Photo of the Month: Springtime Smoky Mountain Brown Trout

Photo of the Month: Springtime Smoky Mountain Brown Trout

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Winter Light Moods

Last week, I was driving home from a quick exploratory trip to the Caney Fork. The day had been perfect with relatively warm temperatures for this time of year. We had even found a few fish which means the river isn't completely barren. Anyway, I got fed up with the traffic on the interstate and decided to take the scenic route home to bypass any potential slowdowns on the mountain at Monterey. The alternative route I chose was highway 70N which more or less parallels the interstate.

The magic happened as I crested the top of the Cumberland Plateau. The late day sun broke through the clouds to illuminate the trees ahead of me. The rich warm glow was too much for my cellphone although I snapped a quick picture to share with my wife. This time of year, with a low sun angle, we got lots of light magic. With an extended golden hour, the sunsets last longer and are often more dramatic than at any other time of year. However, that isn't the only benefit of low sun angles. 

Yesterday, while we are shooting some other unrelated pictures, I happened to glance at the sky as we were wrapping things up. The low sun angle at midday resulted in bright rays slanting through the clouds. Most of the year, there is only a narrow window early and late in the day when this can happen. In the winter, it is possible pretty much all day making it more likely to encounter. 

My camera was already in hand. Almost without thinking, I snapped a few quick shots. Once I got the pictures on my computer, I realized that some editing might be in order. In the end, I like the black and white look as it accentuates the play of light across the heavens and minimizes other distractions. The only thing I can't decide between is whether I like a lighter or darker foreground. These are two edited versions of the same original. Which do you like best?




2 comments:

  1. David
    Awesome brown trout, is there work still occurring on the dam of the Caney? When do you think it will return to the tailrace it was when you and I did the wade trip?
    I like the top picture because the sun rays generate more light on the fence and pasture. thanks for sharing

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    1. Thank you Bill! The work on Center Hill Dam is basically all completed and it has returned to "normal" operations whatever that means. The river always fishes very poorly in wet years and well in dry years. We've had 3 wet years in a row so it is nowhere close to what it could be. However, it recovers quite fast when conditions are good. It will be fishing well this spring I think, at least through sometime in June.

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