Sunrise over Western North Carolina

Sunrise over Western North Carolina

The sun rises over the western North Carolina mountains as viewed from Clingmans Dome

In my last post I described the experience of being alone atop Clingmans Dome at sunrise. The solitude, the sounds of the wind and birds singing, and the cool, crisp air made for a wonderful morning. Of course, the main course was yet to come.

The sky is beautiful before dawn. It can even be spectacular if clouds are in the sky and the rising sun paints them hues of red, pink, and orange. On this morning, though, there were no clouds in the sky. There was only a thin layer of haze and fog in the valleys. When the sun made its appearance for the day it quickly rose through this light layer and lit up the entire landscape. Fortunately there is usually enough moisture in the atmosphere to slightly filter the sun and allow it to be captured in the camera as a perfect golden orb. Just minutes later the sun would rise through this layer and make attempts to capture it and the ridges below in the same frame futile.

This is a pretty simple shot. It was shot with my Nikon D800 at ISO 100, focal length of 125mm, aperture of f/13, and shutter speed of 1/40 of a second. It was shot on a tripod of course with a cable release and mirror lock up to reduce vibration. The RAW file had very minimal processing applied and is virtually the same as what I saw in person that beautiful summer’s morning atop Clingmans Dome. Enjoy.

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