Five Days in the Smokies

This Thanksgiving I spent five days driving the Blue Ridge Parkway and into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I’ve been to both locations so often that it is difficult to find new subjects to work with. However, that doesn’t stop me going back as often as I can. 

On this visit the unsettled weather and partly cloudy days made for some spectacular sunsets. These are a couple of shots taken from the Blue Ridge Parkway looking over the Pisgah National Forest

The first shot is a long exposure to blur the fast moving clouds. The second one caught my eye because of the way the sun was reflecting on the clouds from below the horizon and the interesting swirls the clouds were making.   

National Geographic Traveler Magazine

National Geographic used one of my images in this month’s Traveler magazine. They licensed it through Getty Images. I wouldn’t have known it was being used except one of their researchers contacted me through my Twitter account to confirm the location. This lion portrait is my bestselling image and the second time I know of that it has been used by one of the National Geographic properties. 

The lion shot above was taken in Tanzania. On a separate trip to South Africa I visited a private reserve. Here you can get really close to the wildlife. Driving around one day we spotted a young leopard stalking a warthog. When the leopard burst out of the long grass to give chase the warthog’s reaction time was amazing. Fortunately, she turned and bolted towards our vehicle setting up a nice shot for me. 

The stalk and chase lasted one minute and fifteen seconds. I could tell from the time on the photo files. The actual chase lasted four seconds during which time I got off 21 shots. This was the best one. I have to give all credit to the camera for holding focus on the leopard’s face through the long grass as the action hurtled towards me. 

The warthog got away.

Same trip, different park. 

Did you notice the second lion at the foot of the tree? There are several more hidden in the grass in the background.

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