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  • Betty Girardeau

At The Top Of The World


It's not Mount Everest nor even the Continental Divide, but it just may be Tennessee's version. This was taken yesterday at Buck Bald Mountain. Years ago it was the site of a fire station tower, which is why the location has a perfect 360 degree view. I had come here one other time years ago with the community hiking group, but had totally forgotten about how special a place it is. There is a fairly long curving dirt road to the top, and, actually, that road was more the reason why I went there yesterday. One of the members of a Facebook photography group of which I am a member posted this awesome and intriguing picture of a hairpin turn that he had taken. I commented on how much I liked it. He responded by thanking me and mentioning in general where he had gotten it. That's when I realized that I it wasn't that far from me and I could go there, too. He went on an obviously overcast day when most of the leaves were on the trees and were a gorgeous bright gold, which cast their golden glow on everything around them. I did find the hairpin turn, and it definitely is a site worth working with a camera. But most of the golden leaves had fallen. And even beneath the canopy that was still there, the lighting wasn't the same. It just goes to prove that great photography is dependent on time as well as place. While I got some interesting images of the hairpin turn, they aren't what I hoped they could be. But that is OK. I have now rediscovered a great location. I am thinking about going back for a dawn shoot before those early mornings get too chilly. And I expect it could be a great location for some astrophotography, as I doubt there would be too many issues with near-by ambient light. Now, I just have to think about how I can best plan to do that. My little trip to Buck Bald yesterday has opened a bunch of new possibilities. Some years ago there was a BBC series that ran on PBS called "Connections." Wikipedia describes this series this way: "It took an interdisciplinary approach to the history of science and invention, and demonstrated how various discoveries, scientific achievements, and historical world events were built from one another successively in an interconnected way to bring about particular aspects of modern technology." This is an amazing way to describe things and how they come about. Since then I have often thought about how our lives are the results of the connections, too. For example, what if I hadn't joined this Facebook group? I wouldn't have seen this guy's awesome picture. I wouldn't have realized that the location was within an easy drive for me. I wouldn't have rediscovered this location and seen it for all the possible photographic possibilities it has. And, maybe, just maybe, I wouldn't have finally been able to capture the image of the Milky Way that I very much want to get. Time will tell what other connections may come from this.

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