Monday, January 14, 2013

You Can't Always Get What You Want....

Saturday evening we were in Pigeon Forge for Wilderness Wildlife Week and had a little time to kill before meeting some friends for dinner.   The sky was starting to look a little interesting and there was a chance for a cool sunset.   The problem was I didn't know any places close by with a clear view of the west without the billboards, neon lights, The Titanic, or King Kong in the way.   The best chance to get the photos I wanted was Wears Valley.

We took some back roads to try and get up above the valley for a view of the sunset but didn't find anything we could get to from the road.   Time was running out and the sun waits for no one.

We had driven past this little white church right on Wears Valley Road many times over the years and always said we should stop and explore a bit.   The the sunset was turning into a bust as we drove on to Headrick Chapel.  According to wikipedia

"For most of the 19th century, funerals in Wears Valley were held at Headrick Cemetery, near the valley's western entrance. A large oak tree provided shelter for funeral-goers, although cold weather and rain often made apparent the need for a building in which to conduct indoor services. In 1902, according to local lore, the oak tree was destroyed by lightning, and in response, the residents erected Headrick Chapel on the cemetery's grounds. The chapel was shared by four Baptist and Methodist congregations, with funeral services having priority. The chapel's bell would ring once for every year of the deceased's life, a tradition still observed by the inhabitants of Wears Valley. In 2001, Headrick Chapel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places."

When we arrived I got my tripod out and started to set up when I realized I had forgotten the quick release plate needed to attach my camera to my tripod.   I always shoot on a tripod and now not only was there no sunset color in the sky I didn't have the equipment I thought I needed.  Things weren't turning out according to my plan.

We wandered around for a little while and took a few shots.  I even tried shooting through the dirty windows.  When we left for dinner I really didn't think I had anything worth keeping.   When we got home Sunday afternoon I discovered there were one or two that while not good enough to print, they were good enough to share.

Because there was little color in the sky or the flora and the chapel was basically white the images seemed to work best as back and white.  Some people don't like black and white.  Here's a color version for you.

I think there are a lot of cases where a monochrome image is a better choice than color.     Do you prefer color or black and white?

I didn't get the photos I thought I wanted but I had fun and learned a little about the Headrick Chapel in the process.   I have to keep reminding myself that God has places the photos out there for me to find, but it's his plan and not mine that will lead me there and I will find what I need.   I have to be open to plans that aren't mine.

"You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need

  Mick Jagger


  1. I recognized this chapel right away! I grew up in Sevier County and my father's family had a farm in Wear's Valley. My parents are buried in Mattox Cemetery just a couple of miles from here. I love all of these photos. Thanks for sharing! Brings back memories!

    Cathy McConnell

  2. I was at WWW on Saturday too. I thought the sky looked promising for a sunset shot, but I headed towards Newfound Gap. I didn't get what I wanted either! We keep trying. :)

  3. Love it! and yes, BW is better in a lot of cases! I love BW for faces - especially the elderly. THEY, may not like it, but it shows the lines and details so much better. You can see the the 'knowledge and experience earned'. :)

  4. Great shots Richard...personally I am a sucker for b&w but it all comes down to what works for any given subject for me. BTW love the Jagger song quote !!