Moonlit Great Smoky Mountains


I hiked to the top of Max Patch in a remote area of western North Carolina with the intention of photographing a sunset. It is a major landmark along the Tennessee/North Carolina section of the Appalachian Trail, although its summit is located in North Carolina. It is known for its 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains. After not being very impressed with the setting sun, I started to wonder what other photographic opportunities I could take advantage of. I had recently read an article about photographing in the nightlight. I had the good luck of a full moon that night and decided to take advantage of that opportunity.

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One of the images in the slideshow is the moment the moon rose over the bald of Max Patch. All the images in this blog were shot with long exposures and at least 50 minutes after the sun had set. The shortest exposure I used was 30 seconds and the longest was 1 (one) minute long. The vertical image is the moonrise on the left lighting the meadows with the stars in the skies above. The long exposure is also a dead give away in the image of the mountains scene with blue skies and the white light streak in the middle. The mountains are part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The headlights of a car coming up the gravel road during the entire 45 seconds exposure caused the long continuous light streak across the middle. The headlight’s glow also illuminated the surrounding trees along the road. Another image in the slideshow shows the shadow of me standing with my tripod, the shadow was created only by the moonlight. Happy night shooting!

Canon EOS 1D MKIII, EF 20-35mm F2.8 L USM lens, Gitzo Tripod



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