gorgeous drive.

campground reviews

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , on November 1, 2010 by bayouphoto

here are the reviews of the campgrounds we used in Eastern TN. and western NC.

Chillowee recreation area

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Located just north of Parkville lake on FR 77(Oscar Rd.) this campground is at 2500 feet and has some picturesque overlooks. The campsites while not secluded are very nice and there is electricity. They are quite close together and nothing to separate them. We enjoyed our stay there and it is way off the main highway. Buy anything you need in Cleveland close to I 75 before arriving

Van Hook Glade

Right on a very busy highway and the noise from Dry falls can be annoying. Centrally located bathroom with “Warm” showers. Not the best we stayed in but adequate for one or two nights. Make purchases in Franklin or Highlands before arriving. 3/4 mile from Dry falls.

Davidson river

Located on Hwy 276 just west of Brevard. We stayed two nights at this campground and can not recommend it enough. Secluded and many sites right on the river. Nice walking path along the river side. beautiful setting. Very clean baths and showers, once again warm. A little traffic noise from Hwy 276 that runs above the site. Located within almost walking distance of Brevard and a Wal Mart. Internet available at two McDonalds locations.


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Located in the GSMNP just north of the Cherokee entrance on Hwy 441. Fairly nice, no showers but nice bath. The campsites are not separated and can get noisy till 11 PM at Quiet time. was not one of my favorites. Next time I will avoid the national park except for Deep creek. Make purchases in Cherokee, NC before arriving

Deep Creek

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Located just north of Bryson City in the GSMNP this is “THE” one to camp in on the NC side of the park. Picturesque, quiet and secluded. the creek runs right through the camp. Fantastic walking trail to three waterfalls. This is a “walk in” site so you have to park away from the tent pad. We found one close to the parking area to minimize the distance. If not it is at least 100 yards to the sites at the back of the campground, along the river. I love this site and will be back next year. There are seasonal stores on E. Deep Creek road and in Bryson City

Horse cove

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Located next to the Joyce Kilmer memorial forest, this small secluded camp ground is right on Santeetlah creek. The entrance road is quite steep and the restroom is at the bottom of the road. There is some traffic noise from Hwy 129 and there is no place to buy food or anything else closer than Robbinsville. Not far north of the Cherohala skyway it is a nice place to camp.