Smoky Mountain Serenity

Ahhhh….nothing like getting out of New York City for a little fresh air.  It’s been a while since I’ve gone on a little expedition to shoot the beauty of mother Earth.   The thing that I miss most by living in NYC has to be the lack of trees/forest/streams/fresh air…nature.  You really don’t realize it until you get out of the city and get into the forest and take a deep breath.   A good friend of mine, Rob,  invited me down to the Smoky Mountains for a little R & R.  It was nice getting a tour of the area from someone who grew up in these mountains.  We went down to shoot some of his land and trek out into some of the more remote areas and see the change of the seasons.

(If you click on the images, you’ll see it larger)
We arrived at a time when the leaves were fully into their change.   The reds, yellows, and greens were even more intense because of the rainy, overcast weather we encountered in the first 2 days.


Me shooting Rob shooting me.

Our Chariot. 🙂


We went off the beaten path and just enjoyed the natural beauty of it all.




The first two days we were there, the weather was always heavy overhead.  On Wednesday, in particular, we were driving along the long winding road up one of the peaks when the sky literally just opened up on us.    The following series of images were all taken from inside the car, through the front windshield using a polarizer to cut out the reflection of the glass.  The ghostly feel was created by shooting through a torrent of rain.  I’m firing in between the wiper blades.  The longer I waited after the blade, the softer it became(see last shot in series).   I love the painterly feel that they have.




Portrait of me by Rob


So We’re getting to the top of the mountain and the wind is getting more fierce.   The way the sounds whip between the trees seem to be saying something.  It’s peaceful and forceful all in the same breath.  The We’re up in the cloud layer fully now.  The top was crazy windy and the cloud layer was moving in and out as we watched…


A self-portrait in the reflection of the car window

This is a scene from right outside where we stayed, The Snowbird Mountain Lodge.  www.snowbirdmountainlodge.com.  I would highly recommend it.  We stayed there three nights.  The food is amazing and the people and scenery couldn’t have been better.

This was one of of the more beautiful scenes we came across and happened to be on the first night driving towards the Lodge.


We were only there three days really.  The first day was pretty much shot just getting there.    I wish we could have spent more time in the mountains as we really only scratched the surface of what is out there.   It’s a beautiful land with a people to match.  I’ll be heading back there in the future I’m sure.  I’d like to thank my friend Rob for showing me around where he grew up.  It was a real treat to get the stories of the land and people from one who had grown up in this place.

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2 thoughts on “Smoky Mountain Serenity

  1. Brian Darrow says:

    Great shots, James. We rented a house in the Smokies for a week this summer and really enjoyed the area. The weather in the mountains was a welcome change from the high heat and humidity of late June in Florida. We were tempted to go back for the fall foliage, but couldn’t find the time.

    • James Weber says:

      A week is a good amount of time to stay and see the area. We could have used a few more days. This is my second time there. I’m certainly going to make it back sometime. It’s such a beautiful place.

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