On Top of the World! A shot from Clingmans Dome, the highest point of the Great Smoky Mountains on the Tennessee and North Carolina border 6,664 above see level.
There’s defiantly an old gem deep inside the Great Smoky Mountains right in the heart of Cades Cove. Anytime I am going through the cove I always have to stop and photograph this amazing little white church that dates back to the late 1820s. Cades Cove is located near Townsend, TN in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and it is a beautiful valley (like you have never seen before) that you can drive through, one way. Cades Cove is an 11 mile loop. Settlers first arrived in Cades Cove in the early 1820s. There is a lot of history there and many historical places to photograph as well as visit. I believe Cades Cove has almost 2 million visitors a year and is one of the most popular destinations in the Smoky Mountains, so that means all us photographers better get out to the Cove early in the morning! 🙂
If you are going to photograph the cove, I do recommend going right at sunrise or before so you are the first to enter into the cove. There is beautiful lighting and fog that hits the cove and makes it so beautiful to photograph only in the morning. The fog slips through the trees and path, which makes a wonderful photo and is the most iconic. Many deers run through the valley and give you an easy view to photograph them. Of course there are bears too and much more wildlife!
One of my favorite animals to see in the Smoky Mountains is the deer! They usually are mostly spotted in Cades Cove, which is wear I discovered this Mom and baby deer playing joyfully together, near Spark Lane. It was so much fun to watch the baby deer run up and down and watch his Mom chase after him. They played together for a good while. I shot this photo with my Canon 1DX Mark ii with my 70-200mm lens with my 1.2 Extender. They were the only deer I saw on my trips up to the Smokies this year that I got to photograph up close. I have never had the chance to shoot the deer so close.
We all have to agree that all seasons are beautiful in the Smoky Mountains, but fall really highlights the beauty that surrounds the Smokies. I love photographing all the foliage throughout the Tennessee and North Carolina area of the Smokies. I try and go every year. This year I have already been twice! 🙂 It’s defiantly my happy place. I visited all the traditional photography hotspots from Cades Cove to Tremont. On my second trip up to the mountains, I saw and photographed seven bears in one day, two of them were cubs. I have never seen that many bears up there before. I took thousands of shots of the beauty beneath the smoke and included my favorite below. On both of my trips up, I brought and used my Fuji XT1 and my Canon 1DX Mark ii. I usually use my Fuji for my stream work for that sharpness and color vibrance that the camera carries. My Canon I use on my wildlife and nature images, I love all on its features and it has an outstanding bracketing system as well as a huge variety of ISO’s to choose from. I love the clarity all of my images from my Canon that have reflected onto my images. It was my first time bringing my new 1DX up to the Smokies and on a photo trip! It never left my side! :-))))
Stay turned for my wildlife images!
Comment below and tell me your favorite place to photograph in the Smokies!