Featured Photo: Song Without Words

Smoky Mountain Dogwoods

A Song Without Words

A Song Without Words was taken along the Cades Cove loop road in the Smoky Mountains.  It’s springtime, and the dogwoods are showing off all of their glory, with the mountains as the backdrop.  As with all digital files, this image started out as a color photo, but I had a feeling that a black and white treatment might better express the mood of the day.  The file was converted to black and white, with a sepia tone added. Finally, the colorful sunlight was painted back in to give a splash of extra warmth.

A Song Without Words carries a warm emotional message during the springtime season of rebirth.   The picture is available in all sizes up to 16×24″.  Details of sizes and prices can be found on the How to Buy page.

If you’re traveling in the Gatlinburg area, please stop in to see the complete display of Smoky Mountains photos at the William Britten Gallery.  The Gallery is located in the historic Arts and Crafts area along Glades Rd.  In addition to framed and matted prints, there are magnets, mugs and notecards for you to find a special Smokies memory to take home.

 

Featured Photo: Glory in the Greenbrier

Glory in Greenbrier

Glory in the Greenbrier captures the feeling of autumn in the Smoky Mountains. I like shooting into the sun, and in fact it has become something of a trademark for my Smoky Mountain photos. In this photo, the colors are also quite intense. The picture was taken along the gravel part of the road into…

Smoky Mountain Inspirations

Pleasure of the Pathless Woods

 I have been thinking of creating some Smoky Mountains photos with words of inspiration for some time. These four are my first offerings.  All four are currently hanging in the Gatlinburg Gallery, mounted on frameless 8×12 floats. However, they could be printed and framed in any of my standard sizes. The photo above is a…

Featured Photo: John Oliver Homestead

John Oliver Dogwoods

The John Oliver Homestead in Cades Cove is one of the Featured Smoky Mtns photos at the William Britten Gallery. This is a stunning spring scene with dogwood blooms as the backdrop. I backed my tripod up under some dogwood trees to frame the photo with branches and blooms along the top. The iconic split rail fence…

Little Bit of Thoreau

A Little Bit of Thoreau in the Blue Ridge Mountains

This blog has been inactive for several months. Where has the time gone? Well, most of it was taken up during construction of this wonderful little cabin in the Blue Ridge foothills of North Carolina. No, we are not leaving Gatlinburg, and the William Britten Gallery is still open along the historic Arts and Crafts…

Autumn Snow in the Smokies

Smoky Mountains with Snow above Gatlinburg

The last week of October 2012, the long arms of Hurricane Sandy produced a Smoky Mountains wonderland of snow in autumn. The Smokies offered stunning photos from all the overlooks. The photo above was taken from the Gatlinburg by-pass, with the Park Vista hotel in the lower left corner, and the Roaring Fork Motor Trail…

Wordless Wednesday: Away from the Crowd

Peace and Solitude © William Britten use with permission only

Greenbrier Panoramas

Smoky Mountains photos Autumn Panorama

These two Smoky Mountains photos were created as special editions for this fall. The photos were both taken in the Greenbrier area of the Smokies.  Both are processed with more extreme contrast and color saturation than I normally do.  This effect is something I do as a change of pace for occasional pictures. These two…

Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair!

Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair

It’s that time of year again. Time to pack up the van with framed Smoky Mtns photos, display panels and all the rest of our gear. The Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair begins this Thursday at the Convention Center in downtown Gatlinburg. The Fair will run from October 11th through Sunday October 28th, from 10 to 6:00…

Featured Photo: After the Storm

After the Storm

After the Storm is a Smoky Mtns photo taken from one of the most popular overlooks in the Smokies. This picture was captured from Mortons Overlook on Newfound Gap Rd.  This is often a good spot for Summer sunsets, and especially after a stormy day there might be dramatic conditions when the sun sets below…

Miles Away on Monday: Hot Tub Coffee Break

Hot Tub Autumn © William Britten use with permission only

Not too many days like this are left for us this year. Mid-autumn Indian Summer. The hectic days of October are done for another year. A hot tub and a couple cups of coffee beckon you to relax the morning away. When you’re all softened up, please come on over and visit me to see…

Ready for Fall at the Gallery!

Morning Mist Village Autumn Decor

It’s mid-September. The days are getting shorter and the air is getting crisper. Apples are ripe and pumpkins are everywhere. Out at Morning Mist Village along Glades Rd. in Gatlinburg, the autumn decorations are looking festive.  And at the William Britten Gallery in Morning Mist, I’ve got some new banner images in the windows and…

Wildflower Photography: Coneflower Dreamscape

Coneflower Dreamscape © William Britten use with permission only

The photograph above is the Green Headed, or Cutleaf Coneflower.  It blooms all along the roadside in the middle of summer up near Clingman’s Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park . Here’s a fun photo tip for taking a picture like the one above. One of my favorite techniques is to take the photo…

Variations on a Theme

peace-trailpano1

These three Smoky Mtns photos illustrate something about how the process of photography happens for me. All were taken on a high-elevation trail near Clingmans Dome in the Smokies. Walking along the trail, the scene above caused me to stop. Something about the elements brought on an emotional response, which is what I am usually…

