Working with a group of really good photographers can be very challenging because you are juggling between your vision and theirs. All these individual visions from other artists can influence, but they can also distort your own vision. There can be a fine line between genuine influence and a desire to simply imitate a really good photograph.
After the trip, I had trouble finding my best photographs from a particular evening in the Smokey Mountains. We were photographing the beautiful dogwood blossoms that were blooming in full force. The dogwoods are why photographers flock to the Smokies in the spring. My problem was that I had felt that I had to have dogwood photographs because that was what everyone was doing. Some of the images made by the other photographers were absolutely stunning. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t loving any of mine. After looking at the two images above for probably the tenth time, I finally realized what had been drawing my attention that evening. It wasn’t dogwoods, it was the subtle play of light and color on the landscape.
I’m sure I have some beautiful dogwood blossom images that I’ll post here sometime soon. For now, I’m sharing the Smokey Mountains that seems to have captured my attention and my heart on this quiet evening in the Spring.
How I Did It – Read the sky. When photographing in changing light conditions watch the sky. When the sun ducks behind a lone cloud or when banks of clouds roll in and out, the lighting on the landscape will change dramatically. Watching how and where the clouds and sun are moving will help you learn to read the light and predict when the best conditions to photograph a scene are.