Turning Lousy Weather into a Lovely Photo

During a recent trip to North Carolina, we drove to the summit of Grandfather Mountain, one of the tallest in the Appalachians. Like most photographers would, I was anticipating the scenic panoramas I could shoot of the Great Smokies from this mountaintop.  Also, I was eager to take shots of the mountain’s famed suspension bridge. Unfortunately, when we reached the summit, the mountain was socked in with fog. My best laid plans would require some improvisation. 
While I was dealing with the disappointment of fog-obstructed scenery, my dear, creative spouse called out from across the parking lot, “Hey, check this out”! Never, never, never will I ignore KC’s eye for a shot. Sure enough, there were the goldenrods in full bloom. Studying the opportunity, I closed in, crouched down, and got this image. Against the foggy pines in the background, the bright yellow goldenrods jumped out in near 3-D fashion. Thinking outside the box, we had found a shot that would not have been possible in sunny conditions. 

A similar foggy fortune awaited me at the bridge. Countless photos of the suspension bridge have been taken from every angle under beautiful clear skies. But the fog in my photo makes this image feel like a walk into the clouds on a bridge suspended in air. It’s a bridge to the unknown in simple black and white, a sharp contrast to the colorful scenics I had expected to take.

I’ll always be able to return to Grandfather Mountain on a clear day and get the scenics, however it would be far more difficult to replicate these two unique images. The moral of the story, keep your eyes and creative mind open for the unexpected.


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