I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it.
--Rosalia de Castro (1837-1885) Spanish writer and poet
Looking for a place to visit this weekend? Drive up to the Beauty Spot on Unaka Mountain in Unicoi County -- in addition to the great views, there's also an amazing one-mile section of the AT which is now covered with hundreds of trillium and other wildflowers. My guess is that this is the last weekend they will be at 'peak'. While they've really improved the gravel road leading to Beauty Spot, I'd still recommend a high clearance vehicle. Click here to read my earlier post describing this hike and giving directions. Click here for a post listing all there is to see and do on Unaka Mountain.
For this shot I put all of my hours of watching Bob Ross on Sunday afternoons to good use. I first used the lens flare feature in photoshop to enhance the setting sun. And then using the 'dodge and burn' tools -- dodging (highlighting) the side of the trees closest to the sun while burning (darkening) the outside edges of the trees (along with the trail and creating some shadows). It's a bit over the top, but still it gives an otherwise so-so photo some pizazz. Here is a very good video tutorial about using dodge and burn in portraits.