2010/10/04

Cummins Falls - After The Flood

Cummins Falls valley, Jackson Co, TN

I crossed Blackburn Fork Creek carefully, in boots, so as to not get them wet. From close to the rim of the waterfall, I looked into the canyon and was shocked by how different it was.

What was once a valley covered in vegetation, was now stripped bare; bedrock exposed on all sides, huge boulders displaced, slabs of concrete from a destroyed bridge (about a quarter-mile upstream) now well below the falls, trees far up the sides of the valley were stripped of bark on their upstream side, NO HUMAN TRASH.

Standing in the valley it was obvious how violent the event was that had just created this scar across the land. But it's a natural event, having occurred millions, perhaps billions of times throughout Earth's history. We just don't live long enough to appreciate geologic time scales.

I seek these moments in which time or events reduce me to something small. It is, I feel, our proper place in the universe. Not that we're unimportant, but we're certainly small, physically and temporally. To catch just a glimpse of the large picture is a truly inspiring place to be.

Maybe that's why I like to put together huge pictures. There's so much to see, and I want to catch all of it. I encourage you to view this photo large and explore. Currently you're zoomed out of the photo by about 15 times. That means there's 15 times the detail if you were so inclined to look.

This is a matrix consisting of eleven HDRs which each consist of 5 exposures (+4/-4). The top panorama was 6 HDRs bracketed from a base exposure of 1/20s and the bottom 5 HDRs form another panorama whose base exposure is 0.5s. All were shot at f-22. Uncompressed this photo is over 200megs and is currently the largest image I've put together at 105 megapixels.

Blackburn Fork Creek, looking upstream to Cummins Falls, Jackson Co, TN

Cummins Falls, Jackson Co, TN
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