Bridge and Stream in the Great Smoky Mountains


A footbridge crosses a stream in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, as seen during the warmer days of our July 2021 visit.

A footbridge crosses a stream in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, as seen during our July 2021 visit.

The bridge in this photo leads from a parking area to the beginning of the Alum Cave Trail, which was the first trail we hiked on our Great Smoky Mountains visit. It started with this beautiful view, and then things only got better from there, as you can see in some of our other Alum Cave Trail photos.

This photo was actually the second photo that I took on our visit. The first photo I took looks almost exactly like this. I often take two photos of the same thing, just in case one of them turns out better than the other. But in this case, the two photos were almost identical.


While we are in the dead of winter here, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at something a little warmer and greener. Back when the grass was green, the trees had leaves, and the water was not frozen. Those are good times.

Isn’t it interesting how on cold days we like to remember the warm days, and on warm days we like to remember cooler days? Are we never satisfied with what we have?

Sometimes it takes some effort to enjoy what we have when we have it. It requires discipline to realize that what we have is pretty good, even when other things might seem better. And it requires a change in focus to be content with what we have.

And yes, I am saying all of that to myself as much as to anyone else.

Contentment can make life easier in all sorts of ways.

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. - 1 Timothy 6:6-7

About the Photo

Among other things, this photo was an exercise in photo processing. Most of the previous photos I had shared from our trip had a similar look to them. There really is not anything wrong with that look, either. But I wanted to try something different and have a softer, calmer look.

So for the processing of this photo, I used less color saturation and less contrast. And I especially dialed down the green tones which were very prevalent. After all, most of this photo is greenery. But with this look, the colors and the details don’t jump out at you quite as quickly. Your brain has more time to just let it all sink in. This look is rather soothing to me, and that is what I was going for. Just for something different.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Luminar AI. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens
Date: July 19, 2021
Location: Great Smoky Mountains National ParkTennessee

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.