Photographing Gold in the Smoky Mountains


Photographing Streets of Gold in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Streets of Gold along Little River Road Great Smoky Mountains in 1985
Streets of Gold along Little River Road Great Smoky Mountains in 1985

Back in 1985 the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was not on my radar as a place to photograph for posterity. Before the days of digital photography and the Internet most of us were more likely to see a photograph of the park on a postcard or from a personal photo in a shoebox.

Taking Photographs was relatively expensive back then, and the technology¬†to transform a printed picture into a digital file was just in its infancy. And unless you were a profession on a commissioned shoot the was little likelihood that anyone outside of your immediate presence would ever see the photos. (Remember the vacation “slide shows” that went on and on!)

Great Smoky Mountains
Great Smoky Mountains

But that fall, as I drove along “Streets of Gold”¬†along the Little River Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park I began to wonder if it was possible to capture the beauty of the park and to be able to share that beauty with others. There was something about the “Streets of Gold” that stuck in my mind.

Then a new way of publishing photographs appeared in the early 1990s. It was called the World Wide Web and the notion of being able to publish photographs for all the world to see seemed awesome. The good news was that it became very easy to publish photos for all the world to see. The bad news was that nobody was looking. In the early days the web was the domain of scientists and academics but had not caught on yet with the general public.

The Sugarlands in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Sugarlands in the Great Smoky Mountains in 2014

In 1999 I took a chance and started SmokyPhotos. I wanted to share the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains and was willing to do so at my own expense. As time went on I began to include advertising as a way to offset my investment, and that enable me to continue on year after year.

As SmokyPhotos approached its 16th birthday, I began switching the site over to a more responsive, user friendly environment. The result is the site that you are visiting today!

Thanks for visiting, and if you have any questions at all about photography in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park feel free to use the Q and A section here at Smokyphotos.

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