Autumn scene in the Smoky Mountains © William Britten use with permission only

Creekside Sweet Gum © William Britten use with permission only

Creekside Sweet Gum is one of my all-time most popular photos, and is one of the few where I went out in search of a specific composition. In this case it was the autumn leaves highlighted against a backdrop of the flowing creek. I recall that it was a drizzly morning, with a bit of a wind. I found the composition but had to stand patiently for 15 minutes or so, waiting for the leaves to stop waving in the breeze!

One of my favorite times of the year is late fall, which in the Smoky Mountains is typically the early part of November. The rush to see the peak of the leaf season is over, and the woods have a look of quiet resignation to the onset of winter, but there are still a few clusters of peak leaves that serve to highlight the muted colors of the landscape. As far as the emotional mood, it’s one of joyful completion … the promises of spring, the long green growing time of summer, the celebration of autumn … have all come down to this sense of reaching the end and the reward of winter’s rest. In our agrarian past, this would be the time after harvest, with the food safely stored for winter.

The location of Creekside Sweet Gum is in the Tremont section of the Smokies, in the same area as the image Road to Tremont. Creekside is often paired as a set with Midnight Hole, which is another vertical autumn image. It’s offered in all sizes, including the largest 20×30. Details of sizes and pricing can be found on the How to Buy page. You can also purchase framed or unframed versions of this image from my online store

If you’re in the area on vacation, please stop in and visit me to see the complete display of Smoky Mountains  landscape photos at the William Britten Gallery in Gatlinburg, TN.


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  1. Donna C. Miller

    I have this photo and love it. It’s hanging in my diningroom with another. I was in Gatlinburg last week but didn’t see you in Morning Mist Village. Decided to check and see if you had a website. Are you still there or have you moved? May be down sometime in the Spring and would like to check out your photos again at that time.

    Try as best I can to get some good photos for my own art uses. Love to go looking for that memorable special shoot. Some happen by chance and others don’t. I’m sure you’d agree.

    Love your work.
    Donna C. Miller

  2. Bill

    Thanks, Donna. Sorry we missed you … still have th gallery in Morning Mist, but have moved down by the Cafe.

    Bill Britten

  3. Susan Griggs

    It was a pleasure to meet you at your gallery, Bill! We’re back in Ocean Springs, MS, with this exquisite matted-and-framed photo for our dining room. Now I’ll have a constant reminder of fall in the Smokies and the talented man who created it!

  4. Bill

    Thanks, Susan … good to meet you. Bill

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