The National Parks #17: Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina/Tennessee
Photographers from the west can’t photograph the east as well as they photograph the west. That might be an unpopular opinion, but it’s one I hold. The west is so photogenic and features distinct edges, colors and formations. The east on the other hand is intricate and complicated, yet subtle. There are no painted deserts or towering natural features in the east, but it changes dramatically with the seasons and even the time of day. All of the photos above were taken over the course of 48 hours and showcase just as many colors as the west, but in their environment you have to seek those colors, they are not handed to you.
Great Smoky Mountains is the best National Park in the east and while my photography of many parks isn’t exceptional, I’d argue that my images here are comparable to anyones. Growing up in the east I have ample experience photographing forests, rolling hills, layers of mountains and varieties of plants in a variety of conditions. This is the kind of experience that can’t be taught, only learned. While I love the west and deserts, forests are my heritage, and I like to think that my photos reflect that.