Fall Color and Traffic Makes for a Great Photo

Recently I made a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  With all the dry weather this year, it was going to be questionable as to whether the colors would be great or gone. Plus, I was dreading the heavy traffic that typically clogs the roads and parking lots during fall color season.  I had made a quick trip to Grandfather Mountain a week earlier and color was fabulous.  So, off I went for the bigger prize.  On the drive up, colors were really spotty and many leaves had already turned and fallen due to dry weather.  So I was thinking, gee, a wasted trip. But, as you see from this photo, it wasn’t wasted at all.  It was awesome!!  And, you’ll notice something different about this photo too.  It’s not just a picture of fall color; there’s something happening. Traffic was at it’s usual high and maybe a bit more crowded than some years, but while a bit frustrated, I was here now and determined to prevent traffic volume from ruining my trip.  So, what’s the difference? I’m capturing motion in the image to depict scale, interest, and to create something different from the standard.  Plus, I didn’t just snap the first car or truck that went by.  I waited until I got one or two or three with the correct colors to really make things come together.  There’s nothing better than a big yellow school bus.  Plus, I had a great friend in a red vest nearby gathering leaves too!  A few overcast clouds and a polarizer helped slow things down a bit because you need a fairly slow shutter speed to create this effect.  Oh, and a tripod is a must.  The moral of the story is, if you can’t stop traffic, use it to your advantage!

"Don't fight the traffic..."

“Don’t fight the traffic…”

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