One of the things we enjoy about Chattanooga is the surrounding mountains. They may be smaller, rounder and greener than, say, the Rockies, but they introduce a lovely, rolling feel to the area that only ancient mountains can create. They also make for a lot of nice views.
Point Park offers spectacular views in three directions. Lookout Mountain Hang gliding gives you a completely unimpeded view if you’re willing to run off a mountain or be towed up in a hang glider. And then there is Rock City, famous for its view of 7 states.
Rumor has it that you can, in fact, see 7 states from the overlook at Rock City. However, it requires a scope and an extremely clear day with no haze.
I find myself wondering how one knows when one is peering into a new state? Is the state line superimposed on the landscape like a giant yellow line showing the next down in an American football game?
Having gone to Rock City to take pictures of the birds performing in S.O.A.R.’s bird program, I figured I might as well check out the view. I even brought my wide angle lens and a tripod so I could capture that fantastic view.
Given my timing was around the bird programs and not around the sun, I, of course, ended up on the overlook at precisely noon. I decided to wait until after the second show to try to get any pictures, thinking maybe 2PM would be better than noon.
When 2PM came, I headed back to the overlook feeling rushed because Pat was picking me up and wanted to get back to work as quickly as possible.
Instead of setting up my tripod, I hand held and took advantage of the bright sun with fast shutter speeds. I would have loved a polarizer, but this lens is too big for my polarizer. Another item for the wish list.
On my way to the overlook, I see a manmade waterfall cascading from underneath the walking path. There is a bridge that spans the space in front of the waterfall that would probably make a great spot to shoot from. However, I have my limits. I may be willing to launch myself off a mountain in a glider, but I’m not about to walk on some skinny little bridge that spans a 1000 foot drop. Not even for a better angle on the waterfall.
Instead, I grab a couple of shots that give me a headache to look at.
One of the consequences of the rolling mountains in this part of the country is that I can never decide where level is. 90% of my landscape shots have to be straightened in post production because they were shot at an angle. At least, I think it’s due to the terrain. I once learned that when I thought I was holding my head straight, I was actually holding it at a tilt. Seems to have spread to my camera.