For this weeks Featured Image of the Week I went with an image from a recent visit to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. This is a sunrise shot I captured a few weeks ago and, even though I’ve featured images like this in the past, getting back to the mountains was like visiting a close friend I haven’t seen in years…
Life has a funny way of preventing you from doing some of the things you love.
For me I have to balance running my business near Washington, DC with getting out to photograph the things I love. The last year and a half has been especially busy for me and personal projects have taken a back seat to making a living. My two favorite things to photograph have always been wildlife and landscapes and I’ve photographed both a lot less than I like. This was something that needed to be fixed and soon…
On the day I woke up early to visit the Shenandoah National Park It had been over two years since I’ve made that kind of trip. Fortunately, I remember how to pack for this kind of adventure. The views are the same but so are the dangers of being out so far away from civilization. Since I wasn’t planning on a hike I was pretty safe but the risks are still pretty real in a national park in the middle of the night.
You might be wondering: “how dark is it?” It’s extremely dark (especially when there’s a ton of cloud cover). Here’s a quick peek at what it looked like on the morning I visited:
The light in the sky is from the City of Washington, DC which is about 50 or so miles away captured with about two and a half minutes of exposure time (f8 at ISO 200). Believe me when I say that it’s much darker than any picture can show.
I arrive at my chosen location about one to two hours before sunrise so that means waking up at about 3:00am to to hit the road for the two hours of driving it will take to get up the mountain. To save time (and get a little extra sleep) I like to pack everything the night before and get to bed early.
When I arrive it’s pretty dark. I work by flashlight and set up however many cameras I’ve brought and I begin waiting for the morning light show. It’s this time that let’s me just relax and enjoy the solitude that comes with being miles away from civilization. It’s a feeling that even the widest angle lens can’t capture – but that never stops me from grabbing a shot at 10mm like this:
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