It’s no secret that I love night photography; it’s probably my favorite form of photography actually. For a while there though, all I was doing was star trail photography, and I’ll admit that I got a little burnt out on it. Not that I didn’t still enjoy going out, I was just struggling to come up with new ideas. In experimenting around though, I stumbled onto something that turned into a bit of a personal project for me that lasted almost a year and a half.

If you’ve followed along to Picture of the Week for a while, you may recall my Lighting Up the Night image from late in 2014. In my commentary I mentioned that I like the image because of the alternate light source, but the more I’ve thought about it, I think the true reason I like it is because it adds a human element to the image. The alternate light source (at least to me anyway) implies that there is a person in the shot. Anyway, I liked it so much, I kept doing it and ended up with a series that I’m quite pleased with. I may continue to do things like this… or who knows, maybe I’ll come up with something new!

What I couldn’t say in the 2014 post was that the project I was working on then, was what would become Picture Me, Loving You. The concept for scene 10 (In Search of Justice) originally had a lantern in it, but it turned out to not be bright enough for what I was after… and the torch just gave it a little more edge I thought. The lantern did make its way into Scene 11 (To Stop a Monster…) though, you can see it hanging right behind the Monster. So, in my own strange creative mind, you can (maybe) see the idea from its inception!

Special thanks to Lauren and Joey Beasley for the gift of the lantern. As you can see, I got a lot of use out of it!

–Dan Thompson

Cades Cove

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