Heart of Autumn is the newest addition here at the William Britten Gallery. It was taken in late October 2011 along the back road which winds between Cosby and Cataloochee, in the northeast corner of the Smokies. Like many of my Smoky Mountains photos, this one features layers of contrast and detail, near and far. The incredible colors of the leaves in this section of woods were enhanced by a gentle rain and light fog … perfect conditions for maximum saturation of color.
Using my techniques of presenting the photo on a coated board without glass, this image absolutely glows.
Here’s the story behind the photo: during late October many folks were stopping in at my Gallery and complaining about the poor leaf colors. Several of these were photographers, who had scheduled a fall photo shoot in the Smokies and were disappointed. My advice to them was to drive around and look for the colors, which can be very inconsistent in the Smoky Mountains. In fact, the colors did look weak to me that fall. But one day very late in the season I was driving on Interstate 40, over to Asheville in North Carolina, and there was one section of incredible color that I could see from the highway. It was off to the south in a remote area.
A couple of days later I set out to find this little section of peak color, driving along the only road in that area. Going past the Cosby Campground on a drizzly morning, I stopped in and parked because it was raining so hard and the fog was so thick. I actually took a nap there in the campground, waiting for some better weather! I decided to move on over the back country on the way to Cataloochee and hope for better conditions.
Creeping along the winding narrow road I finally entered a wonderland of incredible color. I posted a few road shots from that morning a few days later. The perfect color conditions only lasted for a mile or two, but I spent hours walking along that section of the road. Heart of Autumn was the best of several hundred shots from that wonderful place.
Please consider a stop at the William Britten Gallery on the historic Arts and Crafts Trail along Glades Rd. in Gatlinburg. All of my Smoky Mountains photos are on display and at least one would love to go home with you!