Smoky Mountains History: the Sugarlands

Sugarlands Panorama

This Smoky Mountains valley was named by early settlers for the large number of Sugar Maple trees growing in the valley. As can be seen in the historical photo above, this was a vast area of fairly level ground. Settlers arrived in the area around 1800 … the Reagans, Ogles and Trenthams who formed the…

Cades Cove: Elijah Oliver Homestead

Elijah Oliver Cabin © William Britten use with permission only

All of the Smoky Mtns photos on this page are of the Elijah Oliver cabin. Elijah was John Oliver’s son, and he was born in Cades Cove in 1824. After a time away from the Smoky Mountains, he returned to Cades Cove after the Civil War. Notice the “strangers room” enclosed on the front porch. Smoky…

Smoky Mountains History: Rainbow Falls

Smoky Mtns photos: Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls has been a popular Smokies hiking destination since long before the formation of the National Park. LeConte Creek plunges near 80 feet over a massive cliff face that Harvey Broome called an “ethereal diorama,” creating the highest single-drop waterfall in the Smokies. The photos on this page were taken by Knoxville photographer Jim Thompson…

Cades Cove: Henry Whitehead Cabin

Henry Whitehead Cabin © William Britten use with permission only

Matilda “Aunt Tildy” Shields married Henry Whitehead after her first husband ran off. Henry built the house pictured above in the Chestnut Flats area of Cades Cove in 1895. Notice the brick chimney! This structure might be called the ultimate log cabin, or sometime called a “transition house” due to its near-perfect construction from logs sawed…

Textures in Wood

Log Cabin Close-up

The textures in these photos of aged wood are a thing of beauty. The cracks and weathering only add character. All three of these photos are in the Smoky Mtns.  The top and bottom pictures were found in Cades Cove, and the one below is from a door in one of the old cabins along “Millionaire’s…

Look Up!

In the Treetops

It’s a Spiritual Sunday again. Time to ponder whatever comes to mind. Like walking in the Smokies with your head pointed upwards. Watch the squirrels jump from treetop to treetop. Appreciate the soft sunlight filtering down through the canopy. Maybe spot a woodpecker at work. These two Smoky Mtns photos illustrate a simple philosophy: look…

Featured Photo: Dogwood Rain

Smoky Mountains photos: Dogwood Rain

Dogwood Rain is one of my most enduring Smoky Mtns photos. This shot was taken along the Middle Prong in the Tremont area of the Smokies, which is one of my favorite locations. The photograph was taken in a light drizzle, umbrella in hand. With the rainy mist hanging over the creek, and the focus…

Free Smoky Mountains Wallpaper: Cades Cove Summer

Cades Cove Summer

Another free Smoky Mountains computer wallpaper or screensaver.  Also would be a good background for the iPad.  The photo above was taken on Hyatt Lane in Cades Cove on a beautiful summer morning. This photo, and all other Smoky Mountains wallpaper, can be downloaded from http://williambritten.com/wallpaper/ Just click on the file name “Cades-Cove-Fence-Wall.jpg” and then once…

Smoky Mountains History: Mountain View Hotel

Mountain View Hotel 1926 © University of Tennessee Libraries

These pictures were taken by Dutch Roth. The text from his journal below describes the fascinating history in the early days of Smoky Mountains tourism, when Gatlinburg was barely a destination on the edge of the mountains. “So many of our hikes used to begin and end at Gatlinburg. Back in 1929 the only thing…

Cades Cove: John Oliver Homestead

John Oliver Homestead

John Oliver was a pioneer who built his log cabin around 1826 in the Cades Cove area of the Great Smoky Mountains. The homestead is typical of the time with logs trimmed with a broad ax, fit together with dovetail corner joints, and the cracks filled in with a mortar that is little more than…

The Roaring Fork in Black and White

Sunrise on the Roaring Fork

Lately I’ve become hooked on black and white conversions. A couple of weeks ago I posted some black and white Smoky Mountains photos from Cades Cove. Today’s offerings are from along the Roaring Fork. In the digital era the camera’s sensor records everything in color. Unlike the monochromatic film of yore, you must start with…

New Black and White Panoramas in the Gatlinburg Gallery

Smoky Mountains photos in Black and White

Last month I wrote a blog post about converting some of my Smoky Mountains photos to black and white. I’ve been having fun with this technique lately, and will be showing more of these photos in the future. I liked the look so much that I’ve created three panoramas featuring scenes from Cades Cove. These…

Spiritual Sunday: Special Gifts

Morning Majesty

I’ve been working on a small project, and I’m ready to share it. The basic idea is to use Smoky Mountains photos as the context for a short philosophical statement. The statements are about the capacity of nature to lift the spirit. These photos and words can be sent to a loved one or friend…

Wordless Wednesday: Roaring Fork in Black and White

Roaring Fork Sunrise

Cades Cove: Carter Shields Cabin

Carter Shields cabin in Cades Cove

George Washington “Carter” Shields lived on this homestead from around 1910 to 1920, although the cabin dates from the 1830s.  Carter Shields place is one of the stops along the Cades Cove loop road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Carter Shields was a Civil War veteran, crippled at the Battle of Shiloh on April…

Cades Cove in Black and White

Smoky Mountains photos in black and white

Lately I’ve been inspired to convert some of my Smoky Mountains photos to black and white. There are many ways to do this, including software such as Silver Efex or Photoshop. I am a big fan of Lightroom for many reasons, and it has built in conversion that works fine. I like to add a…

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