My Magnificent Obsession

Taken at 6:38 AM in Cades Cove 

I wish somebody had told me. Really, I do. Five o’clock. AM. Five — that’s what time I got out of bed that morning (night?). By the time I stumbled around getting dressed as quietly as I could in the darkened house (wives don’t take kindly be to being awakened at five…), and then drove through the goddam gloom to the Cove it was just short of 6:30 AM.

Before – well, before I became obsessed with this photography thing I was a late sleeper. I mean, if I got out of bed before noon on a weekend I felt just virtuous as hell. Wanted a medal and a parade. If I saw the sun come up it was because I had been up all night doing — well, never mind what I was doing…

But you gotta get the light. The good light. Not that crappy, really harsh stuff you get in the afternoon. No, not that. That second rate, bush league light is for snapshots and just won’t do for these great, arty photographs I make all my employees, friends and family admire. No, you gotta get that early morning, silky soft, golden, Park Avenue rarified Ansel Adams certified light.

So you gotta get up with all those birds looking for that proverbial, anxious, premature and overrated worm. I just wish somebody had told me. Really told me, before I bought all those lenses, tripods, doublers and other expensive stuff. I woulda taken up sea shell shucking, baby ball bowling, rattlesnake racing or anything that didn’t mean dragging my rose perfumed ass out the sack before even the stupidest dumbcluck bird began hunting its segmented and slimy morning morsel.

Cades Cove is part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in east Tennessee.

Read all of VISIONS

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