Twilight and Alpenglow on Rock Wall

Twilight and Alpenglow on Rock Wall

20×24 prints are $1,500
30×40 prints are $3,000

In 1989 Ruth and I went on our second cross-country photographic trip, not as extensive as our five month trip in 1987 but nevertheless very productive. We eventually found ourselves at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Around the middle of the day I stopped to examine this rock wall, which is near the top of the mountain pass that goes between Tennessee and North Carolina. I saw this composition but the lighting was flat and the colors were merely bland shades of grey so I decided to come back when the lighting was better.

As the day came to an end, there were beautiful warm and cool colors in the sky as the sun set so we drove back to this spot and I quickly set up my 8x10” camera, using a 240mm lens for this photograph. While it looks like the image was made by shooting straight on, it was actually made from the right side at an oblique angle. One of the advantages of using a view camera is that you can use the many adjustments to swing the plane of focus to match the plane of the subject matter. In this case I used both the front and back swings to bring the entire twenty foot wide rock wall into focus.

The light was fading which made it tricky to focus on the ground glass but I was able to do it and had time to take one photograph at f/32 for 45 seconds on Fujichrome 100 film. Because the rock wall was slightly damp, it beautifully picked up the reflections of the multi colors of the twilight sky.

The final Cibachrome print has a wide range of subtle colors and has to be made with precisely the right color balance for all of those interactive colors to come alive. The image is especially impressive in the 40x50” size.

Format: Large (horizontal)
Location: Tennessee
Reference key: tarw