Date/Time Captured: 04/06/2016 @ 07:56 ----- Copyright 2016, RJ Wilner Photography

Date/Time Captured: 04/06/2016 @ 07:56 ----- Copyright 2016, RJ Wilner Photography


Location: Laurel Falls, Great Smoky Mountain National Park


Just returned from a weeklong photo excursion that incorporated a long weekend in the Outer Banks with some great shooters, and followed up with a quick solo pass through Great Smoky Mtn Nat'l Park. This image is from the latter and was the last capture of the trip.

After having made the 1.3mi hike up to the falls just as the sun was beginning to rise and capturing a few compositions, I hiked back down to the car. And as I loaded the gear in the car to begin the trek home, I experienced a couple conflicting emotions....

This trip was ending. There would be no more sand in the more adapting our shooting plans to take advantage of whatever conditions Mother Nature decided to more of the almost ritualistic go out & shoot then return to the rental and upload/preview the images captured in that session......followed by hilarious celebration of National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day. No more laughing incessantly at Brian Regan's comedy bit about visits to a hospital Emergency more Stack 'Em High more shock at the site of a shattered Big Stopper and jacked up zoom lens resulting from MoNat deciding to huff & puff hard enough to blow the tripod over ***15 minutes into the very firt shooting session of the trip*** while at Nags Head Pier. No more glee at the ability to see the Milky Way **with the naked eye** for the first time in my 65+ yr. And no more enjoying the beauty of the North Carolina countryside on the drive from the OBX over to Great Smoky Mtn Nat'l Park with the Red Buds & Dogwoods in full bloom. Insert melancholy moment here.

And as quickly as the moment of melancholy had struck me, it was replaced by a big wide grin at my good fortune to have been part of such a fun filled adventure. As I closed the tailgate of the CRV and walked around to the driver's side, I'm sure the couple getting out of the car next to me wondered what the heck was up with this crazy old fart grinning from ear to ear. Sorry just don't know.