|ISO 100, f/16, 0.8 seconds, 25mm|
Sparks Lane in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an iconic place to go in the early spring and late fall for color and rolling fog. When I was there on October 21st, this was the very first picture I took. When I took the shot, initially I wasn't impressed with it. The tree closest to me was more barren of leaves than I wanted and it just didn't seem to look good to me.
This morning, I processed a bracketed set of shots in Photomatix Essentials even though was rewarded with more color than I originally thought, still wasn't enamored with the image.
I noticed something though. Most of the leafless part of that tree was at the top. Also at the top of the image was the top of the mountains behind the road and a colorless sky. I started to crop the image as a panorama and cutting off the colorless, needless top of the frame that made it dull. HOLY COW!
Some minor adjustments in Lightroom to contrast and saturation and some burning in the background areas and voila! I have an iconic image of Sparks Lane that I was always searching for.