Sunday, August 8, 2010

wide open

Where there is an open mind there will always be a frontier.
--Charles F. Kettering (1876-1958) American engineer, inventor

A panoramic view of South Holston Dam comprised of seven images stitched together effortlessly by Photoshop CS5 (click photo above to enlarge). It amazes me how the software figures out where each photo goes, lining up the rocks and mountains and shoreline, and then blending them together so well. Only in one place is it obvious where there is a seam -- and that has to do more with my use of a polarizer filter on my lens than with Photoshop. My tripod has a 'ball-head' on it, so it's of no use for panoramic photos, so for this I just lined up the grid in my viewfinder with the water line and tried to keep everything as level as possible. You want to make sure you keep the same exposure for each component image, so keep the camera on manual -'s probably best to take off the polarizer before you start. :)

Construction of South Holston Dam was begun in 1942, but not completed until 1950.  This impressive earth and rock dam (on the right of the photo) is 285 feet high and spans 1600 feet across the South Holston River. When completed, the dam resulted in the South Holston Reservoir, which extends for 24 miles, with 168 miles of coastline. More info here.

Directions: From the intersection of routes 394 and 421 south of Bristol, continue 2.9 miles south on 421 (toward Shady Valley). Turn right onto Emmett Road/Holston View Dam Road. Continue for 1.6 miles (bear right at the fork) and you'll see the Osceola Island/Weir Dam recreation area on your left. Continue on Holston Dam View Road for another 2 miles to the top of the dam. Beautiful views! 


  1. I've been looking for the seam but I can't say I've found it! I have one theory, but I can't be sure. Wouldn't it be cool if it wasn't a visual seam, but a portal to a time warp at SHD created by Photoshop? Now THAT'S powerful software!

    Just kidding. I love the photo. My husband and I moved from JC, TN to Madison, WI in June and your blog is a great remedy for any homesickness that might creep up. This summer it hasn't had a chance because the weather here is absolutely amazing, but I imagine during the 6-month winter your blog will be an even greater gift. It's nice to know I could enjoy it for hiking advice while living close by and still love seeing it 700 miles away.

  2. Hi AppyLove! The seam is right down the center of the lake - it's pretty obvious on my screen, so I'm glad it's not so obvious on yours! Hope the blog will continue to help you stay connected to Appalachia!


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