Ramsey Cascades

In June 2009, I spent a week hiking in the Smoky mountains. There was much to see, and I will focus here on the Ramsey Cascades waterfall, in the northeastern part of the park.

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The four mile, 2,000′ climb with camera and tripod is strenuous, but as soon as you arrive at the fall, all the pain is forgotten. This is one magnificent waterfall.

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Waterfalls are tricky. Being there is obviously exciting, but not being there and instead having to look at pictures is annoying. So I apologize.

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Photographers have tried to get the most out of waterfalls. The rules of the game have become: Avoid direct sunlight, and use long time exposure to get the surrealistic filaments of water. This is supposed to turn any waterfall into a world of wonder.

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Don’t misunderstand me; I like alienation. But there are other ways, too. A waterfall has a personality that wants to be discovered and appreciated. The Ramsey Cascades are a wonderful example with a highly complex personality.

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So this post is a teaser, a puzzle. Instead of showing the entire fall, I only show closeups, highlighting the many different ways how water and rock interact.

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