A collection of images from one of my favorite places:  Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Such amazing beauty is to be found here, and I have never yet gone in any season of the year in which I was not overtaken in some way by the magnificence of this place.  I do hope these images below help to show at least a small glimpse into this wonderful world, and how I feel about it...
"Sweet Dreams"
Condensation blown onto the lens during a long exposure helps soften the details and add some extra magic to this beautiful sunlit stream slowly making its way down the mountainside.
I stood by this beautiful woodland stream in the Great Smoky Mountains in early September 2012, waiting for the sun to peak through the thickening clouds above.  Partly cloudy days are always some of my very favorite, as they often create dynamic shadows and spotlights as the direct sun comes and goes, allowing periods of rest and waiting with expectancy between each passing wave of light.  
As I stood there in the temporary shade, breathing in the calming sights, sounds, and smells of the mountains, I soon noticed a new wave of light slowly creeping down the mountainside, seemingly following the meanderings of the stream.  I quickly snapped to attention and set about trying to time everything just right so I would be ready to capture the full emotion of the moment as the approaching light began to reach my position.
It wasn't long before it was upon me, and in a last minute effort to better convey all I was feeling as the world around me began to glow, I snuck around to the side of my camera and breathed on the lens at the tail end of a long exposure, which subtly softens the image captured in the camera (without compromising the finer details), and often imparts an extra sense of magic, grace, and dare I say emotional "truth" to what I am then able to bring home and show others.  
The final result truly feels like something out of a dream!

"Sweet Dreams"

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